Next DLC

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zolobolo
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Next DLC

Postby zolobolo » Sun Dec 24, 2017 9:46 am

In them hopes that a new DLC is coming soon here is my idea of how that would be best packed:

The goal needs would need to fulfill two main goals:
1. The DLC needs to have appeal for new players making the overall game more interesting to buy
2. Flaws of the existing game needs to be resolved in order to keep the player base

The above two simple rules could affect all mayor aspects of the content:
- Content of the DLC would need to be something that caters to the two biggest strengths of the game: Tactical/strategic combat and art.
- Art is easy: a new race can bring new art for pop units, ships and stations
- New stars and planet types is also a good bet as it does not affect AI and they can look wonderful on screenshot and we look at them all the time in the system MGMT screen
- Regarding combat, it is much harder to bring something new on the tactical level without considerable re-balancing but most importantly without re-scripting the AI so all new weapons need to replace existing under-utilized ones or be default mounted to some hull types and thus we get to the next point:
- Making not breaking: The two biggest flaws currently in the game are semi-functional diplomacy and AI that does not utilize special tech. When considering the content of the DLC I would try to avoid deepening these aspects and implement new content in a way that actually resolves them :)
Summary: The new faction would not include new mechanics and specialized tech unless it can be incorporated into existing elements and thus already used by the AI. E.g.: The new faction would have a different building for Rea search Labs that would fulfill a similar role as the original labs but have an automatic secondary effect that strengthens the weak parts of the AI (like machine alter but automatic effect).
- Such a new building would have the benefit of giving bonus also to the player who captures it and not just to its owner (like machine altar) making planers with these structures precious targets that should not be bombarded out of kingdom-come
- The mechanic in question is also easy: as diplomacy is the most under-developed part. Have already posted a couple of ideas here (making Alliance cost influence to maintain and such) but the main takeaway is: making Influence just as critical a resource as metal or money and making Alliance victory hard to achieve. Adding in a rule for Conquest Victory condition would leave us already with two options and make Phidi one of the most interesting races to play
- Diplomacy is a great target not just because it is underdeveloped but also because it can be fixed without tampering with the AI: can be scripted around, as the game rules and mechanics are simple enough to translate these into diplomatic events and adding a probability would make them much harder to anticipate and thus fun to react to

In summary an example: New race with hulls that have per-configured flak cannons or advanced science stations, a building that produces science as well as influence, and thus geared towards Alliance victory using the enhanced mechanics.

The Phidi would not loose out on this, as they focus is on trade and only secondary focus on Influence

How does this translate into the original published roadmap?
It would mean these elements:
- New playable factions and third-party threats
- More star and planet types
- New Player Campaign Victory Conditions: Conquest (new rule: Conquest: own 80% of all colonized planets and Alliance: Current goal enhanced)
- Improved Diplomacy: More diplomatic options, better AI, resource trading, more diplomatic events
- New Encounters: more complex Pirate and Marauder behaviors and interactions, more minor factions and space monsters, and new interactions with existing minor races (all scripted to segregate AI behaviour from enhanced diplomatic interactions. e.g.: they should always pay off Marauders if they have the money and are expected to loose the battle)
- Victory Screens (screens do not affect anything - if art is available they are great for having)
- Tactical Combat Enhancements: UI and graphical improvements, new damage types and targeting mechanics (such as area-of-effect weapons)
Last edited by zolobolo on Sun Dec 24, 2017 7:29 pm, edited 1 time in total.

akkamaddi
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Re: Next DLC

Postby akkamaddi » Sun Dec 24, 2017 6:20 pm

In the code, it looks like there is some groundwork for the addition of both human and ashdar marauders.

There are also pieces of the Zubelengen, what appears to be an aquatic, non-diplomatic ("repulsive") enemy race with a larval, hunter, and soldier form. I think that would be a good addition. It would be justified to make them a bit overpowered, but incapable of making any kind of alliance. As an AI, any diplomatic overture would simply get a wall of alien Lroem Ipsum text in reply, then disconnect. As a player, diplomacy options would be "start fighting" (declare war) and a very expensive "stop fighting", but no alliance options.

