Arcen Games

General Category => AI War Classic => Topic started by: keith.lamothe on June 26, 2013, 08:32:07 AM

Title: Poll: Big Items For 8.0
Post by: keith.lamothe on June 26, 2013, 08:32:07 AM
Nominations from here (http://www.arcengames.com/forums/index.php/topic,13442.0.html).

So the next expansion and 8.0 are planned to be released in October.  That gives some time for trying out some new stuff to improve the game, but it is a pretty finite window.  This poll's purpose is to help set priorities for how some/most of that time will be spent (I have some stuff I'll be fiddling with either way, probably including some of the below in some form, but anyhow).

Not all of the below will take the same amount of time or whatever, but I'm more interested in what's most important to people rather than getting into cost/benefit analysis at this stage, etc.  More analysis and discussion of exactly how to address the winners is likely to follow.  Accordingly, I don't know how many "winners" there will be as it kind of depends on how much time I wind up having and how much the top items wind up taking.

Note: the order of work may vary if something works better being done first and/or needs more testing/iteration time (like the stats downscaling thing).

The list from the nominations thread, by way of adding some explanation to the poll options:

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 (http://www.arcengames.com/forums/index.php/topic,13021.msg145795.html#msg145795).

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.

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.


Anyway, I'm setting this to run for 72 hours, with 4 votes per user (more votes would probably unfocus the results).

Thanks for the feedback :)
Title: Re: Poll: Big Items For 8.0
Post by: Tridus on June 26, 2013, 08:41:28 AM
Only four options? That's tough!

On the IRC option - if that doesn't get done, the Trillian chat overlay works in AI War (at least it does when the Steam overlay is working, which is when you don't launch through the patcher) and it already supports IRC. It's not as ideal as an IRC client in game, but could be a workaround for people if that option doesn't make the cut.
Title: Re: Poll: Big Items For 8.0
Post by: The Hunter on June 26, 2013, 08:56:34 AM
Champions: Definitely, i would like more nebulas/missions, maybe more modules even, so far they are pretty similar every time, unlike the rest of the game. :)
Fallen spire events: Same reason as champions, more variation is always good with heavily generated game like AI War. ;)
Improving Spirecraft: Especially Ion Blaster which so far seems to be not really useful, considering that even ion cannons are only useful situationally, having ion cannon with nerfed range like that is pretty much eh.
New Sentinel types: Those are some awesome ideas here.

If there was fifth option, hacking, sounds pretty fun.
Title: Re: Poll: Big Items For 8.0
Post by: Aklyon on June 26, 2013, 09:52:10 AM
Hacking: It sounds awesome as an idea, and I'm not particularly interested in keeping m+c separate at this point
Champions: being able to give even a bit of a nudge in the right direction to the module unlocks could make things much more interesting. Perhaps similar to ARS hack selection being individual in MP?
FS events: More variety could be nice indeed.
Improve Consistency: A good thing.
Title: Re: Poll: Big Items For 8.0
Post by: Zeyi on June 26, 2013, 10:25:40 AM
I was really hoping for the hacking changes this last expansion so can i just vote for that 4 times? :D

Also I think Champions should be a priority as, as it stands now it feels like an entire expansion's main purpose is going completely unused by most of the core players.


Title: Re: Poll: Big Items For 8.0
Post by: keith.lamothe on June 26, 2013, 10:26:56 AM
Also I think Champions should be a priority as, as it stands now it feels like an entire expansion's main purpose is going completely unused by most of the core players.
I don't see evidence that it's most of the core players not playing with them at all, but I agree that there's more dissatisfaction about that particular expansion's "anchor" than about any other expansion that I'm aware of.
Title: Re: Poll: Big Items For 8.0
Post by: Zeyi on June 26, 2013, 10:36:26 AM
Also I think Champions should be a priority as, as it stands now it feels like an entire expansion's main purpose is going completely unused by most of the core players.
I don't see evidence that it's most of the core players not playing with them at all, but I agree that there's more dissatisfaction about that particular expansion's "anchor" than about any other expansion that I'm aware of.

Could well be, I think I'm so unused to seeing any negativity on these forums that my perception is being skewed :)

Also, I admittedly have a lot of distaste for MOBAs so that particular expansion is indeed my least favourite, and after a single play through I've not used it myself due to the heavy micro, so its quite possible it's just not for me which is fine. However if a less micro heavy champion were to show it's head I'd be eager to give it another go. (I just have  no suggestions as to how to do this, or even whether its a good idea as I know it kind of contradicts the point of them)
Title: Re: Poll: Big Items For 8.0
Post by: Histidine on June 26, 2013, 10:42:31 AM
Huh, I'm mildly surprised nobody voted for the economy revision at all.
Title: Re: Poll: Big Items For 8.0
Post by: relmz32 on June 26, 2013, 10:46:51 AM
Only four options? That's tough!

On the IRC option - if that doesn't get done, the Trillian chat overlay works in AI War (at least it does when the Steam overlay is working, which is when you don't launch through the patcher) and it already supports IRC. It's not as ideal as an IRC client in game, but could be a workaround for people if that option doesn't make the cut.

Whoa, i didn't know this, that is pretty helpful, thanks!

As for my votes, I voted for hacking as a resource because it sounds awesome, The Armor rework, UI improvements, and the stat downscale.
Title: Re: Poll: Big Items For 8.0
Post by: keith.lamothe on June 26, 2013, 10:47:48 AM
Could well be, I think I'm so unused to seeing any negativity on these forums that my perception is being skewed :)
It sometimes has that effect for me too; there's a few dynamics here where we generally keep little complaints, or complaints we think are very localized to our own personality, to ourselves.  But if someone breaches the subject a ton of me-too can turn into a flood.  Which can be a little unsettling to the developer (I still laugh when I think about how that particular flood happened like 8 or 9 months after the feature's introduction, shortly before the release of an expansion that had nothing to do with it) but it's workable as long as people are reasonably patient.  Which generally we are.

Quote
Also, I admittedly have a lot of distaste for MOBAs so that particular expansion is indeed my least favourite, and after a single play through I've not used it myself due to the heavy micro, so its quite possible it's just not for me which is fine. However if a less micro heavy champion were to show it's head I'd be eager to give it another go. (I just have  no suggestions as to how to do this, or even whether its a good idea as I know it kind of contradicts the point of them)
It may be a not-for-you thing, sure.  But if we can find a way to expand the target audience without messing up too much stuff I'm all for that too.
Title: Re: Poll: Big Items For 8.0
Post by: Tridus on June 26, 2013, 10:48:51 AM
Huh, I'm mildly surprised nobody voted for the economy revision at all.

With only four votes and a lot of interesting things on the list, some stuff is going to have a hard time. Beachheads are probably in the same boat.
Title: Re: Poll: Big Items For 8.0
Post by: Aklyon on June 26, 2013, 10:52:45 AM
I know beachheads are probably important in someway, but I've never used them and theres only 4 votes available, so, yeah.
Title: Re: Poll: Big Items For 8.0
Post by: keith.lamothe on June 26, 2013, 10:54:06 AM
I know beachheads are probably important in someway, but I've never used them and theres only 4 votes available, so, yeah.
Yea, that's going to be true of a lot of popular (or semi-popular, in that case) requests: nice, but not big priorities.  That's part of what I'm trying to discover here.
Title: Re: Poll: Big Items For 8.0
Post by: TechSY730 on June 26, 2013, 10:58:45 AM
I voted for all the major balance implication stuff
So, I went for stat "deflation", superweapon balance (hopefully in the form of not "deflating" them as much as everything else), armor, and energy. It was tricky to choose between energy and resource balance, but I went for energy, as I feel that the current energy values are in a slightly less "refined" place than the resource ones are.


