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Crew Types

#1
I realise that the idea of being able to hire and manage a crew aboard your ship/s has been discussed before (at least around 10 months ago). What I can't find any mention of are suggestions for what kinds of crew members you could hire. Engineers, medics, security personnel...if a crew system were to be implemented, what different types of crew members would you want or expect? What would be their individual attributes, their responsibilities, etc.?

Additionally, would they have any special requirements? If engineers were aboard your ship, would you need to keep stocked up on mechanical or electrical components for them to confer any kind of benefit? Would medicine be required for medics to keep the rest of the crew healthy and intact?

Also, could different kinds of crew complement each other for added benefit? Could an engineer working alongside a medic allow for better medical tools, or better weapons for security? Could medics provide stimulants that enhance the performance of other types of crew?
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Re: Crew Types

#3
I wasn't aware if there are specific crew types that we could hire actually. I thought it was more of an NPC with skills as such:
PIloting - 9
Gunnery - 0 (DO NOT PUT HIM IN THE TURRET SEAT! EVER! :lol:)
Engineering - 4
Medical - 3
etc.

However I'm for the position that I do not want to start thinking about equipping my ships with medical supplies, parts for repair, ammo supplies, food supplies, etc. as it would introduce way too much micromanagement for little gain in the overall experience. I plan on having large fleets of at least 50 capital ships...I do not want to be thinking about supplying them with the necessary goods to have them functioning at peak efficiency. It would feel too...grindy...for me. :)

EDIT: Ninja'd by Cornflakes_91
In Josh we trust.
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Re: Crew Types

#4
Thanks for the feedback.
Cornflakes_91 wrote:The idea was suggested and rejected many times. It would add too much micromanagement for a x hundred or thousand ship fleet
TanC wrote:I plan on having large fleets of at least 50 capital ships...I do not want to be thinking about supplying them with the necessary goods to have them functioning at peak efficiency. It would feel too...grindy...for me.
These are very good points.
TanC wrote:I thought it was more of an NPC with skills as such:
PIloting - 9
Gunnery - 0 (DO NOT PUT HIM IN THE TURRET SEAT! EVER! :lol:)
Engineering - 4
Medical - 3
etc.
Yeah, I saw this earlier as well. The idea of having specific types of crew that are each capable of a limited range of behaviour is an alternative to that idea, similar to Josh's universal matter transporter idea vs. having specific tools for specific jobs e.g. mining lasers

Which kind of system would you be more in favour of?
Cornflakes_91 wrote:Besides: what would it add on large scales besides micromanagement and 2 dozen of extra commodities?
Well, if the AI were to play using the same logic, with the ability to hire crew and the necessity of purchasing or manufacturing the appropriate commodities to have them function properly, then I'm guessing it could potentially allow for new types of strategy. For example, if you know that formidable ships of an enemy faction frequent a particular sector of space, you could order your own fleet to set up a blockade against incoming ships on the trade lanes. Over time, this will increase the scarcity of the relevant commodities within the area, inflate its price, and either cause the enemy ships in the region to disperse (as they seek elsewhere for the appropriate resources) or allow you to take them on in a weakened state. If they are bound to remain in the region (e.g. if they were ordered to remain there by some higher authority figure within the faction, or if they are protecting something valuable), then increasing desperation may drive them out of the nest and after you and your blockade.

That being said, when I was thinking through this idea at 3 AM last night, I was only picturing controlling a single ship, in which case I would fly around and try to hire crew, or board/destroy enemy ships and force the survivors to work for me, etc. I appreciate that if we're talking about the management of huge fleets, this would quickly become cumbersome. I have little experience with space simulators, so I'm mostly relying on what other people say to gauge how fun something would be in practice (I have nothing in mind to compare against which makes my evaluation weak).

In reality, though, the admiral of a fleet does not supervise the management of crew on every ship in his command, right? Would it seem less cumbersome if each ship that you own (but don't directly control) manages its own crew and commodity supply? What I'm envisaging here is that as your fleet grows, you only need to be responsible for the following:
  • Crew management and commodity supply aboard your own vessel.
  • Maintaining stockpiles of all necessary commodities that can be supplied by and supply any members of your fleet.
Keeping stockpiles like this would mean that you only need to worry about making sure other ships in your fleet are able to maintain an adequate rate of supply to meet the demand of your fleet as a whole. You wouldn't need to micromanage the crew and commodity supply aboard other vessels in your fleet.

