I'd like to see a Stealth defense module for starships, starports and starbases. And planets. The counter for this would be research along the Sensor's tree.
Stealth would obviously keep the other player from seeing the object in certain situations as well as affecting the targeting of ALL weapon types. Stealth could also be a mini-research tree like sensors with multiple levels of effectiveness.
E.g., my ship with a high-level of stealth would be completely invisible to a player with no sensor research and if I attack them they're severely degraded in shooting back. At the other extreme, I have low-level stealth and they have high sensor capability, so they can see me, maybe only at closer ranges, and their targeting is closer to normal.
Perhaps some races and non-player groups (e.g. pirates) might have a native stealth capability or reduced cost to research.
I assume this is kind of abstracted into the various weapon and defense types, but breaking it out would extend it into the intelligence and snooping around arena.
This could be good. Kind of like subs in the civ games.
One could build an empire on collecting and selling secrets.
There were Cloaking-modules in the game-files for Alpha 1, along with several other interesting ship-modules.
Tell me, if you have to be on the same tile to attack and hulls have inherent sensors, how can the enemy not see you fully in battle?
There are always ways to camouflage an object or obscure/confuse sensors, even the Mark I eyeball.
The mapboard hex is an extremely large area with oversized objects in them--stars, planets, especially ships are incredibly out of scale.
Due to the distances and area a hex represents, I personally would not have a problem with stacking different player ships in the same hex without automatically triggering combat. As part of the allying process you could grant permission for allies to stack with your ships and fleets and vice-versa.
In the context of stealth, I'd also permit stacking with non-ally ships and fleets with the option given to the player with the better stealth or sensors to initiate combat. If they choose to initiate combat, then do ship to ship combat as usual with modifiers for sensors and stealth. If I choose to not initiate combat, then I can trail the fleet (actually a tag-along command would be cool in that context) or I can pass on through to my actual destination. Maybe have some modifiers for the longer I'm in contact with them the more likely I'm to get detected and the other player could get an option to initiate combat.
If same hex isn't allowed, then adjacent hex with the same ideas.
Stealthing a starport would also be beneficial against the camp and blast strategy.
A simple way to do stealth is something like -1 to that ships detected range. With more advanced techs giving a -2 and then a -3 to detected range. If your ships detection range is 3 hexes you will not see the -3 stealth ship unless you attempt to enter its hex.
Real life stealth planes are not invisible, they are just harder to detect. A stealth module would have to be expensive and can only be placed on a ship once. (Once you optimize the outside of the ship you are done.) It might need a resource to implement on your ship.
Even a -1 detected range would make it easier to approach a world undetected and unopposed. You might be able to see them before they see you if you have the same sensor ability. Approaching until you are just one turn away and then pounce on the system.
Just my two cents.
^^ That was said so clearly the OP could learn something, and I like it more.
But, its already being implemented but it could turn out how you described lecek and I hope it does.
idea <> implementation
lecek's model for implementation is nice. Perhaps don't worry about freezing the outside ship design just to keep it simple.
Module cost could be relative to hull size.
To make it a little less deterministic, perhaps there should be a modifier for detection chances. E.g. base the stealth effect on movement speed. Like if you only use 50% or less of your movement allowance (moving slowly) than you'd get the full or increased stealth effect. If you move at full speed, than an increased chance of detection (perhaps even at longer ranges.)
I think stealth should work in once of two ways:
1) stealth modules stack like other defensive modules and weight about the same, and they work by reducing the chance to get hit vs same tier weapons. They give more chance to avoid damage vs lower tech weapons, and less to avoid vs higher tier weapons. Stacking them increaes the chance, but with diminishing returns so there is a cap at some max % dodge chance. 'Problem with this is that ships with stealth can be detected just like any other ship, stealth is more evasion then anti detection
2) Stealth modules weight about as much as a engine module and are difficult to stack without sacrificing other stuff. Each tech level of stealth reduces detectoin range. tech level 1 means you can be detected from 5 hexes away, tech level 5 means you can be detected from 1 hex away (adjacent). Stacking lower level modules adds the bonus and stacking a max level stealth module is useless.
Possible problem with this is that this kind of stealth doesnt give you a combat bonus, and it's just usefull for unarmed ships or scouts.
