Retrofit path woes in new betas

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giltirn
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Retrofit path woes in new betas

Post by giltirn »

I love the new ship design retrofit paths but I still find myself constantly fighting against it. The problem is as follows: if I have a design called "Nugget", and another called "Chipmunk", both for the same hull, one specializing in close combat and the other in standoff, and I use the upgrade tool to update the design of "Chipmunk" to "Chipmunk v2", now the upgrade path for "Nugget" is messed up; whether I have selected "Latest design for hull", "Latest design for role", or the other option, all will have "Nugget" upgrade to "Chipmunk v2". If I'm not careful, all my fleets rapidly become screwed up for this reason. The only way to prevent this I've found is to always set the upgrade path to "None", and then when I build an upgrade for that design I have to manually go back to the previous design and select the specific new design as the upgrade option. This is a real pain because I have to enable seeing obsolete designs in the design list, then find the old design amongst the hundreds of defunct designs, and even more painful if I still have a few ships floating around with even older designs who have yet to be retrofitted. (BTW we desperately need a way to filter for obsolete designs that are still in use!)

Am I missing something here? I just want upgrade paths to be design-based and not role or hull, which are largely useless concepts to me as I rarely use anything other than frigates or destroyers.
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Radamanthe
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Re: Retrofit path woes in new betas

Post by Radamanthe »

Yes, the 1.1.0.0 is of course more than welcome, but there is still this limited hull and/or role thing.

All of this could be resolved quite easily by upgrading to the most recent design with a prefix string given by user, then up to the engine to use appropriate regex to search for, based on that. Templates could use that too. In fact, the main issue could have been resolved simply this way. I suspect devs though about it but also though it was a bit clunky or something (which I can understand, but personally don't think so).
giltirn wrote: Sat Jan 21, 2023 6:45 pm (BTW we desperately need a way to filter for obsolete designs that are still in use!)
Or simply a button to delete all obsolete designs not in use. Who needs to review obsolete designs anyway? What's the incentive behind it, besides the ability to fix a recent bad click? My way to play, I design a bunch of ships and stations (mainly military) each time a component research is done. Well... in fact, the auto-upgrade does it too! I end up with a pletora of obsolete designs due to this. Sure, I can filter these out, but still, I sometimes need to see all designs, even obsolete ones, to fix things up related to the fact that I misclicked obsolete button... or because I must have confused some upgrade mechanics at some point ;)
giltirn
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Re: Retrofit path woes in new betas

Post by giltirn »

I actually feel it has gotten worse in 1.1.0.0 vs the previous beta. In my experiments today I tried so hard to maintain an upgraded and basic SSP for my main vs new colonies, respectively, but no matter how hard I tried, all the SSPs would soon end up with the same design (yes I confirmed the retrofit paths in the designer). I also got stuck with an issue where it would simply refuse to let me set the upgrade path of SSP-10 to SSP-11 (the primary SSP design), allowing me only to choose the more recent version of the basic SSP (cf my bug report, https://www.matrixgames.com/forums/view ... 6&t=392068). I eventually gave in and now use only 1 design per hull; however this feels needlessly constraining. It feel it won't take much more to make this into an intuitive and fully-fleshed system, it just needs a little more work.
Ax
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Re: Retrofit path woes in new betas

Post by Ax »

Either the retrofit path defined by the given name, or if it was possible to define custom roles could be the solution. I'd definitely like a "Starter SP" and an "Outpost SP" as well as controlled "Nebula explorers" and much more. We're already halfway there!
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Re: Retrofit path woes in new betas

Post by AKicebear »

Ax wrote: Mon Jan 23, 2023 10:32 pm Either the retrofit path defined by the given name, or if it was possible to define custom roles could be the solution. I'd definitely like a "Starter SP" and an "Outpost SP" as well as controlled "Nebula explorers" and much more. We're already halfway there!
This is a very clever suggestion.
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Erik Rutins
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Re: Retrofit path woes in new betas

