Arcen Games

Games => The Last Federation => Topic started by: x4000 on April 10, 2014, 11:22:20 PM

Title: New version .853 (Solar Interface, Combat Balance)
Post by: x4000 on April 10, 2014, 11:22:20 PM
Release notes: http://arcengames.com/mediawiki/index.php?title=The_Last_Federation_Alpha_Release_Notes#Alpha_Version_.853

Restart steam to force a quicker update if you like.

Goodly amount of stuff in this one!  As per usual lately, heh:

1. There are a few bugfixes, and some of them are substantial.  Although we didn't really make that much progress on the bugfixing today, as we were otherwise engaged.

2. The underlying framework for setting up quest-related combat is now straightened out a lot better, thanks to Keith.  That's what took up most of his bugfixing time today; that and some unexpected things that he found and fixed when he was working on adding some interface line items.  Ideally with the work that was done here, I should be able to really get cranking on adding more quests over this weekend without bugging him.  My pie-in-the-sky goal is 100+ quests, and right now we have 4, which is not too bad considering that was done with a bunch of framework and GUI stuff alongside it.  So we shall see what I can accomplish there, but I intend for quests to be a really major driving force in the game.

3. Thanks almost exclusively to zharmad, who went really above and beyond on his analysis, there's a ton of combat balance tuning.  It feels better to me; most of the differences are not the sort of thing a new player would notice, but I really feel like it gives the combat more proper legs.

4. I've made a couple of changes to keep the giant battles from becoming SO giant.  Basically we were finding cases where there could be like 60+ flagships in a battle (with all their dozens of squadrons of multiple ships each), and the game could hardly run that on our beefy CPUs.  The solutions that I've come up with there I'm pretty pleased with.

5. The techs that are related to combat (ground or space) now have a lot more teeth.  nat_401 made some really good observations there that I had missed mainly because I get those techs out of habit, heh.  I think that these techs will be a lot less ignorable now.  And there are more techs that I have planned for tomorrow -- I started to get that in tonight, but then didn't have time.  I've been wanting to do this other tech stuff for a while anyway, and it fit's well with nat_401's observations, so that works out well.

6. RCI values are now more volatile in the negative direction; it's no longer so easy to create late-game utopias.  This is actually in some ways a good thing, because some really interesting quests will open up when races are getting desperate.  Actually one already does.

7. Two new quests, to add to the two from yesterday.

8. Loooooads of interface improvements to the solar map tooltips, and then a number of related screens.  Just some various stuff I've been meaning to get to for a long while, and that has been bugging me since... what, November?  December?  But I just never had time to get to it, always something more pressing.  Anyway, the most-horrible screens are now cleaned up, and there are some cases where information that was frankly not available to you before is now revealed.  Like what the budgets are, and what the racial compatibility with a planet means, and what the AI is building on a planet, or even what disease it has on a planet.  There are still some screens I need to get to, but nothing remotely so dire anymore, which is a real relief for me.  I still also do need to write descriptions for most of the actions and political deals, and rewrite the descriptions for most buildings and many events and actions.  The descriptions for the techs were updated a week or so ago, so those are fine.

So there's still more clarity work for me to do, but I'm trying to balance that against functional considerations, like the quests for instance.  There still aren't enough of those for you to really get a good sense of how the system will work, but the quests that are there should all work properly now, at least. :)

Enjoy!
Title: Re: New version .853 (Solar Interface, Combat Balance)
Post by: x4000 on April 10, 2014, 11:22:33 PM
New testers!

abonome
Konqq
Negative1
starzg1
Notserc
TyreForHyre
satoru
Pluto011
Tokyodan

You should get a PM from me shortly.  If you don't, then PM me! :)
Title: Re: New version .853 (Solar Interface, Combat Balance)
Post by: Vyndicu on April 11, 2014, 12:08:43 AM
4. I've made a couple of changes to keep the giant battles from becoming SO giant.  Basically we were finding cases where there could be like 60+ flagships in a battle (with all their dozens of squadrons of multiple ships each), and the game could hardly run that on our beefy CPUs.  The solutions that I've come up with there I'm pretty pleased with.

60? Hah Try 125 flagships. Lucky although I was on easy combat-wise mode and was not too worried. The slog between defender and attacker ensure in some hilarity one-side battles.
Title: Re: New version .853 (Solar Interface, Combat Balance)
Post by: Professor Paul1290 on April 11, 2014, 01:21:13 AM
I'm getting a weird situation where the enemy is often not moving or shooting back at me...

I'm going to uninstall and reinstall then start a new game to make sure something completely bonkers didn't happen in there.

