Are humans now impossable to play?

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evil713
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Are humans now impossable to play?

Postby evil713 » Sat Jan 02, 2016 6:05 am

uploaded logs.

I get that not starting with a homeworld is a challenge, that being said the ai has too much advantage, everytime I fight the ai as human it follows nearly the same order, Missiles, shields, heavy cruiser, ions, game over. if I am lucky I get to stations maybe heavy cruiser.

I need to research a whole slew of technologies just to survive on the worlds I find most games, I barely get enough metal mined to get two planets building ships uninterrupted and I am facing five to ten ships a wave when I barely have five or ten ships built!

As a suggestion, I put forward the idea that humans start off with more basic techs researched.

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Tssha
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Re: Are humans now impossible to play?

Postby Tssha » Sat Jan 02, 2016 2:20 pm

I definitely think the humans need some sort of advantage. I get it, they're the hard faction, the one you pick because it's an interesting challenge, but you should be able to catch up if you're left alone long enough. Or at least, you should be able to run and set up shop somewhere else if things get too rough (but I've yet to see ANY 4X do this right, mostly because all available space fills up well before the endgame).

But the humans don't get any population stat bonuses. They don't get any special techs. They don't get any terrain advantages. They're decent at living anywhere except airless and vents (which is good, but isn't much of an advantage). They don't even get any knock-on benefits for starting without a homeworld (unless you're lucky and roll two garden planets).

Yes, they're the challenge race, but they need SOMETHING. Something that sets them apart, that makes them unique, and that, if used correctly (or if you're lucky) allows you to catch up.

Also something fun, because every race needs something fun.

Of course, my latest game, I'm doing pretty well, but it's clear I'm waaaaay behind. The Yoral are pretty much a superpower and I'm not sure I'll ever gain any ground against them (I'm gonna test to see if they're overpowered in this build, but that's another thread for another day). At least we're not at war, so they leave us alone. And it was arguably a pretty lucky start.



I might suggest some kind of benefit for humans being pretty much anywhere, like an intelligence bonus, or a diplomacy bonus, or an exploration bonus (getting more from exploration, colonization, derelict colonies, etc.). I'm not sure, but whatever it is, it should be fun and reflect the ragtag fleet aesthetic.



Ultimately, if the AI does well with the humans one time in ten, that would seem to be about right. The problem is, how do you get it so the real life human player isn't saddled with a faction that isn't going anywhere? Or at least, give the human player a fun middle role as spoiler/ally/broker/mercenary/satrapy.

But, in any case, you shouldn't play this faction unless you're wanting to scramble to stay alive, to make the most of limited resources. That means risking defeat, but having it happen over and over...if that's happening, something's gone wrong. Survival should at least be doable, even if victory is a mathematical impossibility.

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sven
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Re: Are humans now impossable to play?

Postby sven » Sat Jan 02, 2016 3:30 pm

Tssha wrote:I definitely think the humans need some sort of advantage.


Right now, the human's really have 2 significant advantages, which might arguably offset their otherwise terrible starting position.

The first is their starting heavy cruiser. It's sometimes enough to clear a fairly nice system -- or even to rush one of the AIs or a marauder base. That's a huge advantage, if you can scramble to make it work. Even if you can't pull off a fast CA-lead conquest -- the cruiser can give you a bit of breathing room in the early game.

The 6 starting transports also have the potential to be pretty useful for early income, and/or shifting around useful population types, if you happen across a species with good racial perks.

It's also worth noting that humans, unlike any other race, have a colony ship hull that they can build without any orbital infrastructure -- which makes quickly expanding to 4 or 5 planets that much more viable.

evil713 wrote:As a suggestion, I put forward the idea that humans start off with more basic techs researched.


This is certainly something I'd be comfortable trying -- it could make good thematic sense for the humans to have more advanced construction or paleontology techs in the early game, for example.

Tssha wrote:Also something fun, because every race needs something fun.


So, I admit I'm not the best test case -- but for what it's worth, I'm having a lot of fun playing humans in the current build, Playing as any other race is a more conventional "slow build" as you expand out into the stars. But humans start the game in crisis -- and that means memorable and exciting things have much better odds of happening in the first few turns.

It's also probably worth emphasizing that all the races are due for a lot more balancing and tweaking -- and the relative power levels will certainly continue to oscillate as we keep adjusting and improving things. At present, humans are certainly one of the weakest races (Orthin are also having trouble atm), and I'd like to give their relative power a boost, one way or another.

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Re: Are humans now impossible to play?

Postby sven » Sat Jan 02, 2016 3:42 pm

Tssha wrote:I might suggest some kind of benefit for humans being pretty much anywhere, like an intelligence bonus, or a diplomacy bonus, or an exploration bonus (getting more from exploration, colonization, derelict colonies, etc.). I'm not sure, but whatever it is, it should be fun and reflect the ragtag fleet aesthetic.


One idea that's been floated on these forums is to have the victor of a space battle collect some sort of bonus from the wreckage. I quite like this concept, and have been meaning to implement a version of it for a while now. I think it would certainly make sense if the humans, in their capacity as scrappy scavengers, are better at post-battle salvage than most other races. (That's an advantage that could synergize well with their starting CA, giving them a chance of getting an extra resource and/or tech boost in the early game.)

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Re: Are humans now impossable to play?

Postby evil713 » Sat Jan 02, 2016 4:19 pm

Ok throwing out a list of techs for humans to start with.

Superconductors and Duranium construction, especially on the starting heavy cruiser, to be more effective against the early pirate systems.

Rapid fire lasers, at least doubles the early firepower due to a late shipbuilding start.

