Author Topic: From the Center of the Galaxy  (Read 2304 times)

Offline Faulty Logic

  • Hero Member Mark III
  • *****
  • Posts: 1,194
  • Bane of the AI
From the Center of the Galaxy
« on: March 29, 2013, 03:45:46 PM »
This is a test of 10/10 superweapon balance. I think it's too nice, but I want to find out how much excess kindness there is so we can stamp it out.

I also want to see the new champion response and the new starships in action.

10/10 Entrenched Homeworlder/Sledge Hammer
70 planets Spokes, 157963999 Raptors.
Normal+Champ, Schizophrenic, Complete Visibility
Resistance, Marauders, Colony Rebellions, Enclaves, Fallen Spire, Spirecraft, and Golems 4
Zenith Trader
No Plots

I originally played with the technologist versions, but scrapped that plan when the first wave had two zenith starships mkIII and a flagship mkV.

I picked start without selecting a ship, and got a really weird position. My Homeworld, Relay, is the center of the galaxy, with 16 planets directly adjacent, and no planet further than 4 hops. So offence is easier, but defence is harder.

And the AI has apparently teamed up with my childhood: the AI homeworlds are Lyoko and Azarath.

This was a quick, easy game. I first upgraded to a destroyer, then used that to conquer a few planets, then upgraded to a cruiser, conquered a few more, built up a huge chokepoint and one-shot spirecraft to counter the first sc/golem exo, became a battleship, conquered the last few CSG planets, set up a single spire city, and killed the AIHWs with the full fleet, including another huge batch of spirecraft.


Balance:

10 exos for FS are good. They really hurt.

Exos for golems/spirecraft still need to be buffed.

Spirecraft on the AIHWs needs a counter, like a tough "spire disruption field" cannon which insta-kills only spirecraft (even when under cloak).

Champion counterbalance needs a small nerf. There were over 60 enemy champs in special forces after only nine hours, with me constantly killing threatfleets of ~8.

CPAs are in a good place now.

I like the new fabricators and ACS.

The neinzul mod fort insanity inducers need a nerf. For 3 unlock points, I can get a one-system, defence only botnet golem. Which is twice as tough, cheaper, and also happens to have a fortI stapled to it.

Spirecraft:

Martyrs are obviously OP. Try having them do 200,000 damage per mark (so kills fleet ships equal to their mark, usually) and giving their AoE immunity immunity to warheads.

Penetrators are good, but need some kind of AIHW-related nerf.

Rams, shields, jumpships, and attritioners are well-balanced.

Ion blasters and siege towers need a buff.

State of Empire:
« Last Edit: March 29, 2013, 05:03:23 PM by Faulty Logic »
If warheads can't solve it, use more warheads.

Offline keith.lamothe

  • Arcen Games Staff
  • Arcen Staff
  • Zenith Council Member Mark III
  • *****
  • Posts: 19,506
Re: From the Center of the Galaxy
« Reply #1 on: March 29, 2013, 04:49:24 PM »
Thanks for giving it another go :)  Keeping the iteration going...

This was a quick, easy game.
Aaargh! ;)  Well, congrats, you humiliated it again ;)

Quote
I first upgraded to a destroyer, then used that to conquer a few planets, then upgraded to a cruiser, conquered a few more, built up a huge chokepoint and one-shot spirecraft to counter the first sc/golem exo, became a battleship, conquered the last few CSG planets, set up a single spire city, and killed the AIHWs with the full fleet, including another huge batch of spirecraft.
From the sound of it the Champion is what really won you the game, with the spirecraft performing two critical stop-gap tasks much like warheads would (and the FS stuff chipping in on the second one of those).

Did you even use golems?

Quote
Exos for golems/spirecraft still need to be buffed.
Readying the thumbscrew tighteners.  I think I know just the thing.

