Author Topic: Master of Orion: Conquer the Stars?  (Read 36646 times)

Offline eRe4s3r

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Re: Master of Orion: Conquer the Stars?
« Reply #15 on: March 04, 2016, 06:02:04 am »
Yeah, I've had that same feeling as of late.  The genre almost feels kinda like much of the RTS genre, in how that genre... which seems to be mostly Starcraft now... ends up just being wild clicking and micro, instead of actual overall strategy.   With 4X games, it says "4X", but much of the time it's moreso "1X with some brief exploring sometimes".  I mean, obviously that's not true in a technical sense, but that's the feeling I always get from them.

That's a very clever thought actually, it's why I don't consider Distant Worlds or Sins of a Solar Empire 4x games, they are RTS that have the cloak of a 4x above but the meat of a RTS below.... it really seems like all 4x games want to be RTS games at the core, or that's what I assume since they seem to either focus extremely on combat, or.. they focus on combat.. but abstract it (wouldn't mind that, it's why I think Moo3 was the most ambitious of the 4x games out there). It's also why Sots 2 was a total failure, it focused so heavily on combat (including making it impossible to quick resolve) that all you did in that game was watch 1 or 2 ships dance around each other. Since every scout triggered a combat, and scouts early game could last the entire combat length... yay! ;)

There is also an extreme lack of innovation in rts/4x/management games to begin with. Why can't we play a hive queen and manage the hive for example.. or space-whales or parasitic species or symbiotic species.. and so on.

I think 4x games should move closer to RPG's rather than RTS games... but that's just me.
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Offline Mánagarmr

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Re: Master of Orion: Conquer the Stars?
« Reply #16 on: March 04, 2016, 12:30:19 pm »
As far as good 4x-y kind of games go, I think Age of Wonders 3 is an admirable game that's enjoyable. Sure, it's not in space and it has more in common with Heroes of Might and Magic than with Civ...but I still think it's a pretty great game. And for as obtuse Galactic Civilizations is it's pretty darn great.
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Offline x4000

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Re: Master of Orion: Conquer the Stars?
« Reply #17 on: March 04, 2016, 02:37:29 pm »
to me it seems like Arcen pulled the plug temporarily because they noticed that mechanically 4x games can be tedious to the extreme, and fixing that is not in any way easy.)

That about sums it up.  We're working on it, though.
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Offline eRe4s3r

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Re: Master of Orion: Conquer the Stars?
« Reply #18 on: March 05, 2016, 06:00:15 am »
As far as good 4x-y kind of games go, I think Age of Wonders 3 is an admirable game that's enjoyable. Sure, it's not in space and it has more in common with Heroes of Might and Magic than with Civ...but I still think it's a pretty great game. And for as obtuse Galactic Civilizations is it's pretty darn great.

AoW 3 is though the perfect example of a 4x focusing waaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaay too much on micromanagement and combat. I mean the entire game is combat, even the way diplomacy with non player factions works is combat. Exploration.. 90% combat... ~.~ And turn based combat of all things...  Not that I dislike turn based combat, but turn based combat automatically means that 99% of combats are quick resolved for me. Since every combat would otherwise take 10+ minutes.. you can absically sum AoW 3 up as a game that is built around combat. Everything else they do is a sideshow to the combat....

That about sums it up.  We're working on it, though.

I am hoping for a breakthrough ;) The best 4x game ever made, the pinnacle of gaming goodness! So no pressure ;)
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Offline Mánagarmr

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Re: Master of Orion: Conquer the Stars?
« Reply #19 on: March 05, 2016, 12:45:26 pm »
AoW 3 is though the perfect example of a 4x focusing waaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaay too much on micromanagement and combat. I mean the entire game is combat, even the way diplomacy with non player factions works is combat. Exploration.. 90% combat... ~.~ And turn based combat of all things...  Not that I dislike turn based combat, but turn based combat automatically means that 99% of combats are quick resolved for me. Since every combat would otherwise take 10+ minutes.. you can absically sum AoW 3 up as a game that is built around combat. Everything else they do is a sideshow to the combat....

