Finally tried 0.4.8...

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Jaumito
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Re: Finally tried 0.4.8...

#31 Post by Jaumito » Fri Nov 09, 2018 1:08 am

ovarwa wrote:
Thu Nov 08, 2018 11:38 pm
Anyone can integrate any species into their empire with equal ease, and they might as well have been part of your empire all along.
I think a great way to solve this would be to implement revolts. Say, if a species (other than your starting one and Exobots) accounts for X% of your empire's total population, their planets have a (X-happiness)% chance per turn to revolt (become independent.)

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Oberlus
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Re: Finally tried 0.4.8...

#32 Post by Oberlus » Fri Nov 09, 2018 5:54 am

Jaumito wrote:
Fri Nov 09, 2018 1:08 am
I think a great way to solve this would be to implement revolts. Say, if a species (other than your starting one and Exobots) accounts for X% of your empire's total population, their planets have a (X-happiness)% chance per turn to revolt (become independent.)
Indeed. I'd also consider the option of several planets of the same species revolting the same turn to form a new AI empire, and even them taking whole planetary systems with them if none belong to the starting species (exobots included in this case). And military ships and garrisons working against the odds of revolt, when planetary defenses < warships damage or similar.
ovarwa wrote:
Thu Nov 08, 2018 11:38 pm
Phototropic: Still mostly an overall penalty, I think. Except in a young galaxy or with specials set to low
That's why I always play them with ancient galaxies, to get a bit of a challenge.
ovarwa wrote:
Thu Nov 08, 2018 11:38 pm
Sly: Still figuring them out. I suppose their strongest feature is that the AI has difficulty handling them. And their best feature is that they offer a completely different kind of play experience. But their stockpile feature stops keeping up around the time you'd want Automation. I suppose one could get stockpile tech instead, but then you're not keeping up with Industry
I use the stranded planets production (that you can't use up elsewhere via stockpile) to produce more stealth colonisers or stealth carriers if nothing better to do. At some point I build orbital elevators everywhere and turn my stealth ships to aggressive and suddenly my supply group is huge.
ovarwa wrote:
Thu Nov 08, 2018 11:38 pm
Trith: I play them as intended, which involves killing off anything that isn't Trith or Exobot. I'm not sure if this is optimal though.
No idea myself, I'd say it ain't optimal. But it's funny. I mean, I roleplay. I usually do this even if my starting species is no xenophobic, in vengeance for the resistance that some species put against joining "the good ones" (I).
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Re: Finally tried 0.4.8...

#33 Post by ovarwa » Fri Nov 09, 2018 8:23 am

Hi,
Oberlus wrote:
Fri Nov 09, 2018 5:54 am
ovarwa wrote:
Thu Nov 08, 2018 11:38 pm
Phototropic: Still mostly an overall penalty, I think. Except in a young galaxy or with specials set to low
That's why I always play them with ancient galaxies, to get a bit of a challenge.
:)

I can't bring myself to do that. I've stopped playing Scylior (brokenly good) but...
ovarwa wrote:
Thu Nov 08, 2018 11:38 pm
Sly: Still figuring them out. I suppose their strongest feature is that the AI has difficulty handling them. And their best feature is that they offer a completely different kind of play experience. But their stockpile feature stops keeping up around the time you'd want Automation. I suppose one could get stockpile tech instead, but then you're not keeping up with Industry
I use the stranded planets production (that you can't use up elsewhere via stockpile) to produce more stealth colonisers or stealth carriers if nothing better to do. At some point I build orbital elevators everywhere and turn my stealth ships to aggressive and suddenly my supply group is huge.
In my most recent go with them, I was very close to some AI opponents, one of whom settled a tiny planet in the middle of my archipelago empire. So I took it, and suddenly had all the supply I needed. I used my usual, non-stealthy ships for colonizing and everything else.

I think that by the time I'd have gotten to stealth colonizers, too many gas giants would have had outposts on them, because that was already the trend around Turn 80. But I decided that was fine: Outposts tend to have fewer troops.

One of the ways I measure power is (rp+pp)/turn. It isn't useful before turn 30. I notice that I start trending lower, below 2 and then toward 1, and then slowly start trending back toward 2, with rapid growth after reaching 3. To my surprise, I managed to keep this trend even with the Sly. Of course, that becomes easier with Exobots and a first conquest, at which point the Sly become like everyone else, but with an advantage of being able to settle gas giants.