This is actually a big problem for stealth in this game, because there are no ranged attacks you either cannot stay hidden while attacking (and presumably have less defense and offense because you spent space on your ship for stealth), or you always win. leading to one of the 2 scenarios above.
edit: another problem with -detection range stealth to me seems that it would look really unnatural to have ships appear and disapear everywhere in your sensor range all the time, and ships not appearing at the edge of yoru sensor range, but well within it. This would also mean that if you werent watching the movement or have instant movement on, you could miss the ship appearing and disapearing while it moves trough your territory. How could you deal with this? Either the camera has to focus on enemy ships as they take their turns so you can see it, or you have to focus on everywhere in your vision at once during enemy turn in case a ship pops up for a few hexes and hten disapears again as it moves out of detection range before its movement is done. Maybe if stealth ships would show up as sensor blips or w/e, but that kinda defeats the point of stealth again.
aka you get punished for not paying attention or having quick moves on.
Some people may be over thinking simple things.
What is simple about implementing a completely new mechanic that affects both combat and movement on the strategic map.
I didn't even go into possible problems you can run into if you make a fleet of ships with and without stealth. Or the possibilities and problems of having multiple fleets of multiple owners on the same tile at the same time.
All something that they'd have to think through after deciding what it should do.
Fleet-wide stealth would presumably require a fleet type module. If a particular ship in the fleet has stealth and hasn't been detected yet, then it wouldn't appear in the list of ships in the fleet. That could make for some interesting surprises and traps.
Just don't permit mixed fleets to occupy the same hex like it does now. If you enter/stopping-in a hex containing a stealth ship you could just get the Do-Combat message and show the ship/fleet--perhaps without all the details. Then you to decide what to do. Once you've started combat then you could see them until they left detection range. Same for if they moved into detection range and were actually detected, they would stay visible until they left.
Could you miss something passing by? Yes and I think that would be kind of cool--but the game could pop a message that your ship has detected something and take you there to see it before continuing the turn. Personally, missing something would add some uncertainty to the game. It would allow me to sneak something by and make me want to build/research stuff to keep someone from sneaking by me.
Lots of internal housekeeping and record tracking to keep it straight, but that's the computer's job. And I suppose it could always be turned off if they made it a game setup option.
Good point dmjung!
A stealth module (later researched a cloaking tech) would bring an interesting element to the game, I think it's a great Idea!
After reading all of the above posts I can appreciate both sides of the argument. I personally support the idea of bringing a stealth/cloaking technology to the game.
I agree with the initial drawback to cloaking tech, for example if the cloak is up then shields are down, and weapons fire would give away your position (maybe even a random negative effect on the craft which attempts to fire when cloaked, ie cloaking coils explode and cause significant damage to the craft).
Another drawback to the cloak could be an issue while traversing through a nebula, where the ship lights up like a christmas tree, or damage to the ship with the cloak engaged which continues to traverse while cloaked through the nebula. Too long in the nebula would cause the cloak to fail.
I understand there are those who are against the hide and seek element of stealth, but who does not like covert spy, ninja type stuff
Another thought just appeared into my mind what about planets which could cloak, I think I saw it in a TV show once, I guess you would not find it until you were really really close (splat).
In closing, Galactic Civilizations III should be the biggest and best one yet, where no idea how big or small should go unnoticed.
Cloaking planets hmmm...how about making the entire map cloaked!
I don't feel strongly one way or the other about seeing a stealth system added to the game. I will however say that any such system ought to be kept simple.
I would much rather have -X detection range stealth than 'detected within X range' stealth, because -X detection range stealth has an obvious counter (add more sensors) and just makes more sense. Detected within X range stealth doesn't make a whole lot of sense when you can have a ship with sufficiently powerful sensors to detect things 20 tiles away and a ship with just the bare minimum sensors detecting things 3 or 4 tiles away, and yet somehow your stealth system gets you within X tiles of either one, rather than within (sensor range - X) tiles or (sensor range)*(100 - X)/100 tiles or some other such thing.
Moreover, there's not an obvious way to add the bonus in the 'no detection until within X tiles' system - how do I add "is not detected unless within 5 tiles of an enemy ship" to "is not detected until within 4 tiles of an enemy ship?" Making stacking pointless is fine but the last sentence in the quote suggests that you had some kind of stacking mechanic in mind, and I just don't see an obvious, simple way of doing it. -X detection range at least has an obvious stacking mechanic if you just add the detection range reductions together.
This couldn't possibly be more unnatural in appearance than the 'only detected within X tiles' system that you proposed, which has no relation to the capabilities of the sensor platforms in the region. At least -X detection range makes a degree of sense when comparing the effect on weak sensors to the effect on strong sensors.
Civ II had subs which could not be detected unless you had a unit adjacent to the sub, and they worked just fine despite having to move next to their targets to attack.
I would very much rather that 'fleet-wide stealth' meant that all the ships in your fleet were designed as stealth ships rather than there being some kind of magic fleet cloaking device that you can mount on a flagship.
