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Cosmic War

Cosmic War discussion

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Cosmic War discussion

Unread postby icycalm » 31 Jan 2015 10:58

I renamed the other thread to Galactic War discussion, and I made this to discuss the "Cosmic" layer lol. I know I said I wouldn't do it until after the first GW was done, but if we keep it to another thread it can't harm to throw a few ideas around now.

Basically, I want to turn this layer into something meaningful, as opposed to a mere number of galaxies owned on a scoreboard. I want the universe to become slowly mapped out, and populated with fully mapped out systems and galaxies, and I want each faction/clan to carve out its own domain there.

The question is whether the stronger clans would grab all the space, and push the weaker ones out of the game.

PlanetSide solved this problem by effectively resetting the war whenever a faction became too strong. But PlanetSide had a finite space, so they HAD to do something like that. We have an effectively infinite universe, so we don't have this problem. The weaker clans can simply keep expanding in the opposite direction from that which the stronger ones are pushing them.

But why would anyone ever choose to fight anyone else, in this format?

More or less for the same reason someone would fight someone else in the real world as opposed to going off to live in a forest alone: because it's more fun to take a system from The Realm as opposed to an empty one. And you WOULD be able to take one, even if your clan is much weaker, if The Realm has extended itself across 100 galaxies, and is fighting on 5 fronts with 5 other clans to maintain them.

So I want to create a format which will allow each clan to grab a part of the cosmos proportional with its power, so that you could tell which clan is stronger by simply comparing their "surface areas" so to speak, in a manner similar to our planet's nations (with exceptions like Canada which contain lots of land that no one wants to have, or useless African nations, etc.)

The question is how to create a format that encourages this to happen.
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Unread postby icycalm » 31 Jan 2015 11:03

If holding a galaxy gave bonus commanders per turn, you would gain more from taking a galaxy from another clan than taking an empty one, because in the former case not only would you be gaining an extra commander, but also denying one from the other clan. And these extra commanders could be leveraged across the universe in multiple galactic fronts, so that holding galaxies would become extremely lucrative, and everyone would want them.

Ultimately, in the hypothetical scenario where all the clans joined in, the bigger clans would become "Evil Empires", and the smaller ones would create shifting alliances to grab galaxies from them, exactly as in Star Wars and similar science fiction, which is what we are trying to create in the first place.
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Unread postby icycalm » 31 Jan 2015 11:06

Also, the "Evil Empires" would eventually end up in the center of the universe, since they will have pushed out all the smaller factions to their periphery, so the stronger factions would end up having to always attack the weaker ones to gain extra space, which would work out nicely.
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Unread postby icycalm » 01 Feb 2015 15:35

What happens after the first galactic war is over? Well, let's say that Legonis Machina has won the galaxy. This means that the other three factions are fleeing from it. Where do they go?

Well, we are on a hex grid, so there are 6 possible hexes to go to. The three losing factions will have to pick one, with the same encryption technique as they pick their moves in the galactic map. Maybe they will all go to the same hex. Maybe each will go to a different one. Or maybe 2 will go to the same, and one will go somewhere alone.

The point is that they all start heading somewhere, and once Legonis Machina sees the direction in which they are heading, they can choose which one (or which ONES, if 2 or more of them head in the same direction) they want to pursue.

And they will WANT to pursue someone, because you cannot win a galaxy for your faction if it is unoccupied. You must fight at least one other faction to win it over. So we will definitely have fights in the second Cosmic Turn. The question is if it will be a 2-way or 3-way or 4-way fight.

This introduces an extra element of strategy, since the LM leader will be able to choose his opponent(s). Maybe he has determined, from previous experience, that The Foundation is his weakest opponent, so when he sees them going in one direction, he can choose to chase them and win another galaxy easily.

