Author Topic: Nominations for big items for 8.0  (Read 11145 times)

Offline keith.lamothe

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Nominations for big items for 8.0
« on: June 22, 2013, 01:35:46 PM »
Ok, I've more or less let AIW rest this week to make sure there were no critical problems with the 7.0 official release.  There were a few bumps but nothing too worrisome.  And 7.001 is actually the official steam version right now, iirc, as it removes the need for owners of the first four expansions to enter their expansion license keys into their steam copy (VotM already doesn't use in-game keys).

So the next expansion and 8.0 are planned to be released in October.  Probably late-October, considering that I'm working on another project scheduled for release in September (though we're planning for Chris to take over lead-programming on that sometime in August as my family is expecting its third child in late August or early September).

I've got a number of things I want to work on for 8.0, including some revisions to the basic wave logic (right now it's very hard for me to control wave composition because it's such a multi-stage process, and there are things I'd like to do in the future like guardian-only waves for a special AI type, and multi-stage "pulsed waves" as a less cheesy/micro-inducing way of achieving "alpha soak" than the recently removed 3-initial-fighters thing, and so on) and... well, a bunch of other stuff really.  I try not to talk too much on the forums about pie-in-the-sky stuff as folks tend to be disappointed when only a portion of it ever materializes :)

But there are also a number of moderate-to-large items on the table that we've dicussed previously in these forums, and I'd like to know what y'all's priorities are for the next official version.  Because this list isn't all getting done for 8.0, or even 9.0 probably, who knows when ;)  Mostly it's a matter of what else is on the table and what has priority.

Below I've listed the items I could think of off the top of my head (and some by help of the trello list I keep), but before doing a poll I'd like to ask if you folks remember something else that should be on this list.  I've probably forgotten lots of stuff:

1) Promoting Hacking to a full resource
- the idea being to replace crystal, and just combining m+c as they're functionally interchangeable except for the 1.5 conversion ratio
- this is the main thread where we discussed this: http://www.arcengames.com/forums/index.php/topic,12812.msg141921.html#msg141921

2) Revising Champions
- whether it's new scenarios, new direct-use-abilities, changing how unlocks are done, etc

3) Revising the Beachheads AI Plot
- adding less death-on-wheels manifestations so they can be used to make chokepointing harder without hard-countering them, then making it scalar

4) Reworking Armor
- first we'd need to find a solution that people actually like.  Some are ok with just removing it, some are ok with making it a simple %-based rule, but others really want to retain the current level of complexity in terms of having more impact on high-rof attackers, etc.
- Frankly at this point I've just been quietly removing armor and armor piercing from most units that I rebalance unless it seems to make good thematic sense that they be there, and not putting armor or armor piercing on most new units (unless, again, it really makes sense).  Keeping this up for a while will probably largely resolve the issues people have with armor as there will be a much smaller list of ships with either characteristic.

5) Diversifying Fallen Spire events
- So instead of every shard recovery being a survey-ship-then-escort-home, having a random roll between that, and another mode where the shard is stationary and just needs to be defended for X minutes, and another where the shard is in a hostile ship that you have to blow up to get the shard (which probably just warps to your subspace receiver at that point to save further trouble), and whatever else we come up with

6) Revising the Astro Trains plot (again)
- basically now it's at least interesting, compared to its previous incarnation, but it's hard.  If we can work out something better for these I'm happy to work on it if it's really a priority for people.

7) Improving Hybrids
- implementing hybrids recolonizing neutral planets (presumably in a way that does not cost AIP to retake), restoring their ability to build defenses (presumably with some kind of per-planet cap to avoid them stacking like 50 FF-IIIs on a single ARS command station, etc), restoring their ability to build more hybrid facilities (again with some kind of restraining mechanism so it doesn't get out of control), and whatever else we can cook up that's feasible.

8 ) Improving Spirecraft
- These work pretty well right now, honestly, as many AARs and such attest, but there's definitely room for improvement.

9) Downscaling health/attack/armor/etc stats
- Basically just dividing all those numbers by 10 or 100 or whatever; there are some units that will need special attention due to having values low enough that the round-off would be significant.  Just doing this in itself isn't terribly complex, but it's a lot of work so I'm not really going

10) Reworking relationship between superweapons and non-superweapons
- This would basically go along with #9 (the downscaling of stats), and the idea would be to not downscale the superweapons as far as the other ships, so that there's more distinction between, say, a MkV Zenith Starship and an Armored Golem.
- I think there's still some dissent on this, so we'd need to sort out exactly what it is that people want here first.

