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azazel Player-Rank: 2 azazel is a male
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Hi,

I've got a question: why does one get (even if relatively little) money for selling a facility, but no re-compensation for dismantling a ship? What's the thinking behind that?

For one, it just seems asymmetric, and second I just happened to scrap around 100 ships of mine because I didn't need them, they were expensive in up-keep and quite a bit out-dated anyway. (If you wonder how I built them: I was on vacation for a week and my governors built a little more of them in the meantime than I had planned.) The result of this was that I lost around 300K worth of score, dropping me from #1 to #4 - and no compensation whatsoever.
Now I do understand that there must be a certain penalty for getting rid of stuff you've built, but loosing 100% seems a bit extreme. Particularly, as this is not true for facilities, only for ships.

Come to think of it, I might see some value in an option to upgrade one ship design to another for a fee in wealth. If that fee was reasonably high, I cannot see how this would unbalance the game while still being a lot more satisfying than loosing 100% of your investment. Such a feature probably would need the restriction of not letting you switch to another hull type.

Currently, it is possible to switch a planet from, say, pure research to pure production with reasonable effort and a relatively modest penalty for the switch. It would seem only symmetric to allow something similar for ships.

Cheers,
Azazel
21.07.2007 18:59 azazel is offline Send an Email to azazel Search for Posts by azazel Add azazel to your Buddy List
Trantor Player-Rank: 2
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the ship upgrade option is good. i had a made a wrong design (too few engines) and by the time i realised, i had 10 ships with a speed of 1.3

acted like costly flying heavy turrets for me.....but i would have loved to upgrade them
15.09.2007 11:40 Trantor is offline Send an Email to Trantor Search for Posts by Trantor Add Trantor to your Buddy List
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Agreed, I for one can see no reason to scrap ships... they are worth so much in points and little in upkeep... just park them empty or fly them around as fodder.

But upgrade... that would be nice... however a very simple absraction would be to add a % of the scrapped ship's build cost to the ship currently in the planets build Q. Afterward of course you cannot switch production [much like when you rush buy an item]

This way ships can only be used for ships and if the aforementioned % was 25% [IIRC] if would be the same as using money [ok I might have that wrong... I assume ships are the same as buildings]

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15.09.2007 16:07 Gedrin is offline Send an Email to Gedrin Search for Posts by Gedrin Add Gedrin to your Buddy List
HeruFeanor Player-Rank: 1
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quote:
Originally posted by Gedrin
But upgrade... that would be nice... however a very simple absraction would be to add a % of the scrapped ship's build cost to the ship currently in the planets build Q. Afterward of course you cannot switch production [much like when you rush buy an item]

This way ships can only be used for ships and if the aforementioned % was 25% [IIRC] if would be the same as using money [ok I might have that wrong... I assume ships are the same as buildings]


Hmm... So you only get anything out of scrapping a ship if you do it over a planet that happens to be currently building another ship? It's an interesting idea, but I think it may be a bit difficult, in many cases, to properly cash in on the rewards of your ship scrapping. Especially if you can max out the production of the currently building ship by scrapping only a small percentage of the ones you want to scrap. Do you then have to scrap them gradually, which sounds like kind of a pain, or will the extra production roll-over?

Ship upgrading is something that's come up a number of times, and I think pretty much everybody has always given it a positive response. I know you're time is limited, and you're a little dubious about implementing any new features above a certain level of complexity at this stage. However, I think actual upgrading would be an incredibly useful feature, and probably not THAT complicated to implement. I can think of two ways to do it.

One would be to add an option to the build menu on planets with shipyards, just below Build Ships, called Upgrade Ships. Just like the Build Ships option, it would open a sub-menu, where you could select from all the ships in orbit. From there it would open a second sub-menu from which you could select from all the currently active ship classes with the same hull type, for what to upgrade to. Then we just need some equation to find the build time, probably based on the relative costs of the two ships.

The second way would be to make it a ship order. That is, add an option to the menu from which you give a ship orders, called "Upgrade Ship", which is a sub-menu from which you could, again, select all currently active ship classes of the same hull type. Then the ship upgrades on it's own, without using the planet's production queue. You might disable the option if the ship isn't in orbit around a planet with a shipyard, and you probably want to impose a cost, in credits, for the operation.

Personally, I prefer the second option. It seems simpler to implement, and doesn't require you to interfere with your normal build queues.
15.09.2007 20:59 HeruFeanor is offline Send an Email to HeruFeanor Search for Posts by HeruFeanor Add HeruFeanor to your Buddy List
Erwin [CS] Player-Rank: 2 Erwin [CS] is a male
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Clearly option number 2 would be a lot simpler to implement, and this is also how it works in the Civ series.