Post by Erik Rutins »

giltirn wrote: Sat Jan 21, 2023 6:45 pm I love the new ship design retrofit paths but I still find myself constantly fighting against it. The problem is as follows: if I have a design called "Nugget", and another called "Chipmunk", both for the same hull, one specializing in close combat and the other in standoff, and I use the upgrade tool to update the design of "Chipmunk" to "Chipmunk v2", now the upgrade path for "Nugget" is messed up; whether I have selected "Latest design for hull", "Latest design for role", or the other option, all will have "Nugget" upgrade to "Chipmunk v2". If I'm not careful, all my fleets rapidly become screwed up for this reason. The only way to prevent this I've found is to always set the upgrade path to "None", and then when I build an upgrade for that design I have to manually go back to the previous design and select the specific new design as the upgrade option. This is a real pain because I have to enable seeing obsolete designs in the design list, then find the old design amongst the hundreds of defunct designs, and even more painful if I still have a few ships floating around with even older designs who have yet to be retrofitted. (BTW we desperately need a way to filter for obsolete designs that are still in use!)

Am I missing something here? I just want upgrade paths to be design-based and not role or hull, which are largely useless concepts to me as I rarely use anything other than frigates or destroyers.
Previous to this current version, everything was only setup by roles. We've now increased the resolution to allow things to be done by hulls rather than roles, both in ship designs and in the fleet templates. We've also made the fleet templates much more customizable and allowed you to define them exactly how you want them.

Of course, we can go farther, but this is as far as we can go with the time we have now. Expanding the system to add upgrades by name or custom roles or hulls is more than what we can do at this time, though we are considering those for another future pass in this area.

It's correct that if you want to maintain two unique designs for the same hull, right now you should set no upgrade path initially and upgrade them manually when you make a new design. This is not an issue as long as you are using different hull.

I also thought that if you had an existing design with the upgrade path set to none and then you chose to use the "Upgrade" button with it, it would link the two designs without you having to go back and set it manually.

Regards,

- Erik
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Re: Retrofit path woes in new betas

Post by Erik Rutins »

giltirn wrote: Sun Jan 22, 2023 4:47 am I actually feel it has gotten worse in 1.1.0.0 vs the previous beta. In my experiments today I tried so hard to maintain an upgraded and basic SSP for my main vs new colonies, respectively, but no matter how hard I tried, all the SSPs would soon end up with the same design (yes I confirmed the retrofit paths in the designer). I also got stuck with an issue where it would simply refuse to let me set the upgrade path of SSP-10 to SSP-11 (the primary SSP design), allowing me only to choose the more recent version of the basic SSP (cf my bug report, https://www.matrixgames.com/forums/view ... 6&t=392068). I eventually gave in and now use only 1 design per hull; however this feels needlessly constraining. It feel it won't take much more to make this into an intuitive and fully-fleshed system, it just needs a little more work.
I'll take a look, thanks.
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AKicebear
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Re: Retrofit path woes in new betas

Post by AKicebear »

Erik Rutins wrote: Tue Jan 24, 2023 1:08 am
giltirn wrote: Sun Jan 22, 2023 4:47 am I actually feel it has gotten worse in 1.1.0.0 vs the previous beta. In my experiments today I tried so hard to maintain an upgraded and basic SSP for my main vs new colonies, respectively, but no matter how hard I tried, all the SSPs would soon end up with the same design (yes I confirmed the retrofit paths in the designer). I also got stuck with an issue where it would simply refuse to let me set the upgrade path of SSP-10 to SSP-11 (the primary SSP design), allowing me only to choose the more recent version of the basic SSP (cf my bug report, https://www.matrixgames.com/forums/view ... 6&t=392068). I eventually gave in and now use only 1 design per hull; however this feels needlessly constraining. It feel it won't take much more to make this into an intuitive and fully-fleshed system, it just needs a little more work.
I'll take a look, thanks.
Spaceports in particular are problematic, because there are e.g. three hull types for the role "Small Space Port" which have identical role, hull, and automatic design names. Preferably these would be differentiated (in full manual I use SSP(n) where n is the tech level) - I have issues where my SSP(0)-xx design keeps retrofitting to SSP-yy which is actually a level 2 SSP, etc.

