Suggest - Features and Improvements

A forum for chatting about in-development game features.

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Re: Suggest - Features and Improvements

Postby zolobolo » Mon Feb 12, 2018 1:46 pm

zolobolo wrote:For Humans: have Assault Shuttles come with Assault Marines instead of Tank Battalion

This is since:
1. Humans are geared towards profiteering and Assault Marines give additional bonus to manpower so does not make sense to use tanks instead of them for Assault Shuttle equipped vessels
2. Assault Marines are not useful anywhere else. They are worse then tanks when it comes to invasions and holding back rebellions and as such does not make sense to produce them individually. It could be argued that they can also raid colonies, but the mechanic is probably not used by anyone at this point (would need to be made a viable option itself) and even then, this action can just as well be executed from an Assault Cruiser
3. The AI would be able to at least bring them along on their Assault Cruisers per default without changes to it - even if it would not utilize the boarding action yet
4. Save a lot of micro for player:
- Produce Assault Cruiser
- Produce Assault Marine
- Disembark Tank from Cruiser
- Make sure there aren't any empty transports orbiting the colony else the Marines will be embarked on these first, if there are do some workaround
- Embark Assault Marine
TO: produce Assault Cruiser

Or this:

How about if Humans would not have access to Tank battalions at all?

- Would make sense considering that they have been living on star-ships for a while now so would not have any use for them nor have the manpower to field such battalions (or at least consider their manpower to be to valuable for such operations)
- Allow them to use Assault Marines as their default ground force - effective implementing all the benefits mentioned in the above post right off the bat
- Human faction would stand out even more utilizing their own ground troops in all circumstances
- Raiding would be made slightly more interesting as it would always be an option for a Human faction (having only ground troops that can conduct such an action)
- Incentivize even more the intended play-stile for humans: they are encouraged to conduct boarding actions, but would be discouraged from invading planets directly due to their low ground combat attack value (hence raiding again an interesting option in case it does not take defending ground forces into consideration)
- Human faction could still have the option to upgrade the combat effectiveness of their ground troops (like an already existing tech does), and for Human faction new specific tech could be included to do this like further increasing combat value up to 6 and even have a full-on upgrade of Assault Marines to assault legionary...khm...cohort with bad-ass power armor look. They would not necessarily need to be even matched with mech battalions in the end, but this is ok due to their versatility as boarding and raiding troops as long as they do not fall too far behind: e.g.: cap at 6

The last option is not at all so that I can reenact a certain Deity/Monarch and his crusade to conquer the Galaxy for Mankind :)

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Re: Suggest - Features and Improvements

Postby zolobolo » Mon Feb 12, 2018 8:58 pm

Breakdown of all races and their amount in a column chart in the diplomacy menu
Why in the diplomacy menu?: so that there is no separate GUI for them (I get the chills every time CIV implements a new game mechanic via a new functional menu :))

Why Column Chart? Because pie looks great the first time, but as a reporting tool, column charts are the best suited for this purpose. It could be spiced up as a column charts with all the variations of the individual pop species displayed e.g.: Content, Rebelling, Slave, Harmonized, but simple column chart should do the trick

What is it far, besides looking awesome ?:): It is to display how population opinion of another empire is calculated towards the player empire
In case of our own pop, we could use it to decide how much risk declaring war on a specific race or bombarding and /or enslaving them would present (by the average moral value displayed below each race icon

How would this make the game more challenging? By drastically increasing all diplomatic action costs depending on the actual pop moral towards the player. If the enemy population is really rallied up against the player (due to a lot of bombing and enslaving), a truce should be costing at least twice as much as it would normally do and probability of declaration of war against the player should rise dramatically

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Re: Suggest - Features and Improvements

Postby zolobolo » Sun Feb 18, 2018 2:45 pm

The crisis event and planned Marauder crisis concept of Stellaris might be a good idea to be considered here to give the player some challenge in he mid-late game:

Crisis #1: Marauder Dynasty
If 50% of Marauder bases destroyer trigger event with below effects:
1. All payments to Marauder Factions is cancelled
2. All Marauder factions are merged into a single faction: Marauder Dynasty (with preferably a new logo, or as a shortcut just utilizing a single existing logo for all going forward)
3. Marauder Dynasty looses all resource bonuses it had previously (so it does not overpower the top 2 AI empires and the player outright)
4. Marauder Dynasty gets diplomacy ships (or small raiding fleets) spammed and sends them to all empires
5. Default Marauder Diplomatic window is opened like when meeting a Maraduer faction for the first time, but the text and options change a bit:
Text: Times are changing, our folks have recognized that doing business has become more difficult. In order to preserve our way of lives, our factions have join together under the banner of a glorious Dynasty whose name will be echoed among the starts for eons to come. We have come to offer you a chance: Submit to the Dynasty or Perish
A: Pay them 500 Credits/Turn, 250 Metal/Turn, and become their Ally (Can be called Vassal altogether: Ally + paying them Tribute every Turn - cancelling one cancels the other)
B: Declare War
6.All AI controlled empires that are not ranked in the top 3 empires, would automatically become Vassal bu would only have to pay 100 Credits (Science, Trade and Open ports treaties would of course apply for both sides)
7. Marauder Dynasty would be allowed to research and build on planets just like normal empires

- The new enemy would start with a considerable force, defense, resources (several advanced planets) and all the benefits the vassals (allies) provide: Trade charters, Open Port agreements and Research agreements that come default with Alliance
- Alliance mechanic finally being used to improve AI competitiveness
- Marauder Dynasty getting a chance to win the game and give player a chance to run for their money (they get the votes of allies with lower pop count)
- Resolve the issue of Marauders posing very lite threat to the player from mid-game on. They cannot be easily payed off or invaded individually anymore. If player accepts the offer, the cost to maintain the "alliance" would give the player a nice challenge to become dominant within the alliance
- If Marauders become a true empire, it is not awkward anymore for them to be utilizing advanced tech and battleships. The mechanic should kick in just before this happens
- Marauder Dynasty would only Ally with the factions that are not in the top 3 + the player from the top 3 if the player chooses so. The other two top factions controlled by the AI could declare war on this new contestant in their race for domination and thus provide ample benefits to the game-play that are to long to list ;)

- The switch from Marauder factions to Marauder Dynasty (fully functional faction) might not even be possible at this point code wise. Hope that these are just parameters though that can be changed mid-game like: AllowBuildingOnPlanets=False to True
- The new faction would instantly be very powerful and might steamroll all others (hence it should not receive any additional benefits compared to others)
- Might be boring to have the same event play out every time in each game with the same faction. Hence we need to give the option to the player to ally with them to have different outcomes. Marauders are already a constant part of each game so the redundancy would not increase considerably

What do you think of the above, would it be even possible to implement?
Last edited by zolobolo on Sun Feb 18, 2018 2:59 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: Suggest - Features and Improvements

Postby zolobolo » Sun Feb 18, 2018 2:59 pm

Crisis #2: Harpy Purification Crusades
This is a simple one: Since Harpies are all around the map but do not pose any threat at all (even providing substantial and cheap benefits), they need a mechanic that generates scripted attacks from them if conditions are met:
IF empire relationship is <0 OR Empire has bought tech and destroyed Harpy nest
THEN trigger event and improve relationship by +15 until MAX +10

Event would consist of Harpy Crusade invading the top 3 Labor producing planets of the faction.
Destroying Crusading fleets does not give negative bonus towards Arda Seed relationship (as is currently the case with invading Arda units)
Each Crusade is lead by a Herald class ship, which provides bonus when destroyed

Optionally: the existing Harpy vessels could get some color treatment and the Crusades designated by the color: Red Crusade, Black Crusade and each Crusade be registered as a minor faction in diplomacy menu to allow for diplomatic options

The main purpose would already be achieved with the above base mechanic though:
If the player steps on the toes of the Arda Seed, there can be serious consequences especially when fighting a war with other empires. The player could get into real trouble this way as the Arda Seed ships can strike from the anomalies straight into the heart of production hubs behind the front-lines without range limitation, buildup and with only short warning

