Spending influence points

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bjg
Posts: 585
Joined: Wed Feb 03, 2016 10:55 pm

Spending influence points

Postby bjg » Thu Feb 02, 2017 5:42 pm

Spending 10 influence points to buy one "slave" unit seems too much. A one influence point per unit or ten for an entire deal sounds more reasonable.
On the other hand, mercenaries seem too cheap. It might make sense to add some influence spending there - perhaps also 10 influence points per deal (no matter how many ships where hired at once).

zolobolo
Posts: 439
Joined: Fri Nov 25, 2016 3:49 pm

Re: Spending influence points

Postby zolobolo » Wed Feb 08, 2017 9:16 pm

bjg wrote:Spending 10 influence points to buy one "slave" unit seems too much. A one influence point per unit or ten for an entire deal sounds more reasonable.
On the other hand, mercenaries seem too cheap. It might make sense to add some influence spending there - perhaps also 10 influence points per deal (no matter how many ships where hired at once).

Agree with the second point. Generally Influence points should be spent on much more occasions as currently there is too much of it available for the frankly rare diplomatic treaties necessary.

This might change eventually when huge maps are played with many more races, but currently there is rarely any shortage of Influence. Making Mercs (and slaves) cost a load of influence is a start, and could imagine other logical extensions:
- Make colonization of planets within a system that is already owned by another empire cost influence. If the colonizer does not have enough influence, the planet cannot be colonized
- Bribing of pirates and Marauders should cost influence as well. Currently they are way too easy to get rid of with a small sack of money
- Refugee colonies should require influence to assimilate logical is game and helps balancing. Empires of the same race get a bonus in the "price"
- Eventually how about using influence to hire Marauders and Raiders to conduct a raid on a specific enemy and on a specific system even.

This all should make influence a valuable strategic resource and help balance the expansion phase by making the game more difficult for the player and less difficult for the AI compared to the current system.

bjg
Posts: 585
Joined: Wed Feb 03, 2016 10:55 pm

Re: Spending influence points

Postby bjg » Thu Feb 09, 2017 9:38 pm

zolobolo wrote:This might change eventually when huge maps are played with many more races, but currently there is rarely any shortage of Influence.

I always experience shortage of Influence. Money isn't an issue starting midgame, metal is manageable, but influence is always short.

zolobolo
Posts: 439
Joined: Fri Nov 25, 2016 3:49 pm

Re: Spending influence points

Postby zolobolo » Thu Feb 09, 2017 9:43 pm

bjg wrote:
zolobolo wrote:This might change eventually when huge maps are played with many more races, but currently there is rarely any shortage of Influence.

I always experience shortage of Influence. Money isn't an issue starting mid game, metal is manageable, but influence is always short.

Do you establish embassy with each race that you meat?
Another boost is giving them all sorts of things they request. They practically do not matter for the player in such small doses but give diplomatic bonus in return
Another aspect is that treaties are not needed to be offered by the player. The AI will simply come forward with all sorts of treaties itself.
So where do you spend it besides establishing alliances which cost practically nothing if you have sent them the resources they have requested?

bjg
Posts: 585
Joined: Wed Feb 03, 2016 10:55 pm

Re: Spending influence points

Postby bjg » Thu Feb 09, 2017 10:19 pm

zolobolo wrote:
bjg wrote:
zolobolo wrote:This might change eventually when huge maps are played with many more races, but currently there is rarely any shortage of Influence.

I always experience shortage of Influence. Money isn't an issue starting mid game, metal is manageable, but influence is always short.

Do you establish embassy with each race that you meat?
Another boost is giving them all sorts of things they request. They practically do not matter for the player in such small doses but give diplomatic bonus in return
Another aspect is that treaties are not needed to be offered by the player. The AI will simply come forward with all sorts of treaties itself.
So where do you spend it besides establishing alliances which cost practically nothing if you have sent them the resources they have requested?

I assume you are not playing on harder difficulties. On "brutal" an alliance cost 200 even if they love you like a brother (reputation >100), and they aren't so fast proposing agreements, and they don't ask you for favors that often. So I spend it on agreements (trying to get it lower, but usually it's 40-60, including the embassy), on independent planets (don't get lower than 100-140), and on slaves (sometimes also to bribe a Marauder, because on brutal they aren't that impressed with your military strength).

zolobolo
Posts: 439
Joined: Fri Nov 25, 2016 3:49 pm

Re: Spending influence points

Postby zolobolo » Fri Feb 10, 2017 1:21 pm

bjg wrote:I assume you are not playing on harder difficulties. On "brutal" an alliance cost 200 even if they love you like a brother (reputation >100), and they aren't so fast proposing agreements, and they don't ask you for favors that often. So I spend it on agreements (trying to get it lower, but usually it's 40-60, including the embassy), on independent planets (don't get lower than 100-140), and on slaves (sometimes also to bribe a Marauder, because on brutal they aren't that impressed with your military strength).