Along this line, I posted this idea about the Gremak on the Steam forum:
"Also, a really dark potential game mechanic for the Gremak could be a buildable improvement structure "Abattior", which would be an alternative to an agriculture structure. This should be restricted to one structure per planet. Slave population growth is cut by -75% (so slave population growth is 25% normal speed), but it produces two food units per slave pop unit on the planet. "

A possible mechanic with a "repulsive" race would be that instead of slavery, you have "consumption". If you conquer a planet, you start with the option "Consume", which instantly destroys one population unit, produces ten food units, and causes both civil and diplomatic unrest (like purchasing slaves or harmonizing). A good additional effect would be that every 20 or so surplus food produces one Zubelengen Larva, so consuming a conquered planet would produce population and a little extra cash from food surplus.

And early science tech would be "Experimentation", which opens that as a second option on captured pops. That also destroys one pop unit, but produces 500-1000 research points. It would be far more powerful than experimenting on slaves, but again, destroys the population. It may also produce a few units of food. You know, leftovers.

An advantage of this consumption/destruction based approach is that no art assets are required. (Unless Arioch is laughing maniacally as he reads this, in which case buckle up for a really dark turn! :shock: ) This means that unlike slavery and harmonization, it could be used to purge the minor races. It may be logical for Sven to have a noConsumeForFood racial flag, as I could see Tinkers, Harmonized races, and perhaps Viscids not being tasty, but I think all races should be consumable for science. The noConsume flag would also mean that player-made races would immediately fit into this model without alteration. (My Kanparush and Bound Spectrals would fall into the noConsumeForFood category, but would make cool science experiments!)

And, Sven and Arioch, if the consuming race is not where you wanted to go with the Zubs, something nasty inspired by, say, The Thing in the modern movies or "Who Goes There" (actually an alien weaponized Shoggoth from "At the Mountains of Madness"), the fungal zombies from "The Last of Us", or a consuming parasite like MoO3's Ithkul would work. When they conquer, the native pops are consumed for food and science (perhaps as an action, perhaps automatically consuming one pop per turn). If one of their worlds is conquered, the population always revolts, and make them very strong so they tend to reclaim the planet or do a *lot* of damage as the last goes down fighting. Basically, orbital bombardment and a purge would be the best option.

And I just wandered into the weeds there.... sorry. Back to Zololbolo's post:

>> - Art is easy: a new race can bring new art for pop units, ships and stations

Um... Art is easier to implement than new mechanics, but actually creating the art is not easy.
This IS NOT directed at Zolobolo: Let's all remember that it takes just as much natural talent, training, and practice to make good art on a computer as it does with paper or clay. The devs have obviously put a lot of work making good assets that follow a very clear motif (military sci-fi with a touch of steampunk and just a bit of whimsy).

Also, the way they implement the artwork is not exactly easy. Look at my modding post about the Abbizi. The implementation was obviously done by someone accustomed to optimizing for print. The end result is not very intuitive, BUT it makes for a very crisp picture that scales extremely well and creates a quality finished product.

Sorry for another digression, but I've had the dismissive sneer with, "Oh, you did it on the computer..." turned on me, even with my photography. (As if my computer bought a camera and polarizing filter, drove an hour, set it up, took 100+ pictures, did post-work, had the pictures printed an matted and framed and displayed in a museum...) Again, not at Zolobolo, but I want to be careful with the "art is easy" part of this.

But I do agree with the statement overall. My digression on the Zubs above is about how this seems to be partially in the game already. I would love to see this.

>> - New stars and planet types

Oh, yes. I had a long post on new planet types. Also, changing population fertility from planet type to temperature / atmostphere / hydrosophere (/gravity?) modifiers would make new planets easier to implement.

>> - Regarding combat, it is much harder to bring something new on the tactical level without considerable re-balancing but most importantly without re-scripting the AI ...

Actually, the new Harpy types and weapons (that awful area discharge thing!!!) seem to be a good step here. Overall, they tend to be very challenging fights. I think the only tweak I would make is having the Proteans be a bit faster, and making their explosions bigger. Turn them into mines.