This is not entirely incorrect and while sometimes I'm absolutely not in the mood for that, I don't quite dislike that focus. The combat in AoW3 is enjoyable in itself to warrant playing. I basically only auto resolve minor encounters such as bandits and others, but most of the time I play out even those battles in order to maximize XP and minimize health loss.
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Offline Cyborg

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Re: Master of Orion: Conquer the Stars?
« Reply #20 on: March 05, 2016, 09:27:37 pm »
The problem with auto resolve is that it's always suboptimal. It's always going to be a punishment, and for players who optimize all the time, it's hard to accept that.
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Offline Mánagarmr

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Re: Master of Orion: Conquer the Stars?
« Reply #21 on: March 05, 2016, 10:15:43 pm »
The problem with auto resolve is that it's always suboptimal. It's always going to be a punishment, and for players who optimize all the time, it's hard to accept that.
It's not really a punishment as much as a tradeoff. You pay with a suboptimal battle (perhaps a lost cavalry unit or ranged unit, or less XP, or more damage than assumed) for saving RL time.
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Offline Cyborg

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Re: Master of Orion: Conquer the Stars?
« Reply #22 on: March 05, 2016, 11:14:02 pm »
The problem with auto resolve is that it's always suboptimal. It's always going to be a punishment, and for players who optimize all the time, it's hard to accept that.
It's not really a punishment as much as a tradeoff. You pay with a suboptimal battle (perhaps a lost cavalry unit or ranged unit, or less XP, or more damage than assumed) for saving RL time.

It is a punishment and a very bad one. You accept suboptimal results not for a mistake, and not for a lack of understanding, but rather for not having all minutes in the universe to solve uninteresting problems. I consider that a failure in the game design, but it's one that we all put up with.
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Offline eRe4s3r

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Re: Master of Orion: Conquer the Stars?
« Reply #23 on: March 06, 2016, 02:43:20 am »
The problem with auto resolve is that it's always suboptimal. It's always going to be a punishment, and for players who optimize all the time, it's hard to accept that.
It's not really a punishment as much as a tradeoff. You pay with a suboptimal battle (perhaps a lost cavalry unit or ranged unit, or less XP, or more damage than assumed) for saving RL time.

It is a punishment and a very bad one. You accept suboptimal results not for a mistake, and not for a lack of understanding, but rather for not having all minutes in the universe to solve uninteresting problems. I consider that a failure in the game design, but it's one that we all put up with.

We don't all put up with that ;) But when games like that get 81% average meta rating ... you may realize now why I called the genre doomed. It shouldn't be called 4X to begin with, AoW 3 is a combat focused turn based strategy game, the stuff aside combat (and not directly related TO combat) is less 5%, and the auto-resolve is of course a really bad crutch that developers put in once they notice that their fancy combat takes up way too much time. That is why Civ, Moo 3 are the superior 4X, you don't have influence on combat aside from how you designed your ships, battle orders and fleet order. Every combat is thus on equal footing with the AI and every combat requires the same (very short!) time. Same for stacks in Civ 4 or how it works in Civ 5... these games do not put any micromanagement on each combat engagement, they put micromanagement on the 4X aspects of combat.

I guess if I had to explain this better, I would say that a 4x with combat has to make that combat part of the gameplay. Not an additional game (I mean, often combat even has loading bars.. in this day and age!). As soon as there are basically 2 games, you end up with tons of problems when it comes to auto-resolve... not to mention the fact that battlefield and overland map don't fit together often...
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Offline Cyborg

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Re: Master of Orion: Conquer the Stars?
« Reply #24 on: March 06, 2016, 03:19:22 am »
No disagreement on combat. Galactic civilizations 3 has an interesting solution. You get all of the visual giant space battle mental pleasure, but it's cinematic to the strategy and designs you implement as a player.

