Thoughts on research change and variable weapons?

Discussion in 'Coding' started by Lazybum, Jan 19, 2015.

  1. Lazybum

    Lazybum :D Staff Member Moderator

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    Currently I'm working on a certain set of scripts, related to this thread. I might have some to show on that by the end of the week, next week at the latest.

    As I was working on that though I had some thoughts on research, over in this thread. As the discussion went on I had this idea.
    So I'm thinking of working on that after I finsh my current set of scripts. My question ot you guys is what should be the benefit to each tree? Currently I'm thinking on the line of making physics affect range and speed, chemistry affect explosive radius, electrical affecting how engines cool(this is going to be a bit different then plasma just so you know.) and possibly reload rates, and bio will just be bio stuff. Things would be minor buffs, so you don't have to worry about he cannons doing an extra 50 damage of aids to infantry.

    Mechanical doesn't have weapons, but I think I may make it so if that is chosen as first tree you get the current weapons, with the idea that research time is a tad faster, like 5-10 seconds of everything or 10%, something. So weapons aren't as great but you can get better stuff faster.

    I do know I won't be messing with different chassis's first go through. If people do like these set of scripts I will make different heavy and meds depending on which tree too.

    So thoughts? I can tell you no one really see these til mid/end of February if I had to guess a time, but I do want to do it.
     
    Last edited: Jan 19, 2015
  2. Ikalx

    Ikalx Member

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    Firstly, I think this system will be very complicated. Not just complex, but complicated, and it would be a lot to take in. That being said, it's a good idea to try at least, but the main drawback is that...you might not have enough items for each research. You might end up making more items - weapons/armours/engines etc, and with most ideas that means diluting the pool. The more things we have, the more things overlap, which means the more things have less of an affect. Generally.

    It's just something to keep in mind. If there's no point to doing something other than to "have this outcome mean something", it's probably a good idea to just make it a one-off research instead.

    Electrical could effect guidance on weapons, if you could work out how to script it. A limited ability to turn projectiles might be very effective. With mechanical I was thinking that was more likely to affect reload rates, since while electrical systems might automate things, mechanical design will increase the overall function of the system. Things like hydraulics are also 'mechanical systems' too. Maybe if you say mechanical has more effect on Guns and perhaps the cooling of main Cannons, that might be an idea.

    I somehow think that the trees might have more slanting towards specific types of weapons than others, though I understand if that's not what you're looking for.
     
  3. Lazybum

    Lazybum :D Staff Member Moderator

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    I think you might be misunderstanding something. This won't be that complicated.

    Just think of the current tree. How each weapons has a specific function. Now think what if it had a slight changes, modifications. They function the same, but with increased benefits. This is what the aim is.

    I might not have been totally clear in that quote of mine, but there's going to be quite a bit of consistency too, so people won't really be guessing. The first thing is engine and armor are going to be in the starting trees, right at the base. I think I have to put a small extra hex, it'd have a very small research time, I think 30 seconds, but you would research that and you would pretty much see all the main branches again. They wouldn't have armor or engines, they are all in the base root, but they have all the weapons in them. Because engines and armors aren't in these trees anymore I can get rid of nesting, so you could see all available research as soon as you open it. Simple right?

    I will be making more weapons, but to the player it doesn't look like I added a ton of weapons, it'll just look like the same weapons but with different stats.

    I will say the problems with just guidance is that it only affects missiles, so that really doesn't seem worth it by itself. I'm not entirely sure I should add it in either, there isn't a way to dumbfire a missile you can guide so it could prove to be frustrating to use for certain people. I suppose making it unlock both a guided and unguided version is possible, but that feels kinda dumb. Or pointless rather.

    I would like to keep ideas consistent throughout a tree. Weapons firing cooler might be good for mechanical.
     
    Last edited: Jan 19, 2015
  4. ImSpartacus

    ImSpartacus nerf spec plz

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    I feel like if empires was done over again, then this is how it would be done.

