Author Topic: Beta 0.804-5 now out (opportunities for content suggestions in this post!).  (Read 1345 times)

Offline x4000

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Release notes: http://arcengames.com/mediawiki/index.php?title=Stars_Beyond_Reach_Beta_Release_Notes#Version_0.804

If this was an official build, I definitely wouldn't release this, but here we are in early beta, so I figured why not. ;)  The biggest caveats/known issues:

1. I haven't actually tested the holo pods stuff, because I just plain ran out of time.  It doesn't cause the game to lock up or anything like that, because I have tested games that have them in there, but in terms of really testing that they work in all aspects that is unknown to me at the moment.  I'm shoving you out the airlock! ;)

2. The natural wonders's adjacency bonuses have all been wiped clean and are pretty much useless at the moment.  I'm restructuring the way that those handle their bonuses, and also trying to make them both more thematically and strategically appropriate, so I had to kind of wipe a few things there.  All that said, since the bonuses didn't actually function in prior versions, it's not like you lost anything. ;)  My hope is that tomorrow I can plow through the rest of the natural wonder bonuses and the resource bonuses, but we'll see.

3. All the new resources are in place, and they all have bonuses, but all of the new resources just copy the bonuses from Gladial Squids.  So that's rather underwhelming and actually reduces your strategic options temporarily, sorry about that.  I'm hoping to get that data in there tomorrow, too.

For that matter, if you guys are feeling like you want to help speed that along and suggest ideas for some of the things that I'm missing definitions for, I'm always open.  Right now my plans are:

Quote
    SeaSlug - anti air range, Cephalaspidea - sensory range??
    PhoronidWorms - a "filter feeder" sometimes called horsething on your foot worms???
    VoltaicEel - electric eel purpose???
    AnglerShark - very scary, also to do with the light on it
    SeaMule - delicacy, and otherwise associated with wealth.
    WoolyTerrapin - sea turtle with lots of hair purpose????
    TuftedBlueCrab - from blue: Either high end sea food, or potentially a poison source.???

    DesertAuricleFennec - guard animal that prevents crimes of opportunity
    DesertCactiTrap - some sort of poison fruit
    DesertFruitingCapers - health benefits?
    DesertGranulopteryx - air attack range up, learning from flight characteristics
    DesertMacropusDromedary - kangaroo camel????
    DesertSulfuricGourd - what to do with sulfur???
    DesertVicedViper - super dangerous poison or other heavy chemical warfare stuff
    ForestBlueFanKestrel - guards ground troops, making them stronger?
    ForestDwarfHare - some sort of food or other processing
    ForestHenbane - Common effects of henbane ingestion in humans include hallucinations,[1] dilated pupils, restlessness, and flushed skin. Less common symptoms, such as tachycardia, convulsions, vomiting, hypertension, hyperpyrexia, and ataxia, have all been noted.
    ForestParotoid - from a gland on this frog - alkaloid substance to deter predators
    ForestPomegranateSeedOil - artistic inspiration and cosmetics?
    ForestProteinSeeds - food boost?
    ForestSkybane - anti-air power, and what else from this blue toxic flower?
    JungleDropbear - cuddly, lethal, strikes with surprise.
    JungleEcomorphs - changeable lizard thing??
    JungleEpiphyticCacti - lives on the side of jungle trees.  Does... what?
    JungleGhostSpice - looks lovely, but actually is pretty useful as a police aid.
    JungleKudu - musical instruments from their horns, yikes the kuduzela
    JungleMarten - omnivores that help eat trash or bodies
    JungleNiacinSeeds - cell signaling and DNA repair, health stuff
    JungleOcherSoursop - has the neurotoxin annonacin in it, useful for treating some diseases as well as causing Parkinson's like symptoms
    JungleSplitFaceRaptor - strange jungle bird with two heads???
    JungleSweetroot - helps with birth rates and folk medicine??? perennial herb
    PlainsArmorDrake - vehicle bonuses or something???
    PlainsFallowPiebald - genetic aberrant with some useful something??? artistic inspiration?
    PlainsFieldRunner - super fast and thus able to eat rattlesnakes and such in a very interesting way.
    PlainsHoneyFly - stimulates crop growth, and probably stems planet rage
    PlainsSolDragon - something impressive, I don't know.  Brilliant gold.
    SnowyAmberSedge - associated with poor soil???
    SnowyArcticLuffa - unique nano-Xylem useful in computing.
    SnowyFrostwalker - strange blue creature that does... what?
    SnowyGrandElk - spiritually revered... and a source of velvet
    SnowyGroundCycads - again spiritual significance, and also a "Starvation food."
    SnowyIceRaptor - ice lizard of what purpose????
    SnowyLichen - composite organism of cyanobacteria living among fungus filaments; solar boost and Biodegradation
    SnowyPantothenicScrub - prolonging the duration until adrenal exhaustion.  allowing double attacks from adjacent barracks?
    SnowySilverHare - elusive silver rabbit that is actually metallic????
    SnowyTundraNag - some sort of special alien silver and teal horse???

