First Impressions

General Stars in Shadow Discussion Forum
Serenitis
Posts: 21
Joined: Sat Jan 04, 2020 10:09 am

First Impressions

Postby Serenitis » Sat Jan 04, 2020 11:55 am

I've played SiS for a little over a week now, and I thought it might be helpful to share some things I've observed as some of them don't appear to be mentioned anywhere else.

The artwork.
I don't think I have seen a single piece of artwork anywhere in the game which is less than 'impeccable'. All of it seems to have just the right amount of detail for it's size, and nothing looks wildly out of place.
I'm particularly impressed by the planets, and how they reflect thier attributes with the use of overlays. And especially by the nightside illuminations which seem to differ depending on what kind of habitation is currently on the planet. Orthin are easy to spot from space due to thier distinctive lighting patterns and drilling holes in ice.
And that the Phidi don't seem to have a different take on shipbuilding to everyone else by producing modular hulls and adapting them to a role rather than purpose build specific hulls.
I am a huge fan of little details like this.

The soundtrack is wonderful, and imo a perfect fit for the game as it gives just the right amount of 'bounce' without being overwhelming.
There's a very limited number of tracks though, and after a while it gets a little bit repetitive. If time and resources allow, adding a few more would reduce this greatly.
This is a future problem, and not really a priority at all.

The coding is all in plain LUA, nothing too remarkable. But every part of it is commented and annotated!
Reading through some of the notes in the various LUAs has been quite interesting, not only with regard to why things were done a certain way, but also in its own right. There's even a whole page of notes in there about calculating solar irradiance, which is just <3.
Its given me a great deal of confidence that this is something that's being done because those doing it actually care about it.

The game flows very smoothly, and has appropriate info given to the player to let them know if they should or shouldn't do something. It's not perfect and there's a few holes, but it covers almost eveything.
There are also a great many 'conveniences' built into the UI which reduce the amount of effort needed to do things. Again, it doesn't cover everything, but there is an impressive amount of streamlining.
Colony managment is fairly easy, and the tech tree is well laid out with automatic queuing of pre-requisites.
Conquest is straightforward with no underlying games dictating what you can and can't keep. (One of the reasons I bounced off every Paradox game super hard.)
I also like how the AI remembers which planets it had an interest in and will hassle you about them.

The combat UI looks great, and works really well for small scale battles. But starts to become cumbersome when there are a lot of ships present.
In particular the complete lack of the ability to select everything or cycle through ships has been a minor frustration.
I had also thought that being able to bandbox select ships would be a nice addition, but after some reading I discovered this was already present and available by holding <shift>. This could do with being communicated to the player in-game somehow.

One of the less good aspects of combat in general is the formations the opposing fleets start in.
I have been routinely frustrated by the insistence of whatever dictates the starting formation placing all the ships in something reminicent of the 'claw' formation from Homeworld. With the central elements at the back, and ships to the sides being progressivey further forward. With the foremost ships being essentially on thier own with zero PD coverage, and right next to their opponent who's fleet is arrayed the same.
What makes this even more frustrating is that incredibly valuable ships like carriers or missile artillery in frequently in this position and will be lost on the first turn often without getting to move at all.
If you have civilian ships in your fleet, they also appear in these positions and are frequently lost.
It would be nice if this could be looked at with view to giving the starting fleets a more linear starting formation, and/or giving the player the means to either use several preset formations or create thier own.

Not a huge fan of the way terraforming works. It's giving the player some confusing options with no feedback as to why those options are present.
In particular the ability to terraform worlds in a manner which will significanly negatively impact (ie; kill) a large number of the resident population. Why would the player ever do this?
Also the limitations with respect to small worlds, and those with a cold environment are.... Confusing given that the technology to overcome both these limitations (thin atmosphere and low temps.) are already in the tech tree. (Why is atmosphere condensation locked to Orthin anyway?)
Also, the description for the orbital mirrors tech is backwards, but there's already a note about that. Might be worth considering making mirrors and shades available earlier, but have them take up an orbital slot.
The upcoming changes look like they might resolve a lot of this.

