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Topics - Dadekster

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Star Ruler Discussion / Congrats on over 10k
« on: November 09, 2010, 01:26:03 PM »
Just like the thread says, congrats on selling over 10k copies. Nice to see that hard work does pay off  ;D

Suggestions / Grab a drink
« on: October 27, 2010, 07:50:39 PM »
WARNING- This is a long post, get a drink first.

Ok, so this has been on my mind for a while and seeing some of the great mods out there and the talent this game has attracted I'd figure I'd toss this idea or group of ideas out there for ridicule or debate on doability (<--not sure that's a word tbh).

This game has great potential, everyone with two brain cells that can rub them together knows this. We also know that BMS is working their collective asses off and are still in the process of making this a true diamond. So far they are still digging it out of the ground and knocking the dirt off of it, but they and we can see the gleam within. With that said and acknowledged I point out the following issues and possible solutions.

Issue #1
Being able to generate a game of 1k systems is great, assuming your PC has the nuts to do this, otherwise sub 1k for 250 or whatever floats your boat. So you generate a game with 1k systems, but being able to play a game 30 minutes in with 1k systems and 4 AI's is most of the time just about impossible. The AI just spams a stupid retarded number of ships thus the game just hits single digits in FPS making it thus an unplayable slide show.

Issue #2
The game opens with the message you've just discovered space flight. From there every system and every planet in each system is open for business, no matter what the heck it's made out of or what its environment consists of. Abstracted terraforming or not, I find this highly annoying and unrealisitic. Converting an entire atmosphere on a planet from nitrogen to something we can breath overnight is a bit of a stretch. This leads into issue #3.

Issue #3
No sense of time. The game clock is a nice feature, no doubt. It's nice to be able to look at it and realize what a lazy sob you are as you see you've put off your spousal chores for a good hour again. It's also nice in that it allows you to gauge roughly what the AI is capable of at certain points in the game. But in a sense that you are guiding a galatic wide empire across an epic scale of time, it doesn't mean much. This causes a disconnect from the game, as I myself, find it hard to equate being able to build a city/metropolis on a planet in approximately 30 seconds.

Issue #4
Lack of proper resources. This is pretty self explanatory. Resources are things that make the world go round. At the moment every planet is exactly the same in regards to resources and to be frank this is pretty boring, especially when stacked with the fact that every system has planets that are habitable. As long as you pace yourself the feeling is still that you are just zerg rushing planets seeing who can gobble up more 20+ slot planets. Yes, I do realize that some planets have traits that make them different, but in the end I can't tell the difference between a planet that has high winds and one that doesn't when I simply look at the galatic bank or the planet popup.

Issue #5
Number of units in game. This is probably highly debatable and of course a personal choice/opinion as well as highly dependant on PC systems. I would even go so far as to say it's an AI choice in ship building as well. However the fact is that along with the number of planets avaliable in the game for the human and AI player, the amount of ships flying around in the middle and late game can be staggering. I've seen systems that are just half covered in blobs of ships. I can't even see the planets sometimes. That' just not good and the effect it can have on game performance is also not great. The problem is that you can't have a game with a large number of systems with a decent number of planets in them without ship spam. Even if you generate 500 systems with just one planet each, that's gonna be lots of planets and an absolute assload of ships.

So those are the biggest things that stick out in my mind as to what is holding SR back from godhood ;) To solve or allievate some of these I have the following ideas. Whether they can be implemented via mods or are just things BMS plans to do down the road I have no idea. To me though they could make SR that much better. I will now detail how I would like SR to play out.

#1 & #2. Planets should not all be habitable. In a 10 planet system I would like to see 1 or 2, maybe 3 planets at most being something called akin to Earth with some systems even being 0. By Earth like this means a planet that can churn out a decent number of ships or projects and/or be called trade hubs in the system. The other planets (maybe moons down the road, even just in the description?) can still be useful in the following ways. Planet has a rare resource, this allowing a mining/gas production to be deployed on it. Rare lifeforms/events/phenomon, etc that are something to be studied for knowledge aka a research facility. Military outpost, this allowing faster research in weapons fields/higher number of units in a fleet/higher unit cap etc. I would like it that no matter what kind of terraforming capabilty you eventually get to, some planets will never be worth anything as the cost to make it so just wouldn't be worth it. Think Jupiter in our case. It might be worth mining for gas at some point, but to live on...yeah not worth it with Mars and moons around Jupiter that'd be make more sense to invest in. However, maybe the AI sees it as a new home.