There are some of those that I have kind of question marks for, and my plan is presently to revisit those once I see what holes there seems to be in the overall coverage of types of bonuses that other things have.

I'd also note that when it comes to NEW adjacency bonuses, that's something I'm going to be looking at.  What sort of things might you want to see, though?  You have an opportunity to make some suggestions there if you want.  I'll be combing through the data files and thinking up all the interesting things I can, but I love hearing things that you guys actually want, too.


About This Actual New Version
Oh, caveat #4: as with the last couple of versions, performance kind of... is underwhelming, to say the least.  There are some turns that are taking 16+ seconds to run on my fairly beastly machine!  Good grief.  Keith's hot on the trail of this, though, and is devoting all his time to working on that at the moment.  That's slowing up other potential work, but honestly I find that my enjoyment of any 4x goes waaaay down when the inter-turn time is anything over than a second or two at most.

The reason for the performance problems of late are because of some features and analysis that we added, and we basically have to go in and make the algorithms more efficient, cache and precalculate more data in certain ways, and a variety of other tricks.  It's something we've gotten very good at over the years thanks to AI War in particular, and Keith has far eclipsed what I can do performance-tuning-wise at this point, too.  We just don't like to do it prematurely, because it is a fair bit of work and if the design is going to shift then it's a real waste of time to tune the performance to perfection prior to the design shift.

Anywho.  Performance is not any worse in this version than in the prior version, and hopefully on the next version is should be dramatically better.  My goal is to be back to subsecond interturns, and there may be some subtle design shifts to accomodate that -- we'll see.

Okay, REALLY About This New Version
The cryo pods are gone because I realized I hate them and never felt inclined to use them.  The very definition of a fiddly feature.  But the core gameplay goal that they were trying to accomplish remained an issue that needed to be solved.  And in fact, many of you were bumping up against that and similar issues in terms of employment numbers and trying to get staffing right.  Cryogenic freezing was supposed to be what solved that problem for you, but it was both unintuitive to find that out, and then to use it even once you knew.  So now we have the Holo Resort, and Holo Pods in general, and that solves the problem in a vastly simpler way.

There were also a couple of death spirals that were still possible, one relating to cheap diners needing staff, and the other relating to the way housing vs staffing and so forth was handled on civic centers.  Those death spirals were absolutely avoidable, but at the same time it was extremely easy to fall into those traps even if you mostly know what you're doing.  So that's a bad design that just would frustrate a lot of new players and doesn't add any challenge for experienced players, just one more thing to memorize.  The changes in this version absolve all those particular problems.

There are a wide variety of other balance adjustments in particular relating to staffing, and there are now notifications on the sidebar when you discover natural wonders (since they were easy to miss before), and crime from littered trash is no longer so ridiculously OP.