Based on reading about possible ways of game balancing in some other threads, this may also serve as a way to limit the ease of the player 'conquering' the game, since an increasingly large fleet will require increasingly large supplies of commodities to maintain peak efficiency. If the logistics become inadequate, the effectiveness of your fleet may deteriorate, putting smaller enemy fleets with better logistics management on equal or better footing as you.

Crew management would be something I'd like to see in a game like this, but since I haven't really played any game like this (the closest thing is EVE Online), I really can't judge whether I'd actually enjoy this in practice, even with the amendments in place to limit the need for micromanagement.
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Re: Crew Types

#5
ThymineC wrote:
Cornflakes_91 wrote:Besides: what would it add on large scales besides micromanagement and 2 dozen of extra commodities?
Well, if the AI were to play using the same logic, with the ability to hire crew and the necessity of purchasing or manufacturing the appropriate commodities to have them function properly, then I'm guessing it could potentially allow for new types of strategy. For example, if you know that formidable ships of an enemy faction frequent a particular sector of space, you could order your own fleet to set up a blockade against incoming ships on the trade lanes. Over time, this will increase the scarcity of the relevant commodities within the area, inflate its price, and either cause the enemy ships in the region to disperse (as they seek elsewhere for the appropriate resources) or allow you to take them on in a weakened state. If they are bound to remain in the region (e.g. if they were ordered to remain there by some higher authority figure within the faction, or if they are protecting something valuable), then increasing desperation may drive them out of the nest and after you and your blockade.
Behavior like this can emerge also without Crew management, with fuel, ammunition, materials etc.... No need for crew and their management.

i, for myself, could arrange myself with crew management light, some thresholds for the commodity "crew" within the ship works not, or with rising efficiency with would drop after a peak (too much people are no good). and this crew would require some generic commodity to live and work.
but im not sure if on large scales this would also become too tedious (but what would be the difference to an normal commodity like ammuninition? dunno....)

ThymineC wrote:[...]but since I haven't really played any game like this[...]
i havent played the prototype myself but afaik when you play first freelancer for the "feeling" and then something from the X series (except X Rebirth) to give you SOME sense of the larger parts, just with infinitely improved interface in relation to X ^^

greets
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Re: Crew Types

#6
ThymineC wrote:Thanks for the feedback.
Bouncing ideas back and forth is wonderful. :)
ThymineC wrote: In reality, though, the admiral of a fleet does not supervise the management of crew on every ship in his command, right? Would it seem less cumbersome if each ship that you own (but don't directly control) manages its own crew and commodity supply?
-snip-
No, the Admiral definitely does not micromanage the crews in his fleet. He does control the captains that commands the ships. But, will the captains be able to follow the commands issued by the Admiral to the letter? Or will there be miscommunication/personal bias/personal agenda on the part of the Captain such that not all orders will be carried out to the exact specifications? Will this be part of the control to limit the player's power instead? I wonder if players will be frustrated at this mechanic... :lol:
ThymineC wrote: Based on reading about possible ways of game balancing in some other threads, this may also serve as a way to limit the ease of the player 'conquering' the game, since an increasingly large fleet will require increasingly large supplies of commodities to maintain peak efficiency. If the logistics become inadequate, the effectiveness of your fleet may deteriorate, putting smaller enemy fleets with better logistics management on equal or better footing as you.
Yes! I'm all for ways to affect the efficiency of your war machine...and in effect, the player's power without it being too "gamey".
ThymineC wrote: Crew management would be something I'd like to see in a game like this, but since I haven't really played any game like this (the closest thing is EVE Online), I really can't judge whether I'd actually enjoy this in practice, even with the amendments in place to limit the need for micromanagement.
I'm definitely all for crew management too, our collective issue here is how to make it fun to the average gamer without it being too cumbersome. :think:
Cornflakes_91 wrote:i havent played the prototype myself but afaik when you play first freelancer for the "feeling" and then something from the X series (except X Rebirth) to give you SOME sense of the larger parts, just with infinitely improved interface in relation to X ^^

greets
Fleet management in X series is too cumbersome. I remember having scrap papers on my desk to track every single ship in my fleet - what their weapon types are, missile requirements, energy cells, etc. :?
In Josh we trust.
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Re: Crew Types