I may shift one of my votes from superweapon to the resource balance though...
Title: Re: Poll: Big Items For 8.0
Post by: orzelek on June 26, 2013, 01:12:40 PM
Thats really many options and not so many votes. Hard to choose.. could use at least 2 more votes :D
Poor turret caps...
Title: Re: Poll: Big Items For 8.0
Post by: keith.lamothe on June 26, 2013, 01:15:36 PM
Thats really many options and not so many votes. Hard to choose.. could use at least 2 more votes :D
Poor turret caps...
Who knows, maybe we'll get through the winners and do this again before 8.0.  Just depends on how things go :)
Title: Re: Poll: Big Items For 8.0
Post by: TechSY730 on June 26, 2013, 01:31:01 PM
Am I the only one here that likes how turrets work now?
I like the contention of how many turrets to place on important stuff vs how many on chokepoint vs how many on non-chokepoit border worlds vs how many to place on "inner" low priority planets. It makes you think carefully about average case defensive performance vs your risks if something goes wrong.
I naturally spread my turrets out through different planets anyways. (With judiciously placed tractor turrets, even a small number of offensive turrets can really help out)

Also, I'm going to keep the superweapon vote instead of shifting it to resource economy balance. The new "command station foldouts" solve much of the imbalance between econ station vs harvester upgrades, to the point where it is no longer high on my "list".
Title: Re: Poll: Big Items For 8.0
Post by: chemical_art on June 26, 2013, 01:33:51 PM
Voted for stat devaluation and superweapon balace. I find the relationship between fleetships and starships good. However, there isnt enough number space for.the.interactions of superweapons to make thm super .

I did irc one as well, to help give the.community a really easy to access global chat. It would be nice.for new players.who.have quick questions and for vets who are bored.
Title: Re: Poll: Big Items For 8.0
Post by: keith.lamothe on June 26, 2013, 01:34:09 PM
Am I the only one here that likes how turrets work now?
(automated machine-gun turrets rotate to face the dissenter)


Anyway, the general idea behind that rework is that you'd still need to pick where to put chokepoint-level turret populations but you could put a smaller amount on any planet if you had the m+c+e for it.
Title: Re: Poll: Big Items For 8.0
Post by: orzelek on June 26, 2013, 02:01:15 PM
Am I the only one here that likes how turrets work now?
(automated machine-gun turrets rotate to face the dissenter)


Anyway, the general idea behind that rework is that you'd still need to pick where to put chokepoint-level turret populations but you could put a smaller amount on any planet if you had the m+c+e for it.

Thats why I wrote poor turrets - in open pool discussion they won't get enough votes since only some of us would really like this update. Chokepoints are the norm - trying to break out of it is painful ;)
Title: Re: Poll: Big Items For 8.0
Post by: keith.lamothe on June 26, 2013, 02:03:23 PM
Thats why I wrote poor turrets - in open pool discussion they won't get enough votes since only some of us would really like this update. Chokepoints are the norm - trying to break out of it is painful ;)
FWIW I'm not going to put 100% of my AIW time towards the stuff in this poll, so it's certainly possible some form of turret cap rework (or whatever) will still happen, it just won't have the flexibility of implementation it would have if I specifically said "ok, this is a community priority, so I'm focusing on it for a few weeks" or whatever.
Title: Re: Poll: Big Items For 8.0
Post by: Tridus on June 26, 2013, 03:12:47 PM
Am I the only one here that likes how turrets work now?
I like the contention of how many turrets to place on important stuff vs how many on chokepoint vs how many on non-chokepoit border worlds vs how many to place on "inner" low priority planets. It makes you think carefully about average case defensive performance vs your risks if something goes wrong.
I naturally spread my turrets out through different planets anyways. (With judiciously placed tractor turrets, even a small number of offensive turrets can really help out)

The turret rework came up because the core turret controllers work differently and their goal is in direct contention to how the rest of the turrets work. When you can throw mk V turrets *everywhere* because they have a per-planet cap but using them means you can't use mk I-III turrets, the result is awkward and suboptimal. If you unlock mk II turrets, puting the full cap of mk 1 and II on one planet is a bit better than using your core turrets there, but is that really worth the K cost when you can't use them on any other planet at all? mk III is clearly better... on one planet.

The other issue is that Keith wanted to encourage distributed defense, and while how the core turrets work does that, the normal turrets do not. Reworking all the turrets so you get fewer of them but can use them everywhere fixes the discontinuity between the normal turrets and the core turrets, encourages distributed defense (like he wants to do), and still lets you build a chokepoint by adding a low-cap building that increases turret caps on one system.

That's what the goal is there. I suspect it'd get more votes if we had more to give. :) On the upside it seems like a smaller scale change than some of the other stuff on the list, so maybe there will be time for it anyway.
Title: Re: Poll: Big Items For 8.0
Post by: ZaneWolfe on June 26, 2013, 04:44:43 PM
In order;

Hacking as its own resource: This was a big discussion and was, iirc, heavily hinted at being included in 7.0, and I am really sad to see it was not. There are so many ways to make hacking into something great that I don't feel the need to list them. Only ask that it gets done, or at least start seeing something on it, before October.

Champions Revisited: I actually like Champs and Nebulae, but I'm also well aware that something needs to be done to make them more integrated with the main game. Personally, I think rather than removing nebula, the best thing to do is to add in more things for the champions to do in normal space. This would go a LONG way IMO to making them more interesting to the majority of players.

Fallen Spire Diversification: There are no words for how much I love playing with the FS. I have never turned them off since I first tried them out and I probably never will. They are that fun to play with. That being said, the shard retrievals are rather tedious at times. And given that shards can now spawn inside your own territory, you can now set things up that you barely have to put any effort into the recoveries. You make sure the shard is going to be on your side of a heavy chokepoint and boom. All you have to do is wait for the shard to get to your HW while the AI smashes pointlessly into the walls of your fortress. Granted you can't do that every time on every map, but even when in AI space the retrievals are a little old. You bring in your biggest, baddest fleet blob and make sure nothing gets close to the shard. It is really a binary thing. You either have enough to do it, (whether its a strong enough fleet or a sturdy enough chokepoint) or you don't. Lastly, and I know its really unlikely to happen, but I would love if the FS campaign could interact in someway with other spire tech you have. Be it the spirefleet ships, the Spire Champion, or the Spire Corvette. (I didn't include the base Spire Starship, since it really isn't true spire tech)

Turret Caps redone: Right now the hardest part of distributed defenses is really easy to point out. The caps on turrets are NOT per planet. Since the number of turrets I have is limited galaxy wide, then I am only got to put them where they can be the most useful. Even if I have the economy to support  2x-5x the current cap of turrets across my empire, I can't actually build that many. This means that a chokepoint is just so much better than trying to distribute my very limited number of stationary defenses across more than 3-4 worlds. Changing them to have per planet caps with a limited number of controllers I could build that would give me a larger cap on my chokepoints would mean that I could actually keep worlds outside of my choke alive without having to give up an unacceptable level of firepower for my chokepoint worlds. Also this would be a good incentive to some, at the very least to me, to play with the Dark Spire again, as right now I can't take worlds with a DaS VG on them unless I want to put a Spire City on that world, because its the only way to get enough defense on that planet come late game (assuming 4/10 DaS settings) without taking away from the worlds that I NEED to have major defenses on.
Title: Re: Poll: Big Items For 8.0
Post by: Kahuna on June 26, 2013, 06:07:38 PM
Anyway, the general idea behind that rework is that you'd still need to pick where to put chokepoint-level turret populations but you could put a smaller amount on any planet if you had the m+c+e for it.
How about adding some kind of munitions booster turret/structure with a cap of 3, 4 or something like that. All turrets would have per planet caps but this munitions booster would increase the amount of turrets you can build on a planet. The cap on these munitions boosters could be much higher than 3 or 4 but would cost a lot of energy. It wouldn't be possible to stack these boosters.

