[Poll] Radical idea: Merging Building blocks and SI for ships (but not like you think)

Discussion in 'Suggestions' started by Neal, Feb 18, 2017.

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Good or Bad?

  1. I like the first one (merging) but i hate the second one.

    9.4%
  2. I like the second one (generators strenghtening ships hitpoints), but hate the first one.

    23.4%
  3. I like both.

    40.6%
  4. They are both bad.

    26.6%
  1. geostar1024

    geostar1024 Rear Admiral

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    The power system itself would be fine; after all, T2 generators put out 500 MW each, so having a large ship with 5+ GW power generation wouldn't be hard to do. Having energy turrets consume 100-200 MW would let you mount 10-20 of them without much problem. Would you want to turn them off when you weren't using them? Yes, of course (that's what happens in Star Trek, after all).

    The real problem is the fuel system; it was clearly not designed with scaleability in mind. A secondary problem is the thrusters, which don't draw nearly the power they should (their power consumption is about a factor of 10 too small), and the fact that there is no easy way to cruise without consuming power once your ship is up to speed (aside from manually turning off thrusters from the power panel).
     
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  2. geostar1024

    geostar1024 Rear Admiral

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    The one potential showstopper is computing this. The term "outer-most layer" is tricky to define properly in a way that won't be exploitable. It works fine if a ship is strictly convex, like some kind of ellipsoid. The problems start cropping up as soon as you add something like an engine nacelle connected by a thin pylon. How do you determine the outer layer in this case? It's not simply all the blocks that have a face to empty space, because some of them now face other blocks. You could try to define some kind of surface that precisely encloses all the of the blocks in a ship, but what about designs that have deep crevasses and folds? There's no way to tell programmatically if that crevasse is a legitimate design feature or an attempt to illegally increase the ship's HP pool for PvP purposes.

    What I propose is to take the largest contiguous ensemble armor blocks (Steel, Hardened Steel, and Combat Steel) and designate that as the hull. You're free to build things on the outside of the hull, of course, and you'd be free to construct an even bigger shell of armor around it (which would become the new hull upon merging if it contained more armor blocks). Chopping this hull up into discrete sectors (which would certainly be needed to make deathcubes easier to deal with) could be tricky.

    This could be the best way to handle the problem, to chop a ship up into 10x10x10 cubes, and wherever those cubes intersect the previously defined hull, give that section of the hull a separate HP pool (based on the number and type of armor blocks in it) and damage states. So, for example, 11 layers of armor could yield a thick section on top and a thin section underneath, or sections of 5 and 6 thickness, depending on how the ship was aligned to the grid of 10x10x10 cubes. This would probably result in some metagaming to optimize a ship design; for example, laying out things so that the top layer of armor is in its own section, so that an alpha strike from another ship would completely vaporize the top section, leaving the section underneath untouched and effectively wasting some of the opponent's damage. This could be mitigated by properly propagating excess damage to sections/blocks underneath (not sure how Empyrion handles this right now, actually).

    On the whole, though, I think this would be a fair way to implement merged hulls that would give consistent results no matter how a ship was designed.
     
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  3. Hummel-o-War

    Hummel-o-War Administrator
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    @Neil No, no t a sort or kind of si, just segments like @Albert described it:
    So in Build Mode you have full control over each single block (like atm)
    In operational Mode the hull is merged in one block, but has individual sectors, contributing individual amounts of HP depending on its design.
     
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  4. Neal

    Neal Captain

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    This makes sense. :)
    I haven't considered that tbh. So for the sake of playability and also creativity, i'd scrap the whole idea of measuring how many layers of armor a ship has and just go with it's mass or size class (IDK, how exactly it is composed.)


    Absolutely! The most common material should be considered.
    Ok, i have no idea how things are supposed to be balanced in the end, but i would say that material should have big share of the overall Hitpoints.
    Maybe some clever person could create a formula, that brings Size class an most common material together to produces a decent value for the ships hitpoints.

    Wouldn't this again encourage ppl. to build massive outer layers, or tiny bars sticking out into every direction, just to cumulate as much armor as possible? (if i understand the concept correctly)
    Damage migration is more like something shields should work, not armor imo.(but i wouldn't use that concept for shields either tbh)
    In my opinion, ships shouldn't consist of 90% armor.


    Wouldn't that be way too easy exploitable?
    (Similar like 45 layers cubes with a tiny interior cokpit.)