    It's silly that you have discrete armors, engines and weapons.

    You should research upgrades (or sidegrades) that can be stacked or mixed.

    So you get stuff like a "nuke" modifier that increases damage and splash, but decreases speed and fire rate. If you want a full blown nuke, you stack 3 (the max?) of them together. If you want bio homing nukes, then you use one part bio, one part homing and one part nuke to get a modest mixture of them all.

    It's simpler, but offers more options AND it has built-in support for 1-slot weapons all the way up to 3-slot weapons natively and intuitively.

    Same thing with armors and engines. I mean how many people whine about fission or coolant being too extreme? Dilute em down with another engine type and you're golden.

    Unfortunately, that requires a hefty overhaul of how things are done to not do a half assed job. So that sucks.
     
  5. Lazybum

    Lazybum :D Staff Member Moderator

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    Making a note to myself, going to add a couple of trees. "Manufacturing" and one I'm just going to call "Advanced research programs" for now

    Manufacturing reduces the overall costs of tanks by 20% I'm gonna say, but they aren't as good. So weapons will do a little less damage, like 10-15% less I'll say for now, and the hull health of chassis's might be less, though I'm going to stick budget as it's tree armor so this might not be done. Especially when I think about reducing the overall damage too, yeah I'll hold off on that for now.

    "Advanced research programs" is simply the same old research but gotten 10-20% faster. If I go with the 20% I may add a res cost to each item, I'm thinking the research time multiplied by 2 or 3, that should effectively scale itself.

    I think this type of research tree is the only real place to something like this can come about, so I'm going to see if it works out. I think it will.
     
  6. Lazybum

    Lazybum :D Staff Member Moderator

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    Awwwwwww man, I'm limited to 6 base trees, well 6 research items on any tree really. I don't want to make any more nesting if I can help it. Oh well, going to make mechanical the cheap tree. Also going to have to swap a couple of research items, but it'll make sense I think.

    Oh, and I started work on this. It's going to be a lot less complicated than that other batch of scripts, so expect something by Saturday, sometime next week at the latest.

    Random Edits:oh, so if you set a team for research it won't show up at all for the other team. The only negative is that doesn't mean I have an extra slot to work with, you just have this gap in the nodes. Still, it's tempting to give each faction a specific bonus tree, but at the moment the only thing I can think of giving be advanced research and nf manufacturing, mostly because it feels like it fits their theme. I probably won't though, most people don't want it I think.

    I can't really do something extra neat like giving be Nanotechnologies and nf Genetic Engineering, because for the most part it sounds like building research, like a cloning facility for nf so they can get a reduction in spawn time or don't lose a ticket every 3rd death. Or something infantry related like Medical Nanites for be, being in a friendly building causes hp to regen at like 3 hp a sec or reduce bio time by 50%. So much fun stuff, and I can't touch it.

    Editedit: Thinking about it I'm going to make electrical be the cheaper tree, on the idea of using robotics to speed up production and lowering costs but unable to do as good of a job. I'll take Ikalx's suggestion and make mechanical as the tree to decrease cycle times and possible heat. Or maybe heat's better? Just cycle time means the same damage overall in a shorter span, decreasing heat doesn't affect damage out put in a similar time span so people that went for other trees wont have a huge disadvantage, but does mean more sustained firing which can be better against buildings.

    I suppose I can decrease damage ever so slightly and increase cycle time, so it can become more of a forgiving weapon to use. This one is actually trickier then I thought.
     
    Last edited: Mar 5, 2015
  7. Lazybum

    Lazybum :D Staff Member Moderator

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    Question of the day. I realized I have a small problem with regards to turrets.

    For some background info, I can't make it have multiple copies, this goes for anything actually, if it keeps the same name. Otherwise only the first item it finds, in my case the trees in physics, would be the only one to actually unlock turrets. So it has to be in one tree. Which means it will be in the base level of some tree.