I think the solution to this making a single role of "Space Ports" and then having uniquely named hull types within, consistent with other roles/hulls/designs, but I guess this isn't as easy as other designs since there is some hard coding with how the game builds/upgrades from SSP to MSP to LSP regardless of which may break under that suggestion? Just a guess...
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Radamanthe
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Re: Retrofit path woes in new betas

Post by Radamanthe »

Erik Rutins wrote: Tue Jan 24, 2023 1:08 am I also thought that if you had an existing design with the upgrade path set to none and then you chose to use the "Upgrade" button with it, it would link the two designs without you having to go back and set it manually.
Halas, this does not work in this case in 1.1.0.0. Before that version, when using the yellow "upgrade" button while there were several non-obsolete designs of the same role, there used to be, as you say, a popup appearing with those designs to choose which one to upgrade to. I used it several times myself.

In 1.1.0.0, the yellow "upgrade" button itself does not even appear in the window of the selected ship if that ship current design's upgrade path is set to "none".

More : since 1.1.0.0, I've never seen that popup appear anyway, whatever I set as upgrade path in the design. Even if set to anything else than "none", the "upgrade" button will appear, but no popup as it considers there is only one eligible design: the most recent one.

But maybe you stated that "you though" because it should anyway popup these designs?

I really messed with all of this recently, and even reached a point where choosing an upgrade path to a specific named design led to... an empty upgrade path??? Looks like a bug to me.

Made me mad :) I guess the only viable option currently is to stick to one "custom role" per hull. Which is precisely what I sticked to before this version. Quite limiting. Adding the fact that having several hulls means... researching for these first. I have only the first frigate hull? So only one design (one "custom role"). Sure, I can have several active designs for this hull (like before), but now I can only upgrade to the most recent one. Aouch!
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Re: Retrofit path woes in new betas

Post by GHerr »

Clarifying question. When we say we have a separate retrofit path per hull type are we saying One path for all frigates or for each different type of frigate hull that you unlock
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Re: Retrofit path woes in new betas

Post by AKicebear »

Erik Rutins wrote: Tue Jan 24, 2023 1:08 am I also thought that if you had an existing design with the upgrade path set to none and then you chose to use the "Upgrade" button with it, it would link the two designs without you having to go back and set it manually.

Regards,

- Erik
I don't think this is the case currently (?), but if it was I believe it would resolve most of the complaints on this topic. Maybe with a decent mouse over pop up to explain this point "if you plan on multiple designs per HULL, use manual designs and the upgrade button".
StormingKiwi
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Re: Retrofit path woes in new betas

Post by StormingKiwi »

It would be helpful if the design hierarchy progressed down: Class>Hull>Role, rather than parsing text.

With custom ROLE templates that allowed the user to define:
1) The types of missions a ship of that role should do.
2) Fleet involvement (you might want your fleets to substitute or trim roles while disallowing a particular design from ever operating as part of a fleet)
3) The categories of components a design should include.
4) The weapon types (pulse, beam, ion, area, missile, kinetic, torpedo, point-defence) a design should include.
So as to guide the ship mission automation and design upgrades and creation.

By having multiple roles for one hull, you'd be able to define, e.g. Standoff Interdicting Colony Guarder, Close-In Boarding Escorts, independent defenders, fleet frigates, etc.

Also - for the three hulls for Escorts:
The basic Escort has two engines with +20% ship speed and maneuvering, the Patrol Escort has three engines with +30% ship speed and maneuvering. The Heavy escort has two engines, 0% bonus ship speed and maneuvering and +10% to countermeasures.

Ships with the same components (except Escort - it has one less fuel tank).
4488 credit Escort: 21.9 Attack, 71.4 Defence, 14.6 S&M, 533M range.
5156 credit Patrol Escort: 21.9 Attack, 71.3 Defence, 20.6 S&M, 628M range.
4960 credit Heavy Escort: 21.9 Attack, 74.3 Defence, 9.8 S&M, 634M range.

I think a 110% increase in S&M at the cost of 4% more credits, 4% less defence and 1% less range is a no-brainer.
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Re: Retrofit path woes in new betas

Post by Erik Rutins »

Radamanthe wrote: Wed Jan 25, 2023 4:20 am
Erik Rutins wrote: Tue Jan 24, 2023 1:08 am I also thought that if you had an existing design with the upgrade path set to none and then you chose to use the "Upgrade" button with it, it would link the two designs without you having to go back and set it manually.
Halas, this does not work in this case in 1.1.0.0. Before that version, when using the yellow "upgrade" button while there were several non-obsolete designs of the same role, there used to be, as you say, a popup appearing with those designs to choose which one to upgrade to. I used it several times myself.

