Author Topic: Reactions to Ancient Shadows and Suggestions  (Read 60344 times)

Offline keith.lamothe

  • Arcen Games Staff
  • Arcen Staff
  • Zenith Council Member Mark III
  • *****
  • Posts: 19,505
Re: Reactions to Ancient Shadows and Suggestions
« Reply #420 on: October 19, 2012, 11:03:54 AM »
I think the Mourner scenario was slated to be rebalanced with a large starbase, though I am not sure.
I started to do it, but the balance implications were kind of complicated and I decided not to deal with it.  I thought just making the starbase large would make it too easy, since those things are much tougher to kill.

So I could just ramp up the enemies, but then your champ gets kinda washed out, and that scenario is generally an early one.

But I wouldn't say it mandates bringing an engie pit-crew along; it's probably the scenario that is most tolerant to you needing to take it easy for the early part.  Just fight off the auto-spawns (1 prison at a time) while you wait for your pit crew to get in range.  Your rewards in that particular scenario are based off the max amount of enemies on the board at once, so you can just build up a big ball of allies (in theory) and smash the last 4+ prisons at once (presumably having had time to refit with the pit crew if necessary) and still get that level of reward.

Granted, that's only if you know all those details, but much of the game (especially the radical-expansion stuff like Fallen Spire and Champions) is way harder the first time and/or when you don't know the details.  Adds variety :)
Have ideas or bug reports for one of our games? Mantis for Suggestions and Bug Reports. Thanks for helping to make our games better!

Offline onyhow

  • Full Member
  • ***
  • Posts: 122
  • Nuclear powah!
Re: Reactions to Ancient Shadows and Suggestions
« Reply #421 on: October 20, 2012, 01:28:56 PM »
I really think nebula frigates should get Heavy bonus...considering that nebula cruisers have ridiculous hp compared to frigates and heavy frigates, and there's no nebula ship counter, at all...(course, it's gonna affect your ship too, but still)

Also, difficulty for Epsilon Eridani mission is...rather ridiculous...

Offline keith.lamothe

  • Arcen Games Staff
  • Arcen Staff
  • Zenith Council Member Mark III
  • *****
  • Posts: 19,505
Re: Reactions to Ancient Shadows and Suggestions
« Reply #422 on: October 20, 2012, 01:42:43 PM »
I really think nebula frigates should get Heavy bonus...considering that nebula cruisers have ridiculous hp compared to frigates and heavy frigates, and there's no nebula ship counter, at all...(course, it's gonna affect your ship too, but still)
The frigates have a bonus vs ultraheavy (starbases), and starbases have a bonus against heavy (cruisers).  It's a quadrangle, rather than a triangle :)

Quote
Also, difficulty for Epsilon Eridani mission is...rather ridiculous...
What are the circumstances?  What size champion do you have (Frigate, Destroyer, etc)?  How many missions have you won thus far?

In my testing and from player feedback during the beta, EEr was one of the easier scenarios :)
Have ideas or bug reports for one of our games? Mantis for Suggestions and Bug Reports. Thanks for helping to make our games better!

Offline onyhow

  • Full Member
  • ***
  • Posts: 122
  • Nuclear powah!
Re: Reactions to Ancient Shadows and Suggestions
« Reply #423 on: October 20, 2012, 10:45:54 PM »
The frigates have a bonus vs ultraheavy (starbases), and starbases have a bonus against heavy (cruisers).  It's a quadrangle, rather than a triangle :)
Oh huh...still, I think the cruisers hp is mite too high compared to other ships...

Quote
What are the circumstances?  What size champion do you have (Frigate, Destroyer, etc)?  How many missions have you won thus far?

In my testing and from player feedback during the beta, EEr was one of the easier scenarios :)
It's just that, to me, comparing to other starting scenarios it's harder (due to spawn rate)...I just seriously don't like how the spawn rate got incresed the more starbases you destroy...it just feels like rubberband AI in racing games...

