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Other => Off Topic => Topic started by: eRe4s3r on May 05, 2017, 04:41:46 AM

Title: Dawn of War 3 sales and recent 4x games
Post by: eRe4s3r on May 05, 2017, 04:41:46 AM
Yo guys and girls ;)

So.. first and foremost, I guess Indy developers with more than 300k sales can now feel pretty damn proud of themselves, because Dawn of War 3, the AAA title that wanted to be neither DoW1 nor DoW2 and instead opted for e-sport and lore-unfriendly focus, costing more than $30m to develop (rumor), apparently is struggling to reach 200k owners on steam (http://steamspy.com/app/285190) , a sign the RTS genre is dead? Or a sign that if you please neither of your hardcore fan groups you end up pissing them off both, I guess that's how there can be over 1500 negative reviews.... (when you read this, probably even more)

Have to say I played the OPEN BETA and was not bemused, granted that was only the MP and I only played 7 rounds before uninstalling, but what I saw then made me not hopeful, the game mode threw me back to HOTS feelings. Another thing that was a red-flag to me, is that the same unit and building balance from MP exists in SP (There is a reason SC2 does NOT do this, and the campaign of that is vastly superior because of it). Gone are the loot and progression elements both DoW 1 and DoW 2 had. Gone are likeable characters or even a coherent story. Gone is Retribution style campaign, or RISK style campaign from Dark Crusade and Soulstorm. But also, NO CHAOS FACTION PLAYABLE.... like.. WHAT???? In Warhammer 40k, you go make a RTS game without CHAOS ? The primary threat that exists in the entire universe? That's like making a WW1 game without France and Russia *cough* BF1 *cough*

Next up we have Dawn of Andromeda (Reminding me instantly of the above and Mass Effect Andromeda.. 2 not great associations). I played only the 2 hours before refund (Since apparently this is supposed to be used as a demo function according to the PREY developers)  but that was enough (basically you can do a small campaign in that time easily). Another game that has some interesting ideas (NPC's roaming and some interesting colony events), but ultimately fails to advance the genre and especially fails the same way that Stellaris + Utopia fails after 100-150 turns (when everything is bordered up, the game is essentially decided already, if you have 2 fallen empires bordering you, for example, or a hive with 5x as many planets as you, which can happen). Anyway, this new 4X is pretty competent, but only average imo. I wouldn't want to play it anymore than I did.

Finally, we have Galactic Civilizations 3 - Crusade ( https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=F4SCASKRFks )
Haven't played a complete round of that yet, but at least it SOUNDS interesting... like a Stellaris mix... we'll see ;)

Anyone played either of these 3 games? Opinions?

Ps.:

Feels only right to mention Stellaris + Utopia here too.

Basically, I think this game is still utterly and totally flawed. It's absolutely amazing to play until.. yes, until the borders are fixed, everyone got all planets and the "war grind" starts. And war is a hardcore grind in Stellaris. Maybe worse, there is nothing to actually *do* even in Utopia, factions are a joke, if you focus on certain behavior you gonna have a majority faction supporting you (maybe not if you go for chattel slavery (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Slavery#Chattel_slavery)

I played 3 rounds (complete) in Utopia, one as Hive (super easy boring victory) 1 as synth race (super easy boring victory) and 1 as normal humans, (was OK, till 200 years in everything become a huge grind)

Gotta say, they need to rethink the way combat and politics, governments and governors, sectors and planets work in Stellaris, the "Doomstack" problem is alive and so well that it's literally the "I want to win, now - Button" but it goes deeper than that. Because capturing planets is vastly superior than building the stuff yourself (as in, by several factors) playing warlike annexation/integration/assimilation (if synth ** needs mod) is from a meta-game perspective always the superior option... and the problem remains that no race in Stellaris is actually UNIQUE.

Finally, since I watched some videos hereIsaac Arthur Youtube on Future Tech (https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCZFipeZtQM5CKUjx6grh54g) I start to think that 4x games get "interstellar empires" totally wrong from the get-go...
Title: Re: Dawn of War 3 sales and recent 4x games
Post by: Mánagarmr on May 07, 2017, 05:03:42 AM
Quote
I played 3 rounds (complete) in Utopia, one as Hive (super easy boring victory) 1 as synth race (super easy boring victory) and 1 as normal humans, (was OK, till 200 years in everything become a huge grind)
Have you considered that you *might* need to play on a higher difficulty?

That said I'm having a lot of fun with Stellaris these days. Yes, it's still a mess in places, but at least it's heading in the right direction and I'm really looking forward to the combat/army overhaul. The latest dev corner video they posted talks a lot about how they're not happy with the state the game is in. They're considering completely reworking how borders, conquest and holding space works. Removing all the FTL variants except Hyperlanes from the early game and reworking planetary invasions.

Is it fun right now? I'll say yes. Will it be better later? No doubt.
Title: Re: Dawn of War 3 sales and recent 4x games
Post by: eRe4s3r on May 07, 2017, 06:49:11 AM
If all these things come to pass Stellaris might really become the Nr1 4x.
Hyperlanes however are hugely restrictive ftl method that can dead-end your expansion (and game) very quickly.... oh well ;/

But yeah, they gonna have to change how borders work, currently it is not just a problem of expansion blockage, but also that you get huge diplo penalties when borders touch (which isn't very realistic in space....)

And if I play a 4x game more than once to completion you can be sure I like it, I have 157 hours in Stellaris (90% of that with mods adding stuff)
Title: Re: Dawn of War 3 sales and recent 4x games
Post by: Mánagarmr on May 07, 2017, 03:59:32 PM
I'm closing in on 300 now. No mods, aside from UI stuff.
Title: Re: Dawn of War 3 sales and recent 4x games
Post by: Toranth on May 07, 2017, 04:54:08 PM
I like the idea of Stellaris, but I just can't like playing the game very much, even after almost 250 hours of it.
Part of it is that everything feels the same, part of it is that the combat system is fairly shallow, part of it is the almost worthless diplomacy, part of it is the horrible grind of warfare...  Every time they announce new features or fixes, I get my hopes up, but they never pan out.  Also, half their fixes introduce bugs or balance problems from swinging too far, which gets frustrating.

I think they just made a basic design error by being too unfocused.  It's too fiddly with the combat and planet building to be a Grand Strategy game.  At the same time, it doesn't have enough detail at that level to be a Civilization or MOO-style 4x game.  The combat is even light-RTS, for some reason.  CK2 has simple core, but it just works (even though half the fun is meme-play).  Stellaris, though, just can't hold my interest.  I'll probably come back in a few years, after there's been a lot more fixing, and try again... but I probably won't touch it again until then.
Title: Re: Dawn of War 3 sales and recent 4x games
Post by: eRe4s3r on May 07, 2017, 08:37:08 PM
Yeah I think it was a huge mistake not to make stuff in Stellaris actually interact with some "open" complexity behind it, I mean it's nice and all to see pops sitting on my buildings on a planet (why the heck is my super developed planet population limited anyway, only thing limiting population for a technologically advanced race is heat and how you dissipate it (since you can produce everything (including food) from molecular matter re-assembling). it's why you can't build infinitely layered mega cities, at some point all those trillions of people are gonna produce 200w each per hour and you have a cooling problem that basic physics make a real limiting factor on populations..... this is also why space stations at a certain population numbers have no longer a heating problem but rather a cooling problem, and cooling ability is the real limiting factor for a hab space-station for example) but those pops are so removed from anything that it is laughable, they have political affiliations which makes even less sense, is that only 1 person or is it an entire city worth of people, and if the latter, how could they ALL have same political disposition ? Why am I building single-focus buildings instead of massive mega-cities with 200bn people that can do everything efficiently?

But also that the combat is basically just point and click.... it makes you wonder what they thought? Why am I as supreme leader of an EMPIRE commanding each and every of my OTHER little ships? I think the real reason they did it this way is that they clearly lack the skills to code competent AI behaviors though. Sectors are little more than weighting based if-loops that are not even aware whether you are in a war or not. And the way they chose not to abstract all the things is typical behavior for developers. INstead of CHANGING gameplay so that abstraction to higher scope and abstraction is possible they tried to cram basically 3 phases into one, and while that works fine for the first phase (exploration and expansion) it fails for the 2nd phase (war) and the 3rd phase (winning)

Somehow I had hoped they would go for a more.. CK2 or EU4 like experience in a space 4x... with combat element that wasn't the main focus of the entire gameplay loop but rather a more political/influence/interaction focus (think about it, all systems in the game are to limit your COMBAT potential only, the whole maintenance thing when you exceed ship cap exists so doomstacks are harder to get, but once you get them you have won, it just takes 50 hours to telegraph that to the remaining empires. This is why I am missing a deeper gameplay element, that maybe only even matters in late-game. Conquest to 150 systems ina  150 system game is imo a pretty boring gameplay goal. And why do the victory conditions not lead to phase II ? Yeah, you are now ascended, good luck communicating that way with anyone else though.

I actually still hope to somehow experience "that" 4x to be honest, one where expansion and combat is not the main focus
Title: Re: Dawn of War 3 sales and recent 4x games
Post by: Mánagarmr on May 08, 2017, 02:46:13 AM
Because abstraction. If you make things too detailed or "realistic" it becomes bogged down in micromanagement and annoyance. Granted, it's probably too far abstracted now, especially combat. Combat is dull, a bore and almost entirely without strategy. Either you a) have a bigger doomstack than your opponent, or b) you have built your ships to counter theirs. That's where strategy ends.

Ground combat is even more simplified. There it's just "have more armies than the other guy".

That said, they're looking to remake the entire combat system, ground combat included, so I'll withhold my criticisms for now. There's no point kicking a dead horse that they're already aware of is dead.
Title: Re: Dawn of War 3 sales and recent 4x games
Post by: Draco18s on May 08, 2017, 08:36:39 AM
Because abstraction. If you make things too detailed or "realistic" it becomes bogged down in micromanagement and annoyance. Granted, it's probably too far abstracted now, especially combat. Combat is dull, a bore and almost entirely without strategy. Either you a) have a bigger doomstack than your opponent, or b) you have built your ships to counter theirs. That's where strategy ends.

That's about what I thought of Endless Space's combat. They threw in some orders on top of it, but those orders couldn't covercome the countering aspect or the numbers aspect.
Title: Re: Dawn of War 3 sales and recent 4x games
Post by: Mánagarmr on May 08, 2017, 08:47:14 AM
I can understand that they were reluctant to make combat too complex. Look at Master of Orion 2, or Space Empires. Both games have turn based tactical combat with formations, ships designations, wings, wing tactcs, defensive and offensive tactics, distance orders etc etc.

It gets complex and SLOW really fast. Especially if played manually. But I would like more options in Stellaris. Like putting ships (or AT LEAST ship-outfits) in wings with separate orders and tactics. Instead of relying on the (quite frankly broken) targeter, I'd like a wing of primarily Disruptor ships have

Targeting Priority: Shields
Range: Melee

and my Cruisers, set up for long range Plasma Bombardment set to

Targeting Priority: Shields Down, High Armor
Range: Max

etc

Just those settings would allow for much more strategy and planning. The combat itself could still play out as it does, but as it is right now, you have barely any control over the battle at all.
Title: Re: Dawn of War 3 sales and recent 4x games
Post by: Draco18s on May 08, 2017, 09:05:17 AM
I grew up on Space Empires, so there are some aspects of ship design that I really like. But yeah, the turn based combat got old, fast. At least the auto-resolve AI wasn't completely dumb.

It would be able to figure out is own optional firing range and not approach closer than that (although it wouldn't retreat unless critically injured).
Title: Re: Dawn of War 3 sales and recent 4x games
Post by: Mánagarmr on May 08, 2017, 09:23:02 AM
I grew up on Space Empires, so there are some aspects of ship design that I really like. But yeah, the turn based combat got old, fast. At least the auto-resolve AI wasn't completely dumb.

It would be able to figure out is own optional firing range and not approach closer than that (although it wouldn't retreat unless critically injured).