In 1.1.0.0, the yellow "upgrade" button itself does not even appear in the window of the selected ship if that ship current design's upgrade path is set to "none".

More : since 1.1.0.0, I've never seen that popup appear anyway, whatever I set as upgrade path in the design. Even if set to anything else than "none", the "upgrade" button will appear, but no popup as it considers there is only one eligible design: the most recent one.

But maybe you stated that "you though" because it should anyway popup these designs?

I really messed with all of this recently, and even reached a point where choosing an upgrade path to a specific named design led to... an empty upgrade path??? Looks like a bug to me.

Made me mad :) I guess the only viable option currently is to stick to one "custom role" per hull. Which is precisely what I sticked to before this version. Quite limiting. Adding the fact that having several hulls means... researching for these first. I have only the first frigate hull? So only one design (one "custom role"). Sure, I can have several active designs for this hull (like before), but now I can only upgrade to the most recent one. Aouch!
Just to be clear, the Upgrade button is in the ship design list. That's a different thing than the yellow Retrofit button in the bottom left ship selection dialog. That Retrofit button should only be active if there is a newer design in the define retrofit path for the current design of that ship.

You can setup different upgrade paths for each hull type within a role and by default they should now upgrade to the latest design for the same Hull.
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Re: Retrofit path woes in new betas

Post by Erik Rutins »

StormingKiwi wrote: Sun Jan 29, 2023 5:45 am It would be helpful if the design hierarchy progressed down: Class>Hull>Role, rather than parsing text.

With custom ROLE templates that allowed the user to define:
1) The types of missions a ship of that role should do.
2) Fleet involvement (you might want your fleets to substitute or trim roles while disallowing a particular design from ever operating as part of a fleet)
3) The categories of components a design should include.
4) The weapon types (pulse, beam, ion, area, missile, kinetic, torpedo, point-defence) a design should include.
So as to guide the ship mission automation and design upgrades and creation.

By having multiple roles for one hull, you'd be able to define, e.g. Standoff Interdicting Colony Guarder, Close-In Boarding Escorts, independent defenders, fleet frigates, etc.

Also - for the three hulls for Escorts:
The basic Escort has two engines with +20% ship speed and maneuvering, the Patrol Escort has three engines with +30% ship speed and maneuvering. The Heavy escort has two engines, 0% bonus ship speed and maneuvering and +10% to countermeasures.

Ships with the same components (except Escort - it has one less fuel tank).
4488 credit Escort: 21.9 Attack, 71.4 Defence, 14.6 S&M, 533M range.
5156 credit Patrol Escort: 21.9 Attack, 71.3 Defence, 20.6 S&M, 628M range.
4960 credit Heavy Escort: 21.9 Attack, 74.3 Defence, 9.8 S&M, 634M range.

I think a 110% increase in S&M at the cost of 4% more credits, 4% less defence and 1% less range is a no-brainer.
Role in existing game terms is what you're calling "Class", like Cruiser or Frigate or Exploration Ship. Let's not create a new definition for an existing game term, that will only cause confusion.

So right now we have Role -> Hull -> Design. The Design allows a lot of the customization you're requesting.

Every Role already has some assumptions and settings built in by default, which are generally all customizable at the ship design or fleet template level as far as fleet and tactical settings in terms of how that ship will behave.

The separate request of "guided automatic design" to set preferences for types of weapons or components is something we'd like to do in the future, but can't do at this time. If you want specific weapons, you need to design those ships manually. If you do not spread your research around, you can also in effect guide the automated design by only researching those weapons you want it to use and making sure those are more advanced than the other choices and it should generally pick those.

When you get a new larger hull for the same role, it's generally intended that the smaller/older hull is no longer worth using. However, there are often multiple hulls of the same size (like Patrol or Heavy Escort) which may be worth using in different ways at the same time, which is why the system now supports by default a "Latest Design for Same Hull" upgrade path in those cases.

Regards,

- Erik
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StormingKiwi
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Re: Retrofit path woes in new betas

Post by StormingKiwi »

Erik Rutins wrote: Mon Jan 30, 2023 4:30 pm
StormingKiwi wrote: Sun Jan 29, 2023 5:45 am It would be helpful if the design hierarchy progressed down: Class>Hull>Role, rather than parsing text.

