Testing Economic Balance Changes

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nathanebht
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Re: Testing Economic Balance Changes

Postby nathanebht » Tue Jul 30, 2019 1:55 am

New game as Yoral with r38511, 88 star, box shape map on hard. Uploaded game_8421. Started in one of the corners of the map.

This game was fairly easy compared to my last game (which I considered a loss). Reasons for the difference?
1) Starting in a corner is obviously much better than starting in the middle of the map.
2) Each Yoral pop has 3 production versus Orthin having only 2. This makes a large difference throughout the game. Most significantly in the beginning of the game.
3) Yoral Torpedo Destroyer (3 Torpedo slots plus 1 medium slot) versus Orthin having nothing similar.

In this lengthy Yoral game I made friends with the Tinkers early on. This limited my possible enemies and I could conquer one after another. Toward the late game the Humans put up a tremendous fight with a very mixed fleet of mercenaries, ships from another merged empire and a few of their own. Without my using some large fleets of Torpedo Destroyers, I would have definitely had more loses. Overall good fun.

zolobolo
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Re: Testing Economic Balance Changes

Postby zolobolo » Tue Jul 30, 2019 6:05 pm

sven wrote:This feels like a bug in my equations. Could you upload this save?

Sorry, seems like it was saves as Autosave_1 fo some reason and got overwritten by my latest game testing Human Assault Marines :(

But I have had quite a lot of three planet ceedings till mid game: should not be difficult ot run across it again

In general I would suggest to ceede less planets the more wars the other faction is engaged in

nathanebht
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Re: Testing Economic Balance Changes

Postby nathanebht » Sat Aug 03, 2019 3:12 pm

Wanted to try another game as Orthin started with version r38511, 88 star, box shape map on hard. Uploaded game_8436. Started at the bottom edge of the map near the center.

This was another fairly easy game. I was able to expand more than usual. The game gave me several worlds with pre-existing colony stuff. Was a huge difference between starting in the middle of the map during my prior game versus on the edge of the map. Perhaps starting in the middle of the map should be its own checkbox option?

Noticed that the AI overloading their ship designs with point defenses. Obviously not always a bad thing but I'd say the AI does it touch too much.

During a war, the AI over-responds to single scout ships going to their planets. It will send a fleet when a destroyer could solve the problem. It would be excellent if this was addressed.

akkamaddi
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Re: Testing Economic Balance Changes

Postby akkamaddi » Sat Aug 03, 2019 10:52 pm

nathanebht wrote:Was a huge difference between starting in the middle of the map during my prior game versus on the edge of the map. Perhaps starting in the middle of the map should be its own checkbox option?


I was playing a 4X game yesterday that lets you do just that, and I *think* it is an option in two other big names.

It actually does make a huge difference. It's a "back to the wall" vs. "out in the open" difference. Game AI's generally do not skip over planets, so it dramatically changes the ratio between "defense space" and "safe space".

I'd upvote that.

zolobolo
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Re: Testing Economic Balance Changes

Postby zolobolo » Tue Aug 06, 2019 4:07 pm

sven wrote:
zolobolo wrote:the Orthin offered up 3 of their total 11 at turn 151 after having lost an Escort Cruiser


This feels like a bug in my equations. Could you upload this save?

Ran into another game where the AI offered up 3 systems after a couple of defats.
Map is my usual setup but on Hard diffculty (you can see the way too many medium hulls with insufficient PD power/escorts)

Uploaded:game_8451

zolobolo
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Re: Testing Economic Balance Changes

Postby zolobolo » Sun Aug 11, 2019 2:29 pm

Happy to say that AI Gremak are doing clearly better now with the recent changes: not top on the chart but stable mid-strengh empire

Only Human AI is still consistently having trouble surviving till the mid game now

Backfire_22
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Re: Testing Economic Balance Changes

Postby Backfire_22 » Sun Aug 25, 2019 6:23 pm

It hurts my soul to hear about economic balance and commerce these days :lol: I've prepared for a conference between the company I work for and their partners regarding investing in flats for sale in Berlin, and have been eating articles about the real estate market and finance non-stop for over a week now... Still, it doesn't bother me that much in SiS or in other games!
Last edited by Backfire_22 on Wed Sep 11, 2019 7:23 am, edited 1 time in total.

nathanebht
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Re: Testing Economic Balance Changes

Postby nathanebht » Fri Aug 30, 2019 6:43 pm

New game using r38545. Playing on hard as the Phidi with a 88 star, box shape map.

The game is still in progress. I've had the Orthin and then the Ashdar Imperials declare separate wars on me. I fended both of them off (with the Imperials I had to resort to sprint production/buying of Torpedo destroyers).

