Stellar Monarch 2

Stellar Monarch 2

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Chris Koźmik  [developer] Jul 22 @ 11:23am
[Discussion] Ships modernization (v0.77-v0.79)
This is a topic to discuss and give feedback about the ship modernizations mechanic.


All right, I have tossed together ship modernizations feature. Extremely crude (no tooltips yet) but functional. I wanted to hear your overall feedback about the direction of this feature. Also how important it is (technically it can still be removed or reduced to something more basic if desired).
Last edited by Chris Koźmik; Aug 4 @ 4:23am
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Showing 1-15 of 15 comments
Chris Koźmik  [developer] Jul 22 @ 12:24pm 
My impressions: Taking a quick glance at it after implementing, I noticed two problems balance wise. First, there are like 12 modernizations avialable in late game, way too many... Second, abilities. If one desires one can simply put like all/most ability type modernizations on the same hull type and therefore make "an ultimate support vessel"... making other support vessels redundant. It might be connected with the number of modernizations total available but not necessarily...

Again, at this point feel free to think outside the box if you wish. Things can be removed/redone.
Last edited by Chris Koźmik; Jul 22 @ 12:25pm
reid Jul 23 @ 1:46pm 
First, bugs: Ships with a datalink or encrypted datalink are still being given the datalink installation modernization option. Also, the already chosen modernizations seem to disappear when I look at the ships later. Probably just a display issue as they aren't showing up as available modernizations again.

Second, impressions: As a first pass I really like it. I feel like I can actually try to have a vision for my squadrons.

I do wonder if it might not be better to tie the amount of available modernizations to completed prototypes rather than tech researched. This would help with the two problems you see, although probably not enough to really eliminate those issues. Downsides: It would add complexity and could potentially make the problem even worse, as someone could just fast spend on prototypes to get super falcons or whatever even faster. I guess you could have a different modernization value for each ship type and then only add to the frigate number when some version of frigate is researched or prototyped? That would definitely lower the number of slots.

There probably need to be more available modernization options. I think an automation option that slightly reduces crew would be cool.
Yep, some sort of bug with modernization persistence. Went from having 90% tactical net to zero at some point. I suspect an audience was the break point. Based on first turn
data link modernizations not showing up on the squadron screen. But the ships were still eligible for the encrypted version.

Might want to restrict what upgrades are available to any given ship to encourage diversification. Do you want to have a scaling penalty to ship cost with each modernization added?

Can you lock certain modernizations behind projects? You could lock data link behind the basic industrial project, with the starting data link ships feeling like test beds. Hi-tech would then gate the tactical net modernization.
Chris Koźmik  [developer] Jul 25 @ 12:30am 
Originally posted by reid:
First, bugs: Ships with a datalink or encrypted datalink are still being given the datalink installation modernization option. Also, the already chosen modernizations seem to disappear when I look at the ships later. Probably just a display issue as they aren't showing up as available modernizations again.
and
Originally posted by Habituallyred:
Yep, some sort of bug with modernization persistence. Went from having 90% tactical net to zero at some point. I suspect an audience was the break point. Based on first turn
data link modernizations not showing up on the squadron screen. But the ships were still eligible for the encrypted version.
Confirmed bug. Fixed in upcoming v0.78. Thanks!
Chris Koźmik  [developer] Jul 25 @ 1:59am 
What concerns me most is the number of modernizations that affect the whole squadrons. I don't mind every single ship to have Decoys, or Extra PD. But having a single ship with like 6 perks that affect the whole squadron is bad... Since it makes other specialized ships redundant...

So, how about making two types of modernizaztions? Regular ones (most of them) and "specialized" which are any that affect other ships. And you have a limit on the specialized ones.
Or maybe just make it so each hull has predefined spoecialized modernizations (like 2) and only those can be selected (I don't like that one)?
Dunno, but definitely want to limit those.


Originally posted by reid:
Second, impressions: As a first pass I really like it. I feel like I can actually try to have a vision for my squadrons.

