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Developers, please read this suggestion: Automated Refuel (Only) toogle option

 
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Developers, please read this suggestion: Automated Refu... - 4/6/2010 6:00:32 PM   
Interesting

 

Posts: 119
Joined: 4/4/2010
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SUGGESTION: REFUEL AUTOMATION.

You will say, "but the AI already automates refuel, here, just click this button", at wich point I will repply, yes, but the "automation" is not just for fuel, there is a package of automation activities, including missions.
So this suggestion, comes with the intention of separating refuel automations from the other automations:
A refuel only automation option.

Playing in full manual, the only thing that I cant still get over it is having to manual refuel each one of my ships every "the very limit time frame that take them to use all the fuel".
"Oh, here is a tip: use energy collectors on your ships then, its the current style!" I use energy collectors, but this forces me to stand my ships still, preventing me from manually assigning them missions all the time without the hassle of having to refuel them again and again. This problem gets exponentially worse, depending on the ammount of ships one player has. In other words, if I want to actually give them missions manually, then they will end up "fueless" anyway and I will end up having to micromanage "this manual activity that doesnt actually require human brain activity". One could even try to make an argument that deciding when and where to refuel does require some human brain activity, to wich I would repply that 99% of the time its more of a boring hassle that detracts from what the player actually wants to spend his time and attention on, than anything else.

Now Im going to explain the side effects of "automating ships" for the sake of automated refuelling through the views of a "manual player":
If I automate the ships, just so I can have automatic refuel, guess what? I get a full package of other AI automations, functions I dont want.

Construction ships, once automated will refuel, great! But they will also decide to build gas miners far away from my defenses and when I need a constructor to build something manually, where is he? Occupied far away, building a gas station that I dont need or want for various situational or "play stylistic" reasons!

Explorers ships, once automated will refuel, great! But they will also decide where to explore, and since the AI doesnt have a crystal ball, it doesnt know where I want to explore, when and why. If I want to explore in an specific direction only, or only explore nebulas, or inside an another races boarders or far away from them, etc. Thats why I set my explorer to manual, to control them, but guess what, this way I have to deal with refueling too, wich is a major hinderance, I dont want to have to keep pausing the game and checking each one of my explorers all the time to see if they need me to manually tell them to refuel (this is what I call "baby sitting", I think at the year 2760, they should be able to do that by themselfs without the commander telling them to, automatically). And to get the automated refuelling effect, I inside into the undesired above mentioned effects of "AI mission automation".

Military Ships is the same thing. There are so many side effects I dont know where to start describing why Military Ships automation "just for the refuel" is a problem... No, I dont want to manually-individually tell each of my military ships to escort/protect a PRIVATE ship (freighters, passengers, miners). Then you say "Oh, but thats when you automate your military ship then!", to wich I repply, "But for Private ships I use my "freedom of design" and design them in a way that they can take care of themselfs without "baby sitting". And Let me tell you, that my custom designs for Private ships are very effective at taking care of themselfs". So what side effect do I get this time? If I let my ships automated so they can refuel themselfs (and spare me the pain), the AI assign them missions! Unecessary escort missions. Unecessary patrol missions. Missions that I judge unecessary, or in inadequate places, with inadequate targets and so on. The point Im trying to make is that AI Military Ships automation is an insult to players inteligence (dont mean to offend, just stating a fact through an effect sentence).

AI Military Ships automation creates a chaotic mess of ships scathered around, doing all sorts of unecessary/unprioritized missions. "Everything stops now!" I say "Let me handle this" and then I turn Military Ships automation for once and for all. No more "Oh, where did you go Frigate 007?" "Oh, I see, I automated you so you could refuel by yourself, but the AI sent you far away..." and other unexplainable "AI phenomn".

So its like this: I assembly a fleet, let them inside a star system and tell them to stop. Once they get full energy, tell them to refuel, they go and refuel using the energy on the reserves for engine/thrusters/etc, once they are refueled, you have to tell them to stop again, or else start using all energy reserves and then the fuel they just "refuel'd". That way, you can have that fleet "READY". Wich is the current best solution for "manual players". There is an obvious side effect to it, your ships have to stand still all the time.

