Mission Modules - Actual Variety in Ships

Discussion in 'Suggestions' started by Aetrion, Jul 14, 2022.

  1. The Big Brzezinski

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    Well, I've found the CPU system to be a very effective means of encouraging ship specialization and diversity. So I don't know what to tell you there.

    I just don't see how adding another set of points to spend on another set of devices is going to make ships more specialized, though. A tier four ship gets ten million CPU points to spend on fittings that must be carefully weighed and selected to determine the ship's capabilities, and four Special Device points to spend on other fittings that must be carefully weighed and selected to determine the ship's capability. It's the same choice, just complicated by the addition of a separate set of blocks.

    If these devices were rolled into the existing CPU system, then they would at least be part of the same equation.
     
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  2. ravien_ff

    ravien_ff Rear Admiral

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    The CPU system can be much better balanced. Looking at a certain scenario's configs and you'll see that ship specialization is an important part of designing ships for that scenario. You very rarely see a "do everything" ship and typically those are higher end, very expensive ships.

    The problem is, 80% of the player base would not enjoy such restrictive design choices. They want a single ship that can do everything, and if the devs changed it NOW they would get a lot of bad reviews most likely. The time to do this would have been back when the game was first coming out to set the expectation.
     
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  3. Aetrion

    Aetrion Lieutenant

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    I don't agree with that at all. They can still build the exact same ships they can build right now, there are just some additional capabilities that you can't all stack on the same vessel. The whole point of this idea is that it isn't a broad rebalance and redesign of the existing system, it's adding something new that accomplishes what the old system lacks in a very simple way.

    If you're really worried about someone getting angry because they were given a bunch of new stuff to play with just make mission modules a server setting and people who want to keep playing a game where all ships are boring and samey can just play without mission modules.

    Just like with the weight system, some people were throwing a tantrum about the game no longer being completely brainless when it comes to inventory management. So you give them a little toggle and they can just go uncheck the box while the rest of us move on to a more interesting and complete play experience.

    I was super excited about the CPU system when they announced it because before the CPU system it was even dumber where you basically just had a laundary list of how many of each weapons you had to put on your ship to get maximum firepower, but the CPU system hasn't made anything better as far as I'm concerned. The only point you can even begin to talk about specialization is when you're already in overkill territory, and the one thing that's genuinely restricted is XXL Thrusters, which you simply don't need. I've literally made ships that are so large that they need multiple gravity generators and have enough interior room to land regular sized capital ships and they moved just fine on XLs.
     
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    Last edited: Aug 2, 2022
  4. Hector G

    Hector G Commander

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    I was gonna say "why not just go play RE?" the redesigned CPU system seems to address OP's complaint, I think.
     
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  5. Aetrion

    Aetrion Lieutenant

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    I don't see how the CPU system will ever really be "balanced" to be honest, because it's fundamentally flawed.

    In order for the system to produce spaceships that create a believable world you can't just rely on a single number to tell you how many items can go on the ship because the second you make that budget tight you'll find that the leanest possible ships can carry the most possible firepower.

    That's simply not how spaceships are in a believable scifi universe. You would expect that in order for a ship to have capital grade weaponry it would need to house a large crew. That means more quarters, more amenities, more infrastructure to support them. You'd also expect it to need massive capacitor banks, power equipment and magazines which again means more space taken up internally by the support structures for these weapons. All that extra equipment would be large and heavy, requiring a larger engine and fuel to move, which again takes up more space. Simultaneously in reality the square cube law makes it so that larger vessels can carry significantly heavier armor because the ratio of internal volume to surface area keeps getting more favorable the larger you build.

    In the game none of that applies because nothing takes up significant amounts of space. All the relevant parts of a fully functional capital ship can be crammed into about 100 cubes of internal volume. The CPU system will never give any benefit to making a larger vessel. Weaponry has no internal components so you'll always be able to just add more "wings" to add surface area for more weapons. You will always be able to fit more weapons if you have fewer engines. Power systems, jump drives, shield generators simply do not require any scaling up as your armament increases. Because you never need a physically larger engine or more fuel storage the square cube law never applies to make thick armor more practical on larger vessels.

