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Nordick
Sep 3, 2011

Yes.


I would cackle like a maniac if we suddenly got StarDrive's module grid ship designer in Stellaris, and then I would blissfully fiddle with my pseudo-Lego starships to the end of time while this thread melted down about it.

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Jeb Bush 2012
Apr 4, 2007

A mathematician, like a painter or poet, is a maker of patterns. If his patterns are more permanent than theirs, it is because they are made with ideas.

Psycho Landlord posted:

My actual belief is that both systems are cool and good, though in need of some polish and expansion, and that anything that allows personalization and player input is good in Stellaris, noted space empire roleplaying game.

Wiz posted:

There is exactly 0% chance that the ship designer is ever getting cut. Asides from the fact that I personally enjoy it, it's both a 4x staple and something that a lot of people want (we have metrics on this).

IMO it's pretty telling that arguments for unit designers never involve a remotely compelling argument about why/how they add to the game and instead end up being "more choice = better" and "everyone does them".

I'm not remotely surprised that it's not going to happen but these systems are a large part of why combat in space 4X games tends to be so bland.

Wiggly Wayne DDS
Sep 11, 2010





Nap Ghost

I'm curious on the design rational behind 'the birth of space piracy'. you can't guarantee mil techs as early as it can appear, and forcing an empire to build a fleet early pigeonholes them with strict resource requirements and upkeep costs impact economic flexibility.

on another note my games lately have had sparse energy resources to mine, which is the limiting factor to mining stations, and well everything really given how everything pulls from energy compared to minerals.

delaying colonisation is a pretty great strategy for teching up though. far better than watching months getting added to techs as expansion waves roll out

Wiz
May 16, 2004



Pillbug

Jeb Bush 2012 posted:

IMO it's pretty telling that arguments for unit designers never involve a remotely compelling argument about why/how they add to the game and instead end up being "more choice = better" and "everyone does them".

I'm not remotely surprised that it's not going to happen but these systems are a large part of why combat in space 4X games tends to be so bland.

What they add is the fun of designing ships and the ability to do things like specialize your fleets for certain enemies to win against an otherwise overpowering foe. If you don't think it's fun to design ships, obviously it's not a selling argument but the playerbase is really split on this. For a lot of people it's like asking what being able to see space battles in progress adds to the game - you could argue technically nothing compared to having two ships poking at each other with lasers PDS mapgame style, but in reality taking them away would be a huge blow to the game.

Wiggly Wayne DDS posted:

I'm curious on the design rational behind 'the birth of space piracy'. you can't guarantee mil techs as early as it can appear, and forcing an empire to build a fleet early pigeonholes them with strict resource requirements and upkeep costs impact economic flexibility.

on another note my games lately have had sparse energy resources to mine, which is the limiting factor to mining stations, and well everything really given how everything pulls from energy compared to minerals.

delaying colonisation is a pretty great strategy for teching up though. far better than watching months getting added to techs as expansion waves roll out

It's to teach the player to build military ships. It's not like you need military techs to beat the pirates, 6 corvettes will do the job.

Nordick
Sep 3, 2011

Yes.


Jeb Bush 2012 posted:

IMO it's pretty telling that arguments for unit designers never involve a remotely compelling argument about why/how they add to the game and instead end up being "more choice = better" and "everyone does them".

I'm not remotely surprised that it's not going to happen but these systems are a large part of why combat in space 4X games tends to be so bland.
Ship to ship combat is an integral part of space 4x games, and the feeling that those ships that I'm watching fight and die in a furball are MY ships that I made makes it a lot more compelling than if they were just some generic RTS units. It's also not just an optimization puzzle, because most of the time I don't really give a poo poo about everything being optimized. Sure, missiles are bad, whatever, but by god my Ker'Thuul class cruisers will have missiles in them because they are cool goddamnit.

It doesn't have to work in some sort of super synergistic way with the rest of the game, the ship designer is just a part a lot of people enjoy in and of itself. It doesn't really need any more arguments than that. (and what Wiz said)

Nordick fucked around with this message at Jan 22, 2017 around 12:51

Kitchner
Nov 9, 2012



Wiz posted:


It's to teach the player to build military ships. It's not like you need military techs to beat the pirates, 6 corvettes will do the job.