Quote
Spirecraft on the AIHWs needs a counter, like a tough "spire disruption field" cannon which insta-kills only spirecraft (even when under cloak).
Well, isn't it kind of un-fun when the game just gets a "tool X is now useless to you?" button.  I basically went that route to prevent the Hive Golem from wiping AI HWs, but I'm not sure that went over very well ;)

Quote
Champion counterbalance needs a small nerf. There were over 60 enemy champs in special forces after only nine hours, with me constantly killing threatfleets of ~8.
But did the overall counterbalance for champions really balance out the advantage you got from the champion?

Quote
The neinzul mod fort insanity inducers need a nerf. For 3 unlock points, I can get a one-system, defence only botnet golem. Which is twice as tough cheaper, and also happens to have a fortI stapled to it.
Ah, hmm, yea, that is a bit much.

Quote
Martyrs are obviously OP. Try having them do 200,000 damage per mark (so kills fleet ships equal to their mark, usually) and giving their AoE immunity immunity to warheads.
Then why would you choose Martyrs over warheads?

Quote
Penetrators are good, but need some kind of AIHW-related nerf.
I'm guessing the Eyes weren't in action, or didn't stay that way long enough.

Quote
Ion blasters and siege towers need a buff.
Yea.  Though siege towers getting a buff buffs exos too, but that wouldn't be too bad.
Have ideas or bug reports for one of our games? Mantis for Suggestions and Bug Reports. Thanks for helping to make our games better!

Offline Faulty Logic

  • Hero Member Mark III
  • *****
  • Posts: 1,194
  • Bane of the AI
Re: From the Center of the Galaxy
« Reply #2 on: March 29, 2013, 05:02:33 PM »
Quote
Thanks for giving it another go  :)  Keeping the iteration going...
No problem. It looks like the base game balance is close to right (ie, on the edge of possibility), but the superweapon response needs more pain.

Quote
From the sound of it the Champion is what really won you the game, with the spirecraft performing two critical stop-gap tasks much like warheads would (and the FS stuff chipping in on the second one of those).
The champion is cheap and convenient for a wide variety of tasks. It makes everything easier, but I wouldn't say that it was instrumental at any point.

Quote
Did you even use golems?
Yeah, ended up with 2 widows, an artillery and an armored. They didn't do all that much.

Quote
Well, isn't it kind of un-fun when the game just gets a "tool X is now useless to you?" button.  I basically went that route to prevent the Hive Golem from wiping AI HWs, but I'm not sure that went over very well
I don't know. At least the AI home stations shouldn't one-shotted by a penetratorII, bypassing the double-ff+fort.

Quote
Then why would you choose Martyrs over warheads?
When there's a big blob of enemy ships, and I don't want AIP.

Quote
I'm guessing the Eyes weren't in action, or didn't stay that way long enough.
One HW was blind, the other eye was simply swarmed with the entire fleet, letting the penetrators then kill the guard posts + home station.
If warheads can't solve it, use more warheads.

Offline keith.lamothe

  • Arcen Games Staff
  • Arcen Staff
  • Zenith Council Member Mark III
  • *****
  • Posts: 19,506
Re: From the Center of the Galaxy
« Reply #3 on: March 29, 2013, 05:04:52 PM »
Is swarming down an eye actually easier than swarming down the double-ff+fort?
Have ideas or bug reports for one of our games? Mantis for Suggestions and Bug Reports. Thanks for helping to make our games better!

Offline Faulty Logic

  • Hero Member Mark III
  • *****
  • Posts: 1,194
  • Bane of the AI
Re: From the Center of the Galaxy
« Reply #4 on: March 29, 2013, 05:07:19 PM »
Quote
Is swarming down an eye actually easier than swarming down the double-ff+fort?
I'm not really sure. It was easier to kill the eye directly than wiping out each individual post, though. I had enough penetrators for all the posts + the home station, I just needed to take out the planetary tachyons.
If warheads can't solve it, use more warheads.

Offline keith.lamothe

  • Arcen Games Staff
  • Arcen Staff
  • Zenith Council Member Mark III
  • *****
  • Posts: 19,506
Re: From the Center of the Galaxy
« Reply #5 on: March 29, 2013, 05:09:35 PM »
Hmm.

Would making all core guard posts (in addition to, or perhaps exclusive of?, the command station itself) immune to penetrator fire be an excessive nerf?