    The system simply doesn't encourage you to create ships that resemble real life warships or a believable scifi spaceships. Too many of the intricacies of engineering simply don't apply. I don't think we should make a system that is so complex that they do apply, but it would be very nice if we at least don't make a system that punishes people for pretending their apply.

    Granted, mission modules do nothing to fix that either, but they aren't there to change that, but to make combat more interesting and variety of ships greater.
     
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  6. The Big Brzezinski

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    Have you considered turning the laundry list off? That's what I did. That's why I'm not having this same trouble. To me, each thruster represents an amount of armor I can move, power generation I've going to need, and weapons I'm not going to have. Everything pulls on everything else. Every block anticipates the mission to come.

    Those players that want a single ship that does everything can play without CPU or mass & volume for that experience. They're already good to go already, they don't need more help. I'd like to think that those players who instead appreciate the context CPU and mass & volume provide would be able to accept and adapt to changes necessary to refine those systems. I'd also like to think that tomorrow I might meet a swimsuit model who's into history, math, and fat guys who can cook. Positivity is a more necessary evil on some days than others.

    There's room in the game for some weirder and more wonderful devices. CPU is adequate for a lot of them, like bigger/more esoteric guns, thrusters, and constructors. Others could be made mutually exclusive using very similar adjacency rules to those governing cargo controllers and extenders, like shield, core, and warp drive tuners. If they can help sweeten the bitter medicine of a bunch of CPU rebalancing, so much the better.
     
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  7. Aetrion

    Aetrion Lieutenant

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    Well yea, when they added the CPU I turned block limits off, but that was the only thing limiting blocks before they added CPU. Still, the system we have now is a joke.

    Power generation is never an issue, a single Tier 2 generator will power any ship in the game, and is tiny. Most ships will be perfectly happy with a T1 generator. So you simply don't need a big ship to have lots of power.

    Because you never actually need a bigger ship to accommodate the internals needed to support any given armament the square cube law never gives larger ships a more favorable weight ratio on having thicker armor. Building larger always results in overall thinner armor thickness or more CPU used on engines.

    The reality is that it's not a system where you need to balance a lot of different needs of your ship against each other. It produces a singular clear bias toward a specific way to build ships. The exact same roughly 100 block engine room can feed everything from a 300 meter long battleship to a compact destroyer so there is no good reason to ever build big.

    Even the requires surface area for fitting all those weapons isn't a reason to build bigger. You can build a single block arm out from your ship and attach every single weapon to it and that doesn't create a vulnerability in your design because ships can't break apart in this game even if their blocks no longer connect.

    I simply don't really see meaningful variety out of the current system.
     
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  8. Kaeser

    Kaeser Rear Admiral

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    Conceptually and lore wise, the objective of this game is to reach Empyrion, if we have specialization to the point we need a ship to fight and a ship for cargo we would need a fleet to reach the end game

    Considering we don't have neither autopilots nor crew in SP, that would become a problem

    Carring several SVs in one CV across the galaxy is one thing, if we need to carry several CVs clustered together, it would become very cumbersome very fast
     
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  9. Hector G

    Hector G Commander

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    I think what you are talking about now - that said I would have to completely disagree about taking that kind of approach. Yes a large capital ship would likely need lots of people to run it and have to take lots of other considerations for it be "realistic" but realism is the last thing I care about.
    I mean ships can't even crash how is that for a believable scifi universe?
     
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  10. Aetrion

    Aetrion Lieutenant

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    I'm not sure where in this idea you see a need to have several CVs, unless you think your ship needs to be perfect at everything.

    This isn't a question of realism, it's a question of aesthetics. A scifi universe where there are lots of different ships with lots of different capabilities is simply more interesting than a scifi universe where all ships are slightly different in shape but essentially the same.

    There is no reason why a game that is all about enabling your creativity when it comes to building starships should be so incredibly uninteresting when it comes to what capabilities you can give them.
     
