Suggest - Features and Improvements

A forum for chatting about in-development game features.

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zolobolo
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Re: Suggest - Features and Improvements

Postby zolobolo » Wed Mar 15, 2017 5:20 pm

Arioch wrote:I'm personally not at all satisfied with the terraforming system, and so I agree that it should be overhauled. I never use it, since I find most games can be won or lost before it becomes available, so it's not one of my higher priorities.

This is true for all late-tier tech. Star-Gate, Mobile Planetoid you can push through if you are determined to try them after a win, but Industrial Replication, Terraforming, Hive Worlds and such did not yet present a motivating target to work for at least for me

I guess this will be solved once the AI gets more competitive, but a small reduction of the cost of these should make them a viable alternative to weapons with which we can actually have fun and win the game - or place some art for these as well to make them intriguing that should also do the trick :)

bjg
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Re: Suggest - Features and Improvements

Postby bjg » Wed Mar 15, 2017 5:51 pm

Arioch wrote:... the terraforming system ... I never use it, since I find most games can be won or lost before it becomes available, so it's not one of my higher priorities.

Interesting. I guess it's relatively easy to kill_them_all_fast with just Heavy Hulls (or even Miniaturization for Yoral) and Railguns (both could be found in Derelicts, BTW), but I don't want to kill_them_all.

victor_D85
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Re: Suggest - Features and Improvements

Postby victor_D85 » Thu Mar 16, 2017 7:49 am

bjg wrote:
Arioch wrote:... the terraforming system ... I never use it, since I find most games can be won or lost before it becomes available, so it's not one of my higher priorities.

Interesting. I guess it's relatively easy to kill_them_all_fast with just Heavy Hulls (or even Miniaturization for Yoral) and Railguns (both could be found in Derelicts, BTW), but I don't want to kill_them_all.


Oh yeah, that is one of the things I forgot: railguns are way, way, way overpowered. Chiefly because it is very easy to get them, and once you have them, you basically do not need to research any main weapon technology afterwards. My combination of rapid fire turbolasers and railguns was completely devastating.

Disruptors, neutrons beams, even "primaries" cannot compete with the raw power and range of the railguns. (I found the hard way, when the Gremaks smoked my more advanced fleet relying on beam weapons. If I didn't have advanced shields that blocked kinetics, I'd be wiped out in one turn. Then I refitted to railguns and slaughtered them.)

zolobolo
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Re: Suggest - Features and Improvements

Postby zolobolo » Thu Mar 16, 2017 5:05 pm

victor_D85 wrote:Oh yeah, that is one of the things I forgot: railguns are way, way, way overpowered. Chiefly because it is very easy to get them, and once you have them, you basically do not need to research any main weapon technology afterwards. My combination of rapid fire turbolasers and railguns was completely devastating.

Disruptors, neutrons beams, even "primaries" cannot compete with the raw power and range of the railguns. (I found the hard way, when the Gremaks smoked my more advanced fleet relying on beam weapons. If I didn't have advanced shields that blocked kinetics, I'd be wiped out in one turn. Then I refitted to railguns and slaughtered them.)

A re-balancing of weapons is on the agenda if I remember correctly.
Several of the weapons need some adjustment to serve their description correctly and have a distinct purpose in the game.

zolobolo
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Re: Suggest - Features and Improvements

Postby zolobolo » Fri Mar 17, 2017 5:13 pm

Please display AI empire color with the faction logo if there are more then one empires using the same faction on the map

e.g.: Player is playing Yoral as well as an AI empire, and it is a bit strange that they are displayed identically (more importantly referencing the color in diplomacy menu helps to identify which AI we are dealing with):
https://www.dropbox.com/s/bw72xe61gxynzty/Samie.jpg?dl=0

zolobolo
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Re: Suggest - Features and Improvements

Postby zolobolo » Sat Mar 18, 2017 8:48 am

Influence generating building (Embassy or such) requiring tech research (or faction specific tech) and the most production time of any building + restricted to 1/planet

This could be paired by introducing influence costs for more action where it makes sense such as :
- Colonizing planets in a system that has been claimed by someone else (established a colony first)
- Buying slaves

zolobolo
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Re: Suggest - Features and Improvements

