Author Topic: Fallen Spire feedback  (Read 22993 times)

Offline chemical_art

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Re: Fallen Spire feedback
« Reply #75 on: February 09, 2011, 01:08:04 PM »
Just an idea:

It is stated pretty explicitly in the story that everyone knows a shard will come after the third signal, and that it is known that the shard moves slow and that the AI will react violently...

What if there was an optional way to somehow "speed up" the crystal. For example, after discovering it, there is the option to build "booster rockets" onto the crystal, so its speed is increased somewhat. This would be countered by immobilizing the now vulnerable crystal for several minutes as the rocket is being built, and the rocket itself is a target that would require supply and cost quite a sum to build, and the rocket could not be built ahead of time. After the rocket is built, the crystal then proceeds somewhat more quickly to your homeworld.

Just pitching ideas, I really don't know how the coding works out for something like that.

EDIT: To help illustrate the concept, imagine it like building a rocket onto an asteroid.
« Last Edit: February 09, 2011, 01:11:22 PM by chemical_art »
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Offline keith.lamothe

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Re: Fallen Spire feedback
« Reply #76 on: February 09, 2011, 01:18:04 PM »
I think it's cleaner to just build something that warps the shard to your homeworld; you can choose to immediately start building or pull the shard back to a position you like better and then build the teleporter, or just bring it all the way back under its own power.
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Offline chemical_art

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Re: Fallen Spire feedback
« Reply #77 on: February 09, 2011, 01:21:48 PM »
I think it's cleaner to just build something that warps the shard to your homeworld; you can choose to immediately start building or pull the shard back to a position you like better and then build the teleporter, or just bring it all the way back under its own power.

Even better  :)
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Offline Sunshine!

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Re: Fallen Spire feedback
« Reply #78 on: February 09, 2011, 08:34:06 PM »
On the subject of shard location generation, could it be randomized to a certain range of jumps away from the player homeworld, but be independent of the AI/human territory boundaries?  So the first, two jumps, the second 2-3 jumps, the next 3-4 jumps, etc (however it progresses).  The seeding process is pretty anti-expansionary at the moment, which is annoying.  The choice then would be to pay for a possibly easier chance of recovery through AIP (increased chance of having it spawn on a friendly planet, but the AIP cost of securing every planet within 4 jumps would be enormous just for the first spire hub shard), or less AIP, but having to drag the shard back through hostile planets (and also having less resources available to defend it).

Offline LintMan

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Re: Fallen Spire feedback
« Reply #79 on: February 09, 2011, 09:17:05 PM »
The first five hubs require shard missions.  Once you have 5 hubs you can build a capitol, which in turn lets you research the tech to just build colony ships from spire shipyards.

With the rules that force hubs to have a 2-wormhole gap between them, no connection to AI planets, and with no 1-hole systems allowed, I've found there's very little room avalable for building more hubs after 4 or so, unless you're capturing all the planets you come across, especially if you have a well-connected galaxy.

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As for the "build a radio out of a shard" mission, yea, it's not strictly necessary.  It's intended as a sort of tacit 'tutorial' so you have a relatively easy run to learn the ropes.  Hopefully it doesn't actually take much time.  But I'm considering cutting it.

Does anyone here actually want the first shard mission to not get cut?

Does anyone here actually want the 5th hub mission to not get cut?

Like I said, it'll be a while before I can perform the necessary surgery.

I like the radio shard mission, but maybe it'd be more popular if there was some story-use for it beyond the first contact, and/or if the radio shard provided some type of lasting benefit like maybe 40K-80K extra energy, radar jamming capabilty, or long range tachyon detection.

I'd much rather have some of the later hub missions be cut (or reworked as I suggested earlier though I realize that'd be a lot bigger effort)

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On the other hand, one thing I don't really understand about the "it's repetitive" issue is: is it significantly less diverse than the process of taking a planet?  Or is it that it just takes so long?  Or what?

