Is a Stellaris Battleship just a later model Corvette?

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Cordane

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I ask this in comparison to the upsizing that has gone on with RW naval vessels. For example, in the 1910's, the US Navy started commissioning Clemson-class destroyers - these measured 95.8 meters long by 9.4 m wide, with a full-load displacement of around 1,300 tons. One hundred years (and at least 20 classes) later and the most recent class of US destroyers is the Zumwalt, coming in at 190 m x 24.6 m and a displacement of around 15,900 tons.

This compares to the ratio in many places of 1:2:4:8 from Corvettes to Destroyers to Cruisers to Battleships in Stellaris. If the ratio is taken literally to indicate volume/mass of the ship (cost in alloys certainly alludes to this), then the Battleship would proportionally be twice as long and have 8x the mass (equivalent to displacement above). From a technological perspective, the Corvette is a Tier-0 technology while Battleships are Tier-4 (per the Wiki), so there is a technological development to get to the larger hull/class. I don't know the average research time for a player- or AI-empire to research Battleships, but I'm guessing it's fairly close to the 100 year mark indicated above.

I'm not advocating for there to only be one hull size of warship per empire - far from it. I would actually prefer to see some larger hulls at Tier-0 (although maybe only 1-2), followed by a shift in roles over time. Later technologies would allow for both bigger hulls and for existing hull sizes to get quicker (due to improvements in structural materials, paired with thruster techs). It might require extensive refitting to upgrade to a new hull (time while the ships are out of commission) but it could be done that way; either that or build a new ship (the old ship stays around available to fight and then is retired/sold).

A possible scenario would have 3 initial hulls, a Tier-1 technology adds a new larger hull and allows the 3 smaller hulls to be upgraded, a Tier-2 technology adds another larger hull and allows a similar upgrade for the 4 hulls from the Tier-1 tech, etc. I would like to see a Tier-1 thruster tech added (or possibly sliding some of the existing techs down to make room for a later Tier), to have as a requirement for the new hull tech. With that new thruster added to the structural improvements, the largest hull is at least as quick as the largest from the previous Tier, while the lower sizes see a jump in their acceleration, leading to improved Evasion. (A ship with a new thruster tech but without the matching hull tech will see some benefit to the new thruster, but not as much as a newer hull, as it doesn't have the structural strength necessary to handle the forces.)

This would of course have to be tied to a ton of other tech changes, largely to have a larger range of weapon and utility sizes, and balance adjustments to keep the latest big ship from dominating all those below. System and FTL speeds would have to be adjusted, too, as the smallest ships will be double-dipping on speed boosts each Tier (I would start with having earlier ships be slower, rather than just piling everything on later). It would also precipitate a real examination of the Evasion and Tracking systems as the 4th largest ship at Tier-4 would be at least as Evasive as the smallest Tier-1 ship.
 
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A Battleship is a later model corvette the same way an ocean luxury cruise ship is a late model picnic table.
 
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Kapitalisti

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I'm not really sure what you're getting at here. At least those current real life ship classifications have no bearing on scifi space fleets since those designations vary considerably over time based on various developments, including basic political stuff. As in, I read somewhere the reason why the US navy has "destroyers" the size of WW2 cruisers is that it's easier to get funding for "destroyers" than "cruisers" since the latter sound more expensive.

And if you're asking for a more in depth ship design system you'd need to justify the added complexity and strain on other systems like tech with some clear advantages. And since battles in Stellaris are not fought on a tactical map I don't see the benefits.
 
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Aotrs Commander

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You would really need starship combat on the level of Sword of the Stars (please, someone somewhere in some game actually DO that...) in order to really get around the general 4X "a bigger hull is just better" conceit and even SotS doesn't do it especially well.
 
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jdrou

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Unfortunately we're sort of stuck with a hybrid situation. The ship system seems to be designed from an end-game-tech point of view with ships intended to have differing roles similar to 20th century navies. The tech system however doesn't really go along with that idea. As OP says, historically all ship classes got bigger over time; we didn't invent patrol boats, then destroyers, then cruisers, then battleships. If anything it was the other way around: build the biggest ships you can support first and when they get too big to use for some tasks you invent smaller classes for those tasks.