The ship design UI is really neat, and the drag-and-drop of items onto a ship frame reminds me of Ascendancy.
All the icons are neat and easily recognisable, and the interface itself is fairly easy to use. But....
Once the player has accumulated a lot of equippable items, the UI starts to become a bit of a chore with an overabundance of scrolling.
One potential way to allieviate this could be to have the player right-click on a ship mounting in the list on the left, and from that create a popup list containing all the items that can be fitted there.
The player could also specify to 'obsolete' some items so they don't appear in the selections at all (why would you want to use lasers if you have turbolasers?) This might also need a checkbox adding so the player can access hidden items if they wanted.

Another part of the shipbuilder UI which could use a little bit of polish, is the distinction between turrets and hardpoints.
For most ships this is obvious as the weapon art changes to match so its fairly easy to see. But some ships have hidden mounts, and this has resulted in a few battles where I've been quite confused as to why my PD isn't working. Inadvertantly mounting PD weapons in a fixed hardpoint.
One way to get around this would be to have the right-most end of the weapon slots in the shipbuilder UI have little infocards on them to denote whether they are turreted or fixed mounts.
Just something simple like a filled circle for turret, and a hollow circle with the topmost 90deg filled for fixed. (Assuming all fixed hardpoints are facing forwards....)

Moving population between worlds could be a bit easier. Currently is requires clicking the source system, then clicking the transport button on the source planet and selcting the desired population from a box which cannot be moved.
Now the underlying galaxy must be scrolled so you can see your destination system in one of the edge gaps left by the box which cannot be moved, and then with your population cursor click on the destination system, (which may or may not drop the move operation at this point forcing you to start again) and then the destination planet.
Would it be possible to consider a MoO2 style planet 'ledger' as either a popup like the planet report or its own screen, where population can be moved around without quite so much effort.

After several games I've tried to find a reason to choose ion beams and disruptors over turbolasers, and I'm struggling to find a reason to not pick turbolasers every time.
For two reasons.
Firstly, the rapid fire mod is incredibly good. Doubling the potential damage output, and PD effectiveness is a huge deal.
Second, ion beams are simply not as good as RF turbolasers and have no secondary effects to make them useful in other ways.
Disruptors and neutron beams are more powerful individually than an equivalent turbolaser, but can't compete with the RF mod.
However, disruptors and neutron beams do have a secondary effect which can make them useful. But....
That effect is of incredibly limited use as it doesn't work through armour, which means the 'kills crew' aspect tends to be only accurate in a technical sense. As the crew is dead by virtue of the ship they're on being destroyed.
Maybe consider having the 'lethal' part of these weapons having some kind of bleedthrough when hitting armour, so you might not get the full effect but you do get some effect.

Speaking of....
Capturing ships is incredibly fun, and a huge part of why I preferred MoO2 over the original.
Including that in SiS is a huge plus for me.
One thing that's been mildly annoying though, is the seeming lack of any ability to save design templates for captured ships. Every single one has to be individually equipped, and anywhere past early game this is a bit of a chore with the current design UI.
Would you care to consider that if the player captures and integrates an enemy ship, that would allow a design template for that type of ship to be unlocked? This would be for refiting purposes only, the player would not gain the ability to build those ships.
Alternatively, for refiting any ships allow the template dropdown at the top-left to copy the design of any extant ships based on the same hull.

There's no espionage. That's kind of a good thing tbh.
Espionage is hard to do right, but incredibly easy to get wrong. If you ever think of adding this at some point, please be as careful as you can with how it works lest you fall into the trap Distant Worlds did and turn an excellent game into a moderately okay-ish game.
Regardless of how you go about it, it would be super nice if you took a page out of the Civ games book and included an option to turn off that aspect if desired.

Viscid. Why? Just, Why.

Overall: Suitably impressed.
This game isn't perfect, it has its flaws. But still feels like better quality than some 'professional' titles.
Very keen on seeing where the next updates take things.

User avatar
Arioch
Posts: 1284
Joined: Sun Feb 01, 2015 12:56 am
Location: San Jose, California
Contact:

Re: First Impressions

Postby Arioch » Sat Jan 04, 2020 6:00 pm

Thanks for the feedback.

Serenitis wrote:The ship design UI is really neat, and the drag-and-drop of items onto a ship frame reminds me of Ascendancy.
All the icons are neat and easily recognisable, and the interface itself is fairly easy to use. But....
Once the player has accumulated a lot of equippable items, the UI starts to become a bit of a chore with an overabundance of scrolling.
One potential way to allieviate this could be to have the player right-click on a ship mounting in the list on the left, and from that create a popup list containing all the items that can be fitted there.
The player could also specify to 'obsolete' some items so they don't appear in the selections at all (why would you want to use lasers if you have turbolasers?) This might also need a checkbox adding so the player can access hidden items if they wanted.