Postby zolobolo » Sat Mar 18, 2017 10:13 am

For diplomacy:
- Get rid of trade part (only enables player to farm the AI empires and needs a lot of balancing to be acceptable)
- Display who is paying of Marauders (to serve also a control function for AI) and have Marauders increase the payment if no other target is left to attack since everyone is paying them off. This way, they will eventually cause an ever increasing burden on surrounding empires
- Relationship bonus for empires fighting against a common enemy - has to be minor in order to not split all the factions up right at the beginning
- Increasing Relationship penalty for each planet an empire colonies in a system claimed by another. This is realistic and helps develop tention between empires where necessary
- Relationship penalty against everyone if their relative strength (number of planets and star systems + income but not pop and metal) is higher. This value should be proportional to the relative advantage of the stronger empire to make small empires more suspicions against larger ones and help stop the snowball effect from mid-game by having others gang up against the strongest empires
- Relationship Penalty for rejecting requests of any sort, the amount of which depending on the impact of the request. e.g.: Rejecting going to war should cause more penalty then rejecting request for metal. Prio: Join war>Food>Credit>Metal
- AI should ask other AIs for resources just like it does for players or it should not ask at all, else the player gets an unfair advantage over other empires. Which empires the AI first asks for the resource should depend on their relationship towards them and the number of available resources. Thus the player should not be asked if there is another empire with more of the resource on stock and to whom the requester has the same relationship

It should still be possible to reject requests without relationship penalty, but that should cost influence, thus a diplomacy focused civ such as Phidi can still reject invitation to war without resulting indirectly to war being declared on it by doing so.
Last edited by zolobolo on Sun Mar 19, 2017 9:43 am, edited 2 times in total.

zolobolo
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Re: Suggest - Features and Improvements

Postby zolobolo » Sat Mar 18, 2017 12:16 pm

Display interception warning in tactical battle when a ship is selected and not only when it will move into a position where it is expected to be hit

This shall give the player a warning if the ship in question is targeted and by what kind of missiles/small craft/torpedo

It would still be great if we can see when the ship will be hit by which weapon, but it would be best to display this another way:
- Either by coloring the list of attacking assets
- Displaying them in a new column

bjg
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Re: Suggest - Features and Improvements

Postby bjg » Mon Mar 20, 2017 1:40 am

Is there a reason not to allow transferring the rest of certain race from a planet if it's less than a 1000000 (but more than 250000)?

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Captainspire
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Re: Suggest - Features and Improvements

Postby Captainspire » Fri Apr 07, 2017 1:06 pm

bjg wrote:Is there a reason not to allow transferring the rest of certain race from a planet if it's less than a 1000000 (but more than 250000)?

Ive been able to take a population off a planet the moment it its just about 990,000 which in game math is close enough to 1 population.

I think the most basic reason is since 1 million is one population and a transport is capable of taking one population, not a half or more than 1 million.

It's also a quick work around not de-populating a planet before an invasion or by accident.

zolobolo
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How to increase difficulty

Postby zolobolo » Sat Apr 22, 2017 8:50 am

Now that the first update is under discussion, I thought I'll put together a list of things that, in my experience impact replay-ability the most.

To sum it up in one word, its: difficulty

In detail these were the points I found had a negative impact to this aspect in order of ascending weight:
1. Diplomatic events lend a convenient way to the player to warm up to the AI, and thus later will never declare war. Because these events are interesting and impactful (getting Phidi pops, or giving food to stop starvation), it is hard to simply ignore them for the sake of difficulty, but this also causes the AI personalities to be single sided: always friendly to the player. Bribing Marauder fleets falls somewhat in this same category due to the second point as well
2. AI having issues handling space monsters, pirate and Marauder Raids. This causes them to lose, ships, time and planets they could colonies early-mid game, but are instead left on the map and causing a block for their strategy and easy pickings for the player. In case of Marauders, the AI is having considerable difficulties handling them mostly due to the below points. My guess: making Marauders weaker (only their invasions, the their bases can remain strong so they are not eliminated easily) would probably increase difficulty for the user, as the AI empires would not be crippled so often, and generally grow faster
3. AI having issues amassing large fleets. A strange one: even if abundant money and metal is available to it, the AI does not seem to produce a steady amount of ships. It seems to get over this fact in the late game, so it must be some limiting factor in the early-mid game (maybe a researched tech?)
4. Oval map type missing: This does to only lead to smaller amount "contacts" due to the borders being more condensed but also leads to a lot of empires being "cornered", and in most cases, the human player to have "safe" borders right in the beginning, and the latest after the first conquests. Due to ship ranges, these systems are danger-free and thus defense for them does not need to be considered.
5. AI having issues creating varied fleets. This is mostly probably due to point 3, but have seen it create one or two ship types endlessly with abundant resources when it got to that point which obviously limits the effectiveness of its fleets. It is difficult to tell how much of an impact this one point has on overall difficulty without addressing the above

As diplomacy seems to be a top candidate for the update, I hope that one is green-lighted. Even if the more-advanced features are part of a paid content (such as advanced diplomatic events), I think that increasing the friction between the AI and the player needs to be prioritized as a patch accompanying the update.

