Author Topic: Your thoughts on Enemy Facilities  (Read 537 times)

Daithi

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Your thoughts on Enemy Facilities
« on: May 11, 2017, 11:57:25 AM »
Hi, I'm going to start revising the code for enemy facilities in the near future, and figured it would be a good time to get some suggestions on the topic. Each gang will have a main facility (where the boss resides) and winning this mission is the requirement for beating the gang.

Outside that, each gang will be able to build facilities to increase cash flow and provide benefits to members, perhaps within a certain city tile radius. It's likely these facilities can be leveled up, though may restrict this to 2 levels. Current thinking: with level 1, you can directly assault the facility. At level 2, you will be intercepted by the enemy first, then have to proceed to the facility, which has a higher danger level.

Had originally planned to have more facility levels, with each assault damaging the facility and the gang attempting to repair it, but think this will create unneccessary repetition and require additional code complexity without really adding anything. Further, once a facility is found, it's a sitting duck and a higher level facility represents a lot of investment. Not keen on moving facilities, as they will likely provide a source of intel on gang leaders when destroyed. So, am heavily leaning toward low cost, but more facilities and one level up per facility.

Typically, the facilities will provide economic benefit and/or makes the troops more dangerous. Main facility aside, 1-2 facilities per gang is (perhaps some could be shared) feasible. Some thoughts:

Churcher: Elysium Facility (Dirty apt map) - provides a buff to churcher troops within x city tiles
Survivalist: Black Market - increases equipment level of troops by 1 within x city tiles

Also considering the possibility of being able to find a facility without requisite intel, by observing the effects (elysium addled churchers) in tiles, and determining the epicentre manually. It would be a nice bit of detective work, but not sure about how it would work functionally.


ushas

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Re: Your thoughts on Enemy Facilities
« Reply #1 on: May 11, 2017, 07:50:41 PM »
Hi,
Each gang will have a main facility (where the boss resides) and winning this mission is the requirement for beating the gang.
Can be interesting to know more, if you would like to share thoughts. But there is also something about keeping one's cards...

Anyway, it would be good to make it stand out with consequences to the player's campaign. A recognition in scripted dialogues and barks, mechanically as well, even some returning characters/units, etc... Overall also making the state in which the gang is at the moment of your final judgment more obvious here. I mean you can be putting out of misery just barely surviving gang, or critically hitting a giant at the peak of his empire.

Quote from: Daithi
Outside that, each gang will be able to build facilities to increase cash flow and provide benefits to members, perhaps within a certain city tile radius.
A nice idea! 
lvl1- 3x3 ?
lvl2 - 5x5 ?...
- If there is another facility influencing the same tile their effect will be additive.
- If two gangs are temporary allies, influence of their facilities on both their tiles would add up too. Would need to be tested if feasible though.

Quote from: Daithi
Had originally planned to have more facility levels, with each assault damaging the facility and the gang attempting to repair it, but think this will create unneccessary repetition and require additional code complexity without really adding anything.
Agreed.

Quote from: Daithi
Further, once a facility is found, it's a sitting duck and a higher level facility represents a lot of investment. Not keen on moving facilities, as they will likely provide a source of intel on gang leaders when destroyed. So, am heavily leaning toward low cost, but more facilities and one level up per facility.
I don't know how the game logic works here. A speculation:
You can simply have the randomly positioned main facility from the beginning of the game. And then they will spam this secondary one over some time period if they have enough money to do it, and later choose between leveling it or building another one. The time period and money adjusted by the game's difficulty.

Where to place it can also be random but weighted, with a higher chance to end at the place where there is more neighboring tiles of the same gang, as that would benefit them more. I don't know what do you mean by moving facilities. If we destroy a facility and they have enough money, they can simply build another one I guess.

