Maybe stations should have a single shield bubble.

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Arioch
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Re: Maybe stations should have a single shield bubble.

Postby Arioch » Tue Jan 01, 2019 10:49 pm

evil713 wrote:Also can we talk about the surprising lack of a heavy weapon on any station?

It's just a quirk of the state of the game when they were designed. At the time that the Ashdar stations were designed, the only heavy weapons had fixed arcs, so they weren't put on the stations, which needed 360 mounts since they couldn't rotate. We ended up using the Ashdar designs for all factions, so that's why they don't have any heavy weapon mounts, other than missiles.

Maybe in the future if we do something like design a faction with super stations, station mechanics might get more love. Right now in the game, defensive structures just aren't all that important, even if they were buffed.

Dragar
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Re: Maybe stations should have a single shield bubble.

Postby Dragar » Wed Jan 02, 2019 3:15 pm

Arioch wrote:Because ships move in a particular direction and (many) have directional weapons, shield facing is tactically meaningful; you may have to choose between optimal weapons bearing and optimal protection. As it worked out in actual gameplay, this element of meaningful impact is smaller than perhaps it should have been (the early Ashdar ships had a lot of fixed forward-arc weapons, but most of the later ships have 360 degree weapons), but it's still there.

For stations, which (normally) don't move and have all 360 degree weapons, shield facing does not offer any meaningful choice and would simply involve uninteresting micromanagement of rotating the station every time it takes damage. So is it meaningful for stations to have shield quadrants? Not really. But since the shield system has quadrants, stations have quadrants too. Changing station shields to be unified would serve no practical purpose; it would still take the same number of damage points to penetrate the shields.


The Gremak ships also have many forward arc weapons. I really enjoy the arc aspects; I'd love to see this expanded on.

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Re: Maybe stations should have a single shield bubble.

Postby username » Tue Jan 22, 2019 9:27 am

Arioch wrote:That would effectively make the shields 3 or 4 times harder to penetrate, which seems unbalanced.

Honestly, by the time you're relying on a station to save you, you're already toast. I have never built an armed military station. All my stations are just unarmed hulks filled with science labs and construction modules. If you're actually fighting battles over worlds that can afford the industrial output to build a useful battlestation, you have already lost, because now you're blowing tons of hammers and metal building defenses on planets that MIGHT be attacked instead of ATTACKING.

Arioch wrote:Maybe in the future if we do something like design a faction with super stations, station mechanics might get more love. Right now in the game, defensive structures just aren't all that important, even if they were buffed.
Honestly, I don't think stations would ever really matter. Stations are only interesting as economic tools. If you're relying on a static object for military defense, you've already lost. The only defensive tool a station needs is a warp interdictor. If you can't get a fighting force there in time, you've already lost.

nathanebht
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Re: Maybe stations should have a single shield bubble.

Postby nathanebht » Tue Jan 22, 2019 3:03 pm

username wrote:...
The only defensive tool a station needs is a warp interdictor. If you can't get a fighting force there in time, you've already lost.


I did find the small defensive station useful somewhat early on in one game. My empire was spread out and attacked from more than one direction. I couldn't build ships quick enough. And the transit time was a problem. Building stations for key planets that were in jeopardy effectively defended them more than once.

The large defensive station is very lacking in fire power and is quite expensive. Can't see how it would be useful in the late game.

Perhaps if ships had higher upkeep costs. Stations kept their zero upkeep costs and were cheaper to build/research. Might improve the situation.

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Re: Maybe stations should have a single shield bubble.

Postby username » Tue Jan 22, 2019 4:37 pm

They'd have to basically be FREE to build, because otherwise I can't really see the justification for taking up build time on something that serves no economic value. Hell, I barely even build my own warships, I just steal the AI's.

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Arioch
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Re: Maybe stations should have a single shield bubble.

Postby Arioch » Tue Jan 22, 2019 9:08 pm

I'm more concerned about minor faction stations being too hard for the player to overcome, especially early in the game. Marauder bases are already pretty hard targets as it is.

For the player, static defenses are always going to be a niche option, no matter how good you make them. They're only useful if the enemy attacks them, and in most circumstances that's not something you want to have happen.

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Re: Maybe stations should have a single shield bubble.

Postby username » Wed Jan 23, 2019 1:38 pm

Wait, there are minor faction stations? That have shields? I've never seen a minor faction with a station, unless you mean marauders, and pirate bases don't even have shields, and what makes pirate bases tough is their defending fleets. Without a defending fleet, any station is a sitting duck. Even a pirate base had over 9000 shields, it'd still simply be a matter of shooting from maximum range it until it died. There is realistically no useful defense a sitting duck can have against such a thing.