What else would you use them on?
Have ideas or bug reports for one of our games? Mantis for Suggestions and Bug Reports. Thanks for helping to make our games better!

Offline Faulty Logic

  • Hero Member Mark III
  • *****
  • Posts: 1,194
  • Bane of the AI
Re: From the Center of the Galaxy
« Reply #6 on: March 29, 2013, 05:14:54 PM »
Quote
Would making all core guard posts (in addition to, or perhaps exclusive of?, the command station itself) immune to penetrator fire be an excessive nerf?
I would say to make the command station immune to penetrator fire, but leave the guard posts vulnerable.

Though the HWs are not the only use for penetrators, they can assassinate various structures throughout the game, and are particularly nice en masse, when they can insta-kill H/Ks.
If warheads can't solve it, use more warheads.

Offline Toranth

  • Hero Member Mark III
  • *****
  • Posts: 1,241
Re: From the Center of the Galaxy
« Reply #7 on: March 29, 2013, 06:27:01 PM »
Balance:
10 exos for FS are good. They really hurt.

Exos for golems/spirecraft still need to be buffed.
To me, it seems like the FS Exowave strength is all over the place.  City building waves are really nasty, but the timed waves are wimpy in comparison.  The shard chase waves individually aren't too bad, but they spawn so fast and so often that they can make up in numbers what they don't have in individual power.
Golem and Spirecraft Exos do need a bit of a buff, though, I agree.


Spirecraft on the AIHWs needs a counter, like a tough "spire disruption field" cannon which insta-kills only spirecraft (even when under cloak).
That kinda ruins the point of a superweapon, doesn't it?  I mean, why would you take putting up with Exowaves for hours to get stuff, if you can't then use it in the hardest battle in your campaign?


Champion counterbalance needs a small nerf. There were over 60 enemy champs in special forces after only nine hours, with me constantly killing threatfleets of ~8.
Yay!  Someone else agrees with me.
Just for reference, 25 or so Nemesis frigates can destroy a full cap of 4 Mk II Fortresses, even in a system covered in Mk III Grav turrets and 50 or so sniper turrets.
The way it stands right now, the Nemesis frigates are basically another, slower, Exowave source. 


The neinzul mod fort insanity inducers need a nerf. For 3 unlock points, I can get a one-system, defence only botnet golem. Which is twice as tough, cheaper, and also happens to have a fortI stapled to it.
100,000,000 HP + 100,000,000 HP in shield + 48 zombify shots every 2 seconds, and not unique?  How could that possibly be OP?
Although, I can already tell that I'll miss it when it is gone (Monday).


Spirecraft:
Martyrs are obviously OP. Try having them do 200,000 damage per mark (so kills fleet ships equal to their mark, usually) and giving their AoE immunity immunity to warheads.
Penetrators are good, but need some kind of AIHW-related nerf.
Rams, shields, jumpships, and attritioners are well-balanced.
Ion blasters and siege towers need a buff.
Martyrs slaughter fleetships.  They do NOTHING against starships, Golems, Spirecraft, etc.  They're one shot, fixed in number, and usually require putting up with Exowaves.  While they are OP if facing only fleetships, there's a lot more stuff out there.

Penetrators should probably not be able to pop the AI Home Command Station that easily.  I must admit, in all the time I've been using them, I never realized they were FF immune.  Makes them better than I thought, although I still think their damage could use a boost given how much other stuff has gotten HP boosts.

I think almost all Spirecraft need an HP boost.  Implosion Artillery and Attritioners are very fragile, so much so that a single Sniper or Spider guardian can do serious damage to your collection in just a few seconds.  Rams basically need to be cloaked to reach anything worth killing with them.  Siege Towers lose to starships 3 marks lower than them.

You played with Complete Visibilty so you didn't use Scouts, but have you tried the new Scouts in any of your other games?  I've tried the new ones out and I am not impressed.  In fact, I think they went from the in-game equivalent of Complete Visibility to mostly useless.