At the top of the components list on the right, there is an "eye" icon which toggles the display of obsolete components.

Serenitis wrote:Moving population between worlds could be a bit easier. Currently is requires clicking the source system, then clicking the transport button on the source planet and selcting the desired population from a box which cannot be moved.
Now the underlying galaxy must be scrolled so you can see your destination system in one of the edge gaps left by the box which cannot be moved, and then with your population cursor click on the destination system, (which may or may not drop the move operation at this point forcing you to start again) and then the destination planet.
Would it be possible to consider a MoO2 style planet 'ledger' as either a popup like the planet report or its own screen, where population can be moved around without quite so much effort.

I'd like to add a full screen multipurpose planet spreadsheet, but it's a medium-level priority.

You can use the Planetary Report to aid in population movement. You can shift-left-click on a planet in the report (or click on the yellow "Move Colonists" rollover icon) to begin the movement order, and you can also use planets in the report as a destination click target. This allows you to perform a population move in as few as two clicks.

I know there are a variety of "hidden" UI functions... but I'm not sure how to expose them to the user short of a tutorial function (which is something we'd like to add, but it's a big job). I think I would rather spend the effort on an integrated manual/encyclopedia.

Serenitis wrote:After several games I've tried to find a reason to choose ion beams and disruptors over turbolasers, and I'm struggling to find a reason to not pick turbolasers every time.

I think what we need to do here is to give ion beams their own damage type, and to add weapon mods for ions and other later weapons. This is on our (rather long) list of things we'd like to do.

Serenitis wrote:Espionage is hard to do right, but incredibly easy to get wrong.

I agree. I have some ideas about how to do espionage as part of a "character" system, but it won't go in unless we can figure out how to make it fun and not annoying.

Serenitis wrote:Viscid. Why? Just, Why.

They're a negative planetary attribute, like metal scarcity or poor habitability. You have to decide whether that particular planet is worth the trouble. But we have some ideas about how to make them (and other non-beneficial natives like the Scavengers and Gaiads) more interesting as gameplay elements, if not necessarily beneficial.

Noyyau
Posts: 22
Joined: Mon Nov 25, 2019 9:07 pm

Re: First Impressions

Postby Noyyau » Sat Jan 04, 2020 8:25 pm

I second all the praise, and the comment about the combat system with large fleets. Having 70+ ships to manage (e.g. in my last game I annexed the Phidi, who had ammassed lots of mercenary destroyers and light cruisers), in a seemingly random initial formation, is cumbersome.

As an addendum, the option to mass disband ships from the main map fleet pane would also be convenient (instead of having to click on the details of each single one of them). Or am I missing something?
I found it quicker and easier to send the mass of them against the star harpies (granted, at this point the game was won and I owned the whole galaxy already, so I didn't need the metal from scrapping them. Otherwise, capturing ships for the scrap metal is an important source of metal).

And 2nd addendum, it would also be nice if in the ship design screen, instead of dragging and dropping, you could double click on a component in the component list and it would be added to the first available/allowed free hardpoint. Again this is something for the lategame and the late hulls with lots of hardpoints to fill.

Serenitis
Posts: 21
Joined: Sat Jan 04, 2020 10:09 am

Re: First Impressions

Postby Serenitis » Sat Jan 04, 2020 9:55 pm

Oh nice. So some of that is in already, it's just not documented yet.
Maybe until something more permanent gets arranged, there could be a single 'reference' page/screen/infocard which contains all the various shortcuts for doing things?
Nothing fancy, just a text box.

Just about the only way I've found I can tolerate the Viscid is by putting an outpost on the planet and ignoring it until I have enough free transports and population to instantly fill the place.
I can tolerate the Scavengers and Gaiads since both at least contribute something.
The AI seems to not care about this at all, and will happily plant a colony on the blob world and let it turn into an almost useless resource sink.

[edit]
I bet even if I harmonised them they'd still be useless.
Image
(At least the Algorians would have some new friends.)