In both cases after ~10 turns after they declared war I was offered a peace deal. Rejected the initial offer and then after some more turns they again wanted a peace deal and they each included 2 of their systems in the deal. This was disappointing.

I hadn't accomplished much against either AI when they offered peace. Had just killed several of their ships. Perhaps it might have made sense for the Orthin to offer. I had a small fleet over one of their planets and could have bombed it off. However, I couldn't even reach any of the Imperial empire's planets. It would make more sense to only offer a planet for peace after one of their colonies had be damaged, destroyed or captured.

Their offer of 2 planets for peace didn't make sense in either case. Way too generous both times. If an empire is losing planets repeatedly, every few turns. Then I could see offering 2 planets to cease a war. In both situations, those AI empires should have offered at most some obsolete technology or some money.

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Arioch
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Re: Testing Economic Balance Changes

Postby Arioch » Fri Aug 30, 2019 10:42 pm

I'm wondering whether either of both of those empires were simultaneously at war with someone else. That might have driven the more favorable peace terms.

gaerzi
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Re: Testing Economic Balance Changes

Postby gaerzi » Sat Aug 31, 2019 8:00 am

I'd like a system taking some notes from the Europa Universalis games, allowing to negotiate the peace treaty instead of just accepting whatever they propose.

How it works in the EU series:
  • During a war, you get a war score from destroying enemy forces and occupying enemy territories
  • The size of this war score lets you "buy" conditions
  • Conditions you can buy include specific territories, but also renouncing claims on other territory, or giving back territories to third-parties, ceasing a war with a third party, and of course tributes
  • You can also get more points by giving away certain things yourself, so the peace treaty can be you giving back one territory you previously annexed while the other empire gives back one territory they previously annexed
  • Territories on which you have a claim are cheaper

Most of these things could work well enough in the SIS context. I know the game already uses a war score system but it's for the AI to evaluate its options instead of something shown to the player, and I know there is a claim system because empires will sometimes demand you give back a planet they previously held, or which was originally a refugee colony of their race.

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Arioch
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Re: Testing Economic Balance Changes

Postby Arioch » Sat Aug 31, 2019 6:35 pm

Haggle systems in practice are mainly an opportunity for the player to exploit the AI.

SgtArmyGuy
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Re: Testing Economic Balance Changes

Postby SgtArmyGuy » Sun Sep 01, 2019 6:22 am

Back to testing! Uploaded game_8493.

Decided to end this one short, as it seemed pretty much lost at this stage. I did a Brutal run since I've been winning all my Hard games lately. Brutal seemed much like the "old" Hard in terms of difficulty: you need to bring your a-game, or you lose, but the AI doesn't usually completely overwhelm you until the very end. I got a slow start because only one of the nearby systems had a good planet, and was struggling with food, mine output, coin and lackluster production (in that order). Didn't get a fleet up fast enough, and didn't feel like giving EVERYTHING I had to the space bugs when asked. A classic way to lose.

My main feedback is about the war that ensued: the AI doomfleet now played its cards exactly right! I was trying to get behind it to limit its range (and thus prevent it from reaching my main systems), but the damn thing had military transports and kept capturing my systems instead of bombing them. That way they could supply on the run. Also, no more stopping for pretty flowers: these bad boys pushed a straight line into my homeworld, and even used recon elements to scout out which systems to strike next! This was exactly the kind of "decisiveness" I've wanted to see from the AI generals: if you're winning, keep pressing the advantage until the enemy has nothing left. And how about that - I lost! Yet on the plus-side, the so-called doom fleet wasn't all that large, and could have been countered with better build priorities when manufacturing my own fleet. The "smaller but better fleets" idea of the economic changes was very well relayed in this case.

Another obvious counter to the AI strategy would have been building ground forces, which I usually don't bother doing. Maybe I need to revise my thinking on that...

Additionally, the balance still tips towards building more ships instead of retrofitting old hulls: there simply isn't enough free cash flow to refit. I'm still proposing making the "production refit" UI more manageable through implementing the "drop-down menu" system I already proposed earlier (the current refit system with coin has a drop-down menu for choosing which hull to upgrade to - why not have a similar UI element for applying a ship into refit but using the current systems production instead of coin?) The unnecessary refit micro involved is the only thing in SiS that I still find off-putting.

Keep up the good work!

SgtArmyGuy
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Re: Testing Economic Balance Changes

Postby SgtArmyGuy » Sun Sep 01, 2019 12:49 pm

Did a second run today, since I lost yesterday's game. Uploaded game_8495 for review. Orthin on Brutal this time.

