Author Topic: Idea: Tactical for Credits, Dispatch for Influence  (Read 784 times)

Offline Drak

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Idea: Tactical for Credits, Dispatch for Influence
« on: May 18, 2014, 09:35:08 AM »
A thought occurred that might solve a whole host of problems, but I can't really see it from all the angles, and I only know my own playstyle, so I'm throwing it out here to get feedback.  I'll put it in Mantis if there's alot of interest and no major problems that anyone can see. But here goes:

Idea 1) Completely Remove Credits from the Dispatches - all together (fixes the goon problems, the technology gains problems, and more importantly creates an interdependance between the tactical and strategic map - as follows).
(There may be a couple of exceptions, like an "offer services" dispatch which pays credits (but no influence) - and just helps the race do whatever they are currently doing anywyas - you're basically hired by the race - so you have no control, but they get a small productivity boost, and you get paid.

Idea 2) All (or at least, most) credits come from Tactical Missions and Quests. This is pretty much how it is now anyways, so focus more on it. Reduce influence losses, and all but eliminate influence gains - those come from the Dispatches which are done between missions. (So coming to the defense of a friendly race will gain you little influence with them, but will give you a goodly number of credits - it will still, of course, bring negatives from those you fight with, but not as bad as it currently does). Basically, they EXPECT you to meddle, so though they're peaved by it, unless you do it consistantly, they're largly going to dismiss it as "that last Hydral putting his nose where it doesn't belong again-sigh".
This allows players to take on more tactical missions and have a larger impact on the simulation, without having to shoot themselves in the foot to do it. Or they can just kinda go on a rampage and ruffle some feathers, but won't forever destroy their ability to win the game. (I just lost the game -- for those who know what i'm talking about...)

Idea 3) Tactical Combat takes no Strategic time - Flying from one side of the system to the other takes half a day, so does flying part away around a planet?! More importantly, it frees the player to pursue the fight with whatever style they want (timers could still be utilized for some missions to create a rush - like deliever tech could have sats joining as time progresses, farming pirates still has the time before the freighters leave, etc). And there would be a limit of (player initiated) tactical battles per some time frame (one per day, 5 per month, etc) (quests may be outside this, as would assassination attempts that occur AFTER the limit, but making assassination attempts and the like use up the daily opportunity might be an effective means of making them more significant - would need actual testing to determine if more frustrating, or motivating).

Idea 4) More tactical opportunities. Obviously, alot more tactical opportunities are going to be needed, but the game is already headed that way (and it's good). But what I mean, is there's going to need to be some CHOICES, so as to make it HARD to decide how to spend those limitted combat opportunities each time period. (Do I take this mission that give me more credits, or that mission that help the planet's RCI, or this other mission that gets me some influence items....)

The things I'm hoping these changes would fix:

1) Goons and Tech - eliminating the credit rewards all together, makes it easier to balance these things, basically using Goons is a means of turning credits into influence, or getting the item earlier.
2) Greater interdependency between the tactical and strategic events (Strategic choices produce tactical opportunites, and tactical choices influence strategic opportunities).
3) Better pacing. Getting tired of tactical combat? No worries, sit on your laurells for a while and do some rep farming or planet/race moulding. Tired of rep farming? No worries, take a couple of tactical missions to alleviate the boredom.

Anyways, the idea is still VERY unformed, and needs lots of feedback, so be ruthless, let's see if this baby can survive!  :)
« Last Edit: May 18, 2014, 09:40:09 AM by Drak »

Offline GC13

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Re: Idea: Tactical for Credits, Dispatch for Influence
« Reply #1 on: May 18, 2014, 11:18:33 AM »
Combat needs to give less credit, not more. It's already really hard to build up the war chest you need to get races into the Federation at the extortionate prices some of them charge, and to get it you either have to hope there are insurgents fighting against the Federation (why should anyone ever hope for this?) or go and alienate a race and farm them for credit.

I do agree that the tactical map taking time is really silly. I can see why there would be a desire to keep people from taking it super slow and super safe, but the combats are only ever going to take a few months. The only time that matters is when a war starts and a race dies before you can get to them, and that should never happen. Otherwise, you lose a month or two you could have spent running a dispatch mission, which is worth just about zero right now.
Furthermore, it is my opinion that Hari must be destroyed.

Offline NichG

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Re: Idea: Tactical for Credits, Dispatch for Influence
« Reply #2 on: May 19, 2014, 03:05:51 AM »
Yeah, the problem with this I think is that it encourages a very grinding approach to the game - you have to fight to get credits, but once you've fought one battle at that location its not going to be very tactically different when you attack the same ball of ships again (if anything, it'll get easier as the number of armadas per encounter starts to drop).

Also, the way things scale, rep-farming stops being important at a certain point but credits are pretty much always important, so that needs to be taken into account.

Instead, especially with the ability to lose at tactical and not lose the game, I'd like to see the tactical mode focus more on decision-branch moments where failing the battle means that something immediately goes the wrong way for you, but succeeding in the battle immediately solves a problem. That way you're not fighting the same battle 8 times in a row or things like that.