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Re: Suggest - Features and Improvements

Postby zolobolo » Tue Feb 27, 2018 9:21 pm

There was a discussion a while ago regarding a fallout of sorts applied to planets when bombarded. It was nearing completion at that time but since we haven't seen it later, I suppose it got too complicated

As an alternative I would suggest the "Devastated District" improvement again:
- x% chance for DD / bombardment (not considering amount of bombs per bombardment to give another interesting choice to the player meaning: bombarding with 5 bombs has a relative lower chance for DD but could wipe out the colony if low pop)
- Faction neutral art so that it can be applied everywhere
- Cannot be cleared to avoid micro. It would also pose a quite effective deterrent this way towards bombarding any planet with some valuable resource on it. Bombarding even Medium Mineral deposit planets could make the player think twice and rather wait to starve the pop instead if that is an option which is good as we are considering and using another existing mechanic :)
- If all slots on a planet have been occupied by devastated districts, the whole planet could be classified as a devastated world, rendering it uninhabitable. This would mean, that whole planets could be made uninhabitable from early game on even without planet killers :)

1. Significantly streamline mid and late game as bombarding enemy planets is mostly unavoidable and less improvements can/need to be built on new planets.
2. Snowball effect can also be mitigated considerably as rapid expansion could result to the destruction of half or even more of the improvement capacity of conquered planets and thus:
A: Less food capacity on newly conquered planets
B: Slower expansion by restricting the factory capacity of border world preventing them from cramming out new ships
3. Only one new building art asset required - no changes needed to the rendered planet surfaces

The system would also scale very well and the result of each bombardment can be made visible directly (instead of taking a building away, they would need to be replaced) to give the player feedback on how much damage has been done utilizing existing UI elements and game mechanic (no additional attribute needed for the planet or a new KPI on the bombardment screen)

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Re: Suggest - Features and Improvements

Postby Arioch » Tue Feb 27, 2018 11:23 pm

Infrastructure damage is already modeled by destruction of buildings. Ecological damage (which is not as easily repaired) is, I think, best modeled by reducing the habitability of the planet, which in turn automatically reduces the number of building slots.

The environmental damage mechanic might work best combined with the new terraforming mechanics, so it may end up waiting until then.

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Re: Suggest - Features and Improvements

Postby nweismuller » Thu Mar 01, 2018 12:27 am

The 'healed' numbers in combat are cool, but coloring them red may be a bit confusing to some people, in that it's the same visual feedback as 'damage dealt'. Possibly change 'healed' numbers to green or white, so it's clear they're different from damage?

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Re: Suggest - Features and Improvements

Postby zolobolo » Thu Mar 01, 2018 7:04 am

nweismuller wrote:The 'healed' numbers in combat are cool, but coloring them red may be a bit confusing to some people, in that it's the same visual feedback as 'damage dealt'. Possibly change 'healed' numbers to green or white, so it's clear they're different from damage?

Or smack a big fat + sign in front of them (I mean fatter :)). Maybe even a space between that and the value
This way it is still clear to what the color is referencing. Text: Restored should also work but takes up a lot of space
Last edited by zolobolo on Thu Mar 01, 2018 4:49 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: Suggest - Features and Improvements

Postby nweismuller » Thu Mar 01, 2018 8:56 am

I suggest that rather than using [[Our ports are now open to your merchant vessels. I'm told our citizens are excited by the prospect of exotic <PLAYER_RACE_ADJECTIVE> goods.<br><br>Is there anything else you'd like to discuss?]] for the text when Tinkers accept a trade charter, that they get a unique text (similar to the Orthin, Gremak, Yoral, and Phidi), in their case instead expressing something to the effect of Tinker confidence that these foreign goods can be used to serve the purposes of Dzibix- I doubt the Tinkers bother with importing luxuries or items for personal use, instead likely focusing on resources needed for the glorious projects of Dzibix.

On a similar note... why is it Harmonized populations of other species don't suffer a loss in coin production like the Tinkers? I'd expect that loss of individuality and creativity would also impact their commercial activities.