Does a facility have some running cost? (~> upping the cost adding the next)

Quote from: Daithi
Typically, the facilities will provide economic benefit and/or makes the troops more dangerous. Main facility aside, 1-2 facilities per gang is (perhaps some could be shared) feasible. Some thoughts:

Churcher: Elysium Facility (Dirty apt map) - provides a buff to churcher troops within x city tiles
Survivalist: Black Market - increases equipment level of troops by 1 within x city tiles
As above are more local influences, what about asymmetrically make it for mafia benefit the whole system, eg: 

Mafia: Casino / hotel (money laundering) - increase wealth within x city tiles. Also the mafia units in the sphere of influence will drop more money...

Quote from: Daithi
Also considering the possibility of being able to find a facility without requisite intel, by observing the effects (elysium addled churchers) in tiles, and determining the epicentre manually. It would be a nice bit of detective work, but not sure about how it would work functionally.
I like it. The aspect of rewarding cunning approach in itself is worth the consideration. However, the obvious question is how will the game recognize it was a detective effort not just a random stumble upon a facility?   

Suggestion:
Very high time-cost of intel level needed to uncover a facility (eg. 100% intel lvl on a tile). An assumption: it won't be feasible to probe blindly most of the tiles to that lvl, because the time needed would make the opposition grow too strong to overcome. On the other hand, being fairly sure you got a golden mine makes it more worth to selectively time-invest your surveillance efforts.
 
Right now 100% intel on a tile costs ~24h+, not much, but depends how the campaign will be balanced. I would balance [intel time cost <-> opposition grow] so that on the lowest difficulty one can do 100% intel on a whole city and still be able to win the game, whereas on the highest one you would really need to time-weight your actions, making more educated guesses (perhaps a principle to consider in general).

Of course, the 'requisite intel' (may I ask what it entails exactly?) can go around, perhaps telling the same more obviously? ("a facility on coors such and such", then doing 100% intel lvl there to get the mission)...

Nomad

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Re: Your thoughts on Enemy Facilities
« Reply #2 on: May 12, 2017, 05:08:21 AM »
Add an Interrogation option.
You can interrogate a gang member about their own gang (at a penalty).
So, have an option to ask them whether a particular grid specifically has a facility. It's a yes/no question.
You can only ask this question for info on the gang you're interrogating. You can only question tiles that belong to that gang and have a certain level of surveillance.
Oooh... oooh... you can only ask them for the grid you're currently in. Because you're searching for the facility.

I like the idea of the facility levelling up. Your current level 1 and 2 suggestions sound reasonable.
I agree that making it harder from that point doesn't add anything, but I think the facility could level up further in order to increase the bonus and/or radius.

It sounds like you already have good ideas. Go for it.  =)

ushas

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Re: Your thoughts on Enemy Facilities
« Reply #3 on: May 15, 2017, 08:01:06 PM »
That's... that's actually very good idea! Right now (v16) only choosing the gang directly influences what kind of intel we receive, all the other options increase chances at getting it. Though we could be getting better with higher chances, I don't know.

Anyway, let me kidnap the notion. Being able to demand info on specific districts (or leaders) makes the whole process more proactive. Goes well with any investigative efforts and making your own vigilante story. I can imagine running amok with paranoid feeling that there is something fishy in the area, and trying to force out of everybody "What's going on in the district [5b]?"...

Yeah, could potentially complicate a lot of things, can't foresee. On the other hand, a great potential. Tools in your hands is what makes games games.

Very roughly how it may go:
  • <= rank 1 subject: only the option to pick a gang as of now (-> more random, but high intel % increase on a tile)
  • >= rank 2 subject, apart above, offers two more options:
        (a) Enter any district coordinates,
        (b) Ask specifically about the current district (will have a higher chance than (a)).
    Can get info on a facility or a leader's place. (-> more specific, but lower intel % increase on a tile). Perhaps having info from interrogation isn't necessarily enough (but makes one sure he is on the right track), you also have to reach required total level of intel (a level of reconnaissance work) on the city tile for a special encounter or a facility mission.
  • Once you get at least one piece of information about an (under)boss you will also get an option to ask about this partially-known leader if subject is => appropriate rank to know. But only for the members of the same gang. That would also require some unique identification (not just "underboss"), so it's clear who is who. I dunno, what about individual military ranks, nicknames for mafia, and for the Church - perhaps being them about area ministries (eg. pastor of education, of evangelism)?