Retrieving a shard is different that the process of taking a planet, because you don't have control over which planet you're retreiving the shard from, it's usually several planets away from yours in a direction you may desire not to expand in, and colonizing the planets in between is undesirable because you'd have to then defend those newly colonized planets from the AI shard retaliation.


Offline keith.lamothe

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Re: Fallen Spire feedback
« Reply #80 on: February 09, 2011, 09:34:36 PM »
The first five hubs require shard missions.  Once you have 5 hubs you can build a capitol, which in turn lets you research the tech to just build colony ships from spire shipyards.

With the rules that force hubs to have a 2-wormhole gap between them, no connection to AI planets, and with no 1-hole systems allowed, I've found there's very little room avalable for building more hubs after 4 or so, unless you're capturing all the planets you come across, especially if you have a well-connected galaxy.
It is intended to make you need to take a lot more territory than usual, yes.
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Offline Draco18s

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Re: Fallen Spire feedback
« Reply #81 on: February 10, 2011, 12:12:17 AM »
On the subject of shard location generation, could it be randomized to a certain range of jumps away from the player homeworld, but be independent of the AI/human territory boundaries?  So the first, two jumps, the second 2-3 jumps, the next 3-4 jumps, etc (however it progresses).  The seeding process is pretty anti-expansionary at the moment, which is annoying.  The choice then would be to pay for a possibly easier chance of recovery through AIP (increased chance of having it spawn on a friendly planet, but the AIP cost of securing every planet within 4 jumps would be enormous just for the first spire hub shard), or less AIP, but having to drag the shard back through hostile planets (and also having less resources available to defend it).

I like this idea.

Offline TechSY730

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Re: Fallen Spire feedback
« Reply #82 on: February 10, 2011, 12:22:17 AM »
On the subject of shard location generation, could it be randomized to a certain range of jumps away from the player homeworld, but be independent of the AI/human territory boundaries?  So the first, two jumps, the second 2-3 jumps, the next 3-4 jumps, etc (however it progresses).  The seeding process is pretty anti-expansionary at the moment, which is annoying.  The choice then would be to pay for a possibly easier chance of recovery through AIP (increased chance of having it spawn on a friendly planet, but the AIP cost of securing every planet within 4 jumps would be enormous just for the first spire hub shard), or less AIP, but having to drag the shard back through hostile planets (and also having less resources available to defend it).

I like this idea.

Me too. It would make more sense. I mean it is not like the shards would retreat from your colonized planets until you detect them. And it only makes sense that their initial positions are independent of your actions.

This would help the incentive to expand, as the more you expand, the more likely that you colonized the "right" planet making the escort much easier.

Offline keith.lamothe

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Re: Fallen Spire feedback
« Reply #83 on: February 10, 2011, 08:54:24 AM »
Making the seeding ignore the AI/human border would just make it randomly much easier if it happened to pick a planet near to or inside your territory.  But I suppose that most of the challenge comes through the "repeating" exogalactic attacks rather than recoveries in hostile territory.
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Offline TechSY730

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Re: Fallen Spire feedback
« Reply #84 on: February 10, 2011, 08:59:36 AM »
Making the seeding ignore the AI/human border would just make it randomly much easier if it happened to pick a planet near to or inside your territory.  But I suppose that most of the challenge comes through the "repeating" exogalactic attacks rather than recoveries in hostile territory.

Exactly. For me at least, I always make sure to either capture or neuter a planet with a sunspace signal, so therefore the only difficulty I get is from the spawned chasing event waves.

Offline BobTheJanitor

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Re: Fallen Spire feedback
« Reply #85 on: February 10, 2011, 10:32:31 AM »
I wouldn't mind having some shards in friendly territory, and some not. At least that way we have options for variety. Either classic retrieval by flying it back, or just having it spawn in your territory (maybe in this case you get a bit more firepower in the exo waves) or building a teleporter while under fire. As long as it varies each time from the last time, I think that would go a ways towards fixing the feeling of exhaustion that repeated retrievals bring. Fallen Spire is more narrative than the usual AIW game, so you might steal some pacing techniques from the world of novelists. Rising action, climax, brief downtime, then a new rising action and so on.