Option number 1 on the other hand seems more natural and also makes more sense from a gameplay point of view. Especially considering that (larger) empires tend to have a lot of money, for them this would have little impact.

One question would be how to calculate the cost for upgrading ships? Can any ship be upgraded to any other ship, or just one class of a ship to another ship-design of the same class?

I think from a gameplay point of view I would most prefer a ship context-menu option "Upgrade Ship", with a list of available ship-designs plus their production cost(and maybe in addition credits cost?). Then the Wealth icon of the current planet would change into a Upgrade Ship icon, with the (production) progress bar indicating how many turns it will take to upgrade (depending on the number of assigned workers, as usual). That would also mean that for the time of the upgrading the ships would be locked, and can't be moved.

Question is what would happen if the player switches production of that planet? Perhaps the usual, namely production is not lost, and used for the new production instead. The ships marked for "upgrading" would be immediately unlocked of course.
16.09.2007 11:33 Erwin [CS] is offline Search for Posts by Erwin [CS] Add Erwin [CS] to your Buddy List
HeruFeanor Player-Rank: 1
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quote:
Originally posted by Erwin [SC]
One question would be how to calculate the cost for upgrading ships? Can any ship be upgraded to any other ship, or just one class of a ship to another ship-design of the same class?


I would limit it to ships of the same hull type, just cause that makes sense to me. Upgrading a shuttle to a battleship seems silly.

quote:
Originally posted by Erwin [SC]
I think from a gameplay point of view I would most prefer a ship context-menu option "Upgrade Ship", with a list of available ship-designs plus their production cost(and maybe in addition credits cost?). Then the Wealth icon of the current planet would change into a Upgrade Ship icon, with the (production) progress bar indicating how many turns it will take to upgrade (depending on the number of assigned workers, as usual). That would also mean that for the time of the upgrading the ships would be locked, and can't be moved.

Question is what would happen if the player switches production of that planet? Perhaps the usual, namely production is not lost, and used for the new production instead. The ships marked for "upgrading" would be immediately unlocked of course.


Personally, I don't like the idea of selecting something from the ship's context menu which then changes the planet's production queue. If you want to put the ship upgrade in the production queue, I think it really should be selected from the production queue menu.

If you want to have the option in the ship's contextual menu, but make it cost more then wealth, then perhaps add some additional time limitation. Say, a given planet can only upgrade 1 ship per turn. So, if you select 10 ships to upgrade, the next turn 1 of those ships will be upgraded, and will have switched to the Hold Position order, and the other 9 will still have the Upgrade order selected.

As to how to calculate cost, I would base it on the difference between the build costs of the two ships, and put it on an exponential curve. Something like (newCost - oldCost)^2, with some multipliers to scale the curve.
16.09.2007 13:18 HeruFeanor is offline Send an Email to HeruFeanor Search for Posts by HeruFeanor Add HeruFeanor to your Buddy List
Erwin [CS] Player-Rank: 2 Erwin [CS] is a male
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quote:
Originally posted by HeruFeanor
Personally, I don't like the idea of selecting something from the ship's context menu which then changes the planet's production queue. If you want to put the ship upgrade in the production queue, I think it really should be selected from the production queue menu.

This would be a "exception of the rule", and I certainly would like to avoid that. However, I don't like having to navigate through 2 sub-menus, with the first sub-menu listing the ships-in-orbit, and the second which ship-design to upgrade to. What if the user wants to upgrade several ships?

I think that's what the "Ships In Orbit" box is ideal for, because there you can select the ships you want upgraded. With one sub-menu we could let the user select which ship-design to upgrade to (together with the info how many turns this would take, plus any extra cost).

This would not only be easier to implement, but (I think) also easier/more simple to operate for the user.
16.09.2007 13:36 Erwin [CS] is offline Search for Posts by Erwin [CS] Add Erwin [CS] to your Buddy List
HeruFeanor Player-Rank: 1
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What bothers me is that you could do the same thing from the Galaxy view, when you don't have the planet's queue visible in front of you.

So what about the idea I mentioned above of only allowing 1 ship to be upgraded per turn at a given a given planet?
16.09.2007 14:06 HeruFeanor is offline Send an Email to HeruFeanor Search for Posts by HeruFeanor Add HeruFeanor to your Buddy List
Erwin [CS] Player-Rank: 2 Erwin [CS] is a male
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quote:
Originally posted by HeruFeanor
What bothers me is that you could do the same thing from the Galaxy view, when you don't have the planet's queue visible in front of you.

