Ideas for balancing weapons vs widgits.

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Uber-Noob
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Ideas for balancing weapons vs widgits.

#1 Post by Uber-Noob » Tue Apr 15, 2008 7:22 pm

Since this is the brainstorming forum I thought I would float a few ideas that have been kicking around for a while. When I played MoO2 I always thought the ship design could be improved by making more negatives for special equipment since all my killer ship designs had tons of special equipment. I also thought I kinda sucked that you could never add extra engines, or that your stellar converter could fire every turn. So I came up with a system to balance all this out:

Ships have four Fundamental stats:
-Mass
-Thrust
-Max Energy and Energy Per Turn.

Rules are as follows:

Each hull size could support a fixed amount of mass, which might improve with engineering techs. All your components would have a mass and an energy use per turn. Engines would generate thrust (of course) but also energy per turn. You could also add a generator that produced more energy but no thrust. Armor would not use energy, but shields would.

Weapons use energy from your max energy stat and if you don't have enough it can't fire that turn. Fighters/projectiles/missiles would use less energy than beam weapons. This keeps beam weapons from becoming the be-all end-all and sets up a battle between projectiles and point-defense systems. If your ship has too many special thingys it will be under-powered and will not be able to fire it's weapons as frequently. That opens the door for specialty ships that have limited weapons but fill support roles like an AWACS.

Ship movement speed and a "dodge" stat would come from thrust devided by mass. So light armor & big engines would be viable as would heavy armor & big guns.

Any questions, comments or suggestions? I might come back in a bit to flesh out some of the main points.

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eleazar
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Re: Ideas for balancing weapons vs widgits.

#2 Post by eleazar » Wed Apr 16, 2008 3:06 pm

Uber-Noob wrote:Ships have four Fundamental stats:
-Mass
-Thrust
-Max Energy and Energy Per Turn.
We've already chosen a simpler, slot-based system.
http://www.freeorion.org/index.php/0.4_ ... ip_Designs

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Re: Ideas for balancing weapons vs widgits.

#3 Post by Uber-Noob » Wed Apr 16, 2008 5:15 pm

True, but that is why I put this is in the brainstorming section, I just wanted opinions. (In the intrest of full disclosure, I am still reading thruogh all that you have done so far.)

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Bigjoe5
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Re: Ideas for balancing weapons vs widgits.

#4 Post by Bigjoe5 » Fri May 02, 2008 9:25 pm

eleazar wrote: We've already chosen a simpler, slot-based system.
http://www.freeorion.org/index.php/0.4_ ... ip_Designs
As far as I can see, this system is compatible with our current system. I think this system is much more reasonable than trying to balance everything just by the amount of space it takes up, especially considering the slot system. More features for equipment might be convenient for balancing purposes.

This system is IMO within a reasonable level of complexity and does have all the positive attributes he mentioned.
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Re: Ideas for balancing weapons vs widgits.

#5 Post by Black_Dawn » Wed Dec 10, 2008 11:46 pm

It would indeed be nice if regular weapons and 'special effect' weapons could draw from the same pool of ship resources.

One of the decided-upon resources must now be 'slots', as that game mechanic has been decided, but that doesn't mean that weapons can't have other stats such as mass and energy usage.

If a ship was 'overloaded', i.e. carrying too much mass, it could suffer a speed penalty. Conversely, 'underloaded' ships could be faster or harder to hit than average.

If a ship's weapons were using too much energy, they would fire less often than their optimum rate. Extra energy could go towards shield regeneration.

With these extra statistics, the community could create devices or mods that use excess ship resources in interesting or innovative ways. For example, with an energy resource, here's a Beam mod that I would create:

Supercharged beams (mod): Can be applied to any beam weapon. The beam weapon uses up any energy not in use by other systems and has its damage increased by X%, where X is the amount of energy used. Only one beam weapon can be supercharged per ship.
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Re: Ideas for balancing weapons vs widgits.

#6 Post by kgable10 » Sun Dec 14, 2008 7:42 pm

Perhaps a ship that uses a bunch of weak weapons could suffer from innefficiency and inaccuracy, while a ship that has a number of large weapons does poorly against fighters and small ships.

