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Dyson Sphere tweaks

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I'm playing an 8.6/8.6 game with an 8/10 Dyson Sphere game in my free time, and I'm reminded that one of the fun aspects of the Dyson Sphere was that until you aided it, the Dyson Sphere was being held off by its starting planet. But once you defeated the AI Guards of the planet it felt like it got stronger and started to help you more. There was basically no sense of the Dyson Sphere as a menace to you (except with the Antagonizer).

Now, right now the Dyson Sphere can just overwhelm half the galaxy. It continually spawns Mark V guardians, and it will readily destroy everything in its path (unless it's on a Mark IV world, in which case the defenses of the planet will just kill the sphere).

There's also a bug that causes the Dyson Sphere to periodically kill Planetary Controllers.

Keith (and everyone else), what sort of vision do people have for the Dyson Sphere? I really like the notion of a powerful human resource on the map that feels like it's restrained until you defeat a certain planet. Once you defeat that planet, it feels like it helps spread your influence, both by patrolling your planets and by sometimes attacking nearby foes. It feels like it plays very much as a human ally (except when the Dyson Antagonizer shows up, which adds a really fun achilles heal to the resource).

But I recognize that others may have other exciting ideas. I think it would be good to have a clear discussion of what is intended so we can start working on balance for the Dyson Sphere. I am currently tempted to try making the Sphere itself invulnerable to the AI and also make it spawn fleetships instead of guardians (we can make sure the fleetships go out in groups so they aren't always destroyed immediately), but I want to make sure I have some sense of the eventual gameplay intent so I don't waste time.

PS if the chosen ideas are too different from the Tradtional Dyson Sphere, I intend to reimplement the Traditional one and give it a new name. I really like it as a gameplay element.

Yea, the current AIW2 implementation is functional, but not at all balanced.

I'll get to it eventually, but in the meantime if you or anyone else feels like adjusting it (in whatever way seems best; different spawn rates, different spawned entities, etc) to be closer to the 4/10 behavior on AIWC, I'm happy to incorporate that work. Then we can work on different intensities.

On the subject of faction intensities, I'm thinking in AIW2 it will be better to have custom fields like you implemented for map types. Most factions should be fine with a single scalar slider, but others may benefit from more than one axis of customization.

I'll race you. If you can make Multiplayer functional and give us different sorts of AIs to choose between then before I finish a solid first pass at balancing the Dyson Sphere then I'll also take a first pass a Conduct that will give balance sliders for all the Factions. ;-)

Get some baseline personalities in and I'll build some more. ;)

Also, the Dyson Sphere really needs to have its collision radius tweaked, and ideally to be placed on the edge of the planet gravity well. I suspect this may require tweaking Mapgen_SeedSpecialEntities which is not in external code.

The ships the Dyson Sphere spawn appear inside the Dyson Sphere and can fly around in there. I zoomed in so that the camera wound up inside the Dyson Sphere (which is weird) and I can see the spawns. I don't know of a mechanism to change this in external code. I tried playing with a number of the XML fields to no avail.

Here is a picture (note that the Dyson Sphere is spawning fleetships instead of guardians, I was messing with the balance settings).


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