I am very much against ships being undetectable when adjacent, or especially when sharing a tile. If you want stealth to matter in combat, go for something reasonable like a slight accuracy penalty to the attacker rather than something silly like space submarines.
No thanks. Having the exploration phase occur once per game is sufficient, and it's simply ridiculous to assume that I'd lose track of where stars and planets are; if nothing else, I'll be able to locate them by their EM emissions for the next several years even if you do come up with a system that makes the planets and stars completely invisible to all types of sensors, and presumably my faction can at least give me a mathematical prediction of where the planets and stars are for a reasonable amount of time after you somehow made them invisible to every sensor in existence. Even not knowing about a colony is a bit of a stretch, especially since you actually want me to know about your colonies so that you can lay claim to systems, and perhaps attract tourists.
Beyond that, if you develop a system that makes it possible to take your empire off the galaxy map, have you considered what that would do to your economy? A truly effective cloaking system on that kind of scale would prevent even your own traders from visiting your worlds, preventing immigration to, emigration from, and migration within your empire (which would severely curtail colony growth), remove all your foreign trade, cost you all your tourist income, and likely wreck your internal economy if it had begun to rely on interplanetary trade for any reason.
( joeball123) "I would much rather have -X detection range stealth than 'detected within X range' stealth, because -X detection range stealth has an obvious counter (add more sensors)"
if i have a cloaking system that defeats x-type sensors mearly adding more x-type sensors should have little to no effect so the detected within x range makes more sense to me
( joeball123) "Beyond that, if you develop a system that makes it possible to take your empire off the galaxy map, have you considered what that would do to your economy?"
get off my lawn and take this computer virus that deletes all refrence to our planets and people with you
i tend to play an isolationist society and dont want anything to do with any of the other races until i wipe them off of the worlds that rightly belong to my people
we claim the galaxy and all its resources as our natural birthright
I was thinking of something similar to the fleet warp bubble module that allowed one ship to move the whole fleet along. Having a "command ship" with both fleet-wide stealth and warp capability could be very valuable.
There're lots of ways for the developers to implement something like this. Perhaps the stealth module isn't particularly expensive, but it takes up a huge amount of hull space--so you have to decide if you want an armed and slow stealth ship or a fast weak one.
And they don't really have to describe all the nuts and bolts of what's going on under the covers. Maybe after lots of games you figure out they're giving you a positive combat bonus if you initiate combat from a stealth'ed ship and a negative combat bonus if you're defending. I.e., you just thought they couldn't see you.
Real-world and realistic stealth systems do not render a vehicle completely invisible to a form of detection, they make them less visible to that form of detection. The Northrup Grumman B-2 can still be detected by radar, it's just more difficult for a single-station radar to get a sufficiently strong reflection off of it to detect it. There's not a submarine on the planet that cannot be detected by active or passive sonar, but the quiet ones are more difficult to pick up with passive, and active can be countered to some degree and has its own issues.
Moreover, that comment was in response to a proposal for a system wherein you can in fact detect the target with X type sensors; it's just that regardless of the power of your X type sensors you can only manage to detect it within Y tiles, which is questionable. Sure, 'only detected when adjacent' stealth systems have been implemented in other games, but of the games that I've played that do implement that form of stealth, all have had similar sight ranges (usually identical, though sometimes something has +1 or +2 tiles sight range) on their units. In GCII, I can make an observer with 15 or 20 tiles sight range while my standard warship comes out with the default sensor suite; to say that a stealth system is so effective that it allows you to close the range equally with a 3-tile scanner as with a 15-tile scanner is rather questionable when the scanner suite in question is in fact capable of detecting the craft.
You might be able to get into the computer systems and delete the knowledge of the systems, but why would you want to? If you want me to stay out of your territory, your best shot is to make sure that I know where your territory is and enforce (or have the ability to enforce) a closed-borders policy of some kind. Removing my knowledge of your systems just means that now I think there's a bunch of unclaimed systems out your way; even if you delete the information from my starmaps, how long do you really think it'll take me to fix that just by using astronomical observations to detect stars? Beyond that, it's incredibly unlikely that you'd be able to delete all the information completely, and even if you did, there would still be innumerable people in my empire who know that the stuff is there; together, they may even be able to recreate much of the information even without an extensive survey mission.
Beyond that, making it so that no one officially knows that a bunch of planets are owned by another faction basically invites them to come in and try to grab territory. If it's not claimed by any recognized power anyone can take it, at least by the rules of computer games.
This actually makes a lot of sense and wouldn't require some huge modification to the game engine.
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