Author Topic: Champions of Doom  (Read 3277 times)

Offline Faulty Logic

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Champions of Doom
« on: August 16, 2012, 12:42:29 AM »
Update to 5.062.
Time to play 10/10 with champions and triple (or quadruple) exos.

Map 60 Spokes 1328851490 Shield Bearers
Complete Visibility: tired of scouting.
AI 1 : Spire Hammer Hybrids 4 Advanced Hybrids 7 Avenger
AI 2: Golemite Hybrids 4 Avenger
Schizophrenic.

Minor factions: everything except civilian leaders (instant death problems) and Devourer (I don't want him to eat my zombies). Everything is on four, except colony rebellions are at 6.

2 Champions

My homeworld has a backwater. Activate with the Faulty Logics. Its the Epsilon Eridani Remnant. By minute 9 the first Marauder starbase is down. By minute 12... I lost. Fully armed spire destroyer. The HW shield may as well have been made of wet tissue paper. The shield bearers didn't last much longer.

Restart with Neinzul Nester as AI one, but everything else the same.

Unlock fighter IIs and harvester IIIs.
I am going to try the FS middle road. I think I will build two cities and then stop.

Backwater is still EER. Things go much better this time. First starbase down in 8.5 minutes. First wave repelled with fighters I-II and riot starships.

Build frigates and bombers in FDR and shields to cover Home Command while I concentrate on my champions.

23 minutes: Epsilon Eridani Remnant Victorious. Destroyer unlocked, as well as Heavy Misleading Statistics cannons. I have upgraded my Champions with Fallacy Fields mkIII. The light blue one gets Multiple Misleading Argument Rocket Systems mkII.
The dark blue one gets Bluster Lasers mkII. The champions, and the now built mkI starship fleet recover the first shard, then the refugee ship. Then I send the champions into another backwater, which turns out to be a duplicate. Cruiser unlocked, along with Distracting Argument Paralyzer modules. Faulty Logic can now defeat most AI systems on their own.

Raid a couple of DCs. Take Hannibal, a dead end world with an armored golem and the next subspace signal. Fortifying HW in preparation for its recovery.

(No, puns related to my username will not stop as this report continues.)

State of Empire:
« Last Edit: August 16, 2012, 01:03:17 AM by Faulty Logic »
If warheads can't solve it, use more warheads.

Offline Cinth

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Re: Champions of Doom
« Reply #1 on: August 16, 2012, 12:56:12 AM »
Got a chuckle from me.  :D

I'm guessing warheads will become the ultimate solution. If not, then you didn't use enough!

GL!
Quote from: keith.lamothe
Opened your save. My computer wept. Switched to the ST planet and ship icons filled my screen, so I zoomed out. Game told me that it _was_ totally zoomed out. You could seriously walk from one end of the inner grav well to the other without getting your feet cold.

Offline keith.lamothe

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Re: Champions of Doom
« Reply #2 on: August 16, 2012, 09:50:37 AM »
By minute 12... I lost. Fully armed spire destroyer.
Hammer Time!

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Restart with Neinzul Nester as AI one
That... that could get messy.

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Destroyer unlocked, as well as Heavy Misleading Statistics cannons. I have upgraded my Champions with Fallacy Fields mkIII. The light blue one gets Multiple Misleading Argument Rocket Systems mkII.
The dark blue one gets Bluster Lasers mkII.
Sounds like Sirius Cybernetics has some new product lines.

Anyway, thanks for recording this, I am very interested in hearing play-experiences with the new stuff :)
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Offline Faulty Logic

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Re: Champions of Doom
« Reply #3 on: August 18, 2012, 02:28:21 AM »
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I'm guessing warheads will become the ultimate solution. If not, then you didn't use enough!
GL!
But of course. Thanks.

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Anyway, thanks for recording this, I am very interested in hearing play-experiences with the new stuff
Happy to.

Continuing to beta-test, I put up a few Mantis suggestions as I went:

Took the two intervening planets, then jumpship-raided 2 more DCs. While fortifying, send out Faulty Logic(s) to a new backwater. It's the new one, with the Neinzul Mourners. It's pretty trivial with two human cruisers. I don't think the backwater difficulty is scaling with experience. I would prefer if it did. Also, why does the k vary with the damage to the base? (I assume this is what is happening; I got 716 k for my reward)
Unlocked Neinzul fort (too expensive for now, Neinzul Frigate(I like my cruisers), and Stawman Reclamation Modules.

The first planet I took comes with a Neinzul Nest. Thanks, AI. A military com station under three ffs, and a bunch of sniper turrets means I generally don't have to worry about it.