Quite a bit of the art for various ships and installations seems to be common to all races.
I'm almost 100% certain that the two star bases and the shipyard are placeholders just to get them in and working, as the building 'style' and markings look very Ashdar.
Not so certain about the super DN and the mobile planet.
The planet... Eh, there's not that many planet-y shapes to choose from anyway.
But the SDN.
On one hand why would multiple races have very different ship styles, except for that one class?
On the other, the markings and colouring overlays look very much like its intended to be that way.

Also noticed something that I had to look at for a bit before I convinced myself I was seeing correctly:
The Gremak Emperor paraphrasing the Bene Gesserit.
There's a ton of Herbert stuff in here (one example of which is deliberately mangled with amusing results), some Heinlein, and few others.
Pure gold.

Is there a benefit to slaves I'm not seeing? Even playing as the Gremak I don't feel like I want to keep any slaves because the 'free' colonists are more useful as they generate money and science. Wheras the slaves don't. And in the case of Teros slaves, they are less productive than thier free brothers.
Have I missed something? (Maybe I'm just not a big enough git to be a good Gremak.)

I kind of like how the torpedoes in SiS are the same as the torpedoes in FreeSpace.
Almost useless for bombardment, but really effective close in.
Took me a couple of games to figure this out.

Really enjoying the game though. You've done a stellar job so far. Thank you for your time and effort!

Noyyau wrote:And 2nd addendum, it would also be nice if in the ship design screen, instead of dragging and dropping, you could double click on a component in the component list and it would be added to the first available/allowed free hardpoint. Again this is something for the lategame and the late hulls with lots of hardpoints to fill.


I had thought of something similar, but didn't think it would really work with some slots having multiple valid loactions, which may or may not have something you'd prefer to keep. (eg refiting an advanced ship with items you can't build yet.) It would likely be a non-trivial task to produce the code to accomplish that. Shame, because it would be a fairly neat way of doing things.

DanTheTerrible
Posts: 43
Joined: Fri Feb 22, 2019 11:28 am

Queue management

Postby DanTheTerrible » Sun Jan 05, 2020 12:17 pm

I am going to piggyback on this thread and add a question about the UI that has long bugged me. When I set up queue of research projects, I often change my mind later and want to remove a project from the queue or insert a new one in the middle or otherwise change the order. The only way I seem to be able to do this is to just construct a whole new queue from scratch, which is a nuisance. The game has so many other easy-to-overlook UI features I wonder if I am being an idiot and missing something. Somebody please educate me if there is a better way.

Ideally I'd like to be able to look at a list of projects and click, drag and drop one into a new position in the list, with some spiffy AI routine rearranging prerequisites as needed. Or a dragged item refusing to "stick" if you try to move it ahead of prerequisites.

A similar issue occurs with planet build queues. If I decide I need that tank right freaking now I'd like to be able to drag it to the front of the queue without disturbing everything else. But since the queues are shorter and there aren't as many possible things to remember the issue annoys me less with planet build queues than research project queues.

User avatar
Arioch
Posts: 1284
Joined: Sun Feb 01, 2015 12:56 am
Location: San Jose, California
Contact:

Re: Queue management

Postby Arioch » Sun Jan 05, 2020 6:27 pm

DanTheTerrible wrote:I am going to piggyback on this thread and add a question about the UI that has long bugged me. When I set up queue of research projects, I often change my mind later and want to remove a project from the queue or insert a new one in the middle or otherwise change the order. The only way I seem to be able to do this is to just construct a whole new queue from scratch, which is a nuisance. The game has so many other easy-to-overlook UI features I wonder if I am being an idiot and missing something. Somebody please educate me if there is a better way.

Ideally I'd like to be able to look at a list of projects and click, drag and drop one into a new position in the list, with some spiffy AI routine rearranging prerequisites as needed. Or a dragged item refusing to "stick" if you try to move it ahead of prerequisites.

A similar issue occurs with planet build queues. If I decide I need that tank right freaking now I'd like to be able to drag it to the front of the queue without disturbing everything else. But since the queues are shorter and there aren't as many possible things to remember the issue annoys me less with planet build queues than research project queues.

Because techs have prerequisites that the system auto-queues for you, being able to insert or delete items from the queue is problematic. There isn't currently such a function.

The build queue was designed with drag and drop functionality in mind, but it was never implemented.