Correct. The reason for that is a topic for itself, but I consider normal to be the subject of evalution and harder difficulties like chess withouth some of the pieces on one side at the start ;) Its more difficult but feels too much like a puzzle isntead of a dynamic and balanced game

It is interesting to know that influence costs scale with that as well
If the slaves cost too much though under tweaked circumstances, then you can simply chuck it off as additional "artifical" difficulty

I think they can be conisdered cheap under normal difficulty, but support needing to spend influence on other places as well due to the reasons I have mentioned

Haven't seen Marauders bribe needing influence yet, but if it is not in the game, it should be

bjg
Posts: 585
Joined: Wed Feb 03, 2016 10:55 pm

Re: Spending influence points

Postby bjg » Fri Feb 10, 2017 5:00 pm

zolobolo wrote:Haven't seen Marauders bribe needing influence yet, but if it is not in the game, it should be

This is what he wants to start trading with me (I don't have 50 influence at the moment):
SiS_bribe_marauder.PNG
SiS_bribe_marauder.PNG (714.05 KiB) Viewed 932 times


Developers (or the publisher?) called the difficulty levels the way it is to don't scare away casual players. The real "normal" is called "hard" (or even "brutal") here, and the "normal" here is "into" at best. Don't let it full you - play on real "normal", and don't expect the full experience playing on "intro".

zolobolo
Posts: 439
Joined: Fri Nov 25, 2016 3:49 pm

Re: Spending influence points

Postby zolobolo » Fri Feb 10, 2017 5:40 pm

bjg wrote:
zolobolo wrote:Haven't seen Marauders bribe needing influence yet, but if it is not in the game, it should be

This is what he wants to start trading with me (I don't have 50 influence at the moment):
SiS_bribe_marauder.PNG


Developers (or the publisher?) called the difficulty levels the way it is to don't scare away casual players. The real "normal" is called "hard" (or even "brutal") here, and the "normal" here is "into" at best. Don't let it full you - play on real "normal", and don't expect the full experience playing on "intro".

Seems cool but think you actually only need to do this if you have a bad relationship with the Marauder faction as I haven't seen it and can still do business just fine if wanted to:
https://www.dropbox.com/s/nlsyv73gw4uo1eg/Spend_dad_Influence.jpg?dl=0
Having paid them the 150 change when meeting the faction the first time has put us into a good start relationship wise which seems to have developed over time although I haven't done anything to deserve it.

Slave pop does seem to cost 10 Influence on Normal as well but as you can see this is by far not an issue and we are only looking at a medium sized map here, if I put in more factions, my Influence income skyrockets.

Regarding the difficulty: It was my understanding that "Normal" difficulty is the level in which the AI scripts are not held back and do not get ANY additional benefits. If this is not the case, I shall change to Hard immediately and sob on the fact that I have wasted most of my playtime on training mode :)

The reason why this is important even if a lot of people don't mention it is the way bonuses affect the game mechanics. With each bonus to the AI, or negative bonus to the player, the relevant mechanics are distorted. Take for example Total War games. Most have a nifty agents system with spies, diplomats and whatnot lurking around - pretty atmospheric as they allow the player to influence the world around him/her via non military means. Well on harder difficulty, the whole mechanic becomes useless as the chance of success drastically drops, and even if an agent manages to decrease the approval rating of the enemy city by 10%, the fact that the AI has started the game with a +25% bonus to happiness practically nullifies any agent activity as well as the play value with that mechanic. The player will thus feel like the game is a puzzle as only a handful of strategies and tactics will provide enough loopholes to beat the AI and usage of these becomes obligatory while such weaknesses of the AI would normally be avoided to not break immersion.

In case of SiS it would be the same thing. Signing a trade charter is only working as a game mechanic as long as it effects both parties in fundamentally the same way under the same circumstances. If the enemy AI has buck loads of income, the effect is negligible and the mechanic degrades to a point where it doesn't matter if the player uses it or not. Seen this effect or research on the harder difficulties, where the lover levels of the tech-tree have practically become useless and was only rushing through them to catch up to the current enemy sporting late-game tech.

This is mostly the reason why I wish more developers would chose the AI is always the same and you can adjust the benefits per category individually if you want an artificially increased challenge approach.
Last edited by zolobolo on Fri Feb 10, 2017 5:56 pm, edited 1 time in total.

bjg
Posts: 585
Joined: Wed Feb 03, 2016 10:55 pm

Re: Spending influence points

Postby bjg » Fri Feb 10, 2017 5:55 pm

zolobolo wrote:Regarding the difficulty: It was my understanding that "Normal" difficulty is the level in which the AI scripts are not held back and do not get ANY additional benefits.

AI here totally lives up to it's name "Artificial Idiot" - the fact that it doesn't cheat hardly makes it fare game.
We are playing very different games - there is nothing wrong about it, but nothing to discuss neither.


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