I'm sure the pirates were tweaked to make sure the debris contains the first tech of shields, point defence, and armour, three key early game technologies, which means by killing them and scanning the debris you don't have to do what I did for the entire early game once and there there shouting "Where are my loving shields?!"

Wiz
May 16, 2004



Pillbug

Kitchner posted:

I'm sure the pirates were tweaked to make sure the debris contains the first tech of shields, point defence, and armour, three key early game technologies, which means by killing them and scanning the debris you don't have to do what I did for the entire early game once and there there shouting "Where are my loving shields?!"

This as well.

Wiggly Wayne DDS
Sep 11, 2010





Nap Ghost

starting corvette was 24 power my prior game, piracy fleet is 200-300 so you'd want at least 10 no? 63 minerals/ship iirc means 441 minerals into responding to a fixed event when resource usage is critical in expanding

i get the whole force a player to make a fleet it's just weird that otherwise i wouldn't make one until much later given default ai attitudes

Hezzy
Dec 4, 2004



Pillbug

I'm playing my 4th game and I've yet to complete any of the precursor quest chains. They're always bugged or broken.

In my most recent game, I had the First League quest line and followed it all the way back to their homeworld. After surveying it, nothing happens. I googled this and apparently it's because another Empire has surveyed the area

Aethernet
Jan 28, 2009

This is the Captain...

Our glorious political masters have, in their wisdom, decided to form an alliance with a rag-tag bunch of freedom fighters right when the Federation has us at a tactical disadvantage. Unsurprisingly, this has resulted in the Feds firing on our vessels...

Damn you Huxley!

Hezzy posted:

I'm playing my 4th game and I've yet to complete any of the precursor quest chains. They're always bugged or broken.

In my most recent game, I had the First League quest line and followed it all the way back to their homeworld. After surveying it, nothing happens. I googled this and apparently it's because another Empire has surveyed the area

I think the First League one has always been broken, tbh. Even if another empire had surveyed it before you, you should've got a popup telling you that. I submitted a bug report ages ago.

Jeb Bush 2012
Apr 4, 2007

A mathematician, like a painter or poet, is a maker of patterns. If his patterns are more permanent than theirs, it is because they are made with ideas.

Wiz posted:

What they add is the fun of designing ships and the ability to do things like specialize your fleets for certain enemies to win against an otherwise overpowering foe. If you don't think it's fun to design ships, obviously it's not a selling argument but the playerbase is really split on this. For a lot of people it's like asking what being able to see space battles in progress adds to the game - you could argue technically nothing compared to having two ships poking at each other with lasers PDS mapgame style, but in reality taking them away would be a huge blow to the game.

Specialising your fleets would be more interesting with fixed ships, though, because that allows much more interesting variety in ship types. This is why armies in land 4Xs (which tend to avoid unit designers, with some unfortunate exceptions) tend to have more heterogeneous armies and more interesting build choices.

And the thing about showing space battles is that it at least doesn't undermine other game systems. I mean, if people find the idea that they've designed their own ships so compelling that it's worth the gameplay costs then I guess that's a matter of taste? But it's still good to be clear about what's being sacrificed there.

Argas
Jan 13, 2008
SRW Fanatic

Wiz posted:

The planet grid is... alright. It works but it's too micro-intensive, especially when you're upgrading a lot of buildings. I also don't like how it makes your planets feel like giant mines/farms rather than places people live. Reworking it is not out of the question but it'd be a pretty huge investment of time.

Well, I hope something gets done in some way. As you say, it's too fiddly. Why is the player, the disembodied spirit of this great space empire, individually deciding where each pop and planet goes? And it feels really weird when everything is squeezed onto a 5x5 grid (usually less than that) like your entire population is limited to this tiny area around the dismantled colony ship. Obviously it's not meant to be taken literally but there's this big disconnect with the way it's meant to represent a populated planet.