>> - Making not breaking: The two biggest flaws currently in the game are semi-functional diplomacy and AI that does not utilize special tech. When considering the content of the DLC I would try to avoid deepening these aspects and implement new content in a way that actually resolves them :)
Summary: The new faction would not include new mechanics and specialized tech unless it can be incorporated into existing elements and thus already used by the AI. E.g.: The new faction would have a different building for Rea search Labs that would fulfill a similar role as the original labs but have an automatic secondary effect that strengthens the weak parts of the AI (like machine alter but automatic effect).

This is where I was going with the "Consume" mechanic.

>> - Such a new building would have the benefit of giving bonus also to the player who captures it and not just to its owner (like machine altar) making planers with these structures precious targets that should not be bombarded out of kingdom-come

OK, I was actually going in the *opposite* direction here with the "orbital bombardment is the best option", but i do see your point.

Actually, with the machine altars, I think there is a simple fix: If a Machine Altar is on a planet occupied by a non-tinker species, the distributed computing and analysis infrastructure can be re-purposed to scientific ends. Each Machine Altar produces an additional +1 Science for non-Tinker species.

>> - The mechanic in question is also easy: as diplomacy is the most under-developed part.

Yes. I would love to see the ability to barter for techs and planets. Also, as I posted elsewhere, the ability to end a war with "demand conditional surrender" and "demand unconditional surrender" would be a very good addition.

>> - Diplomacy is a great target not just because it is underdeveloped but also because it can be fixed without tampering with the AI: can be scripted around, as the game rules and mechanics are simple enough to translate these into diplomatic events and adding a probability would make them much harder to anticipate and thus fun to react to

I would add improving the random events here. MoO3's system was actually very robust, and I added many that were potentially to be added to the last Strawberry mod patch. Diplomatic random events could really shape events. Random events would increase or lower your influence, or even the desire for war among other empires. Having a diplomatic scandal and suddenly two or three of your allies cancel your non-aggression treaties makes the game take a very sudden turn.

>> - In summary an example: New race with hulls that have per-configured flak cannons

The Sandbag Cannon was actually the first weapon I modded into MoO3. :D I think the main drawback is that there are weapon attack "drawers" (sound and graphic models), and weapons are assigned a drawer with a color overlay. The Flack Cannon would need a new drawer. It would be short range (only 6 or even 3), fast rate of fire, moderate accuracy, very low damage.

I there was a downside to the Sandbag Cannon in MoO3, which may be an issue here. Because of the way the AI chooses weapons based on raw damage and rate of fire, the AI *really* liked the Sandbag Cannon because of the high RoF. There may be a limitation with the Flack Cannon that the AI likes it too much because it is fast. (And, yes, a Spinal Mount Sandbag Cannon was fun.)

>> or advanced science stations, a building that produces science as well as influence, and thus geared towards Alliance victory using the enhanced mechanics.
>> The Phidi would not loose out on this, as they focus is on trade and only secondary focus on Influence

More robust Outposts would be really cool. I've been using the trick with dropping the generators once you get Solar Panels and adding a science station.

I would add:

Mercantile Outpost Module: Counts as an additional trade point for all races in range. Produces +2 Coins per turn, +1 Coin for each alien race with a trade treaty within range. For Phidi, +2 Coins for each alien race within range, treaty or not.

Diplomatic Outpost Module: Generates +1 influence per turn for each alien race within range, but with a maximum bonus of +1 influence per race. (So, you can't spam them.) For Phidi, it is +1 influence and +1 Coin.

Military Module: This would be the most difficult to code, but the military module would give +1 sensor range, -10 unrest to all pops within that system, and +10% to hit on all attack rolls within that system. If we bring back the Phidi Sales Commandos, then once the Sales Commandos is researched, all Phidi Market structures in a system with a Military Orbital gain +1 Coin per turn.


>> How does this translate into the original published roadmap?
>> It would mean these elements:

I essentially agree with the list. :)

zolobolo
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Re: Next DLC

Postby zolobolo » Sun Dec 24, 2017 8:12 pm

akkamaddi wrote:In the code, it looks like there is some groundwork for the addition of both human and ashdar marauders.

