There are 3 weapon types: Missile, Kinetic, and Beams. Each weapon type has an opposing defense type that blocks attacks from that weapon type (point defense for missiles, armor for kinetic, and shields for beams). Each weapon type is unique in it's own way...
-Missiles have a ranged volley attack, that can be used out of regular combat to do a volley of damage against a target up to 3 hexes away.
-Kinetic weapons do the most base dmg, and get slightly more benefit from extra research.
-Beam weapons have a slightly lower construction cost, and the later game weapons that cost special resources cost slightly less special resources (which is useful since elerium, the resource needed for beams, is the hardest to mine).
All weapon types now have the same range, accuracy (80%), and rate of fire in battle.
Damage: The actual damage is now a random number between 1 and the damage shown on the weapon type. So if you have a beam weapon ship that shows 3 beam dmg, that actually means that each attack will be a random number between 1 and 3. The defenses work the same way, a random number between 1 and the max defense, but defenses also work a little different...
Defenses: The defenses block their weapon type equal to the random amount between 1 and max of that defense, but the square roots of both the other defenses are also added to the main defense, so it's a number between 1 and that max. so if you have 10 shields, and 9 of each other defense, and you're being attacked by a beam weapon, then your max defense will be 16 (10+3+3). So your actual defense will be a random number between 1 and 16 against each beam attack, blocking that much dmg from that attack. The minimum damage from any attack will still be at least 1 though. Weapon attacks are never fully blocked.
The way targeting works right now, it can be argued that smaller ships can have an advantage over larger ones, since excess dmg to smaller ships is currently wasted, and each large ship can only target 1 small ship at a time. Smaller ships generally have more item slots but less hp per logistics point compared to bigger ships, esp. after the first miniaturization tech is researched, adding +1 item slot to all ships.
Additional combat info, including info on ship roles, can be found on the official gal civ 4 wiki here: GalCiv4:Spaceship Battles - Galactic Civilizations - Official Wiki
Yea, when you see the battle reports now it feels a lot better than it did in the early betas.
One change we want to add are modules and techs that increase accuracy so that the floor of the roll is raised.
That would definitely help making the ship editor be more than a vanity tool.
just bumping the post for anyone looking for combat info...
I appreciate your efforts to document and explain it, but what is your authority on the matter? Are you with Stardock?
This is related to something I raised in the Roadmap thread - I have yet to see any full explanation from official sources. I'm not meaning to discredit you. I just don't know what authority you have on the matter.
I mention no official authority, but even then it doesn't always help. I recall discussions for Galciv3 where Brad got involved and mentioned how some mechanic worked (I believe it was that each fitted weapon could have its own target, ala the Starcraft 2 battlecruiser), but extensive community testing demonstrated this to be false. So sometimes I believe the combat mechanics are so opaque that the dev team aren't fully aware.
i'm just a beta tester, just threw this up to help ppl, but it has been approved by the devs and they tagged it in the community-guides section of gal civ 4 discord. frogboy is one of the main devs and knows more about combat than anyone i think, and he's seen and commented on this so i think it's accurate. i agree, there needs to be more official in game info on it though.
I coded the mechanics in gc4 myselfto ensure they work as design.
They work the same as gc2, and this post card looks accurate too me.
BTW, if I had my way there'd be no explaination on this at all. You'd analyse three battle results and try to figure out strategies from trial and error.
I don't even like showing the tech tree or saying what techs lead to.
Nice write up. I want to add agree that ship roles seem to work the same as they do in GalCivIII. The famous combination of Escort and Capitals does still work in my experience.https://wiki.galciv.com/index.php/Ship_roles
Heh, I also like some fuzziness with the tech tree but pretty much everyone demanded we add a full tree list.
yeah, i think that this is one of those, "fun for some but not most" things, and 4x is already a kinda niche thing
anyone who wants to can just not read all that stuff though. it's all mystery mechanics if u never read
I didn't like that in GalCiv 1 at all. I found it difficult to figure out where I wanted to go techwise. On many occasions I would zone out and just pick the top most tech or cheapest tech. If I could not figure out a destination, any tech would have to suffice.
Understood. Which is why we've added this kind of thing. I only bring it up because there's this perception by some people that the game should play purely like some sort of board game with no opaqueness.
I want to challenge the defense explanation a bit, based on my own watches of the battle log.
Its only one man watching 5 large battles, but I have never seen defenses lower damage all the way. It seems that the defense will never get higher than 1 less the attack result....no matter how much defense I actually have. The only exception could be when the log says it "missed", though I thought that was a true accuracy miss and not lowering by defense, but could be wrong there.
You are correct. During the beta the developers changed the battle system so that every attack will always do at least 1 damage, regardless of the defense. I don't recall the problem that this change was intended to solve, but it now leads to ludicrous errors in the battle log, showing that a pirate with 2 laser attack will now attack with 21 if your ship is defended by 20 shielding. Where did the extra 19 attack come from?