    This may sound silly but i actually would tie hull Hitpoints somehow to the ships size class and leave it well alone.
    AFAIK segmenting a ships hull could take several minutes and thus destroy the game flow completely imo. Would be pretty frustrating if you just want to change a couple of blocks and have to wait half an hour for the game to de merge the ship and then another half hour to merge the hull again into one unit.

    Again, i think the most easy and (let's not torget) most intuitive thing would be to use a ships size class and multiply it with the various (Building block) materials.
    (after that, multiply or divide it with some arbitrary number to get a value that makes sense)
    Sure it could be exploited, by creating nonsensical structures. In turn this would increase the ships mass which would have it's own negative effects.
    I'm normally not someone who preaches simplycity over complexity but in this case, i'd be all for it.

    In this case, i think the decision is between two things:
    On on hand we could have a overly complex ship building system that will make it somewhat hard for new players to get accustomed to, which also heavy influences ppls. creativity because it would make certain designs completely useless. It would also not have any direct benefit if energy shields get introduced, btw.

    On the other hand tying Size Class and the used building materials would be much more simple (maybe too simple) but it wouldn't influence ship designs. It would make 50 layers of armor nonsensical. It would also make things for new players more accesible and give players while in combat more focus on tactical things, instead of keeping their construction together.
    Last but not least, it would free up computing power to other things.
    (just my 0,02 euros :))

    Cheers!
     
    #44
  5. Gusfraba

    Gusfraba Commander

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    A great point, with a balance in the power system it would be doable, even if they did an upscale in power draw. While fusion cells compensated for this at least to a small degree, it unfortunately would not be enough with the current state the power systems are in, especially if you were to add energy shields into the mix. However, i do not know enough about the formula used for fuel to energy to respond to using several of the LT2 generators, though if it was feasible i would more than likely build with that method and style of design. My builds currently red-line in power usage during in-atmosphere maneuvering, so most of my comments are based off of sci-fi movie and real life experience. Fuel to energy conversion does seem to be the biggest issue though, as you need vast reserves of fuel, and time to make them, just to use a ship that is a size class 5 or larger.
     
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  6. Hummel-o-War

    Hummel-o-War Administrator
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    Why would a button switching between build and operational mode make it more complicated? Given the calculation only does take a few seconds?

    Maybe it hard to visualize what I mean with segments. We all,know that the terrain is made out of so called -chunks. So the whole planet is not rendered all the time in one big block, but in "segments". Translate this to ships.

    Currently each block is calculated...skip that and go to a segment size of 10x10x10 or larger and apply damage to this segment instead of each individual block.

    That's basically what Albert and geostationary proposed.

    That's kind of the middle ground between the on-ship-block-merge and the single-block method. = less performance drain, but still sectional damage.

    In Build Mode, you still have individual blocks, and you do not need to wait for merge or Demerge every time.
     
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  7. oojimaflip

    oojimaflip Captain

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    Isn't taking "per block damage" out of a block building game fundamentally limiting what a block building game is specifically designed to do?

    Sorry if that's kinda rhetorical, but that's how I see it.
     
    #47
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  8. Hummel-o-War

    Hummel-o-War Administrator
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    You still can build by block = create your own design.

    Question is: does the game need to be a per-Block-destruction game

    Or in a different view: does the per-block destruction add anything to the game that can not be done more immersive and efficient in a different way as long as the per-block building remains untouched?

    Imho 99% of this Thread seems to approve the latter...and the suggested changes open up a slew of possibilities that may never really work fluently with per.block destruction (in my opinion)
     
    #48
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  9. oojimaflip

    oojimaflip Captain

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    It seems we sit on opposite side of the fence on this one; I cannot see the point in a block building game that does not have per block damage. Idno, maybe I'm just a purist in that sense.
     
    #49
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  10. vicomt

    vicomt Captain

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    From a purely design point of view, no, it matters not one jot.

    From a gameplay point of view, OMG yes. Like Ooj, I am FIRMLY of the opinion that per-block destruction is a bare minimum. I would personally like to see more on that front, with dynamic splitting of ships based on connection to the core through other blocks.

    Whilst moving to an alternative model might assuage some of the more vocal members on the forum, I would suggest that it might be possible that a significant percentage of the player-base might not feel the same way.

    I personally would be less inclined to actually play the game, it would become more an immersive canvas to create within.
     