Unlock grav turrets, HBCs, and basicIIs.

Fortified.

Shard recovery:
Ow. These fleets are really nasty. I do not remember them being this bad.
Hypothesis: champions are affecting exo-waves.
Exo-waves are the one thing that should not be affected by Champions (though a flat boost would be fine, or even a linear boost based off champion experience, just not a 20% proportional increase, as this could make the later stages of FS completely impossible (because they are balanced toward FS firepower, and the champions are in no way worth an additional 20% each of that.))

Ignore the suggestion if the assumption on which it was based is false. Will Mantis if they do affect exos by 20% each.

Gravity turrets are awesome. This is the first time I have ever used them (that wasn't a desparate what_can_I_possibly_unlock_to_delay_the_AI_steamroller_of_doom_for_a_few_seconds situation), and they combine really well with the Spire Frigates and Starships, and HBCs.

Just barely survived. Home force field at 3%, Spire refugee outpost at 12% and Home Command at 47% (there were enough zenith sniper shots incoming to kill it, when I emergency-warped the champs back. Saved by Faulty Logic.)

The fleet is mostly dead, and I have 30% of an Armored Golem to heal. My fortifications were also conspicuously non-present at the end of the battle.

 I also noticed a bug: AI regen golems take damage when another AI unit is killed, without actually regenerating them. Mantised.

As I refleet, I realize champions are not immune to BHGs or Grav Drills, which on this particular map prevents them from fulfilling their main function: something to do, not costing AIP, when refleeting. I would really like them to be immune, as this could happen on a variety of maps. Mantised.

Once I refortify, I am going to build the colony ship and hub. That means I am going to spend a lot of Champion-time.

I use cloakers to get the champs past a grav drill, and am currently doing another backwater (Zenith Shattered Pillar). They are far too easy once you get a destroyer, and especially a cruiser (or two). Mantised.

Also, there would appear to be a severe case of diminishing-returns for additional champs. For one champ, you get a 20% AI response increase, but to compensate you get all the k and ally ships from the nebulae (in an ideal situation), and a badass starship. Adding another champion mearly doubles your number of badass starships, while also doubling the extra AI response. I could see reducing AIR for each additional champion, but would prefer to see the nebula rewards scale up. Mantised.

If warheads can't solve it, use more warheads.

Offline keith.lamothe

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Re: Champions of Doom
« Reply #4 on: August 18, 2012, 09:47:26 AM »
Good stuff :)

I don't think the backwater difficulty is scaling with experience. I would prefer if it did.
Not with experience, but with number of successfully completed scenarios.

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Also, why does the k vary with the damage to the base? (I assume this is what is happening; I got 716 k for my reward)
As the journal text attempts to explain, you get more rewards the more of the prison-controllers you pop in quick succession.  You can just let them all auto-pop one-by-one and have a relatively easy time and a relatively reward, or you can get risky and pop extra ones and try to survive.  Basically it takes the "peak total" of enemy XP "on the board" at any given point during the scenario, and divides that by a constant, and uses the result as a reward multiplier (some rewards being triggered by a certain threshold).

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Hypothesis: champions are affecting exo-waves.
Exo-waves are the one thing that should not be affected by Champions (though a flat boost would be fine, or even a linear boost based off champion experience, just not a 20% proportional increase, as this could make the later stages of FS completely impossible (because they are balanced toward FS firepower, and the champions are in no way worth an additional 20% each of that.))
They do impact exos, but whether it's a problem later on... maybe, maybe not.  Champions and what they can do are not fully implemented.  We'll see :)  For the record, they apply a +0.2 onto the number-of-human-homeworlds multiplier which starts at 0 and adds 1 per human homeworld.  So it's not like each champion multiplies the result by 1.2 (which would result in exponential pain).

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Gravity turrets are awesome. This is the first time I have ever used them
Interesting, lots of folks treat them as mandatory unlocks, and often mandatory-in-the-first-10k-unlocks.  Of course, many of those people had not discovered the Zen of Riot Control Starships :)

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My fortifications were also conspicuously non-present at the end of the battle.
Lazy bums, taking a vacation at a time ike that.

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I also noticed a bug: AI regen golems take damage when another AI unit is killed, without actually regenerating them. Mantised.
Replied to that, AI regen golems regen ships elsewhere while in combat, iirc.

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and am currently doing another backwater (Zenith Shattered Pillar). They are far too easy once you get a destroyer, and especially a cruiser (or two). Mantised.
Yea, I think the problem here is that the offroad-scenarios do not scale up with multiple champions.  Normally I would have it multiply by some constant times the number of champions and be done with it, but one thing we learned from AVWW is that people playing multiplayer together usually aren't really looking for balance, they just want to have fun playing with their friends, and when it was "balanced" such that bringing friends was not an obvious bonus that was very frustrating to them because it appeared (and probably in some cases was) a penalty for playing in the same area instead of different areas.