This is something I would consider twice implementing for the following reason: It gives more options for the player to mess around with (which is good) but these sound like specific units for specific factions and the AI has a track record of ignoring these and would thus not be utilized in any other occasion (which is bad as it gives an edge to the player and an unused special for the AI making the game easier)

akkamaddi wrote:There are also pieces of the Zubelengen, what appears to be an aquatic, non-diplomatic ("repulsive") enemy race with a larval, hunter, and soldier form. I think that would be a good addition. It would be justified to make them a bit overpowered, but incapable of making any kind of alliance. As an AI, any diplomatic overture would simply get a wall of alien Lroem Ipsum text in reply, then disconnect. As a player, diplomacy options would be "start fighting" (declare war) and a very expensive "stop fighting", but no alliance options.

This sounds interesting. If diplomacy is enhanced it would be nice to have another faction next to the Phidi that is geared towards a non violent way of playing but of course the new race can go any way for sure... even the opposite direction :) The games current focus is overwhelmingly on combat so it would fit right in.

akkamaddi wrote:A possible mechanic with a "repulsive" race would be that instead of slavery, you have "consumption". If you conquer a planet, you start with the option "Consume", which instantly destroys one population unit, produces ten food units, and causes both civil and diplomatic unrest (like purchasing slaves or harmonizing). A good additional effect would be that every 20 or so surplus food produces one Zubelengen Larva, so consuming a conquered planet would produce population and a little extra cash from food surplus.

Sounds good, but the mechanic needs to be free of micro management and utilized by the AI so:
- New building should replace an existing building type (the AI does not need to be thought to use it)
- The effect needs to be automatic - no manual triggering of any sorts which means: no decision if pops are to be processed for food or science
- The building needs to have a base production for the time when other pops run out: this way they give a considerable bonus to the faction until they have "fuel" but the race is also not crippled when there have been no new planets conquered in the last 100 turns...

akkamaddi wrote:>> - Art is easy: a new race can bring new art for pop units, ships and stations
Um... Art is easier to implement than new mechanics, but actually creating the art is not easy.

I actually meant: The decision of how and where new Art should be implemented is easy. This is one for the two strongest points of the game and thus DLC should contain new art + is the best addition for which marketing can be created for (screenshots)
Sorry if this wasn't obvious and I have heart the feelings of the artist.

Other options that could have been considered for how new art can be implemented:
- New ship categories for all races (effect on tactical combat: balancing and AI would need to handle it)
- New weapons and effects (new weapons mean new mechanics - same problem)
- New 3rd party faction (new faction means new mechanics - I think it is more important to flesh out the existing ones at this point)
Thus I went with the fourth obvious option of having new races: thus easy choice :)

akkamaddi wrote:Actually, the new Harpy types and weapons (that awful area discharge thing!!!) seem to be a good step here.

Agreed. I there is one new weapon that can be implemented, its area of affect missiles - as the AOF effect has just been implemented and seems to be working fine. I was actually considering this one as well: it would make sense to pack the affect into a new missile or torpedo type. It would serve the purpose of loosening up player fleet formations so that we do not cuddle all our ships together to maximize PD effectiveness and attack value, but again the problem with new weapons...

Maybe if the effect would be given to an existing weapon type... Ion canons, torpedoes? - This would certainly mix things up

akkamaddi wrote:Actually, with the machine altars, I think there is a simple fix: If a Machine Altar is on a planet occupied by a non-tinker species, the distributed computing and analysis infrastructure can be re-purposed to scientific ends. Each Machine Altar produces an additional +1 Science for non-Tinker species.

I love this idea! Please make it so :)

akkamaddi wrote:>> - The mechanic in question is also easy: as diplomacy is the most under-developed part.
Yes. I would love to see the ability to barter for techs and planets. Also, as I posted elsewhere, the ability to end a war with "demand conditional surrender" and "demand unconditional surrender" would be a very good addition.