The Human-Imperial alliance had a whim of stupidity when they decided to declare war on the Orthin while committing their entire fleets to fight the Gremak on the other side of the galaxy at the same time, leaving the Orthin front wide open at the time the war was declared. That seemed like an unnecessary risk. Does the declaration of war logic take into account wether or not the AI can actually ATTACK anything on the turn the war is declared?

Also, found a bug: around stardate 1336 there are two Tinker transports flying back and forth around the Eye of Dzibix - the left-overs of the already-destroyed Tinker empire. I.e. the empire was destroyed earlier in the game, but those transports remained, finally ending up driving circles around their homeworld. The actual bug appeared before stardate 1336, but that's when I noticed the behavior (should help you narrow down the seach a bit, I hope).

The Orthin with their triple-layer battle shields and ultra-fast tech development were a handful this time as well, although I managed to not get killed by them by disconnecting my realm from theirs with outposts. Some of the other AI's were not that lucky. Seriously, the space bugs seemed outright untouchable until the very end, where I started spewing out hundreds of antimatter missiles at them. THAT finally got them. I'm not really sure there is any kind of balance issue here (their fleets were not that large, and certainly did not conquer more territory than the other AI's), but I'm keeping an eye on these guys...

I think the Cloning tech keeps systematically winning me the end-game with council votes. I just need to win a few minor wars to gain population and planets, be diplomatic enough to not anger any of the big players, and breed my way to victory. Maybe that one tech needs a nerf of sorts? In my mind it's end-game-tier tech, but currently comes with a mid-game price and position in the tech tree.

Fleet economy still seems balanced enough. There were some big doom-fleets, but nothing totally over-the-top (albeit that Gremak stack in the beginning of the Human-Gremak war was a handful). Had to limit what I build until I started making my first big conquests on the Gremak front, after that was pretty much swimming in coin (but went into late game at that stage anyway, so it was no problem). Are you planning on pushing this build over the vanilla build anytime soon? It seems pretty finished at this stage - I no longer feel any urge to go back to the old version like I did in the beginning!

One more idea: the Gremak war could have benefited from something like an "unconditional offer of surrender" diplomatic event; the war dragged on for too long. The initial peace offer was lackluster, so I decided the remove the snakes altogether - and ended up fighting in an overly long campaign against what was basically just two ships. Seriously, when the AI has no ships and like one or two systems remaining, it should just be dice down at that stage. Would add a whole new feel of narrative realism. If you want to go wild, add some sort of diplomatic event for handling the peace accords (with different race-specific buffs, debuffs, or the possibility of creating neutral, autonomic states from the remains of the AI empire). The point being, as the AI is losing the war anyway, make its end narratively interesting. SiS could use a little more internal politics roleplay and more diplomatic events anyway. That's the next thing on my wishlist...

akkamaddi
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Re: Testing Economic Balance Changes

Postby akkamaddi » Sun Sep 01, 2019 2:02 pm

SgtArmyGuy wrote: Also, found a bug: around stardate 1336 there are two Tinker transports flying back and forth around the Eye of Dzibix - the left-overs of the already-destroyed Tinker empire. I.e. the empire was destroyed earlier in the game, but those transports remained


Yes, this is a thing. When an empire vanishes, any transports carrying civilian pops do not die/convert, and wander. I just pretend they are tourist destinations. In a recent game my Orthin allies merged with me just before sending about a dozen civs literally across the galaxy. They were the third empire to do this, but had the most of about twenty ghost ships of three colors bouncing around.

I would even be happy editing the game files to take ownership of these, just to get rid of them.

One more idea: the Gremak war could have benefited from something like an "unconditional offer of surrender" diplomatic event; the war dragged on for too long. (snip snip) That's the next thing on my wishlist...


I strongly agree with this, but I'll move my mini rant to the suggested features thread, as it's more appropriate there.

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sven
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Re: Testing Economic Balance Changes

Postby sven » Sun Sep 01, 2019 7:36 pm

SgtArmyGuy wrote: Are you planning on pushing this build over the vanilla build anytime soon? It seems pretty finished at this stage - I no longer feel any urge to go back to the old version like I did in the beginning!


Thanks for the testing feedback. There's still a few things that need fixing before this can move over to vanilla (like the "lost transports" bug you encountered). But, we are planning on pushing it fairly soon.

There's also quite a lot of things I'd like to change in the guts of how the AI handles starting and stopping wars; but, those diffs may need to wait for a later patch -- there's a fairly big set of interconnected changes that I have in mind here, and testing and debugging will likely require quite a bit of time.


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