Construct additional pylons! - Page 4

Construct additional pylons!

A dynamic game undergoing constant development and refinement, that attempts to balance playability with fresh and innovative features.

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SirMaverick
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Re: Construct additional pylons!

Post by SirMaverick » 29 Mar 2010, 18:26

luckywaldo7 wrote:Something else about the pylon system, is that its no longer possible to hide fusions in the corners of maps like throne and get huge hidden overdrive boost. I didn't mention that earlier because I consider that to be a Good Thing :regret: .
Ack. It's still possible, but more restricted: you need to hide pylons too and due to the connection it's more likely to be spotted.
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Pxtl
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Re: Construct additional pylons!

Post by Pxtl » 29 Mar 2010, 18:30

... CA needs Energy Makers that prevent E-stall by burning metal, with modes on/off/auto, with an alarm that sounds when the energy-maker is activated.
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Google_Frog
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Re: Construct additional pylons!

Post by Google_Frog » 30 Mar 2010, 00:47

I don't like the idea of cheaper OD pylons as that moves them into a useless micro role. The point of them is so that the front lines cannot be overdriven therefore decreasing the slippery slope of losing a few front line mexes.

If OD in general is underpowered (ie the investment on econ is too long) the equation could be buffed.

THis is the current one:
mex income factor = -1 + sqrt(1 + OD energy * 0.2)

The original implementation of pylons had an energy factor of 0.4 which was a bit too high. A factor of 0.3 could be tested.
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luckywaldo7
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Re: Construct additional pylons!

Post by luckywaldo7 » 30 Mar 2010, 02:12

By "hide" I of course mean underwater, and pylons float.

And I don't want cheaper pylons either, thats why I suggested things like a pylon plop and com morph. Buffed 0.3 is probably worth testing.
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Licho
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Re: Construct additional pylons!

Post by Licho » 30 Mar 2010, 03:38

I think i like the long pay-back but im open to testing.
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Pxtl
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Re: Construct additional pylons!

Post by Pxtl » 30 Mar 2010, 03:58

I like pylon plop, although I'm not sure if I like that much value being risked in the early-game, plus there's the risks involved in giving each player 500 reclaimable metal. Comm as mobile pylon might help discourage commpushing... but CA doesn't have much of a commpushing problem, really.
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Google_Frog
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Re: Construct additional pylons!

Post by Google_Frog » 30 Mar 2010, 05:05

I think pylon plop would force the start strats too much in the econ direction.

Remember in comet how fusion starts are common? Maybe an answer to early teamgame econ is for 2 people to boost a pylon and have the team construct most of their E in it's radius.
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knorke
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Re: Construct additional pylons!

Post by knorke » 30 Mar 2010, 15:03

i still think pylons do no really fit ca.
maybe if pylons replaced nano towers to assist factories that would work. but compared to 1-1-1 eco and flat tech, it doesnt fit together.
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luckywaldo7
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Re: Construct additional pylons!

Post by luckywaldo7 » 30 Mar 2010, 15:44

Well, the thing that bothered me particularly about them was that you needed to first finish the pylon before you could even start investing in energy to get more metal. So you would throw down 500 metal and not really get anything out of it except the ability to spend more.

The more I think about it though I guess its not all that different from say, factories, which you have to invest in so that you are allowed to spend more on new units. Factories are like tech that "unlock" units, so pylons are like tech that unlock the ability to change energy into metal in a certain area. Or like a nuke launcher that you spend thousands of metal on so you can unlock the ability to build nukes.

So I'm more comfortable with them than I was before, although I am still going to have to get used to the inevitability of wasted energy in early/mid game (in 1v1 and probably 2v2 at least).
Licho wrote:I think i like the long pay-back but im open to testing.
Long payback isn't a bad thing but its super-u.p. compared to mexes/reclaim atm. For current formula to stay mexes would need a price increase and reclaim nerfed somehow imo.
Pxtl wrote:I like pylon plop, although I'm not sure if I like that much value being risked in the early-game, plus there's the risks involved in giving each player 500 reclaimable metal. Comm as mobile pylon might help discourage commpushing... but CA doesn't have much of a commpushing problem, really.
Good points, I agree. I suppose I still have the idea that if commander modules are ever implemented, there could be an economic module that makes the com a pylon, which would be more interesting than generically beefing resource income like on midknight's commanders. Don't know if anyone is still interested in modules though.
Google_Frog wrote:Remember in comet how fusion starts are common? Maybe an answer to early teamgame econ is for 2 people to boost a pylon and have the team construct most of their E in it's radius.
I think fusion starts were dropping, I think there was a certain player or two who started going precision bombers every game start for no other reason than to snipe fusions :lol: .

Anyway, I suppose you're right that pylon boosting is quite viable in team games.
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Pxtl
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Re: Construct additional pylons!

Post by Pxtl » 30 Mar 2010, 15:56

That and I haven't seen much strategic gains from Pylons besides more micro and noobtraps, and wouldn't shed a tear if they were axed.

Rather than upping the efficiency of pylons, why not cut the price down to 100 metal and ditch the "transmission" pylons?