    I know it's in electrical usually, but electrical, along with mechanical, have 2 armors already and I'm not sure I want give either of them an extra base item. Maybe I'll move compo to Advanced research then put turrets in mechanical. I think that'll work, but I'd like to hear an opinion.
     
  8. Lazybum

    Lazybum :D Staff Member Moderator

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    Well crap, Looks like I can't do this. There's a hard limit of 128 items, if you add any more past that they simply won't show up. So as far as I'm concerned there's no way to make variable weapon research that also somewhat easy to understand.

    I'll just retool it, that's good enough for me. I can make at least 3 full tree's worth of research, possibly 4 if I leave chassis in a base tree. So if I combine ideas together I think I'll be good, I'm just not entirely sure what I should do here. I still like the idea of messing with research times and cost/effectiveness of equipment, mostly because it reminds me of advanced wars COs which I really liked. It might be better to just mess with the stats of equipment though. I'm not entirely sure what to call the tree's yet, but I think this would be the focus for each tree.

    One would be if you wanted an advantage against tanks. It would use bio and possibly make affect cooling rates of vehicles(I would have to get rid of plasma's direct htt if I did this, but I think this is actually less annoying to fight against). While it would be making use of bio it will have to take a nerf to actual damage it causes. Meaning it would be much less effective at destroying buildings due to buildings not taking bio damage. The other team can push back as infantry if they didn't take the same tree, while the tanky team can make use of infantry to actually destroy bases.

    One would be so vehicles are more effective against infantry. Bio is actually pretty shitty to fight against if your on foot, so I think I would stick to explosion radius increases and possibly lower heat output of weapons. These tanks would do normal damage to buildings and can directly hurt tanks in a more meaningful way, but they can't give any status effects so they might have trouble finishing off a tank, kinda like what happens now. Oh, on that bio is crap against infantry thing, I think I'd drastically change bio ml in this tree, or not increase the explosion radius but instead just increase the number of missiles in a clip or possibly cycle time.

    3rd one I'm really liking the idea of combining the ideas of reducing both costs and research times. I would introduce a res cost back into this tree, but it wouldn't be weak in anyway I think. Or maybe keep it free but reduce damage by 20%? Nah that sounds terrible on paper. I'll have to think about it a bit but the idea is you wouldn't have any apparent weaknesses but neither would you have strengths. Vanilla research if you will. Hmm, if chassis research was in the trees I'd be leaning towards getting rid of the second weapon on heavies but that's kinda pointless when you can just start another base tree. I'm open on suggestions on this one, but I'll stick to making research expensive, the idea of a lot of money upfront for less costs in the future.
     
    Last edited: Mar 5, 2015
  9. ViroMan

    ViroMan Black Hole (*sniff*) Bully

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    128 limit that can be easily lifted if candles was inclined to do so.

    err wait.. well I am pretty sure anyways. Duno if the HL engine can load that many objects.
     
  10. 101010

    101010 Member

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    Wouldn't that issue be fixed with the new UI ?
    Every Tree could link to a new screen.
    Other then that you might need to just work with the res file a little.
     
  11. Lazybum

    Lazybum :D Staff Member Moderator

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    UI change doesn't mean the limit's disappear. You have to understand there's quite a few things going on here. First off is that I have to make a unique research name for each weapon because weapons are the main thing I'm changing, along with possibly chassis. Now multiply that by how many base tree's I have. Originally it was 6, because that's 1 for every tree plus an extra I wanted to fool around with. Then include a couple of nodes to open other research, which means physics and things like advanced chassis. Lastly include all the armors and engines which I wouldn't be making variations in this first pass. That's a lot of unique names.

    The reason for all these unique names is like I mentioned the exact name of research is what causes items to open up. Another thing I mentioned is if you do use duplicate names, like say you had 4 He cannons, only the first one on the list would actually open he cannons, all the others wouldn't do anything at all. Something else you should know is that it actually doesn't really matter how your script is setup, the main thing is to have the parent directories match up to where you want it to come from. So even though I pretty much copied the tree a few times I had to go back and add a little tag to differentiate everything and make sure every tree was unique.