We could (and probably should) allow the "Upgrade Ship" option only from within the "Ships in Orbit" box.

quote:
Originally posted by HeruFeanor
So what about the idea I mentioned above of only allowing 1 ship to be upgraded per turn at a given a given planet?

That's certainly a good alternative. However it would add a new (albeit small) game-play element if the speed of upgrading ships depends on the production power of a given planet (just like building the ship itself).
16.09.2007 15:51 Erwin [CS] is offline Search for Posts by Erwin [CS] Add Erwin [CS] to your Buddy List
quickstrike Player-Rank: 2 quickstrike is a male
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quote:
Originally posted by Erwin [SC]
Can any ship be upgraded to any other ship, or just one class of a ship to another ship-design of the same class?


IIRC, we wanted to keep the usefulness of all ship classes (shuttles included) even late in the game. So, to me, it would make sense to only upgrade within the same ship class.

quote:
Originally posted by HeruFeanor
As to how to calculate cost, I would base it on the difference between the build costs of the two ships, and put it on an exponential curve.


Why exponential?

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This post has been edited 2 time(s), it was last edited by quickstrike: 16.09.2007 20:21.

16.09.2007 19:14 quickstrike is offline Send an Email to quickstrike Search for Posts by quickstrike Add quickstrike to your Buddy List
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quote:
Originally posted by quickstrike
quote:
Originally posted by HeruFeanor
As to how to calculate cost, I would base it on the difference between the build costs of the two ships, and put it on an exponential curve.


Why exponential?


It makes sense to me that, as the difference in build cost gets larger, the process of upgrading between them gets exponentially more complicated and expensive. Also, squaring it essentially does an absolute value, so there is also an appropriate cost for downgrading a ship to a simpler design, if you feel the need to do that.

An ideal algorithm for figuring out cost would do it on a per-component basis. That is, have a removal cost for every component that has to be taken off, and an addition cost for every component that has to be added back on, with no cost for any component that is on both designs. This would reflect much more completely the actual difference between the designs. However, it would also be much more complicated to implement, and I think using a simple equation based on the difference in base build cost would generally be fine.
16.09.2007 20:51 HeruFeanor is offline Send an Email to HeruFeanor Search for Posts by HeruFeanor Add HeruFeanor to your Buddy List
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quote:
Originally posted by quickstrike
Why exponential?


A person's understanding of the meaning of "exponential" is inversely proportional to the number of times he uses it on internet forums (no offense Heru Wink )

The suggestion (newCost - oldCost)^2 is just quadratical, but I think that this is a rather bad choice. A component-by-component analysis might be nice, but if you want to keep it simple you can do something like newCost - (3/4)*oldCost.
18.09.2007 11:44 Holy-Fire is offline Send an Email to Holy-Fire Search for Posts by Holy-Fire Add Holy-Fire to your Buddy List
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quote:
Originally posted by Holy-Fire
The suggestion (newCost - oldCost)^2 is just quadratical, but I think that this is a rather bad choice. A component-by-component analysis might be nice, but if you want to keep it simple you can do something like newCost - (3/4)*oldCost.


I don't understand the logic behind that equation, and of course it includes the possibility that you will have a negative cost, if the oldCost is substantially more then the newCost. Not ALL ship upgrades will be to more expensive ships, and you shouldn't get money back shifting to a less expensive design.

I considered a nice side effect of squaring the value that you make it always positive. I was actually figuring one might add a +50 or something to it, so it always costs SOMETHING to upgrade, even if the two ships have the same cost. It also still makes sense to me that cost of upgrading one ship class to another increases at a much faster rate then the difference between the costs of the ship classes. I'm rather lacking the words to describe why this makes sense, which is rare for me, but on an intuitive level it just does make sense to me.
18.09.2007 12:30 HeruFeanor is offline Send an Email to HeruFeanor Search for Posts by HeruFeanor Add HeruFeanor to your Buddy List
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quote:
Originally posted by HeruFeanor

I don't understand the logic behind that equation, and of course it includes the possibility that you will have a negative cost, if the oldCost is substantially more then the newCost. Not ALL ship upgrades will be to more expensive ships, and you shouldn't get money back shifting to a less expensive design.

I considered a nice side effect of squaring the value that you make it always positive. I was actually figuring one might add a +50 or something to it, so it always costs SOMETHING to upgrade, even if the two ships have the same cost. It also still makes sense to me that cost of upgrading one ship class to another increases at a much faster rate then the difference between the costs of the ship classes. I'm rather lacking the words to describe why this makes sense, which is rare for me, but on an intuitive level it just does make sense to me.


