Balancing the Playable species

Creation, discussion, and balancing of game content such as techs, buildings, ship parts.

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wobbly
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Re: Balancing the Playable species

#16 Post by wobbly »

Voker57 wrote: Tue Feb 14, 2017 8:07 pm 2. Laenfa is underpowered. Their stealth bonuses don't protect them from aggression (without supply, there is not much point in staying alive), and being phototrophic sucks. Give them normal research at least, maybe small bonus to ship stealth? Only possible way to win as laenfa currently is basically finding a better race and playing them instead.
As I'm seeing this view a lot I'm going to explain why I think people are underestimating laenfa. If you have 100uu detection range and 100uu speed ships and your enemies ships only have 50uu detection this is clearly a dangerous situation, or at least should be. So my suspicion is people just aren't taking full advantage of laenfa's perks. Now I don't actually think they are as powerful as say gyschae are, but they are clearly better then humans.

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Oberlus
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Re: Balancing the Playable species

#17 Post by Oberlus »

I agree Laenfa are better than humans:
Env. tolerance: Broad > Standard
Population: Good > Average
Detection: Great >> Average
Stealth: Great >> Average
Influence: Bad < Good
Attack troops: Bad < Average
Defense troops: Bad < Average (but compensated with stealth).

Even considering the good influence of humans, they are less powerful.

ThinkSome
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Re: Balancing the Playable species

#18 Post by ThinkSome »

this is exactly how I destroyed Swaq's early fleet. He (etty) simply could not see my (trith) incoming 60 speed frigates. I don't think the detection range is of such tactical help after active radar, but it is a strategic asset.

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swaq
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Re: Balancing the playable races

#19 Post by swaq »

wobbly wrote: Fri Nov 13, 2020 1:16 pm Sly - Fine for single player. Waiting for them to turn up in multiplayer and get belted before commenting.
Sly has been in two multiplayer games that I played. First with Hyperant who seemed to hold his own pretty well against L29Ah's Trith but was let down by his weak ally JonCST and ultimately lost as the opposite front crumbled. The second was Ophiuchus in a free-for-all game where they were more annoying in their difficulty to conquer but didn't pose much overall threat. This game also highlighted the danger lighthouses pose to Sly.

I think Sly do well as complementary to a decent native species or species swap with an ally. With no natives and a free-for-all setup they are relatively weak. The strategy to stay stealthed may work against the AI who are slow to research detection and usually don't blockade important systems, but is prohibitively expensive against real players.

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Re: Balancing the Playable species

#20 Post by Oberlus »

I find mentally difficult to further boost humans, so I'm exploring to nerf anything more powerful.

To complete the three species mentioned by wobbly as reference:

Etty:
Good pilots
Great supply
Good planetary stealth
Good defense troops
Bad industry
Bad detection

Bad industry is maybe compensated by good pilots if war can start early, and the great supply helps in that a lot.
Bad detection somehow can slow down the colonization a bit, but overpowered by great supply.
Then we have good planetary stealth and good defense troops, that both allows for cheaper protection against invasion.

They need a small nerf to be comparable to humans. Bad influence maybe.


Replicon:
Good industry
Bad research
Good defense troops
Very bad influence

I think these are comparable to Humans. The bad influence will force them to focus more planets on influence and compensate for the good industry that isn't compensated by bad research.

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Re: Balancing the Playable species

#21 Post by wobbly »

Oberlus wrote: Fri Nov 13, 2020 8:09 pm I find mentally difficult to further boost humans, so I'm exploring to nerf anything more powerful.
I never played moo1 but I have played the remake, Remnants of the Precursors and I think they prove humans don't have to be some zero bonuses race. I think humans are quite capable of having some bonus as long as its something that can reasonably be explained in the fluff. I do think they should remain the baseline in production/research and the rest is fair game.
Oberlus wrote: Fri Nov 13, 2020 8:09 pm Very bad influence
This is something I'm not sure how to take account for in balance. Current master you can have -5 billion influence without seeing any side effect.

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Re: Balancing the Playable species

#22 Post by Oberlus »

Give humans...

Faster population growth? (would be a new trait)
Maybe doesn't fit humans (compared to other species).

Faster colony building? (some native species have that already)
Something about their adventure and expansive nature.

Some other new combat trait, like better structure or shields?
Can't see any reasonable fluff. Maybe "good engineers".

Great influence (instead of good)?
Make it the human's thing.

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Re: Balancing the Playable species

#23 Post by Oberlus »

wobbly wrote: Fri Nov 13, 2020 8:24 pm
Oberlus wrote: Fri Nov 13, 2020 8:09 pm Very bad influence
This is something I'm not sure how to take account for in balance. Current master you can have -5 billion influence without seeing any side effect.
Let's assume for now that good influence will be comparable to good industry (research) in terms of PP (RP) output. Less colonies focused in influence, more production.

