Ships in production should cost upkeep

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Telos
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Re: Ships in production should cost upkeep

#16 Post by Telos »

Currently, optimal strategy typically involves queuing up dozens or even hundreds of comsats at each border system, letting them build 2/3 of the way, and then leaving them on the bottom of the queue, ready to pop out at a moment's notice, should invaders approach. This is a tremendously cheap insurance policy that greatly extends the staying power of defenders and planetary weapons and makes invasion extremely expensive.

The OP's proposal at least has the virtue of making this cheesy strategy no longer be viable, which I would construe as a move for the better.

However, I think that there are likely even better ways of solving the decoy comsat problem, e.g., by reducing the targeting priority of unarmed troopless decoys. If some other solution like this can solve the decoy problem, then I think the game would benefit from reworking the "upkeep" system to one that charges more for big ships than it does for little ships, thereby making it more viable for players to use smaller ships later in the game. I suppose that sort of change in the upkeep system could also be paired with charging upkeep for partially constructed ships (or perhaps on whatever percentage of them has already been constructed).

But overall, charging upkeep on ships under construction feels to me mostly like annoying complexity that doesn't serve a real purpose, and Free Orion's design philosophy rightly avoids such things! If you *really* want something like this, I'd probably go with Krikkitone's suggestion that ships that aren't being worked on should have their PP decay -- either keep the project going or pay more later to get it going again.

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LienRag
Dyson Forest
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Re: Ships in production should cost upkeep

#17 Post by LienRag »

Wouldn't the simplest way be to charge only for ships that have already produced at least half their final output ?
That would penalize much less long-production time ships...

Ophiuchus
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Re: Ships in production should cost upkeep

#18 Post by Ophiuchus »

LienRag wrote: Sat May 16, 2020 10:56 pm Wouldn't the simplest way be to charge only for ships that have already produced at least half their final output ?
That would penalize much less long-production time ships...
Not more intuitive than the current system and comparitivly the same amount of micro like the old system. Pre-produce and pause shortly before reaching the half of final output (at least for short-production time ships).

If one thinks that is unfair to long-production time ships, factoring in minimum time to finish would be a way. Something like scaling the upkeep with (1/minimum-turns-to-finish). But that is also very complex and could also lead to micro (though the smoothing helps a bit). Adding more complexity could reduce the incentive for micro by smoothing the curve more. Or a hard cutoff like 3 turns minimum-finish-time-left instead of your suggested 50% (comparable to your suggestion, even more fair, but less problematic for short-production time ships).

Anyway a lot of complexity for not much game-value I think.
Any code or patches in anything posted here is released under the CC and GPL licences in use for the FO project.

Furthermore, I propse... we should default to four combat rounds instead of three ...for the good of playerkind.

ThinkSome
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Re: Ships in production should cost upkeep

#19 Post by ThinkSome »

I'm against the upkeep as currently implemented. It makes no sense why a new ship would cost more to produce than existing ships of the same type.

If you want upkeep, then make it be based on ships actually in use. That is:

1) Ships consume fuel when they move through starlanes. This should cost PP (Perhaps by adding factory buildings that produce fuel and are a PP drain and fuel storage buildings to store it).

2) Warship's crews have to regularly *train* or else they become rusty (firepower and detection malus). Training consumes ammo (MD,flak) or reactor fuel (laser,plasma,dr,arc) or spare parts/fuel (fighters). There could be factory buildings for ammo and reactor fuel that are a PP drain.

3) Stationary ships consume reactor fuel (with some parts costing more, i.e. radars, cloaks, distortion mod, ...).

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Oberlus
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Re: Ships in production should cost upkeep

#20 Post by Oberlus »

ThinkSome wrote: Sun May 17, 2020 11:13 am I'm against the upkeep as currently implemented. It makes no sense why a new ship would cost more to produce than existing ships of the same type.
PP upkeep has been rejected several times in the past. It won't happen.
Upkeep (periodic payment) makes sense, but it cannot be based on PP. It will be based on Influence.
Until then, the current "fake" upkeep mechanics serve a good purpose: slowdown steamrolling/snowballing.

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LienRag
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Re: Ships in production should cost upkeep

#21 Post by LienRag »

Ophiuchus wrote: Sun May 17, 2020 8:42 am Or a hard cutoff like 3 turns minimum-finish-time-left instead of your suggested 50%.
Probably a better idea indeed, and simpler.

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Oberlus
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Re: Ships in production should cost upkeep

#22 Post by Oberlus »

Ophiuchus wrote: Sun May 17, 2020 8:42 am Not more intuitive than the current system and comparitivly the same amount of micro like the old system. Pre-produce and pause shortly before reaching the half of final output (at least for short-production time ships).

If one thinks that is unfair to long-production time ships, factoring in minimum time to finish would be a way. Something like scaling the upkeep with (1/minimum-turns-to-finish). But that is also very complex and could also lead to micro (though the smoothing helps a bit). Adding more complexity could reduce the incentive for micro by smoothing the curve more. Or a hard cutoff like 3 turns minimum-finish-time-left instead of your suggested 50% (comparable to your suggestion, even more fair, but less problematic for short-production time ships).

Anyway a lot of complexity for not much game-value I think.
+1

It must be an all-or-nothing.
That's the simpler to understand, the simpler to implement, and the only one that removes micro-management.

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