I am generally against putting effort into a barter system in these games for the following reasons:
1. It is in almost all cases lacking as far as fun factor goes (except for in 7 Kingdoms where even the menu was like papyrus and you made an offer to the other court :). Usually this is a dry mechanic:
2. Giving benefits only to the player (to game the AI as the later will never be effectively using this mechanic as the AI is never out to "win" the game
3. Repetitive - To utilize the system some cool-down needs to be implemented to prevent players from milking the AI too much which turns the mechanic into a waiting for the cool-down to end to milk the AI :)

A good example would be GalCiv III, where the devs have had previous experience, and still took around 2 years (with a much larger team) to sort-of-weed out the obvious milking mechanics. The question for me though always remains: what is the added value even after this? After a few wins utilizing these systems, it just does not give any satisfaction to win like this

Conditional surrender I like but due to the above suggest fixed conditions: 40% of money and metal, or 25% of money and metal income in the next 10 Turns, or something along these lines...

Regarding diplomatic enhancements I was thinking on things like:
- Scripting when the AI closes alliance: 20% chance each Turn when a specified relationship level is reached and influence cost payed by the empire with the higher population: If that empire does not have enough influence- no alliance as that empire would benefit from it in the council election
- Making Alliance cost influence to maintain. The larger the population, the higher the cost. If Influence runs out, the ally with the largest population should drop out and get a huge relationship hit + a bonus towards hostile factions. This would make Influence strategic resource you have to watch out for, prevent the player from buying a lot of allies especially if they have similarly sized population, and create an interesting mini-game before each council vote: we could actually loose a game if too unpopular in the galaxy
- AI paying off Marauders and show a bunch of information on the Marauders diplomatic screen: Who is paying them off for how much, when is the next invasion, and how much it will cost to pay them off (which each faction paying them off the cost increases).
- Having warring factions hire mercenaries: This would turn a specific percentage of their available funds into offensive fleet power for their next attack
- Have a breakdown of another empires population opinion on you how it comes together and make it relevant: this could also be a factor in how much influence an alliance costs to close and to maintain. e.g.: a much weaker nation can be "bought" with a small amount of influence but if the player is enslaving other races and bombarding other factions with the same pop, the upkeep of the Alliance should rise dramatically based on the opinion of the allies citizens
- Issue relationship penalty for all factions that share common systems. The more common systems they have, the larger the penalty. It can be avoided of course when in an alliance but then then the influence cost applied... :) This is to foment more conflict and is only logical

Notice that none of the above require the AI script to evaluate economic or military situations - they should all be manageable by global scripts running before each turn for the player begins or right after it ends.

Its all about having to use Influence wisely and tying the mechanic of alliances into other existing mechanics of the game, preferably into the ones that are currently under-utilized like the population opinion in the diplomacy screen

akkamaddi wrote:More robust Outposts would be really cool. I've been using the trick with dropping the generators once you get Solar Panels and adding a science station.

While I like the idea, I am afraid that all these new features would only be utilized by the player as the AI already completely avoids building outposts.

Again my principle here would be "make don't brake" so: do not strengthen functions that are not utilized. If something is implemented along these lines it should FIX the current lack of utilization of such bases:
e.g.: Have outposts be generated automatically for player and AI empires alike. They could pop up above inhabitable planets starting within systems that the empire has already colonized and then spread somewhat randomly outwards. This way, the AI would receive outposts and get the benefits as well

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Arioch
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Re: Next DLC

Postby Arioch » Sun Dec 24, 2017 9:19 pm

Our current plan is to spend some time fixing and improving existing features (AI, diplomacy, tactical combat balance, victory display, faction special features) before we do more DLC with new factions and features. The publisher will probably pressure us for more DLC before long, so we may not get all the way through our list of fixes before we need to add new stuff, but we'll get there eventually.

We have plans for a number of new major and minor factions as well as new features, so this could keep us busy for a long time to come, if there continues to be interest.

The Gardeners (also called "Zubelengen" in some of the concept art) will be an aquatic faction with a bioengineering theme: gameplay involves population management (there are multiple different "juvenile" forms for different tasks, and a sessile "adult" form that aggregates as a sort of hive mind) and biological terraforming towards a target "coral world." This will require an improved terraforming model, which introduces smaller improvements over a longer timescale (as opposed to the current endgame system which just transforms one planet type into another). The Gardeners will also be diplomatically challenged, with the need to learn how to communicate with each different species that they meet.

akkamaddi
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Re: Next DLC

Postby akkamaddi » Sun Dec 24, 2017 9:59 pm

While a "consuming tide" universal enemy race would be cool, I must admit The Gardeners sounds far more interesting. :)

I'm also curious to see the direction terraforming will go.