With custom ROLE templates that allowed the user to define:
1) The types of missions a ship of that role should do.
2) Fleet involvement (you might want your fleets to substitute or trim roles while disallowing a particular design from ever operating as part of a fleet)
3) The categories of components a design should include.
4) The weapon types (pulse, beam, ion, area, missile, kinetic, torpedo, point-defence) a design should include.
So as to guide the ship mission automation and design upgrades and creation.

By having multiple roles for one hull, you'd be able to define, e.g. Standoff Interdicting Colony Guarder, Close-In Boarding Escorts, independent defenders, fleet frigates, etc.

Also - for the three hulls for Escorts:
The basic Escort has two engines with +20% ship speed and maneuvering, the Patrol Escort has three engines with +30% ship speed and maneuvering. The Heavy escort has two engines, 0% bonus ship speed and maneuvering and +10% to countermeasures.

Ships with the same components (except Escort - it has one less fuel tank).
4488 credit Escort: 21.9 Attack, 71.4 Defence, 14.6 S&M, 533M range.
5156 credit Patrol Escort: 21.9 Attack, 71.3 Defence, 20.6 S&M, 628M range.
4960 credit Heavy Escort: 21.9 Attack, 74.3 Defence, 9.8 S&M, 634M range.

I think a 110% increase in S&M at the cost of 4% more credits, 4% less defence and 1% less range is a no-brainer.
Role in existing game terms is what you're calling "Class", like Cruiser or Frigate or Exploration Ship. Let's not create a new definition for an existing game term, that will only cause confusion.
I see you have not understood the post. The post is a suggestion for future improvements. That is the spirit with which it was written. It is part of the conversation occurring for Distant Worlds 2 to support multiple designs of the same class and hull but that have distinct roles to play.

"Role" as it is currently used within Distant Worlds is not used conventionally. This is not a "new definition", it is the conventional definition. In other pop-culture works, authors, screenwriters, and game designers would refer to "Distant Worlds Role" as "Type" or "Class" or similar. Using a specific word in a new and unusual way for the context, as Distant Worlds does, is much more confusing than in my post, where I use it consistently with how it is commonly used while also providing the information of how I am using it.
It's not even consistently used within Distant Worlds 2: ships of role Escort can be core ships in a fleet, while ships of role Destroyer can be close escorts to them.

I repeat myself, it should be:

Class -> Hull -> Role -> Design

Alternatively, Class -> Role -> Hull -> Design.
So right now we have Role -> Hull -> Design. The Design allows a lot of the customization you're requesting.

Every Role already has some assumptions and settings built in by default, which are generally all customizable at the ship design or fleet template level as far as fleet and tactical settings in terms of how that ship will behave.

The separate request of "guided automatic design" to set preferences for types of weapons or components is something we'd like to do in the future, but can't do at this time. If you want specific weapons, you need to design those ships manually. If you do not spread your research around, you can also in effect guide the automated design by only researching those weapons you want it to use and making sure those are more advanced than the other choices and it should generally pick those.
My suggestion is to enable meaningful specialisation of ships while allowing the automation to cope with the changes without bogging down the player with excessive manual play.
The Design allows a lot of the customization you're requesting:
This is not true.
Mission types per design are not customisable.
Fleet involvement per design is not customisable.
In particular:
Every Role already has some assumptions and settings built in by default, which are generally all customizable at the ship design or fleet template level as far as fleet and tactical settings in terms of how that ship will behave.
Those assumptions are not customizable, and the settings are not meaningfully editable.

E.g. 1:
I have a frigate designed with the intention for it to stay close to the damage-dealing ships in the fleet and act as a force multiplier by ensuring kills. Instead, it gets automatically assigned to be a picket ship, flies way out in front of the bulk of the fleet, attempts to solo an enemy target, gets damaged, and retreats, all before the rest of the fleet gets into range.
I would like to say, "Never be a picket ship". I can't. Sure, I could turn off the fleet position automation setting for a fleet, including that ship. Now I am managing the position of every ship in the fleet (remember, the default attack fleet design is 30 ships). Now my empire has three attack fleets, and I am managing 90 separate ships.