Serenitis
Posts: 21
Joined: Sat Jan 04, 2020 10:09 am

Re: First Impressions

Postby Serenitis » Sun Jan 05, 2020 9:37 pm

Since any progress from build items and research topics is never lost even if they're stopped to do something else, I'm not sure why you'd need a dynamic queue as you can stop/start things at will.
Although you can juggle the planetary build queue after a fashion, by clicking on the queued items to 'cancel' them, then add them again in your preferred order.
Even partial ship refits will stay in the planet projects list once you start them.

Been having a bit of think about ion weapons.
An idea for an ion specific mod could be something that makes the beam scatter and arc when it hits anything that isn't a shield. So they could have an area of effect which might make them more effective vs. groups of small unshielded objects. And occaisionally be able to hit multiple ships with arcing.
Orthin artillery is potentially a problem, depending on how the arcing is handled. (Could just be n/a to heavy weapons.)
I can imagine it making for some cathartic harpy visits though.

gaerzi
Posts: 116
Joined: Wed Jul 10, 2019 1:30 pm

Re: First Impressions

Postby gaerzi » Mon Jan 06, 2020 1:05 pm

Something that makes ion look useful would be nice, I never felt like it was a tech worth using. On the low end, rapid fire keeps lasers relevant for a while, and by the time RF lasers start lacking punch, I've got primary beams.

Dunno about space harpies, though, I'd be tempted to make chondrite armor protect against arcing effects because chondrite isn't much conductive -- and the space harpies' tendency to explode already provokes some amusing chain reactions.

Serenitis
Posts: 21
Joined: Sat Jan 04, 2020 10:09 am

Re: First Impressions

Postby Serenitis » Tue Jan 07, 2020 7:06 pm

To be honest, I have the same problem for turbo vs. primaries as I have with laser vs. ion.
Given the abilities of the RF mod, if available I'd rather have RF lasers instead of ion. And RF turbolasers instead of primaries.

Ion PD does 6 dmg.
RF laser PD does 6 dmg, but spread over twice the number of shots so it's more effective at hitting lots of small objects.

Def. primaries do 12 dmg.
RF turbo PD does 12 dmg, with the same benefit.

For standard weapons, the choice is even clearer.
Laser does 10 dmg.
Ion does 18 dmg.
RF laser does 20 dmg.
Ion is better at penetration, but has less overall power.

Turbolaser does 14 dmg.
Primary does 26 dmg.
RF turbo does 28 dmg.
Same issue.

I generally always stick with turbolasers until the other factions start using heavier armour and shields.
And almost always use RF turbo's as PD.

Fwiw, since it's unlikely the player will be using laser weapons without the RF mod, you may as well bake the RF ability/cost into the laser type weapons themselves and treat it as an intrinsic attribute of that class of weapon, then remove the RF mod to streamline things.

Might also be worth considering slightly lowering the power of laser type weapons, although not sure if that might have other consequences, especially in the early game.

gaerzi
Posts: 116
Joined: Wed Jul 10, 2019 1:30 pm

Re: First Impressions

Postby gaerzi » Tue Jan 07, 2020 9:47 pm

Serenitis wrote:The soundtrack is wonderful, and imo a perfect fit for the game as it gives just the right amount of 'bounce' without being overwhelming.
There's a very limited number of tracks though, and after a while it gets a little bit repetitive. If time and resources allow, adding a few more would reduce this greatly.
This is a future problem, and not really a priority at all.


There's actually an extra track ("Lunar Expedition"), currently unused, if you dig in the game files.

Serenitis wrote:I have been routinely frustrated by the insistence of whatever dictates the starting formation placing all the ships in something reminicent of the 'claw' formation from Homeworld. With the central elements at the back, and ships to the sides being progressivey further forward. With the foremost ships being essentially on thier own with zero PD coverage, and right next to their opponent who's fleet is arrayed the same.
What makes this even more frustrating is that incredibly valuable ships like carriers or missile artillery in frequently in this position and will be lost on the first turn often without getting to move at all.
If you have civilian ships in your fleet, they also appear in these positions and are frequently lost.
It would be nice if this could be looked at with view to giving the starting fleets a more linear starting formation, and/or giving the player the means to either use several preset formations or create thier own.

Or getting a pre-fight stage to rearrange your ships within a given area, before the combat starts.

I think the issue is that the AI would have to catch up. And in fact if the AI can be made to be smarter about how the ships are positioned, then it can be done for the player ships too.