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The Dave
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Re: Ideas for balancing weapons vs widgits.

#7 Post by The Dave » Tue Dec 23, 2008 9:44 pm

The idea of power distribution is similar to something I came up with. My reasoning was that it would be a check against a late MoO 2 strategy of just loading up the ship with nothing but autofire Disruptors (or Plasma Cannons or whatever gun you felt was the best) and actually getting a brilliant design out of it.

If a ship had a finite power supply then it would lead towards a more balanced ship design, implementing lower energy systems such as missiles rather than just high energy beams. Having mass and thrust as design quantities would also act as a check to always wanting to load up as much firepower on every ship as possible, as they would become too sluggish and could not act in certain roles (like an Interceptor).

Having slots on a hull design is good, but without power consumption or mass as a check it will always be beneficial to load up as much stuff on the ship as possible, and that (I believe) will lead to a game mechanic system that goes off the rails so to speak.

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Re: Ideas for balancing weapons vs widgits.

#8 Post by IConrad » Tue Dec 23, 2008 10:18 pm

Having slots on a hull design is good, but without power consumption or mass as a check it will always be beneficial to load up as much stuff on the ship as possible, and that (I believe) will lead to a game mechanic system that goes off the rails so to speak.
Actually, that's not at all half bad. But to simplify things out, give each item you add to a ship a specific speed penalty (representing combined loss of power / increased mass )

This ties in with something else I had suggested elsewhere, whereby you allow "hull armor" as a slotless add-on to any vessel, which allows you to increase the ship's health rating as much as you'd like -- at the cost of reduced speed. (With a hard limit of reducing ship speed to 0). This would then allow us to make a widgit that is simply bonus speed -- and that could also allow for more weapons/armor to be stacked on. Simple enough, yet broad in its implications. You /either/ get fast and lightly armored/armed or slow and heavily armored/armed.

I like that. It allows for an increased element of tactical options without necessarily increasing game complexity during play.

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Re: Ideas for balancing weapons vs widgits.

#9 Post by The Dave » Wed Dec 24, 2008 12:49 am

^
I like the idea of being able to adjust hull armor, although I was given a good piece of advice for a game I was working on a while ago: People like having options as long as there are 3 or less. If there was a light/standard/heavy armor configuration that allowed a bit of flexibility in that region that might be best. If there were a slider that allowed you to set it too much it would be very easy to get lost in it. I found that the MoO 3 ship design mode gave too much flexibility and many of the ships you could design were either absurdly expensive or far too brittle.

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Re: Ideas for balancing weapons vs widgits.

#10 Post by marhawkman » Wed Dec 24, 2008 4:33 pm

Enh... I don't see it as that big a problem. The MoO3 thing didn't really come up after you had some experience with how it worked. Instead of a slider we can simply use a number of Armor sheets. Although this raises the issue of whether to allow multiple types of armor on a single vessel. In my experience, it's not a problem as long as the game doesn't care which armor sheet is being damaged. This game is supposed to have a level of detail that's too low to actually track damage to individual components. Thus it wouldn't really come up as a gameplay issue. It probably would require a bit of fiddling in the interface but not much.
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Re: Ideas for balancing weapons vs widgits.

#11 Post by IConrad » Wed Dec 24, 2008 5:43 pm

I'd say for simplicity's sake you only have one type of armor, and you designate it's thickness. Instead of a sliding scale you just have a spot where you can type in a number. Each increment increases the multiplier on how much that kind of armor decreases the speed by, by 1x. (I.e.; if ArmorA decreases by 1 AU per thickness and adds 10 HP, then 5x ArmorA would decrease speed by 5 AU and add 50 HP. If ArmorB decreases speed by 1.5 AU per thickness but adds 20 HP, then 3x ArmorB would add 60 HP but also decrease speed by 5 AU (the units should round up). And so on. Each incremental armor type should be a benefit but not a radical one; and of course each new armor type would increase cost. (Enough that a player would /want/ to upgrade armor types in all cases except in increased cost of manufacture).

And, again -- the game mechanic wouldn't be able -- under IConrad's idea -- to tell the difference between Armor and Structure. So it doesn't matter how many types of armor you've got that way. It would just be a simpler interface to limit the types of armor.

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