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Re: Balancing the Playable species

#24 Post by wobbly »

Oberlus wrote: Fri Nov 13, 2020 8:34 pm Give humans...

Faster population growth? (would be a new trait)
Maybe doesn't fit humans (compared to other species).

Faster colony building? (some native species have that already)
Something about their adventure and expansive nature.
One or both of these could work for Abaddoni instead?

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Oberlus
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Re: Balancing the Playable species

#25 Post by Oberlus »

Knowing what actually means each species trait in terms of the others would be very valuable.
We can balance species by trial and error (pitching each species against any other and tweak their traits until sifficiently balanced), but that is slow and having theoretical estimations would help a lot.

In the end, the main source of power is industry, PPs. With enough PPs you can overcome enemies with any sorft of advantage against you: you got 50% better (cheaper) weapons? I don't care, I can build twice as ships as you. You go stealth and get first strike bonus? I don't care, on second bout I still have more damage and structure than your untouched fleet. You got end-game planetary stealth? It's a matter of time that I get omniscanner, meanwhile you can't do shit if I'm blocking everywhere with total military domination. You got better influence and can set 50% more planets to production? I don't care, I have 100% more planets and in total I get more PP than you. Etc.

Research, ultimately, serves to increase PP output or reduce PP costs.

Better influence serves research and production -> more production.

More weapon damage, armour, troops, etc. for the same cost -> less warship or troopship costs -> more production.


So, the main species trait should be industry, and all other traits should be compared to that one in terms of PP gain. I'm working on that and help is welcome.

I made some calculations before: https://freeorion.org/forum/viewtopic.p ... 08#p103408
So a good pop. species has +8% industry and research than avg. pop. species.
[...] a good industry species (+50%) gets actually a +25% boost over total industry, and good research gets +30% research.
I think it would be good to make (most/main) species traits equivalent in output gain, so that a good pop species is comparable to a good industry species, and so good pop. should be +50% instead of +25%.

[WIP, will continue in new posts, but don't hesitate to contribute]

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Re: Balancing the Playable species

#26 Post by Oberlus »

wobbly wrote: Sat Nov 14, 2020 9:58 am One or both of these could work for Abaddoni instead?
Yes.

(Population) Growth, a new trait:
Bad 75%, good 150%, great 200%, ultimate 300%.
  • Abaddoni: these scarabs do reproduce quickly within their ground holes (Good Growth), their rulling machine knows that expansion over the universe is the best way to preserve the species, and for that you need population.
  • Replicon: they are Replicon! Great Growth. If very bad influence gonna be as bad as it sounds (current influence mechanics are incomplete), Replicon could use some extra positive trait, and this one fits nicely.
  • Any other species?
Colonization speed (convert the colony-building build speed bonus/malus currently hardcoded in some native species colony buildings into a species trait):
Slow Colonization: +20% time, Fast Colonization: -25%, Fastest Colonization: -50%.
  • Abaddoni: their natural ability to live in tunnels excavated with their own appendices greatly speeds up colony building (Fastest Colonization).
  • Scylior: they travel the space capsulized in replicas of their oceanic environment, effectivily moving around within personal "homes". This helps them kickstart colonization of outposts and ignore certain environment difficulties when building new colonies (Fast Colonization).
  • George: when small pockets of George's centipedes arrive to a new planet, their telepathic conection to the main body is weak, and so behave erratically until they growth their numbers. This slows down colony building projects (Slow Colonization).
  • Any other species?

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Krikkitone
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Re: Balancing the Playable species

#27 Post by Krikkitone »

Oberlus wrote: Sat Nov 14, 2020 10:03 am Knowing what actually means each species trait in terms of the others would be very valuable.
We can balance species by trial and error (pitching each species against any other and tweak their traits until sifficiently balanced), but that is slow and having theoretical estimations would help a lot.

In the end, the main source of power is industry, PPs. With enough PPs you can overcome enemies with any sorft of advantage against you: you got 50% better (cheaper) weapons? I don't care, I can build twice as ships as you. You go stealth and get first strike bonus? I don't care, on second bout I still have more damage and structure than your untouched fleet. You got end-game planetary stealth? It's a matter of time that I get omniscanner, meanwhile you can't do shit if I'm blocking everywhere with total military domination. You got better influence and can set 50% more planets to production? I don't care, I have 100% more planets and in total I get more PP than you. Etc.

Research, ultimately, serves to increase PP output or reduce PP costs.

Better influence serves research and production -> more production.

More weapon damage, armour, troops, etc. for the same cost -> less warship or troopship costs -> more production.


So, the main species trait should be industry, and all other traits should be compared to that one in terms of PP gain. I'm working on that and help is welcome.