Serenitis wrote:Moving population between worlds could be a bit easier. Currently is requires clicking the source system, then clicking the transport button on the source planet and selcting the desired population from a box which cannot be moved.
Now the underlying galaxy must be scrolled so you can see your destination system in one of the edge gaps left by the box which cannot be moved, and then with your population cursor click on the destination system, (which may or may not drop the move operation at this point forcing you to start again) and then the destination planet.
Would it be possible to consider a MoO2 style planet 'ledger' as either a popup like the planet report or its own screen, where population can be moved around without quite so much effort.


There's a population panel mod which I consider a must-have.

Serenitis wrote:One thing that's been mildly annoying though, is the seeming lack of any ability to save design templates for captured ships. Every single one has to be individually equipped, and anywhere past early game this is a bit of a chore with the current design UI.
Would you care to consider that if the player captures and integrates an enemy ship, that would allow a design template for that type of ship to be unlocked? This would be for refiting purposes only, the player would not gain the ability to build those ships.
Alternatively, for refiting any ships allow the template dropdown at the top-left to copy the design of any extant ships based on the same hull.

Something like the ability to research alien hulls when you have captured one (on a basis of one tech per hull type, so capturing an ashdar scout ship would not let you build ashdar carriers, and likewise capturing an ashdar carrier would not let you build a gremak carrier) could make sense. It'd certainly be better than trying to annex the race so unlock their designs.

Serenitis wrote:Viscid. Why? Just, Why.

I think they'd make more sense as a food production penalty on the planet than as a race. The fact there's no way to reduce their numbers, they can only grow, short of metagame approaches like giving the planet away to another empire and then sterilizing it with bombs, really makes them worse than anything else. Mineral-poor planets do not eat into your metal surpluses, they just produce less and make mines not very useful. Likewise, a viscid world should be basically the negative counterpart of supergrain, the parasites making things more annoying for the colonists but not, you know, moving into the residences.

User avatar
PrivateHudson
Posts: 67
Joined: Tue Feb 12, 2019 7:59 am
Location: Chelyabinsk, Russia

Re: First Impressions

Postby PrivateHudson » Thu Jan 09, 2020 12:32 pm

About build queue rearrangement. Carthago delenda est,.. err, please Alt+click to add item to the top.
About viscids. I absolutely loved Steam suggestion thread's idea of viscid spore torpedo - each shot that reaches planet surface creates 100k viscid pop. :twisted:

Serenitis
Posts: 21
Joined: Sat Jan 04, 2020 10:09 am

Re: First Impressions

Postby Serenitis » Thu Jan 09, 2020 9:25 pm

PrivateHudson wrote: viscid spore torpedo

That's the evilest thing I can possibly imagine.

A 'moderately' successful containment via pop drop.
Spoiler: show
Image

It's the only way I've found so far of not being overrun: Ignore it until you can flood the place with your own pops.

gaerzi wrote:There's actually an extra track ("Lunar Expedition"), currently unused, if you dig in the game files.

Yeah. Noticed this. I've already pulled all the SiS tracks and converted them to mp3 for general use because they are just lovely.
10 wonderful new synth tracks.

The issues mentioned in @music.lua are also quite interesting.
It's possibly an explaination for why the Distant Worlds devs chose to hook stuff into windows media player instead of doing it 'natively'.
I seriously do love all these comments in the code.

There's a population panel mod which I consider a must-have.

This is really nice. Thanks for the info.

AMX
Posts: 59
Joined: Fri Nov 24, 2017 10:41 pm

Re: First Impressions

Postby AMX » Thu Jan 09, 2020 9:38 pm

Serenitis wrote:
PrivateHudson wrote: viscid spore torpedo

That's the evilest thing I can possibly imagine.

:twisted:
Serenitis wrote:A 'moderately' successful containment via pop drop.
Spoiler: show
Image

It's the only way I've found so far of not being overrun: Ignore it until you can flood the place with your own pops.

The most effective way I'm aware of involves
Spoiler: show
Slave Collars, orbital bombardment, and a second colony ship...

Serenitis
Posts: 21
Joined: Sat Jan 04, 2020 10:09 am

Re: First Impressions

Postby Serenitis » Sun Jan 12, 2020 11:06 am

The diplomacy is really simple, but it also doesn't need to be anything else. I love & hate how having multiple friends forces you to pick a side, so that means it's probably balanced.