---

I have a feeling that certain aspects of the game are skewing towards too-easy at the moment, but that's A-OK with me.  Want to know why? ;)  Because you need to be able to take some punches in your city from independent rogues and other races.  Right now they aren't too aggressive on the offense and I've left it that way because the citybuilding was something that was killing everyone anyway.  Now that citybuilding is getting better balanced, it's going to be time to release the hounds soon, so to speak.

Until recently, if an AI came and knocked out part of your town, that was probably going to be a death spiral for you: just staying alive even without outside interference was such a challenge.  The goal is for there to remain an interesting level of challenge there even when you're on your own, but for the AIs/rogues to always be putting external pressure on you as well.  That's one of the things that really makes this different from something like Pharaoh or SimCity or whatnot.  That hasn't been present very much thus far, as most military action has been you going after the enemy.  I'm not quite ready to flip the switch that will change that up just yet, because I do want to continue eliminating death spirals and other issues with the citybuilding first, but just so you know what's coming.  All that stuff is already built into the game, it's just tuned in such a way right now that you see it next to never.

So!  A good day's progress.  I think this is going to be a very different-feeling game by the end of the week, which I'm excited about.  Right now you basically _always_ have the tempo, except when it comes to things like disease and crime, but those aren't meant to be your only antagonists.  Getting those under control is just step 1. :)


UPDATE: http://arcengames.com/mediawiki/index.php?title=Stars_Beyond_Reach_Beta_Release_Notes#Version_0.805

Sorry about that guys, I didn't realize the last version was so borked until I'd already done a few other things for the next version this morning.
« Last Edit: April 28, 2015, 09:41:09 AM by x4000 »
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Offline Zebeast46

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Not sure if this is already implemented or is not useful due to the fact that I am not in the beta {yet, I believe you have me marked down as a blueshirt}, but I think that a summary of the war would be nice. By that I mean a tab somewhere which shows all the buildings you have destroyed and the enemy your fighting has destroyed. I believe this will be helpful {maybe it will be, maybe not} because it will show the player an overview of how well they are doing in a certain war. Again if this is, or something like this is already implemented then you can ignore this post,
AI 1 = Chris.

AI 2 = Keith.

Taken from Bognor

Offline crazyroosterman

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pretty sweet up date over all even though there are those 2 bugs I would love to see get annialated(whisper whisper tempret lakes bug whisper whisper island style bug whisper whisper) but I'm sure that'll happen in its own time I especially like the revamp of cry pods the original building I think I built once  realised that by the time I built It id have to build a couple because of the birth and then figured why not build shopping malls instead  ;) this actually sounds useful ps I still find it hilarious how your species lands on a distant planet probably going to be fighting for their lives against psychotic zenith and flesh eating disease but what's the first thing they decide they want to do? go to a shopping mall and buy pointless nonsense
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Offline crazyroosterman

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Not sure if this is already implemented or is not useful due to the fact that I am not in the beta {yet, I believe you have me marked down as a blueshirt}, but I think that a summary of the war would be nice. By that I mean a tab somewhere which shows all the buildings you have destroyed and the enemy your fighting has destroyed. I believe this will be helpful {maybe it will be, maybe not} because it will show the player an overview of how well they are doing in a certain war. Again if this is, or something like this is already implemented then you can ignore this post, that's a sexy idea for sure although I wish all the races weren't all so crazy about murdering you like in civ 5 when you first meet enougher civ you don't straight away fight each other you probably will sooner or later but for now you can sorta get to know each other a bit.
c.r

Offline Teal_Blue

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Quote from X4000 - (with my responses/descriptions in parentheses)
"