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  11. ravien_ff

    ravien_ff Rear Admiral

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    I hate to point it out again, but in Reforged Eden several of the ideas mentioned here are being used (to various degrees). It leads to more interesting ship designs, ships that have a purpose and are better for specific tasks.

    For example if you want a ship with a powerful shield, it will need to be large enough to hold all the shield upgrades.
    Or you can keep it small and dodge, or use armor, etc.

    If you're asking if ship specialization can work, the answer is yes. If you're asking if it should be added to the default game, that I cannot answer. I know it works for our optional scenario and makes a good proof of concept but I don't know how that could translate into the default game.

    But my point is, it's possible.
     
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  12. Aetrion

    Aetrion Lieutenant

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    Yea, that mod seems pretty cool. I have to at some point just sit down and play a full game of Empyrion while using that. I still would prefer if the official game went a bit deeper with the building.
     
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  13. The Big Brzezinski

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    RE works by heavily nerfing thrusters and CPU boosters. If regular Empyrion was radically rebalanced along the same lines, it would practically wipe out everyone's blueprint portfolio. We would have to revise and/or redesign everything.

    Strictly speaking, you don't really need a tier four ship. Tier three is probably sufficient to fit all the devices necessary to carry out any mission. Often a not even that much ship is needed. There are lots of little things to chose between to put in the little ships. However, there are no mission-necessary devices proportional to tier four's CPU capacity. Instead of fitting a few big things in the big ships, we instead pile all of the little things in them to fill space. It's clear from the jump in CPU points that tier four ships are meant to be special. Without a clear purpose to serve, a need to meet, they become a luxury items for people who have "reached the endgame". Players won't spend their resources building something specific unless you give them a specific necessity to build for.

    Greater challenges and dangers and the large advanced devices required to tackle them would be an effective way of necessitating purpose-built high end CVs. RE already does a good bit of this. But rather than gating these fittings behind days of POI grinding or a CPU-tier-based perk system, it would be simpler and easier to make them part of the normal design, building, and logistics processes.
     
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  14. Aetrion

    Aetrion Lieutenant

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    My idea works the way it does for a reason: It doesn't require a complete overhaul of existing systems. It simply accepts that ships are the way they are and adds something that expands ship capabilities going forward without invalidating existing designs beyond simply having to add new modules to them the same way that any new module has to be added to existing ships.
    Because it adds a mission module per tier it also indirectly buffs lower tier ships because for example a Tier 1 ship with a coaxial railgun may be little more than a huge railgun floating through space, but it still packs a dangerous wallop.

    It's an idea designed to be relatively easy and painless to add to the game without having to tear down what we already have.
     
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  15. Searcher

    Searcher Ensign

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    i absolutely love the idea! the only downside is as mentioned above that singleplayer will suffer a lot. if you could at least rent these ships with no need to carry them all with you it could be fine. but multiplayer could be absolutely awesome like an mmo rpg with a special role for every pilot so everyone will feel he's a part of the team and he's role is crucial.

    i remember reading lore articles in mass effect where space combat was described and i always wanted to see that in action. the game never shown it remaining a simple shooter till the end and it was a big disappointment for me. but this could be done here in this game.

    i'd also love to see all systems require regular maintenance that will make you think twice before adding another one to your ship. i recently made a small ship with every single piece of equipment accessible through a slide door and lots of switches for everything. i absolutely love it, it looks and feels so practical and realistic. but i have to roleplay system checkups.
     
    #35
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  16. Aetrion

    Aetrion Lieutenant

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    I don't think it would be a huge problem in single player. You can dock CV to CV after all, so if you really feel like you need access to multiple mission modules you'd just have to build a big jumpship that smaller CVs can attach to. But since ships will retain all of their current functionalities you're not going to be pressed into using mission modules if you're by yourself.

    I build all of my ships so that all modules are accessible. It's a waste of space, but it just makes the resulting ships so much cooler. You actually feel like you're on a spaceship when you have ships like that, instead of having this constant feeling that you're just exploiting the cheesiest possible way to build.
     
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