This was a quick, easy game. I first upgraded to a destroyer, then used that to conquer a few planets, then upgraded to a cruiser, conquered a few more, built up a huge chokepoint and one-shot spirecraft to counter the first sc/golem exo, became a battleship, conquered the last few CSG planets, set up a single spire city, and killed the AIHWs with the full fleet, including another huge batch of spirecraft.
It seems like you were only in danger for the very beginning of the game, as you built up to survive the first wave or three.  You kept the AIP very low, so the first Exowaves were small, only built one spire city, and it sounds like you finished the AI off before the Defense Exo or the timed FS Exos had time to build up.

Now, my complaint.  You say "easy", in no small part because you never faced the truly nasty stuff the AI will throw at you later in the Exowaves.  If time had gone on, or had you persued the FS campaign, I think you would have found it much more difficult.
In my current game, the building the 3rd Spire City wave was 8 HK Mk IVs, over a dozen Golems, 2,000 starships, and 10,000 or so fleetships.  While I play 2 HW, (hence twice the size for the Exo wave), I was also playing only Diff 9.

Unlike difficulty level balancing, Exowave balancing hits all the difficulties.  Making Exos harder for diff 10 also makes them harder for diff 7.  Making the Exos harder because they start off small ignores that they already get harder as time (and AIP) increases. 
With the way I play, large maps, long and slow games, frequently playing deep into the FS campaign, I think Exowaves are TOO powerful.  You can't use FacIVs, Fabs, or ASCs, you MUST chokepoint hard into no more than 1 or maybe 2 systems of frontage, and you'll spend a lot of time rebuilding your fleet/defenses.
Or you race through the game, ignoring Fabs, picking up only what was on the CSG planets anyway, not doing FS, and trying to end it before the Exo difficulty catches up to you.


In other words, just because you are skilled at abusing the superweapons, please don't ask Kieth to make it impossible for the rest of us to use them!   :'(

Offline Faulty Logic

  • Hero Member Mark III
  • *****
  • Posts: 1,194
  • Bane of the AI
Re: From the Center of the Galaxy
« Reply #8 on: March 29, 2013, 09:22:17 PM »
Quote
you say "easy", in no small part because you never faced the truly nasty stuff the AI will throw at you later in the Exowaves.  If time had gone on, or had you persued the FS campaign, I think you would have found it much more difficult.
I could have handled the next 2-3 golem/spirecraft exos. I don't think I could have handled the FS exos beyond the first city with my choke at home, which was why I stopped.

Quote
That kinda ruins the point of a superweapon, doesn't it?  I mean, why would you take putting up with Exowaves for hours to get stuff, if you can't then use it in the hardest battle in your campaign?
Yeah, but just getting N marks of penetrators built to win isn't fun either.

Quote
Martyrs slaughter fleetships.  They do NOTHING against starships, Golems, Spirecraft, etc.  They're one shot, fixed in number, and usually require putting up with Exowaves.  While they are OP if facing only fleetships, there's a lot more stuff out there.
And they would still slaughter most fleetships under my proposed change. I wanted warheads superior in some circumstances and some incentive to build the higher marks of martyr.

Quote
have you tried the new Scouts in any of your other games?
No, I always play complete-vis nowadays.

Quote
Unlike difficulty level balancing, Exowave balancing hits all the difficulties.
I don't think this is so. Each integer difficulty has its own exo multiplier, and changing the one for diff 10 would only affect difficulties greater than nine.
« Last Edit: March 29, 2013, 09:31:13 PM by Faulty Logic »
If warheads can't solve it, use more warheads.

Offline TechSY730

  • Core Member Mark V
  • *****
  • Posts: 4,559
Re: From the Center of the Galaxy
« Reply #9 on: March 29, 2013, 09:31:18 PM »
Quote
Then why would you choose Martyrs over warheads?
When there's a big blob of enemy ships, and I don't want AIP.