Also, destroying pirate bases seems a little bit of a niche case. I prefer to allow them to live, to constantly spawn ships which I then steal. Hell, I've intentionally built colonies on top of a pirate base system just so that I can steal their ships, which I then use to steal more of their ships. I don't build mines, I just farm pirate hulks.

Show them who the real pirates ARRRR!

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Re: Maybe stations should have a single shield bubble.

Postby DanTheTerrible » Fri Feb 22, 2019 12:06 pm

I want to thank Arioch for taking the time to share his thoughts. I do agree that changing stations to a single 360 degree shield arc would be silly. I think, like what some others have said, they ought to rotate. Then fleets would have to maneuver to get the same shield facing. 90 degrees per turn seems too fast, making it very difficult to hit the same segment repeatedly. 45 degrees or even 30 degrees seems like a better balance between sitting statically still and making station shields too effective.

Some ship design option that affects rotation seems like a cool option. Perhaps a single maneuvering engine would allow 30 degrees of rotation per turn, 2 would allow 60 degrees, etc.

But this discussion is essentially about fluffy cosmetic stuff. Defensive stations are a minor feature fairly useless to human played factions. Arioch has expressed concern that stations are mainly a roadblock to human players trying to overcome computer factions and I agree. If station rotation is implemented station shields will need to be nerfed a bit to keep the balance where it is. And there may be a substantial balance shift between races that have mostly 360 degree weapons and those that have mostly forward firing weapons, the latter effectively being nerfed in fights against stations.

Ultimately we have to ask if this essentially cosmetic feature, whose implementation would probably require multiple iterations to get the balance right, a good use of Arioch's time as a developer? I don't really think so. Quit insisting everything in SiS be just like Moo2, and let Arioch use his time to implement his ideas to make SiS better than Moo2.

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Arioch
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Re: Maybe stations should have a single shield bubble.

Postby Arioch » Fri Feb 22, 2019 4:54 pm

There's never any harm in making suggestions. We don't have to implement everything that's suggested.

evil713
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Re: Maybe stations should have a single shield bubble.

Postby evil713 » Sat Feb 23, 2019 5:02 pm

ok, different suggestion, what if the station was on an orbit that went around the battlefield? its currently static, so what if it was on a track?

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Re: Maybe stations should have a single shield bubble.

Postby Arioch » Sat Feb 23, 2019 6:26 pm

evil713 wrote:ok, different suggestion, what if the station was on an orbit that went around the battlefield? its currently static, so what if it was on a track?

My initial thought is that this would do more harm than good, to have a unit moving but not under the owner's control. At least in their deployed positions, stations are usually well-positioned to intercept missiles targeted at the planet.

I'm not convinced that this is a problem in need of a solution. Stations are currently as survivable as we intend them to be; if we gave them the ability to rotate, we would need to reduce the effectiveness of station shields and require the player to micromanage their facing to maximize their effectiveness. Doesn't sound fun.

evil713
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Re: Maybe stations should have a single shield bubble.

Postby evil713 » Mon Feb 25, 2019 3:51 am

I would enjoy that micro, I would find it useful.

how about a compromise, rotate the shield on the station 45 degrees. Two shield facings against the enemy.

nathanebht
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Re: Maybe stations should have a single shield bubble.

Postby nathanebht » Wed Feb 27, 2019 12:40 pm

The stations would need to move anyway. Otherwise an attacking force would just go to the other side of the planet. :D

How about adding a maneuvering engine to defensive stations? You would be able to slowly move it just like any other ship in a battle. Rotate it to change facing. Have heavy weapon slots.

evil713
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Re: Maybe stations should have a single shield bubble.

Postby evil713 » Wed Feb 27, 2019 6:10 pm

nathanebht wrote:The stations would need to move anyway. Otherwise an attacking force would just go to the other side of the planet. :D

How about adding a maneuvering engine to defensive stations? You would be able to slowly move it just like any other ship in a battle. Rotate it to change facing. Have heavy weapon slots.


you can do that now, it takes up a slot you would use for other stuff, and you still cant rotate.

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siyoa
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Re: Maybe stations should have a single shield bubble.

Postby siyoa » Sat May 25, 2019 6:58 pm

siyoa wrote:
evil713 wrote:Just to point out to zolobolo that this game is, in spirit, based on the game Master of Orion ][, and shields, in quadrant form, and station rotation was in that game.

Maneuver unit does not allow station rotation, believe me ive tried.


yeah, MoO rotates station by 90 degrees at the beginning of each turn (if my memory serves me right)

something for modders to tinker around with ? ;-)


I knew it! my memory sucks ... it is 45 degrees, I guess I should look into ship rotation and change the mod to rotate entire stations rather than just shield quadrants
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