EDIT: If you wanted a more historically-oriented tech tree you could probably introduce all the ship types from the start but with new sections becoming available over time with more and more weapon and aux slots.
 
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Oculument

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I ask this in comparison to the upsizing that has gone on with RW naval vessels. For example, in the 1910's, the US Navy started commissioning Clemson-class destroyers - these measured 95.8 meters long by 9.4 m wide, with a full-load displacement of around 1,300 tons. One hundred years (and at least 20 classes) later and the most recent class of US destroyers is the Zumwalt, coming in at 190 m x 24.6 m and a displacement of around 15,900 tons.
Former U.S. Navy here, was on a destroyer. Current U.S. naval ship design is corrupted by peacetime concerns. The current destroyer designs are actually bigger than cruisers of the past and not because technology is so much better but just because the need for space to cram every possible type of weapon and gadget onto a ship to meet any need and fill any role. This is because the number of ships is too few to meet all the operations, so when ships are in maintenance periods drydocked those that are left have to do everything imaginable from anti-mine warfare, anti-surface, anti-air, anti-submarine and assist the Coast Guard with anti-smuggling and then add-in humanitarian aid missions and third world military assistance (providing non-combat surveillance and medical assistance for ally country military ops). Of course the weapons systems contractors and ship builders and system integrators are more than willing to go along with and even encourage the mindset of multi-role ships because its more money for them per unit.

The only reason not to call current U.S. navy designs of so-called destroyers "pocket battleships" is the utter lack of anything resembling armor. Everytime some bullet hits one of the things something gets broken or destroyed because of the ridiculous over-crammed density of gear.

TL;DR Do not extrapolate from the current situation as if there are timeless principles of ship design to be gleaned from there. The general idea of the square/cube principle holds (that volume and potential mass increases by the cube of a sphere's radius while the area increases by the square) but the meaning of words like corvette, destroyer, cruiser, battleship are almost entirely arbitrarily assigned ("social constructs" used in the entirely prejorative sense).
 
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A possible scenario would have 3 initial hulls, a Tier-1 technology adds a new larger hull and allows the 3 smaller hulls to be upgraded, a Tier-2 technology adds another larger hull and allows a similar upgrade for the 4 hulls from the Tier-1 tech, etc.
For now, there are four hull sizes, and common complain is that two of them became useless whenever bigger hull is researched.
You want to make additional four hull sizes.
 

HFY

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2220, feel cool rolling around with a fleet of 40 corvettes.

2270, feel cool rolling around with a fleet of 40 battleships.

From that perspective, maybe the latter is just a bigger version of the former.
 
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Brael

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Unfortunately we're sort of stuck with a hybrid situation. The ship system seems to be designed from an end-game-tech point of view with ships intended to have differing roles similar to 20th century navies. The tech system however doesn't really go along with that idea. As OP says, historically all ship classes got bigger over time; we didn't invent patrol boats, then destroyers, then cruisers, then battleships. If anything it was the other way around: build the biggest ships you can support first and when they get too big to use for some tasks you invent smaller classes for those tasks.

EDIT: If you wanted a more historically-oriented tech tree you could probably introduce all the ship types from the start but with new sections becoming available over time with more and more weapon and aux slots.

That’s a solution I would like. I would drop from 4 ship sizes to 3: Small, medium, and large (this excludes titans, juggernauts, etc). Then, I would expand on them over time through tech rather than unlocking entirely new ship sizes, and then organize them faster to slower and power wise such that smaller loses to bigger, but much smaller beats much bigger. Thus small<medium<large<small. From there you could balance via speed, so that if you’re an attacker, you will probably want bigger ships to mitigate losses, but a defender will first respond with faster ships, which would stop your big ships. I think I would also change speed calculations because the speed system discourages a combined arms approach to combat. Instead, I would make fleets move at the average speed of all ships in their group so that using some small ships with some large ships would allow the entire fleet to move faster while adding in a battleship slows it down.
 