The good thing about this is that, once there are 7 or 8 factions in play or whatever, we'll have a very chaotic situation with multiple galactic wars going on simultaneously, and factions chasing each other down across galaxies, or invading galaxies in the middle of ongoing galactic wars and upsetting everything, so that no one can calculate with any certainty what the next best turn-based move will be.

The disadvantage is that, until there are a bunch of factions playing, we will have some factions alone in a neutral hex not being able to do anything until a nearby galactic war is resolved and they can move again.

But we will make the initial galaxies small, so that factions that are waiting do not have to wait long, and the result will be much more believable than somehow having ALL factions participate in ALL galactic wars. This doesn't make sense, and the more factions join, the less sense it will make. Imagine having 10 factions moving around the cosmic map all together, all at the same time. It would destroy all the strategy at that level.

So that's how I see the cosmic game playing out for now. If you combine this with the homeworlds concept, that I discuss in its own thread, you have a pretty enjoyable cosmic game, with factions carving out their cosmic empires and painting their colors all over the map, so that you can judge the strength of each faction by just taking a look at the map, instead of some lifeless leaderboard, which is how it should be. Let the stronger factions create huge empires for themselves, and let the weaker ones being forever pushed back, and play the part of the "rebels", harassing the plans of the mighty empire by making little forays and invasions of the systems and galaxies on their borderlands.

We could even integrate teams of unaffiliated players as the "barbarians" of Civ. Just drop them into a part of the map, and let them cause some havoc now and then.

We can definitely keep adding rules to the turn-based game slowly, as we go, one at a time, testing them out to make sure they add to the richness of the experience. And if they don't work we modify them or take them out without having to reset anything.

The key will be getting more players. I think the more players we get, the more room we will have for implementing interesting turn-based mechanics.
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Unread postby jeffrobot494 » 01 Feb 2015 21:35

icycalm wrote:And they will WANT to pursue someone, because you cannot win a galaxy for your faction if it is unoccupied.


I don't understand why we have this rule. It doesn't make sense to me. Why not give control of a galaxy to a faction if they are the first to enter it? Or, there could be some random AI commanders in the galaxy that they have to clean up.

If you're worried about everyone just spreading out in all directions claiming galaxies and never fighting each other, we could limit the size of the cosmos. Maybe just 10 or 20 galaxies (or 50, I don't know).
Last edited by jeffrobot494 on 01 Feb 2015 21:38, edited 1 time in total.
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Unread postby jeffrobot494 » 01 Feb 2015 21:37

icycalm wrote:The good thing about this is that, once there are 7 or 8 factions in play or whatever, we'll have a very chaotic situation with multiple galactic wars going on simultaneously, and factions chasing each other down across galaxies, or invading galaxies in the middle of ongoing galactic wars and upsetting everything, so that no one can calculate with any certainty what the next best turn-based move will be.


This sounds really cool. It will be satisfying just looking at the Cosmic Map and imagining all the battles taking place.
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Unread postby icycalm » 01 Feb 2015 22:04

jeffrobot494 wrote:If you're worried about everyone just spreading out in all directions claiming galaxies and never fighting each other, we could limit the size of the cosmos. Maybe just 10 or 20 galaxies (or 50, I don't know).


Of course this is what I am worried about. No other move would make strategic sense if we allowed that, even if we limited the size of the universe. Leaders would even break their groups up to single-commander groups and send them off in all directions. It'd be retarded. All that would happen if we limited the size of the universe is that the fighting would start 2 months after we began the game, instead of never (if we left the universe unlimited in size).

So, unlimited universe (which is way more immersive), and a galaxy can only be occupied if at least one battle takes place in it.

The lore justification is that the commanders are chasing each other down. They are primarily interested in wiping out all enemy factions, not in occupying empty galactic systems.

If anyone can come up with a better solution, I am listening.
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Unread postby icycalm » 01 Feb 2015 22:08

jeffrobot494 wrote:Or, there could be some random AI commanders in the galaxy that they have to clean up.