I like the ship designer but as with the planet grid, I feel like there's just way too much to fiddle around with. It is different from planets in that you're not fiddling around with every individual ship, just the blueprints.

GunnerJ
Aug 1, 2005

Do you think this is funny?


Roland Jones posted:

The latest dev diary explained how slavery's going to work in 1.5. For a simple explanation, it's now part of species rights you decide per species; no micromanaging individual pops. The five rights settings are:
  • Full Citizenship: No pops are enslaved
  • Caste System: Pops working minerals or food (i.e. the things slaves are better at producing) are enslaved, ones who aren't aren't.
  • Limited Citizenship: Not enslaved, but not getting full rights (more details in the link).
  • Slaves: Exactly what it sounds like, your empire's entire population of this species is enslaved, regardless of what they work. There are several slavery types besides the current "good at food and minerals, bad at everything else" one that the link expands on.
  • Undesirables: These pops are either forcefully relocated or outright purged, depending on what you choose.
So, it's not exactly what you're asking for, but really it's arguably better outside of weird niche circumstances. Heck, you can even set what a species's rights will be in your empire before you have any of that pop in your empire, j just after you know they exist, in preparation for your future plans.

It kinda seems like caste system is better in all ways than slavery from a pop happiness and micromanagement reduction perspective.

GunnerJ
Aug 1, 2005

Do you think this is funny?


RabidWeasel posted:

but it's literally just a simple optimisation problem you totally ignore except when you unlock new tech. As someone else said planetary tiles are similar but I feel like that has more potential to actually be interesting to work with in future (though there is an annoyingly high level of micromanagement required if you want to be optimal) and in any case removing it would require a total rework of pops while removing the ship designer would only require a few small changes to techs

Don't care, droppin' this game like a rock if my spaceship builder kit is taken away.

eta:

Wiz posted:

There is exactly 0% chance that the ship designer is ever getting cut. Asides from the fact that I personally enjoy it, it's both a 4x staple and something that a lot of people want (we have metrics on this).

Nice.

Aethernet
Jan 28, 2009

This is the Captain...

Our glorious political masters have, in their wisdom, decided to form an alliance with a rag-tag bunch of freedom fighters right when the Federation has us at a tactical disadvantage. Unsurprisingly, this has resulted in the Feds firing on our vessels...

Damn you Huxley!

GunnerJ posted:

It kinda seems like caste system is better in all ways than slavery from a pop happiness and micromanagement reduction perspective.

This depends on how it interacts with the new ethos system - all free non-collectivist pops will almost certainly be in favour of freeing slaves of their own species. If you enslave them all, you only need to worry about malcontent slaves.

OctaMurk
Jun 21, 2013


I like the planet grid but wish there was more interactivity with the terrain and adjacency, like Civ 6. Some kind of internal trade routes and interplanetary interaction would help with that too. Also feels weird that there is no "City" building so I can turn all my cities into Coruscant.

GunnerJ
Aug 1, 2005

Do you think this is funny?


Aethernet posted:

This depends on how it interacts with the new ethos system - all free non-collectivist pops will almost certainly be in favour of freeing slaves of their own species. If you enslave them all, you only need to worry about malcontent slaves.

Yeah there's room for distinction, it's just not clear to me yet how that will shake out.

Roland Jones
Aug 18, 2011
As a white American, it is my civic duty to kill my racist father, mother and any other family members, including myself.
That way people of color can finally be safe from white people.


GunnerJ posted:

It kinda seems like caste system is better in all ways than slavery from a pop happiness and micromanagement reduction perspective.

Do you mean better than the current system, or better than the alternatives in that patch? Because for the former, yeah; it basically auto-enslaves all the pops you'd want enslaved anyway. Unless you're RPing something where you're only enslaving certain pops or whatever, it basically does all the work you'd do with slavery, or at least chattel slavery (the "food and minerals" kind) for you.

For the latter, I think full-on slavery-for-whole-species is for things like Xenophobic empires and the other types of slavery besides chattel slavery. Also can be combined with things like population control and whatnot, so you can micromanage their population, keep exactly as many livestock slaves around as you need to work every food tile you have, and so on. Go all-out on your totalitarianism and xeno rights abuses.