Also a question, when the shard is retrieving now, where are the AI forces focusing? It doesn't seem like they're after the shard that much now, they just seem to go after everything. I think I even had some exo waves fly right past it, only taking pot-shots, and then go on toward my homeworld.

And a note, without spoiling anything, now that I'm getting deeper into the campaign, the back-story that is being revealed by the journals is getting quite good. I actually got a little chill from one of them. Good work!

Offline Sunshine!

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Re: Fallen Spire feedback
« Reply #86 on: February 10, 2011, 10:41:39 AM »
Making the seeding ignore the AI/human border would just make it randomly much easier if it happened to pick a planet near to or inside your territory.  But I suppose that most of the challenge comes through the "repeating" exogalactic attacks rather than recoveries in hostile territory.

Randomly yes, but that still will require a significant amount of player effort and AIP to capture enough planets for them to get a good chance.  Assuming a simple map with 3 wormholes on each planet (though also assume that non-homeworld planets share one wormhole destination with each neighbor), then that's 36 planets that need to be captured to ensure success at 4 hops.

0 - homeworld already captured
3 - unique planets bordering homeworld
3 1 3 - unique planets bordering first layer
3 1 1 1 1 1 3 - unique planets bordering second layer
3 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 3 - unique planets bordering 3rd layer

On smaller maps that's the entire galaxy, and at that point you might as well just win the game.  If the shard was randomly seeded 4 to 6 hops away (for say, the second hub shard), that more or less will be the entire galaxy on 80 planet maps.  I don't think it'll be much of a problem, though some maps will be abusable, like snake or maze.  Then again, with how it is currently, snake maps are unappealing because every planet you take pushes the shard spawn out another planet, guaranteed, which adds another five minutes or so to retrieval time.  Maze maps less so, since you can just ignore expanding down a path, but it's really counterintuitive to force players to not expand if they want to recover the shards in a timely manner.

Offline Draco18s

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Re: Fallen Spire feedback
« Reply #87 on: February 10, 2011, 11:19:35 AM »
it's really counterintuitive to force players to not expand if they want to recover the shards in a timely manner.

Indeed.  I don't like the fact that the shard's location is dependent on where my territory is.

Offline keith.lamothe

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Re: Fallen Spire feedback
« Reply #88 on: February 10, 2011, 11:26:12 AM »
I don't think it'll be much of a problem, though some maps will be abusable, like snake or maze.  Then again, with how it is currently, snake maps are unappealing because every planet you take pushes the shard spawn out another planet, guaranteed, which adds another five minutes or so to retrieval time.
Yea, maps like Snake (and X, to a lesser extent, that kind of thing) are one of the reasons I have it using the border, as otherwise Snake would be very, very simple to never have any in-AI-territory recoveries.  Though to some extent I think I have to treat "FS on Snake" as not a primary balance case ;)  It would just be a different experience, and left at that unless something was really wrong.

Anyway, the "don't consider the border" thing would be a popular change, I can see.  But I'm much more inclined to provide an alternate way of "warping" the shard home to save time across long distances than simply avoiding the long distances altogether.  There is also the issue of it effectively penalizing expansion (if the expansion increases the minimum distance from your homeworld to AI territory); I'll be thinking about that one.

Perhaps it could randomly decide to ignore the border, and even incline towards player territory (as has been more or less suggested) but in turn spawn a different kind and magnitude of AI response attack.


Quote from: BobTheJanitor
And a note, without spoiling anything, now that I'm getting deeper into the campaign, the back-story that is being revealed by the journals is getting quite good. I actually got a little chill from one of them. Good work!
Many thanks, that's my little amateur attempt at some fiction ;)
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Offline Oralordos

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Re: Fallen Spire feedback
« Reply #89 on: February 10, 2011, 11:33:03 AM »
Mantis suggestions for the shard teleporter and the seeding changes.
Shard teleporter issue #0002782
Shard seeding changes issue #0002783