Nothing would change with this. Occupying neutral galaxies would still be the best strategic move. And it would flood our Twitch stream with boring AI matches for months.

We want to use AIs in such a way as to SOLVE problems for us, not to create new problems.
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Unread postby gmase » 01 Feb 2015 23:23

Why don't we make the turns and the comms global to the whole universe?

Rules could be like this:

Each faction is given 1 comm every 2 turns + additional comms they get for controling galaxies. These comms don't appear instantly in a galaxy, they are stored in a poll (lore: they remain in the faction mothership in deep space). The leader can send these comms to any galaxy but it takes 2 turns to get there and a third (rounding up) of the comms sent are lost due to cosmic adversities. (This way we prevent extreme expansionism.)

For example:

It all start with the discovery of a galaxy, the only place leaders can move their comms.

They have 5 comms and they send them all to the galaxy. They lose 2 in the way there (1/3 rounding up).

They fight for that galaxy and obtain comms to be used only in the same galaxy by controling key system.

No commander can leave or enter the galaxy in war until one faction have cleared it.

Meanwhile each faction is generating comms in their motherships every 2 turns to be used in following galaxies.

When one faction is defeated in that first galaxy they can decide to move commanders from their mothership to a second galaxy losing 1/3 of them and taking 2 turns. The other factions are still fighting in the first galaxy so the defeated faction has a time advantage to control the second one.

New galaxies will be discovered according to a schedule so leaders can plan their cosmic strategy.

What do you think about? I know there are some rules missing but do you like the idea of the comms in the mothership and the global turns for the whole universe?
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Unread postby icycalm » 02 Feb 2015 02:01

I don't understand the "losing 1/3rd of comms rule". Why add more calculations? Just give them fewer commanders to start with.

Also, I don't want gaining bonus commanders to be a standard thing. Ideally, I would not like anyone to gain commanders ever, except when they gain players. Gaining commanders was introduced because without it the galactic wars would have very little strategy in them. It's the same with AIs. jeff loves AIs and you love bonus commanders, but I HATE both ideas. The only reason I am using them in a limited fashion is because I NEED to.

And the turns could become global by saying, for example, that 1CT=5GTs. The problem with it is that, if comms can move into galaxies while galactic wars are being fought, it will make calculations very complicated once there are 10 factions and 200 players. It would be easier to pause on the cosmic level when we have galactic wars going on, as we pause on the galactic level while we have system wars going on. Someone on the PA forums (I think it was Maldor) even suggested that 10 minutes in-game = 1 turn. So that if a fight lasted 60 minutes, other commanders in the galaxy could move 6 turns in it. But what would happen if a commander moved to the system that a PA battle is ongoing? There is no mechanic for adding a commander in PA during a battle. So we will have to think about all this.

I think you are adding too many rules without thinking what the result will be in the game. I think we have a nice little set of rules for the first galactic war, that are only going to generate 1 or 2 AI commanders at most. Then we go back to the cosmic map, where there will be no commander generation until someone makes a homeworld, so we will be safe for some time from flooding the game with AIs. I will repeat that AIs and bonus commanders are a THREAT as long as we have few players, so we must approach them very slowly and very carefully.
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Unread postby icycalm » 02 Feb 2015 02:28

gmase wrote:Meanwhile each faction is generating comms in their motherships every 2 turns to be used in following galaxies.


What is to prevent me from not joining any battles and waiting in my mothership to get 20 commanders and then flood a system with AIs?

I will repeat: Commander generation must be kept to the ABSOLUTE MINIMUM. AIs must be kept to the ABSOLUTE MINIMUM. Ideally, each player would be grafted onto his commander and moved around the universe like a chess piece, and when the commander died the player would leave the game FOREVER.

Of course we can't do this, but that is the IDEAL. So we want to approach it as much as it is practically possible. If you keep the ideal in your head at all times, you will not fall into the mistake of suggesting rules that can be used to move in the opposite direction of it.
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