#8
TanC wrote:
ThymineC wrote: In reality, though, the admiral of a fleet does not supervise the management of crew on every ship in his command, right? Would it seem less cumbersome if each ship that you own (but don't directly control) manages its own crew and commodity supply?
-snip-
No, the Admiral definitely does not micromanage the crews in his fleet. He does control the captains that commands the ships. But, will the captains be able to follow the commands issued by the Admiral to the letter? Or will there be miscommunication/personal bias/personal agenda on the part of the Captain such that not all orders will be carried out to the exact specifications? Will this be part of the control to limit the player's power instead? I wonder if players will be frustrated at this mechanic... :lol:
The thing is, this is actually the crux of the whole issue. It has been expressed by Josh that this would be the best method; however incredibly difficult to implement. As such, this is one of the main reasons why being able to pause and issue commands while paused came in. You can't be everywhere at once, while the AI can. Making the AI *not* be everywhere at once is the hard part.
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Early Spring - 1055: Well, I made it to Boatmurdered, and my initial impressions can be set forth in three words: What. The. F*ck.
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Re: Crew Types

#9
Cornflakes_91 wrote:
ThymineC wrote:
Cornflakes_91 wrote:Besides: what would it add on large scales besides micromanagement and 2 dozen of extra commodities?
Well, if the AI were to play using the same logic, with the ability to hire crew and the necessity of purchasing or manufacturing the appropriate commodities to have them function properly, then I'm guessing it could potentially allow for new types of strategy. For example, if you know that formidable ships of an enemy faction frequent a particular sector of space, you could order your own fleet to set up a blockade against incoming ships on the trade lanes. Over time, this will increase the scarcity of the relevant commodities within the area, inflate its price, and either cause the enemy ships in the region to disperse (as they seek elsewhere for the appropriate resources) or allow you to take them on in a weakened state. If they are bound to remain in the region (e.g. if they were ordered to remain there by some higher authority figure within the faction, or if they are protecting something valuable), then increasing desperation may drive them out of the nest and after you and your blockade.
Behavior like this can emerge also without Crew management, with fuel, ammunition, materials etc.... No need for crew and their management.
You're absolutely right, I should have realised that. You should expect this kind of behaviour with any kind of commodity that is consumable, sufficiently valuable and not found in abundant quantities around where the enemy forces are based. But this makes me very excited, because I would absolutely love to see this level of complexity in the behaviour of the AI. I'm really curious whether Josh could program the AI to reason to that degree.

One of the main reasons why I would love to have a crew system implemented in the game, apart from being another dynamic that adds depth to it, is that I want to lead fleets into battle with the thought that I'm responsible for the life and death of thousands of individuals. That kind of power would be exhilarating, and something I would dearly love to abuse, and it would certainly get me immersed in the experience.
Cornflakes_91 wrote:i, for myself, could arrange myself with crew management light, some thresholds for the commodity "crew" within the ship works not, or with rising efficiency with would drop after a peak (too much people are no good).
One benefit of having crew of specific types (engineer, medic, etc.) is that it would make it relatively easy to implement the game logic of diminishing marginal returns. If having one engineer confers a bonus of +X% to the performance of some subsystem of your ship, then you could implement diminishing returns by saying that the nth engineer only confers an additional bonus of +(X*C^n)%, 0 < C < 1. There should certainly be hard caps on the number of crew members that a ship can support anyway.
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Re: Crew Types

#10
I thought more along the lines of
With less than 20 people nothing does work
With 20 people you have 15% efficiency for certain stats (repair, weapon accuracy etc)
With 150 people your ship works at 100%
Over 200 people the efficiency drops because its too crowded

That would make some crew managent neccecary But wouldnt lead to massive microing with lots of additional stats

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