So in short:
-Turret Munitions Booster.
-Greatly increases the number of turrets that can be built on a planet.
-Has a cap of 3, 4 or something like that OR has much higher cap but also has high energy cost.
-All turrets would have smaller per planet caps.
Title: Re: Poll: Big Items For 8.0
Post by: Tridus on June 26, 2013, 06:21:52 PM
Anyway, the general idea behind that rework is that you'd still need to pick where to put chokepoint-level turret populations but you could put a smaller amount on any planet if you had the m+c+e for it.
How about adding some kind of munitions booster turret/structure with a cap of 3, 4 or something like that. All turrets would have per planet caps but this munitions booster would increase the amount of turrets you can build on a planet. The cap on these munitions boosters could be much higher than 3 or 4 but would cost a lot of energy. It wouldn't be possible to stack these boosters.

So in short:
-Turret Munitions Booster.
-Greatly increases the number of turrets that can be built on a planet.
-Has a cap of 3, 4 or something like that OR has much higher cap but also has high energy cost.
-All turrets would have smaller per planet caps.

That's roughly what was proposed, yeah. Turret caps would come way down, and go per-planet. The turret booster or whatever it's called would increase the caps on a given planet, and be a low cap building.
Title: Re: Poll: Big Items For 8.0
Post by: Oralordos on June 26, 2013, 08:32:59 PM
I voted for the IRC chat. It's something that I found very nice in Tome. Having something like it in AI War would be all kinds of cool.
Title: Re: Poll: Big Items For 8.0
Post by: lovekawakawaii on June 27, 2013, 12:33:27 AM
Just having a combined Metal + Crystal resource sounds like a very good change for the game. I haven't really used hacking much since it was first introduced, but having it as a number in the menu instead of a tooltip that won't go away also sounds like a a good change. I think it's better for armor to block some amount of damage, that way it interacts differently with different types of units. A percent based armor system is indistinguishable from just adding more health.
Title: Re: Poll: Big Items For 8.0
Post by: Arkillion on June 27, 2013, 01:23:03 AM
Except for Planetary/Armor booster and rotters etc..

Hacking is my #1, AI war is not complex enough... need more stuff ! :D
#2 is Hybrids, because I LOVE hybrids and if they would do more stuff that would be awesome
#3 is FS new missions
#4 is the in game chat

Title: Re: Poll: Big Items For 8.0
Post by: LaughingThesaurus on June 27, 2013, 01:50:55 AM
I went and voted for a balance of newer content and rebalancing of the older content. So...

1: Hacking as a resource. As it is I don't really hack much because of how vaguely it's represented, and because of how limited it is (you can never bring the response down as far as I know). I think if it were more fleshed out, it'd be another tool in the arsenal for me to actually use, rather than something that sits around unless I'm beyond desperate for progress.
2: Revising and upgrading champions. Nebula are slow and repetitious, beyond the first few times (where they are, admittedly, really cool). I think champions could use a few adjustments. In particular, adjustments must be made so that either nebula are quicker or you don't need to do them... and, of course, reworking everything so that you never end up in a situation of 'my equipment sucks so I can't win'. I'd like victory to always be 100% in the hands of the player, rather than random number generation in some cases. I remember getting a 3-way fight as my first nebula, and it was a very slow loss given that I had no extra anything to help out.
3: Superweapon rescaling. It makes me a little sad to see people use golems, or fight against golems, and report them dying within seconds. Superweapons should be "super"weapons that don't die without a really strong and focused effort. You don't see a swarm of fighters taking down the Death Star-- oh. Well, still. That's how I feel.
4: Downscale the stats. Numbers don't mean much with a whole load of zeroes pinned to them. I'll often look at the stats and be like "Oh dude, 80 million HP, but uh... oh. Most ships have 3 zeroes at the end of their HP anyway, so it really's just 80,000 HP. May as well be." The zeroes are just there doing nothing. Fetch the number clippers and clip them off. Make some refinements.
Title: Re: Poll: Big Items For 8.0
Post by: lovekawakawaii on June 27, 2013, 02:04:19 AM
Here's an idea for the hacking. When you hack the AI too much it starts hacking you back.
Title: Re: Poll: Big Items For 8.0
Post by: Zeyi on June 27, 2013, 04:32:35 AM
Anyway, the general idea behind that rework is that you'd still need to pick where to put chokepoint-level turret populations but you could put a smaller amount on any planet if you had the m+c+e for it.
How about adding some kind of munitions booster turret/structure with a cap of 3, 4 or something like that. All turrets would have per planet caps but this munitions booster would increase the amount of turrets you can build on a planet. The cap on these munitions boosters could be much higher than 3 or 4 but would cost a lot of energy. It wouldn't be possible to stack these boosters.

So in short:
-Turret Munitions Booster.
-Greatly increases the number of turrets that can be built on a planet.
-Has a cap of 3, 4 or something like that OR has much higher cap but also has high energy cost.
-All turrets would have smaller per planet caps.

Just a wild suggestion here,  with the talk of crystal being removed. What if these were built on crystal resources and crystal was seeded less commonly but with greater probability and frequency on chokepoints.
Title: Re: Poll: Big Items For 8.0
Post by: tmm on June 27, 2013, 05:07:25 AM
Well, you'd run into the problem of the game being able to recognize what systems would qualify as chokepoints at map generation.  That kind of spatial reasoning is quite difficult to program.
Title: Re: Poll: Big Items For 8.0
Post by: Zeyi on June 27, 2013, 05:31:32 AM
Well, you'd run into the problem of the game being able to recognize what systems would qualify as chokepoints at map generation.  That kind of spatial reasoning is quite difficult to program.

Maybe, the programming I do isn't anything like that so I speak with little experience regarding games and anything like the AIW map gen but I can think of a few ways it would be possible - at least with particular map seeds.  The new sub commanders seem to place guard posts exceptionally well at times, and that would require far more difficult spacial reasoning as far as I can tell, but again I'm no expert.
Title: Re: Poll: Big Items For 8.0
Post by: Tridus on June 27, 2013, 06:11:09 AM
Chokepoints don't really need another reason to take them. They already have the advantage of being chokepoints.
Title: Re: Poll: Big Items For 8.0
Post by: Zeyi on June 27, 2013, 09:33:16 AM
Chokepoints don't really need another reason to take them. They already have the advantage of being chokepoints.

It wasn't a reason to take them merely that they would be most useful place for the crystal to be seeded, although I think if we are going for more distributed defences then yes it would in fact just be easier to seed everywhere without bias. So the idea is probably flawed.
Title: Re: Poll: Big Items For 8.0
Post by: Oriah on June 27, 2013, 02:30:48 PM
I was playing a game last night with Arkillion and we started talking about champions a bit, since I decided to try champion only for that game. As mentioned by others, I'd rather see champions being added to rather than to have features removed from them.

I'd like to see them stay versatile.

I'd mostly love to see the impact of a champion be the equivalent of a normal, fleet ship style player. They're pretty strong, but they're not quite there IMO. Maybe I'm doing it wrong. :) I have tons of suggestions for them but I'm not sure if I should post them here, or start a thread, or whatever. :)
Title: Re: Poll: Big Items For 8.0
Post by: Qatu on June 27, 2013, 03:31:12 PM
 My #1 issue is the time i spend building rather than playing which increases as i take more planets and unlock more fun toys. This is also the issue which has made my friends leave this game for now. So i voted for economy tweaks. Everything else is pretty minor by comparison (to me and my friends).
Title: Re: Poll: Big Items For 8.0
Post by: Tridus on June 27, 2013, 03:54:14 PM
My #1 issue is the time i spend building rather than playing which increases as i take more planets and unlock more fun toys. This is also the issue which has made my friends leave this game for now. So i voted for economy tweaks. Everything else is pretty minor by comparison (to me and my friends).