The logic is that we are assuming that most of the ship (say, 75%) is used as is in the new ship, and the rest must be thrown away. We then add whatever is remaining, and this is the cost. Again, this is extremely simplistic and doesn't take into account the actual components used.

I think (though I have no experience in this regard) that it will be rare to upgrade to a ship that costs less than 75% of the original. But it gets better - it makes sense that the cost will then be negative, since the removed parts can be disassembled \ recycled and aid in further industrial endeavors (equivalent to a potential cash\production return on dismantling facilities and ships). Or you can just put some hard lower bound.

The idea of squaring the difference is simply indefensible. First, while we might agree that "downgrading" a ship will have a cost, it makes no sense that adding a component costs the same as removing it, or that replacing a component which costs 100 with one that costs 150 will be as expensive as replacing it with a component that costs 50. Furthermore, the asymptotic behavior of squaring simply isn't right here. Suppose you pick a coefficient of 0.01. Then upgrading 1000 -> 1010 will cost 1. That means we invest 1 and get a new component worth 10 on the ship. On the other hand, upgrading 1000 -> 2000 would cost 10000! Even if we replace everything on the ship, under no stretch of the imagination would it cost more than 2000 plus a small disassembling cost. Also, upgrading a ship with different components that cost the same will cost 0, which makes no sense.

There are other ideas to consider. For example, NewCost^2 / (OldCost+NewCost) makes sense, and is always positive if you like it that way. Of course, it is slightly more complicated, and as I have already mentioned, if we want complicated then the most sensible solution is a per-component calculation.

Edit: I have forgotten what may be the greatest disadvantage of the squaring formula - scale dependence. Suppose we stick to the 0.01 coefficient. So upgrading 1000 -> 1200 will cost 400, which is reasonable. However, upgrading 10000 -> 12000 will cost 40000 which is not reasonable. Upgrading 100 -> 120 will cost 4 which is just as unreasonable. If we want scale independence (and we do) then we must have a homogeneous function of degree 1.

Edit: I was referring here to the original suggestion. Adding a constant fixes some problems, but creates others.

This post has been edited 2 time(s), it was last edited by Holy-Fire: 18.09.2007 19:45.

18.09.2007 16:05 Holy-Fire is offline Send an Email to Holy-Fire Search for Posts by Holy-Fire Add Holy-Fire to your Buddy List
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So is seems the HeruFeanor [damn you Holy-Fire... now I cannot abbreviate HF anymore Tongue ] objected to my first notion [of allowing scrapped ships in orbit over a planet that is building a ship] because one had to scrap only a limited number at once.

These discussions seem to now lean towards the notion of upgrading one at a time... maybe I am missing that.

Also the notion of upgrading a Shuttle to a Battleship is I agree absurd, but the notion of scrapping a shuttle and using the recycled materials to create BB components seems fairly reasonable to me.

So of the 3 options I have seen:

1. Use the ships current scrap order and apply a % of its build cost to the ship in the Q... then prevent changing the Q [like rush buy does]

2. Add upgrade ship to the planetary build Q

3. Add upgrade ship to the ship's menu and make it a ship order [and siphon off resources to that upgrade].

I still think 1 is the simplest.
If there is a concern about having so many ships to scrap that it would overfill the current build progress bar then make it an order processed on the tick and only do it if that is not the case.

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18.09.2007 18:20 Gedrin is offline Send an Email to Gedrin Search for Posts by Gedrin Add Gedrin to your Buddy List
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quote:
Originally posted by Gedrin
[damn you Holy-Fire... now I cannot abbreviate HF anymore Tongue ]

Wink .
Off topic, but there is a simple solution. I have chosen that nickname for a game I played a long time ago because this is what I came up with after every other name I wanted was already taken. Since then, I have used that name occasionally in other places to spare me the trouble of thinking of other names. As time passed, I got accustomed to it, and I now use it wherever I go.
So, if you go back in time and stop a player from creating an account with a name I wanted, I will probably have a different name now, and the problem will be solved. Big Grin
Seriously though, if everyone is accustomed to having HF stand for HeruFeanor, there should be no ambiguity. I prefer the abbreviation "Holy" myself.
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LMAO!!! LOL

No I think its just me.

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quote:
Originally posted by HeruFeanor
Not ALL ship upgrades will be to more expensive ships, and you shouldn't get money back shifting to a less expensive design.