Well, if you gave it proper Tactics set up in the fleet it wasn't utterly stupid. But if you didn't, it would more often than not just outright kill itself, as the default Tactics rarely fit any kind of setup at all.
Title: Re: Dawn of War 3 sales and recent 4x games
Post by: Aklyon on May 08, 2017, 12:25:21 PM
Removing all the FTL variants except Hyperlanes from the early game
This is a terrible, boring idea.
Title: Re: Dawn of War 3 sales and recent 4x games
Post by: Draco18s on May 08, 2017, 01:02:59 PM
Well, if you gave it proper Tactics set up in the fleet it wasn't utterly stupid. But if you didn't, it would more often than not just outright kill itself, as the default Tactics rarely fit any kind of setup at all.

Admittedly it's been a decade or more since I last messed with SE:III
Title: Re: Dawn of War 3 sales and recent 4x games
Post by: Mánagarmr on May 08, 2017, 03:44:25 PM
Removing all the FTL variants except Hyperlanes from the early game
This is a terrible, boring idea.

Not if taken together with all the *other* changes they're planning on the same patch. They're trying to make the galaxy far more dynamic and have hidden riches and much more "life" than it does now. Allowing the galaxy to "open up" through events, science, defeating guardians and what not will give more sense of exploration. Everyone will start with Hyperlanes, but the idea is that you can research other forms of FTL later, so the game won't stay Hyperlanes forever, but just for the early to early midgame so the exploration part of the game can be more enjoyable and rewarding. As it stands it's pretty much just "Set auto explore"-> "Fall asleep".
Title: Re: Dawn of War 3 sales and recent 4x games
Post by: Aklyon on May 08, 2017, 05:22:33 PM
Hyperlanes exploration is literally just 'Auto-explore until you're inevitably blocked in and forced to go to war early' though, which is worse.
Title: Re: Dawn of War 3 sales and recent 4x games
Post by: WolfWhiteFire on May 08, 2017, 09:46:28 PM
Well, I don't know if it would be worth its actual price, but currently on humble bundle their monthly bundle has Stellaris as its early game, and so you can get it now and 5 more games later for only $12, so it may be worth getting.
Title: Re: Dawn of War 3 sales and recent 4x games
Post by: Wingflier on May 09, 2017, 12:41:34 AM
So given that I tried the early access, I'll give my impressions of DoW3.

First that I should say that I'm a HUGE Warhammer Universe fan. Imo the Warhammer Universe is the most dynamic and imaginative lore universe in existence. It's the only Universe which seamlessly manages to blend both fantasy and futuristic themes together, where otherwise I would have assumed it was impossible to do so.

I've played 233 hours of Warhammer Vermintide. I've played 91 hours of Total Warhammer. I've played 50 hours of Dawn of War 2.

But most impressively, I've played a whopping 614 hours of Company of Heroes 2. I've probably played another 400+ hours of the first game on multiple Steam accounts.

So you can say that I'm both a huge fan of the Warhammer Universe, and of Relic Games in general. There are vast, vast numbers of similarities between the DoW and Company of Heroes series (made by the same developers). I love the Company of Heroes/Dawn of War formula, and I've loved every iteration of it, as they all had their own strengths and weaknesses.

So as you can imagine, I was pretty damn excited about Dawn of War 3 (in fact I made a forum post about it probably 8 months ago).

Well, like the OP, I participated in the open beta.

I wasn't necessarily disappointed, I just wasn't that impressed either. DoW3 didn't really add much to the formula that was already there. It didn't seem to be much of an upgrade to the 2nd game. I liked that they attempted to make it distinct from CoH2 by removing the retreat mechanic, and by changing the cover mechanic to be based on these giant forcefields, but in the end these changes didn't prove to be relevant or interesting enough for me to consider it its own game.

In other words, as much as I love the DoW/CoH series, and as much as I expected DoW 3 to be its own unique and interesting innovation to the franchise/series, it simply wasn't. It seemed like Dawn of War 2.5 perhaps, though perhaps worse than DoW 2 in many ways simply because it had only 3 races.

Don't get me wrong, the multiplayer had a lot of depth, and certainly required skill to play, but it seemed like a very micromanagement-heavy mechanical skill, of the sort that the average person would have no interest in improving. And in that way, it had very little difference from the previous games.

Basically, I couldn't recommend this game at its current price point to anybody. In any case the top rated Steam reviews can say what I've been trying to say much better than I have. If you're wondering about the game just read a few of those.
Title: Re: Dawn of War 3 sales and recent 4x games
Post by: kasnavada on May 09, 2017, 01:27:28 AM
I grew up on Space Empires, so there are some aspects of ship design that I really like. But yeah, the turn based combat got old, fast. At least the auto-resolve AI wasn't completely dumb.

It would be able to figure out is own optional firing range and not approach closer than that (although it wouldn't retreat unless critically injured).

There are however huge issues with controlled combat:
- it's a 4X game. You're NOT supposed to be fighting equal sides and equal fights. You're supposed to be outmaneuvering your opponent / countering what they built / "diplomating" them into submission / outproducing them. By definition 4X games will not produce equal fights which could be fun to play. If played well all fights in a 4X are won before the combat started. Therefore manually controlling the fights means either : enabling the player to win battles that the player had no point winning in the first place, or forcing the player to play "won" battle not to take unnecessary losses.
- AI is complex to make. It requires the game maker to make a competent AI specific to the fight in addition to and AI competent at empire management. Let me be honest here, it has ALWAYS been an utter failure. No matter the game I tried, with controlled combat, it's always possible for the player to win outnumbered, outresearched, outmaneuvered... because the AI's dumb.

Simply put, 4X are not wargames and will not produce equal fights ever. If I wanted a balance war game, I'd be playing starcraft. And unequal fights are either boring (you >> them) or a balance issue (if possible to win if them >> you).

That's why I think that endless space / stellaris combat is superior by magnitudes of orders to MoO2 and similar games. Because it's what 4X combat is supposed to be. And it will continue to improve. However, controlled combat as MoO2 provided will always fall on both flaws explained above and always by, sorry, but for lack of another word, be a huge shitty micromanagement / balance issue.

On a side not, I think that the Dominions series did that in the best "automated" combat I've ever seen, even if it would be rather easy to improve on it.
Title: Re: Dawn of War 3 sales and recent 4x games
Post by: Mánagarmr on May 09, 2017, 07:00:13 AM
Quote
Simply put, 4X are not wargames and will not produce equal fights ever. If I wanted a balance war game, I'd be playing starcraft. And unequal fights are either boring (you >> them) or a balance issue (if possible to win if them >> you).

That's why I think that endless space / stellaris combat is superior by magnitudes of orders to MoO2 and similar games. Because it's what 4X combat is supposed to be. And it will continue to improve. However, controlled combat as MoO2 provided will always fall on both flaws explained above and always by, sorry, but for lack of another word, be a huge shitty micromanagement / balance issue.
This. Very much. However, Stellaris doesn't allow for much of that, as it's very much rock/paper/scissors now rather than actual strategic thinking prior to the battle.

However, since there is now a separate Stellaris thread (https://forums.arcengames.com/off-topic/stellaris-state-of-the-game/), I suggest we leave the Stellaris discussion there and focus on DoW3 here instead.
Title: Re: Dawn of War 3 sales and recent 4x games
Post by: Draco18s on May 09, 2017, 08:51:28 AM
There are however huge issues with controlled combat:
- it's a 4X game. You're NOT supposed to be fighting equal sides and equal fights. You're supposed to be outmaneuvering your opponent / countering what they built / "diplomating" them into submission / outproducing them. By definition 4X games will not produce equal fights which could be fun to play. If played well all fights in a 4X are won before the combat started. Therefore manually controlling the fights means either : enabling the player to win battles that the player had no point winning in the first place, or forcing the player to play "won" battle not to take unnecessary losses.

Let me be blunt:
If you're going to allow me to even watch the fight, it should damn well be interesting. If you're going to give me control, it better mean something. Hybrid RTS-4X games exist (Cough, cough, Sins of a Solar Empire) that do this well.

But if you're not going to give me either then make the rest of the game interesting. Diplomacy is boring as duck. Do not make me play Diplomacy (https://boardgamegeek.com/boardgame/483/diplomacy).
Title: Re: Dawn of War 3 sales and recent 4x games
Post by: Aklyon on May 09, 2017, 08:57:43 AM
It looks far more interesting than EU4 combat, thats for sure.
Title: Re: Dawn of War 3 sales and recent 4x games
Post by: kasnavada on May 09, 2017, 12:29:00 PM
Let me be blunt:
If you're going to allow me to even watch the fight, it should damn well be interesting. If you're going to give me control, it better mean something. Hybrid RTS-4X games exist (Cough, cough, Sins of a Solar Empire) that do this well.

Sins ain't a 4X... It's a RTS with a bit of economy management and a next to useless diplomacy menu. At core, sins is very similar to warcraft 3, just... it has bigger maps. If sins is a 4X game then warcraft 3 is. :-\

About diplomacy, well, if you don't like it I'm wondering why you're looking at Stellaris or Paradox games in the first place.

I'm agreeing with your other points though. Hence the Dominions series example. In that game you don't have control - you just set-up orders to squads and commanders. Yet, you will want to look at most fights. That's probably where 4X combat will end up, IMO.
Title: Re: Dawn of War 3 sales and recent 4x games
Post by: eRe4s3r on May 09, 2017, 02:00:02 PM
Sins is a rts ;)

When he mentioned diplomacy I think you misunderstood him ;) Stellaris has very little real diplomacy, there is a point modifier going up or down depending on rivalry (+ or -), threats (+ or -), border fraction (-), treaties (+) and trust. Your political and racial affiliations are also a factor. Diplomacy in Stellaris isn't diplomacy at all, it's a "like or dislike" meter with very little actual changeable values, since 70% of that above value is gonna be based on your government form, ethics and whether you border with 1 or 30 systems (-10 per system bordering).

Diplomacy could be more in-depth, with ministerial staff, ambassadors, in-depth embassy management and behavior/response situations etc. cultural exchange as well.

Imo, if your diplomacy is based on a "like" meter you should not have that as a feature in your game at all... because it adds nothing to the actual game and creates situations that are unresolvable. There are races you never gonna have higher than 0 in like rating and so you can never actually add them into a federation for example, when 2 races in federation highly dislike each other you are basically *forced* into a war. The current implementation is imo clearly to enforce more wars.

Stellaris also got the Banks update today, 1.6.0, which was supposed to be a major change, I am not seeing it to be honest... QoL things are still largely MIA (still no way to build ships on sector planets without manually going in and clicking on each of them) and from what I seen in an unmodded test (I think unmodded anyway... not 100% sure as I had a lot of custom stuff probably even in the game folder... ,p) and they beefed up the end-game threats to make doomstacks even more relevant. Btw, they also buffed military stations, which is a huge "WHAT????" imo, as it makes doomstacks even more important now... I played with mods that made stations have 30k firepower... so I know what I am talking about, this change does NOT fix anything. It makes wars just incredibly grindy, even more than usual actually, because every magnet is gonna require a doomstack to break without losses. And due to the missing QoL and scale things you can still not rebuild a huge lost fleet easily

By the way, to me one of the dream combat systems is still a mix of Moo 3 and Space Empires (Yes, really) ;p Basically very hands-on during design, but 100% hands-off (and real-time) during combat. Combat hugely based on your orders you put down in the design, including retreat orders etc. And your ship catalog remains yours, linked to your in-game persona or whatever. So you never have design anything twice. And optimally you also want a bit more streamlined orders builder, with pre-made templates and easy to see variables that you can change if you really want, but that are based on your "longest" weapon range or a specific hit% vs evasion%

################


All this said, I want to point out that I instantly put Endless Space 2 on my radar again when I learned that you start in a pocket that is connected by warp-lanes, but outside pockets you can only access with higher warp tech and the jumps there are how the game handles exploration and maybe even other game systems?. Now if it were really clever, they could even make it so that a colony in a pocket is not necessarily "your" empire but rather only "somewhat" yours... mhh, it's probably gonna be another mainstream rts/4x thingy though, with big focus on combat...


