Thoughts from the Disgusting Proletariot

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Thoughts from the Disgusting Proletariot

Post by Transcendence on Tue Nov 26, 2013 5:30 am

I had the pleasure of reading Spacekookie's insightful analysis of the current crew population system (And how it could be improved), and I couldn't help but feel that perhaps it may be appropriate to post my own thoughts on the issue.

I personally always viewed crew/officer production to be accomplished through being artificially grown on the Mothership and other production ships, and always felt that the the reason why crew seemed so bizarrely sized for larger ships was because the vast majority of the ship was automated - thus a much smaller crew was required than one would assume intuitively given our current technological level.

This leads me to wholeheartedly agree with Spacekookie's suggestion for crew production taking place on production ships (If they're making the rest of the ship, why not producing the crew as well? - Also, row upon row of bio-vats with future crew growing inside ftw! - ).

This also leads me to agree with the concept of the crew number growing over time. After all, you can't grow and code that important information into them meat bags overnight!

However, I can't help but feel that making the crew numbers more 'realistic' is not necessarily required, as the vastly automated ships would make for much smaller crew requirements, which makes sense to strive for in (Immersion) ship design, as this reduces life support requirements. After all, they don't seem to be 40K style ships where they have slave gangs manually turning the macro cannon.


A couple additional points I would like to mention are -

A) I find the distinction between 'officer' and 'crew' to be actually rather silly, to be honest. With so many different layers of command, and so many different jobs involved in running a starship, I find the split between officer and crew to be rather outmoded, especially given that I don't really picture any given crewman to just be a grunt on those ships. I really think that it should just be 'crew', and no differentiation should be in place. I highly doubt they'd even have a distinct separation between 'officers' and 'the rest'.

B) I despise the concept of separate barracks. Why would you separate the crew production from the well armored production ships? It just seems incredibly wasteful and breaks the immersion. I can think of no conceivable reason why it would be beneficial to have separate barracks ships from the Mothership and other production ships. I also see no way this would enhance gameplay. In Complex, I really only saw the introduction of the crew station as an annoyance.

C) Is it at all possible to get rid of the ranking system? I mean really, is it not possible that all requirements for balancing the advancement in the game can be accomplished through research for example? Researching better crew generation and storage techniques to increase 'crew', and just using research requirements to take over all restrictions for ship type/module type/etc? I really find this whole 'gaining honor' system to be really bloody arbitrary, and to have your rank determine what you can and cannot build just seems damn silly. I mean really. You're the bloody fleet commander. Maybe you know best when it's time to start researching those destroyers rather than waiting for your political officer to say you've blown up enough enemy ships/drifted around in space long enough for it not to be heretical and dangerously seditious to be thinking about them complexer ships?

So anyways, just some thoughts, feel free to throw the axes at them. Or take the torch to them... or wave the pitchforks. After all, a good witch lynching now and then keeps us all sated and sound.

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Re: Thoughts from the Disgusting Proletariot

Post by Nakamura on Tue Nov 26, 2013 7:01 am

A) is required for making strike craft more desirable in the later stages of the game than they were in vanilla. While Crew and officers would theoretically do similar tasks, this is a simple mechanic designed to make the game more dynamic. Complex`s implementation needed quite a bit of tweaking to make this obvious however. In our final CE release it should be rather obvious that this is the reason, as it should be in the future Rebirth release.

B) is a trade-off really. Hiigarans do have a weakness through using the crew station, however it`s a direct buff to their production. Once built, you will no longer have to build these extra training facilities on your capital ships, allowing you to spend that building time on something else that`s useful. This is a multiplayer mechanic and will play differently in the future Rebirth campaign (that will be more lore oriented)


As for the crew number changes, I do not think that dramatic changes are to be expected.

Vaygr will produce crew off their capitals, and Hiigarans will use the crew station in mutliplayer.
C) It`s possible, yes. Check out CE 8.8 :)We did implement it for both races with the exception of a few ships (battleship, vortex, etc).
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Re: Thoughts from the Disgusting Proletariot

Post by assasing123 on Tue Nov 26, 2013 2:44 pm

despite how automation might seem able to reduce crews a lot. it so happens there is a limit to it, specially in warships, a single kinetic shoot from a 150mm barrel in space, would create enough movement on impact on a 1 kilometer target to break a considerable amount of high tech systems inside a ship.

thus a lot of stuff cannot be just electronics and must be done by crew.

maintenance and using all this decides requires a lot of personel, even the most modern destroyer currently, the zumwalt class has a compliment on average of 180 crewmen from which about more than a dozen are officers, the question is, what are all this crew doing? well easy, maintenance in space, radiation slowly damages systems, armor, computers cannot replace tactics in real battles, only help. if there is a hull breach, no amount of automation will fix it magically (with the sole exception of the beast homeworld lore wise).

put it this way, they had to use a living brain to just control the mothership, that is on the level of a quantum computer, which cannot be used in space due to the simple fact that a simple course change would throw off all the calculations.