Edit: correction racket->spec. encounter
« Last Edit: May 26, 2017, 01:12:49 AM by ushas »

Daithi

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Re: Your thoughts on Enemy Facilities
« Reply #4 on: May 16, 2017, 08:21:21 AM »
Good ideas. Nomad's facility finding idea could work

@ Ushas: Concerning main gang facilities: survivalists will be a bunker, church/mafia may be an office. Think the map will get bigger, so the number of tiles influenced will need to take overall map size into consideration. The high intel was the old way to find facilities, before interrogations, will think about offering both solutions. Your suggestion on randomly placing a facility and then cash dependently allowing them to build the lower level facilities is exactly what am planning. Facility running cost is factored into the amount of cash they make from criminal activity. Also like your ideas about asking about a specific underboss - if served up randomly, it could be frustrating finding them.

@ Nomad: Like this idea  - was considering the possibility of being able to query a tile once every x days, but this is a contender.

ushas

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Re: Your thoughts on Enemy Facilities
« Reply #5 on: May 18, 2017, 08:59:57 PM »
A bunker!

More and more liking that detective approach. However, if spheres of influence will be too big, moreover partially overlap, it may become too arduous to do. Don't get me wrong, I'm looking forward giving feedback at which lowest data one is able to find with a fair confidence, but most players aren't such maniacs. :-\

I dunno, would be useful to consider gradient - the highest influence on the facility's tile itself and then it decreases with distance?

Quote
The high intel was the old way to find facilities, before interrogations, will think about offering both solutions.
I think it would go better if those work as two different mechanics that synergize as opposite to two standalone solutions giving the same result. (although in principle no problem)

Example of the former: The position of a facility itself is either guessed based on the area around, or is revealed during interrogation, or both (confirmation of the guess), however, for the mission itself having a certain level of intel done is the necessarily condition. So although interrogation may add % to that, you may still need to do more surveillance to launch.

Example of the latter: Regardless of the level of surveillance on a tile (eg. 90% or 0%) you get info from interrogation that there is a facility and right away can hop on the mission. Meaning you either did all that additional intel for nothing or been actually lucky and don't need to do it at all anymore.

Anyway, based on how all is balanced (influence, interrogation, intel % / time, etc.) or even presented, there is danger - that people won't consider worth investing high surveillance (why would we want to do it now, actually?), or conversely worth to ask in interrogation - while you're developing all options.

Nomad

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Re: Your thoughts on Enemy Facilities
« Reply #6 on: May 19, 2017, 06:45:19 AM »
If you ARE going to try the interrogate to get info on a facility... did you want to tell people they failed to get the information, or just have the victim insist that there isn't one here?
Effectively, you don't know you failed as the target is just refusing to talk.
I think this would work as the intent here is that we are asking on blocks where we suspect a facility to be.
I do a LOT of interrogations... so if there are up to six facilities across the map (assuming two per faction), that's a LOT of locations even if you do increase the size of the map a bit. There can be a bit of hit and miss there.

ushas

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Re: Your thoughts on Enemy Facilities
« Reply #7 on: May 19, 2017, 11:33:53 PM »
Well, depends how implemented, no? Approximating based on v16: At the beginning have to decide what you're after - are you asking about gang? place? person? After that the game continues with interrogation - as far as I know, it's clear whether the roll overcame the resistance. So when you're getting direct answers like "no facility" or "there is nothing happening" you know it's a successful interrogation.*

What you're saying would require additional disguise of the result, so subjects can lie time to time on failed interrogation. In principle, that is devious and I be lying that it didn't cross my mind too (eg. random black sheep, or those with a coward trait trying to tell you what you want to hear), cross-interrogations and combining with other clues, but it multiplies the complexity and needs to be handled with delicacy. What about first setting a skeleton in motion and later assess if players and those 23 programmers Timeslip employs would be willing to handle lying? (eg. doing more interrogation)

(*) I suppose even when getting a sure negative answer it's only relevant at the time of asking, as the gang can go and build a facility there the next day.