################

Btw, regarding Dawn of War 3, to me one of the biggest "MEH" things of all of them is that the campaign is a disconnected disjointed tutorial romp with very little actual value to it. I play RTS games mainly in SP, so to me one of the biggest no-sale points was that the campaign was neither like DoW 1 (Expansions, RISK with Wargear unlocks carrying over into each battle) nor like DoW 2 (loot/skill based).. so to me, DoW 3 is doing things I hate in both regards. And secondly, I think Dawn of War 3 gets grimdark Warhammer 40k style totally wrong. It's too stylized, too clean. Visually I think this is one of the worst things to say about it. All I got from playing DoW 3 openbeta was that I installed DoW 1 and DoW 2 again and actually played those... finding that DoW 1 DC and SS are still great fun, and that the retreat mechanic added in DoW 2 is so vital that I don't want to miss it in a RTS ever again. (in DoW 1 there are a lot of problems with pathfinding though..)

And yeah, it's still not above 200k owners, for a AAA game this is incredibly bad.. I just hope this doesn't mean that the IP is dead as a whole.
Title: Re: Dawn of War 3 sales and recent 4x games
Post by: Draco18s on May 09, 2017, 03:47:28 PM
Sins is a rts ;)

And noted on Wikipedia as being a hybrid. It also isn't the only title that qualified as an RT4X.

Quote
When he mentioned diplomacy I think you misunderstood him ;) Stellaris has very little real diplomacy...

Bored now.
(https://i.ytimg.com/vi/u27babn1cT0/maxresdefault.jpg)

If you're going to abstract everything down that far, I'm going to go play After the Empire (http://store.steampowered.com/app/493220/After_the_Empire/) instead. It has all of like 10 levers you can pull in the entire game and is STILL a better 4X than the first Endless Space. Mind, I haven't figured out how to lose on a difficulty below Hard, and Hard involves two or three of the levers I don't particularly understand, so I get my butt kicked.
Title: Re: Dawn of War 3 sales and recent 4x games
Post by: kasnavada on May 09, 2017, 04:42:56 PM
And noted on Wikipedia as being a hybrid. It also isn't the only title that qualified as an RT4X.

1) Wikipedia as a source ::)

2) 
Quote
Sins of a Solar Empire is a 2008 science fiction real-time strategy computer game developed by Ironclad Games and published by Stardock Entertainment for Microsoft Windows operating systems. It is a real-time strategy (RTS) game that incorporates some elements from 4X strategy games; its makers describe it as "RT4X."[2][3] In the game, players are given control of a spacefaring empire in the distant future, and are tasked with conquering star systems using military, economic and diplomatic means.

Ok. Wikipedia does not describe it as a 4X. Sins's dev once did.

I'm failing to find what your point is here. It's like stating that Heroes of the Storm ain't a MOBA. Because Blizzard described it as "not a MOBA". Even if it differs little from other MOBAs. Actually, they recently changed directors and backtracked... now Blizzard calls HotS a MOBA.

3) The title of those pages:

https://www.sinsofasolarempire.com/
https://forums.sinsofasolarempire.com/

Real-Time strategy.
Even the devs of this game don't refer to it as a 4X anymore on their main site page.

4) I think I made my point.


@eRe4s3r :
About diplomacy & stellaris, I'm not satisfied either by what Stellaris proposes which is too easily exploitable. A lot of the game is not there yet and micro's not perfect. District management is... well. Still, my point was that from what he said, I'm pretty sure that what Draco18s's looking for ain't going to ever be in a paradox game. Sorry if I misphrased that.


About sliders, all video games are based on filling & depleting sliders. Hit points, money, tax level, "like" sliders, anything can in a video game can be abstracted to filling a box or moving a slider. Therefore I'm not sure what your point is. I don't really see how it's possible to remove those as long as computers ain't sentient, but why not.


Same, I don't understand your point about doomstacks. While some wars were won on the skills of their commanders, most were won on number or superior technologies - and while the commander's skill in history varied, a player's skill will rarely diminish. And making victories random... naah that doesn't make a good game. IMO, they are basically right to make doomstacks rock / paper / scissors the dominant war strategy in 4X games.



Quote
By the way, to me one of the dream combat systems is still a mix of Moo 3 and Space Empires (Yes, really) ;p Basically very hands-on during design, but 100% hands-off (and real-time) during combat. Combat hugely based on your orders you put down in the design, including retreat orders etc. And your ship catalog remains yours, linked to your in-game persona or whatever. So you never have design anything twice. And optimally you also want a bit more streamlined orders builder, with pre-made templates and easy to see variables that you can change if you really want, but that are based on your "longest" weapon range or a specific hit% vs evasion%

That's more or less what the Dominions series proposes. In favor of that.
Title: Re: Dawn of War 3 sales and recent 4x games
Post by: Draco18s on May 09, 2017, 04:53:11 PM
Oh FFS.
I was pulling from here:
https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/4X#Real-time_hybrid_4X
Title: Re: Dawn of War 3 sales and recent 4x games
Post by: kasnavada on May 09, 2017, 05:49:27 PM
Your link actually says what I said. I'm going to stop here :-X. It's sterile. ::)
Title: Re: Dawn of War 3 sales and recent 4x games
Post by: Cyborg on May 09, 2017, 07:59:09 PM
RTS games have this huge problem where people can't hide behind their ego. In games like LOL, if you lose, it's easy to blame everyone else. In an RTS, a lot of people take losses very personally.

Overall, I liked playing the game, but I got wind about concerns with the single player. If I'm going to jump into a game at this price, it's got to have modding, custom games, and a decent campaign(s). Also, because it's Warhammer, you can expect DLC every month at outrageous prices, and I just couldn't see myself being on the hook for that just to keep up with the community. I can afford it, but in the end, it was a financial decision, and not because I didn't enjoy the beta.

Don't worry, Warhammer games are one of the most sold IPs in gaming. It will be around for some time, even if the RTS needs to take a break. But I think that what's really going to happen is we see a price cut.
Title: Re: Dawn of War 3 sales and recent 4x games
Post by: eRe4s3r on May 09, 2017, 10:08:17 PM
@eRe4s3r :
About diplomacy & stellaris, I'm not satisfied either by what Stellaris proposes which is too easily exploitable. A lot of the game is not there yet and micro's not perfect. District management is... well. Still, my point was that from what he said, I'm pretty sure that what Draco18s's looking for ain't going to ever be in a paradox game. Sorry if I misphrased that.

About sliders, all video games are based on filling & depleting sliders. Hit points, money, tax level, "like" sliders, anything can in a video game can be abstracted to filling a box or moving a slider. Therefore I'm not sure what your point is. I don't really see how it's possible to remove those as long as computers ain't sentient, but why not.

Nah, the problem isn't a good/evil slider or weighting or numbers filling up behind the scenes, the problem is when you give the player nothing to dynamically influence those. When I meet an alien species I should be able to set a first-contact behavior and the game should build a sort-of-randomized-but-hand-written story from that, that develops based on A <-> B communications. Each race is unique and no such behavior/reaction pattern should repeat in a game, could play out like an RPG, or maybe like a artistic interpretation of a chat-bot.. what do I know, something new! To me it makes little sense that every space empire (including hive-minds, that one made me cringe) have a society ethos for example, especially because the Stellaris one is based on current social ethics. Actually thinking about it, even MOO 1 had more interesting aliens. Cat/pride dominant/huntress based society for example wouldn't even be able to be portrayed in Stellaris technical terminology. And I think you could implement basic emergent functionality into diplomatic interactions, like the events in EU4.. just a bit more alien.. and template based/hand written/randomized.

Same, I don't understand your point about doomstacks. While some wars were won on the skills of their commanders, most were won on number or superior technologies - and while the commander's skill in history varied, a player's skill will rarely diminish. And making victories random... naah that doesn't make a good game. IMO, they are basically right to make doomstacks rock / paper / scissors the dominant war strategy in 4X games.

But that's just it, in a good 4x combat isn't random, it's emergent and based on player decisions made before that combat happens. And If a good fleet admiral gets back from conquering 500 worlds in my name, and he just lives on as a statistic in my empire, then that makes me cringe. 0 emergent behaviors to be found in that. It's what makes 4x games boring, as nothing is unique, nothing unique is happening after 200 years or 400 turns or whatever metric you wanna use. This is completely different from other Paradox games as well.. so I am actually confused why they don't focus more on such emergent characters, re-implement family trees, think about alien family trees (bio-engineered offspring basically, since it's usually scientific fact that 2 different species can't really mate) and stuff like that... I don't want more things to click on, mind you. I just want more stuff happening in the game that has ANY kind of effect on my empire.

In Stellaris, the best tactic is to have 1 fleet because 1 fleet with your best admiral is always superior to anything else in the galaxy. That may even be realistic, but the problem is that it's zero fun to do that 9 out of 9 times. Because a superior and obvious tactic is a tactic that you'd be pretty crazy not to use. And the bigger problem is that the AI forces me to use it, because it will happily avoid your doomstack whenever it can..... losing planets left and right in the process......

I actually also hugely dislike that in Stellaris all races are functionality and design wise the same. A hive mind devouring swarm builds mineral fabricators and capitals, metal colony ships and has pops working a food building (remember -> a devouring swarm, and it works.. a food building????) because..... yeah. A devouring swarm is a biological mega-organism on the hunt for biomass, it doesn't grow food. It doesn't build buildings, it grows organs on planets. It's all those little things "missing" that add up to a feeling of sterility and lack of immersion in Stellaris imo. Different races should *play* differently and maybe even be completely asymmetrically...

You know, to me one of the biggest problems of Stellaris is that while races all are very modular and have great ranges, in the end all you really have is differently painted dolls, they all got the same base body underneath, the same gameplay, the same graphics on planets, the same mechanics even. Society and ethics only RESTRICT your options, they don't give you new ones.... it's.. a weird form of science fiction alien design.. and I don't like it.

Btw, Warhammer may be alive and well, but Warhammer 40k got a lot of lackluster releases recently... and Dawn of War 3 only having 200k owners (which likely means even less full price sales) on steam means the next games (and the expansions) won't have big funding and big teams behind them. And that is usually not a good thing. ;/
Title: Re: Dawn of War 3 sales and recent 4x games
Post by: Aklyon on May 09, 2017, 11:51:53 PM
So far as I've found in reviews, DoW3's seem to sum up as 'If you liked the previous games this one ain't good.'
Title: Re: Dawn of War 3 sales and recent 4x games
Post by: kasnavada on May 10, 2017, 01:31:26 AM

Ah, that. Yeah, making aliens more unique is something that's kind of lacking. They'll probably add that after a while. After all, it took a while for raiding and other religions civs to get in CKII. ::) However for me it's not really priority work - it's in the realm of "nice to have" features.

About war, not sure what you mean => in CKII, as soon as a war has started the best strategy also is to have the biggest army with the best commanders as well. You're limited by food though, but if you're playing in Western Europe chances are that territories can sustain larger armies than the one you can field for a while. I'm not sure about how EU works as I've not played that one. They're a bit easier to catch, but then again, it's not really difficult in Stellaris either. Thing is that war is boring in a 4X anyway. Either I'm superior to them or they are, no point in dragging it out. Again, I'd be playing starcraft if I'd wanted an even playing field. In a 4X, I'd want to win a losing fight because I purchased the help of a neighbouring merc empire or something - but that's not there. Rather... not there yet. Again, paradox game - that's how they work. Late Stellaris II in 2023 will have all that, until then it's really an open beta.
Title: Re: Dawn of War 3 sales and recent 4x games
Post by: WolfWhiteFire on May 10, 2017, 02:34:55 PM

Ah, that. Yeah, making aliens more unique is something that's kind of lacking. They'll probably add that after a while. After all, it took a while for raiding and other religions civs to get in CKII. ::) However for me it's not really priority work - it's in the realm of "nice to have" features.

About war, not sure what you mean => in CKII, as soon as a war has started the best strategy also is to have the biggest army with the best commanders as well. You're limited by food though, but if you're playing in Western Europe chances are that territories can sustain larger armies than the one you can field for a while. I'm not sure about how EU works as I've not played that one. They're a bit easier to catch, but then again, it's not really difficult in Stellaris either. Thing is that war is boring in a 4X anyway. Either I'm superior to them or they are, no point in dragging it out. Again, I'd be playing starcraft if I'd wanted an even playing field. In a 4X, I'd want to win a losing fight because I purchased the help of a neighbouring merc empire or something - but that's not there. Rather... not there yet. Again, paradox game - that's how they work. Late Stellaris II in 2023 will have all that, until then it's really an open beta.