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Re: Suggest - Features and Improvements

Postby lmgava » Thu Mar 01, 2018 7:18 pm

When a victory condition is met, the game shows a popup summing it up and informing you race X has won.
Then you can continue the game.
But the popup is repeated over and over every turn, which I found really annoying and distracting.
Please show it once.

I like the game very much overall. Very good job. :)


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Re: Suggest - Features and Improvements

Postby zolobolo » Fri Mar 02, 2018 9:39 pm

If the mechanic how Herald tech is available for sale remains unchanged (not competitive market) the snuggest following slight modifications:
- Increase metal cost of purchasing tech (at least double the current price)
- Include Influence cost for each (can be slight)
- Relationship penalty towards other empires when purchasing: "You are dealing with vicious beasts and fiddling around with unholy relics"
- Only allow mid-to high level non-military tech for purchase
- Purchase should only reduce research cost and not provide the tech directly
- Harpy weaponry only available if Harpies are destroyed - cannot be bought

+ Utilize rarely if ever researched socials techs (everyone is focusing on planetary improvements, ships and weapons until the game ends at late-mid game - Race Mind, Weather Control Inhibitor, Stargates and the likes, are probably only very rarely researched, and even if, they are probably not utilized in meaningful ways in the endgame)
+ Spice-up mid-game with higher level social techs appearing and actually making a difference
+ Reduce the huge handicap the player gets with this mechanic: Cannot buy everything off the plate right off the bat, and even if, there is still some research time involved, no direct combat advantage as well as considerable costs in metal, influence and relationship - makes the player actually think on what they can actually afford and use later
+ Support neutral play-stile with highly advanced colonies
+ Makes sense from Arda Seed PoV: they wouldn't sell military tech to surface dwellers

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Re: Suggest - Features and Improvements

Postby zolobolo » Sat Mar 03, 2018 10:04 am

Arioch wrote:Ecological damage (which is not as easily repaired) is, I think, best modeled by reducing the habitability of the planet, which in turn automatically reduces the number of building slots.

The name does not matter much, the question is what you want to achieve with it? I suppose the goal is to deter players from over-using the bombardment option

What you are saying seems logical way of doing this but hard to visualize and convey its exact effect.

How would you convey the information to the player prior to bombing and after each bombardment?
Simply writing the change to habitability out does not seem like an elegant solution

If a destroyed district is converted over to Devastated District, that is a process that is intuitive and does not need much feedback.
If there is a 20 % chance that an improvement will be destroyed and there is always a 25% chance that a destroyed improvement will convert to DD, that means 5% chance for DD and once it happens, it is instantly visible in the improvements pane - no further explanation needed. The player can learn (even if does not read texts) that every time they push Bombard, there is a chance that Improvements are destroyed, and if yes, there is a small chance of one of them converting into an undesirable object.

The graduality of the penalty is also instantly visible and measurable: if there are 5 slots available and one just got a DD placed on it, the player knows right of the bat what this means.

But what if a text (or new icon of sort) displays the habitability has dropped. What would this information convey to the player? Will the max amount of my various pops drop? If yes, by how much? How low can it drop? What is the max value to begin with (it is not visible from the bombardment screen)? Does it effect the maximum number of improvements and if yes, how, and by what margin?
What impact does it have on player decision if they cannot see and understand what it means? A lot of questions raised tend to lead to the brain skipping the whole process and concentrating on KPIs that are readily available and the desired effect is not reached + Needs a new game mechanic despite this with lots of programming and support later

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Re: Suggest - Features and Improvements

Postby zolobolo » Sat Mar 03, 2018 1:20 pm

Would it make sense/be feasible to display contested systems in a way so that they are clearly visible from the highest zoom level?

It is probably not feasible to display this with all the colors of other contestants (as it would involve up to 3 additional colors), but utilizing only the main owner color to visualize the contested nature of the system should suffice anyhow
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Re: Suggest - Features and Improvements

Postby zolobolo » Sat Mar 03, 2018 4:58 pm

zolobolo wrote:Orbital stations are in a bit of a strange place currently:

Military stations are fairly effective against early Marauder and Harpy incursions as well as against AI attacks but cost a ton of metal thus player can find more effective defense and AI is slowed down by these as they are producing tons of such stations instead of ships.

