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Spaceempires.net :: Small Systems Standard for Balance Mod? :: View topic
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Small Systems Standard for Balance Mod?

 
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Convert Balance Mod to Small Systems?
Yes
54%
 54%  [ 12 ]
Maybe (Elaborate...)
13%
 13%  [ 3 ]
No
31%
 31%  [ 7 ]
Total Votes : 22

Author Message
CaptainKwok
Balance Guru


Joined: Aug 04, 2003
Location: Toronto, Canada

PostPosted: Tue Nov 27, 2012 5:26 pm    Post subject: Small Systems Standard for Balance Mod? Reply with quote

For the v1.20 release, I would like to convert the Balance Mod to use small systems by default.

Not only are there significant performace gains in turn procesing times and frame rates, but the larger sectors improve visibility. There's no change to the number of stellar objects, just a reduction in the amount of empty sectors.

If you're not familiar with the "Small Systems" add-on, you can find it here: http://www.captainkwok.net/balancemod-extras.php


Space Empires Depot | SE:V Balance Mod


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marhawkman
Space Emperor


Joined: Mar 24, 2008

PostPosted: Tue Nov 27, 2012 5:30 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I suppose making it somewhat smaller is ok... somewhat. In the regular version, the bottom center hex is in Ring 10. Shrinking it so that that's Ring 7 wouldn't be too jarring and would approximately halve the number of sectors in a system.

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Boson
Space Emperor


Joined: Feb 10, 2009

PostPosted: Tue Nov 27, 2012 6:02 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Hmm, don't know. I wanted to implement changes to the quadrant mod. Up to 25 planets/system in some cases maybe?

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Skyburn
Space Emperor


Joined: Mar 12, 2008

PostPosted: Tue Nov 27, 2012 6:56 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Does keeping both size versions involve much extra effort? I was under the impression it did not.

Smaller systems have improved framerates, but the advantage wears off during play, since ships/bases/units in space seem to be the main drag on framerates from mid-game and beyond.


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Fyron
Galactic Guru


Joined: Aug 04, 2003
Location: CA, USA

PostPosted: Tue Nov 27, 2012 7:01 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

That depends on whether or not the small systems mods are created by running a script, or hand-generated each time.

I don't know how different BM's system data is from FQM5, aside from texture packs, but the generation scripts in FQM5 could be tweaked for smaller scale systems pretty easily. There is even a remnant script in there that shrinks down existing system data, resize.py or something. It does it by converting everything to circle radius instead of reducing ring numbers, but that could be updated by just changing the output string to a scaled down ring number instead.


Smarter than your average Texrak.


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CaptainKwok
Balance Guru


Joined: Aug 04, 2003
Location: Toronto, Canada

PostPosted: Tue Nov 27, 2012 7:54 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

The processing improvement is not from the number of objects, but the reduction in movement for each object. Processing movement is the number one time-intensive task for the game. The movement amounts in the mod are reduced by about half. So it saves about 50% on the movement phase which can save 25-50% on processing times overall depending on other factors like combat resolution etc.

The improved frame rates generally come from the reduction in flavour effects in non-planetary systems. It's a minor bonus only.

The system files generally don't change so that part is not an issue, it's just reconcilling the component/vehicle/facility files with each new version. The time spent is not so much an issue, but I prefer in general to simplify when I can.

If you haven't played small systems before, all the movement and range sight items are modified to remain ~proportional to the regular mod. So there's no real change to game play.


Space Empires Depot | SE:V Balance Mod


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Ender
Space Emperor


Joined: Apr 18, 2008

PostPosted: Tue Nov 27, 2012 8:57 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I am afraid it's not true, Captain. The real change to gameplay is that it's much easier to defend in zone defence as there is less sectors to build it in. Whether or not it's good for gameplay I'm not sure but it's already my favorite kind of defence in SEV - I've never played with Small Systems mod in but I strongly suspect the zone defence is overpowered there.