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The way I approached it for my tabletop starships (which of course necessitates being a little more abstract than you can be with a compupter game) was to have smaller ships have engines which took up proportionally less space (a first-order simulation of the square/cubed law) and larger ships gaining an increased amount of armour and shields for the same mass/space (representing that a larger ship will very generally have a smaller surface area to volume ratio.) Th difference in speed/acceleration/turning capablility were also pretty marked, more so, I think, than in many 4X et al games are (given the ratio of speed-to-combat play-area).

(While I still did tie hull size to technology to some extent, it really only mattered at very low tech (but even the first division of that covered up to cruisers); at high level level, essentially past the point at which you could make a ship practical for tabletop game play, it was there to basically represent stuff more akin to mega-structures. At the technology point at which my game is designed to play, all practical sizes of ship were possible.)

You can't really do that in Stellaris (or many 4X games to be honest) since most of them generally only have engines that are fundementally fixed by the hull size, maybe with some modifications from other modules (like SotS does). In Stellaris in particular, to be able to use that sort of thing - i.e. where small, light ships have a lot better agility - you sort of need to be in a position where you can do stuff like flanking maneuvers, which Stellaris' generally "two balls of ships fly towards each other shooting" doesn't really give you. And that's the fundemental problem with Stellaris combat being automated as it stands - it's pretty much at the point where you can tweak it this way and that way, but it's basically at the limit of depth that it can be without actually having to be a full-on proper RTS combat system to use better tactics.
 

ZeeHero

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Unfortunately we're sort of stuck with a hybrid situation. The ship system seems to be designed from an end-game-tech point of view with ships intended to have differing roles similar to 20th century navies. The tech system however doesn't really go along with that idea. As OP says, historically all ship classes got bigger over time; we didn't invent patrol boats, then destroyers, then cruisers, then battleships. If anything it was the other way around: build the biggest ships you can support first and when they get too big to use for some tasks you invent smaller classes for those tasks.

EDIT: If you wanted a more historically-oriented tech tree you could probably introduce all the ship types from the start but with new sections becoming available over time with more and more weapon and aux slots.
Actually they got bigger for awhile but you'll notice that outside aircraft carriers there haven't been many ships the size of the Yamato since WW2.

In fact the US naval doctrine today involves more destroyers than large ships, the Zumwalt class as an example, more development is going into the smaller ships than battleships.

I suggest adding new mid to late game techs that improve destroyers and cruisers significantly. not for survivability perhaps but for utility and power. I like the ship aura idea that currently only titans and juggs get, maybe you could research tech to grant a mini version to cruisers and destroyers, that only works on ship classes not their own.

By using auras that only work on other ship classes a mixed fleet is more encouraged.
 

fourteenfour

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roles are difficult to define in the combat model of Stellaris because there is no limit to what an empire can afford in this game. combine that with the overlap in weapon types and configurations and it effectively removes certain hulls from ever being needed
 

Cordane

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1st the name of a ship class is more about the role than its size
2nd this is space not oceans
I reacted to your post as Respectfully Disagree, not because I thought that the individual statements were factually incorrect, but that they were pointlessly stated.

The point of the OP was to say that the role progresses upward as the hulls get bigger and bigger (the primary example of the increasing sizes of destroyers should have been a clue). A battleship-type vessel would probably be at the top of that progression, except for when a Titan or Colossus-type ship is called for. A corvette or destroyer-type role might not advance up the size spectrum after every hull increase, but they would get bigger over time eventually. Depending on how you view strike craft as a vessel size (either snub fighter or just a much smaller corvette), those could end up being the end result of a number of hull tech progressions.