    So yeah short of candles stepping in to see if that limit can be raised I can't do much more. But I'm kinda glad in a way, the choices will be more significant and also means less work for me, which I realized was a bit more than I thought it was going to be. At least everything is setup correctly now and all I have to do is adjust weapon stats, that's it really.
     
  12. Lazybum

    Lazybum :D Staff Member Moderator

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    Hmm, well I moved mechanical tree to the base, I couldn't really figure out a good way to make certain chassis worthwhile. This means I can either put armor back into the trees or simply add another tree.

    I don't think I want to add armors to trees, balancing weapons are easier if armor values stay consistent. It will also reclutter up the research menus with all that nesting which I was actually trying to get rid of. Though if I did do that I could further the roles of my base tree, but I'm not quite convinced it's worth it.

    This leaves adding on a tree. The only thing I got left is making superior weapons by flat out increasing damage but they take longer to research, I think I might give research a res cost too but if the times take long enough I don't think people will want to bother with it then. This is another tree I'm not sure what I should call, but I'm temporarily going with Quality Manufacturing.

    It's important I go with one of these, I got a bunch of armors and engines sitting in my few base trees and it just looks bad and kinda dumb.
     
  13. Lazybum

    Lazybum :D Staff Member Moderator

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    So yeah, I kinda dropped this for like the last month, even though it was like 90% complete... I have a bad habit doing that with everything.

    Anyways, I have a question about should I even have a safe research path? Currently all trees have some advantage/disadvantage of sorts. Right now though I kinda have a small road block in that one of my trees doesn't really have a disadvantage. It's a tree dedicated to anti-infantry capabilities. The one truly useful thing against infantry is bigger explosive radius, so all weapons have a bigger explosion. That's it.

    I feel like it being such a default type of tree it would get researched all the time, leaving the other trees something that never gets touched. I don't want that, I want people to explore every tree based on team/map/how they want to play that round. So I feel like I need to give this anti-infantry tree a nerf in some way.

    In my original plan I was going to put armors in trees, but that was scrapped because dealing with weapons was complicated enough and I kinda can't really enforce people to use that tree's armor(not that I would really want to enforce, but it does mean I can't balance on the idea it will be weak against something). Anyways I was going to make the armor's in the anti-inf tree be a bit stronger against infantry weapons, but weaker against pretty much all tank weapons. So that really leaves me with nerfing weapons somehow.

    I don't exactly want to nerf damage, that changes damage against infantry which I don't want but also nerfs damage against building which I also don't want for this tree. There's too many weapons to abuse the resist system here too, so I can't specify against just tanks. Actually I have just enough, but I still don't want to do it if I can help it. Nerfing cycle time is a no no for same reason as damage. Raising heat is a possibility, not sure if it's enough though.Changing ammo is something also too, but again not sure enough and some weapons might be absolutely poop with lower ammo count. Making weapons inaccurate doesn't work due to it making it harder to even hit infantry.

    I kinda want to do a fun nerf if I could though. There's a few quirky things you can do with weapons. One is while team damage doesn't work, if weapons have a negative damage value you can actually heal enemy buildings. Wouldn't really do that due to enormous greifing potential, but it's still an oddly fun idea.

    I swear I tested and found out you can also remove heat from enemy tanks with a negative heat to target value, I know negative heat cools your tank, but I can't seem to find if that actually works right now, need some one to test with. I will say this one holds a bit more promise because the only thing it would affect is tank combat, but not in a super direct way like some things.

    So what should I do? I want to be done with this already, but I don't want to release in a state that obviously fails in some way. Honestly lowering ammo and slight increase in heat might be the way to go, but I'm not sure if it's enough and if you guys have a better idea.
     
  14. D.D.D. Destroyer

    D.D.D. Destroyer Member Staff Member Moderator

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    Just looking at Starcraft here, but splash damage units are really squishy and usually require some beef in front of them to make sure they survive. How about weak armor in that ytree?
     