So, I've been thinking of having it add +50% to the response for each champion (past the first) in the nebula at the time.  That would cover most of it, I think, but there'd still be edge cases because it would motivate the player to pull their extra champions out at times they think a spawn will happen (quite predictable in the Mourner scenario), and that's really not the kind of "gameplay" I like to encourage.

There are alternate rules like having it always go off the "highest number of champions in here at once" but then you're basically up a creek if you bring in 3 and then want to play the rest with 1, etc.  This is more of an issue in MP than SP-with-multiple-champions, but since a big point of this feature is to make it easier to play with your friends...

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Also, there would appear to be a severe case of diminishing-returns for additional champs. For one champ, you get a 20% AI response increase, but to compensate you get all the k and ally ships from the nebulae (in an ideal situation), and a badass starship. Adding another champion mearly doubles your number of badass starships, while also doubling the extra AI response. I could see reducing AIR for each additional champion, but would prefer to see the nebula rewards scale up. Mantised.
There is diminishing returns, yes, but I think it's probably on the OP side in general such that it works out in the end.  Someone with 8 maxed champions could stop one big AI wave, played smartly.  And they'd only be facing 2.6x waves.
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Offline Hearteater

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Re: Champions of Doom
« Reply #5 on: August 18, 2012, 10:22:11 AM »
Yea, I think the problem here is that the offroad-scenarios do not scale up with multiple champions.  Normally I would have it multiply by some constant times the number of champions and be done with it, but one thing we learned from AVWW is that people playing multiplayer together usually aren't really looking for balance, they just want to have fun playing with their friends, and when it was "balanced" such that bringing friends was not an obvious bonus that was very frustrating to them because it appeared (and probably in some cases was) a penalty for playing in the same area instead of different areas.

So, I've been thinking of having it add +50% to the response for each champion (past the first) in the nebula at the time.  That would cover most of it, I think, but there'd still be edge cases because it would motivate the player to pull their extra champions out at times they think a spawn will happen (quite predictable in the Mourner scenario), and that's really not the kind of "gameplay" I like to encourage.

There are alternate rules like having it always go off the "highest number of champions in here at once" but then you're basically up a creek if you bring in 3 and then want to play the rest with 1, etc.  This is more of an issue in MP than SP-with-multiple-champions, but since a big point of this feature is to make it easier to play with your friends...
What about: Base Nebula Multiplier = NumberOfPlayers / NumberOfChampions.  One human will likely only ever be doing one nebula at a time, so if he's got 8 Champions, he'll have them all in because the BNM would be x8.  And really, the nebula should feel like he needs to bring them all or he'll just use one Champion for nebula, and the rest for normal game defense.  For two players with a Champion each, doing two separate nebula will likely be common, and the BNM would be x1 in this case.  Then, increase the BNM by 0.5 for each Champion present in the nebula over the average Champions per player.  In other words, Final Nebula Multiplier = BNM + Max(0, ChampionsPresent - BNM) / 2.  Note that BNM is also average Champions per Player.

Offline keith.lamothe

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Re: Champions of Doom
« Reply #6 on: August 18, 2012, 10:32:52 AM »
What about: Base Nebula Multiplier = NumberOfPlayers / NumberOfChampions.  One human will likely only ever be doing one nebula at a time, so if he's got 8 Champions, he'll have them all in because the BNM would be x8.  And really, the nebula should feel like he needs to bring them all or he'll just use one Champion for nebula, and the rest for normal game defense.  For two players with a Champion each, doing two separate nebula will likely be common, and the BNM would be x1 in this case.  Then, increase the BNM by 0.5 for each Champion present in the nebula over the average Champions per player.  In other words, Final Nebula Multiplier = BNM + Max(0, ChampionsPresent - BNM) / 2.  Note that BNM is also average Champions per Player.
Did you mean to say in the first line "Base Nebula Multiplier = NumberOfChampions / NumberOfPlayers" instead of players/champions?
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Offline Toranth