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Re: Next DLC

Postby Arioch » Sun Dec 24, 2017 11:26 pm

akkamaddi wrote:While a "consuming tide" universal enemy race would be cool, I must admit The Gardeners sounds far more interesting.

Both the Gremak and Tinkers already have a model where they can "consume" captured population, by enslaving/harmonizing them and then spending them on forced labor or experiments. It might make lore-wise sense for the Gardeners to "consume" captured population as biomass, but I think a more interesting gameplay challenge is for the Gardeners player to have to figure out how to deal with captured alien population with whom they essentially can't communicate. Being able to simply exterminate them would be too easy.

akkamaddi wrote:I'm also curious to see the direction terraforming will go.

One of my biggest problems with terraforming is that you lose the individual character of planets, and the galaxy becomes populated with identical paradise worlds, which is why terraforming is currently an end-game toy rather than a core game mechanic. My concept for improved terraforming is relatively straightforward: each planet type should have a number of intermediate stages that improve habitability toward the next planet type (each with visible surface changes, mostly greening and surface water), and when the changes reach a threshold of a new planet type (say an Arid transforming to a Garden), the new planet should be recognizably a different version of the same planet (so the new Garden should look like a terraformed Mars rather than the stock Garden). This allows terraforming techs to be available earlier without accelerating the homogenization of planets. We already have the systems to make this work, it's mainly a question of creating all of the pieces and the technologies that are necessarily to fill in all the blanks.

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Re: Next DLC

Postby silverkitty23 » Mon Dec 25, 2017 2:10 am

I suspect because of the limited company size and backlog of features, they don't actually need help directing their next DLC - they probably have three years of content at their current development rate already on their plate.

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Re: Next DLC

Postby nweismuller » Mon Dec 25, 2017 4:42 am

Arioch wrote: My concept for improved terraforming is relatively straightforward: each planet type should have a number of intermediate stages that improve habitability toward the next planet type (each with visible surface changes, mostly greening and surface water), and when the changes reach a threshold of a new planet type (say an Arid transforming to a Garden), the new planet should be recognizably a different version of the same planet (so the new Garden should look like a terraformed Mars rather than the stock Garden).


I assume, then, that the existing 'thick atmosphere/high fertility' Arid planets are going to be rolled into the system as existing at one of these intermediate stages from the beginning?

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Arioch
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Re: Next DLC

Postby Arioch » Mon Dec 25, 2017 6:19 am

silverkitty23 wrote:I suspect because of the limited company size and backlog of features, they don't actually need help directing their next DLC - they probably have three years of content at their current development rate already on their plate.

This is true, but feedback and suggestions are always welcome.

nweismuller wrote:
Arioch wrote: My concept for improved terraforming is relatively straightforward: each planet type should have a number of intermediate stages that improve habitability toward the next planet type (each with visible surface changes, mostly greening and surface water), and when the changes reach a threshold of a new planet type (say an Arid transforming to a Garden), the new planet should be recognizably a different version of the same planet (so the new Garden should look like a terraformed Mars rather than the stock Garden).


I assume, then, that the existing 'thick atmosphere/high fertility' Arid planets are going to be rolled into the system as existing at one of these intermediate stages from the beginning?

Perhaps. I expect the atmosphere and fertility attributes will probably be re-examined.