Anyway,

Ken

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Vezzra
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Re: Finally tried 0.4.8...

#34 Post by Vezzra » Fri Nov 09, 2018 2:25 pm

ovarwa wrote:
Thu Nov 08, 2018 11:38 pm
Empires and species: I know it's part of the design of the game, but I continue to dislike the choice to have starting species mean nothing, and starting empire mean nothing. If it's best to have only one planet of some species (say, Eassaw), and murder all the others in favor of some more useful species, that works out just fine, even if you started as Eassaw. No one seems to care that you're killing them off, including other Eassaw. Anyone can integrate any species into their empire with equal ease, and they might as well have been part of your empire all along.
That's because essential (already planned) features are still missing, which are supposed to address these issues. In particular the species-empire relations mechanics and the Influence resource are going to be important here. You'll be able to change the attitude a species has towards your empire by spending Influence, so integrating new species into your empire is going to come at a certain cost.

Colonies are going to have an Influence maintenance cost, having many different species in your empire will raise that cost exponentially. Which means, you can have many species in your empire to benefit from the advantages all these species offer, but it will cost a lot of Influence.

Killing off a species (by whatever means, glassing their planets or CCing them) will severly worsen their attitude toward your empire, so ruthless behaviour will have consequences.
I prefer faction bonuses to matter all the way through a game.
Your starting species should be the one with the highest loyalty/best attitude toward your empire for a long time, and getting any other (later acquired) species up to the same level should be difficult (but not impossible!). Another species becoming the dominant of your empire and replacing your original starting species should be a possible scenario, but should of course come with appropriate consequences and difficult to pull off.
For example, you might not be allowed to use concentration camps on your starting species
I wouldn't outright forbid it, but it should have dire consequences, if you enrage the "dominant" species of your empire too badly (your colonies going into revolts on a large scale etc.).
Xenophobic could make it impossible for you to colonize worlds with other species (other than Exobots, of course)
Xenophobic species would greatly increase the influence costs to change their attitude toward your empire, their colonies in your empire could have greatly increased influence upkeep costs, which get raised exponentially the more different species are in your empire. If the "dominant" species of your empire (e.g. the one with the capitol colony) is xenophobic, integrating any other species could become far more expensive/difficult, etc.

With that approach, you can also start to differentiate between slightly, moderately and very xenophobic species.
And perhaps subject species might not defend their systems as well...
Having the attitude of a species toward your empire affect the strength of defensive troops is certainly a good idea too.

Ok, I guess you get the idea. ;)

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Re: Finally tried 0.4.8...

#35 Post by ovarwa » Sat Nov 10, 2018 6:38 pm

Hi,

Regarding unimplemented "essential planned features": I demur from responding directly to this, because I don't think I can say anything helpful. I'm grateful to everyone who has worked on the game, yet the overall design approach differs dramatically from what I've come to prefer. (IE, get core features working, make them shine, call it 1.0, then consider adding new (or essential planned) features, modifying existing features, make them shine, call it 2.0.)

For example, this morning:

Playing as the Abbadoni (I was surprised by the free subterranean tech), I got Death Rays and a free high research species from ancient ruins pleasantly early... and immediately called the game in my favor.

Balancing this kind of thing has a lot more value than adding a new, incomplete feature of this kind.

Just me! I do appreciate the game and the work that goes into it.

Anyway,

Ken

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Re: Finally tried 0.4.8...