This. Even if warheads were superior to martyrs in every way (given matched mk, like Lightning warhead mk. I vs martyr mk. II, because there is no mk. I martyr) save for the tractor beams, I would still be hesistent to just turn to a warhead, for the sheer cost of AIP. AIP, especially at >= 9, is just so important, that even 1 additional AIP will start becoming dangerous.
This is why I think giving warheads immunity to AOE immunity is fair; in my mind, AIP is a greater cost than a finite but large number of chances to build.
Plus, Martyr's need enough of a nerf such that I would want to consider using a Mk. III becuase there are some cases where a mk. II wouldn't do; right now, even Mk. II is so OP that I can't think of such a circumstance.


Giving core guard posts immunity to penetrator ammo seems fair (they already have artillery immunity for just this reason)


All the spirecraft ships are sorely overdue for a balance pass.


And I agree with a buff for the spirecraft and golem exos. The balance of golems themselves I will need to think more about...

Offline keith.lamothe

  • Arcen Games Staff
  • Arcen Staff
  • Zenith Council Member Mark III
  • *****
  • Posts: 19,506
Re: From the Center of the Galaxy
« Reply #10 on: March 29, 2013, 09:48:08 PM »
Quote
Unlike difficulty level balancing, Exowave balancing hits all the difficulties.
I don't think this is so. Each integer difficulty has its own exo multiplier, and changing the one for diff 10 would only affect difficulties greater than nine.
Even the non-integer levels have a specifically coded number for exo multiplier, so 10 can be changed completely independently.  But unless there was some hugely compelling reason I try to keep the run from 9 to 10 roughly linear (with 10 being 2x 9).
Have ideas or bug reports for one of our games? Mantis for Suggestions and Bug Reports. Thanks for helping to make our games better!

Offline Hearteater

  • Core Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 2,334
Re: From the Center of the Galaxy
« Reply #11 on: March 30, 2013, 12:51:01 AM »
I kinda wish the Golem and Spirecraft Exos had a bit more personality.  When I first started with Golems-Hard, I just assumed Golem Exos would contain Golems.  Sadly they normally don't.  But I wish they did.  I'm not sure what the Spirecraft Exos should have since I don't think I recall the AI ever getting to use spirecraft.  Maybe a Corrupted version of a few of the Spirecraft we can use...just with a lot more hp.  Say 10million hp Corrupted Attritioners, again give each Exo 4 random Corrupted SC.  Similar to a Golem in each wave in terms of threat, but spread over 4 ships.

On the Martyr balance, I agree Mark Is are way too good, and I'm fine with the AOE immunity change.  But I'd them to scale more than just linearly in damage I think, because a Mark V Martyr, for example, is so "expensive" that it should be warheads to shame.  Maybe damage equal to 200k * Mark * Mark.  That's 200k at Mark I, but 5m at Mark V (which is what Mark V is currently).

Offline keith.lamothe

  • Arcen Games Staff
  • Arcen Staff
  • Zenith Council Member Mark III
  • *****
  • Posts: 19,506
Re: From the Center of the Galaxy
« Reply #12 on: March 30, 2013, 01:47:36 AM »
Spirecraft Attritioners were eligible for exos at one point during testing.

Were.

Ow.


Not as bad as when Botnet Golems were eligible, though.
Have ideas or bug reports for one of our games? Mantis for Suggestions and Bug Reports. Thanks for helping to make our games better!

Offline chemical_art

  • Core Member Mark IV
  • *****
  • Posts: 3,952
  • Fabulous
Re: From the Center of the Galaxy
« Reply #13 on: March 30, 2013, 01:55:00 AM »


Not as bad as when Botnet Golems were eligible, though.

*shudder*'

If, perhaps, you made them come back rarely as an H/K level spawn (mark of your choice)...

could be interesting.
Life is short. Have fun.

Offline keith.lamothe

  • Arcen Games Staff
  • Arcen Staff
  • Zenith Council Member Mark III
  • *****
  • Posts: 19,506
Re: From the Center of the Galaxy
« Reply #14 on: March 30, 2013, 02:04:00 AM »
I could make them come back on diff 9+ golems exos... but I don't think they'd last long.

Though I suppose if you know one's coming, it's not too hard to deal with.  But if they catch you off guard... it's truly awful.
Have ideas or bug reports for one of our games? Mantis for Suggestions and Bug Reports. Thanks for helping to make our games better!