-editing the novel to lead with the punch line - it is not just me thinking there is or should be a hybrid auto/manual retrofit - the game itself shows me this working perfectly fine in one area, but then does the opposite in another. So if it is my assumption, is is based on seeing actual game mechanic of how Automatic setting for Retrofit is applied in one area, but not in another.
Details and reasons below but that is the punchline to my novel length reply - this is bad game design, bad coding to support intended design that is not working as intended, or just bad labels because the flag settings for Automatic and Manual are used in various places with consistency in some areas but inconsistency in others.
That's kinda my point - some of what you've suggested here, which seem imminently reasonable - just doesn't work in practice with current game meta - OR as I freely admit perhaps some setting i am not doing right.
1. I agree the retrofit reminder is good, and I certainly don't WANT to press it to do a mass refit all at once. My point though is i can't get game to retrofit some, it's either all auto mass retrofit, or all manual (which gets tedious and just does not scale as empire grows
2. Construction ships - Whether I pick a design or just use the default mechanic of 'if all same class of objects picked and refit button clicked, then latest design of that class used without having to pick from design dropdown' , construction ships notoriously (in my games) do not obey any multi-select or even single ship selected retrofit order given from the easier to use ships list screen.
If I pick 5 construction ships by ctrl or shift clicking on their names in ships list, then click retrofit - the retrofit selected items popup window comes up as expected - now in that window as you said, I can just click on the single retrofit select items to new design button. For all other classes of ships, they obey this command. Without picking a design in the dropdown list, all selected objects/ships will retrofit to whatever is the latest design available.
But for construction ships, it does nada. Just sits there, and on list screen, the status of mission does not change to retrofit, nor does it queue up a retrofit mission after any mission they may be on.
The bug / issue / UI hell is that each construction ship must be manually clicked on, each picture window of the construction ship then clicked on the retrofit button there.
I have tested over and over, and
a) size has nothing to do with it. I have deliberately tried just using AI designed ships that are far under the max base size limit
b) have tried out of paranoia using custom designs that are smaller than even max ship size limit
For some odd reason, I would say 10% of the time or less, every now and then, when I multi or single select construction ships via the ship list screen, one or more will actually obey and I see the mission change to refit. All other times, just ignores.
All other classes of ships, I can do as you say - just select a bunch, then click refit, which opens the refit popup window, then click refit button again with no design select and voila, all upgraded to whatever is latest.
3. Having said the above though, even though all non-constructor ships obey my manual retrofit commands, the point is also that I still need to select a number of times because obviously I don't want to shift select the whole list. So I go by logical retrofit decisions. Some classes at a time, some non-fleet ship types at a time, then some fleets in rear areas, etc.
Once you start scaling to 300+ ships military, this gets to be a non-scalable issue - it can be done, but it is ergonomic hell. If you count the number of clicks and keystrokes to initiate a general chain of retrofit for 300+ ships, much less the 600+ you get at really large empire size, via whatever logical retrofit progression a player wants to follow so that a mass retrofit all at once is not done, it gets to be progressively harder issue is all I'm saying.
4. Last - yes it is an assumption of mine a hybrid system should work. But that was also my point about calling it very poorly labelled and non-intuitive. Step back a moment from your veteran experience and look at it as a new player, like me.
A) I see a big flag that suggests automatic vs manual next to each design name for upgrade and retrofit.
My single biggest supporting point here is THIS - new players learn by being shown an example of game mechanics. If a game uses the EXACT same mechanic in one way over here, but then completely does not support it or do it in another way somewhere else, then this is imo very confusing, poor game design, and just a bad thing in general.
So here is my object lesson of what I ASSUMED, and yes it was an assumption but hey, I just went with with that game showed me -
SHIP DESIGN flag setting - AUTOMATIC or MANUAL
**IF i set this flag to Automatic, then the AI will redesign as it pleases that class of design. Ok great, I've now learned and the game tells me the mechanic of this FLAG setting is Automatic = AI controls it
**IF I set this flat to Manual, then the AI will leave it alone, never design a new version of that design/class, and I can happily tweak it manually to my content. So ok great, I've learned and the game tells me that the mechanic of this FLAG in Manual code is consistent with what I've been shown is the counter-mechanic for Automatic mode. If I set it to Manual for the design flag next to each design type I want, then I get to control when it is redesigned.