Building should be getting faster in theory as you take more planets, because you have more resources to speed up building. Is that not the case for you?
Title: Re: Poll: Big Items For 8.0
Post by: zleorg on June 27, 2013, 03:55:37 PM
Hacking got one of my votes purely on the hope that one day I can hack that AI gravity command station and make it mine! >D

...or even better hack a counter attack guard post before destroying it to make it send the same wave after an ai planet as zombies. All sorts of fun shenanigans with that stuff.
Title: Re: Poll: Big Items For 8.0
Post by: Qatu on June 27, 2013, 04:08:49 PM
My #1 issue is the time i spend building rather than playing which increases as i take more planets and unlock more fun toys. This is also the issue which has made my friends leave this game for now. So i voted for economy tweaks. Everything else is pretty minor by comparison (to me and my friends).

Building should be getting faster in theory as you take more planets, because you have more resources to speed up building. Is that not the case for you?

 No? Say i use my 3k knowledge to unlock 3 mk2 starships or 1 mk2 fleetship + spire starship mk1, the rebuild time with my new increased economy from taking that new planet is lower than it was before i took that planet and unlocked new things.
Title: Re: Poll: Big Items For 8.0
Post by: LaughingThesaurus on June 27, 2013, 04:24:59 PM
Are you spending all of your time staring at the stuff as it builds? Plan your next move carefully, use your fleet intelligently, do a little damage to planets with what fleet you've got, prioritize the most important things to build, there's plenty to do assuming that you have some stuff to use and it isn't taking like 40 minutes per refleet or something.
Title: Re: Poll: Big Items For 8.0
Post by: Qatu on June 27, 2013, 05:00:12 PM
 I don't want to replicate another thread so: http://www.arcengames.com/forums/index.php/topic,13368.0.html . Basically costs increase faster then benefits, so optimal play to minimize time to win means colonizing ~5 planets and breaking 2-5 more for ARS and anti-deepstrike and such, using almost full fleets for most missions to minimize losses so minimize rebuild times.

 In a 6h game 1-2h is spent mostly building, in a 10h game ~3h are spent mostly building. I'd rather the economy was tuned so instead of 1-2h build in 6h game it was 10-20mins build for 5h game, and instead of ~3h building for 10h game it was 30mins build for 7h game. Right now i usually play with champions to stay in the game during the build times but the rewards from nebulaes (3 fortresses 100 starships 5 planets worth of energy and resources and 1 planet worth of knowledge) are so OP i need to crank up the difficulty immensely to have a game.
Title: Re: Poll: Big Items For 8.0
Post by: LaughingThesaurus on June 27, 2013, 05:18:27 PM
One issue with making rebuilding the fleet really really quick is actually the fact that it minimizes the amount of time you're actually vulnerable to the AI. I think the game really just needs more to do while you're rebuilding, and maybe a bit of an economy tweak so that it doesn't take quite as long. But, if you're rebuilding 10-20 minutes every 6 hours, then the AI needs to send waves that are much bigger, or send waves much more often, to actually compensate for being tremendously less able to actually deal any damage. What you're looking for with those numbers is a sixfold increase in your general building speed as well as probably your resources, so the AI would either send waves about that much more often, or about that much larger. I can't imagine that's any fun. That, or maybe the AI can be set up so that it only announces waves when your fleet's looking really depleted... but that might be a bit of a cheap shot.

So we arrive at my conclusion of hey, maybe the game needs to give you more to do while you're waiting for stuff to build. Personally, the way that I play, I spend a lot of time analyzing the map and thinking while also moving my ships very carefully so as to not suffer huge sweeping losses. A mix of both of those things, and I end up with too much money and a lot of mercenary fighters. I don't really know what your playstyle is, but I always have plenty to do so I'm not just sitting around waiting.
Title: Re: Poll: Big Items For 8.0
Post by: keith.lamothe on June 27, 2013, 05:20:38 PM
So we arrive at my conclusion of hey, maybe the game needs to give you more to do while you're waiting for stuff to build.
I question that conclusion on the grounds that champions were designed for that specific purpose, and the general feedback in recent champion threads is that said purpose should be discarded :)
Title: Re: Poll: Big Items For 8.0
Post by: chemical_art on June 27, 2013, 05:44:10 PM
So we arrive at my conclusion of hey, maybe the game needs to give you more to do while you're waiting for stuff to build.
I question that conclusion on the grounds that champions were designed for that specific purpose, and the general feedback in recent champion threads is that said purpose should be discarded :)

+1

Rather then think of things to do during refleeting during late game, reduce refleeting times altogether. The vast majority of my deaths from the AI are not from me not having my fleet anyway sans FS, but due to attrition due to AI attacks.
Title: Re: Poll: Big Items For 8.0
Post by: Qatu on June 27, 2013, 05:44:53 PM
So we arrive at my conclusion of hey, maybe the game needs to give you more to do while you're waiting for stuff to build.
I question that conclusion on the grounds that champions were designed for that specific purpose, and the general feedback in recent champion threads is that said purpose should be discarded :)

 I'm not sure I speak for everyone else but my specific complaints about champs is how incredible the rewards for so little cost, and the nebulaes were fun the first few times but are identical guaranteed victories every time now except if i get the devourer with a small hull without polarizers.
Title: Re: Poll: Big Items For 8.0
Post by: TechSY730 on June 27, 2013, 06:08:01 PM
Well, how can the "pace" be sped up (reflecting costs reduced, etc) without making the game too punishing for players who like the AI and the game overall to be slower and are willing to accept a slow-ish reflect time in return?

Maybe the relation of build-time and resource cost could be tweaked, with changes to AI wave sizes and rates in proportion?

Maybe a "economy/production" scale that shifts build times and income rates (again, with AI scaled too)?

Maybe rescale the formulas such that the current +50% handicap becomes the new 0%, generally "speeding up" both the AI and the humans with no real extra mechanics or major balance effort needed?
Title: Re: Poll: Big Items For 8.0
Post by: chemical_art on June 27, 2013, 06:27:27 PM
Well, how can the "pace" be sped up (reflecting costs reduced, etc) without making the game too punishing for players who like the AI slower and are willing to accept a slow-ish reflect time in return?


Mmm, that is true. I forgot about the handicaps. I don't use them for I feel they "break" balance somehow, but I have no rational basis as to why that happens. Probably because I have never dug "deep" to examine what exactly gets changed. Sec.
Title: Re: Poll: Big Items For 8.0
Post by: TechSY730 on June 27, 2013, 07:00:16 PM
Well, how can the "pace" be sped up (reflecting costs reduced, etc) without making the game too punishing for players who like the AI slower and are willing to accept a slow-ish reflect time in return?


Mmm, that is true. I forgot about the handicaps. I don't use them for I feel they "break" balance somehow, but I have no rational basis as to why that happens. Probably because I have never dug "deep" to examine what exactly gets changed. Sec.

IIRC, human handicaps scale resource production and knowledge collection rates.
AI handicaps scale sizes of waves, "points" for defensive reinforcements, and I think exo "points"
IDK if it scales special forces reinforcement "points" or stragic reserve "points".
I'm pretty sure it does not scale zenith trade buying probabilities, wave or defensive reinforcement timings, build times, assist rates, strategic reserve recharge rates, exo charge rates, or initial game seed.
Title: Re: Poll: Big Items For 8.0
Post by: LaughingThesaurus on June 27, 2013, 07:22:01 PM
What if there was some kind of just game-wide resource pacing scale? Meaning, it's like a global handicap that affects every player. Increasing it to 300% would reduce unit cost and build time to 1/4th, and it would have a similar effect on the AI, where its attacks are roughly that much bigger or more frequent. Basically, it would just be a handicap function, but it would evenly affect everybody and speed up the game flow for people who are so inclined.
Title: Re: Poll: Big Items For 8.0
Post by: TechSY730 on June 27, 2013, 07:55:37 PM
What if there was some kind of just game-wide resource pacing scale? Meaning, it's like a global handicap that affects every player. Increasing it to 300% would reduce unit cost and build time to 1/4th, and it would have a similar effect on the AI, where its attacks are roughly that much bigger or more frequent. Basically, it would just be a handicap function, but it would evenly affect everybody and speed up the game flow for people who are so inclined.