What brings me to surveillance. So if a facility should be revealed at X%, you do it on a tile and... nothing. Next day they build it there. Will the game update the tile intel to up-to-date state? I would say it should when the requirements are met. If there are also other events (eg. special encounters) to be revealed at Y% intel this would reward the vigilant players who are checking the map.   

However, what about increasing intel deterioration? Eg. something more like -1% per day or two?

Edit: correction racket->spec. encounter
« Last Edit: May 26, 2017, 01:12:30 AM by ushas »

Daithi

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Re: Your thoughts on Enemy Facilities
« Reply #8 on: June 08, 2017, 01:41:31 PM »
I like the idea of being mislead by a gang member. Gut feeling is that there's going to be a lot of work in it. That said, the interrogation system will definitely get another look - in particular, to add the ability to choose racket/lieutenant intel, and which lieutenant/racket to get the intel on. Will think over the red herring idea when get this far.

Intel does decay over time, but on checking, it doesn't remove information if it drops below threshold - another job :)

ushas

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Re: Your thoughts on Enemy Facilities
« Reply #9 on: June 09, 2017, 12:54:38 AM »
I'm aware it decays - approx like -1% per 6-7 days? That would go -4% or -5% per month. Seems slow, unless the game is supposed to take year or more.

Daithi

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Re: Your thoughts on Enemy Facilities
« Reply #10 on: June 09, 2017, 03:23:02 PM »
Yeah, not sure what exactly it is at present - will have a look at it - usually start conservatively and scale up.

ushas

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Re: Your thoughts on Enemy Facilities
« Reply #11 on: September 07, 2017, 09:51:54 PM »
So far in v19 - found all facilities via district surveillance. It's very handy. Think I got one lvl 1 emerging on a tile with enough intel as it got build.

No interrogation of enemies after facility attack?
I know we are getting one intel piece from facility, but can't choose what? Perhaps there is some hierarchy, as I got different intel from lvl2 racket than lvl1, but in a way it may not feel different to having normal mission and interrogating specialists. I guess the difference is that destroying facility harms the gang more and getting intel is not percentage based but sure. However, I can imagine getting person-interrogation too. It's a breakthrough in investigation after all...

Daithi

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Re: Your thoughts on Enemy Facilities
« Reply #12 on: September 08, 2017, 09:57:47 AM »
Will look at intel gain rate in general. A guaranteed piece of intel is pretty decent though.

ushas

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Re: Your thoughts on Enemy Facilities
« Reply #13 on: September 15, 2017, 02:08:56 AM »
It's not only about probability but also about value of intel. As far as observed, the maximum one can obtain (racket vs. specialist) is the same? (thus thought about having a chance to get twice as that). More below.

I'm going to leave as is for now. There is a problem at present in terms of how fast intel is gained, so sizable changes will be required. Not married to the idea of intel being required for rackets, however, rackets are much more strategically valuable than lieutenants, so it would make sense to have their requirements at least as high. A fully upgraded racket costs 6-8k, so I think it needs to be more substantially protected.

Maybe there's a solution in the possibility of some of the work being done through surveillance, and some being done through interrogation.
Yeah, I know, you said will leave it for now, np. But you also asked us to evaluate pacing and difficulty as far as remember. Must say it's more challenging to do when one also has to dodge "after EA" bullets. Though serves me well, as being constructive wasn't technically requested. Aha!

Quote
rackets are much more strategically valuable than lieutenants
From my perspective as a player looks the other way around: lieutenants > rackets > specialists.