Yea, that was done because turn times. Could get crazy.
yeah i'll update it to include the fact that each shot does at least 1 dmg, ty.
All this info, along with more combat info, is now available on the official gal civ 4 wiki site here: GalCiv4:Spaceship Battles - Galactic Civilizations - Official Wiki
Oh Boy, THIS exatly this. I am really baffled that nowadays gamers are unhappy if they don't know each and every formula. Where is the fun in that?
So coming from a strong boardgame background (which Brad already alluded to was the demographic often "unhappy" with not knowing things), I'll throw in my 2 cents.
A common idea in game design is the notion of a "meaningful choice" in a strategic game. Many boardgames ascribe to this notion, the goal is to make the outcome of a choice as clear as possible, so that the player armed with this information can make the best choice for the strategy they are employing. The goal is not for them to master the "mechanics", those are to be as simple as possible. The goal is to master the "game", creating the best possible outcome using the mechanics combined with solid strategic thinking. Chess is the classic example, learning to play chess is incredibly simple, most people can be taught the game in 10 minutes or less. Yet chess remains one of the great examples of strategic thinking, simple mechanics that evolve a highly complex game.
So take GC combat for example. For me, the fun of the game is in scouting my opponent, creating ships to counter, pulling them one way while I send ships another, balancing ship building and other economic needs, etc. I have no love or desire to figure out if the +25% range module is actually worth it vs another weapon....how many battle reports and logs would I have to go through in order to really assess which one is better when.... no thank you! Ideally I want to know when is more range truly useful, as then it can be another tool in my strategy belt that I pull out when I think its useful....as opposed to a wild card I have no understanding of, and so no desire to use.
This is why the GC series has never been my top 4x game, though I have always enjoyed them, the games to me have too many vague levers, there are too many components in the game whose effectiveness is either not well understood (so I can't make good strategic decisions about them) or simply not effective enough to bother with. That said, I respect there are different demographics to the 4x genre, and each game tries to appeal to a slice of them, appealing to the entire market is just not tenable.
I do think GC IV has taken steps to simplify certain mechanics, and the game is improved as a result. The economic model for example is a lot easier to understand than it was in 3. That said, I do think there are more areas that could be streamlined. Take accuracy for example. Currently all weapons have 80% accuracy.... why not go all the way and remove accuracy entirely? Right now ships already have very high variability in their damage due to the random interactions of offense and defense.... is it really necessary to muddy the waters even further with a miss mechanic... especially one that is not shown front in center on the fleet stats UI?
I finish with the age old quote, "A designer knows they have achieved perfection, not when they have anything left to add, but when they have nothing left to take away" --Antoine de Saint-Exupery
Also check me on something. When the system does the offense number, does it do it "per weapon type"?
Example: I have a ship with 10 beam, 12 missile, and 20 kinetic. Each round, do I fire:
Also....if that's the case, does defense apply to each attack? (and would that mean you always do 3 min damage no matter what the defense rolls are, 1 damage per weapon type?)
i'm not exactly sure how that works... dont even know if off-main defenses are still added to other defenses if they're still protecting from their main weapon type that round. i would think that every individual weapon would have it's own 1-max range that it uses, but it doesnt really seem to work that way. it's just hard to know all this stuff cause i'm honestly still not sure how everything works from the battle logs. at this point i think the battle logs are either inaccurate and need some more work, or there's much more mystery mechanics to combat than we realize... basically the testers cant even figure out how combat works until the devs tell us, and even then it doesnt really make sense...
each weapon type should do at least 1 min damage though i think
So I took a look. Having multiple weapon times does do a different instance of damage each time.
Now most of the time, this is bad. It means that each weapon is getting checked against a high defense, so your average damage is low. Its generally much better to have a single high attack that beats the defense so you get a higher damage average. Only when the defense is super high are more weapon types better, obviously because you are less likely to get screwed by a single defense number, but more that if your only getting 1s on average anyway, well double the attack is doubling your damage. This generally only happens in early war scenarios where defensive studies + prototype defenses can give a ship pretty solid base defenses, and the difference isn't much. So the vast majority of the time, one single powerful weapon number is superior.
From what I can tell in the battle logs, the miss chance is rolled one time. So either all of your weapon types hit, or they all miss.
This is another bug check. If I have a 2 weapon offense value, are the results evenly distributed or biased one side or the other?
In other words: Should I expect a roughly even 50% distribution of 1 damage rolls and 2 damage rolls, or would it be something like 80% 1s, 20% 2s or something.
What adds to repair between rounds and what repairs during a battle?
- Caretakers do not repair during battle- Living hulls of the Altarians do repair during battle
If somebody has more info it would be very much appreciated.
The Drath also can research living hulls.
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