 1.   SeaSlug - anti air range, Cephalaspidea - sensory range?? (2-3 tile range)
 2.  PhoronidWorms - a "filter feeder" sometimes called horsething on your foot    worms??? (more an annoyance than major disease, takes low maintenance cream to keep under control, but takes a long time to cure, 6-12 months)
 3.  VoltaicEel - electric eel purpose??? (attaches itself to interceptor buildings    and reduces the overall range/speed of those craft)
 4.   AnglerShark - very scary, also to do with the light on it (nullifies two attacking units or squads simultaneously. Light amplifies this effect to 4 attacking units/squads for a two turn period)
 5.   SeaMule - delicacy, and otherwise associated with wealth. (super expensive luxury item that effectively doubles the happiness of the population for two turns.    Loss of SeaMule delicacy after having had it produces a 'depressed' period for the population for two turns after loss)
 6.   WoolyTerrapin - sea turtle with lots of hair purpose???? (add invulnerability to your buildings under attack for two turns. Loss of WT means a 4 turn vulnerability at half the value. Use now? Use in the middle of a war? Use when attacking?)
 7.   TuftedBlueCrab - from blue: Either high end sea food, or potentially a poison    source.??? (perhaps both, a high end seafood capable of adding happiness/effectiveness to your population,or portions thereof, for two turns.    But on occassion determined by RNG percentages it is a poison that effectively disables a portion of your population. It doesn't need to kill, but only reduce    the effectiveness of your workforce for two or 4 turns. Perhaps 4? As the bonus is really nice, but there is a substantial risk in using it)