The best strategy in CK2 isn't to have one giant doomstack, that works out terribly in the game. It is best to spread your forces and have as few troops as possible in order to siege a province, so that the rest can go take over other areas, often fights start and I send troops over as reinforcements. If you have one doomstack your siege will be incredibly slow and they can grow their army in every other province, which may be enough to kill your doomstack. If you spread your troops over all their provinces like butter except with a bit more put on some areas than others, they can't build an army easily and you can conquer everything, even if you don't get to keep it all.
Title: Re: Dawn of War 3 sales and recent 4x games
Post by: eRe4s3r on May 11, 2017, 09:34:24 AM
Thing is, I don't think in the current combat system they could even fix doomstacks being the "top choice" because everything they did the past 5 major patches (and expansion) has pushed the game further into a combat focused direction. Take HIVE or SYNTH races in consideration, which get a MAJOR diplo penalty by default....

Imo it already begins with the FTL methods and how gravity wells work in the game, having your entire system to fly around in might look nice, but from a gameplay standpoint this creates huge annoyances (chasing enemies for example, especially over multiple systems, is a major issue) or the fact that you get drawn into battles that you don't want (res and mining stations.....) and lose the ability to give orders at that point.

I think the game should take a step back and have combat resolve outside of the system, like Moo 3 did it. And when fleets are destroyed there should be PER PLANET negotiations for surrender, since there is no logical reason why a planet gov would not surrender if the entire solar system is lost, aside maybe from the homeworld itself. This would also allow pacifist empires to conquer worlds.... you stare them into submission by a friendly blockade ;P

Ps.: For pacifists it should be possible to have robots and other species in their empire fight their wars.....

Damnit, all this talk made me want to replay Moo 3 with heavy mods.
Title: Re: Dawn of War 3 sales and recent 4x games
Post by: Mánagarmr on May 11, 2017, 10:40:34 AM
MoO3? um...okay, let's not talk about that. I might get rowdy.

No one said the combat in Stellaris is good. It's not. However, contrary to popular belief, doomstacks is not the problem. It's just a fact of force projection. In any proper grand strategy or 4X game, the battle should already be won before it happens. Anything you do inside the battle would affect very little. You would have planned ahead and had fleets to counter theirs, to counter their tactics etc. You would have your ships set up in wings and with specific orders to target specific types of ships and battle in a certain way.

So in that way, doomstacks aren't a problem. You have more ships than your opponent -> you try and force a fight you know you will win.

You have ships equipped to counter their fleet -> You try and force a fight you know you will win.

In any other case you will actively try to avoid a fight, because you know you will lose out. That's how grand strategy works. You want to have balanced fights with a lot of "in-battle" micro decisionmaking? Go play Starcraft.
Title: Re: Dawn of War 3 sales and recent 4x games
Post by: Draco18s on May 11, 2017, 11:27:01 AM
In any other case you will actively try to avoid a fight, because you know you will lose out. That's how grand strategy works. You want to have balanced fights with a lot of "in-battle" micro decisionmaking? Go play Starcraft.

Which is ALL FINE as long as the game doesn't make me sit through an unskippable movie of the fight. If I can't do anything, let me go back to the part of the game where I CAN do something as quickly as possible. Aka: f-u Endless Space.

This is where I think After The Empire did it right. You don't have fleet stacks engaging fleet stacks. At all. You simply flag a system as "I want dis" and your (literal) millions of ships do the thing. All you can do is sit back and watch the result unfold (as an effective progress bar). Of course, there are other things you can do that effect the outcome (such as embargoing the enemy empire so he has less money with which to produce counter forces, or saying "I want dis" on fewer systems so your fleet bunches up more (it isn't a very big effect, mind), yadda yadda.

But I'm not drawn into a constant "look at me! We blew up 35 dudes!" The game doesn't have time for that nonsense. You have millions of units in dozens of fleets engaging in combat on EVERY planet. Yes, every planet. Even if you don't mark a planet as "I want dis" you still have pressure on that system. If you have more neighboring planets to that location than that empire has neighbors to it, its super vulnerable and might be conquered without any official interest in it. Of course....The same can happen to YOUR systems.
Title: Re: Dawn of War 3 sales and recent 4x games
Post by: eRe4s3r on May 11, 2017, 12:06:49 PM
I dunno how ye got from my post to this

Quote
That's how grand strategy works. You want to have balanced fights with a lot of "in-battle" micro decisionmaking? Go play Starcraft.

Clearly what I said is that I want to remove the gameplay that encourages doomstacking as a viable day 1 strategy and I want additional elements that promote decision making with consequences at all times. Loyalty on admirals, strategies and battleplans that do not change (without huge admiral skill influence) mid-battle, fundamental battle doctrines etc.

And there are *many* ways to fix doomstacking in such a system, by making larger fleets have a big evasion penalty for example (since in a big fleet, you can't just "evade" however you want, you'd be crossing into pre-set fire lines of other ships) by giving admirals a fleet size they can manage but beyond that it gets muddy with sub-admirals who might not be all super skilled.

Basically, if Stellaris were really grand strategy, my decision who to appoint as admiral, my empire battle doctrines and training programs for admirals, my exchange with a warrior insect race that teaches my generals new tricks. That kind of thing should play into battles decisions just as much as what I sent into battle and how it was equipped. Obviously in such a system, a "mono-weapon" platform would be incredibly daft thing to sent into battle, as any missile barrage is gonna be countered by PD which, believe it or not, happen to be extremely effective in space. And unlike the PD system, your missile ammo is very limited. (That I don't want as micro management, but as a fleet management thing that plays into everything, supply lines specifically)

I am not convinced about abstraction to the level of After the Empire...  at that point it really becomes less of what I envision, and more of a... weird kind of numbers balancing game.

I just wanna have some more systems in place that make smaller fleets (with great accuracy weapons, or great evasion abilities) not inherently flawed strategies.
Title: Re: Dawn of War 3 sales and recent 4x games
Post by: kasnavada on May 11, 2017, 01:21:53 PM
The best strategy in CK2 isn't to have one giant doomstack, that works out terribly in the game. It is best to spread your forces and have as few troops as possible in order to siege a province, so that the rest can go take over other areas, often fights start and I send troops over as reinforcements. If you have one doomstack your siege will be incredibly slow and they can grow their army in every other province, which may be enough to kill your doomstack. If you spread your troops over all their provinces like butter except with a bit more put on some areas than others, they can't build an army easily and you can conquer everything, even if you don't get to keep it all.

Errr... wars do not start at "siege". You can only siege once you've beaten the enemy doomstack... which requires your doomstack to be there. While the sieging phase can be cut down somewhat... siege does go faster the higher number of units you have, and you have the option to assault buildings to reduce siege time (and take increased losses). As you want to lessen your vassal forces to attack your enemies anyway, with large empires it's often more worth to assault with a doomstack (taking rather "large" losses, which don't matter because it's your vassal's), because it reduces the war time significantly. As a result, it prevents you from getting counterattacked and / or just prevent them from getting allies. It's also possible to end wars before help arrives this way.



Quote
Which is ALL FINE as long as the game doesn't make me sit through an unskippable movie of the fight. If I can't do anything, let me go back to the part of the game where I CAN do something as quickly as possible. Aka: f-u Endless Space.

While I agree... minor point... battle animation been skippable since I started playing the game. I didn't buy it at launch though.

Quote
Basically, if Stellaris were really grand strategy, my decision who to appoint as admiral, my empire battle doctrines and training programs for admirals, my exchange with a warrior insect race that teaches my generals new tricks.

Stellaris is actually already moving toward this. Admiral's bonus may not yet be significant enough but do have a rather large impact on your forces. Events can give empire wide bonus - some of which happen to be in fights. Mostly related to neutral creep last time I played it though, but still. It's there and doable - possibly moddable.
Title: Re: Dawn of War 3 sales and recent 4x games
Post by: Toranth on May 11, 2017, 03:48:03 PM
Which is ALL FINE as long as the game doesn't make me sit through an unskippable movie of the fight. If I can't do anything, let me go back to the part of the game where I CAN do something as quickly as possible. Aka: f-u Endless Space.

While I agree... minor point... battle animation been skippable since I started playing the game. I didn't buy it at launch though.
The biggest problem with Endless Space's battle skip was that it DID NOT actually simulate the battle in the background.  It just summed up each fleet's weapons, armor, and HP, and then assigned 'kills' randomly.
This is exactly what made me stop playing.  I'd discovered that most fleets could be destroyed by a suicidal mob a missile swarmers.  Lots of PT boats, basically, to take out many times their cost in battleships.  And it worked - if you personally fought the battle.  If you let it resolve, the AI fleet would be unharmed.
So if you wanted to use creative designs or tactics, you HAD to personally fight all your battles.  And at launch, you could only fight 1 per turn...

That's what I like about 4x combat, especially with custom units.  Creativity in design and tactics could get you much better results.  I'd miss that part if Stellaris went full Grand Strategy.  On the other hand, losing all the current frustrations from the combat system would be more than worth it...
Title: Re: Dawn of War 3 sales and recent 4x games
Post by: WolfWhiteFire on May 11, 2017, 04:21:06 PM
Errr... wars do not start at "siege". You can only siege once you've beaten the enemy doomstack... which requires your doomstack to be there. While the sieging phase can be cut down somewhat... siege does go faster the higher number of units you have, and you have the option to assault buildings to reduce siege time (and take increased losses). As you want to lessen your vassal forces to attack your enemies anyway, with large empires it's often more worth to assault with a doomstack (taking rather "large" losses, which don't matter because it's your vassal's), because it reduces the war time significantly. As a result, it prevents you from getting counterattacked and / or just prevent them from getting allies. It's also possible to end wars before help arrives this way.

Fair point, though personally I don't often get into wars I need a doomstack to fight. Generally I expand other ways when possible, when I fight it is usually against weaker opponents who I can beat easily such as duchies in the same kingdom as me or small countries, since the game doesn't really reward you for huge battles against powerful enemies, as it is hard to get a claim allowing you to get much in that case. In cases that I do, I usually end up piling up soldiers on the border before starting the battle, and my armies (generally as a merchant republic, allowing ridiculously large retinues) are usually too big too keep in one place, I almost always have to divide them into at least 3 groups to avoid attrition, and generally I end up with smaller scale skirmishes all over the enemy country rather than one big battle, and if I try to bring a doomstack to fight theirs, theirs just runs away and attacks me every so often where I have few soldiers in a province due to trying to sort of carpet siege, then I just send tons of soldiers to join and beat the doomstack, which runs again, then rinse and repeat until either it dies, gets too small to risk attacking my soldiers, or I conquer everything and win.
Title: Re: Dawn of War 3 sales and recent 4x games
Post by: Draco18s on May 11, 2017, 05:40:49 PM
Which is ALL FINE as long as the game doesn't make me sit through an unskippable movie of the fight. If I can't do anything, let me go back to the part of the game where I CAN do something as quickly as possible. Aka: f-u Endless Space.

While I agree... minor point... battle animation been skippable since I started playing the game. I didn't buy it at launch though.
The biggest problem with Endless Space's battle skip was that it DID NOT actually simulate the battle in the background.  It just summed up each fleet's weapons, armor, and HP, and then assigned 'kills' randomly.
This is exactly what made me stop playing.

Bingo. Skipping had a different outcome than not skipping. Making watching more beneficial. Making the game boring.
Title: Re: Dawn of War 3 sales and recent 4x games
Post by: kasnavada on May 12, 2017, 01:46:37 AM
Which is ALL FINE as long as the game doesn't make me sit through an unskippable movie of the fight. If I can't do anything, let me go back to the part of the game where I CAN do something as quickly as possible. Aka: f-u Endless Space.

While I agree... minor point... battle animation been skippable since I started playing the game. I didn't buy it at launch though.
The biggest problem with Endless Space's battle skip was that it DID NOT actually simulate the battle in the background.  It just summed up each fleet's weapons, armor, and HP, and then assigned 'kills' randomly.
This is exactly what made me stop playing.

Bingo. Skipping had a different outcome than not skipping. Making watching more beneficial. Making the game boring.

Hummm, source on that for later builds ? As stated above, didn't really play at start, and in my personnal experience, apart in the rare cases where choosing another card after seeing the result of the first card (and that has more to do with learning how the game works than anything), I didn't notice changes. That said, the combat has been reworked quite a few time. Also, an option had been added to accelerate watched combat.