I made some calculations before: https://freeorion.org/forum/viewtopic.p ... 08#p103408
So a good pop. species has +8% industry and research than avg. pop. species.
[...] a good industry species (+50%) gets actually a +25% boost over total industry, and good research gets +30% research.
I think it would be good to make (most/main) species traits equivalent in output gain, so that a good pop species is comparable to a good industry species, and so good pop. should be +50% instead of +25%.

[WIP, will continue in new posts, but don't hesitate to contribute]

Production uber alles is only because production is (currently) the only way to attack/defend with other empires. Ideally, a high influence, no/ very low production empire should be viable. (you make your enemy’s planets/fleets defect/rebel rather than shooting at them.

wobbly
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Re: Balancing the Playable species

#28 Post by wobbly »

Oberlus wrote: Sat Nov 14, 2020 10:39 am
wobbly wrote: Sat Nov 14, 2020 9:58 am One or both of these could work for Abaddoni instead?
Yes.

(Population) Growth, a new trait:
Bad 75%, good 150%, great 200%, ultimate 300%.
  • Abaddoni: these scarabs do reproduce quickly within their ground holes (Good Growth), their rulling machine knows that expansion over the universe is the best way to preserve the species, and for that you need population.
  • Replicon: they are Replicon! Great Growth. If very bad influence gonna be as bad as it sounds (current influence mechanics are incomplete), Replicon could use some extra positive trait, and this one fits nicely.
  • Any other species?
Colonization speed (convert the colony-building build speed bonus/malus currently hardcoded in some native species colony buildings into a species trait):
Slow Colonization: +20% time, Fast Colonization: -25%, Fastest Colonization: -50%.
  • Abaddoni: their natural ability to live in tunnels excavated with their own appendices greatly speeds up colony building (Fastest Colonization).
  • Scylior: they travel the space capsulized in replicas of their oceanic environment, effectivily moving around within personal "homes". This helps them kickstart colonization of outposts and ignore certain environment difficulties when building new colonies (Fast Colonization).
  • George: when small pockets of George's centipedes arrive to a new planet, their telepathic conection to the main body is weak, and so behave erratically until they growth their numbers. This slows down colony building projects (Slow Colonization).
  • Any other species?
Looks good. Perhaps Egassem could have bad population growth(their fluff suggests they grow slowly).

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LienRag
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Re: Balancing the Playable species

#29 Post by LienRag »

Oberlus wrote: Fri Nov 13, 2020 8:09 pm I find mentally difficult to further boost humans, so I'm exploring to nerf anything more powerful.

We need a reference specie, having it be the humans makes sense imho.
It doesn't have to be them, but we need one.

Also, having a goal of achieving perfect balance will probably be at the expanse of creativity, so we probably should focus on a subset of species that we'll try to make balanced and which will be available randomly on multiplayer.
Other species would be availabe only in single player or on demand in multiplayer.
That can even allow to play handicap games - the acknowledged weaker player would have a better race, and the acknowledged best player would have a less powerful race.

wobbly
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Re: Balancing the Playable species

#30 Post by wobbly »

I haven't seen any criticism of this idea yet so I went and opened a feature request, so if anyone thinks it's terrible they should speak up.

https://github.com/freeorion/freeorion/issues/3244
wobbly wrote: Sat Nov 14, 2020 5:49 pm
Oberlus wrote: Sat Nov 14, 2020 10:39 am
wobbly wrote: Sat Nov 14, 2020 9:58 am One or both of these could work for Abaddoni instead?
Yes.

(Population) Growth, a new trait:
Bad 75%, good 150%, great 200%, ultimate 300%.
  • Abaddoni: these scarabs do reproduce quickly within their ground holes (Good Growth), their rulling machine knows that expansion over the universe is the best way to preserve the species, and for that you need population.
  • Replicon: they are Replicon! Great Growth. If very bad influence gonna be as bad as it sounds (current influence mechanics are incomplete), Replicon could use some extra positive trait, and this one fits nicely.
  • Any other species?
Colonization speed (convert the colony-building build speed bonus/malus currently hardcoded in some native species colony buildings into a species trait):
Slow Colonization: +20% time, Fast Colonization: -25%, Fastest Colonization: -50%.
  • Abaddoni: their natural ability to live in tunnels excavated with their own appendices greatly speeds up colony building (Fastest Colonization).
  • Scylior: they travel the space capsulized in replicas of their oceanic environment, effectivily moving around within personal "homes". This helps them kickstart colonization of outposts and ignore certain environment difficulties when building new colonies (Fast Colonization).
  • George: when small pockets of George's centipedes arrive to a new planet, their telepathic conection to the main body is weak, and so behave erratically until they growth their numbers. This slows down colony building projects (Slow Colonization).
  • Any other species?
Looks good. Perhaps Egassem could have bad population growth(their fluff suggests they grow slowly).

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