Combine this with a cap on how much a single pylon can contribute to mexes (inter-pylon transmission is still uncapped), so that a high-power overdrive means dropping down redundant pylons around the mexes - something like 5E per pylon? Just make them turn red or something if they're maxed out, so players can see where they need to spam out redundant ones. Then it would scale more - no massive 500Cost investment to get some minimal overdrive up and running, but you will, in the end, invest a lot into your pylons as you add more redundant ones to raise the OD limit - and it will cost 700 metal to use up an entire Fusion's-worth of energy - enough to double the efficiency of 2 un-overdriven mexes. Maybe 10 E if the Pylon spam gets too bad, or just shrink the Pylons and make them not chain so you can spam them in blocks of 16 if you want. Less micro since you only have 1 Pylon unit instead of 2, but more micro since you need to lay down more of them.

Thinking it over, I'd like that system much better. More gradual investment, simpler micro, but in late-game it will be functionally the same since getting a lot of OD means having 500+ metal around your mexes. Also, lower cost will encourage using it out in the periphery, resulting in more intermediate pylon-chains and give more of that "supply line" risk you guys wanted.

Hell, if you wanted you could *keep* the two seperate pylon units so you have a standard pylon and a mega pylon - just with different mex caps (5E for small, 35E for large).

Edit: after running the numbers on Overdrive cost/benefit, I'd go with 10E for small, 70E for large.
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Pxtl
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Re: Construct additional pylons!

Post by Pxtl » 30 Mar 2010, 16:38

Yogzototh wrote:
Pxtl wrote:logarithmic diminishing-returns function.
Ffs, its not logarithmic, its just a fucking square root. And theres a huuge difference between the two. And actually i would prefer if it was logarithmic.
Running the numbers, and they start out very similar, but as you said the sqrt keeps paying off a little in high ends while the log really doesn't... but imho when using values that would produce decent gameplay at the low-level, they come out about the same.

Actually, I did a quick excel spreadsheet. Current eq (where M is the metal multiplier)=
0E => 1M
15E => 2M
40E => 3M
75E => 4M
120E => 5M
175E => 6M
240E => 7M
315E => 8M
400E => 9M
495E => 10M
So the cost for another M goes up by 5 with each interval, starting at 15. So you can keep plonking down megafusions and you still get a decent payout, the diminishing is slow enough that it won't ruin your day.

Alternately, with log2:
1 + LOG2(1+E * 0.1)
0E => 1M
10E => 2M
30E => 3M
70E => 4M
150E => 5M
310E => 6M
630E => 7M
So the cost for another M goes up by double with each interval, starting at 10. So the first bit of OD is a little cheaper, but once you're getting into a super-porcy game it isn't worth putting in multiple MegaFus when you're trapped in your starting 3.

Either way, though, the superweapons start coming in before you see the real difference. Really, 1 fus per mex is probably the realistic upper limit of what you'll see in OD before the ultra-porc-breaking hardware will kill the moribund game, and at those curves the functions look very similar. I mean, you could reduce the doubling time on the log-based function, but then you'd also probably have to amp up the low-end payoff too much.

I guess you could do
1 + LOG2(1+E * 0.2)/2
but then you lose some of the nice round numbers you were getting with the other one. In this case, there's really no point in going above 0.5 fusion per mex.
5E => 1.5M
15E = 2M
35E = 2.5M
75E = 3M
155E = 3.5M
315E = 4M
635E = 4.5M
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ScarySquirrel
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Additional ... what's next?

Post by ScarySquirrel » 14 Apr 2010, 10:19

I just got back to Spring, now that I have a bitchin' computer, after a 6 month absence, so I am new to the whole Pylon war.

One of the reasons I decided to favor CA over BA was its removal of the unnecessary. Unnecessary units, abilities, overlaps, micro, macro, and, in general, unnecessary complexity.
Perfection is achieved, not when there is nothing more to add, but when there is nothing left to take away.
To those I have introduced to Spring, CA's overdrive was a welcome relief from BA's two versions of everything from metal makers to storage. They may not have grasped the overdrive concept in full, but they could at least "get it" and intuit economy with less memorizing and "You have to reclaim it first, THEN build the moho...". Mastery, of course, could come later.

I'm still not sure about whether the pylons make the game more fun, and I've only played about 8 multiplayer games with them. Still, I want to know what the point is. Perhaps the gameplay purpose of the pylons is to give an economic advantage to holding territory for longer?
Is there a way to still meet that goal, even keeping the pylons, that involves less clicking?

Further, more vehemently worded, reading:
http://trac.caspring.org/discussion/1/166
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Google_Frog
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Re: Construct additional pylons!

Post by Google_Frog » 14 Apr 2010, 11:40

Still, I want to know what the point is.
To sum up the point is it mainly to reduce the harsh slippery slope that leads to land grab.

Due to reducing gains of overdrive per mex your first lost mex loses more income than your last lost mex. To clarify if you have 10 mexes and lose 1 you will lose more metal income than if you only had 5 mexes.

There are a couple of reasons pylons where implemented.