There is nothing wrong with having diplomatic requests, but the AI needs to use this method also towards other AIs and build up a preference which can easily put the player in a disadvantageous spot.
e.g.: Who the AI asks for the resource should be dependent on the amount of resource available to other empire and their relationship towards them. Also: it should not be possible to reject a request without penalty. Rejection should either cost influence or relationship penalty and to make this fair, the request should cost influence as well, so the requester cannot "punish" the target empire for free

Other passive diplomatic effects that would make sense from my experience:
- They should automatically dislike empires that their friends dislike (this could be the purpose of the population attitude metric in the diplomacy screen)
- They should automatically dislike empires killing (bombarding) their citizens (considering their main pop, or all the pops that are living in their territory - can be summed up also by the population attitude towards the empire)
- But most importantly: They should dislike other empires that settle systems, they have claimed first (just like a human would do). The more planets are settled this way, the larger the penalty. This would not only naturally lead to friction between war buddies as they snatch away land from a common enemy, but would also utilize the mechanic already in place of having ownership of a system. Its a win-win, fits into the current system (gives outpost a very nice second meaning/function), and would make oh-so much sense :)

nweismuller
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Re: Suggest - Features and Improvements

Postby nweismuller » Sun Apr 23, 2017 10:14 am

I believe that when a planet revolts while its current ruler is at war with the nation representing that planet's population, the planet should surrender itself to its parent empire rather than form a generic 'rebel' group, as local political demands are likely to support repatriation of the planet. For instance, if Denebola I is a world inhabited by Haduir and currently ruled by the Gremak Empire, I believe that if it revolts while the Gremak Empire is at war with the Ashdar Imperials, it should rejoin the Ashdar Imperials. Odds are good the planet was conquered from the Ashdar Imperials and would naturally support the Ashdar Empire, and, even if it was not, the Ashdar Imperials represent an obvious source of protection from their previous Gremak overlords that should be more than acceptable to the locals.

zolobolo
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Re: Suggest - Features and Improvements

Postby zolobolo » Sun Apr 23, 2017 10:29 am

nweismuller wrote:I believe that when a planet revolts while its current ruler is at war with the nation representing that planet's population, the planet should surrender itself to its parent empire rather than form a generic 'rebel' group, as local political demands are likely to support repatriation of the planet. For instance, if Denebola I is a world inhabited by Haduir and currently ruled by the Gremak Empire, I believe that if it revolts while the Gremak Empire is at war with the Ashdar Imperials, it should rejoin the Ashdar Imperials. Odds are good the planet was conquered from the Ashdar Imperials and would naturally support the Ashdar Empire, and, even if it was not, the Ashdar Imperials represent an obvious source of protection from their previous Gremak overlords that should be more than acceptable to the locals.


Rebel planets joining another empire makes sense but I can see two issues with this mechanic that would need to be sorted out first:
1. Which empire should the rebel planet join if there are several empires in game representing the dominant race? Should they join the empire that has the worst relationship with the player? What if that empire has not been discovered yet?
2. The same would need to apply for rebelling planets of AI empires. Should these join the human player if the proper conditions are met? Wouldn't this make the game more easier for the player?

From a game mechanic point of view, this could lead to players micro managing their populations, so that "suspicious" races are always in the minority, so that in case of rebellion, they do not join another AI. This would lead to a lot of micro for little gain.

How about giving rebellious planets a dedicated minor faction instead? Similarly to the Marauders, pirates, and such.
It is already planned, that minor races get more dynamics, and spamming pirate ships from these planets would be awesome and make sense.