SO FAR SO GOOD - but here's the TWIST
**If I set the Retrofit flag next to a design to Automatic - AND - if advisor prompts for retrofits are enabled (but lets leave this aside for the moment) - THEN what I am shown, what I am taught, is that the game mechanic here is also consistent with what I've been shown and taught this FLAG setting of automatic v manual means. So in short, the FLAG setting of Automatic and Manual should always work the SAME wherever it is applied. Do you not agree? Otherwise that is confusing labels and game mechanics if the FLAGs named Automatic and Manual do not work the same when applied as flags to various conditions.
So when I set or keep the Retrofit FLAG to Automatic, then as long as AI control is enabled via advisor prompts, then this design with Automatic flag will be upgraded as long as cash/resources allow. So far so good.
**IF I set Retrofit flag next to a design to Manual - then all game logic, learning, and being shown how this FLAG setting of Manual works breaks down. How does it break down?
a) first, a small issue but lets start here - elsewhere where flag setting of Manual is used, that setting sticks to that design. In the case of retrofit, it does not. So a contradiction already. Flag setting Manual = A over there, Flag setting manual = B game mechanic over here.
If a design upgrade flag is set to Manual, as previously noted, the game leaves it alone from then on. You can upgrade the design, you can rename the design, but it must have some object UID or design numeric to keep track of that design 'template' because regardless of what I name it or rename it, the game knows I have classified that 'class' of design as Manual, do not touch it or redesign - hands off, the player wants to control it. e.g. my cruiser named Apples Mk1 is set to automatic, the computer cheerful redesigns on next generation and replaces my design with Oranges 2 - this is expect. I then set Oranges 2 to Manual, rename it to Apples Mk 2, and from hence forth the computer obeys and never, ever redesigns that class NOR changes my Manual setting back to Automatic
BUT - for Retrofit, this is not so. The computer WILL change my Manual flag setting for that design, back to Automatic, as long Upgrade is still set to Automatic.
e.g. I let the computer design my cruisers for example, so I keep the upgrade flag to Automatic, but I set the Retrofit to Manual. Soon as the computer redesigns a new design, it resets my flag for that class back to Automatic.
This is bad game design. If you teach a player that setting flag of Manual makes it stick over here, but then absolutely do the reverse over here - that is just bad design. If anyone wants to defend why it is not, it will be quite interesting to hear why you think that. Bad design can be very up to interpretation, but in a simple case like here where the exact same game label, the same game setting is used 180 degrees opposite in two situations, is pretty hard to say is interpretation for whether it is bad design or not.
b) the core issue - aside from above, the FLAG settings of Automatic and Manual when used on the upgrade column have taught the player that Automatic = computer control, and Manual = player control. Period. No deviation or room for other interpretation.
So it is confusing, and again bad game design or coding if not intended design, to have that exact same FLAG label name - Automatic and Manual - right next to the column in which the mechanics work one way, to be done in another way in the column right next to it.
If Retrofit column next to a design is set to Automatic - why would a player not expect given what they have been shown and learned is the 'Automatic' flag game mechanic thus far, to not expect that ship designs set to retrofit column flag Automatic would not do so?
You say this is my assumption - and yes it is - but I defend it by saying the game itself tells me that is how the Automatic flag setting is applied elsewhere - so why should it not work the same for Retrofit?
3. Th player is then shown where that SAME flag label name DOES work as assumed by the game mechanic shown for that same label on upgrades. On the private sector side, if you leave the Retrofit column to retrofit on Automatic instead of Manual, then it WILL obey that setting.
Whether advisor prompts are enabled or NOT, as long as this flag setting is set to Automatic, then the private sector will retrofit all ships/stations on a cash/resources available basis to whatever new design the AI or YOU designed.
So I can manually design a mining station, set the upgrade to Manual so the AI never redesigns until I want to make a new design, but keep Retrofit column on Automatic and it will take care of retrofitting all my hordes of stations itself.
This is not only reasonable - which is just an opinion - but also logical which is based on how the game mechanics have been shown to work elsewhere. But for state ship/bases retrofit, that exact same column label of Retrofit Automatic does NOT work as how that asme label for design Upgrade flag Automatic NOR private sector ships/bases retrofit flag Automatic.
In conclusion, we have this flag named Automatic and Manual - the labels are named the same, and they are used in same fashion to indicate a flag setting the player can switch from one mode to the other. But they clearly do not function in consistent fashion. So either the labels are wrong in some areas, the function that is supposed to happen not designed right, or the coding that is supposed to implement the intended design not working correctly.
If you disagree with this - the shortest way to rebut would be to explain why you believe the same flag label name in two different columns, should work with game mechanic A over in one column, but game mechanic B in the other column in some cases (state sector column retrofit), but obeys the same game mechanic A in other cases (private sector column retrofit)?
< Message edited by jacozilla -- 10/23/2015 4:41:13 PM >