The AI is a cheeky mofo though.
Played a game in an hourglass galaxy, and Ephelos just happened to be right at the pinch-point in the middle with 4 empires (including me) butted up against it.
I finally managed to get enough ships to capture the dreadnought after being sidetracked by other 'issues', with my colony ship following the turn after.
Next turn arrives, and I get 3 'requests' in varying tones about how the planet in Ephelos belonged to one faction or another and I shouldn't land on it.
The absolute cheek of it.
Did you do the work to allow that planet to be landed on?
You did not.
It's mine. Deal with it.

Also, playing Phidi is quite a bit different to everyone else as they don't get the ability to have fleet anchors or fire concentration until fairly late on.
Missile ships are great, but having all your missile ability in destroyer hulls is both a blessing and a curse.
Mercenary ships are great help here, but I just wish you could preview the loadouts somehow.

There's a setting in the options to automatically send all transports built to the trade pool. Which is nice.
Is there a way to set this planet-by-planet so I can fill my trade routes and build empties for other purposes at the same time?
You can recall ships from the pool, but its micromanagement which I'm doing anyway by assigning them there so it doesn't save any effort.

If you don't yet have access to habitation domes you can only land on planets your native race is comfortable on.
But you can load another race into the ship which can then land on any planet that race can tolerate, which is a really nice touch.
Only works for colony ships though. In-system colonisation is limited by the empire race preferences regardless, which feels like an oversight (or maybe a limitation of the way it currently works).

I've found that I much prefer playing on the 'sparse' maps to slow down progress and extend the expansion phase.
For this reason I've also been playing on 'marathon' a lot to try and stop the feeling you sometimes get that the advance of technology outpaces your ability to actually implement it.
It feels better, but sometimes that feeling reappears from time to time.
Possibly worth considering enabling a tech cost option on game setup so the player can tune this to thier preference.

Might also be nice to play on a cluster based map - ie; 'islands'.
Dense-ish clusters of stars separated by a few scattered systems and a lot of emptiness.
Ring galaxies are almost there and have some interesting dynamics, but are very linear.

When you have the arda warp node tech which allows you to treat nodes as outposts, do your allies benefit from this if you have open ports?

gaerzi
Posts: 116
Joined: Wed Jul 10, 2019 1:30 pm

Re: First Impressions

Postby gaerzi » Sun Jan 12, 2020 2:19 pm

Serenitis wrote:The AI is a cheeky mofo though.
Played a game in an hourglass galaxy, and Ephelos just happened to be right at the pinch-point in the middle with 4 empires (including me) butted up against it.
I finally managed to get enough ships to capture the dreadnought after being sidetracked by other 'issues', with my colony ship following the turn after.
Next turn arrives, and I get 3 'requests' in varying tones about how the planet in Ephelos belonged to one faction or another and I shouldn't land on it.
The absolute cheek of it.
Did you do the work to allow that planet to be landed on?
You did not.
It's mine. Deal with it.


They also do this with pirates, marauders, and space harpies. The AI is pretty simple, every turn it looks for systems that they could safely send a colony ship to. If they find one, they claim it. When you clear away the pirate/monster defenses, the system becomes "safe". During the end of turn, they claim it.

So the trick is to send your colony ship with your armada, so that you claim the system in the same turn as the one you liberated it.

Another possibility, if you can't get a good timing for sending a colony ship along, is to just leave some warships parked there. Wait for their own colony ships to arrive, and intercept them. Tell us this system belongs to you. With a bit of luck, they'll comply. This will give them 20 turns (IIRC) during which they will not claim it. So you can send your own colony ship there.

You can even get in a funny situation. Something that happened to me.
Turn X: I liberate a space harpy system
Turn X+2: my colony ship arrives. The Ashdar Colonials protest. I comply and get the diplomatic bonus for letting them expand in my territory.
Turn X+7: their colony ship arrives. I intercept it. Since they like me, they comply.
Turn X+22: my agreement not to settle the system expires. I settle, to nobody's objection.

Serenitis wrote:When you have the arda warp node tech which allows you to treat nodes as outposts, do your allies benefit from this if you have open ports?

I don't think so. They'd need to have the same technology. And you can't trade technology.

Likewise, if you have open ports with, say, the Gremak and the Phidi, it doesn't mean that the Gremak have open ports with the Phidi and vice-versa.


Return to “General Forum”

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 8 guests