    #50
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  11. Pyston

    Pyston Captain

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    I just want droid parts that I can put together to make my own droid helpers. I am all for SI on ships as long as I do not require an engineering degree and or am forced to use a lot of math....unless I can make a droid for it.

    as far as block damage, ship damage, etc and all that jazz...I don't really care, just do whatever is more fun, allows for more creativity and is more immersive.

    also, remove the ability to access containers though a menu, its lame.
     
    #51
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  12. Neal

    Neal Captain

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    I'm all for seperating building and operation mode (it's basically the same thing as my suggsetion of merging and demerging).
    I just wasn't sure if switching can go fast like this (i supposed it would take several minutes to define each chunnk)


    Performance wise you're maybe right (i have no way to estimate that), but regarding to exploitablility i'm really not sure if this would be a improvement to the current system.
     
    #52
    Last edited: Mar 1, 2017
  13. Neal

    Neal Captain

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    Per block destruction may has it's advantages, like shooting a hole inot the enemies hull. But in the end i think a merged ships hull (all huilding blocks merged into one unit) would offer much more options regarding to immersion (destruction effects and no 100 layers of armor) and possibilities (more rescources for other things, like more ships and environmental things (more stars, bigger galaxy, space environmental hazards like nebulae and so on.).
    To me giving up per block destruction for more of everything else would be a small sacrifice.
     
    #53
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  14. rainyday

    rainyday Rear Admiral

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    This is pretty much it - I would be willing to give up per-block destruction (as long as I could still target everything else separately - engines, weapons, etc. ) - if there would be something else to gain.

    Not sure what it would be - but it feels like per-block destruction is as it is, can't really be done any further - mostly because its bad for performance already. But if segments would bring some new aspects to combat - I wouldn't see it as a bad thing.
     
    #54
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  15. ITguy1981

    ITguy1981 Commander

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    I love your idea of adding quadrant hitpoints. I said no to the second option just because I feel that many players add things to their ships after they are built so what happens to the HP when you add things to your ship after it has merged? That's why I didn't pick option 2. I think the ship would need to be split in to sections based of dimensions. A cube size should would have 8 parts. A longer ship ship would have more because of length. You would need 12 HP boxes for left and right sides along with front, middle, back, top and bottom.
     
    #55
  16. Hummel-o-War

    Hummel-o-War Administrator
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    If you want to change your design, got to build mode (=demerges ship), change what you want and then go back to "operation mode"
     
    #56
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  17. ITguy1981

    ITguy1981 Commander

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    I changed my vote to both if that's how it would work.
     
    #57
  18. geostar1024

    geostar1024 Rear Admiral

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    Having a ship split dynamically due to damage taken would be pretty awesome, and a sector-based damage system would in some ways facilitate that (easier to hit enough sectors to trigger the split).

    For me, per-block destruction would still be the ideal, if performance were no object. As it stands, a sector-based approach could give massive performance improvements (as well as make it a little easier to deal with gamey PvP ships). But I agree that we still need to be able to put holes in things, which is why I think this sort of system would need damage models that for sectors that consisted of one or more gaping holes that are weapon-shot- and player-traversable. Also, note that everything that's not the hull (whether inside or outside it) would still have a per-block damage model.
     
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  19. Wraithcat

    Wraithcat Lieutenant

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    I like both ideas, although I think that the implementation of the first could be optional depending on the choices made during game setup.

    The second sounds like a kind of "force field" of sorts, which would be very cool.
     
    #59
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  20. MrFubar

    MrFubar Commander

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    I don't like either of idea though I think the generators could be workable with ship shields where more power strengthens the ships shields, but shields would need a separate power container from the main ship otherwise once shields were down the ship would be dead in the water. The only other way it would work would be to have a HUD that showed how much total power was left and have you toggle the shield off with a hot key before it got to low and got rid of your ability to even move or fight back.

    I feel the block merging is an especially bad idea, most people like to tweak their designs as they find things that work better and merging all the blocks would prevent this. It would also prevent you from removing a block to be able to get to various areas. I don't think the performance gain would be huge but I could be wrong. In addition the block merging eliminates the ability for someone to board a ship by breaching it, or concentrate fire on one spot to create a breach, not to mention the tactics of trying to take out the guns or engines specifically. There are lots of ways people can fight currently by rolling their ship to give someone undamaged areas and things of that nature which would call go away if blocks get merged.

    One thing i do think needs changing though is turrets ability to target a core, it just doesn't make sense that they know where a core is when buried deep inside a ship.
     
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