Officers, are a need as well, because they give order and organization, if there were no officers, who do you obey? fleet command? how about the inner ship workings, fleet command cannot go ship by ship ordering you to for example: prioritize fixing the broken plasma engine, or the force fields, or the main gun, or the environmental systems, or the hyperspace computer, the hyperspace system, the Thermal sensors, radar, astrometics... or the other 400+ systems a basic space warship would have. there needs to be a hierarchy of command which is what officers do.


Last Drones, need someone to program, order, fix and maintain them, which means even drones should use crew since when they get back from a skirmish punctured from micrometeoroids, ion cannons, lasers, someone got to fix, reprogram, and upgrade them.

and last, the kind of knowledge that an officer and a crewman have is totally different, crewmen are mechanics, engineers, scientists, weapon masters, while officers are tacticians, strategists, economists, lead researchers, their roles mean they cannot have the same training and thus cannot just use the same research facilities.

I m sorry but just the though that automation can reduce crews to such a far degree in a space war campaign is pretty wrong, unless you took onto account some technologies, that if applied, would make whoever have them automatically win. (say... nano machines with Swarm AI controlled remotely by multi tachyon communication quantum computers, this things would make the borg look like 2 year olds, and any warship design would look like a toy).


And last you need more barracks for people to sleep... building them from the start on a modular ship is a waste of resources, why have 400 beds for 50 ppl?
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Re: Thoughts from the Disgusting Proletariot

Post by Transcendence on Sun Dec 01, 2013 2:44 am

Thanks for the response Nakamura! And I'll be checking 8.8 ASAP!

Assasing -

So automated repair systems and drones are not possible at all... just because it seems too complex to you right now?

What I'm suggesting is in the chain of command, the division between 'Officer' and otherwise is silly, the chain of command is long, and the division between an officer and the lower ranks is just a silly holdover from the retarded nobility/common man bullshit of the older ages. Officers are not the only humans in a ranking structure that provides orders. You cling to the division of Officers and Crew because it's all you know. I'd think such an advanced race would have moved past that and just have a fluid tiered system of ranking without the artificial division. I see Nakamura's argument from the side of balancing... but yours is nonsensical.

Also, you keep saying automation can only account for so much reduction in crew, yet automation has reduced requirements of human intervention in almost all fields in the world - including military - dramatically over the past hundred years... and you're suggesting that it's not possible for it to go so very much further before epic space travel is capable. That seems rather narrow minded to me.

Lastly, it makes a hell of a lot more sense then making a useless, vulnerable floating human receptacle, especially when those people produced are supposed to be mustered out to their new ships to reside on asap.

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Re: Thoughts from the Disgusting Proletariot

Post by IGBC on Sun Dec 08, 2013 1:02 am

While devising how to reprogram the crew system for Rebirth, I worked out that Crew is in truth a 3 way compromise between realism, fun game play, and what can be achieved with the engine. The numbers are small because It makes it easier for the player to deal with; but at the same time if you go fro real numbers a fighter squad will need 5 crew while a battle ship will need 10,000, sound balanced to you?

However I like the idea of removing officers. Crew is a very complicated mechanic when compared to the old arbitrary ship limits, and reducing it to one "thing" over two I think could help make the game a bit slicker.

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Re: Thoughts from the Disgusting Proletariot

Post by assasing123 on Sun Dec 08, 2013 4:45 am

I never said they are not possible, just the investment required to make them work, is not efficient, you can go as far as physics go, everything decays soon or late, I specifically stated that if we were to go lore wise and use technologies immune to this, the whole warfare system in homeworld would be useless.

you just repeated what I said, it reduces crew but cannot get rid of it.

ranks have one alternative yes, hive minds, which are much more advanced, but hell, why not just get rid of all that and use hyperadvanced AIs to control the whole fleets, ignore crews totally, and use swarming nanomachines for warship use.

if you want to go the technological side, hell why even waste time in weapons, lets open an hyperspace gate in a blazar path and aim the exit at our enemies homeworlds.

if you feel so wise and smart, why don't you propose an alternative to the ranking system?

I never said automation cannot go further, I said, if it goes further, then it leaves the organic beings in the useless position, because that point is a technology singularity, there is no middle point, its either, just a small reduction, or all the way to non requirement at all.
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