Roland Jones fucked around with this message at Jan 22, 2017 around 13:19

GunnerJ
Aug 1, 2005

Do you think this is funny?


Roland Jones posted:

Do you mean better than the current system, or better than the alternatives in that patch? Because for the former, yeah; it basically auto-enslaves all the pops you'd want enslaved anyway. Unless you're RPing something where you're only enslaving certain pops or whatever, it basically does all the work you'd do with slavery, or at least chattel slavery (the "food and minerals" kind) for you.

For the latter, I think full-on slavery-for-whole-species is for things like Xenophobic empires and the other types of slavery besides chattel slavery. Also also can be combined with things like population control and whatnot.

Another good point, didn't consider synergy with the different slavery options.

Gobblecoque
Sep 6, 2011


I would like the ship designer a million times more if you had some degree of customizing ship appearance. Unit designers in strategy games pretty much inevitably have the problem where players learn what stuff is good and what is bad with the result that there's not really much actual choice to them but some appearance customization would add a lot of longevity. Like in GalCiv once you've learned how combat and loadouts work it's still really cool to design ship how your ships look. The whole argument in favor of unit designers is giving players a greater sense of ownership over their forces and this would add a heck of a lot to it. It definitely doesn't have to be as expansive as GalCiv's ship designer, but there should be something

Deformed Church
May 12, 2012

bear-headed geese


There really just needs to be more variation in ship design to make the designer feel like it actually adds something rather than just being extra work. The very limited choices in slot type/size layout and the rock-paper-scissors of combat restrict design decisions a lot in terms of what's possible and advisable, and the tech tree is still really lacking in game-changing unique techs and doesn't really encourage deep specialisation beyond the midgame.

I can see why that stuff is limited, since it would be a huge pain to balance, but the designer right now isn't interesting to play with. Every ship right now ends up working basically the same. This would all be of limited help, of course, if it's still about jamming doomstacks together like a three year old playing with action figures rather than thinking strategically about having a bunch of different roles in the fleet and how they work together.

Aethernet
Jan 28, 2009

This is the Captain...

Our glorious political masters have, in their wisdom, decided to form an alliance with a rag-tag bunch of freedom fighters right when the Federation has us at a tactical disadvantage. Unsurprisingly, this has resulted in the Feds firing on our vessels...

Damn you Huxley!

To be fair, the last patch went some way to having clearer fleet roles, but what's missing are things like formations and greater active command of battle to make those choices more meaningful. I wouldn't look at the ship designer itself, but rather how it interacts with other game systems like tech availability and tactical combat. I'd like to more clearly define how a given ship should act in battle as part of a fleet.

Splicer
Oct 16, 2006

from hell's heart I stab at thee

Jeb Bush 2012 posted:

IMO it's pretty telling that arguments for unit designers never involve a remotely compelling argument about why/how they add to the game and instead end up being "more choice = better" and "everyone does them".

I'm not remotely surprised that it's not going to happen but these systems are a large part of why combat in space 4X games tends to be so bland.
They're fun. They're space Lego. My problem with Stellaris ship design is that I get very little visceral feedback on my ship building. In SotS1 when you go to a fight using a ship covered in giant cannons that hucks asteroids it feels very different to the same fight but with a ship covered in lasers and a giant frontal laser cannon. In Stellaris it's just a bunch of dots running at other dots while the numbers go down. I feel a big part of this is just the sheer number of ships in play in any fight.

My other problem is that a lot of the armour/shields/energy stuff is just busywork. Power/armour/shields would work better as side slots like the engines, along with a significantly reduced number of utility slots that you can add additional power/shields/armour into. Having only three or four utility slots on a battleship to play around with may feel like less choice, but realistically it's the same amount of viable choice but with less busywork.

