One of the naturally occuring design conundrums with GSB is preventing there emerging any single killer strategy that always wins. I’ve put a lot of time and effort into avoiding this, both before and after releasing the game. One way to do this is the conventional Rock Paper Scissors design, where there is a counter for each weapon. But GSB introduces a new quirk, in that you can tell 100% absolutely what the enemy brings to the battle, and how they behave.
One of the best ways the game prevents killer game-killing strategies emerging is variety between battles. Because the size of maps, the spatial anomalies and the race of the enemy is different in each map, the player is (hopefully) working with different strategies on each map, having to adjust their fleet design to fit the cirumstances. In addition, financial and pilot limits also restrict the design of fleet.
And Generally… I think for the majority of the non obsessed uber-gamer, this is working ok. The problem is that although a strategy doesnt emerge that wins every battle with the same effectiveness, it is true that sometimes the best fleet turns out to be aesthetically very dull. Such as a block of 64 identical frigates all flying in formation. This isn’t what GSB is about, so I need a way to make the player design fleets that not only win, but look l33t.
Enter supply limits, which I’m working on now (in-between testing the now almost done expansion pack). The general idea is that as well as having pilot and cash limits, a scenario (or a challenge) can support arbitrary total limits for any ship component. So for example, there may only be 11 frigate engines available, and 3 plasma launchers, meaning that certain ship designs are now only deployable in small numbers. By default, every module has infinite supply, but the scenario can limit some, none or all of them.
In code terms this is nearly done, but in UI terms it will take ages :D. However, I am very very excited about seeing the effect it will have on the game, especially going onwards into its potential for user-designed scenarios. It wouldnt be a massive leap further to allow challenges with player-chosen supply limits, and take that extra step towards letting GSB players shape the nature of the competitive game.
Supply Limits: It’s the future!