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Re: Champions of Doom
« Reply #7 on: August 18, 2012, 10:40:18 AM »
What about: Base Nebula Multiplier = NumberOfPlayers / NumberOfChampions.  One human will likely only ever be doing one nebula at a time, so if he's got 8 Champions, he'll have them all in because the BNM would be x8.  And really, the nebula should feel like he needs to bring them all or he'll just use one Champion for nebula, and the rest for normal game defense.  For two players with a Champion each, doing two separate nebula will likely be common, and the BNM would be x1 in this case.  Then, increase the BNM by 0.5 for each Champion present in the nebula over the average Champions per player.  In other words, Final Nebula Multiplier = BNM + Max(0, ChampionsPresent - BNM) / 2.  Note that BNM is also average Champions per Player.
Did you mean to say in the first line "Base Nebula Multiplier = NumberOfChampions / NumberOfPlayers" instead of players/champions?
Not liking this.  Right now, in a game where I had completed 4 nebula, I started a fifth (Shattered Pillar Zenith) with 8 Champions.  Soon after I started, a wave arrived and I had to switch out to go handle the homeworld defense.  By the time I got back, 5-ish minutes later, the baddies had bypassed my Champions and completed destroyed 1 allied starbase, and half-killed another.  If they had been in control of 8 times as many units, I would've been utterly shredded.

Maybe increase the per-nebula difficulty ramp up?  Or base it on the highest level of ship obtained (destroyer, cruiser, etc), or Champion experience level, or some combination of the above?

Offline Hearteater

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Re: Champions of Doom
« Reply #8 on: August 18, 2012, 11:23:55 AM »
What about: Base Nebula Multiplier = NumberOfPlayers / NumberOfChampions.  One human will likely only ever be doing one nebula at a time, so if he's got 8 Champions, he'll have them all in because the BNM would be x8.  And really, the nebula should feel like he needs to bring them all or he'll just use one Champion for nebula, and the rest for normal game defense.  For two players with a Champion each, doing two separate nebula will likely be common, and the BNM would be x1 in this case.  Then, increase the BNM by 0.5 for each Champion present in the nebula over the average Champions per player.  In other words, Final Nebula Multiplier = BNM + Max(0, ChampionsPresent - BNM) / 2.  Note that BNM is also average Champions per Player.
Did you mean to say in the first line "Base Nebula Multiplier = NumberOfChampions / NumberOfPlayers" instead of players/champions?
Whoops, yes, that's what I meant.

Offline Faulty Logic

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Re: Champions of Doom
« Reply #9 on: August 19, 2012, 04:37:04 AM »
5.6 hours in...

While building turrets, refleeting, healing the armored golem, and constructing the Neinzul Fortress, I focus on my champions.

I finish the shattered pillar backwater, then do an EER and a Neinzul Mourner (curse you, weird k rewards).
This is too easy. I did three backwaters consecutively without any Champion returning home.

Triple exo at 50%.

At this point, my fortifications are complete.

Build first hub.

3 separate strike groups, one with a Widow, one with an Arti, and one with a Regen. The widow and Arti are destroyed with SC rams. The regen is destroyed normally. However, its ships teleport around the galaxy, activating Neinzul Nests (?). So I have to deal with about a thousand high-mark younglings that I didn't prepare for. Deploy Martyr. Wow. I heard these were OP, and yes, they are. (Normally I play with a personal rule against them, but this is more of a fun-oriented game.)

Economy is floored again, and I am out of backwaters (except one hiding behind a BHG). I use the champs to zap AI ships and guard posts on planets I am going to take. Two cruisers (level 20) can beat any non-mkV system. These are on par with or even better than spire cruisers.

Hub built, with 2 reactors, 1 hab center, and 2 shipyards.
Spire fleet constructed: 12 FFs 2 DDs 1CA.

Exo at 80% now. I decide to take this one where the fortifications already are: Home Command. I also capture a world with two (?) broken golems: Botnet and Cursed (AIP now 31, had to pop a grav drill, but have been raiding DCs to stay at floor.). These barely make it home before the exo hits. Highlights include 2 HKmkIIs.
Armored at 2%
Botnet at 3%
Cursed at 63%
Fleet 1/2 dead (spire fleet intact)
Neinzul fort dead
Majority of turrets dead.

Looks like another instance of the waiting game, though I could expand more aggressively now that I have the Wave-Eater Golem.

Not dead yet, and enjoying the game as always.

I haven't seen the resistance all game, and marauders really love to attack my planet with the nest. Like once every 20 minutes. Any ideas as to why?

State of Empire:


« Last Edit: August 19, 2012, 04:43:52 AM by Faulty Logic »
If warheads can't solve it, use more warheads.

Offline Faulty Logic

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Re: Champions of Doom
« Reply #10 on: August 26, 2012, 03:20:04 AM »
That was fun.

Update to 5.070.