I would like to see a Dragon's Age (1) sort of solution, where you could design AI strategy for space battles. In this way, you still have to solve the general battle, but once you develop your strategy (and it works), you can reuse it later and apply it when needed.
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Offline Hearteater

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Re: Master of Orion: Conquer the Stars?
« Reply #25 on: March 06, 2016, 02:45:46 pm »
Turn-based combat in a 4X is still doable. Imagine if you had command points that limited your ability to manually run fights. The further the fight is from a military base, the more command points it costs to manually resolve. Balance that appropriately and it could still be a workable system as long as command points are so high that you can still manually resolve everything.

Offline Mánagarmr

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Re: Master of Orion: Conquer the Stars?
« Reply #26 on: March 06, 2016, 02:46:29 pm »
...really bad crutch that developers put in once they notice that their fancy combat takes up way too much time. That is why Civ, Moo 3 are the superior 4X, you don't have influence on combat aside from how you designed your ships, battle orders and fleet order. Every combat is thus on equal footing with the AI and every combat requires the same (very short!) time. Same for stacks in Civ 4 or how it works in Civ 5... these games do not put any micromanagement on each combat engagement, they put micromanagement on the 4X aspects of combat.

So in one game autoresolve is a really bad crutch, in the other where it's forced, it's intelligent design. What? How does that even make sense? Are you also arguing that a 4X game can't have an interesting combat system? It has to be a quick rock-paper-scissors affair? Then I guess Endless Space really IS the perfect 4X.
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Offline Hearteater

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Re: Master of Orion: Conquer the Stars?
« Reply #27 on: March 06, 2016, 02:51:55 pm »
So in one game autoresolve is a really bad crutch, in the other where it's forced, it's intelligent design. What? How does that even make sense? Are you also arguing that a 4X game can't have an interesting combat system? It has to be a quick rock-paper-scissors affair? Then I guess Endless Space really IS the perfect 4X.
If a game has no manual combat, then 1) combat can be resolved instantly keeping the time cost down, 2) combat can be balanced around auto-resolve results. If a game ALSO has manual resolve, it will always be basically always be better than auto-resolve and so optimal play requires you always manually resolve non-trivial combat. So auto-resolve isn't bad, but auto-resolve + manual combat generally is unless you do something special that limits your ability to always manual resolve.

Offline Cyborg

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Re: Master of Orion: Conquer the Stars?
« Reply #28 on: March 06, 2016, 03:34:16 pm »
If a game has no manual combat, then 1) combat can be resolved instantly keeping the time cost down, 2) combat can be balanced around auto-resolve results. If a game ALSO has manual resolve, it will always be basically always be better than auto-resolve and so optimal play requires you always manually resolve non-trivial combat. So auto-resolve isn't bad, but auto-resolve + manual combat generally is unless you do something special that limits your ability to always manual resolve.

Which is what I was saying. I thought this was an obvious fact about these kinds of games but maybe not.

Remember when AI war had manufactories, and it had a solvable solution? Keith got rid of it because it was no longer an interesting problem to solve and just busy work. A player would always have to do this uninteresting toggle or else accept suboptimal results. It's the same kind of thing, in a way. I would rather have the player working on strategy and being rewarded (or not) for interesting problem-solving than to repeatedly kick them in the ass for not playing whack a mole with some tedious mechanic.
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Offline Mick

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Re: Master of Orion: Conquer the Stars?
« Reply #29 on: March 06, 2016, 05:34:13 pm »
I don't think you can ever say you can't have auto-resolve with tactical battles. The purpose is simply to skip the "gimmie" battles. In games like AoW the tactical battles are the focus. If you don't find them fun, it's frankly not the game for you.

I do think auto-resolve could be done better. For instance, it could be very clear to the player what the results would be. I think what frustrates players is they see a battle as a "gimmie", but the auto-resolve decides they are going to lose half their troops.

 

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