11) New Sentinel types
- as per this post from Hearteater.

12) In-game IRC client
- I've done tests where I can successfully get the game to send and receive lines to the normal AIW IRC channel (though we wouldn't want to use exactly the same channel, probably, but the folks running the server are ok with us using the service for this purpose), but there's a lot of work involved in getting the interface even semi-reasonable.  Not sure if it can be done without writing our own textbox, actually, to get away from the bugs in Unity's, which is a lot of work.

13) Revising the Hunter plot
- I'm basically planning on doing this anyway since it's so recent, but including here for completeness.

Edit: added these from replies and remembering some other things I'd meant to add, etc :

14) Balancing energy, especially early game vs late game dynamics

15) Tweaking balance of player economy, especially harvester vs econ station upgrades, and early game vs late game income levels

16) UI improvements to make it more "accessible" to new players

17) Turret cap rework
- Basically to make distributed defense more feasible without significantly buffing or nerfing chokepoints.
- basically something like http://www.arcengames.com/mantisbt/view.php?id=11815 , but probably with a mutual on-the-same-planet exlcusivity between core turrets and the structures that provide more local turret cap for normal turrets

18) Defender mode rework
- it's never really worked right, and no one seems to care, because they hardly ever play it :)

19) Improve consistency of balance across different Unit Cap Scale and Combat Style settings.

So, what else?
« Last Edit: June 26, 2013, 08:18:52 AM by keith.lamothe »
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Offline chemical_art

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Re: Nominations for big items for 8.0
« Reply #1 on: June 22, 2013, 02:09:24 PM »
I can't think of anything else from this list.

I know these are all big items, but do these need roughly the same amount of work?

I think if you do a poll, you need to split them up into several categories. Because some of them are really are dependent on the other. For example, trying to rework armor and down scaling the stats makes it especially tricky.
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Offline keith.lamothe

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Re: Nominations for big items for 8.0
« Reply #2 on: June 22, 2013, 02:24:03 PM »
I know these are all big items, but do these need roughly the same amount of work?
Not really, it varies quite a bit, particularly for the items where the scope is really not clear (champions, FS, etc).  They're just all non-small, but things I'd like to do if they're priorities for the players. 

Quote
I think if you do a poll, you need to split them up into several categories. Because some of them are really are dependent on the other. For example, trying to rework armor and down scaling the stats makes it especially tricky.
If the poll results in something winning that has a prerequisite then obviously things may not happen in the order of vote count (which may not be their order of execution anyway), but I think one poll will suffice and will provide easier-to-understand results.
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Offline LaughingThesaurus

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Re: Nominations for big items for 8.0
« Reply #3 on: June 22, 2013, 02:28:11 PM »
I'm primarily for hacking promotion and hybrid/FS improvements, just because it seems like those flesh out smaller things in really fun and interesting ways. The fleshing out's kind of my highest priority. You can kind of divide this list three ways really. The aforementioned category, then rebalances (like messing with the scale of HP, fixing armor, etc), and polish (making champions, astro trains, etc, more fun. Not Fun. Just regular fun.)
I don't really know anything else that can be added to the list though.

Offline Aklyon

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Re: Nominations for big items for 8.0
« Reply #4 on: June 22, 2013, 02:33:08 PM »
Keith, if all the FS events weren't the same, wouldn't you need to adjust a couple of the journal entries as well? As far as I've seen the shard-find ones mostly say the same thing with different (occasionally silly) wordiness after the first colony ship or so. Besides that, I'm mainly in favor of promoting hacking and the FS improvements.

Offline Histidine

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Re: Nominations for big items for 8.0
« Reply #5 on: June 22, 2013, 02:41:22 PM »
Champions are the focus of an entire expansion, so I'd say they take top priority. (This also applies to Fallen Spire and maybe hybrids, but I think they mostly work as-is)

Aside from that, the superweapon rescale and the armor rework involve key parts of the overall game balance, so they're also at the top of my wishlist.