Quote
since the game doesn't really reward you for huge battles against powerful enemies, as it is hard to get a claim allowing you to get much in that case

Actually, it can => once I had the game declare a crusade against the king of France, as he was a cathar and not a catholic. As the emperor of Brittain at the time, I did what was needed and conquered France in a single glorious war.

Although it's kind of rare for this to happen.
Title: Re: Dawn of War 3 sales and recent 4x games
Post by: Mánagarmr on May 12, 2017, 03:59:49 AM
In any other case you will actively try to avoid a fight, because you know you will lose out. That's how grand strategy works. You want to have balanced fights with a lot of "in-battle" micro decisionmaking? Go play Starcraft.
Which is ALL FINE as long as the game doesn't make me sit through an unskippable movie of the fight. If I can't do anything, let me go back to the part of the game where I CAN do something as quickly as possible. Aka: f-u Endless Space.
Absolutely agree.

I dunno how ye got from my post to this

Quote
That's how grand strategy works. You want to have balanced fights with a lot of "in-battle" micro decisionmaking? Go play Starcraft.

Clearly what I said is that I want to remove the gameplay that encourages doomstacking as a viable day 1 strategy and I want additional elements that promote decision making with consequences at all times. Loyalty on admirals, strategies and battleplans that do not change (without huge admiral skill influence) mid-battle, fundamental battle doctrines etc.
Fair and valid point, I just wanted to erase the idea from everyones minds that Stellaris is a game about fair fights. It's not, and was never designed to be. I agree that doomstacking is boring, but it's not the core of the problem.

And there are *many* ways to fix doomstacking in such a system, by making larger fleets have a big evasion penalty for example (since in a big fleet, you can't just "evade" however you want, you'd be crossing into pre-set fire lines of other ships) by giving admirals a fleet size they can manage but beyond that it gets muddy with sub-admirals who might not be all super skilled.

It doesn't quite solve the doomstacking problem, as you'd just have minor sub-fleets all flying around in one huge blob anyway. The *game* thinks you're not doomstacking, but in effect you are. There are ways around this too with code (system wide, for instance) but it gets complex and micro-intensive in a hurry, which is actually less fun than just doomblobbing.

Basically, if Stellaris were really grand strategy, my decision who to appoint as admiral, my empire battle doctrines and training programs for admirals, my exchange with a warrior insect race that teaches my generals new tricks. That kind of thing should play into battles decisions just as much as what I sent into battle and how it was equipped. Obviously in such a system, a "mono-weapon" platform would be incredibly daft thing to sent into battle, as any missile barrage is gonna be countered by PD which, believe it or not, happen to be extremely effective in space. And unlike the PD system, your missile ammo is very limited. (That I don't want as micro management, but as a fleet management thing that plays into everything, supply lines specifically)
Agreed, and this is where Stellaris currently suffers the hardest. Tech does almost nothing (baseline corvette spam is still the most mineral efficient way to wage war all the way up until Tier 5 XL weapons on Battleship fleets), the fleet cap is more a "suggestion" than an actual limit, and supply is handled by increased FTL-travel times and you still manually control your fleets. It's ... very less than ideal. There are many ways to make this better. I am looking forward to changes that are coming in the big "combat patch" some time in the future. I just hope they really do something interesting and not just tweak numbers.
Title: Re: Dawn of War 3 sales and recent 4x games
Post by: Draco18s on May 12, 2017, 08:43:36 AM
Hummm, source on that for later builds ? As stated above, didn't really play at start, and in my personnal experience, apart in the rare cases where choosing another card after seeing the result of the first card (and that has more to do with learning how the game works than anything), I didn't notice changes. That said, the combat has been reworked quite a few time. Also, an option had been added to accelerate watched combat.

Don't know and have little interest in finding out. It wasn't even the game that drove me away from the game in the end, it was the company's (ab)use of how they decided to handle player input and feedback into their development cycle.

This week's vote!
 * Major game-impacting bug fix
 * New feature
 * QOL UI improvement that was super popular
Winner gets worked on, the losers are ignored forever.
(Guess what won?)
Title: Re: Dawn of War 3 sales and recent 4x games
Post by: Toranth on May 12, 2017, 09:30:16 AM
Hummm, source on that for later builds ? As stated above, didn't really play at start, and in my personnal experience, apart in the rare cases where choosing another card after seeing the result of the first card (and that has more to do with learning how the game works than anything), I didn't notice changes. That said, the combat has been reworked quite a few time. Also, an option had been added to accelerate watched combat.
Don't know and have little interest in finding out. It wasn't even the game that drove me away from the game in the end, it was the company's (ab)use of how they decided to handle player input and feedback into their development cycle.
It may have changed, but it was still true when the expansion came out.  It isn't so obvious with well-rounded units, but try it with small missile-only units.  That was where it first became obvious to me.

This week's vote!
 * Major game-impacting bug fix
 * New feature
 * QOL UI improvement that was super popular
Winner gets worked on, the losers are ignored forever.
(Guess what won?)
Now, that's not entirely fair.
Sometimes there was the 'Cool graphics update developers like' that would show up week after week until it 'won' the vote.
Title: Re: Dawn of War 3 sales and recent 4x games
Post by: Draco18s on May 12, 2017, 10:39:40 AM
This week's vote!
 * Major game-impacting bug fix
 * New feature
 * QOL UI improvement that was super popular
Winner gets worked on, the losers are ignored forever.
(Guess what won?)
Now, that's not entirely fair.
Sometimes there was the 'Cool graphics update developers like' that would show up week after week until it 'won' the vote.

"Cool update the developers want" repeatedly shows up. "Fix that damn bug already" got one shot. Mind, it was fixed, eventually (like....9 months later), but there's NO reason those three items should have ever appeared in a vote together. At all. Ever.

"Which of three bugs needs to be fixed first?" is grumble-worthy (but acceptable), "which of these UI changes would address the problem X for you?" Very valid.

"Do we fix a major bug or develop new features or work on the UI" is not appropriate. Sure, someone eventually needs to make the determination in order to divide their time, but it is not appropriate to ask the community that question and then ignore that one specific bug for most of a year.
Title: Re: Dawn of War 3 sales and recent 4x games
Post by: eRe4s3r on May 12, 2017, 10:44:55 AM
Agreed, and this is where Stellaris currently suffers the hardest. Tech does almost nothing (baseline corvette spam is still the most mineral efficient way to wage war all the way up until Tier 5 XL weapons on Battleship fleets), the fleet cap is more a "suggestion" than an actual limit, and supply is handled by increased FTL-travel times and you still manually control your fleets. It's ... very less than ideal. There are many ways to make this better. I am looking forward to changes that are coming in the big "combat patch" some time in the future. I just hope they really do something interesting and not just tweak numbers.

Don't even get me started, I modded Stellaris, I know the numbers of weapon research vs damage (DPS) each tier provides (they made me cringe so hard my face dropped to the other end of the planet) But it isn't something you could fix with a tweak.

When you look at the cost increase for a new weapon tier you will notice that
# Damage (DPS) increases by like 2 per level (base is 7) (t5 lasers do 15 due % buffs) that's 3 S sized lasers.
# Power requirements increase, meaning you need more generators (3M vs 1M)
# Build cost nearly doubles for each "total tier upgrade" of all subsystems
# Everything you put extra on a corvette is reducing evasion, the primary stat for a corvette (I run my corvettes without shields or armor, just 3 plasma cannons and generators (max tier subsystems on the right side though) ,p)

The thing is, nothing I could mod would FIX that. If I made corvettes worse the next hull size would gain the spot (destroyer torp spam is VERY viable then.....

if I beefed dmg per weapon tier, then corvettes would become way more awesome. (but so would every other ship, it's a 0-sum change)

If I reduced cost increases for new tiers then you could just cap out faster (since maintenance is bound to build cost)

If I changed evasion chances on ship hulls corvettes or BB's would either benefit most or lose the most. (depending on the direction)

What I could do, is give everyone equal evasion chance of 50% for example... mhh, actually I am gonna try that. I remove all evasions buffs of all hulls and give them fixed evasion changes, and engines lose evasion buff.
Title: Re: Dawn of War 3 sales and recent 4x games
Post by: Toranth on May 12, 2017, 02:33:04 PM
Agreed, and this is where Stellaris currently suffers the hardest. Tech does almost nothing (baseline corvette spam is still the most mineral efficient way to wage war all the way up until Tier 5 XL weapons on Battleship fleets), the fleet cap is more a "suggestion" than an actual limit, and supply is handled by increased FTL-travel times and you still manually control your fleets. It's ... very less than ideal. There are many ways to make this better. I am looking forward to changes that are coming in the big "combat patch" some time in the future. I just hope they really do something interesting and not just tweak numbers.

Don't even get me started, I modded Stellaris, I know the numbers of weapon research vs damage (DPS) each tier provides (they made me cringe so hard my face dropped to the other end of the planet) But it isn't something you could fix with a tweak.
[snip]

One of the few things I think would work to deal with corvette spam is effective AoE weapons.  Guaranteed X damage to everything in a significant area would do a lot against the swarmers, but nothing against tanky BBs.  Unfortunately, the base game had minefields - which do so little damage even corvettes aren't worried.

Fighters/Bombers could have been effective, too, but... strikecraft in Stellaris...
Title: Re: Dawn of War 3 sales and recent 4x games
Post by: eRe4s3r on May 12, 2017, 04:18:31 PM
The way strike-craft work is this (so yeah, they are kinda borked when you face corvette swarms, switch to torpedoes ,p)
1 laser shot, instant, 100% accuracy, ignores shields, 50% armor mitigation
If you shoot at a corvette, with 80% dodge chance, that means your bomber just wasted it's entire attack run (internally, what you +see+ bombers do, is not what they do, they got 1 shot and 1 shot only per strike-craft, then 10s reload (yeah, really) but they also only got 8 hp

There isn't even a concept of damage dispersion or mitigation in this game. (missed shots still doing 30% damage etc.) Big L and XL weapons doing AoE damage around a missed shot, always applying some % of their dmg value to all ships in vicinity etc. You literally can not do this. A shot has no awareness of where it hit. What you see graphically isn't what is simulated.

The best part, minefields work like this
      damage_per_day = {
         accuracy = 0.2 (20%, compound percentage calculations, what happens with a 20% hit-rate that fires at a ship with a 80% dodge chance, 4% chance to hit (per day and ship), basically)
         damage = { min = 5 max = 15 } (You can't put a % value here, and oh yeah, corvettes have max_hitpoints = 300)
         shield_damage = 1.0 (5 to 15 dmg applied to shields, per day)
         shield_penetration = 0.0 (can't penetrate shields, at all)
         armor_penetration = 0.75 Armor mitigates 25% damage if you ever actually had anything without a shield in a minefield, meaning BB's take 3 to 9 damage (yeah, really). (edit: fixed my calculation, BB's with 90% armor take ~30% damage, since that gets into rounding problems 3 to 7 is imo legit ;p That's assuming a BB ever enters a minefield without a shield. And, oh yeah, best part? This doesn't trigger combat mode, meaning if you span the aura system wide, the shield regen does not get disabled, and shields regen way faster than 5 points a day.


So yeah, that is one of the issues with AoE weapons in this game, you can't put % values in the damage field as you see above, it's an integer. The attack is unaware what the HP of the target is. And nothing you do changes that. Stellaris does not know the concept of x% damage per hit or complex damage formulas, that take hullsize into account inversely for example. In fact the entire damage calculation is extremely simple, you can't even do compound calculations in the fields, like a scaling damage curve or any other fancy stuff.

If you didn't get this from my slightly sarcastic tone, the developers at paradox have messed up hard when they coded this minefield, one wonders if they ever did the math. ^^

So yeah, much redesign is needed for this combat to be not just a simple HP vs DPS comparison.
Title: Re: Dawn of War 3 sales and recent 4x games
Post by: Toranth on May 12, 2017, 07:48:26 PM
The way strike-craft work is this (so yeah, they are kinda borked when you face corvette swarms, switch to torpedoes ,p)
1 laser shot, instant, 100% accuracy, ignores shields, 50% armor mitigation
If you shoot at a corvette, with 80% dodge chance, that means your bomber just wasted it's entire attack run (internally, what you +see+ bombers do, is not what they do, they got 1 shot and 1 shot only per strike-craft, then 10s reload (yeah, really) but they also only got 8 hp

There isn't even a concept of damage dispersion or mitigation in this game. (missed shots still doing 30% damage etc.) Big L and XL weapons doing AoE damage around a missed shot, always applying some % of their dmg value to all ships in vicinity etc. You literally can not do this. A shot has no awareness of where it hit. What you see graphically isn't what is simulated.