I do wonder if it might not be better to tie the amount of available modernizations to completed prototypes rather than tech researched. This would help with the two problems you see, although probably not enough to really eliminate those issues. Downsides: It would add complexity and could potentially make the problem even worse, as someone could just fast spend on prototypes to get super falcons or whatever even faster. I guess you could have a different modernization value for each ship type and then only add to the frigate number when some version of frigate is researched or prototyped? That would definitely lower the number of slots.

There probably need to be more available modernization options. I think an automation option that slightly reduces crew would be cool.
I see, so the feature should stay you say :)

Yes, definiely list all modernization ideas.

Originally posted by Habituallyred:
Do you want to have a scaling penalty to ship cost with each modernization added?
Hmm, a very interesting, yet tricky, concept... :)
Some might now want any modernization due to cost incerease... but then...

Note that there are various variants of this posible like: "Technology which makes one additional modernization to not increase the cost", "Button which let you increase the number of non-extra-cost modernizations for this hull (similar to promoting to a prototype button)" and so on.
Tech already unlocks hulls based on a general type (recon, support, command, attack) Perhaps locking modernizations behind the hulls 'type'? Pretty easy to upgrade guns on the 'ULTIMATE DESTRUCTO FIST' class, it was planned for in the prototype! Less easy to add the luxuries expected of the noble admirals to buff the command abilities.

Combined with varying costs, perhaps make it so that the cost is much higher for an 'inappropriate' modernization for the class? Still allow it to be possible, but your engineers have to work miracles to make a gunship support the scout role as well as an engine with sensors strapped on.

EDIT: Perhaps it would be better to discount 'appropriate' modernizations. Easier to give a bonus to correct class type, of which there may be one, than to select 'which ones are particularly unsuited for this item'. Though a combination of 'x is very well suited to this upgrade, y is not great, but won't make engineers cry, and please don't ask for this on z' would be even better!
Last edited by AdamantError; Jul 29 @ 9:03am
My modernization cost proposal was going to be pretty simple:
1% for "more numbers" upgrades like better guns etc.
10% for "no sell" upgrades like Hardened shields, armor piercing, (networks?)
25% for fleet wide upgrades

In theory you want to encourage building different ships in preparation for fighting different enemies. Modernizations with costs let the player "dial in" a ship class to counter a particular
foe. Or not. Personally I don't want to fiddle with 10 different costs for 20 different ship types.

I gave some thought to an "upgrade grid" that is shared between ships. But each ship starts with a different "free" node. So a flexible ship has a node toward the center. But a straightforward battleship is out on the edge, but has a short path to armor piercing. But that got into the too much art and coding area.
galadon3 Jul 29 @ 9:10pm 
If the fleet-wide modernizations are the problem (and yes I see why having one "Super-Support Ship" adding them all is not really interesting) have those fleet-wide modernizations scale cost exponentially if they are put into one single hull.
(So adding just one is about what any other mod costs, but adding a second one gets already way more pricey third even more etc.)

So it would be most cost-effective to split the fleet wide modernizations over the squadron, and select hulls that already come with one built-in, but a late-game empire with incredible big ressources might also just go with an incredibly overpriced design.
In a way that even reflects rather fittingly how a military with an overblown budget might be willing to waste incredible amounts of money for the "shiniest toy"

Also it gives people who like to optimize stuff like that something to do (and rewards that) while at the same time keeps the level of freedom to design the ships up high.

Ofc there should be a warning included that the price-structure works that way to make it transparent for the player.
Chris Koźmik  [developer] Jul 30 @ 12:44am 
Hmm, very interesting ideas you have :)