You can sort of simulate this by increasing handicaps (thus income rates) and upping the game speed. The problem is that currently changing the game speed also slows down or speeds up the UI. Thus, at +10, the UI is so "twitchy" it is near uncontrollable, and -10 the UI becomes so unresponsive that even going to the galaxy map screen gets an annoyingly long delay.

This has been reported on mantis several times, but IIRC the dec feedback, this would require some serious "guts ripping" of the engine to fix.

However, IMO, this is a big enough deal that it seems like it should be done for 9.0, even if it would be extremely "painful". (Does not need to be an 8.0 goal though, there are enough other things that have been voted higher in this poll that should be done first)
Title: Re: Poll: Big Items For 8.0
Post by: chemical_art on June 27, 2013, 08:23:22 PM
increasing game time is just a bandaid. And for those with rust buckets like me, after about +4 or so, the CPU simply cannot keep up so increasing the speed further doesn't do anything really.
Title: Re: Poll: Big Items For 8.0
Post by: Eternaly_Lost on June 27, 2013, 08:27:19 PM
So we arrive at my conclusion of hey, maybe the game needs to give you more to do while you're waiting for stuff to build.
I question that conclusion on the grounds that champions were designed for that specific purpose, and the general feedback in recent champion threads is that said purpose should be discarded :)

Champion take too long for it to fill in, it is very much once you start a mission, you need to work on it until you win or lose. A good filler for time should be able to stop at any instant, because the rebuild is done and you are ready to go to the main game.

A target time of what, 20 minutes for champion missions means that if you expect it to take less then say 15 minutes to refleet, you want to just wait rather then start a champion mission. If you had say a lite champion mission you could trigger whenever, and had a set timer of say 5 minutes maybe.

Say, you warp out of the galaxy where you are. You lose if you die or the time goes over 5 minutes. (Say a big AI force shows up at 4 minutes that will kill you in a minutes). You win, you get a small boost of some sort. Maybe disable a warp gate for a few minutes or cause a guardpost on a planet to explode.

Then you can fill in refleet with this, a downside that is equally as low level, say the AI send a champion after your own if you lose, means that you don't have to worry that much if you need to return to normal.

Give this 'Warp out of the Galaxy for Micromission' a cool down timer of say 10 minutes, and people will have Micromission when they need them. Reward for each is not that good, but at the same time the lost of each is not that big either. Don't bother capping them and give them random objectives.

Say, defend a unit for a few minutes(3-4). Or destroy a unit, or things like that.
Title: Re: Poll: Big Items For 8.0
Post by: Histidine on June 27, 2013, 11:27:41 PM
For me (as KDR_11k said in another thread) the problem with the champion is you don't use it as a fleet replacement while waiting to refleet, you use it as a fleet replacement so you never need to refleet*.

*nebula ships do need refleeting, but you only need to use them when you really need some extra punch, like on core worlds/homeworlds
Title: Re: Poll: Big Items For 8.0
Post by: lovekawakawaii on June 28, 2013, 12:15:48 AM
There should be an option to turn off AI Eyes in the lobby. I like blobs.
Title: Re: Poll: Big Items For 8.0
Post by: Coppermantis on June 28, 2013, 12:20:24 AM
There should be an option to turn off AI Eyes in the lobby. I like blobs.

There's a cheat code for this: Running With Scissors (Remove all AI Eyes from the game - added in 6.003)
Title: Re: Poll: Big Items For 8.0
Post by: Bognor on June 28, 2013, 01:10:03 AM
There should be an option to turn off AI Eyes in the lobby. I like blobs.

There's a cheat code for this: Running With Scissors (Remove all AI Eyes from the game - added in 6.003)
Also see here (http://www.arcengames.com/mediawiki/index.php?title=AI_War_-_AI_Opponent_Types#Eye_frequency) for a list of AI types that spawn fewer eyes.
Title: Re: Poll: Big Items For 8.0
Post by: lovekawakawaii on June 28, 2013, 02:00:22 AM
There should be an option to turn off AI Eyes in the lobby. I like blobs.

There's a cheat code for this: Running With Scissors (Remove all AI Eyes from the game - added in 6.003)

Thanks
Title: Re: Poll: Big Items For 8.0
Post by: Zeyi on June 28, 2013, 03:54:43 AM
So we arrive at my conclusion of hey, maybe the game needs to give you more to do while you're waiting for stuff to build.
I question that conclusion on the grounds that champions were designed for that specific purpose, and the general feedback in recent champion threads is that said purpose should be discarded :)

Champion take too long for it to fill in, it is very much once you start a mission, you need to work on it until you win or lose. A good filler for time should be able to stop at any instant, because the rebuild is done and you are ready to go to the main game.


This is a very good point, if the distractions the champions provided weren't so definitively in need of being finished upon entry I might enjoy it more as I'd be able to come back to it during refleeting.
Title: Re: Poll: Big Items For 8.0
Post by: zleorg on June 28, 2013, 07:34:32 PM
If by chance we get an in game IRC like thing I would like it if the AI would randomly send me messages. Something like there's no escape or to look behind me.  Or if I team up with someone for a game then send me a message saying to rethink my decision.
Title: Re: Poll: Big Items For 8.0
Post by: doctorfrog on June 28, 2013, 09:19:28 PM
I don't know if they'll do that, but it would be hilarious to have the AI try to get you to quit the game through IRC messages. "You smell something burning?" "Hit ALT-F4 for a free Zenith Reserve!"
Title: Re: Poll: Big Items For 8.0
Post by: onyhow on June 28, 2013, 10:07:13 PM
Too many important choices...

I do view Champ rework as priority though...
Title: Re: Poll: Big Items For 8.0
Post by: keith.lamothe on June 29, 2013, 07:15:23 PM
And the results:

Promoting Hacking to a full resource   41
Revising Champions   33
Diversifying Fallen Spire events   21
Reworking relationship between superweapons and non-superweapons   20
Reworking Armor   19
Downscaling health/attack/armor/etc stats   19
Improving Hybrids   18
Turret cap rework   18
In-game IRC client   15
UI improvements to make it more "accessible" to new players   12
Improving Spirecraft   10
Improve consistency of balance across different Unit Cap Scale and Combat Style settings.   9
Tweaking balance of player economy, especially harvester vs econ station upgrades, and early game vs late game income levels   9
Balancing energy, especially early game vs late game dynamics   6
Defender mode rework   4
New Sentinel types   4
Revising the Astro Trains plot (again)   4
Revising the Hunter plot   3
Revising the Beachheads AI Plot   3


Which basically means the top 3, then the 4th and 6th since doing the 4th requires the 6th (and they're only one vote apart).  Reworking Armor would be after that, though we'll see how things go with the higher items.

Anyway, thanks for the feedback :)  I'll probably be working on the hacking-resource stuff on Monday before getting back to the Bionic prototype.
Title: Re: Poll: Big Items For 8.0
Post by: keith.lamothe on July 02, 2013, 12:37:44 AM
I'll probably be working on the hacking-resource stuff on Monday
Just fyi: most of the underlying work for this is now done, the existing hacking types have been folded in, and two new (fairly important, imo) hacking types have been added.  More to come, though I'll try to get what's already done out in a prerelease soon once I get few of the recent bug reports dealt with.

Crystal's not being excised just yet (the new hacking-progress resource is still consigned to the alert box, but will move up when Crystal retires), but presumably soon.
Title: Re: Poll: Big Items For 8.0
Post by: TIE Viper on July 02, 2013, 01:42:22 AM
Sweet!  :D
Title: Re: Poll: Big Items For 8.0
Post by: Aklyon on July 02, 2013, 10:58:17 AM
Those notes sound interesting. :)
Title: Re: Poll: Big Items For 8.0
Post by: madcow on July 02, 2013, 11:16:17 AM
I read the notes and had somewhat of a cool idea inspired by the hacking additions.  What about a type of hacking that corrupts one of the AI's bonus ship designs, effectively removing it from use by them. Of course that requires finding whatever data store holds that ship design, and would cost a hefty hacking fee. 