1. To reduce the importance of middle mexes. This lessens the slippery slope near the game's equality point.
2. To reduce land grab.
3. To add economic choice.
4. To add a weak point of failure to economy.
5. To add supply lines that can be cut.
6. To open up more area in the middle for combat.

Now not everyone agrees to the same extent with all these reasons. I think Sak is mainly vying for outcome 3 and 2. Licho stated he wants outcome 6 and I don't know about the rest. I don't particularly like outcome 3 as there will often be an optimal build and the rest are reasonable, especially 1. It's also trying to make the game scale for a bit longer. Often you can mex everything, make a fusion and be set for income for the game.

Now a lot of the complaints are about fiddly micro. I find that it takes too much precision to cover 3 mexes with each OD pylon so how about a larger radius? The radius does not have much effect on the function.
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Kenku
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Re: Construct additional pylons!

Post by Kenku » 14 Apr 2010, 17:49

I'd agree with longer radius. If for any other reason, it would fix a couple of issue with irregular metal starts.
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Saktoth
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Re: Construct additional pylons!

Post by Saktoth » 16 Apr 2010, 07:52

I am not married to the 'needs more complexity/descisions' thing. I dont think there is necessarily anything wrong with a combat/unit selection/micro based game.

But choice is not the same as fiddly micro. Getting the perfect timing on your progression from solar to adv solar, or from cons to nanos (or a second factory) to minimize effeciency lost is an important part of the game. Fiddling with your cons to ensure they dont get stuck, babying your nanos to get them working and reclaiming your solars/winds one at a time are all things i do not miss in the slightest from BA.

I think pylons in their current form may offer too much of the latter and not enough of the former.
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Pxtl
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Re: Construct additional pylons!

Post by Pxtl » 16 Apr 2010, 14:56

@Sak, agree. That's why I suggested a simpler, more spammable system - no distinction between transmission or overdrive pylons, but each pylon has a cap on how much E it can spend on overdriving (maybe make it per-mex so that the math is simpler).

Alternately, bring back morphable mexes. That would be the simplest. Forget the whole "pylon" system and let mexes morph into overdrivable mexes. We already have that kind of morphing on the Geos.
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luckywaldo7
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Re: Construct additional pylons!

Post by luckywaldo7 » 16 Apr 2010, 15:17

Spammable pylons means you are going to spend all game building, losing, and rebuilding them like you do for mexes. The point of the expensive overdrive pylons is to make it a valuable investment, and an important target.

Also, morphable mexes, meh. I like how in a lot of games I've been playing, allies have been linking their pylon systems together. Pylons really work well with communism to encourage good teamplay.
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Pxtl
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Re: Construct additional pylons!

Post by Pxtl » 16 Apr 2010, 16:13

luckywaldo7 wrote:Spammable pylons means you are going to spend all game building, losing, and rebuilding them like you do for mexes. The point of the expensive overdrive pylons is to make it a valuable investment, and an important target.

Also, morphable mexes, meh. I like how in a lot of games I've been playing, allies have been linking their pylon systems together. Pylons really work well with communism to encourage good teamplay.
You's still have large investments - it would just be reached gradually. By capping the output per-pylon, you have to lay down a lot of them to heavily overdrive your home mexes. Part of the problem is that in the early game there is no way to avoid energy waste. By allowing players to get into the overdrive game gradually (but still reaching even larger investments than the current pylon system) you let players spam a little to much E and avoid the constant struggle between E-waste vs. E-stall.
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SirMaverick
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Re: Construct additional pylons!

Post by SirMaverick » 16 Apr 2010, 17:10

luckywaldo7 wrote:Also, morphable mexes, meh. I like how in a lot of games I've been playing, allies have been linking their pylon systems together. Pylons really work well with communism to encourage good teamplay.
Pxtl wrote:Part of the problem is that in the early game there is no way to avoid energy waste. By allowing players to get into the overdrive game gradually (but still reaching even larger investments than the current pylon system) you let players spam a little to much E and avoid the constant struggle between E-waste vs. E-stall.
How about minimal overdrive for not linked mexes, but capped at 10% or so. You still get a bit overdrive and have advantage of building pylons (more overdrive...).
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Google_Frog
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Re: Construct additional pylons!

Post by Google_Frog » 16 Apr 2010, 17:36

I don't like moho morph because:

1. I don't like morphs in general, free BP.

2. Upgrading each mex sounds like more fiddly micro than pylons. Lower cost means more of the game is spent rebuilding them when they die.
A single high cost structure takes less clicks to build and will need rebuilding much less frequently than mohos.

3. Less choice as the investment is a slow progression. With small steps in economy there is no large choice. OD was originally meant to automate the mostly choiceless progression of moho upgrading.

I think the hardest bit about pylons in fitting 3 mexes within the pylon radius. Currently fitting 3 mexes inside a radius requires a few dozen seconds to place the pylon just right, sometimes a few mexes need reclaiming and in the worst case you've got a to tell an ally to reclaim some mexes. Pylons are coded to have a maximum of 3 mexes attached to each, I think we should just try a largish radius increase.

Oh and 500 storage also makes the economy harder, it was a silly change.
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