The best part, minefields work like this
      damage_per_day = {
         accuracy = 0.2 (20%, compound percentage calculations, what happens with a 20% hit-rate that fires at a ship with a 80% dodge chance, 4% chance to hit (per day and ship), basically)
         damage = { min = 5 max = 15 } (You can't put a % value here, and oh yeah, corvettes have max_hitpoints = 300)
         shield_damage = 1.0 (5 to 15 dmg applied to shields, per day)
         shield_penetration = 0.0 (can't penetrate shields, at all)
         armor_penetration = 0.75 Armor mitigates 25% damage if you ever actually had anything without a shield in a minefield, meaning BB's take 3 to 9 damage (yeah, really). (edit: fixed my calculation, BB's with 90% armor take ~30% damage, since that gets into rounding problems 3 to 7 is imo legit ;p That's assuming a BB ever enters a minefield without a shield. And, oh yeah, best part? This doesn't trigger combat mode, meaning if you span the aura system wide, the shield regen does not get disabled, and shields regen way faster than 5 points a day.

So yeah, that is one of the issues with AoE weapons in this game, you can't put % values in the damage field as you see above, it's an integer. The attack is unaware what the HP of the target is. And nothing you do changes that. Stellaris does not know the concept of x% damage per hit or complex damage formulas, that take hullsize into account inversely for example. In fact the entire damage calculation is extremely simple, you can't even do compound calculations in the fields, like a scaling damage curve or any other fancy stuff.

If you didn't get this from my slightly sarcastic tone, the developers at paradox have messed up hard when they coded this minefield, one wonders if they ever did the math. ^^

So yeah, much redesign is needed for this combat to be not just a simple HP vs DPS comparison.
Yeah, the strikecraft rules have long been a disappointment to me.  I wanted so badly to have fighter and bomber swarms tearing apart anything without enough point defense, but alas! it was not to happen.  Especially considering the behavior of carrier ships...
"Captain, we've launched all our bombers, and are now helpless!  What shall we do?"
"We can't get shot from way back here; we'll need to close to point blank.  Full speed ahead!  Death awaits!"
Bah.


But minefields have accuracy?  Really?!  That's... that's terrible.  Wow.  The descriptive text certainly doesn't say that, which is why I expected minefields (when fixed to do real damage, like 100+) to be useful.  But, dang.  Wow.  We all knew it at launch when you could have invincible corvettes with 100% or more evasion, but someone really didn't think through their combat system.
Lightning weapons, actually, were supposed to be able to hit multiple 'nearby' targets originally, although they never worked when I was playing.  I take it they still don't?  Not that they do anywhere near enough damage, or could even hit corvettes, but still.

Yeah, that's not getting fixed anytime soon.
Title: Re: Dawn of War 3 sales and recent 4x games
Post by: eRe4s3r on May 12, 2017, 11:16:53 PM
ARC weapon probably does something, but that is hardcoded and certainly not visible to me ;) Imo minefield is something they probably planned to remove entirely from the game and simply forgot. I have never ever seen anything die from it. And I am a bit scared to change it, because if the AI used it and it'd be dangerous and deadly, I'd have no way to counter it ~.~

Even if you increased damage to high values, you'd essentially have to balance it against the dumb as brick fleet AI too that gets easily drawn into combat and beelines across the system ;P And with snare + mines, you could create an OP death-zone too, even if the minefield were balanced for an "approach" fight, it could become game-breaking coupled with snare...

Combat in this is just generally weird

And yeah, on release evasion wasn't capped.. that was a big "WHAAAAAAT?" moment for me ;P And it's also weird, because clearly they put a lot of work into combat  (effects/ship models and even a damage state transition that you likely never even noticed)  Evasion is now capped though, still, with admiral skills evasion is one of those skills you really wanna have. In my internal mod, evasion for all ships is 30, and only thing that buffs it is control systems and power surplus. so you can push a corvette to 41% evasion, but a BB (for example) would also be at 34% evasion if it had power surplus.

I wonder if this makes strike craft now way more valuable against corvettes... essentially everything has much lower evasion now. And combat speed for all ships is 4x as fast including strike-craft, all behaviors are "charge up-to-median-range" .. wonder how that plays out. In my test fights, strike-crafts did a ton of damage but they also died quickly. And yeah, my BB's then rushed.. no idea how I would ever fix that ;/
Title: Re: Dawn of War 3 sales and recent 4x games
Post by: Mánagarmr on May 13, 2017, 06:05:08 AM
The reason the increases in damage per tier is so small is because Armor used to be a flat reduction, which meant that if you fired a Red Laser doing, say 24 damage at an Armor protecting 22, you'd be doing 2 damage. If you had a Blue Laser, it would do 27 damage, which would mean you are suddenly dealing 5 damage to the target, and increase of 150%.

In such a world, these "tiny" increases make perfect sense. However, the armor system was changed pretty much right before release, but weapons were not (probably due to lacking time for balancing?). That's why we're stuck in this odd situation. The devs are aware, however, and it's part of the combat overhaul. I just hope it's enough of an overhaul to actually make sense and be fun.
Title: Re: Dawn of War 3 sales and recent 4x games
Post by: ricardol on May 16, 2017, 05:37:51 AM
I personally don't like the armor system at all to be honest. I would prefer how it was before.
Title: Re: Dawn of War 3 sales and recent 4x games
Post by: Mánagarmr on May 16, 2017, 06:30:18 AM
I personally don't like the armor system at all to be honest. I would prefer how it was before.

Neither do I, especially not how useless armor is on small vessels. But combat in this game has bigger problems than armor, as it stands.
Title: Re: Dawn of War 3 sales and recent 4x games
Post by: eRe4s3r on May 16, 2017, 07:24:54 PM
Big problem I have with armor/shield/HP as balancing foundation is that to me, if you approach combat balance from this angle, all you do is make another RTS where it's DPS vs HP

I know it would be a drastic change, but I still think combat (for a system) should be abstracted, and the formulas be deeper connected to battle-plans, fleet layouts, diversions and abilities (of admirals and sub-admirals, generals) as well as ideological focus (preserve lives vs cannon fodder) and so on and on. Basically each race would fight differently, and one combat fleet great against enemy 1 might be barely able to hold the line against enemy 2.

And in such a system, you'd not build 1 corvette, but an entire corvette division with infrastructure, factories and personal to support it, as it would be "realistic" a fleet would consist of hundreds of divisions, each with slightly different values and perks based on their division commander. If division commander is from a certain race and political views match with enemy, he might not be keen on fighting his potential friends. Admirals would be used to manage that, and political ethics and policies would be used to guide your armies too. It would also allow for much more immersion when it comes to what fleet is good against what enemy. It'd eliminate the doomstack problem too, since political views of your soldiers (assuming you don't automate ships with AI) could play a major role. And would not make your stack a good force projection EVERYWHERE, but only maybe somewhere.

But that's just it, my combat design would most certainly make it more EU4 but also more Endless Space. Since in combat proper you'd have no ability to give orders, retreat and everything would be a decision by the admiral. BUt what this requires is
1) Major rewrite of the entire game, down to the nitty gritty of solar systems, FTL, combat balance, research....
2) New AI
3) New character system, with family trees, biological mutants and hybrids acting as key connections between races etc.

I think Stellaris 1 is already on the backburner for Paradox.. I am pretty sure Stellaris 2 is already worked on....
Title: Re: Dawn of War 3 sales and recent 4x games
Post by: Dominus Arbitrationis on May 16, 2017, 10:33:29 PM
Big problem I have with armor/shield/HP as balancing foundation is that to me, if you approach combat balance from this angle, all you do is make another RTS where it's DPS vs HP

I know it would be a drastic change, but I still think combat (for a system) should be abstracted, and the formulas be deeper connected to battle-plans, fleet layouts, diversions and abilities (of admirals and sub-admirals, generals) as well as ideological focus (preserve lives vs cannon fodder) and so on and on. Basically each race would fight differently, and one combat fleet great against enemy 1 might be barely able to hold the line against enemy 2.

And in such a system, you'd not build 1 corvette, but an entire corvette division with infrastructure, factories and personal to support it, as it would be "realistic" a fleet would consist of hundreds of divisions, each with slightly different values and perks based on their division commander. If division commander is from a certain race and political views match with enemy, he might not be keen on fighting his potential friends. Admirals would be used to manage that, and political ethics and policies would be used to guide your armies too. It would also allow for much more immersion when it comes to what fleet is good against what enemy. It'd eliminate the doomstack problem too, since political views of your soldiers (assuming you don't automate ships with AI) could play a major role. And would not make your stack a good force projection EVERYWHERE, but only maybe somewhere.

But that's just it, my combat design would most certainly make it more EU4 but also more Endless Space. Since in combat proper you'd have no ability to give orders, retreat and everything would be a decision by the admiral. BUt what this requires is
1) Major rewrite of the entire game, down to the nitty gritty of solar systems, FTL, combat balance, research....
2) New AI
3) New character system, with family trees, biological mutants and hybrids acting as key connections between races etc.

I think Stellaris 1 is already on the backburner for Paradox.. I am pretty sure Stellaris 2 is already worked on....

I'd be worried that by doing that, you're going to alienate the casual gamers that don't want to learn the ins and outs of complex systems. Its much easier for someone to pick up a game if it is "Build this. It fights good", rather than "Okay, get a good admiral, have this division set up in this way, make sure your race prefers this ideology,

Plus, if you take away my ability to give orders, I'm going to be SUPER angry. I want to be able to impose my will on the galaxy, not some stupid admiral guy. I'm the all-powerful god dictator. Give me control or give me death!

"Why did this happen?? I was supposed to win that. If I fought it I would win. This game is stupid. I'm leaving a bad review because the combat system is difficult to use and understand" sounds like something a lot of people would say. That being said, I'd love this shift. HOI3 (Yes, I know there is a 4, I just haven't played it) was great because it gave you full control over just about everything. And if you did misclick while unpaused, you weren't brutally slaughtered because you forgot to switch your leader or make sure your soldiers were the right ideology or what have you. You could just run away and most of your army would come back another day.
Title: Re: Dawn of War 3 sales and recent 4x games
Post by: Mánagarmr on May 17, 2017, 01:42:22 AM
I think Stellaris 1 is already on the backburner for Paradox.. I am pretty sure Stellaris 2 is already worked on....
If that's the case, they're making a very convincing cloak and daggers about it. There are almost bi-weekly patches, large expansions are being released, the devs are interacting heavily on the forums and reddit. It hardly looks like "Yawn, just drop it."
Title: Re: Dawn of War 3 sales and recent 4x games
Post by: eRe4s3r on May 17, 2017, 02:47:22 AM
Big problem I have with armor/shield/HP as balancing foundation is that to me, if you approach combat balance from this angle, all you do is make another RTS where it's DPS vs HP

I know it would be a drastic change, but I still think combat (for a system) should be abstracted, and the formulas be deeper connected to battle-plans, fleet layouts, diversions and abilities (of admirals and sub-admirals, generals) as well as ideological focus (preserve lives vs cannon fodder) and so on and on. Basically each race would fight differently, and one combat fleet great against enemy 1 might be barely able to hold the line against enemy 2.

And in such a system, you'd not build 1 corvette, but an entire corvette division with infrastructure, factories and personal to support it, as it would be "realistic" a fleet would consist of hundreds of divisions, each with slightly different values and perks based on their division commander. If division commander is from a certain race and political views match with enemy, he might not be keen on fighting his potential friends. Admirals would be used to manage that, and political ethics and policies would be used to guide your armies too. It would also allow for much more immersion when it comes to what fleet is good against what enemy. It'd eliminate the doomstack problem too, since political views of your soldiers (assuming you don't automate ships with AI) could play a major role. And would not make your stack a good force projection EVERYWHERE, but only maybe somewhere.