#36 Post by Oberlus » Sat Nov 10, 2018 7:07 pm

ovarwa wrote:
Sat Nov 10, 2018 6:38 pm
I got Death Rays and a free high research species from ancient ruins pleasantly early... and immediately called the game in my favor.
Now that you know you don't like this kind of "pleasures", you can adjust your galaxy setting accordingly. E.g. you can set monsters to high and specials to low, and maybe modify the game yourself to rise that 90% chance of an specias being guarded to a 99% or 100% (instead of the current 90%).
ovarwa wrote:
Sat Nov 10, 2018 6:38 pm
Balancing this kind of thing has a lot more value than adding a new, incomplete feature of this kind.
It is already balanced as by each player's preference, as hinted above. Making this kind of situation impossible to arise would mean reducing the variability in gameplay, and there are for sure players that don't like the same you do. Other players may enjoy what you dislike, and vice versa. So this variability of the game is a plus of FO.
ovarwa wrote:
Sat Nov 10, 2018 6:38 pm
get core features working, make them shine, call it 1.0, then consider adding new (or essential planned) features, modifying existing features, make them shine, call it 2.0.
It is my perception that this is exactly what is being done by the developers of FO (for free). They have first developed the galaxy map, the mobility of ships, the combat system (still work in progress), and many more stuff. Influence is one of the next steps.
I have the impression that if you were playing the shiny FO 1.0 you envision (that would not be the perfect game for other players with different POVs) you could still complain about the lack of features that would be the core of that shiny FO 2.0 and criticise the developers way for that.
Anyway, having diferent POV, like yours, is usually helpful and seldom harmful, so don't hesitate on giving your insights and don't interpret this message as a reprimand.
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Re: Finally tried 0.4.8...

#37 Post by ovarwa » Sat Nov 10, 2018 11:43 pm

Hi,
Oberlus wrote:
Sat Nov 10, 2018 7:07 pm
ovarwa wrote:
Sat Nov 10, 2018 6:38 pm
I got Death Rays and a free high research species from ancient ruins pleasantly early... and immediately called the game in my favor.
Now that you know you don't like this kind of "pleasures", you can adjust your galaxy setting accordingly. E.g. you can set monsters to high and specials to low, and maybe modify the game yourself to rise that 90% chance of an specias being guarded to a 99% or 100% (instead of the current 90%).
I usually do play with specials set to low.

I almost never play with monsters set to high, because then the AI players are irrelevant: I'm only really playing against the monsters.

And yes, I could modify the game. It is open source, after all. That starts off simple, but it has no bottom.
I have the impression that if you were playing the shiny FO 1.0 you envision (that would not be the perfect game for other players with different POVs) you could still complain about the lack of features that would be the core of that shiny FO 2.0 and criticise the developers way for that.
I could... but probably would not. For example, although I have commented on the past few releases of FO, I have never complained that the game should have more civ-style features, with real diplomacy and a robust cultural victory. It's not that I wouldn't enjoy that sort of thing, but that I think getting the fundamental 4x gameplay to a state the devs (and more importantly, me :) ) feel worthy of calling 1.0 is far more important than adding cool new features.

And my POV is *less* important than many others' here, because I'm not coding any of this.
Anyway, having diferent POV, like yours, is usually helpful and seldom harmful, so don't hesitate on giving your insights and don't interpret this message as a reprimand.
May I interpret it as a reproach? :)/2

Anyway,

Ken

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Re: Finally tried 0.4.8...

#38 Post by ovarwa » Sat Nov 10, 2018 11:55 pm

BTW,

My issue with the special wasn't that it was unguarded, although it was unguarded, and that's bad, but that it gave me Death Rays and a +200% research species pretty early on, when my native species was 75% research. I usually declare a win between T130 and T150, which itself points to an issue, but it's a *difficult* issue common to pretty much every 4x and civ game there is. Changing the specials to not end the game this way ~T70 is not difficult.

Anyway,

Ken

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Re: Finally tried 0.4.8...

#39 Post by EricF » Sun Nov 11, 2018 4:31 am

The AI doesn't seem to be able to deal with Monsters very well.
The last three games I played the AI had a planet with the Honeycomb
special on it and even though they had large powerful fleets late game
they still had not conquered and settled that system. This special is
way too powerful for them to have ignored it.
And yes, the planets with Ancient Ruins should ALWAYS be guarded.

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Re: Finally tried 0.4.8...

#40 Post by Vezzra » Sun Nov 11, 2018 2:41 pm

ovarwa wrote:
Sat Nov 10, 2018 6:38 pm
the overall design approach differs dramatically from what I've come to prefer. (IE, get core features working, make them shine, call it 1.0, then consider adding new (or essential planned) features, modifying existing features, make them shine, call it 2.0.)
Well, I was under the impression that our design process already follows that approach (maybe not exactly, but more or less). I'm a bit confused about your distinction between "core" and "essential" features - isn't that the same? Unless you understand "essential" as "important, but not absolutely necessary", in which case I might need to rephrase my explanation of the species-empire and influence game mechanics: these I consider as "core" features, meaning, they belong to the set of absolutely necessary features the game can't be considered "complete" without (and therefore we can't proclaim 1.0 without those features completely implemented).