And no duh, this is space not an ocean, but last time I checked, the Dev team for Stellaris is the group that set the naming conventions using those for RW naval warships of the 20th century, not me. Science fiction writers have been using those tropes for almost the entire last century plus, with some going so far as to create SFUs that try to replicate sailing warship conventions. And there are practical considerations of the vessels used in space flight (and fight) that would see them mirroring naval conventions.
 
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Cordane

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For now, there are four hull sizes, and common complain is that two of them became useless whenever bigger hull is researched.
You want to make additional four hull sizes.
Technically, right now Stellaris can have at least 7 hull sizes, depending on how you view them. The classic four are Corvette, Destroyer, Cruiser, and Battleship, with Titans and Colossi being the other two on the main line. Strike Craft could be viewed as the 7th, although there is probably a 1-3 "hull size" gap in between them and Corvettes. Finding uses for Destroyers and Cruisers is another topic, but one that has an active thread. And if you're struggling to come up with a reason for more hull sizes, just look at the mod New Ship Classes 2.
 

Cordane

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Former U.S. Navy here, was on a destroyer. Current U.S. naval ship design is corrupted by peacetime concerns. The current destroyer designs are actually bigger than cruisers of the past and not because technology is so much better but just because the need for space to cram every possible type of weapon and gadget onto a ship to meet any need and fill any role. This is because the number of ships is too few to meet all the operations, so when ships are in maintenance periods drydocked those that are left have to do everything imaginable from anti-mine warfare, anti-surface, anti-air, anti-submarine and assist the Coast Guard with anti-smuggling and then add-in humanitarian aid missions and third world military assistance (providing non-combat surveillance and medical assistance for ally country military ops). Of course the weapons systems contractors and ship builders and system integrators are more than willing to go along with and even encourage the mindset of multi-role ships because its more money for them per unit.

The only reason not to call current U.S. navy designs of so-called destroyers "pocket battleships" is the utter lack of anything resembling armor. Everytime some bullet hits one of the things something gets broken or destroyed because of the ridiculous over-crammed density of gear.

TL;DR Do not extrapolate from the current situation as if there are timeless principles of ship design to be gleaned from there. The general idea of the square/cube principle holds (that volume and potential mass increases by the cube of a sphere's radius while the area increases by the square) but the meaning of words like corvette, destroyer, cruiser, battleship are almost entirely arbitrarily assigned ("social constructs" used in the entirely prejorative sense).
Former US Air Force here, with submariner brother and IDC sister. Battleships dropped out as going-forward concern after WWII because their cost was obscene for all the good they were worth in modern naval warfare. Cruisers were spread over a broad range of sizes, with light cruisers and heavy (armored) cruisers in most navies, and some navies having hybrid gunship-carriers that were also called "cruisers". The biggest difference between Destroyers and Cruisers in general was armor, with the heavy cruisers having the most, light cruisers have a bit, and destroyers basically having little to none. You also had the quasi-class of Destroyer Leaders, which were basically light cruisers or frigates (although I've also seen frigates described as under-sized destroyers). As non-deck-gun naval weapons became more and more lethal, armor wasn't seen as such a priority (since it wouldn't stop anything critical), and hulls/classes that leaned on their armor, i.e., the cruisers (especially CA), were phased out. Destroyers fill the role left (i.e., CSG defense, both anti-air and anti-submarine)) well enough, while the only remaining light cruisers (in the US Navy at least) have no real anti-ship armor anyway (only Kevlar around critical areas).

With the extreme costs and development times for new ship classes, it's seen as easier to put most if not all support capabilities into as few classes as possible. And so a hull that was originally just for directly shooting at small surface ships (with four 4-inch guns, one 3-inch AA gun, and 12 torpedoes) is now almost entirely about missiles (for anti-air, anti-surface, and land attack) with just a single 5-inch gun, one CIWS, and a couple of torpedo tubes. They also have a helicopter deck and sensors for dealing with all types of threats (especially submarines).
 
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mercav

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There are some other mods which have this in mind, for me Star Trek Horizons comes to mind. Each 'era' unlocks a new series of hull designs which you can use.