EDIT:
Ok, it's still there, I think something might be wrong.
Title: Re: New version .853 (Solar Interface, Combat Balance)
Post by: PokerChen on April 11, 2014, 02:16:35 AM
It should be noted that many of these are individually pointed out earlier when the game wasn't ready for a whole balance pass... I confirmed them and compiled them into the list on Mantis. Will make a note to the release notes to the following effect:
"combat balance suggestions compiled by zharmad, from various feedback up to this point by alpha testeres"
Title: Re: New version .853 (Solar Interface, Combat Balance)
Post by: zespri on April 11, 2014, 03:08:34 AM
My apologies if this is not viable for any reason, but here is a suggestion. A sticky thread with the current release schedule for the game. And by release schedule I mean the current approximate expected release date. I know that usually these thread are difficult to keep up to date as things change, but given that Arcen practically lives in these forums, this should not be an issue in this case?

Currently I have not idea what is the current ETA and it's difficult to find this info buried somewhere in an earlier thread.

The front page says it's April. Is it still April?
Title: Re: New version .853 (Solar Interface, Combat Balance)
Post by: nas1m on April 11, 2014, 03:27:50 AM
It is :):

...
And if we haven't heard from you... well, now would be the time, if you want to be heard prior to 1.0, heh. ;)  We're just about exactly a week out now -- 4/18 is the day!
Title: Re: New version .853 (Solar Interface, Combat Balance)
Post by: zespri on April 11, 2014, 03:48:27 AM
Cheers, mate.
Title: Re: New version .853 (Solar Interface, Combat Balance)
Post by: nas1m on April 11, 2014, 03:54:43 AM
No worries ;).
Title: Re: New version .853 (Solar Interface, Combat Balance)
Post by: Hyfrydle on April 11, 2014, 04:20:22 AM
Is anyone else finding the AI not attacking in combat missions? On previous versions enemy ships moved to attack but now they just sit and wait to be destroyed.

After doing a few more combat missions I can confirm it has suddenly become much easier the enemy just don't seem to attack, I much preferred the previous versions.

When flagships release fighters they just rotate around the flagship and don't attack me at all.
Title: Re: New version .853 (Solar Interface, Combat Balance)
Post by: Misery on April 11, 2014, 05:32:27 AM
Yep, combat is broken at the moment.

Nothing attacks me, ever.

Enemy ships dont even seem to notice... it's not like they're going into aggressive maneuvers towards me and not firing, they're just plain not doing anything at all;  they just hover around wherever they spawned.
Title: Re: New version .853 (Solar Interface, Combat Balance)
Post by: Hyfrydle on April 11, 2014, 05:42:15 AM
Glad it's not just me I'm also getting graphical background errors and errors reported by the engine.

Still having fun though so once these issues are sorted it's shaping up to be a very engrossing game.
Title: Re: New version .853 (Solar Interface, Combat Balance)
Post by: x4000 on April 11, 2014, 07:04:35 AM
Yikes, sorry!  New version now out!
Title: Re: New version .853 (Solar Interface, Combat Balance)
Post by: Hyfrydle on April 11, 2014, 07:58:41 AM
Just started a game with the new version, in the starter combat I only have to destroy one flagship not two is this correct?
Title: Re: New version .853 (Solar Interface, Combat Balance)
Post by: x4000 on April 11, 2014, 08:28:35 AM
Just started a game with the new version, in the starter combat I only have to destroy one flagship not two is this correct?

Yeah, the flagships are more buff now, and there is only 1 per flotilla rather than 2.  I may need to make this a two-flotilla fight, though.  Thanks for the note, will do.
Title: Re: New version .853 (Solar Interface, Combat Balance)
Post by: Histidine on April 11, 2014, 10:02:57 AM
Quote
A new rule has been put in place that prevents more than 10 flagships of not-including-you being in a battle at any given time, for performance reasons. However, any flagships that WOULD have been in the battle instead come in waves as others die. This keeps the scale/difficulty, without making it so that your CPU dies a fiery death.
Not having CPU murder is great, but battles feel rather sparse now. Also, it seems to make Mercenary Hotline very weak (battle is full so newcomer's flagships can't spawn).

Could it be changed to 5 or more ships for each race in the battle, perhaps less one for each other non-Hydral race already participating?
Title: Re: New version .853 (Solar Interface, Combat Balance)
Post by: x4000 on April 11, 2014, 04:15:19 PM
Quote
A new rule has been put in place that prevents more than 10 flagships of not-including-you being in a battle at any given time, for performance reasons. However, any flagships that WOULD have been in the battle instead come in waves as others die. This keeps the scale/difficulty, without making it so that your CPU dies a fiery death.
Not having CPU murder is great, but battles feel rather sparse now. Also, it seems to make Mercenary Hotline very weak (battle is full so newcomer's flagships can't spawn).

Could it be changed to 5 or more ships for each race in the battle, perhaps less one for each other non-Hydral race already participating?

* Made some adjustments to the flagship-staggering logic such that:
** Any flagship that was previously visible won't become hidden over the course of a battle.  So, for instance, ships that get called in later, like the mercenary hotline, will always appear properly.
** The cap of flagships is normally still 10, or it is 3 times the number of sides, whichever is greater.  So if there are 5 sides, the max is actually 15.