Because without them, as you correctly pointed out, acquiring additional species is far too easy, how you treat the species in your empire has no consequences, xenophobia can't be implemented properly, etc. These features are intended to address a rather broad range of things that need to work for the game to be considered "complete".

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Re: Finally tried 0.4.8...

#41 Post by ovarwa » Mon Nov 12, 2018 8:19 pm

Hi,
]
Vezzra wrote:
Sun Nov 11, 2018 2:41 pm
ovarwa wrote:
Sat Nov 10, 2018 6:38 pm
the overall design approach differs dramatically from what I've come to prefer. (IE, get core features working, make them shine, call it 1.0, then consider adding new (or essential planned) features, modifying existing features, make them shine, call it 2.0.)
Well, I was under the impression that our design process already follows that approach (maybe not exactly, but more or less). I'm a bit confused about your distinction between "core" and "essential" features - isn't that the same?
My bad: I forgot to put 'essential planned' in quotes. That was your phrasing, and I was quoting it. I didn't use 'essential' for that reason.

I'll explain more about what I mean in a moment...
Unless you understand "essential" as "important, but not absolutely necessary", in which case I might need to rephrase my explanation of the species-empire and influence game mechanics: these I consider as "core" features, meaning, they belong to the set of absolutely necessary features the game can't be considered "complete" without (and therefore we can't proclaim 1.0 without those features completely implemented).
Ok, we have enough for me to start going.

Fighters, imo, are not essential. The game would work fine without them.

The stockpile is not essential. Ditto.

It *is* essential to deal with the species/empire issues, but -- again, imo -- a full influence mechanic is not needed for a very solid release.

A reasonable placeholder:

Xenophobic species will not work for an empire whose starting species is different from theirs. You can create colonies of them, but they will contribute no pp, rp or ships to your empire. They hates you, they hates you forever.

If you start as a xenophobic species, the moment you conquer a planet with another species, you get a free Concentration Camp on that world, which you cannot get rid of until the planet is cleansed.

The increase to targets of *any* conquered world is 30% of normal, +1% per turn since conquest, up to 100%. Penalties (eg from changing focus) are always in full. It takes time to integrate them into your empire, crush resistance groups, acculturate them.

If conquered species has a bonus or penalty to some feature other than habitability that is better than yours, they split the difference under your rule. (Gysache (bad pilots -1) conquer a normal piloting species? Some good pilots +2? They act as bad pilots -0.5, good pilots +1 for you.) But you do not improve them if your feature is better.

Maybe some tech and buildings to improve this, allowing other species to slowly acculturate and perhaps even allowing you to gain some benefits of an acquired species.

Build a CC? Your improvements in this regard are set back dramatically regarding that species, including the basic improvements to the growth meters.

And that's probably enough to get by in a rather solid way. Relatively simple too.

No new game concepts required either, which is the key thing to me: Providing new and real choices (even core/essential!) without adding new subsystems.

That's been my main issue with fighters/carriers since a bit before they were released. They're an entirely new weapon system requiring entirely new mechanics yet what core strategic element have they actually added so far, for all that work? Might it not have been been better to revisit the 5 hull types (including basic) and some of the basic component types to make that work better, and teach the AI how to use them better (such as choosing to invest more deeply in one type rather than a scattered approach involving asteroids, organics and robotics)?

Just me.
Because without them, as you correctly pointed out, acquiring additional species is far too easy, how you treat the species in your empire has no consequences, xenophobia can't be implemented properly, etc. These features are intended to address a rather broad range of things that need to work for the game to be considered "complete".
And in the end, your idea of what makes the game complete utterly outweighs mine. I just play for a bit after each release and kibbitz, but you and others have invested much time, thought and effort into making this possible, and I'm grateful.

Anyway,

Ken

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Re: Finally tried 0.4.8...

#42 Post by ovarwa » Mon Nov 12, 2018 8:59 pm

Hi,

Ring galaxy: I kind of like this. In a sense, it provides an even playing field to all factions, since everyone is reasonably close to the edge and no one is utterly caught in the middle. I seem to encounter 3-5 enemies across my fronts, which is enough to make things interesting. I'm not yet sure the AIs can take full advantage of this...