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Re: Next DLC

Postby zolobolo » Mon Dec 25, 2017 6:20 pm

Terraforming sounds like an interesting concept if coupled with a faction behaviour - not just run-of-the mill improvement of the planet type.
I have never actually used terraforming in this game yet as I assumed it is similar to that concept utilized in other games + you usually win the game before late-game tech comes into play

It is also great to hear that some of the issues are going to be addressed and we will get new races eventually :)

My point still stands though regarding implementing new mechanics: I believe the main draw of the game are style and mechanics that are simple but their interaction with each other make for compelling dynamic: simple ground rules but their interaction goes deep. Introducing new mechanics is dangerous as it needs to interfaces with all the existing ones or be relegated to a sideshow. Case in point are asteroid bases and space habitats - I just couldn't find any solid and meaningful interaction between these and existing mechanics like colony expansion, tactical/strategic combat or trade

Hence my suggestion that if new content is introduced, it could be done by consciously targeting under-utilized mechanics already in the game. We all understand that AI scripting is no easy task especially for a small team, so maybe circumventing all the work (and high probably of issues) with designing the game mechanics around this task could be a smart move. Any new race that requires a new way of interacting with the colonies and pop units is a risk in this aspect.

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Re: Next DLC

Postby zolobolo » Mon Dec 25, 2017 7:57 pm

I just realized: Area of Effect weapons implemented outside of the Steward design could have the negative effect of making small vessels ubsolete in an instant

I found this to be the very case when invading Nests guarded by at least one Steward: while in past small ships were usefull for providing cost effective PD, now they are wiped out instantly and in large numbers by this beast. The logical decision was to focus my efforts on long range ships with HEAVY shielding and less number: an incentive that takes away combined fleets

Possible solution:
Have AOF weapons have other effects instead of direct damage. Only reducing shields or EMP would be an obvious choice. Chosing EMP would even have an opposing effect: large ships would get more of the effect and be rendered mostly incapable of fighting, while several medium and small vessels could carry on fighting as they would retain the functionality of most of their weapons systems.

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Re: Next DLC

Postby akkamaddi » Tue Dec 26, 2017 4:11 am

Yeah, that was a thing from MoO2. Actually, the Antarans would do that on purpose. They would swarm their lightest ships around your hulks. Some of their ships had a special detonation unit that would make a ship's destruction about x4 or x5 as damaging. They would then send in a ship with one of the two AoE weapons, which would damage your ship, detonate their ships, and usually cause a nasty chain reaction.

The Stewards will actually not use their electrolyzer near their own ships. To the devs, I would actually suggest making an exception with the Proteans, and make their explosions bigger. Have the behavior of the Proteans to stay near the Stewards, then swarm a ship. Make their bio-reactors a bit unstable, and you will have a wonderful chain reaction sweeping through the player fleet.

For the players using it, they are really best on a small, fast ship with good shields.

I also love the idea of a shield disruption field. Even better if it could somehow damage shields and then recharge the player ship.

A low damage AoE weapon, perhaps with a low-ish hit rate, would also be an excellent PD alternative.



Ohhh... nasty idea for the devs. First, make the Proteans faster with a larger explosion.

Then, new ship type: Brood Shepard.

The Brood Shepard would be a dreadnaught type ship with an aggressive behavior. They have the plasma spitters and otherwise normal Harpy armaments, but with above average armor and perhaps even a pair of light/PD plasma spitters.

When the Shepard is destroyed, eight Proteans appear in the same area, or as close as possible. It's a mine ship. :D

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Re: Next DLC

Postby zolobolo » Tue Dec 26, 2017 10:03 am

The Idea seems a bit complex, but I like that it would effect capital ships stronger then a bunch of small vessels as they would get the bulk of the damage while in as of small ships the damage is distributed (even if total value is higher)

Interestingly I did start using Proteans against the Harpy Swarms a while ago: shooting out these critter first causes most of the simple Harpies to be critically damaged and destroyed - if you would want to take this advantage from the player then, yes, the speed of Proteans would need to increase though in this case they will simply destroy themselves grouped neatly all together in the front of their fleet (not that Harpies have PD capability anyhow)

Original I thought the Proteans would be "produced" and regularly spawned from the Steward, as it always strikes me as a Carrier type unit - this might still provide a solution for the above

DDPD
Posts: 58
Joined: Sun Feb 05, 2017 3:47 pm

Re: Next DLC

Postby DDPD » Wed Jan 03, 2018 1:26 pm

Yes! This all sounds great, Jim! SiS is such a great game and I keep coming back to it after Endless Space 2, Stellaris and Civ 6 piss me off. Some of your design decisions are sublime and make for a much better game in some respects than these others.

I just wish more people bought it. You deserve 100k sales...


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