If you want to manually give them missions like: "Protect this construction ship! Its going to build a mine station in the Planet Viance03 that has a high priority luxury!" or "Patrol this system, because another race is just about to set its foot here!", or another specific mission, me, as the player, defined its important for the current situation, strategy or it fits my play style. Stuff I thought many steps ahead.

So, if you want to actually use your military ships, giving missions to them manually (aka, playing the game by yourself), you also get the side effect of having to refuel every single ship manually.

Im one of those that refuse to automate stuff, because automation is not deep and complex enough as my intectual capacity to fine tune everything, I might not get the most effective results, but I still get to exercise my freedom, experiment, suffer consequences and so on... If I automate stuff and they lose efficiency (like I said, construction ships, explorers, military ships automated do everything I wouldnt want them to do and I cant specifically control each facet of automation), then whats the point of actually playing the game? To me the whole point of the game is using my brain and thinking, automation is important when it is not for choices/decisions (thinking), but boring tasks such as retrofitting, mass upgrading (those two gloriously fixed in the next patch, thanks again) and refueling (hopefully it gets noticed by my post), wich is becoming the most annoying thing for "Manual players".

I like to play manual, not because I like doing boring and repetitve stuff. I like to play manual because I like to use my "human factor", what makes me different from artificial inteligence. Right clicking a hundred ships and telling them to refuel everytime they get out of fuel is not the type of "manual" activity Im looking for in this game.

That is why Im propose a specific "refuel automation".

Allowing the player to select a ship and toggling on and off a "automatic refuel" option. Separated from the other "automated functions" (THE ONES I DONT WANT/NEED, because I want to manually set their my missions I choose, using my brain).

Specific Feature Suggestion:
This automatic refuel option, could then have sub options:
"refuel after mission" some kind of queue, to prevent my ships stopping their missions to go refuel, ignoring the my mission, that I dont want as well.
"after refuel, come back here" (if stationed waiting for another manual mission) or
"after refuel, resume current patrol" (if they are doing a patrol and run out of fuel, I want them to refuel and keep doing what I told them to do, otherwise I would have to manually set the same patrol every few minutes, I dont want that too) so prevent the automatic refuel thing to disrupt

I think manual players and those who like epic games with "1400 galaxies and 50.000 planets" will be very thankfull of that, you give them time to do what they want, like originally intended, right?

Thank for reading, I will be accepting feedback on this suggestion. Help me make it better. A further suggestion would be able to toggle by ship, based on role, all the individual automated functions:
(Check this if you want to this ship to automatically repair. Check this if you want this ship to automatically refuel. Check this if you want the AI to assign this ship escort missions. Check if you want the AI to assign build missions. And so on, but I guess this would be too much to ask.)


< Message edited by Interesting -- 4/6/2010 6:06:24 PM >
Post #: 1
RE: Developers, please read this suggestion: Automated ... - 4/6/2010 6:05:33 PM   
ASHBERY76


Posts: 1843
Joined: 10/10/2001
From: England
Status: offline
The refuel on the fleet screen is nice but does not stop the amount of clicks you are doing when you are manaully controlling fleets.An auto refuel which has been asked for a lot is the only solution.

(in reply to Interesting)
Post #: 2
RE: Developers, please read this suggestion: Automated ... - 4/6/2010 6:43:53 PM   
Wade1000


Posts: 771
Joined: 10/27/2009
From: California, USA
Status: offline
I agree!

Explanation summary:
quote:

ORIGINAL: Interesting
Im one of those that refuse to automate stuff, because automation is not deep and complex enough as my intectual capacity to fine tune everything, I might not get the most effective results, but I still get to exercise my freedom, experiment, suffer consequences and so on... If I automate stuff and they lose efficiency (like I said, construction ships, explorers, military ships automated do everything I wouldnt want them to do and I cant specifically control each facet of automation), then whats the point of actually playing the game? To me the whole point of the game is using my brain and thinking, automation is important when it is not for choices/decisions (thinking), but boring tasks such as retrofitting, mass upgrading (those two gloriously fixed in the next patch, thanks again) and refueling (hopefully it gets noticed by my post), wich is becoming the most annoying thing for "Manual players".