Offline TechSY730

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Re: Nominations for big items for 8.0
« Reply #6 on: June 22, 2013, 02:47:05 PM »
In my opinion, the top things are (in order of importance, highest importance first)
Stat "deflation" (#9)
Superweapons vs non-superweapons relative stat balance (#10)
Revising, reworking, and/or rebalancing armor (#3)
Balancing energy, especially early game vs late game dynamics (not listed)
Tweaking balance of player economy, especially harvester vs econ station upgrades, and early game vs late game income levels (not listed)
Revising, balancing, and expanding upon champions (#2)
Revising and/or rebalancing spirecraft (#8)
Expand on and improve hybrids (#7)
UI improvements to make it more "accessible" to new players (not listed)

Offline chemical_art

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Re: Nominations for big items for 8.0
« Reply #7 on: June 22, 2013, 02:54:44 PM »
I like the idea of splitting these ideas into three general categories:

Completely new (IRC)
Revamp / Expand (Champions, Fallen Spire)
Re balance (devaluation)

Maybe do one or two of the most popular one for each category?
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Offline keith.lamothe

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Re: Nominations for big items for 8.0
« Reply #8 on: June 22, 2013, 02:56:55 PM »
I like the idea of splitting these ideas into three general categories:

Completely new (IRC)
Revamp / Expand (Champions, Fallen Spire)
Re balance (devaluation)

Maybe do one or two of the most popular one for each category?
The problem with that is that I want to know overall what are the most important to folks :)
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Offline Histidine

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Re: Nominations for big items for 8.0
« Reply #9 on: June 22, 2013, 03:22:29 PM »
Balancing energy, especially early game vs late game dynamics (not listed)
Tweaking balance of player economy, especially harvester vs econ station upgrades, and early game vs late game income levels (not listed)
I completely forgot about these, but now that you mention them, yeah, they're quite important as well.

I guess my list would be:
  • Champion revamp
  • Economy review
  • Armor revamp (though I wouldn't mind if it was just effectively or truly removed)
  • Superweapon rescale
  • Expand FS
  • Expand/rebalance hybrids
  • Hacking/crystal replacement
  • Energy review
  • Everything else

Offline chemical_art

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Re: Nominations for big items for 8.0
« Reply #10 on: June 22, 2013, 03:28:32 PM »
For me, it is 10 and 12.

Everything else is nice, but doing 10 really, really would in the long term expand flexibility for everything by allowing more freedom to adjust. And 12 I have wanted for ever, to help new players and for vets to pass the time if they tire of netflix.
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Offline amethyst

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Re: Nominations for big items for 8.0
« Reply #11 on: June 22, 2013, 03:57:13 PM »
The top 5 things I care about, in descending order of perceived importance:

* Revising Champions
* Promoting Hacking
* Improving Hybrids
* Diversifying Fallen Spire
* Reworking Armour

The other things are certainly nice to have, but I think these five would have the biggest positive impact, by building on systems that already exist but are not necessarily where they could (or should) be in terms of diversity, balance or overall impact on the game mechanics. Depending on the theme of the next expansion, some of these might fit better than others, of course.

Offline Tridus

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Re: Nominations for big items for 8.0
« Reply #12 on: June 22, 2013, 04:31:16 PM »
So is this poll for potential totally new expansion features, or just stuff that could be changed in the 8.0 patch to already existing stuff?

Offline Toranth

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Re: Nominations for big items for 8.0
« Reply #13 on: June 22, 2013, 04:34:32 PM »
My personal list:
  • Hacking
  • Hacking
  • Stat downscale and normal/superweapon rebalance
  • Hybrids
  • Armor

I thought the hacking discussion sounded awesome, and I'm really looking forward to seeing what sort of new stuff will come from this.  The possibilities for interaction with other features is also pretty cool to think about.  This is such a big thing for me, I'm listing it twice.

Hybrids are in an unfortunate place right now.  Additions and improvements to their behaviors would make them much more interesting plot.  I'm also hoping to see more Advanced Hybrid interaction with other plots/factions besides the Dyson Sphere.  However, I think there's enough potential stuff here that it would probably make an expansion all by itself.

Then the stat rebalance, the normal/superweapon rebalance, and the armor rework.  These are 'very nice to have' but won't really change the game that much, and certainly aren't as shiny or interesting as some other ideas. However, I think these (and the Spirecraft re-balance) all need to be done at the same time, or you'll end up repeating a bunch of your work.

Offline keith.lamothe

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Re: Nominations for big items for 8.0
« Reply #14 on: June 22, 2013, 04:35:17 PM »
So is this poll for potential totally new expansion features, or just stuff that could be changed in the 8.0 patch to already existing stuff?
Specifically not expansion stuff :)  Just the "free" part of 8.0. 

I've already got a plan for the next expansion, really, though when the time comes I may do polls on the bonus ships (probably only 3 or 4 this time, and probably most/all being bonus starships because we have so many bonus fleet ships) and stuff like that.
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