Offline UnfriendlyBG

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Re: Idea: Tactical for Credits, Dispatch for Influence
« Reply #3 on: May 19, 2014, 03:21:47 AM »

Instead, especially with the ability to lose at tactical and not lose the game, I'd like to see the tactical mode focus more on decision-branch moments where failing the battle means that something immediately goes the wrong way for you, but succeeding in the battle immediately solves a problem. That way you're not fighting the same battle 8 times in a row or things like that.

yeah like i tried to fight off the acutians and the evucks who were both attacking the burlusts with no defense.  The acutians were raiding and the evucks had declared war.  I think there were 2 armadas for the evucks and 6 for the acutians.  I played the battle and killed everything, so it took out the 2 evuckian (?) armadas but it left 2 of the acutian armadas alive and raiding still.  It would have been nice to make the acutians retreat from raiding as they just lost 75% of (i believe) their entire fleet.  I don't know what cutoff you would put for numbers though when there's like 20 armadas attacking something.  Although I dont think i've even seen a race get 20 armadas in my 1.33333 games so far

Offline Drak

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Re: Idea: Tactical for Credits, Dispatch for Influence
« Reply #4 on: May 19, 2014, 09:11:45 AM »
Combat needs to give less credit, not more. It's already really hard to build up the war chest you need to get races into the Federation at the extortionate prices some of them charge, and to get it you either have to hope there are insurgents fighting against the Federation (why should anyone ever hope for this?) or go and alienate a race and farm them for credit.

But if you consider that influence from tactical missions is reduced, then you can "farm" a race (and tank with that race) or you can farm several races and just kinda make them all a little miffed. So that's the idea there - you can't just go and hit one race over and over (unless your strategy IS to alienate them) - but you can go around and fight a few different places and then use the time between to recover with dispatches.

Yeah, the problem with this I think is that it encourages a very grinding approach to the game - you have to fight to get credits, but once you've fought one battle at that location its not going to be very tactically different when you attack the same ball of ships again (if anything, it'll get easier as the number of armadas per encounter starts to drop).

Also, point 4 is about making MORE tactical opportunities, so yeah, it doesn't work without all the points I made for sure. There will need to be alot of tactical missions added, and possibly make some of the existing ones (like pirates, or splinter factions) more readily available. Some weaker or build-up variations would be good too (like splinter factions that start small and build over time.) The reason for the limitted opportunities per time frame was because there should be some easy and some difficult (but more rewarding) missions available during that time frame, so the decission becomes "Do I take the easy mission and get a small but steady reward, or do I try that risky mission (because I'm bored, or because I need to try for a long shot to save the game, or just because I need more credits this time period, so I can't settle for cheap missions)?"


Also, the way things scale, rep-farming stops being important at a certain point but credits are pretty much always important, so that needs to be taken into account.

Also, note that I did recommend a money making dispatch. I did it for the exact reasons listed. Early in the game, if you get in a pinch, you can utalize it, but also, late in the game, you can utalize it as a sort of "got nothing better to do" choice that still helps push things along.

Additionally, since Strategic is supposed to drive tactical opportunities, better missions would become available as the game progresses. Ships kills will also become more valuable, there'd be more pirates and splinter factions, etc.

Instead, especially with the ability to lose at tactical and not lose the game, I'd like to see the tactical mode focus more on decision-branch moments where failing the battle means that something immediately goes the wrong way for you, but succeeding in the battle immediately solves a problem. That way you're not fighting the same battle 8 times in a row or things like that.

That can be controlled via the strategic decisions make tactical opportunities mechanic. The same mission shouldn't be available repeatedly - unless you specifically and carefully guide the strategic map to make that a possibility of course.

I do agree that the tactical map taking time is really silly. I can see why there would be a desire to keep people from taking it super slow and super safe, but the combats are only ever going to take a few months. The only time that matters is when a war starts and a race dies before you can get to them, and that should never happen. Otherwise, you lose a month or two you could have spent running a dispatch mission, which is worth just about zero right now.

Hmm, I see what you mean by slow and safe, but I think that should be a valid strategy. If need be, things can be done to decrease value over the length of the battle (like ships leaving), but it shouldn't be a hard rule, there should be some missions where you are EXPECTED to take it slow and safe, and some where it's fast paced. Maximizes customer reach that way (those who like slow and safe will chose those missions more often, and those who like to gamble can take the others). For instance, a mission that has no loss over time (and can be played slow and safe) would be worth 1,000 cr, no matter how long it takes. Another mission type, that has diminishing returns, may be worth 2,000cr if done quick enough, 1,000cr if done in average time, and possibly 0cr if you completely botch it.

Offline Teal_Blue

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Re: Idea: Tactical for Credits, Dispatch for Influence
« Reply #5 on: May 19, 2014, 06:29:18 PM »
Nice concept, it would be nice to see how it works in the game.  :)


Offline Silverfire

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Re: Idea: Tactical for Credits, Dispatch for Influence
« Reply #6 on: May 23, 2014, 07:22:43 AM »
I, too, would like to at least see some variety in the options for legitimate credit gain. The 60-90 or whatever for a dispatch isn't enough to handle the incredible costs of a lot of actions, meaning the only real means of making money is AFA hunting.

Which is only one tactical mission type. I'd like to see 4-5 AFA combat scenarios, personally, just for variety's sake. Hold a point, protect an allied building, stuff like that. Combine that with some added non AFA credit generators like more pirate stuff (which they seem to be doing already).

Thing is, I'd also like to see certain dispatches generating credit commensurate with tactical combat, because time is arguably a more precious resource at the moment than credit.  Perhaps dispatches that reward you with nothing but injecting more chaos into the system-- something equivalent to helping the Evucks refine weapons-grade uranium, say. Very valuable credit gain, increases likelihood of Evucks doing very nasty stuff if they ever go to war.