I take eleven planets very quickly, unlocking econ IIIs and using the Botnet to eat the waves. Having multiple ingress points really helps with that. My eleven new planets yeild:
4 ARSs: armor rotters, impulse reaction emitters, chameleons, and bulletproofs
An Advanced Factory
2 Black Widows
1 Artillery
1 Dyson Sphere
fabricators galore: Exp Engis, Core Z medics, Spider Vs, Bomber Starship IVs, and Paralyzer Vs.

Unlock normal forts and put one on each hub.

Final backwater: I am very happy to get some dyson gatlings of my very own (38).

Build lots of Spirecraft. Plenty of jumpships for when things go wrong, attritioners for large battles, and penetrators, my favorite (reusable mini-ram, plus invaluable in the final attacks).

Take the rebel colony world, which comes with a free armored golem.

By this point, the FS exos have capped out, and are coming every 40 minutes or so, and the second normal set of exos are at 80%.

Continue building fortifications, including special forts from the backwaters. I also carve a tachyon-free pathway to both HWs (Each has a sentry eye and a cpa). Exo time.

Did I mention this overlaps with an FS exo, and a double wave?

Pain. Lots and lots of pain. When the HK mkV showed up, I actually wished I had implosion artillery.

Fabricators: all gone.
Advanced Factory: gone.
Botnet golem: gone.
Artillery golem: gone.
Spire Refugee Outpost: gone.
Fortifications: gone.
Fleet: consists of golems in the red, and one spire cruiser. And that's it.

Refleet. This takes awhile.

At this point I should repair all my golems, build lots of high-level spirecraft, spend my 15000 k, and hunker down for awhile. But I am bored. Time to finish this.

Champions (2) in jumpships can nueter homeworlds (takes a few spawns). These are pretty awesome at level 23.
They nueter one, while I send the entire fleet (including lightning, armored, and nuclear warheads) minus half the SC penetrators to the other. The remaining penetrators go to the neutered HW.

Shortly afterwards, victory is mine.

Closing thoughts:

Exos feel right. Their strength bordered on ridiculous, but I am asking for it. I am somewhat concerned about exo/champion balance, but I expressed that more completely in my reactions thread.

That defence fund is amusing.

Golemite botnets are made of tissue paper.

Neinzul nests are extravagently annoying.

The homeworld attacks seem really easy. Defending from a normal max-time wave is harder than a HW attack.

My first simultaneous homeworld assault. I prefer my usual tactic.

I like the abilities. I can think of a number of things they could be.

Can't wait for more AS stuff.

If warheads can't solve it, use more warheads.

Offline keith.lamothe

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Re: Champions of Doom
« Reply #11 on: August 26, 2012, 09:39:30 AM »
Another one bites the dust ;)

CPAs need an overhaul, AI Homeworld Defense appears to need one too.  Champions may be overpowered and/or underpowered compared to the exo-brutality they provoke, though it's tough to say.
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Offline TechSY730

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Re: Champions of Doom
« Reply #12 on: August 26, 2012, 03:53:48 PM »
AI Homeworld Defense appears to need one too.

Any idea about how to do so? "MOAR" ships? Even more buffs to the core guard posts? More types of brutal spawns along with new brutal spawns? New behavior when hostile presence is on the homeworld? Buff the chance that homeworld will get a reinforcement cycle even when not alerted?
There are several angles that could be taken here.

Offline keith.lamothe

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Re: Champions of Doom
« Reply #13 on: August 26, 2012, 03:58:07 PM »
The main angle I have in mind is giving the AI more "response" to critical situations like "nevermind the nose in the tent, the entire camel is on the homeworld, and it's got Ultra AC/20s hanging on either side with a PPC on top".
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Offline TechSY730

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Re: Champions of Doom
« Reply #14 on: August 26, 2012, 04:10:11 PM »
The main angle I have in mind is giving the AI more "response" to critical situations like "nevermind the nose in the tent, the entire camel is on the homeworld, and it's got Ultra AC/20s hanging on either side with a PPC on top".

So can we start brainstorming ideas?
Here are some I can think of:
-Have the AI "call" special forces and nearby freed ships. Possibly having the AI free ships from nearby planets to the homeworld under attack as well, and/or possibly starting a short countdown CPA to get more freed ships to work with (not one as severe as the core CPA guard post would spawn though)
-An Exo-wave spawn upon attack to defend the planet, similar to what is done with the fallen spire stuff, but is always on (but will possibly be at a lesser magnitude). How to track how strong to make the exo-force would require some thinking though.
-More mobile core guard posts (and increase the spawn rate of the existing ones as well), to simulate "defense fleets" (I am assuming that ships defending a mobile core guard post will continue to follow that core guard post around). This may require seeding more guard posts in general to keep the number of stationary core guard posts high.

 

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