Probably misunderstood how the campaign works or will work (not even encountered a lieutenant yet). So take the following only as an explanation how I see this right now (v19): Strategically, the most important is to take down the boss. I got impression only Lieutenants lead to him? The intel from deliberately attacking facilities seems on the same (max) level as stumbling upon a guy on streets (specialist). Thus lieutenants are strategically more valuable than facilities. Perhaps we can even win the game without attacking any non-main racket? 

Harming gang income is lower on hierarchy, unless, there is some economic victory possible - oh, can we induce a total gang bankruptcy?

As for the solution of rackets - it's not my place to tell, just that one way of looking at this problem is by treating detection and launching an attack as two separate events. Won't even need to change Cityscape (intel info vs. launch button). Then you can balance requirements for each part separately, possibly even make them dependent (balancing). Similar for lieutenants. In some stories it works such way that you often know the place (suspect the person) but need to do further investigation for be able to break in (caught the guy).

An example: Initially, 1 (1-2) intel pieces is enough for detection (identification), and this can be obtained by any means: interrogation, facility outcome, surveillance, from npcs, etc. Once that is fulfilled, then 1-2 intel pieces are required for launching the racker (leader) mission, but can only be obtained from specifically asking in interrogation, or from searching dead bodies of higher ranks, or perhaps from lvl 2 facility, etc.

But as said, just one view. Please, don't let me limit your imagination.
« Last Edit: September 15, 2017, 02:17:47 AM by ushas »

Daithi

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Re: Your thoughts on Enemy Facilities
« Reply #14 on: September 15, 2017, 11:31:43 AM »
It's not only about probability but also about value of intel. As far as observed, the maximum one can obtain (racket vs. specialist) is the same? (thus thought about having a chance to get twice as that). More below.

Rackets will likely also have a chance to provide intel on lieutenant, or perhaps boss if upgraded.


Yeah, I know, you said will leave it for now, np. But you also asked us to evaluate pacing and difficulty as far as remember. Must say it's more challenging to do when one also has to dodge "after EA" bullets. Though serves me well, as being constructive wasn't technically requested. Aha!

From my perspective as a player looks the other way around: lieutenants > rackets > specialists.

Probably misunderstood how the campaign works or will work (not even encountered a lieutenant yet). So take the following only as an explanation how I see this right now (v19): Strategically, the most important is to take down the boss. I got impression only Lieutenants lead to him? The intel from deliberately attacking facilities seems on the same (max) level as stumbling upon a guy on streets (specialist). Thus lieutenants are strategically more valuable than facilities. Perhaps we can even win the game without attacking any non-main racket? 

I agree. It was a little short sighted of me, as had a very strong feeling intel gain was too slow. Concerning value, it depends on how you look at it. Lieutenants are more valuable for making progress to finish the game (for now: rackets will likely also serve this purpose). Rackets require a large investment, providing both immediate bonuses and increasing the rate at which the gangs can purchase upgrades, so taking them out will weaken the gang's strength in tactical combat, and slow the progress rate.

Harming gang income is lower on hierarchy, unless, there is some economic victory possible - oh, can we induce a total gang bankruptcy?

As for the solution of rackets - it's not my place to tell, just that one way of looking at this problem is by treating detection and launching an attack as two separate events. Won't even need to change Cityscape (intel info vs. launch button). Then you can balance requirements for each part separately, possibly even make them dependent (balancing). Similar for lieutenants. In some stories it works such way that you often know the place (suspect the person) but need to do further investigation for be able to break in (caught the guy).

An example: Initially, 1 (1-2) intel pieces is enough for detection (identification), and this can be obtained by any means: interrogation, facility outcome, surveillance, from npcs, etc. Once that is fulfilled, then 1-2 intel pieces are required for launching the racker (leader) mission, but can only be obtained from specifically asking in interrogation, or from searching dead bodies of higher ranks, or perhaps from lvl 2 facility, etc.

But as said, just one view. Please, don't let me limit your imagination.

No economic victory :) Will keep your idea in mind - this area will definitely be revamped for V21.