Containment fields, use all the capacity of the 4 starting freight ships.

Artificial Organisms, space food.

Boarding tactics, should also be given to human pirates.

Small Craft and Orbital Construction, puts it one tech away from heavy cruisers.

Mass Drivers, Human Pirates have them, and ai races generally have shields researched early on.

It would also be nice if we had some chance to get pirate humans to join us randomly.

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Re: Are humans now impossable to play?

Postby Ashbery76 » Sat Jan 02, 2016 4:21 pm

The human factions big advantage is most humans are going to play them more than any other faction.A tougher start is not a bad idea for a single player game.Myabe the A.I when it plays humans should get a buff.Personally in my limited play I an not seeing them any tougher than the rest to play.

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Arioch
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Re: Are humans now impossible to play?

Postby Arioch » Sat Jan 02, 2016 9:11 pm

sven wrote:
Tssha wrote:I might suggest some kind of benefit for humans being pretty much anywhere, like an intelligence bonus, or a diplomacy bonus, or an exploration bonus (getting more from exploration, colonization, derelict colonies, etc.). I'm not sure, but whatever it is, it should be fun and reflect the ragtag fleet aesthetic.

One idea that's been floated on these forums is to have the victor of a space battle collect some sort of bonus from the wreckage. I quite like this concept, and have been meaning to implement a version of it for a while now. I think it would certainly make sense if the humans, in their capacity as scrappy scavengers, are better at post-battle salvage than most other races. (That's an advantage that could synergize well with their starting CA, giving them a chance of getting an extra resource and/or tech boost in the early game.)


Space salvage could be a new tech that Humans start with.

Humans could also possibly have better relations with the Death's Hand pirates.

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Tssha
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Re: Are humans now impossable to play?

Postby Tssha » Sat Jan 02, 2016 11:55 pm

I also think I should test the hypothesis that maybe the AI is just tougher, or one of the factions has an overpowering advantage. I know not all features are implemented, but it would probably be worth my time to do it (and let's face it, it's not like it wouldn't be fun :P ).

It seems to be a recurring theme in recent updates. It might just be a meme, or the AI might be stronger and everyone's still getting used to it. Either way, I should probably run some test games including and excluding certain factions and seeing if it gets easier or harder.

I did play a Yoral game and had an easier time of it. But that might either be luck, or adapting to the game. Must do more investigation to find out...

And yes, scrambling to succeed early on IS fun. :)

evil713
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Re: Are humans now impossable to play?

Postby evil713 » Sun Jan 03, 2016 1:23 am

The ai is not stronger, the ai is cheating. I have run into numerous worlds that should be filled with dead bodies but are still full to the brim. I felled the entire gremak empire and the majority of there worlds were factories, worlds that would be better for food production.

The ai is not finished yet, and right now its given several boons in order to compensate for the new resourse mechanic.

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Re: Are humans now impossable to play?

Postby wminsing » Mon Jan 04, 2016 4:55 am

Ah, that explains my last game; as I absorbed the other empires in turn I ended up narrowly avoiding major food shortages several times. I was wondering how they were feeding themselves to start with. The answer is that right now they are not!

-Will

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Re: Are humans now impossable to play?

Postby Unbroken » Wed Jan 06, 2016 2:03 am

I haven't played as the humans since pre-metal/food, but they're probably still bound more or less by the same constraints as before. The biggest one is easily luck - if you start in a corner with no good habitable worlds at the start, the game's pretty much over. Conversely, if you get some awesome worlds nearby (or now apparently, a juicy AI neighbour), you'll snowball out of control and wreck everyone else in no time at all.

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Re: Are humans now impossable to play?

Postby Arioch » Wed Jan 06, 2016 5:52 am

The pirates and marauders are a lot tougher now, so that will probably make the Human start more hit-and-miss.

evil713
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Re: Are humans now impossable to play?

Postby evil713 » Wed Jan 06, 2016 5:59 am

I am seeing the human pirates with troopships and colony ships, I kinda feel after I discover them they should be doing more.

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Arioch
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Re: Are humans now impossable to play?

Postby Arioch » Wed Jan 06, 2016 6:59 am

One of my goals with the diplomacy system is to make the minor factions (including the pirates) more active, reactive, and interactive. The Marauders are currently more active (sending fleets to nearly systems), but the Death's Hand pirates are mainly system guardians right now.

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Re: Are humans now impossable to play?

Postby sven » Wed Jan 06, 2016 8:34 pm

evil713 wrote:Ok throwing out a list of techs for humans to start with.


I do think humans would need to be particularly good at hostile-environment farming to have survived as long as they have. And it is possible to draw nothing but Arid planets in your immediate starting area -- which is really brutal given that you'll start the game fighting against starvation.

So, I'm now starting the human faction with "Artificial Organisms". (Thematically, the Yoral should perhaps also get this buff -- but, they're really too strong right now as they are, so I think that can wait.)

Also, I've added some extra perks for humans who start on 'easy' -- they now get a third colony ship, and a few other bonus techs. Also -- their CA has rapid fire turbolasers, a fusion reactor, and duranium armor. I think this may be enough to make "easy" mode humans actually something like easy in practice -- though I haven't tested it extensively. In theory though, you should be able to use your CA to blow through all but the toughest early-game opposition, though there's still a chance of getting your early colonies pounced by marauders while the CA is out exploring, which is frustrating. (I've just told the marauders to avoid launching raids for the first 20 turns though on easy though, which should cut down on the odds of that as well.)

(All of these changes should be live as of r14470, which I've just posted to 'stable'.)


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