But that's just it, my combat design would most certainly make it more EU4 but also more Endless Space. Since in combat proper you'd have no ability to give orders, retreat and everything would be a decision by the admiral. BUt what this requires is
1) Major rewrite of the entire game, down to the nitty gritty of solar systems, FTL, combat balance, research....
2) New AI
3) New character system, with family trees, biological mutants and hybrids acting as key connections between races etc.

I think Stellaris 1 is already on the backburner for Paradox.. I am pretty sure Stellaris 2 is already worked on....

I'd be worried that by doing that, you're going to alienate the casual gamers that don't want to learn the ins and outs of complex systems. Its much easier for someone to pick up a game if it is "Build this. It fights good", rather than "Okay, get a good admiral, have this division set up in this way, make sure your race prefers this ideology,

Plus, if you take away my ability to give orders, I'm going to be SUPER angry. I want to be able to impose my will on the galaxy, not some stupid admiral guy. I'm the all-powerful god dictator. Give me control or give me death!

"Why did this happen?? I was supposed to win that. If I fought it I would win. This game is stupid. I'm leaving a bad review because the combat system is difficult to use and understand" sounds like something a lot of people would say. That being said, I'd love this shift. HOI3 (Yes, I know there is a 4, I just haven't played it) was great because it gave you full control over just about everything. And if you did misclick while unpaused, you weren't brutally slaughtered because you forgot to switch your leader or make sure your soldiers were the right ideology or what have you. You could just run away and most of your army would come back another day.

Control as in orders, formations, attacks in waves? Sure, why not if you enter the battle yourself in a flagship (and why wouldn't you, as immortal god emperor) ;P But if you look at Stellaris combat, you will notice you already have ZERO control ;P Apart from retreat, which is more like a "commit suicide right now" button, enemy fleets are drawn into long range combat engagements and beeline to their doom, your orders are "ignore, fast foward, or retreat"

At least with my system, the game would be honest about it. ;P

And hey, if you wanna go all out, HOI4 system (it had battleplans...) or HOI3 system would be fine too, as long as we remove the stupid  fleet ship "AI" from the equation.

If that's the case, they're making a very convincing cloak and daggers about it. There are almost bi-weekly patches, large expansions are being released, the devs are interacting heavily on the forums and reddit. It hardly looks like "Yawn, just drop it."

We get bi-weekly patches because every major patch they release has game-breaking issues they need to hotfix ;P And I don't mean Paradox intends to drop this right now, but I am certain they work on Stellaris 2 already with the big team and Stellaris 1 still will get DLC's till the end of (digital shelf) life. That's the only explanation why there haven't been major lay-offs at Paradox after the Stellaris 1 release. All those artists, sound designers, writers, they are not working on DLC. You can tell by the massive quality drop in the super structure models and textures (for example) which aren't even adhering to the ship layout you pick, they are the same for all races.

Maybe I am totally wrong and they will release a bombast patch with 1.7.0 that fixes AI and combat totally and makes the game fun to play BEYOND the mid-game ;P
Title: Re: Dawn of War 3 sales and recent 4x games
Post by: Mánagarmr on May 17, 2017, 03:56:07 AM
You can tell by the massive quality drop in the super structure models and textures (for example) which aren't even adhering to the ship layout you pick, they are the same for all races.
They do vary actually. It's just not that obvious. They differ in color shade, surface texture and details. It's more obvious on the plantoid megastructures due to the "leaves" all over. Granted, I'd expect more than just a texture change and some minor details that you'll never see unless you are fully zoomed in. :P

Maybe I am totally wrong and they will release a bombast patch with 1.7.0 that fixes AI and combat totally and makes the game fun to play BEYOND the mid-game ;P
I certainly hope so.
Title: Re: Dawn of War 3 sales and recent 4x games
Post by: eRe4s3r on May 17, 2017, 04:57:01 AM
Woah... you.. you are right  :o Can you believe I was modding this and didn't notice that?  ^^
Title: Re: Dawn of War 3 sales and recent 4x games
Post by: Mánagarmr on May 17, 2017, 03:35:17 PM
Woah... you.. you are right  :o Can you believe I was modding this and didn't notice that?  ^^
Just goes to say how tiny the variations are.
Title: Re: Dawn of War 3 sales and recent 4x games
Post by: Draco18s on May 17, 2017, 03:54:47 PM
And equally, how meaningful to the player. ;)
Title: Re: Dawn of War 3 sales and recent 4x games
Post by: eRe4s3r on May 17, 2017, 05:37:17 PM
It would be worth some discussion whether developers chain themselves to a chain of certain design decisions for 4X games and combat by spending large sums on art development (shipsets) that they now paid for and that is basically a loss unless they sell the game, and basically HAVE to use now too in some visible prominent way. If you follow this thought true, it would mean that spending large sums on art can potentially chain you to a design you might not actually have wanted. Especially when the spending was decided before the game design was properly prototyped.

It would certainly explain why Stellaris combat is so.. lackluster. Yeah, it looks pretty, REALLY pretty, but it's totally pointless to watch combat in Stellaris.

By the way, Dawn of War 3 still did not sell fundamentally more than 200k copies at full price now that the stats had more time to collect...  and it remains to be seen whether that will translate directly into less support for it.
Title: Re: Dawn of War 3 sales and recent 4x games
Post by: Mánagarmr on May 18, 2017, 01:51:43 PM
From what I've heard so far DoW3 was pretty lacklustre.
Title: Re: Dawn of War 3 sales and recent 4x games
Post by: eRe4s3r on May 20, 2017, 06:19:19 PM
So the elephant in the room of 4x games

Endless Space 2

What I can tell
# Rushed release

So basically, this game released way too early. I give them massive props for uber art polish, but art doth not make gameplay. And when I say art polish, I mean it, One of the most beautiful looking games right now (space ship wise)

You know what else is funny?
Publisher for Endless Space 2 : SEGA
Publisher for DoW 3 : SEGA

Notice a trend? ;P Is Sega becoming the new EA or Ubisoft?

Whatever the case, this is not the 4x to change the genre to anything worthwhile imo. I do love their presentation and unique races though. But... gameplay wise, this is... not nearly as good as I had hoped. Your fleets are limited to a dozen at most as well, and anything larger the game won't show you at all. Makes sense, models are really complex and exceptionally pretty.

Combat is like this
You select a tactic (difference is some kind of bonus/malus, and which of the 3 lanes maintains which weapon range)
You assign ships to those lanes
They drive along their lanes and shoot and explode at stuff
If a pass-by doesn't result in death (extremely unlikely...) combat is a draw
Guns have arcs and do occlusion check, if your ship has gun in front and enemy is behind.. well yeah, you better have missiles
Some lanes get close some don't. Most things explode before anything ever gets to short range (beams)

Economy is like this
Pop based economy FIDSI (Food, Industry, Dust, Science, Influence...)
More food = faster pop growth, we are talking extremely fast, complete opposite of Stellaris
You build improvements that count for all planets in a solar system, pop can be moved around inside the solar system
FIDI bonuses per pop can be extreme, some systems can have 57 pops, and a +5 Dust modifier on EACH of them + 1 improvement with 1 maintenance for 5 planets is extremely OP. Which is not bad but also not a lot of fun because nothing challenges you;)

Diplomacy is like this
Pressure vs Influence
Pressure allows you to make demands (refusal = war)
Influence is required for any diplomatic action
You got War/Peace/Cold War/Trade Treaty/Science Treaty/Alliance
and that is it. extremely dumbed down diplo.
And yeah, you can trade techs.....

So yeah, not sure what to make of this game... after Stellaris I actually think this is a step back
Title: Re: Dawn of War 3 sales and recent 4x games
Post by: Draco18s on May 21, 2017, 02:19:19 AM
I'm going to just sit here and be smug and think, "I told you ES2 wouldn't be worth it."

Every single problem you highlight is a problem that the first game had. Maybe not as extreme, but it was there.
Title: Re: Dawn of War 3 sales and recent 4x games
Post by: eRe4s3r on July 02, 2017, 09:31:55 PM
So speaking about 4x games again
Interstellar Space: Genesis (https://www.interstellarspacegame.com/)
Previously known as Project: Star Sector

Yes, that is yet another 4x that clones (or tries to*) the feeling of MOO2 and goes into super-detail-micro-management direction which you will likely wish to automate within 20minutes of playing. I don't get it. Years and years MOO2 clones fail and fail and fail and fail, and yet a new developer springs up to rekindle the feeling of MOO2.. again, and again.. and again.

At this point, maybe I am misunderstanding how development works, but you'd think a quick look at steamspy would teach devs not to try a moo2 clone without a strong sci-fi writer employed...... and why you ask? Well, firstly we already got mainstreamed Master of Orion 4 (or whatever that was supposed to be, look how quickly wargaming dropped that, hah) Because again these games have nothing that sets them apart. Nothing that elevates them beyond Distant Worlds or Stellaris (in my mind, the 2 extreme niches of the genre that are exclusively successful exactly because you can hardly even call them space 4x games anymore)

I just don't get it. Are developers checking off checkboxes on a list when making 4x games? Wouldn't ONE of them stop to think "is this core gameplay loop even fun?" or "is this core gameplay loop even still relevant?"

At this point, maybe I don't want better gameplay in 4x games, but better writing (or *ANY* decent writing) affects setting, races, interactions, diplomacy.... without good writing, these things are all soulless and empty in purpose.

I am also gonna do something I rarely do, I am not even gonna bother with this one. I played so many MOO2 clones that I soured MOO2 (the original) for me in the process. Now, I can't stand this aging and outdated gameplay I guess ;/
Title: Re: Dawn of War 3 sales and recent 4x games
Post by: WolfWhiteFire on July 03, 2017, 10:44:36 AM
At this point, maybe I don't want better gameplay in 4x games, but better writing (or *ANY* decent writing) affects setting, races, interactions, diplomacy.... without good writing, these things are all soulless and empty in purpose.
Yeah, to me the story and lore in many games is what gives it purpose. Sure you can fight these guys, but why are you fighting? Sure you are guarding this area, but why are you guarding it, what is there here that is valuable? Sure you are running around slashing monsters left and right, but why? etc. For all sorts of games, story gives it a purpose besides doing what you do just because. All those things you listed fit into the category of story to me.

Yes, that is yet another 4x that clones (or tries to*) the feeling of MOO2 and goes into super-detail-micro-management direction which you will likely wish to automate within 20minutes of playing. I don't get it. Years and years MOO2 clones fail and fail and fail and fail, and yet a new developer springs up to rekindle the feeling of MOO2.. again, and again.. and again.
They probably still make enough to make it profitable, same horrible reason tons of "developers" just buy assets and sell them as a brand new game. Not a happy reality, but the sad truth of many developers these days.
Title: Re: Dawn of War 3 sales and recent 4x games
Post by: eRe4s3r on July 03, 2017, 09:50:51 PM
They probably still make enough to make it profitable, same horrible reason tons of "developers" just buy assets and sell them as a brand new game. Not a happy reality, but the sad truth of many developers these days.