 8.   DesertAuricleFennec - guard animal that prevents crimes of opportunity (for two    turns)
 9.   DesertCactiTrap - some sort of poison fruit (reduces lifespan to a third of portion of population, but doubles there effectiveness. Nice to use, but it costs pop, can you afford that?)
 10.   DesertFruitingCapers - health benefits? (Doubles Intelligence or Strength or Endurance of a unit for two turns, but only one of these, and it is always a risk as it can also disable the unit that is given it for two turns)
 11.   DesertGranulopteryx - air attack range up, learning from flight characteristics  (but effectively loses them, units become a one use only unit and will have to be replaced by newly produced units)
 12.   DesertMacropusDromedary - kangaroo camel???? (allows deeper/wider subterranian access to units for one turn. Units using kangaroo camel support will need additional KC units for a second or third, etc use)
 13.   DesertSulfuricGourd - what to do with sulfur??? (can be used in combination with weapons to produce added hit points for weapons damage, but at the cost of producing a waste from their use that will need to be 'processed' and stored away to prevent disease or chemical contamination)
 14.   DesertVicedViper - super dangerous poison or other heavy chemical warfare stuff
   (takes 2-3 turns to effectively produce, and is used up in 1 turn. Does it effectively kill a tile? Making it non-useable? Or only for 10 or 20 or so    turns? And if 200 turns can be done in 15 minutes [i heard this reference    somewhere] then maybe it should be a 200 to 400 turn non-use for those tiles)
 15.   ForestBlueFanKestrel - guards ground troops, making them stronger? (Perhaps only there endurance, meaning they can withstand XX damage for a turn before dying, FBFK extends this to two turns)
 16.   ForestDwarfHare - some sort of food or other processing (Extends the useful state of a unit for one more turn)
 17.  ForestHenbane - Common effects of henbane ingestion in humans include hallucinations,[1] dilated pupils, restlessness, and flushed skin. Less common    symptoms, such as tachycardia, convulsions, vomiting, hypertension,    hyperpyrexia, and ataxia, have all been noted. (used in bombs and gaseous    attacks on units or populations)
 18.   ForestParotoid - from a gland on this frog - alkaloid substance to deter predators (for 1 turn)
 19.  ForestPomegranateSeedOil - artistic inspiration and cosmetics? (for 5 turns, but    difficult to come by)
 20.  ForestProteinSeeds - food boost? (for 1 turn)
 21.   ForestSkybane - anti-air power, and what else from this blue toxic flower?    (doubles health, but halves useful life of a unit/individual)
 22.   JungleDropbear - cuddly, lethal, strikes with surprise. (Can be used only in    combination with ground troop units)
 23.   JungleEcomorphs - changeable lizard thing?? (Chameleon that 'appears' to be one kind of unit, when in effect only being a decoy. Can mimic several different types of units, but only for 2 or 5 turns, after which the JE lizards would need to be replaced)
 24.   JungleEpiphyticCacti - lives on the side of jungle trees.  Does... what?    (Produces hallucinegenic drug gas into the local air, effectively eliminating the usefulness of the units in that area indefinately. Until they are either    cleared, requiring a certain tech, or units go around the tiles where they reside)
 25.   JungleGhostSpice - looks lovely, but actually is pretty useful as a police aid. (Happy goop, smear some on targets and you get non-hostile units for 1 or 2 turns)
 26.   JungleKudu - musical instruments from their horns, yikes the kuduzela (Happiness index increase for population from these instruments, however the scavenging/harvesting of these horns produces 'raids' from the herds near the    harvesting cities)
 27.   JungleMarten - omnivores that help eat trash or bodies (Useful in small numbers, but can quickly overpopulate and begin to eat non-trash/dead bodies making them in larger numbers a hazard to the health of your population/city)
 28.   JungleNiacinSeeds - cell signaling and DNA repair, health stuff (long term, but very very very expensive)
 29.   JungleOcherSoursop - has the neurotoxin annonacin in it, useful for treating some diseases as well as causing Parkinson's like symptoms (long term?)
 30.   JungleSplitFaceRaptor - strange jungle bird with two heads??? (feathers produce a luxury index addition of 1 long term, but the bird in some cases in the wild act as warning systems for local indigenous life. Promoting the chances [percentage] for an attack by indigenous lifeforms)
 31.   JungleSweetroot - helps with birth rates and folk medicine??? perennial herb
 32.  PlainsArmorDrake - vehicle bonuses or something??? (lifespan doubled, requires    larger 'doses' to maintain that doubled lifespan as it is spread to other units    in sequence. Effectively costing more for each additional unit/squad)
 33.   PlainsFallowPiebald - genetic aberrant with some useful something??? artistic inspiration? (Raises Intellectual endevours in all units, and minimizing conflict or damage ability. Can be used on your own pop to increase artistic    traits that produce other effects in your cities. Or it can be used to 'pacify' target populations for short terms, 10-20 turns?)
 34.   PlainsFieldRunner - super fast and thus able to eat rattlesnakes and such in a very interesting way. (reduces rattlesnake pop in an area long term, 100-200 turns?)
 35.   PlainsHoneyFly - stimulates crop growth, and probably stems planet rage (short term? 10-20 turns?)
 36.   PlainsSolDragon - something impressive, I don't know.  Brilliant gold. (Desert sand dragon composed of the bodies of no less than 1 billion sand ants, very very strong and aggressive, almost impossible to beat, avoidance might be best,    but only produced in rare cases where the queen of a sand ant hive has been killed before a successor has been born or raised to take over. These are local indigenous life, not a race per se and have perhaps only a 2-4 turn lifespan)
 37.   SnowyAmberSedge - associated with poor soil??? (depletes the soil of useful nutrients, if left untreated this micro-organism can decimate farmlands and crops long term, or half decimate for 100-200 turns?)
 38.   SnowyArcticLuffa - unique nano-Xylem useful in computing. (Research item, effectively doubles computing ability, but effectively doubles infrastructure costs as well)
 39.   SnowyFrostwalker - strange blue creature that does... what? (emanates a peaceful thrumming sound, effectively quieting all warfare and conflict in a 2 tile wide circle around the beast as it wanders across the map, creating 'peace' in its path)
 40.   SnowyGrandElk - spiritually revered... and a source of velvet. (Cannot be captured, slowed, or held, it produces a sense of 'one-ness' as long as it remains within 2-5 tiles of any unit. No conflict in those areas can occur)
 41.   SnowyGroundCycads - again spiritual significance, and also a "Starvation food."    (extends lifespan for 1 more day, or unit of time. But reduces conflict in units where it is used, to zero)
 42.   SnowyIceRaptor - ice lizard of what purpose???? (Casts an invisibility screen over nearby units, making them unseen, but also un-scannable or un-smellable? For as long as the lizard is in the area. RNG could have it in any given area for 2-5 turns)
 43.   SnowyLichen - composite organism of cyanobacteria living among fungus filaments;    solar boost and Biodegradation (1-2 turns)
 44.  SnowyPantothenicScrub - prolonging the duration until adrenal exhaustion.  allowing double attacks from adjacent barracks? (1-2 turns)
 45.   SnowySilverHare - elusive silver rabbit that is actually metallic???? (offers local indigenous attacking units double damage points for 1-2 turns)
 46.   SnowyTundraNag - some sort of special alien silver and teal horse??? (effectively lowers the planet rage of units/race in area as long as nag is in the area. RNG effectively leaves the nag in a given area for 10-20, or 100-200 or 400-800 turns? [1 or 2 hours realtime?] actually this is my favorite. :) )