  15. Ikalx

    Ikalx Member

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    Can you slow down shell flight speed? Or perhaps give the projectiles more of an arc?

    I was going to suggest an anti-inf weapon to be weak against tanks (mostly because I'd expect you to use shrapnel or incendiaries or something like that), but you don't really want to do that. Cooling the target would be interesting, but remember it's anti-inf so if you're using it against vehicles you're doing it wrong.

    Actually, in what situations other than say escort would it be prudent to break into an anti-infantry tree? I mean vehicle weapons are primarily used against other vehicles, secondarily for buildings and infantry. So...
     
  16. Lazybum

    Lazybum :D Staff Member Moderator

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    Oh right, no one really knows what I'm actually doing, though I did think I was somewhat consistent with previous ideas in this thread. I should post some pics, but I think I'll be busy playing kf2 for awhile.

    Any case, there is a few major things that I should point out. One is there nothing stopping someone from using armors in other trees, it honestly wouldn't take much time to get a different armor if I did make specific variations of the armors for each tree. On that front I can't really mess with chassis having more or less plates/hull health for a similar reason. So I can't really do much in making these tanks squishy.

    Other major thing is that this quote is totally relevant.
    For a further idea of what is being done, there isn't any unique type weapons I'm adding, just a bunch of variations of the same weapons. So he cannon is all trees, but has slightly different stats. There's some significance in these stats mind you, it isn't just tiny changes for no reason. So on the idea of you shouldn't use an anti-inf weapon against tanks isn't entirely wrong, I do want to give you the idea that it's still functional compared to everything else. Like say he cannon isn't optimal against tanks, but it still gets the job done.

    Ah, I should mention that there's quite a few reasons you'd get anti inf tree instead of other trees. 2 of them have costs again, so that's kind of a big thing to consider when anti inf is free. The other is that the anti-tank tree I have which is also free is kinda bad against buildings and infantry, though probably more so against buildings. Not to mention this tree isn't so nice on heavy tanks( though I do have a fun solution to this problem). So yes, there is reason to get the anti inf tree, and why I'm asking for help on making it not the default "always get this if you don't want to lose/think." tree.

    About other stuff you said, I can make shells a bit slower and increase gravity to make them drop faster. I can't use gravity on missiles though, and missiles are kinda slow enough as is... I mean if nukes can be seen and actually run from what good is a missile that still has a relatively small explosion radius against infantry?

    I think I might increase gravity for cannons like you said, but decrease number of mls in a clip for missile launchers and possibly increase heat for both. I think this might make for a enough negatives that not everyone will default to anti inf tree. Right? Or not enough?
     
  17. Ikalx

    Ikalx Member

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    With the missiles, can you make it a spreadfire situation? Where they randomly spawn with bad accuracy, do decent damage against infantry and have a decent clip.

    So, you do have a weapon, but it's not entirely predictable. I'm not talking totally wild, though, but with anything from a 10-45 degree spread maybe? And you could make it a 4 or 5 shot salvo, so it's basically a barrage.

    Just a thought.
     
  18. Lazybum

    Lazybum :D Staff Member Moderator

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    Dear me from a year ago, please say what you were actually thinking instead of "I have an idea". That really doesn't help me out when I can't remember what the hell the solution was.

    Signed your greatest nemesis, Future Lazybum.
     
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  19. Neoony

    Neoony Member

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    Bad past Lazybum, BAD!!
    :P
     
  20. blizzerd

    blizzerd Member

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    I once did a tree that had 3 basic fields that had small differences, each option had 3 choices that were different in their application but all gave med tanks of varying strengths except one or two who gave either very strong lights or weaker heavies and thn there were 3 final options that each contained wildly different game ender technologies like artillery or a tank hunter cannon and stuff.

    shit was awesome but like a week after i had a testable prototype the devs at the time changed stuff so all my balancing was wacked again and i gave up.

    I still believe something like this is best.
     

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