Wiz posted:

The planet grid is... alright. It works but it's too micro-intensive, especially when you're upgrading a lot of buildings. I also don't like how it makes your planets feel like giant mines/farms rather than places people live. Reworking it is not out of the question but it'd be a pretty huge investment of time.
An "Upgrade all (type)" button would be a big help. Pressing one button to upgrade all your (energy/minerals/farms/research buildings/special buildings) would cut a planet down to four clicks (plus individual research buildings) instead of up to 25. Also adjacency bonuses are in a weird middle ground where they're just enough to make me feel like I should be doing something with them but not enough that I actually do, apart from colony placement.

Actually the most fun I have with adjacency bonuses are tomb worlds. Maybe giving adjacency bonuses to more tile blockers would make planets feel more like planets.

oddium
Feb 20, 2006


Wiz posted:

the ability to do things like specialize your fleets for certain enemies to win against an otherwise overpowering foe.

you can do exactly this with fixed stats rock/paper/scissors ships using the three techs though. and you get the added bonus of not having to tediously research and replace marginally small upgrades individually. and you get the opportunity to tie it into the strategic resource system with resources that research ships faster. win-win-win !!

Truga
May 4, 2014


Lipstick Apathy

Actually, custom ships own as hell, they're pretty great.

It's rather unfortunate most games don't triple down on custom ship design and go full star ruler.

Libluini
May 18, 2012

Did I predict the future?


RabidWeasel posted:

but it's literally just a simple optimisation problem you totally ignore except when you unlock new tech. As someone else said planetary tiles are similar but I feel like that has more potential to actually be interesting to work with in future (though there is an annoyingly high level of micromanagement required if you want to be optimal) and in any case removing it would require a total rework of pops while removing the ship designer would only require a few small changes to techs

I know goons sometimes have trouble with the concept that other people may like different things, but some of us actually like fiddling around with ship design. Taking it out would remove a huge reason for us to play the game.

But that said, the ship designer in Stellaris still needs some improvement. It's kind of silly how you can't rename old designs for example. (Well you can, but that confuses the auto-designer and the refit-AI, causing them to bulldoze all your old ships into one of their designs. Seeing your 20 torpedo corvettes transformed into whatver dumb poo poo the AI cooked up is incredibly frustrating.) Anyway, this is a case where I recommend improving things instead of taking them out.

Libluini fucked around with this message at Jan 22, 2017 around 14:15

oddium
Feb 20, 2006


ah, my precious ship designer. love to open her up and see the HMS Space Merrimack, or her sister ship, the HMS Enterprize, which trades a shield for another armor + a tiny laser, giving it the tactical edge i need when completely guessing what the enemy's packing. love to go through my fleet wholesale and replace Red Laser (3 power/6 dps) with Blue Laser (4 power/7 dps) occasionally. when i see all my old designs, which are just the exact same techs except the numbers are higher now... makes me feel like i OWN them you know?? like i'm unfurling blueprints on Lomak Drives Yards that say "make the numbers go up but don't use the bad weapons - signed, me". now you KNOW it's a 4x game

[RESEARCH COMPLETE]

hah.. christmas already??

oddium fucked around with this message at Jan 22, 2017 around 14:20

GunnerJ
Aug 1, 2005

Do you think this is funny?


Whoa, chill out.

A Buttery Pastry
Sep 4, 2011

Delicious and Informative!


Wiz posted:

There is exactly 0% chance that the ship designer is ever getting cut. Asides from the fact that I personally enjoy it, it's both a 4x staple and something that a lot of people want (we have metrics on this).
Metrics from self-selected people who are already/still playing a game with a ship designer?

Deformed Church
May 12, 2012

bear-headed geese


Truga posted:

go full star ruler

Custom ships own when they're fun. Star Ruler gives you a whole load of crazy poo poo to throw together and make fun ships. As long as stellaris ships are boring, designing them will be too.

poverty goat
Feb 15, 2004

Let me tell you a thing or two about GhostCoin

RobotDogPolice posted:

Also, what should I be doing with extra energy?

build a bigger fleet and swing your dick around the universe

Wiz
May 16, 2004



Pillbug

A Buttery Pastry posted:

Metrics from self-selected people who are already/still playing a game with a ship designer?