Or is that idea too cheesable?
Title: Re: Poll: Big Items For 8.0
Post by: keith.lamothe on July 02, 2013, 11:22:54 AM
I read the notes and had somewhat of a cool idea inspired by the hacking additions.  What about a type of hacking that corrupts one of the AI's bonus ship designs, effectively removing it from use by them. Of course that requires finding whatever data store holds that ship design, and would cost a hefty hacking fee. 

Or is that idea too cheesable?
Subroutine: "Master Computer! Master Computer!"

MC: "What now?"

Subroutine: "Um, well, you see..."

MC: "Out with it!"

Subroutine: "It seems that our Spire Blade Spawners, um, well..."

MC: "Do prefer the possibility of annihilation, or the certainty of it?"

Subroutine: "The Spire Blade Spawner factories are now turning out rubber ping-pong balls."

MC: "Nooooooooooo!"
Title: Re: Poll: Big Items For 8.0
Post by: Tridus on July 02, 2013, 11:26:47 AM
That's awesome. :)

Removing a bonus ship type would be a great use of hacking, though I'd assume a fairly expensive one. I know I'd be happy to remove Spire Stealth Battleships from my current game!
Title: Re: Poll: Big Items For 8.0
Post by: Zeyi on July 02, 2013, 11:58:06 AM
Has anyone suggested a counter hack by the AI?

A small chance that a hack is unsuccessful and has an adverse or opposite effect would help prevent cheese and make for some occasional hilarious consequences.

"Sir, we think we've disabled the blade spawner production facilities.."
"..think..?"
"SIR! WE LOST LIGHTNING TORPEDO FRIGATES"

No doubt someone is sat somewhere thinking "Good job we have 2000 torpedoes stocked in transports".
Title: Re: Poll: Big Items For 8.0
Post by: MaxAstro on July 02, 2013, 12:53:00 PM
Has anyone suggested a counter hack by the AI?

A small chance that a hack is unsuccessful and has an adverse or opposite effect would help prevent cheese and make for some occasional hilarious consequences.

"Sir, we think we've disabled the blade spawner production facilities.."
"..think..?"
"SIR! WE LOST LIGHTNING TORPEDO FRIGATES"

No doubt someone is sat somewhere thinking "Good job we have 2000 torpedoes stocked in transports".

While that is a cool idea, I think it runs into the same problem distribution nodes had.  Namely it becomes "hacking has a 20% chance of causing a savescum".
Title: Re: Poll: Big Items For 8.0
Post by: keith.lamothe on July 02, 2013, 01:01:36 PM
The counter-hacking could be more subtle.

"Wait, I didn't order that missile silo built on my homeworld..."

"OR THAT NUC-"

(boom)
Title: Re: Poll: Big Items For 8.0
Post by: MaxAstro on July 02, 2013, 01:07:57 PM
I'm... not sure in what world nukes count as subtle, Keith, but if you say so...  :p
Title: Re: Poll: Big Items For 8.0
Post by: Tridus on July 02, 2013, 01:08:58 PM
It's subtle because they only built a mk I nuke?
Title: Re: Poll: Big Items For 8.0
Post by: madcow on July 02, 2013, 01:12:17 PM
I would have figured its subtle because the game doesn't say what caused it and it was coincidentally left out of the patch notes.
Title: Re: Poll: Big Items For 8.0
Post by: keith.lamothe on July 02, 2013, 01:12:52 PM
I would have figured its subtle because the game doesn't say what caused it and it was coincidentally left out of the patch notes.
Yea.  That's about as subtle as I can get.
Title: Re: Poll: Big Items For 8.0
Post by: Shrugging Khan on July 02, 2013, 01:53:32 PM
I wants me some counter-hacking. Sounds like fun! :D
Title: Re: Poll: Big Items For 8.0
Post by: Toranth on July 02, 2013, 03:24:10 PM
I wants me some counter-hacking. Sounds like fun! :D
New Advanced Hybrid plot!  Advanced Hybrid produces a AI Control Hacker that moves to your system, then sits still for 10:00 (guarded by the Hybrids) while it hacks your system.  At the end of 10 minutes, it takes control of every building in the system (except FS, Dyson, etc).
Can you imagine losing your chokepoint to that?
AI:  "Now you get to see what getting past all those fortresses and turrets feels like!"

That'd be... fun?  I suppose...
Title: Re: Poll: Big Items For 8.0
Post by: orzelek on July 02, 2013, 03:37:55 PM
I wants me some counter-hacking. Sounds like fun! :D

Pretty please make this an additional option ;)

Question: why would anyone try to hack second time advanced factory?
Title: Re: Poll: Big Items For 8.0
Post by: keith.lamothe on July 02, 2013, 04:05:26 PM
Question: why would anyone try to hack second time advanced factory?
You wouldn't and couldn't, but you could hack an ASC.
Title: Re: Poll: Big Items For 8.0
Post by: LaughingThesaurus on July 02, 2013, 04:40:49 PM
I think if there's any counter-hacking, I'd prefer it to really be a super hybrid ability more than anything else.
Title: Re: Poll: Big Items For 8.0
Post by: Tridus on July 02, 2013, 04:46:57 PM
Counter-hacking could be a response to too much hacking on your part too. The AI reacts by shutting down your space docks for 10 minutes galaxy wide with a virus, then launching a CPA.

But yeah, Hybrids hacking your systems would be pretty epic.
Title: Re: Poll: Big Items For 8.0
Post by: LordSloth on July 02, 2013, 10:46:46 PM
If you want something more subtle than a nuke, but just as not serious... ai counter hacks you and silently:

messes with your auto-pathing planetary controls, avoiding autopathing through neutered systems, encouraging pathing past a raid engine.
gives your forcefields move orders in random systems.
sends a "Trojan Redirector Post" into one of your systems.
Mixed up work orders: Space Dock/ Star Dock with a queue goes into/out of standby, either stopping production of necessary reinforcements or spreading them out between old systems.
Title: Re: Poll: Big Items For 8.0
Post by: keith.lamothe on July 02, 2013, 10:53:18 PM
If you want something more subtle than a nuke, but just as not serious... ai counter hacks you and silently:

messes with your auto-pathing planetary controls, avoiding autopathing through neutered systems, encouraging pathing past a raid engine.
gives your forcefields move orders in random systems.
sends a "Trojan Redirector Post" into one of your systems.
Mixed up work orders: Space Dock/ Star Dock with a queue goes into/out of standby, either stopping production of necessary reinforcements or spreading them out between old systems.
So instead of 20% chance of savescum, 20% chance of mutinous computer defenestration? :)
Title: Re: Poll: Big Items For 8.0
Post by: LaughingThesaurus on July 02, 2013, 11:07:06 PM
If the AI successfully counterhacks you, you can't build a certain ship type for a set time. This includes all marks of that ship type. If it shoots for a high mark ship, it'll take longer to successfully hack, but will be a more devastating blow to you. "Certain ship type" can include force fields, any construction facilities, supportive ships, not just military or starships.
Title: Re: Poll: Big Items For 8.0
Post by: Aklyon on July 02, 2013, 11:32:58 PM
This is certainly sounding like the sort of thing hybrids sound like: Probably really bad for you if you aren't prepared and not on by default.
Title: Re: Poll: Big Items For 8.0
Post by: Bognor on July 03, 2013, 01:25:09 AM
Crystal's not being excised just yet (the new hacking-progress resource is still consigned to the alert box, but will move up when Crystal retires), but presumably soon.
I never understood this.  I get that crystal is not a strong mechanic, but it frequently influences my decision making, eg which Spirecraft will I build, will I build Needler or Laser Turrets, should I upgrade Heavy Bomber or Plasma Siege Starships, etc.  So the mechanic has value in the game, and no disadvantage that I can see.  It's hardly "clutter" to have two kinds of resources for building.  If people want to re-work crystal, then sure, but what do we gain by just eliminating it?