This alone will have a huge impact on how a game would play out of course. First and foremost, in a 500 system game instead of having 500 x however many planets are in each system being colonized and then churning out units and building, we now have a fraction of that being used. To me this makes more effective use of the space in the game not to mention stop your PC from turning into a slideshow. I would rather have 500 systems with one or two planets in each that are important versus 500 systems and 5k planets all the cookie cutter same. On top of this, in each system or every other system we have auxillary planets that provide other benefits as decribed above. I envision a typical system having maybe 2 planets that are true strategic targets/population heavy with maybe 1 or two other planets that provide a unique resource or boost to either military or research, those being secondary targets in conquest. Now of course the AI being a different race possibly has no real interest in your planet as it may not be able to even use it. It might want that Jupiter like planet or the Pluto like one instead, as that's what it would call home. It would still be able to use the auxillary planets however. Regarding diplomacy, well, wether you allow another race to cohabitat planets in a system you claim or they do is up to you using diplomacy. But in doing so maybe you'd get a trade boost due to higher amount of inter system trade occurring, etc.

This along with the change of not seeing AI's right off the bat encourage more active exploration of systems. I also suggest changing the way fuel works. One being that ships have shorter legs. You would need to establish fuel depots in far flung locations if you want to continue exploration or you could rely on better fuel/engine techs to help you out. Much futher down the road tech wise you'd have your stargates/jumpdrives etc to help expedite movement. But these could be tied into different fuel/metal resources and so forth. Many possibilites here to be honest. The key is the distances invovled and the fact that less planets in game means bigger systems can be generated which makes use of all this space that SR can generate. Less planets also means the AI has less planets to spam ships with, thus helping prevent PC slowdown. In the future I hope to see less cruiser spam from the AI and a focus to bigger ships as time goes on. Cruisers and such have their role, but anything under scale 100 is not destined for front line battlefields. Support ships, exploration, pickets etc such as the destroyers of WW2 would be more appropriate duties for ships under 100 size scale. Anything under scale size 5 shouldn't even be capable of system to system flight in my opinion.

3. Is a very easy fix. Make a minute of game time equal a year in game scale. This would be displayed right next to the game clock. I say a year, but whatever makes sense would work fine. Now I can look and see that building a capital ship took 4 years or whatever. Make other things scale to this as well. This would help greatly in regards to immersion. You could even set it to display or not via option at game start.

#4. Resources...please. Other than planets in a system which would be the cause for galactic wars, resources are the things people/aliens fight for. I am not looking for a huge micromanaging supply game like Transport Tycoon here. I would like to see planets seeded with resources that boost certain empire aspects and to allow you to build certain things. How this is ultimately handled balance wise would be up to play testing it. I don't want anything that would allow one empire to be steamrolled over just because they didn't have access to a certain resource that allowed them to build the deathstar. Now this can be handled several ways but I was thinking of two.

a- Mining this alloy gives all ships you build a straight across the board boost to armour. If you lose the source of this alloy, your ships lose this immediately as it is something that requires constant uptake by crews on board (use whatever fiction you need/want).

b- Mining this alloy goes into a separate resource bank from which construction takes from when using certain components that use it. How much you get per minute/year is fixed except via tech which would improve it.

Either of these methods would work in my opinion. It would be nice if these things could be traded via diplomacy as well. It would also be nice if inner system freighters would actually transport these things to your major planets to be deposited into your bank. From there the empire can use them at any planet in the empire being empire wide trade is abstracted. Only inner system trade should use freighters, but even this can be abstracted. I figure we have haulers in system now, might as well make them do this as well. They could even be give special subcomponents for specific resources in system, but that to be honest would be a modders realm to make happen.

With resources such as these in game there are now real reasons to look at your neighbors system and covet certain things. In addition in times or war not only are planets a primary target, but now even secondary targets such as a metal alloy/fuel/whatever production planet sites become viable targets if war resource limits prevent a full on siege of a system. This actually brings me to a separate point which is an actually an unlisted issue. Planetary durability. At the moment we all know most planets are made out of tissue paper. This of course is a design decision and one I understand makes sense in stock SR. In my above details though this won't work. Planets of course have become much more important and losing 2 planets in a system means you've lost the system even if there are 8 other planets in it. Because of this planets would have to become much more difficult to take. This can be achieved by beefing them up or giving them planatary defenses such as shield and gun/missle emplacements that would give even 500 scale size ships fits. I'd rather see it that it would take a decent fleet of good sized ships with capital sized weapons designed for siege warfare to take down a planet and even then it taking possibly a year or two of game time to do so. This allows a player or AI to mobilize a defensive fleet and attempt to save the planet if he has one in system, if not, well that's just bad defense positioning/planning. :) Regardless, taking a planet is simply not waltzing a scale sized 20 heavy cruiser over and decimating a system in five minutes time.