AI: ... but they seem not to know what to do with Death Rays and Multi-spectral shields. Two factions got these early, one right next to me. Why haven't they taken over? (On the positive side, I actually encountered some SG hulls that were not mine. On the negative side, I'm about 10 turns away from building Solars (Death Ray4, fighters, core engine), and not much further away from upgrading the armor to neutronium.)

Anyway,

Ken

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Re: Finally tried 0.4.8...

#43 Post by Jaumito » Mon Nov 12, 2018 9:34 pm

ovarwa wrote:
Mon Nov 12, 2018 8:19 pm
If you start as a xenophobic species, the moment you conquer a planet with another species, you get a free Concentration Camp on that world, which you cannot get rid of until the planet is cleansed.
Looks like you're throwing the baby with the bathwater here. I'd rather have the xenophobic penalty increased, than be deprived of a choice. Being an evil overlord doesn't mean you have to be dumb.
No new game concepts required either, which is the key thing to me: Providing new and real choices (even core/essential!) without adding new subsystems.
(Emphasis mine) :?

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Re: Finally tried 0.4.8...

#44 Post by ovarwa » Mon Nov 12, 2018 11:17 pm

Hi,
Jaumito wrote:
Mon Nov 12, 2018 9:34 pm
ovarwa wrote:
Mon Nov 12, 2018 8:19 pm
If you start as a xenophobic species, the moment you conquer a planet with another species, you get a free Concentration Camp on that world, which you cannot get rid of until the planet is cleansed.
Looks like you're throwing the baby with the bathwater here. I'd rather have the xenophobic penalty increased, than be deprived of a choice. Being an evil overlord doesn't mean you have to be dumb.
No new game concepts required either, which is the key thing to me: Providing new and real choices (even core/essential!) without adding new subsystems.
(Emphasis mine) :?
There's a 'choice' that has been removed, but I think it's a pretty fake choice. If you're xenophobic, it's quite clear what should and should not be exterminated. The only 'choice' involved is whether to play suboptimally. Oh, you want to change the penalties to make xenophobia more meaningful? That just changes the optimal point. Still no real choices. Oh, you think you can easily balance the penalties just right, so that we not only have an interesting choice for players who start xenophobic and those who meet xenophobes? Really?

No real choices removed here.

On the other hand, it *does* create a very meaningful distinction in Xenophobia, involving a rather different play style. A new and real choice then appears on the start menu, involving a rather different sort of game. Sort of the way the Sly are interesting because they play differently.

BTW, 'xenophobe' does not mean "evil overlord" but "one who fears foreigners." One can be a competent evil overlord without having an aversion to foreigners! And I will forgo any conversation about real world xenophobes and evil overlords (competent and otherwise), because I don't want to derail my own thread.

Anyway,

Ken

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Re: Finally tried 0.4.8...

#45 Post by Dilvish » Tue Nov 13, 2018 2:08 am

Vezzra wrote:
Sun Nov 11, 2018 2:41 pm
Well, I was under the impression that our design process already follows that approach (maybe not exactly, but more or less).
Ah, well, there is certainly a prevailing wind in favor of the planned features, but our fleet of contributors are clearly individual pilots who often like to chase their whims in addition to progressing on the main plan (yours truly included).
ovarwa wrote:
Mon Nov 12, 2018 8:19 pm
The stockpile is not essential. Ditto.
I am noting that one item just as an example of how the nature of our volunteer group steers our development. Ages ago in the main planning, someone envisioned the possibility of making local stockpiles for resources, and there have been some almost-entirely-unimplemented stubs in the code referencing such for ages. Then a year and a half ago the idea of an imperial stockpile caught someone's imagination, and they decided to put a bunch of work into implementing it and convince the rest of us that it would be a good thing to add to the game. And they succeeded on both counts. So now we have an imperial stockpile & a new interesting species that relies on it, which is great, even if it wasn't really anywhere near the shortest path to 1.0.

I personally think that the volunteer nature of the team, making contributions as they are inspired to do so, is a great aspect of the project, even though it does not maximize progress towards a particular goal.
If I provided any code, scripts or other content here, it's released under GPL 2.0 and CC-BY-SA 3.0

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