Also, what does crystal have to do with hacking?  Surely it's not just competition for screen real estate - I see plenty of room in the bar at the top of my screen, even on my little laptop.
Title: Re: Poll: Big Items For 8.0
Post by: LaughingThesaurus on July 03, 2013, 02:06:44 AM
Crystal's not being excised just yet (the new hacking-progress resource is still consigned to the alert box, but will move up when Crystal retires), but presumably soon.
I never understood this.  I get that crystal is not a strong mechanic, but it frequently influences my decision making, eg which Spirecraft will I build, will I build Needler or Laser Turrets, should I upgrade Heavy Bomber or Plasma Siege Starships, etc.  So the mechanic has value in the game, and no disadvantage that I can see.  It's hardly "clutter" to have two kinds of resources for building.  If people want to re-work crystal, then sure, but what do we gain by just eliminating it?

Also, what does crystal have to do with hacking?  Surely it's not just competition for screen real estate - I see plenty of room in the bar at the top of my screen, even on my little laptop.
We gain UI space that could be used for a more interesting and fleshed out resource.
Crystal could be fleshed out, but the thing is, nobody could really come up with a compelling way to do that. If crystal actually was a strong mechanic, it would be sticking around, because it would make the game stronger as a whole. Weak mechanics either need strengthened or removed, or they end up holding back the game as a whole. So, the reasoning is kinda twofold in that sense, at least that's how I feel.
Title: Re: Poll: Big Items For 8.0
Post by: Coppermantis on July 03, 2013, 02:21:34 AM
I don't think that crystal is an uninteresting resource. Starcraft has a similar resource mechanic with its minerals and gas, which are essentially identical and yet have a huge impact on strategy. You have some units which are cheap and only cost a small amount of minerals and some higher level units which cost more minerals and some gas and the really big things which cost a lot of minerals and a lot of gas. I don't see why AI War can't do something similar. In fact, earlier, I saw a suggestion to make crystal far rarer but make it only required for the really big stuff like Golems, Spirecraft and some starships. That way, you could survive without crystal but to fully augment your fleet with the big firepower you would need to get some, which would add another element to the tactical decision of what planets to take.
Title: Re: Poll: Big Items For 8.0
Post by: LaughingThesaurus on July 03, 2013, 02:28:36 AM
Yeah, that's an example of adjusting crystal such that it actually makes a meaningful difference to metal. I don't disagree, something like that might work out, but for reasons I can't seem to recall, nobody really liked any of those solutions. I think it basically boiled down to the idea of 'well, if it's just less common, that leads to more netflix time and that's the last thing the game needs'. The reason minerals and gas really works, as far as I recall as well, is because gas is actually more strictly regulated, more strictly limited (based on how many bases you have), and is very finite. AI War's already got that kind of resource, it's just used for a different thing. It's called Knowledge. There's more to the starcraft comparison that someone else can hopefully field.

But hey, I mean, you should start a discussion. Maybe we can re-explore and see if there's some other way to have crystal mean something. The thing is, that probably won't happen for another 'quite a while'. At least, I kinda doubt that it will. Hacking's already going in, and Keith's already got the to-do list of base game changes by this point. I don't really know how much a discussion would particularly help in the immediate future is all.
Title: Re: Poll: Big Items For 8.0
Post by: TechSY730 on July 03, 2013, 02:35:28 AM
I don't think that crystal is an uninteresting resource. Starcraft has a similar resource mechanic with its minerals and gas, which are essentially identical and yet have a huge impact on strategy. You have some units which are cheap and only cost a small amount of minerals and some higher level units which cost more minerals and some gas and the really big things which cost a lot of minerals and a lot of gas. I don't see why AI War can't do something similar. In fact, earlier, I saw a suggestion to make crystal far rarer but make it only required for the really big stuff like Golems, Spirecraft and some starships. That way, you could survive without crystal but to fully augment your fleet with the big firepower you would need to get some, which would add another element to the tactical decision of what planets to take.

True. That would be a viable way to balance it. However, this sort of balancing has been done in...well...almost every RTS around that has multiple mined/collected resource types. Maybe that's why this sort of idea failed to gain traction, this sort of "hacking resource" felt a bit new and original compared to the now "classic" way of dealing with this issue.

That said, I still think this sort of idea is a better approach than "gutting" a whole central piller to the game that has been around since, well, before launch IIRC, and replacing it with a somewhat esoteric, used to be optional "side-activity", for which a "resource pool" seems like an odd thing to give an explicit value to the player as a central "thing to manage". But I seem to be out-voted in this case. *shrug*
Title: Re: Poll: Big Items For 8.0
Post by: Coppermantis on July 03, 2013, 02:58:12 AM
Yeah, hacking is definitely an interesting twist that stands out as a mechanic, but that's no reason that crystal has to be given the boot entirely. To be fair, though, rebalancing things with a reworked crystal would take a lot of work and may not be worth it.
Title: Re: Poll: Big Items For 8.0
Post by: Tridus on July 03, 2013, 05:52:05 AM
I don't think that crystal is an uninteresting resource. Starcraft has a similar resource mechanic with its minerals and gas, which are essentially identical and yet have a huge impact on strategy. You have some units which are cheap and only cost a small amount of minerals and some higher level units which cost more minerals and some gas and the really big things which cost a lot of minerals and a lot of gas. I don't see why AI War can't do something similar. In fact, earlier, I saw a suggestion to make crystal far rarer but make it only required for the really big stuff like Golems, Spirecraft and some starships. That way, you could survive without crystal but to fully augment your fleet with the big firepower you would need to get some, which would add another element to the tactical decision of what planets to take.

Starcraft has three major differences:

1. It's not practical to just wait to get more, if it's coming in slowly.

2. There's no convenient auto-conversion between the two resources.

3. There isn't already a valuable resource that's needed to get your higher tier units. (Gas does that.)

Crystal in AI War right now as it stands is really just metal, only with a different colored number. Doing something like making it rare but only required for certain units leads to difficulties in a game with so many options. Lets say we do as suggested here: if I don't turn on Golems or Spirecraft, do I really care about crystal? If there is ever going to be enough on the map to make Superweapons viable without taking 50 planets, than either there's going to be enought o make cheaper Starship construction easy, or you're going to have to seed more or less selectively as you turn superweapons on/off.

It's not doing anything distinct, whereas metal, knowledge, and hacking are.

edit - Starcraft also doesn't have randomly generated maps with random amounts of resources. Resources are given out in a predefined, always balanced way between the players such that you know how much is available at your starting base and first expansion. After that it's up to how many bases you get and how much you spend, but the two games are very different.
Title: Re: Poll: Big Items For 8.0
Post by: TechSY730 on July 03, 2013, 06:24:50 AM
And finally, in Starcraft (and most other PvP RTSs), since you are fighting using the same "economy rules", that gives a strong incentive to not just "wait for more" as if you do, that greatly increases the chance your opponent used it more efficiently and thus has an army at a time you don't, thus, you will lose.

In this game, the opponent does not use the same economic model. Also, the game has been deliberately designed to let the players have the most say on the "pace" of the game (http://arcengames.com/mediawiki/index.php?title=AI_War_-_Controlling_The_Tempo), which if they choose to exercise this properly, basically means they can get a situation where they can usually afford to just "wait for more". (Yes, this breaks down somewhat starting at about difficulty 9, but those aren't really the balance points. ;))
These factors contribute to the idea of balancing a resource that is infinite but "slower to get" a "suspect" thing to try in this sort of model, as the restrictions aimed for probably won't do their "jobs" in this sort of model.
Title: Re: Poll: Big Items For 8.0
Post by: The Hunter on July 03, 2013, 06:48:01 AM
Maybe instead of 'superweapons only' we could go 'MK4-MK5 only' or something like that, would make more sense. And if getting rid of it maybe it still could be left accessible as an additional option for people who like it.