They could thus either join a pirate faction, or a default Rebel faction, which does all sorts of nasty things when left unattended.
Should a spy system ever be implemented, that can directly interact with this dynamic - inciting rebellions would be a powerful way of crippling another empire without direct military means, if the Rebel faction can get strong enough (the more planets they get, the more ships they could spawn).

nweismuller
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Re: Suggest - Features and Improvements

Postby nweismuller » Sun Apr 23, 2017 9:17 pm

zolobolo wrote:
nweismuller wrote:I believe that when a planet revolts while its current ruler is at war with the nation representing that planet's population, the planet should surrender itself to its parent empire rather than form a generic 'rebel' group, as local political demands are likely to support repatriation of the planet. For instance, if Denebola I is a world inhabited by Haduir and currently ruled by the Gremak Empire, I believe that if it revolts while the Gremak Empire is at war with the Ashdar Imperials, it should rejoin the Ashdar Imperials. Odds are good the planet was conquered from the Ashdar Imperials and would naturally support the Ashdar Empire, and, even if it was not, the Ashdar Imperials represent an obvious source of protection from their previous Gremak overlords that should be more than acceptable to the locals.


Rebel planets joining another empire makes sense but I can see two issues with this mechanic that would need to be sorted out first:
1. Which empire should the rebel planet join if there are several empires in game representing the dominant race? Should they join the empire that has the worst relationship with the player? What if that empire has not been discovered yet?
2. The same would need to apply for rebelling planets of AI empires. Should these join the human player if the proper conditions are met? Wouldn't this make the game more easier for the player?

From a game mechanic point of view, this could lead to players micro managing their populations, so that "suspicious" races are always in the minority, so that in case of rebellion, they do not join another AI. This would lead to a lot of micro for little gain.

How about giving rebellious planets a dedicated minor faction instead? Similarly to the Marauders, pirates, and such.
It is already planned, that minor races get more dynamics, and spamming pirate ships from these planets would be awesome and make sense.

They could thus either join a pirate faction, or a default Rebel faction, which does all sorts of nasty things when left unattended.
Should a spy system ever be implemented, that can directly interact with this dynamic - inciting rebellions would be a powerful way of crippling another empire without direct military means, if the Rebel faction can get strong enough (the more planets they get, the more ships they could spawn).


I am specifically thinking of rebels only joining an empire when there are members of a species that the previous owner is at with in the rebelling planet- so that Haduir only ever defect to the Ashdar Imperials, Teros to the Ashdar Colonials, Humans to Humanity, and so forth. For mixed-population planets, I believe I would be inclined to have the planet defect to a rival empire if any portion of the population wishes to defect (because there is an empire of their species currently at war with their prior overlords), with cases where there are multiple different defection candidates tiebroken by the largest population group. So, for instance-

Imagine the Gremak Empire is at war with both Humanity and the Phidi Combine. Imagine also that four different planets revolt from the Gremak Empire.

Gaia is inhabited solely by Gaiads and Gremak- it becomes a standard rebel planet, as currently.
Izden II is inhabited by Haduir. The Gremak Empire has contact with the Ashdar Imperials, but has not been at war with them. It also becomes a standard rebel planet, as currently.
Waterless is inhabited by 6 million (I generally parse the numbers as billions rather than millions, but let's avoid confusion here) Spice Mongers and 2 million Phidi. Although Spice Mongers are a majority, there are rebelling populations that want to defect to another empire (because the Gremak Empire is at war with the Phidi Combine), and so Waterless defects to the Phidi Combine.
Altair III is inhabited by 8 million Humans and 7 million Phidi. Both the Humans and Phidi would want to defect to another empire, as the Gremak Empire is at war with both the Phidi Combine and Humanity, but the Humans outnumber the Phidi, so Altair III defects to Humanity.

I would have defections occur both to AI and human-controlled empires. Even if this could potentially make the game easier, making rebels behave symmetrically enhances the 'realism/role-playing' aspects of the game, which I believe is a desirable outcome in this case.

Does that clarify my proposal?

zolobolo
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Re: Suggest - Features and Improvements

Postby zolobolo » Mon Apr 24, 2017 9:52 am

nweismuller wrote:Does that clarify my proposal?


Yes, seems like a solid concept. I think it would be definitive an improvement and probably not require a huge amount of resources (as planets already defect to a neutral faction)

From my point of view (difficulty being the largest issue), it should go even further though:
Giving rebelling planets to the player's enemy is a good direction, but how much could they capitalize on that?
They would probably not have the spare ships to defend it, and the new estate could easily be outside of their traveling range.

I prefer the planets to go to a faction that can directly cause trouble for the player, so that the rebellion has direct negative effects outside of having to reclaim them with ground troops.

This scenario should still be logical and match your role-playing requirement, but pose more of a challenge and result to space battles (as this is the meat of the game ;))


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