-Teal


//

Offline ptarth

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From my last play through, I really dislike temporary bonuses. Either they give me a surplus and are wasted, or they become integral and I have to rapidly deploy an alternative whatever system because I'm suddenly short 5% of X.
Note: This post contains content that is meant to be whimsical. Any belittlement or trivialization of complex issues is only intended to lighten the mood and does not reflect upon the merit of those positions.

Offline Teal_Blue

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Ptarth,
                    don't you feel that 'permanent' bonuses are liable to be abused to easily? Or that the bonuses aren't balanced enough with a drawback for using them?

I'm not saying you can't be frustrated, i am saying how can we get bonuses into the game that don't hand the player too easy a time, and cost something. Not just resources, but resource cost is good, time cost is good in that our bonus is only useable for short time. Or that the plus side has a dark side cost to using it.

I might not go to war so quickly if i have to sustain a 200-300 crown cost over each turn?

How could we fix not using short term bonuses and still have a very strategic game that changes each turn we play or each ability we field?

As someone playing the game your ideas are closer to seeing what will work, but how do you play? Are you aggressive? Do you turtle, or hold back, play a cautious advance style? Do you expand-expand-expand? Each player has a different approach. I am hoping not to create a game where only one playstyle dominates. But where each playstyle has its place.

What do you think?

Does it sound reasonable?

In place of my short term bonuses/with drawbacks, what would you propose that could be substitued that has an equal bonus/cost to it?

Thanks for listening,
-Teal



Offline ptarth

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Note to Testers: 0.804 is seriously bjorked. Do not download it if you want to test anything tonight.
Note: This post contains content that is meant to be whimsical. Any belittlement or trivialization of complex issues is only intended to lighten the mood and does not reflect upon the merit of those positions.

Offline TheVampire100

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Power shortage, power shortage, power shortage, POWER SHORTAGE!!!

Ugh, I cannot see this anymore. Looks like we have to wait for a quick fix. Makes the game really painful to play instead of entertaining.

Offline ptarth

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Don't you feel that 'permanent' bonuses are liable to be abused to easily? Or that the bonuses aren't balanced enough with a drawback for using them?

So, part of it is that there are several different systems of bonuses. Market items have both ongoing and one-time decaying bonuses. The ongoing ones cost crown maintenance. The one-time costs are upfront, but they can't be relied on enough to be predictable. Trying to plan around my Birthrate boost from MaximBurlusts decaying in 10 turns is frustrating. Trying to do so for 50+ different bonuses is terrifying. It's better to just ignore them all.

Another type are the Resource bonuses. Resource bonuses are a product of consume resources in buildings. For example Ants are consumed in the Warehouse to increase Food Production. Each Warehouse consumes X points of Ants to produce a bonus of Y. These are more straightforward to plan for, but in the end were difficult to work with because I can't get the right resources in the right place at the right time. Once resource trading is implemented, this might be easier. Resources bonuses actually have huge costs, you have to build extractors (so much pollution!) and then build the consumption building (so much crime AND pollution). Then you have to have buildings either adjacent or in the empire that benefit. So there are costs.