Then again, it's all my opinion...
« Last Edit: October 20, 2012, 10:48:33 PM by onyhow »

Offline TechSY730

  • Core Member Mark V
  • *****
  • Posts: 4,562
Re: Reactions to Ancient Shadows and Suggestions
« Reply #424 on: October 20, 2012, 10:58:10 PM »
It's just that, to me, comparing to other starting scenarios it's harder (due to spawn rate)...I just seriously don't like how the spawn rate got incresed the more starbases you destroy...it just feels like rubberband AI in racing games...

Then again, it's all my opinion...

True, it is a bit annoying. But recently, it was rebalanced, and now the allied faction gets this "rubberbanding" too (though not to quite the same degree), so it isn't all bad. That, and even though the per-starbase spawn rate goes up as bases are lost, the overall rate goes down a bit (I think), though the rate of the decrease, well, decreases as the number of bases goes down (meaning, taking out a base has diminishing returns until you take out the last one, which of course it drops to 0 after that)

This helps to mitigate the "first one to lose a base will almost certainly accelerate to defeat" factor.

I won't say that in some cases, the logic overcompensates a bit. I'm sure there are some scenarios where the math is a bit off and the overall rate goes UP dramatically (it's OK if it goes up a little bit for some of the later, harder scenarios, but IMO, NO scenario should ever get a dramatic increase in overall spawn rate as bases goes down). But that would just require a be a balance tweak to fix.

Offline keith.lamothe

  • Arcen Games Staff
  • Arcen Staff
  • Zenith Council Member Mark III
  • *****
  • Posts: 19,505
Re: Reactions to Ancient Shadows and Suggestions
« Reply #425 on: October 20, 2012, 11:57:10 PM »
The frigates have a bonus vs ultraheavy (starbases), and starbases have a bonus against heavy (cruisers).  It's a quadrangle, rather than a triangle :)
Oh huh...still, I think the cruisers hp is mite too high compared to other ships...
The cruisers also cost a lot more for the bases spawning them, and only spawn from the large bases in the group spawns.

Basically, they're MkV ships balanced like they had a cap of 4, frigates are MkII balanced like they had a cap of 12, and heavy frigates are MkIV balaned like they had a cap of 12.  So a cruiser costs (5/4) / (2/12) = 7.5 as much as a frigate.  I think the actual cost number may be higher than that.

One thing the cruisers do is give the champion an obvious place in the outside-base-range fights: stack enough anti-heavy and down those cruisers go.  Of course there are other things you could stack instead (anti-medium is good for protecting your frigates from the enemy heavy frigates, since your frigates are what usually get the job done against starbases; or if you have enough anti-ultraheavy you can take the bases yourself).

Quote
I just seriously don't like how the spawn rate got incresed the more starbases you destroy...it just feels like rubberband AI in racing games...
I tried it without any adjustment initially and the scenarios just dragged out, so both sides' large bases (not the small ones) produce faster as small bases go down.  If you want a lore explanation, its that the large bases are using whatever mineral deposits the small bases were using.  Originally I'd designed the scenarios to have little miner ships running around to resources and there's the usual "crash the peon line" tactics, but in the end it seemed overly complicated and more likely to create negative emergent results instead of fun battles.

FWIW, when an enemy small base goes down, your large base gets more of a boost than the enemy base.  Similarly, if your base goes down, the enemy gets more of a boost than you do.

To an extent it actually encourages the snowballing because I found that made for more interesting and less-draggy scenarios, but the underdogs would still have a chance to pull out ahead.

The other thing that comes into play is that both sides scale up (the enemies faster than the allies) with your highest unlocked champion hull size, the number of player champions, and (much less so) with the number of scenarios you've won that game.

So when you're bigger you have to fill bigger things on your feet; otherwise the scenarios would just get easier and easier as the game went on, or I'd have to make them mostly linear in order so they could be balanced against exactly one hull size, etc.