Problem summary:
quote:

ORIGINAL: Interesting
I like to play manual, not because I like doing boring and repetitve stuff. I like to play manual because I like to use my "human factor", what makes me different from artificial inteligence. Right clicking a hundred ships and telling them to refuel everytime they get out of fuel is not the type of "manual" activity Im looking for in this game.


Solution:
quote:

ORIGINAL: Interesting
That is why Im propose a specific "refuel automation".

Allowing the player to select a ship and toggling on and off a "automatic refuel" option. Separated from the other "automated functions" (THE ONES I DONT WANT/NEED, because I want to manually set their my missions I choose, using my brain).

Specific Feature Suggestion:
This automatic refuel option, could then have sub options:
"refuel after mission" some kind of queue, to prevent my ships stopping their missions to go refuel, ignoring the my mission, that I dont want as well.
"after refuel, come back here" (if stationed waiting for another manual mission) or
"after refuel, resume current patrol" (if they are doing a patrol and run out of fuel, I want them to refuel and keep doing what I told them to do, otherwise I would have to manually set the same patrol every few minutes, I dont want that too) so prevent the automatic refuel thing to disrupt

I think manual players and those who like epic games with "1400 galaxies and 50.000 planets" will be very thankfull of that, you give them time to do what they want, like originally intended, right?

Thank for reading, I will be accepting feedback on this suggestion. Help me make it better. A further suggestion would be able to toggle by ship, based on role, all the individual automated functions:
(Check this if you want to this ship to automatically repair. Check this if you want this ship to automatically refuel. Check this if you want the AI to assign this ship escort missions. Check if you want the AI to assign build missions. And so on, but I guess this would be too much to ask.)


< Message edited by Wade1000 -- 4/6/2010 6:44:42 PM >


_____________________________

Wish list:population centers beyond planetary(http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Culture):Ships,Ring Orbitals,Sphere Orbitals,Ringworlds,Sphereworlds;ability to create & destroy planets,population centers,stars;AI competently using all advances & features.

(in reply to ASHBERY76)
Post #: 3
RE: Developers, please read this suggestion: Automated ... - 4/6/2010 9:04:02 PM   
marc420

 

Posts: 219
Joined: 9/23/2002
From: Terrapin Station
Status: offline
As a general rule, I'd expect the commander of ship or of a fleet to make sure his ship(s) never run out of fuel.  When they reach a 'point of no return' on fuel, they should always head towards the nearest refueling point automatically.

You see this in naval history all the time.  A ship or task force may have a mission.  But when the fuel tanks say 'break off', the commander 'breaks off'.  If nothing else, the ships are too valuable to risk losing by running out of fuel while at sea.  Doing so makes the ship strategically useless to the navy, so the captains don't do it.  The Bismark might be just over the horizon, but when the ships only have enough fuel to make it back to base, then the ships turn around and head for base.

If you want, maybe the game should have some sort of override where the supreme command can give an order to complete a mission and run out of fuel.  But that's akin to a suicide mission in most cases.  Or at the least a risky hail-mary type of strategy where the troops/ships are told to go ahead and that supply is (supposedly) following them.  Either way. It should be a big deal to give such an order.  And maybe only some races or government types can give such a order. If the HiveMind wants to order the death of its own soldiers, then there's no objection, except maybe a flunky asking is this really wise.  But in a democracy, maybe the troops just tell you no way and you can't order such a suicide mission.

If the ships had individual captains and morale, it would be fun to see ships that are given such an order instead just dessert and become pirates.  They weren't about just to go sit and die running out of fuel and energy just because some damn admiral ordered it.  So, instead they choose to survive and break off their mission and instead turn pirate.

Of course, all of this is only after the game gets a UI that can accurately tell the player how this proposed move order is affected by fuel status.  I'd love to know details like how much fuel will this order consume, and how much will be left afterwards.  Some sort of control as to whether I go there at Max speed or Cruise speed would be nice to, along with showing me the fuel implications of each choice.  But what I really absolutely have to know is does this proposed order put the ships into a position where it can't get to a refueling point if it follows this order.