Common misconception I feel like I must help clearing up, asset flippers don't make money from sales, they make money from trading cards.... but with a recent change you need certain amount of "trust" from an algo (Steam never said wtf that means) and certain level of sales and ratings to get them unlocked (as developer)

And nowadays, you'd be positively insane if you went about against reviewers like SidAlpha ( https://www.youtube.com/user/GreyWolf779 ) aka, if you pulled any crazy stuff as dev, you'd have "the man" after you. It's actually really nice we now have these personalities around who fight this ;)

But yeah, clearly my taste of 4x games has mutated over the years, partially because I read the foundation series by Asimov and partially because more and more of these soulless moo2 clones pop up that I find objectionable. And I dunno if developers know this, but MOO2 *IS* on steam, it has 130k owners (who got it in the bundle from "Master of Orion" which has 190k owners) that's the TOP limit your MOO2 clone is gonna reach. Everyone else just does not care about MOO2, and that is a reality too. You can't sell to new and younger gamers with the promise of "harkens back to the feeling of MOO2" (Ps, harkens back is such a nice old phrase very fitting to such a doomed project idea ,p)

I find the idea of making a 4x that takes MOO2 gameplay as inspiration so alien that I am positively absolutely stumped why any sane dev would do this. It can not possibly be that they calculated they will make a profit. The indy apocalypse is in full swing. You release in a bad moment and you get 100 sales.
Title: Re: Dawn of War 3 sales and recent 4x games
Post by: WolfWhiteFire on July 03, 2017, 11:45:14 PM
And nowadays, you'd be positively insane if you went about against reviewers like SidAlpha
From what I have seen, there are plenty of people insane enough to do that, one of the most recent examples being Alex Mauer who threatened to kill him.
find the idea of making a 4x that takes MOO2 gameplay as inspiration so alien that I am positively absolutely stumped why any sane dev would do this. It can not possibly be that they calculated they will make a profit. The indy apocalypse is in full swing. You release in a bad moment and you get 100 sales.
Not all of them are sane, Digital Homicide for example, also not sure how much those cost generally, but $40 times 100 sales would still be $4000 made, and cloning a game is probably nowhere near as expensive as making one from scratch. It could also be that many of those may have been single attempts by developers. A developer tries it, realizes it isn't profitable, moves onto something else, another developer tries it, and so on. I have no idea whether it is profitable for them, but in the past I have been surprised by what is profitable for people, and so I assume that if people keep doing it, it is somehow profitable.
Title: Re: Dawn of War 3 sales and recent 4x games
Post by: Misery on July 04, 2017, 03:56:31 AM
Among all of this, I'm still just looking for one that's actually DIFFERENT.  Instead of trying to be Civ or... Civ, or perhaps Civ.   Or whatever space game, to be honest I've only played a couple of those, but they STILL seemed like the same bloody thing.  Revolving around godawful AI, no less.

I'd settle for a game that doesn't necessarily do much different, but at least goes the AI War route of "don't pretend the AI is another player" since that NEVER EVER WORKS.  Have the freaking AI in a role where the design admits that it's a freaking AI and works WITH it instead of against it.

Don't even care what the theme or story are, provided I even notice that.  Could be space, could be, I dunno, on Earth but like 50 billion years later, or it could take place in a bowl of soup, whatever, don't care, wont notice anyway, just something that doesn't make the same bloody mistakes over and over and over and over and over.


There, mini-rant over.  Honestly at this point I've kinda given up on this.  I've looked around some more, particularly with the sale, and.... yeah, it aint happening.  Other types of strategy games?  Sure, plenty of good ones.  But 4x?  Bah, I wont be finding any I like anytime soon.  Be very, very surprised if I do. 

Title: Re: Dawn of War 3 sales and recent 4x games
Post by: eRe4s3r on July 04, 2017, 04:13:54 AM
You didn't like Stellaris nor Distant Worlds? ;P

Btw, AI development is in constant flux, though that news bulletin has not reached game developers yet apparently, with cloud AI computations you could already do amazing things but that costs real money. Reality is that only many-core cpu's would give you enough general computational power for even a simple AI simulation, and that would be playing like a human if you trained it to do that ^^

But until then, it makes equally no sense to me why AI is always handled like "another player" in those games, I think it's mainly because when these games support MP they make this concession never considering what the consequences really are. I actually think every species in a 4x should be unique and if the AI plays it, it should play 100% differently from all others. Heck, down to how each species perceives reality within the game. But it would mean basically making a new game for each race. Maybe it would be possible to do that in a very open scripting language but performance would probably suffer hard.

Basically, until game design evolves and old game designers disappear we will never see true advances in this genre. That said, most indy game devs don't have a game designer....
Title: Re: Dawn of War 3 sales and recent 4x games
Post by: Misery on July 05, 2017, 01:23:08 AM
Stellaris I didn't have much time with.  It seemed to be missing something, and then I find out that this is USUALLY the case for Paradox games (sigh).  So, I set it aside, figuring I'd just go back later, but I haven't gone back to it yet. I'll get to it eventually.  Distant Worlds I don't have.  I was going to pick it up at one point, but I must have gone with something else.
Title: Re: Dawn of War 3 sales and recent 4x games
Post by: Mánagarmr on July 05, 2017, 05:07:51 AM
Stellaris I didn't have much time with.  It seemed to be missing something, and then I find out that this is USUALLY the case for Paradox games (sigh).  So, I set it aside, figuring I'd just go back later, but I haven't gone back to it yet. I'll get to it eventually.  Distant Worlds I don't have.  I was going to pick it up at one point, but I must have gone with something else.

Paradox games = Play them three years down the line, after they've recieved significant content buffs and mechanics changes. Once you decide you like them, get some DLC. By then they're pretty fantastic. Stellaris is *exactly* that right now. It's an ok game, but it's crippled by shallow mechanics, but it's rapidly getting better.
Title: Re: Dawn of War 3 sales and recent 4x games
Post by: Misery on July 05, 2017, 05:31:33 AM
This brings up the question of why they release them in that state to begin with.

On the note of Paradox though, they actually do make games of this sort that I find interesting.... the problem for me is that, aside from Stellaris, learning a Paradox game is like learning Dwarf Fortress all over again.   Otherwise, I'd probably be really into them overall.  Actually have a couple, but trying them out was like trying to walk through a brick wall covered in spikes.
Title: Re: Dawn of War 3 sales and recent 4x games
Post by: keith.lamothe on July 05, 2017, 07:34:34 AM
Distant Worlds
Very in-depth sim, lots of automation that's actually halfway competent. But after I saw what was happening I disabled all the automation and gradually figured out how to do it all manually (takes quite a bit of effort, because your economy can and will stall in various ways). Result was a wonderfully efficient empire, but it was then too easy to steamroll the AI that wasn't playing very efficiently. Though I suppose I could have made it harder in various ways.

So basically I had a blast for several hours solving a deliciously complex optimization problem, but then I was kinda done. No regrets.
Title: Re: Dawn of War 3 sales and recent 4x games
Post by: WolfWhiteFire on July 05, 2017, 10:29:24 AM
This brings up the question of why they release them in that state to begin with.
Probably so they can fix that with hundreds of dollars of DLC, which they usually do. Or, as with Crusader Kings 2 when I was playing it, release a free update alongside a DLC that more or less breaks the game without it, then fix that way later on (though there was mods fixing the biggest problems with the newest updates). They make some pretty good games, but they cost a lot to get the most out of them too.
Title: Re: Dawn of War 3 sales and recent 4x games
Post by: Mánagarmr on July 05, 2017, 02:13:16 PM
This brings up the question of why they release them in that state to begin with.
Generally, I think Paradox just sets a date and finishes the game by that date, but to them game development isn't a static thing. They want to keep developing their games for almost forever. Make them better all the time. They're generally not that good at game design though, so most of their "good games" comes from years of community feedback.

It sounds a lot like an open beta, and I guess it kinda is. Only you have to pay for it. One might have opinions about that, but to me, it seems similar to what Arcen does. Release AIW and keep updating and changing it "forever". AIW 1.0 wasn't that fantastic either, compared to what we have today.
Title: Re: Dawn of War 3 sales and recent 4x games
Post by: Draco18s on July 05, 2017, 05:31:35 PM
Re: Paradox.
I picked up Cities:Skylines over the weekend. I'm pretty satisfied with it. Got the public transport dlc right of the bat (because seriously, how can you have a city without decent public transit?)

I will say that I prefer playing with unlimited money and "evening unlocked" at the start, although I wish the game would stop with the "have you noticed this new building?" popup that covers the building menu. If you close it without looking at the actual item it just reopens itself 30 seconds later.  hug off game,  yes, I did see it. DID YOU FORGET THAT I STARTED WITH EVERYTHING UNLOCKED?
Title: Re: Dawn of War 3 sales and recent 4x games
Post by: eRe4s3r on July 08, 2017, 02:44:24 PM
Distant Worlds
Very in-depth sim, lots of automation that's actually halfway competent. But after I saw what was happening I disabled all the automation and gradually figured out how to do it all manually (takes quite a bit of effort, because your economy can and will stall in various ways). Result was a wonderfully efficient empire, but it was then too easy to steamroll the AI that wasn't playing very efficiently. Though I suppose I could have made it harder in various ways.

So basically I had a blast for several hours solving a deliciously complex optimization problem, but then I was kinda done. No regrets.

For the price they ask (60€) I would have had regrets ,) I'd call the pricing for this particular game even obscenely high...

But that gameplay is actually one of the reasons that made me put Distant Worlds and Stellaris on 2 extreme opposite ends of a scale. In between you got, right in the middle, CIV and CIV alikes, because everyone clones that much to my detriment and even 2K managed to break CIV with CIV 6 (which I honestly found really meh, but that's beside the point)

Distant Worlds nearly seems like someone had the idea to make the most complex intricate interconnected fake-space-empire math based sim ever, and then noticed that "playing" that was exactly 0 fun, so they added a competent AI and now suddenly nobody played the original game anymore, and those who did did that once and never returned, because it's always the same after the first time. And worse, if you ever dig in what the automation DOES you notice you can do it 10 times better if you understand the systems, but if you don't disable automation, you are basically watching a "paint dry" simulation that plays itself and watches itself, it doesn't even need you around. Distant worlds is the first game (afaik) where your empire will fare better on full automation if you DO NOT INTERFERE and give it full diplomatic powers. Is that still a game? ;P

That's one of the biggest things I start to REALLY dislike about 4x games, they have no driving motivator behind them. No point. And I fear it's something I am gonna bring up in AI War 2 at some point when I post my first impressions of the "real" release version too. I find games that exist solely for their core gameplay to be incredibly boring lately (must be the heat), a game has to at least *try* to aim higher than that for me to consider it as something great and worthy of my time.

But my taste changes and sadly, games do not (not in the quantity nor direction I want, anyway)

I mean, it's downright depressing if you'd ask me what my favorite game of this year is, I mean it's already more than half-way done.
I'd have to say...
Nier: Automata

It's the 1 game I have played that I would say manages to achieve the "art" moniker not for sake of trying, but for mere existing. And the audio design as well as the soundtrack is just flat out a unique never before heard nor experienced masterpiece.

Ehem, anyway, I think instead of 4x, I'd rather play Realm Grinder... that is not a compliment for the state of 4x (and RTS) games so far.
Title: Re: Dawn of War 3 sales and recent 4x games
Post by: Misery on July 08, 2017, 11:32:20 PM
That's one of the biggest things I start to REALLY dislike about 4x games, they have no driving motivator behind them. No point. And I fear it's something I am gonna bring up in AI War 2 at some point when I post my first impressions of the "real" release version too. I find games that exist solely for their core gameplay to be incredibly boring lately (must be the heat), a game has to at least *try* to aim higher than that for me to consider it as something great and worthy of my time.

Out of curiosity:  What does this bit here mean?

I read that whole thing, but I didn't understand this part whatsoever.


Also yes, the year is halfway over and frankly it's been a bloody boring one as game releases go.  I don't mean AAA games, don't care about or pay attention to those much.  Even indies are kinda bleh so far this year.  20XX and Caveblazers have been the real highlights for me so far (frankly 20XX is enough of a highlight to eclipse a few years here) but other than that, and Isaac's expansion, there hasn't been too much interesting.   Heck, I didn't buy a thing over the course of the summer sale, because there wasn't anything interesting I could find.  And any major upcoming releases I might be after, chances are I'm already playing them in some beta form.   Granted, Steam's absolutely awful horrible terrible store pages are NOT helping when it comes to finding stuff lately.  I find most games via the activity feed or sometimes Youtube, now, because it's gotten so bad.

Just.... feh.    That's a whole other rant really.

I'm at least glad I'm not stuck with just consoles.  That'd be REALLY boring.  Heck, I don't even know where my PS4 is.  Havent seen it in months.  Cant get the motivation to bother looking for it.  Come to think of it, I'm not entirely sure why I have one.  It probably made sense at the time.  I sure use the controller, at least.
Title: Re: Dawn of War 3 sales and recent 4x games
Post by: eRe4s3r on July 09, 2017, 12:37:12 AM
Out of curiosity:  What does this bit here mean?

I read that whole thing, but I didn't understand this part whatsoever.

Simple said
random meh game I start, it has 1 gameplay loop, when I play it more than once, that gameplay loop never changes in any way = boring to me

It's how I would sum up nearly every RTS and 4x ever made. ^^