E.g. 2:
I have four frigate designs:
  1. Defenders: these sacrifice fuel for more firepower.
  2. Brawlers: these have enough fuel to carry out fleet missions but sacrifice some firepower. Close-in weapons.
  3. Rangers: these have enough fuel to carry out fleet missions but sacrifice some firepower. Stand-off weapons.
  4. Guardians: these have enough fuel to carry out fleet missions but sacrifice some firepower. PD weapons.
  1. I want my defenders to be on local guard and patrol missions. I do not want defenders to cripple my offensive fleets by replacing the brawlers/rangers.
  2. I want my brawlers/rangers to be on distant raid missions or in fleets.
  3. I want my guardians to be in fleets. I do not want them to attempt to solo-raid a station they are woefully unequipped to handle.
Re point 3: In 1.1.0.0, a fleet of troop transports, each equipped with two PD weapons, will be assigned to attack a mining station while a) colonies they had the ability and range to invade were also listed as attack targets and b) more appropriate raid and attack fleets were nearby and available.

Edit:
An exploration ship is a prime example of the deficiency.

Class: Explorer
Hull: Small Exploration Ship.
Role: Surveyor
Design: Includes resource scanners and survey modules.

Class: Explorer
Hull: Small Exploration Ship.
Role: Discoverer
Design: Designed for speed.

Class: Explorer
Hull: Small Exploration Ship.
Role: Observer
Design: Scanners, stealth and jammers.

End Edit.

Ship components and guiding the automation:

Restricting the automation from having available "advanced techs" of undesired research paths is not a realistic suggestion.
This requires:
  • manually managing espionage
  • no repairs of derelict ships
  • no retiring advanced ships
  • no research to unlock techs whose progression is blocked by a tech in an undesired research path.
Then consider there are multiple options for a particular component at the highest tech level (e.g. quantum vs fission vs fusion reactors) and valid reasons a player would want that component on ships of one design and not others.
When you get a new larger hull for the same role, it's generally intended that the smaller/older hull is no longer worth using. However, there are often multiple hulls of the same size (like Patrol or Heavy Escort) which may be worth using in different ways at the same time, which is why the system now supports by default a "Latest Design for Same Hull" upgrade path in those cases.

Regards,

- Erik
I believe you have missed the point as it is written.
When you research one tech, you gain access to "Heavy and Patrol" escorts. Heavy escorts do not appear to be worth using at all.

Refer to the numbers provided:
Their only advantage over the basic design is one extra general component, which I put a fuel tank in, yielding 20% more range.
By the other measures: they are equivalent, almost equivalent, and much worse. Their cost is higher.

"It is generally intended that the smaller/older hull is no longer worth using" - this is my understanding. So why is the Heavy Escort only trivially tanker and marginally better than the Basic Escort on a measure that doesn't even matter for the assumptions baked into a ship of its class/"Distant Worlds role"? This is a clear data error.
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Re: Retrofit path woes in new betas

Post by kissb »

"This is a clear data error"
so wrong... larger maximum size ( by 40 i think ), 1 more weapon slot, higher countermeasures, and donno what else
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Re: Retrofit path woes in new betas

Post by StormingKiwi »

kissb wrote: Thu Feb 02, 2023 5:10 pm "This is a clear data error"
so wrong... larger maximum size ( by 40 i think ), 1 more weapon slot, higher countermeasures, and donno what else
This is a clear data error.
Escort Hulls.png
Escort Hulls.png (120.95 KiB) Viewed 5 times
Heavy Escorts do not have 1 more weapon slot. They have 2 mediums instead of a small and a medium.
Additionally, compared to the basic hull, they have 1 more general component. Compared to the patrol hull, they have 1 less engine.
And that's it.

There's no conceivable scenario where you would build the heavy rather than the basic, patrol or a different ship type.

15 of their larger maximum size is taken up by the larger size of the hull before components are added.
10% higher countermeasures do not significantly improve survivability. Besides, the 10% increase in countermeasures is achieved by sacrificing speed and maneuverability bonuses from the base hull.

Sure, two Medium weapons could be put on it, increasing its DPS a small amount. However, anything faster than it is going to be able to get out of weapon range easily. Anything that outranges it will be able to kite it indefinitely. This ship is slow.


Escort Capabilities Data.png
Escort Capabilities Data.png (99.12 KiB) Viewed 5 times
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