But generally, a ship or fleet should always head to the nearest refueling point when the status of its fuel tanks says 'leave now or don't go'.  And to help the player, when the ship or fleet is refueled, it should return to its previous station/mission/assignment.  Don't have them just cluster around refueling points asking for new orders. 

And ... please think about working tanker ships in the game.  They are desperately needed.  If I have a ship with a 'tanker' role, then other ships should see that ship as a potential refueling point.  Thus, if you put a tanker in with a fleet, the fleet may stop and refuel when hits the 'bingo' fuel point, but then keep going.  Or if I put a tanker into space behind my fleet, when it breaks off for refueling at 'bingo' fuel, the fleet only falls back as far as the tanker(s), refuels, then returns to its mission.



_____________________________

Guard against the impostures of pretended patriotism. ~George Washington

(in reply to Wade1000)
Post #: 4
RE: Developers, please read this suggestion: Automated ... - 4/6/2010 9:15:02 PM   
marc420

 

Posts: 219
Joined: 9/23/2002
From: Terrapin Station
Status: offline
BTW, I think some of the 'fuel' problems might also have to do with path-finding.

I'm playing a game where my homeworld is a moon of a gas giant. (very cool). One of my other colonizeable planets is another moon of the same gas giant. So, I made a cheap colonizer with only one engine and one fuel cell and sent it on its way.

The ship doesn't seem to be ever able to reach the moon. The problem seems to be that it can't anticipate the moon's future positions. It was a simple little move to just move from one moon's orbit to another's then just wait for it to come by... but the pathfinding AI instead has the ship continuously in the wrong place and going in the wrong direction. Now the ship is out of fuel, even though the 60 fuel on board was enough to send a sister ship across the solar system to a different world.

If I hadn't been paying attention, I might have thought there was something wrong with the 'fuel' issues in that a ship can't fly to another moon of the same gas giant without running out of gas. But instead, it was some idiot midshipman on an academy internship who can't do simple navigation.

_____________________________

Guard against the impostures of pretended patriotism. ~George Washington

(in reply to marc420)
Post #: 5
RE: Developers, please read this suggestion: Automated ... - 4/6/2010 9:18:00 PM   
freeboy

 

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Joined: 5/16/2004
From: Colorado
Status: offline
It would be nice to retain control and set refuel here type otions.. I thingk the refuling issue is going to be addressed as it really intrupts game play for a rutine issue

(in reply to marc420)
Post #: 6
RE: Developers, please read this suggestion: Automated ... - 4/6/2010 9:41:03 PM   
marc420

 

Posts: 219
Joined: 9/23/2002
From: Terrapin Station
Status: offline

quote:

ORIGINAL: freeboy

It would be nice to retain control and set refuel here type otions.. I thingk the refuling issue is going to be addressed as it really intrupts game play for a rutine issue


You're definitely right about that. I like to manually control my fleets. Don't really have much interest in playing the game just watching automatic fleets fly around. And right now, the 'fuel' issues in the game make it nearly unplayable. As a player, you spent most of your time working fuel issues because otherwise you're left with stranded ships all over the place. And the game doesn't seem to give the player either the tools and commands to make this work, and such limited information and help through the UI to let them do it right.

_____________________________

Guard against the impostures of pretended patriotism. ~George Washington

(in reply to freeboy)
Post #: 7
RE: Developers, please read this suggestion: Automated ... - 4/6/2010 9:57:58 PM   
marc420

 

Posts: 219
Joined: 9/23/2002
From: Terrapin Station
Status: offline
One other idea that's needed is an order to a fleet to maintain readiness.

Lets say I have a fleet that doesn't need to be killing anyone right now.  So, I send them back to a base to refuel.  Now, since the planets and stuff move (very cool), if I want the fleet to stay near the base, I tell it to patrol the base.  But, when I give it this order, I later go back to use the fleet and find it half out of fuel again, because its been burning fuel 'patrolling'.  If you could give a fleet an order to 'maintain readiness' at a base, the captains of the ships keep the tanks topped up and the fleet in condition to be sent on an operation at short notice.