Now for the AI, producing more then two military stations is less then effective as:
1. One is enough to repel Harpies and Marauders as mentioned above, and two are overkill (waste of their resources).
2. The AI will still produce two military stations for each of their front line planets to "defend" them but this is neither cost effective nor enough to stop a Human lead invasion force as concentration on Railgun pretty much counters the stations

Thus I suggest that all military stations are limited to a single instance per planet and if we are already on it, have the rule be valid for all types of stations which are:
1. Space stations / Mobile Base / Asteroid Base (Commercial)
2. Shipyard (Commercial)
3. Starbase (Military)
4. Fortress (Military)
5. Stargate

As visible above, there would be still a ton of personalization options with the above, especially if Stargates would also occupy one of the two available slots to make the decision building them more meaningful: 14! to be precise (+ the flexibility of adding Construction modules or Research stations to military bases and Bomber squadron to commercial ones)

This would:
1. Prevent "Fortress worlds" with two Fortresses: waste of resources and boring for the player to mop up (There is nothing wrong with the AI building bases but should invest in fleets as well). More resources left for the AI = more ships defending their systems
2. Also forces the AI to build more sensibly as no duplicates allowed
3. A bunch of the above options cannot be duplicated already: for Shipyard does not make sense, for Stargates not an option
4. Prevent also the player to turtle in too heavily

A further bonus of limiting all base types to just one per planet is the increased weight for each build:
1. If faction specific stations would be introduced, they can be done on the first military level: for the Starbase, and limiting their number to just one per planet would prevent obvious exploits as well as balancing issues if the Starbase of one race is less capable in defense and geared more towards commerce (Phidi). As there can only be one aesthetic value increased of the new art as well as any relative disadvantages as well as faction specific advantages provided by the layout can be kept in check.
2. Forces a more dynamic build approach for the first tier military base, as there cannot be any other further military base until Fortress is researched

Incidental I would also advise assigning a hefty upkeep cost for Fortresses to further emphasize their circumstantial role and deter Fortress spamming all over the galaxy, even if reduced to a single base per planet ;)

Here is an example how the current system (lack of limitation of one design per planet) is misused by the AI

This has numerous disadvantages (most make the AI less effective)
- Already at turn 149 (and way before it) both player and other AIs are facing fortress worlds which slow down wars that would be clearly won by the attacked otherwise - and it will be on the long term when there is no coming back for the defender as fortress spam does not increase chances of actually occupying something
- Neither will these reduce enemy fleet power as they will simply pick on less or not defended systems (the fortress world owner will loses regardless)
- Boring and tedious to fight for the player
- Building fortresses take up time/money and huge amount of metal that could have been spent producing dozens of small ships that could harass and blockade enemy worlds (even take a few undefended ones)
- Enemy AI will occasionally attack these targets unnecessarily loosing ships in the process

Thus, if all base types are limited to a single instance per planet:
+ AI has more money and metal to build ships
+ Other AIs have more ships as inevitable expansions are not slowed down by these speed-bumps
+ Player has more varied invasion scenarios (after turn 200 we can expect most of these planets being defended by 2 Fortresses + Level 3 Planetary Defense - even small mining worlds which is ludicrous from lore perspective but is also quite tedious :))

An alternative of massively increasing the upkeep cost would probably not affect the AI logic to build them, nor restricting them to specific type of planets is viable (else they end up not being used at all like asteroid bases - which would actually become useful with the above)
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Re: Suggest - Features and Improvements

Postby zolobolo » Sat Mar 03, 2018 7:12 pm

Would it make sense to have the galaxy view in the Stargate to rotate?

The Gate does have some blinking lights on it, but the image to the portal seems too static - a simple rotation might be simple enough to implement and give more of a dynamic to the artifact don't you think?

Was also thinking on pulsing image or some animation of particles flying into it - but rotation seems more simple and appropriate
Rotate Galaxy.png
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