If a significant chunk of your playerbase bought a game with a ship designer in it because they wanted to design ships, suddenly taking away the ability to design ships is a terrible, terrible idea, yes.

oddium
Feb 20, 2006


it would be a shame to lose the part of the game where you click buttons to make the numbers go up 2%, and instead have to play the part of the game where you manage a politically charged stellar empire

poverty goat
Feb 15, 2004

Let me tell you a thing or two about GhostCoin

The problem isn't that there is a ship designer, it's that you have to do all the busywork. The prospect of playing strategic rock/paper/scissors when the system is more fleshed out by DLC in 2018 is cool and good. Manually updating each red laser to blue laser on each ship class until then is not.

Orv
May 4, 2011

"To. Ya' know. Stuff."
(Nazi Rank <3)


Wiz posted:

If a significant chunk of your playerbase bought a game with a ship designer in it because they wanted to design ships, suddenly taking away the ability to design ships is a terrible, terrible idea, yes.

You can't remove it, that's dumb to even suggest, but what kind of time and effort would it take to refactor it to actually be meaningful? It's great that people love a shallow, meaningless system, but I assume at some point that would mean a tech and combat rework as well and simply isn't feasible?

kojei
Feb 12, 2008



oddium posted:

it would be a shame to lose the part of the game where you click buttons to make the numbers go up 2%, and instead have to play the part of the game where you manage a politically charged stellar empire

except only one of those things is actually in the game right now

Wiz
May 16, 2004



Pillbug

oddium posted:

it would be a shame to lose the part of the game where you click buttons to make the numbers go up 2%, and instead have to play the part of the game where you manage a politically charged stellar empire

I know this is going to come as a severe shock, so brace yourself, but not everyone wants the exact same thing out of their gameplay experience as you.

Orv posted:

You can't remove it, that's dumb to even suggest, but what kind if time and effort would it take to refactor it to actually be meaningful? It's great that people love a shallow, meaningless system, but I assume at some point that would mean a tech and combat rework as well and simply isn't feasible?

I think the idea that it's meaningless is pretty severely exaggerated, a proper ship design has a huge impact on combat effectiveness. I agree it's too fiddly though, but overall it works pretty well so it's more of a system we'll continue to polish than something we'll radically rework.

kojei
Feb 12, 2008



Wiz posted:

I think the idea that it's meaningless is pretty severely exaggerated, a proper ship design has a huge impact on combat effectiveness. I agree it's too fiddly though, but overall it works pretty well so it's more of a system we'll continue to polish than something we'll radically rework.

I think what a lot of people don't like is the fact that there is a "proper ship design", because that automatically means there is a single correct way to build your ships and if you're doing it another way you're just deliberately gimping yourself. If there's a single correct way to build your ships, why bother having the option to not build your ships that way?

Personally, I enjoy setting up my dumb ships with dumb class names and dumb loadouts, but I can easily see why people are frustrated by existence of this mechanic.

edit: 100% unrelated modding question: Are there any plans to allow modders to define their own custom weapon sizes? Right now you can cheese unique weapons to be locked to specific ships by requiring absurd amounts of power to run and giving just that class of ship a module that produces an absurd amount of power, but that's insanely hacky.

kojei fucked around with this message at Jan 22, 2017 around 15:02

Orv
May 4, 2011

"To. Ya' know. Stuff."
(Nazi Rank <3)


Pretty much. it suffers from the eternal game problem of optimal paths, which truth be told is a problem I haven't seen solved in twenty years of video games, so

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Wiz
May 16, 2004



Pillbug

kojei posted:

I think what a lot of people don't like is the fact that there is a "proper ship design", because that automatically means there is a single correct way to build your ships and if you're doing it another way you're just deliberately gimping yourself. If there's a single correct way to build your ships, why bother having the option to not build your ships that way?

Personally, I enjoy setting up my dumb ships with dumb class names and dumb loadouts, but I can easily see why people are frustrated by existence of this mechanic.

Oh yeah, I fully understand why people might not like it and I completely see the arguments against its inclusion. I'm just saying that like it or not, it's here to stay. That's why we included the auto-design option.

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