I can give the ships 'no mission', and they burn less fuel, although still some.  But they also tend to just sit in space and I've seen pirates attacking the gas station they were supposed to be guarding and these ships sitting just far enough away that they don't respond with their 'no mission' orders. 

So, what I'm looking for is a way to park a fleet at a base where there is fuel and telling them to stay with the base, guard it against attack, but otherwise keep their ships fueled up and ready for action when I need them.  That's the 'strategy' function I want without the micromanagement of having to go back and regularly tell the ships to 'refuel' themselves.


_____________________________

Guard against the impostures of pretended patriotism. ~George Washington

(in reply to marc420)
Post #: 8
RE: Developers, please read this suggestion: Automated ... - 4/6/2010 10:01:24 PM   
thiosk


Posts: 150
Joined: 2/2/2010
Status: offline
Theres a lot of text on this post. I recommend when creating posts like this:

Specific Feature Suggestion:

This automatic refuel option, could then have sub options:

"refuel after mission" some kind of queue, to prevent my ships stopping their missions to go refuel, ignoring the my mission, that I dont want as well.
"after refuel, come back here" (if stationed waiting for another manual mission) or
"after refuel, resume current patrol" (if they are doing a patrol and run out of fuel, I want them to refuel and keep doing what I told them to do, otherwise I would have to manually set the same patrol every few minutes, I dont want that too) so prevent the automatic refuel thing to disrupt

quote:

ORIGINAL: marc420

One other idea that's needed is an order to a fleet to maintain readiness.


This would be key in addressing this problem.


I've also considered mothballing

No wars? Big fleet? mothball it at a big shipyard. Takes several minutes to bring the crafts back to readiness, a surprise attack at the port could be brutal, but the ships would burn no fuel and continuously refit to current technological standards.

Hell, even require a special drydock for doing such processes, and tuck it in a nice asteroid belt or somewhere.

< Message edited by thiosk -- 4/6/2010 10:04:35 PM >

(in reply to marc420)
Post #: 9
RE: Developers, please read this suggestion: Automated ... - 4/8/2010 12:56:26 AM   
Interesting

 

Posts: 119
Joined: 4/4/2010
Status: offline

quote:

ORIGINAL: marc420


quote:

ORIGINAL: freeboy

It would be nice to retain control and set refuel here type otions.. I thingk the refuling issue is going to be addressed as it really intrupts game play for a rutine issue


You're definitely right about that. I like to manually control my fleets. Don't really have much interest in playing the game just watching automatic fleets fly around. And right now, the 'fuel' issues in the game make it nearly unplayable. As a player, you spent most of your time working fuel issues because otherwise you're left with stranded ships all over the place. And the game doesn't seem to give the player either the tools and commands to make this work, and such limited information and help through the UI to let them do it right.


True.
Its a problem for "manual players" and the game doesnt give us the tools.

(in reply to marc420)
Post #: 10
RE: Developers, please read this suggestion: Automated ... - 4/11/2010 11:15:48 PM   
Interesting

 

Posts: 119
Joined: 4/4/2010
Status: offline
Aaaaand Bump.

(in reply to Interesting)
Post #: 11
RE: Developers, please read this suggestion: Automated ... - 4/13/2010 10:04:29 PM   
Erik Rutins

 

Posts: 32556
Joined: 3/28/2000
From: Vermont, USA
Status: offline
We do share the goal of reducing needless micro-management while allowing manual control, but suggestions like these should also go in the wish list to make sure we have them for future reference.

The auto-refueling for manual mode ships in the next update will hopefully help quite a bit.

_____________________________

Erik Rutins
Director of Product Development


For official support, please use our Help Desk: http://www.matrixgames.com/helpdesk/

Freedom is not Free.

(in reply to Interesting)
Post #: 12
RE: Developers, please read this suggestion: Automated ... - 4/13/2010 11:57:44 PM   
Interesting

 

Posts: 119
Joined: 4/4/2010
Status: offline
Thank you, Erik.

(in reply to Erik Rutins)
Post #: 13
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