Quote
I might not go to war so quickly if i have to sustain a 200-300 crown cost over each turn?

War doesn't really work like that. Take for example my 100 turn Peltian War. The Peltians were living across the channel. I came in peace, so I ignored them and just built normally. They started shelling my buildings. Early on they destroyed buildings, but once my buildings were fully built, they weren't able to destroy them in one turn, so I just repaired things and ignored them. I continued to build. Now I moved into range for their helipad and they start attacking me by air. Annoyed, I then built some AA, Helipads, Barracks, and Guard posts. However, rather than attack them, I just let them run into my AA for 90 turns or so. Eventually I got tired of them not working with my Embassy and sent them back to the crater they spawned from. My costs are: Building sites for all of my military building, Extra pollution, crime, power, and staffing costs, Extra planetary Rage due to the power and military building excesses. So even though I didn't attack for 90 turns, I still had costs associated with it. Estimated per turn cost was not very much 10k maybe? Upfront costs to deploy and support all of it was probably close to 500k.

Quote
As someone playing the game your ideas are closer to seeing what will work, but how do you play? Are you aggressive? Do you turtle, or hold back, play a cautious advance style? Do you expand-expand-expand? Each player has a different approach. I am hoping not to create a game where only one playstyle dominates. But where each playstyle has its place.

I believe Chris has me labelled as a power gaming abomination focused on growth above all else, continually twisting his efforts to control into even greater examples of excess. To put it in perspective, my latest attempt was 50k people in 215 or so turns. This is compared to some of the others who have 5k people in 400 turns. I'm not saying that I'm better, just more aggressively with expansion. And I'm not really that good at it. I can play Civ at Diety, but not very well, and mostly because I can follow the rough progression script. I'd ballpark myself in the top 90%, not casual in any sense, but not great either.

As to turtling/expansion, the AI is what forces this, as it stands the AI is too passive, so it doesn't come up. I'm expansive because there is no way of doing upwards growth yet. Your choice is to spread, or not. I suppose I could try going entirely green, but as it stands I rely on solar and eliminating all pollution I can. I could not build any industry, but then I'd have to spread even faster and farther. That's a scary thought.

As to players who don't expand, actually, assuming the AI is built to not baby the player, then that player needs to play on lower levels of difficulty.  That's hard for many people to take, having to play on normal or easy, but... I know that in some games they take the tactic of making "easy" the new normal or hard (e.g., XCOM).

As to bonuses, here are my thoughts.
The cost of the effect needs to be proportional to the benefit. The amount of X required to do Y, should grow as your city grows. However, this is just based on population. So for example if your Atlantian SeaSlugs are used to make SeaSlug Paste which is spread onto Solar Power plants to increase power generation by 5%. You need 10 Slugs per plant per turn to keep things at maximum efficiency. Extra SeaSlugs are just stacked in warehouses. So if you have 9 Solar Power plants, you'd need 90 SeaSlugs per turn. And for every new Solar Power plant you build you'll need another 10 SeaSlugs per turn. If you only have enough to supply 75 SeaSlugs per turn (without any previous Surplus), then you'd need to get more SeaSlugs (trading, more extractors, more efficient extractors). You would also have a limit to the number of SeaSlugs you could convert into paste each turn. So if each conversion building was able to turn 100 SeaSlugs into SeaSlug paste to spread on the Solar Generators, then you'd need 1 plant every 10 Solar Power Plants. You'd then have to pay upkeep on the lot.

Global bonuses, I'm okay with. Just give X to Y, one-time cost of whatever.

Market Items are trickier. The reoccuring treaties should probably get transfer to the points based system. You need X industry worth of points to power Y amount of upgrades. If you build more Y, you need to get more X, otherwise the bonuses are reduced. However, this is the important part, the increase is always positive, you don't suddenly lose 5% of production, its that the new plants are less effective.