#5. I am getting tired at this time so I will say for this that an empire should only be able to field a certain sized fleet and/or fleets/ships. This would get bigger as the empire gets bigger or the resources become avaliable to do so. It is those things though that should restrict how big of a fleet you can field though. As well as amount of resources, this would be tied into how many military installations you have as well. As in real life, the fleet (army as well in the future I hope) can only be as big as the support structure in place. Generally for every fighting man (ship in SR) there have always been several in the rear supporting that one. I feel SR should be the same way; however, not in such a micromanaged way. This can be abstracted rather simply by using the same auxillary/secondary planets in systems. Deploying and building these structures allows you to grow your fleet. I can see these military installations on planets having slots used for communications /supply depots/refitting/intel as the structures to fill those planet slots, except of course these secondary/auxillary planets would only have several slots, not like full blown primary planets. By building these structures you can grow your fleet and its capabilites. The most important result of this is that you and the AI can not simply spam an unlimited number of ships which imo is a good thing. You could make it that in diplomacy that being in an alliance would even give you a boost to fleet size due to reducancy in control systems and transmission capabilites. This alone would give a huge factor about getting into an alliance as to me that's a huge advantage not to mention realistic (think of the UK and the USA in WW2).

I could eloborate further on many of these points but I think that explains the gist of what I had in mind. I apolgize for the long winded post and congrat you if you made it this far, but I have had this on my chest for the last couple of days and I wanted to throw this out there. In my mind the above makes sense and is workable within what SR has. The most important thing regarding some of these points is that they may selectable as far as how many planets and resources and what kind of caps you'd like with the number of ships your fleets could support. This way in the spirit of how SR has been made so far it allows the maximum flexibility in how someone wants their game to play out. Some like thousands of systems and thousands of ships while others are happy with twenty systems and a hundred or so ships. I see no reason why this can't be done. Combine the above with races customization and ship sets and robust diplomacy plus things like tankers that work correctly and you'd have a hell of a game. I'd pay another 50 bucks on top of the 25 I already paid to have a game like this.

To that end I want to say thank you to BMS for bringing SR to where it is today. Even now in its admitted stated of incompletion it is a better game than many completed ones out now. Bravo to you BMS and keep up the hard work.

Star Ruler Discussion / Clock to game speed?
« on: October 21, 2010, 11:43:10 PM »
Soooo...was just wondering. How much time passes in Star Ruler in one minute of game time? Is it about one game year? I tried to sort of guess by watching a moon go around a planet at normal speed, but then realized that wasn't really our moon or Earth for that matter, so a 24 hour clock didn't apply maybe. ::)

So any guesses. or can BMS shed any light on this? Be cool if down the road a game calendar could sync with the time played clock for RP purposes. Just thinking of AAR's down the road ya know. Be much nicer to be able to say in 3421 the Sol system came under attack by a dreadnaught fleet with heavy capital and carrier support, the enemy succeeded in destroying several heavy orbitals etc etc versus at 30 minutes and 24 seconds into my game etc etc. Pop! there went that immersion factor again  ;)

Galactic Armory / [Archive] Galactic Armory Discussion Thread
« on: October 21, 2010, 11:40:03 AM »
Dude this has awesome written all over it! I'll give this a shot next game.

I love the freeform design of this game, but having to stifle the reality factor regarding some of the ships I can build sort of takes the wind out of my sails so this mod is something I am happy to see.

Bug Reports / Music stops and fleet renaming
« on: October 13, 2010, 05:02:00 PM »
I have never done anything like this before so bear with me. By that I mean I have never bothered posting about bugs being content to let others do it, but this game has me hoping that it could be the next MoO/Red Alert/Half Life etc etc. ;)

Anyways, using your format.

What was witnessed:

1. Music would randomly just cut out sometimes within a minute of starting game and other times after twenty minutes or so it seemed. Kind of sucks as the music is very nice. Pop sounds would still work; however, battle effects were missing. Not sure why.

2. After renaming fleets and saving game, coming back to game would not remember fleet names. As in rename fleet "XXX Assault Fleet", save game, open fleet window and would now be back to default Fleet1. Highly annoying renaming 20 fleets to remain organized.

What was expected:
Self expanatory I believe, music and remember fleet names.

Reproduction Steps:
Guess I'll just attack a file?

Extra Files:
<Attach files if necessary>

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