Edit:

Back to hacking talk, what about ability to hack Dire lairs to legimately get random controllable dire guardian(at the cost of massive AI response ofcourse).  :P
And hacking H/K Lair on AI homeworld to get H/K.  >D
Title: Re: Poll: Big Items For 8.0
Post by: Tridus on July 03, 2013, 07:16:54 AM
Back to hacking talk, what about ability to hack Dire lairs to legimately get random controllable dire guardian(at the cost of massive AI response ofcourse).  :P
And hacking H/K Lair on AI homeworld to get H/K.  >D

Hey, why not hack in and place an order to the other galaxy for an exo on an AI held system while we're at it. :D
Title: Re: Poll: Big Items For 8.0
Post by: The Hunter on July 03, 2013, 07:33:05 AM
Back to hacking talk, what about ability to hack Dire lairs to legimately get random controllable dire guardian(at the cost of massive AI response ofcourse).  :P
And hacking H/K Lair on AI homeworld to get H/K.  >D

Hey, why not hack in and place an order to the other galaxy for an exo on an AI held system while we're at it. :D

YES, also alternate winning condition: hack the AI homeworld station, taking control of every unit/building/etc of that AI in the galaxy. :)
Title: Re: Poll: Big Items For 8.0
Post by: Tridus on July 03, 2013, 07:56:34 AM
Maybe instead of 'superweapons only' we could go 'MK4-MK5 only' or something like that, would make more sense. And if getting rid of it maybe it still could be left accessible as an additional option for people who like it.

I don't really see that happening. Keeping it in means crystal prices have to remain on everything in the game (and be added for new things going forward), crystal node spawning has to stay in, harvesters have to stay in... essentially changes to things are going to have to be done twice.

Keeping around a system like this that just isn't relevant anymore winds up creating bloat.
Title: Re: Poll: Big Items For 8.0
Post by: keith.lamothe on July 03, 2013, 10:27:44 AM
Also, what does crystal have to do with hacking?  Surely it's not just competition for screen real estate - I see plenty of room in the bar at the top of my screen, even on my little laptop.
It is a real estate thing.  Minimum supported width is 1024, which the current top bar comes about 20px (guesstimate) from filling currently.  I can't put another indicator in 20px :)

I mean, sure, we don't _have_ to do anything different with Crystal.  But when one of the top-line resources isn't pulling its weight that's definitely where I look when I'm trying to improve the game.  We discussed a few ways of simply modifying crystal and they really were not well received.  Then hacking was proposed as a totally different thing to replace it, and that's gotten a lot of support.
Title: Re: Poll: Big Items For 8.0
Post by: KingIsaacLinksr on July 03, 2013, 12:05:23 PM
I personally want crystal killed off. In my latest games, crystal only mattered at the beginning of the game. As you go along, it starts to become less important that a planet has crystal and just that it has a lot of resources on it. I see no compelling reason to keep the resource in the game. Not unless we did some major changes to the economy (again) and really, we've tried to make crystal work so many times now that I would much rather Arcen worked on more interesting mechanics such as hacking.
Title: Re: Poll: Big Items For 8.0
Post by: keith.lamothe on July 03, 2013, 12:08:27 PM
Yea, crystal could be made important/interesting, but basically it would involve gating a lot of stuff you already have access to behind the new crystal.  Fine with me, not fine with a lot of you.  So we do something else.  The hacking changes do impact existing choices to some extent (k-hacking, ship-design-hacking, superterminal hacking) but I've tried to keep the numbers mostly similar on those.  If anything it's just going to make the game easier because you get to "spend" AIP twice in some sense. 

Any outbreaks of easiness will be squashed by appropriate defense mechanisms.
Title: Re: Poll: Big Items For 8.0
Post by: Aklyon on July 03, 2013, 01:52:10 PM
Any outbreaks of easiness will be squashed by appropriate defense mechanisms.
Considering theres also a new Atlus game coming this month, I wouldn't be surprised. :)
Title: Re: Poll: Big Items For 8.0
Post by: Draco18s on July 03, 2013, 03:58:32 PM
Yea, crystal could be made important/interesting, but basically it would involve gating a lot of stuff you already have access to behind the new crystal.  Fine with me, not fine with a lot of you.

Reminds me of how I did this little procedurally generated RTS flash game....I haven't touched in 18 months.

I kind of kept the metal/crystal disparity, but mine was Iron/Gold (gold being referred to as "trace minerals," gold being a resource that is used heavily in computer chips).  Iron was the defacto "everything needs iron" resource and was 10 times as plentiful.  Add more armor to a unit, needs more metal.  Gold was a rarer resource that mattered for things like rate of fire or number of shots per salvo (essentially being a resource that represented the unit's on board computers).

There was also a limit on the resources available on the map.  And dead units were resource nodes (you could reharvest a blown up unit for 75% of its build cost).

I also had a third resource, which I called crystal.  Crystal functioned as the unit cap mechanic.  Each ship needed exactly one (and was always reharvested), turrets were built off hubs (hub used 1 crystal and supported eight 0-crystal turrets).  Crystals were the "power source" for space travel and the main resource over which players would be contesting, and which would cause the back-and-forth fighting (assault the other guy's base, you leave a bunch of dead units over there, he harvest them and turns them into units which he leaves dead on your doorstep, repeat).

It'd be pretty cool if I would actually finish that game. X3

Anyway, just another perspective on metal/crystal.
Title: Re: Poll: Big Items For 8.0
Post by: Aklyon on July 03, 2013, 04:10:23 PM
Was that the one with the asteroids, draco? I might remember that a bit.
Title: Re: Poll: Big Items For 8.0
Post by: Draco18s on July 03, 2013, 07:09:20 PM
Was that the one with the asteroids, draco? I might remember that a bit.

Yep.

(Making the asteroids was both a grueling and fun experience!)
Title: Re: Poll: Big Items For 8.0
Post by: Nymous on July 23, 2013, 06:56:55 PM
I'm new (to the forums) as well, and if I may offer a piece of advice: if you're looking for 'where to make suggestions' you might try looking in the thread 'Where to make suggestions. (http://'http://www.arcengames.com/forums/index.php/topic,7775.0.html')' which is sticked on the first page.

I'm not entirely certain you're aware of what the nebula's actually reward you with. Nebula's:
1. Unlock new modules for your ship to use.
2. Give good exp on victory to help upgrade said modules.
3. Give resources and/or energy (depending on what factions were involved)
4. Give the ability to build several of the ships used by the friendly faction in the nebula from the foldout
5. Unlock the larger versions of your shadow craft. (at 2, 5, and 9 respectively)
6. Unlock different race variations of your shadow craft (depending on which faction you work with)
7. Unlock the different race variations of the modular forts (depending on which faction you work with) at no knowlege cost

This seems rather worth the time to me, especially after 9 nebula several of which include more then 1 friendly faction thus doubling or more the reward for completing.
Title: Re: Poll: Big Items For 8.0
Post by: Bognor on July 23, 2013, 10:02:23 PM
Welcome to the forums, plex34 and Nymous!  :)

plex34, it's possible you're not aware of some of the nebula rewards.  Every time you successfully complete a nebula, you're immediately granted 500 knowledge.  IIRC the game doesn't announce that in any way; perhaps it should.  I presume you've found the constructor building(s) that appear in each nebula a few seconds after successful completion?  You can build an intra-galactic starship warp gate on your homeworld or wherever to have the fast, powerful starships they produce warp straight to a convenient location.