One-time use items... They are troublesome. Right now, they are mostly worthless for many things. The Crown bonuses are just too small. I can spend 100k on buying 5-10 market items, which increase net-income by ... 25 crowns PER bank, which are already generating ~8k.  I like the ideas of the one-time items. I like the ideas of selling these and what not, I just don't have a good idea on how to deal with them.

Edit: Actually, I do. Each gives X as a bonus (permanent now though). The effect of x is actually log(sum(x)). So that you need increasing amounts of the various things to increase your bonuses, but once you get them, you get to keep them. So to get +1% Birthrate you might need 1 item, but to get the next +1% birthrate, you need 3 more. To the get the third +1% birthrate, you need 5 more, and so on. This would limit gains, yet still make it worthwhile to do so. Alternatively, instead of making them a percentage, make them a flat add X amount (e.g., +10 births per turn).

One topic that hasn't been addressed is the scaling of bonuses. If you are a little city, a 1% bonus isn't very useful, flat additive bonuses are better because they cause more change. However, if you are a large city ,a 1% bonus can be massive. The trade offs between the two of them are subtle, and really need to be simulated. One solution is to use percentage bonuses, but have big early bonuses and small later bonuses. So the first upgrade is 5%, but the next is only 2%, and so forth. This is actually equivalent to the log method above.

Also, while on the topic of bonuses and resources. The resources only give the bonuses when you are spending them, so the effect, without replenishment will only last a single turn.
« Last Edit: April 28, 2015, 11:04:16 AM by ptarth »
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Offline ptarth

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Power shortage, power shortage, power shortage, POWER SHORTAGE!!!

Ugh, I cannot see this anymore. Looks like we have to wait for a quick fix. Makes the game really painful to play instead of entertaining.

I loaded up my last game to see how things were working. I hit end turn and end up with 6 million pieces of litter. On the plus side, even with all that litter, my city did not turn into an apocalyptic wasteland in a single turn. However, no one got to eat anything, pollution was on the rise, and I was using....trillions of units of power. I decided to write long winded posts on the forums instead of testing tonight.
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Offline x4000

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@Teal_Blue: Thanks for the notes!  I'll be getting to those shortly.

Not sure if this is already implemented or is not useful due to the fact that I am not in the beta {yet, I believe you have me marked down as a blueshirt}, but I think that a summary of the war would be nice. By that I mean a tab somewhere which shows all the buildings you have destroyed and the enemy your fighting has destroyed. I believe this will be helpful {maybe it will be, maybe not} because it will show the player an overview of how well they are doing in a certain war. Again if this is, or something like this is already implemented then you can ignore this post,

That's a good one for mantis actually. :)

From my last play through, I really dislike temporary bonuses. Either they give me a surplus and are wasted, or they become integral and I have to rapidly deploy an alternative whatever system because I'm suddenly short 5% of X.

I dislike temporary bonuses also.  What bonuses are you referring to, though?  Most of them are set up so that there's no reason they can't be ongoing.

Note to Testers: 0.804 is seriously bjorked. Do not download it if you want to test anything tonight.

Yep, update coming very shortly.  Sorry about that guys!  :-[
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Offline x4000

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UPDATE: http://arcengames.com/mediawiki/index.php?title=Stars_Beyond_Reach_Beta_Release_Notes#Version_0.805

Sorry about that guys, I didn't realize the last version was so borked until I'd already done a few other things for the next version this morning.
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Offline ptarth

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Quote

I dislike temporary bonuses also.  What bonuses are you referring to, though?  Most of them are set up so that there's no reason they can't be ongoing.


I was having weird resource fluxes where meals and income were not behaving as expected. I had made several one-time market item trades several turns earlier. Given that you had previously stated that one-offs were temporary, and I couldn't find out what was happening otherwise, so I blame them. ;)
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Offline x4000

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Ah, I gotcha.  Yeah, those one-off resource trades are more about long-term attitude or trust adjustments, etc.  They are, in essence, bribes, heh.

Those other insane fluctuations were due to the crazy death-pirouettes (those weren't even spirals) that were caused in the last version thanks to the bug with energy and trash and staffing.
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