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Fyron
Galactic Guru


Joined: Aug 04, 2003
Location: CA, USA

PostPosted: Tue Nov 27, 2012 9:21 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

You still have the same number of warp points and planets to defend. Empty sectors are not defensible, since you would have to expend an exponentially larger amount of resources creating a wall to defend against a fleet of a given size, compared to just guarding a warp point or planet directly. Scaling map size and movement rates down doesn't seem like it should make any difference at all regarding defending strategic points of interest. What exactly do you mean by "zone defense?"

Smarter than your average Texrak.


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Ender
Space Emperor


Joined: Apr 18, 2008

PostPosted: Tue Nov 27, 2012 10:19 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

One can't defend warp-points effectively because there are bugs that prevent it (and when warp-point manipulation is researched it's a moot point, anyway) and planets are too numerous to defend them all effectively as lone strong points (even counting only border systems and there are bugs, too, that make colony strong points too fragile) - it's too risky to limit oneself to these two. In the zone defence one has to place the bulk of defending forces deeply in systems (usually not even in border systems thus covering more than one border system), place delaying forces at border warp-points and in key zones in border systems (zones defined by range in which one can effectively intercept enemy using intercept orders, usually zones interlocked with one another and, of course, the less obvious to an attacker the better) and provide to an attacker incentives (such as eg. zone minefields) that incline him to not divide his forces too much.

Believe me, Fyron, it's working in SEV - my experience shows me that it usually provides more security for an empire as a whole and it can even be more cost-effective than focusing just on warp-points and planets.


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CaptainKwok
Balance Guru


Joined: Aug 04, 2003
Location: Toronto, Canada

PostPosted: Tue Nov 27, 2012 10:37 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

The zone coverage would be more or less the same as the range of the defenders is reduced roughly by the same factor as the system. One tangential benefit of reducing the number of sectors would be the mine density in a sector could be greater - but I don't think would make a big difference.

Space Empires Depot | SE:V Balance Mod


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Ender
Space Emperor


Joined: Apr 18, 2008

PostPosted: Tue Nov 27, 2012 10:44 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Not entirely true, Captain - with less sectors it's more likely the interception will be successfull because of the way the game handles it. To clarify my position: I voted maybe Smile

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Walt
Space Emperor


Joined: May 29, 2009
Location: OC, California

PostPosted: Wed Dec 12, 2012 8:45 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I have to agree with Ender's comments about compressing too many objects into too little space. Also, it decreases the number of hexes you need to occupy if you want a literal blockade. And it may decrease the number of sensor platforms or defensive fields you need in some cases.

Can someone comment on the effect of a faster processor or more memory? I have only played on an old 3.2 MHz P5. I've now got a 2.4(?) MHz i7, but I haven't gotten around to getting SEV up on Win 7. From running Folding@Home, the processor is something like 100 times faster (for multiprocessor smart apps); I'd expect it to be at least 12x faster, even if SEV never uses more than one processor.

Does the speed problem "fixed itself" if you just throw a fast enough CPU at it?

Good to see you again, Captain!


. . . . OC Boardgaming: www.ocbg.net


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Fyron
Galactic Guru


Joined: Aug 04, 2003
Location: CA, USA

PostPosted: Wed Dec 12, 2012 4:15 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Combat is processed with a real time clock, and is not subject to time-related improvements with more powerful CPUs. Any processing capability above the minimum required for SE5 to render combat at a real time framerate is wasted. The real time clock gets sped up a little bit for strategic processing, but that only goes so far..

I'm not sure if processing system movement is also subject to a real time clock; IIRC it renders the 3d engine to determine object visibility, generate replays, and so on. If that is the case, it would also not really be subject to improvement from a more powerful CPU.


Smarter than your average Texrak.


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Walt
Space Emperor


Joined: May 29, 2009
Location: OC, California

PostPosted: Wed Dec 12, 2012 10:35 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

The only time I find SEV slow is in turn processing, in part since I like to play huge galaxies. That could get up to minutes.

. . . . OC Boardgaming: www.ocbg.net


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CaptainKwok
Balance Guru


Joined: Aug 04, 2003
Location: Toronto, Canada

PostPosted: Thu Jan 08, 2015 3:29 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I will be going ahead and making "Small Systems" the default for the Balance Mod v1.20 and beyond.

The improvements to system display (clarity) and turn times are too beneficial to ignore. And no, there won't be a "Big Systems" extra.


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