Not even if you eBay those expensive components? Big Grin

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18.09.2007 20:46 quickstrike is offline Send an Email to quickstrike Search for Posts by quickstrike Add quickstrike to your Buddy List
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quote:
Originally posted by Holy-Fire
The idea of squaring the difference is simply indefensible. First, while we might agree that "downgrading" a ship will have a cost, it makes no sense that adding a component costs the same as removing it, or that replacing a component which costs 100 with one that costs 150 will be as expensive as replacing it with a component that costs 50. Furthermore, the asymptotic behavior of squaring simply isn't right here. Suppose you pick a coefficient of 0.01. Then upgrading 1000 -> 1010 will cost 1. That means we invest 1 and get a new component worth 10 on the ship. On the other hand, upgrading 1000 -> 2000 would cost 10000! Even if we replace everything on the ship, under no stretch of the imagination would it cost more than 2000 plus a small disassembling cost. Also, upgrading a ship with different components that cost the same will cost 0, which makes no sense.


There is a very easy stretch of the imagination by which it would cost that much. You're turning ship A into ship B when they share no parts whatsoever, without just assembling a new one from scratch. In my mind, this is like turning a Ford Model T into a Toyota Prius. It would be cheaper and easier to just make a new Prius then to try and pound and reform the Model T into a Prius.

Also, I already proposed adding a constant to the end, so upgrading between two ship classes with the same cost would still cost something. I had proposed 50. I think this is reasonable on virtually any equation, because I don't think the cost should EVER be 0 for upgrading, and almost any equation we propose without a constant added with have a 0 point.

P.S. The use of terms like "indefensible" and "no stretch of the imagination" and "unreasonable" when referring to my points gets a bit grating. I'm trying to have a reasonable discussion of the possible solutions, so if you want to counter my points, please try and do so by simply presenting the counter-point and not making it sound like I was completely unreasonable and off the deep end for every conceiving of possibly proposing such a thing. That is rude and unproductive. It leaves me simply trying to defend my original points, since doing so is no longer just about defending the points, but about defending myself. I now have to show that I wasn't an idiot for proposing them. This then makes it much harder to move on, since I'm too busy defending my old points to advance any further suggestions or compromises. So, can we please elevate the conversation a bit?

P.P.S. Heru is also a perfectly reasonable abbreviation for HeruFeanor. I never object to people calling me Lord, in any language. :-)

This post has been edited 1 time(s), it was last edited by HeruFeanor: 18.09.2007 21:42.

18.09.2007 21:39 HeruFeanor is offline Send an Email to HeruFeanor Search for Posts by HeruFeanor Add HeruFeanor to your Buddy List
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In the interest of elevating this conversation a bit myself, let's consider a few points:

A) There is a labor cost to removing or adding components. The cost for removing components will generally be less then or equal to adding components, depending on the nature of the component.

B) A removed component can potentially be sold or recycled to mitigate some expense, making the overall effect of removing components decidedly less then adding components.

C) Points A and B are possibly not relevant, if we're not considering a component-by-component algorithm. Looking at cost alone, we have no idea what was added or removed, we can just extrapolate that a design that costs less is likely to involve more removing then adding, though it may actually involve removing a small number of expensive parts and adding a lot of cheap parts. The equation may still want to generally reflect a lower cost for downgrading then upgrading, however.

D) Adapting one manufactured product into another becomes far more complex as those products become more different, as in the example of the Model T and the Prius I mentioned above. The difference in cost between the two products (in their original production costs, adjusted for inflation) doesn't begin to reflect the actual complexity of the process. It's more then just adding and removing components, but readjusting and reforming virtually every aspect of the vehicle. So, a linear comparison of the production costs of two products may not be a very realistic representation.

E) At some point upgrading a ship will cost more then just building the new design from scratch. At this point, perhaps the game should automatically just assume that this is what is done, and use the cost of the new design. Essentially, this places a cap on the cost of the upgrade.

So, taking all of these points into consideration, I propose a modified algorithm:

code:
1:
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priceDiff = newCost - oldCost
if (priceDiff > 0)
    upgradeCost = (priceDiff^2)*0.02 + 50
else
    upgradeCost = (priceDiff^2)*0.01 + 50
endif
if (upgradeCost > newCost)
    upgradeCost = newCost
endif


It looks a bit complicated at first glance, since it involves conditionals, but I'm sure Erwin can back me up in that it's actually extremely simple to implement in code. Essentially, if the new design costs more then the old design, it uses a multiplier of 0.02, but if it costs less, it uses a multiplier of 0.01. Thus, it's more expensive to upgrade then to downgrade, but downgrading still has a cost, and can still get expensive beyond a point. Then, if the cost to upgrade is MORE then the base cost of the new design, then it just uses the cost of the new design, essentially capping the expense of upgrading.
18.09.2007 22:06 HeruFeanor is offline Send an Email to HeruFeanor Search for Posts by HeruFeanor Add HeruFeanor to your Buddy List
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