Quote
Then again, it's all my opinion...
And player opinions are quite valuable in figuring out how to refine things like this.  But they're more valuable when the players have more info about what's actually going on.  There's a degree of "black box" to the game by design because it's often more fun to play without knowing all the details, but when time comes to figure out how to make it better, the details need to come out.  Hence the above.  Albeit I'm rambling because its late and I'm tired :)
Have ideas or bug reports for one of our games? Mantis for Suggestions and Bug Reports. Thanks for helping to make our games better!

Offline onyhow

  • Full Member
  • ***
  • Posts: 122
  • Nuclear powah!
Re: Reactions to Ancient Shadows and Suggestions
« Reply #426 on: October 21, 2012, 12:37:55 AM »
So winning side actually get bigger boost? When I'm saying that I got the feeling that it's more on the losing side!

Thing about cruiser is that sometimes I just tend to see large groups of them being really hard to take out while the frigates go down like flies....also it tends to be a bit hard to babysit when most ships in nebulae tend to outrun you...

Thanks for clarifying though!

Offline KDR_11k

  • Hero Member Mark II
  • *****
  • Posts: 904
Re: Reactions to Ancient Shadows and Suggestions
« Reply #427 on: October 21, 2012, 07:20:40 AM »
Problem with the three way is that you can't tell your allies to focus on one enemy, resulting in both being stripped down to their large starbase. I tried beating the Spire first but when they were down to only the large starbase my allies stopped bothering and their bombers dispersed to who knows where (those nebula ships are hard to tell apart), only one small base keeps sending a single bomber to the enemy starbase which responds with a full army at exactly the same rate. Since the bombers don't stop moving until they reach the target and the forces meet along the way I cannot use shields to protect them.

EDIT: After all that struggling I manage to win the scenario and what do I get for my efforts? The Zenith Frigate (at that level pretty much identical to the Human Frigate I have except without the damage bonus vs light), the flak module and the Zenith mod fort. Well, at least I got a mod fort but I wish I had gotten something to make my champion stronger... After all the next nebula is just behind a planet that's in the range of a MkIV Raid Engine.
« Last Edit: October 21, 2012, 09:33:35 AM by KDR_11k »

Offline onyhow

  • Full Member
  • ***
  • Posts: 122
  • Nuclear powah!
Re: Reactions to Ancient Shadows and Suggestions
« Reply #428 on: October 21, 2012, 09:48:49 AM »
^ Eh Zenith Shadow Ship excel at doing high damage to single target (it got 2 sec cooldown), while human ones are better at mowing down smaller ships...

Offline keith.lamothe

  • Arcen Games Staff
  • Arcen Staff
  • Zenith Council Member Mark III
  • *****
  • Posts: 19,505
Re: Reactions to Ancient Shadows and Suggestions
« Reply #429 on: October 21, 2012, 12:37:40 PM »
I tried beating the Spire first but when they were down to only the large starbase my allies stopped bothering and their bombers dispersed to who knows where (those nebula ships are hard to tell apart), only one small base keeps sending a single bomber to the enemy starbase
Er, that would be a bug :)  It's supposed to all focus down the other enemy, which it shouldn't have much trouble doing unless the scaling is very high.

Do you have a save where the allies are literally not going after anything with an enemy base still up?
Have ideas or bug reports for one of our games? Mantis for Suggestions and Bug Reports. Thanks for helping to make our games better!

Offline KDR_11k

  • Hero Member Mark II
  • *****
  • Posts: 904
Re: Reactions to Ancient Shadows and Suggestions
« Reply #430 on: October 21, 2012, 05:11:27 PM »
They're attacking, just in an unorganized fashion that gets them all killed and they seem to prefer attacking small bases over large ones (when the Spire base was exposed they instead went for the Astrid small base or headed straight for the area where the Spire and Astrid fleets met when they were attacking each other). Towards the end they had a roving death squad of 14 heavies that only died when they finally decided to attack the Astrids.