All right, how about this:
- Each modernization costs 50 modernization pts. If modernization is "compatible" with the given ship hull type (for example all Electronics field ships would have DataLink, Encrypted Datalink and Tactical Net considered Compatible) it costs only 40 modernization points (or 30?).
- You can "Increase modernization capacity of a hull" (which can be done up to 3 times per hull, with progressive money investment PLUS each increases the base cost and upkeep of the ship hull by +20%, so there is a drawback) which grants extra +30 modernization points for this hull only.
- There are "specialized" modernizations (all that affect the whole squadron). Each hull has typically only ONE unused slot for those. But you can "Increase specialized modernizations slots" (need a better name for this) which permanently increases the ship's cost and upkeep by +50%, it grants additional specialization slot. Can have up to 3 extra specialized modernizations. Also, specialized modernizations cost 100 modernization points.
- At any time you can "Redesign" (for a reasonable fee) the ship hull which removes all modernizations and frees the modernization points. Note that if you increased the max specialized slots (via Increase option) it's not affected, so you can not decrease the cost of the hull this way.
The 4:5 ratio sounds best to me. Thinking about how the proposed system works with the tech tree: would the continuous modernization tech then mean that each ship gets 25 points per construction level? Or would 10 or 20 points per level be the baseline construction bonus?

How many modernizations would you estimate in a typical game? Anecdotally 2-3 modernizations was enough to trivialize space combat in my most recent game. Enough to spread tactical nets to the whole fleet. Also bug report: ships that start with data links needed to take them again before they could take tactical net.

Designate Bannership would be my nomination for the bonus command specialization. Royal or Noble Variant is my runnerup. Designate Flagship disqualified for implying one per squadron.
Chris Koźmik  [developer] Aug 1 @ 12:15am 
Just implemented (will be in the upcoming v0.79) modernization points and varied costs of modernizations. Looks decent.

Originally posted by Habituallyred:
Also bug report: ships that start with data links needed to take them again before they could take tactical net.
Confirmed bug. Fixed in upcoming v0.79. Thanks!

Originally posted by Habituallyred:
The 4:5 ratio sounds best to me. Thinking about how the proposed system works with the tech tree: would the continuous modernization tech then mean that each ship gets 25 points per construction level? Or would 10 or 20 points per level be the baseline construction bonus?

How many modernizations would you estimate in a typical game? Anecdotally 2-3 modernizations was enough to trivialize space combat in my most recent game. Enough to spread tactical nets to the whole fleet.
5-10 modernization pts per level of Construction (which means 60-120 pts max so 1-2 standard modernizations (as a 50 pts cost each). Standard techs grant +25 points (so 1/2 of modernization).

Which modernizations made it trivial? Some could just have increased cost.
Last edited by Chris Koźmik; Aug 1 @ 12:15am
Adding Data Link to the Imperial Fist, Hawkeye, Mini Hydra; and Missile Coordination to the Augen Star for starters. On the baseline difficulty that composition might lose to the Mechanoids, Cyber March, or Parasites. But beats everyone else in the simulator.

The game I was referring to was two steps up the difficulty scale, and by Tactical Net simulator battles were a blowout. On that note is the basic Imperial fist supposed to distribute Hardened Armor? The turtle named battleship also has that ability.
Chris Koźmik  [developer] Aug 1 @ 7:54am 
Originally posted by Habituallyred:
Adding Data Link to the Imperial Fist, Hawkeye, Mini Hydra; and Missile Coordination to the Augen Star for starters. On the baseline difficulty that composition might lose to the Mechanoids, Cyber March, or Parasites. But beats everyone else in the simulator.

The game I was referring to was two steps up the difficulty scale, and by Tactical Net simulator battles were a blowout. On that note is the basic Imperial fist supposed to distribute Hardened Armor? The turtle named battleship also has that ability.
The alien ships are lame :) I will be adding more stuff for them so those can keep up the fight.
Chris Koźmik  [developer] Aug 4 @ 4:23am 
So, v0.79 (just released) has modernizations overhaul. What you think?
Fooling with it now. The simulator claims each major civilization has the same ship lineup. With the same specials, haven't gone point to point on the statistics.

Edit: 3 modernization points per construction tech level is not enough. 36 points isn't even enough for a whole modernization.

Edit: Perhaps all the modernization and squadron size upgrades were randomly frontloaded this time. But the combination of increased squadron size and data links are allowing me to break even against the upgraded enemy ships. And since the actual battles have 2:1 squadron numbers...

[s]Also do you only lose stability on losing a core planet when you no longer have troops on the planet?[/s] scratch that the game is just quiet about the loss
Last edited by Habituallyred; Aug 5 @ 9:02pm
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