Ancient guardians

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wobbly
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Ancient guardians

#1 Post by wobbly »

BlueAward wrote: Sun Jun 09, 2024 10:14 am I found bombardment to be of practical use is getting rid of Ancient Guardians, because their pop is useless, and while not numerous, leads to ridiculous amount of troops and therefore production to produce invasion troops. And you can reuse the bombers for other Ancient Guardians. Depends how many are around, might be reasonable "waste" of research to save on some production.

Though in that scenario I do want finesse, to bomb them juuuust right, that a small invasion force finishes them off and I am left with my own outpost rather than unowned empty planet (outposter would be more expensive than a small invasion force)
So this is an exploit I've been meaning to bring up for a while, but also I think the topic should be broader, if you set the game to high special, you'll see a lot of ancient guardians around, which in my opinion is "aesthetically ugly". I like that they exist, they are interesting, but there is too many, and the balance is off.

So my opinion is the exploit existing isn't the issue, the issue is that the cost to remove them "correctly" is so expensive, that you use the exploit. Arguably the investment price to remove should be approximately the same as the price to remove a guard ship (give or take for species differences) or to detect a stealthed planet, currently it is not.

BlueAward
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Re: Ancient guardians

#2 Post by BlueAward »

Have to admit I am not sure why something I find to be legit use of bombardment, and pretty much only one that makes sense, you are calling an exploit. Like only way to get rid of them is supposed to sink ridiculous amount of production?

Though indeed a single Guardians planet I would prolly do the old fashioned way, but if you have a few around, that changes the equation. I think there are fewer Guardians now on normal settings than it used to? It was very painful for Trith for example

wobbly
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Re: Ancient guardians

#3 Post by wobbly »

BlueAward wrote: Sun Jun 09, 2024 4:05 pm Have to admit I am not sure why something I find to be legit use of bombardment, and pretty much only one that makes sense, you are calling an exploit.
Well we could discuss my use of the word exploit, or we could discuss whether ancient guardians as they stand are good. Up to you which you prefer.

BlueAward
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Re: Ancient guardians

#4 Post by BlueAward »

I'm not taking it personally, it's that calling bombardment solution to Ancient Guardians an exploit informs that it is somehow not an intended solution and therefore needs fixing too? Maybe make them very bad population but self-sustaining so only chaos wave would hurt, if I'm right

Otherwise I do think it's generally too expensive to grab a planet guarded by those for what it's worth usually, but to each their own maybe? I tend to think about lots of things that they are too expensive (terraforming, gaia, to name a couple). So maybe I am not fit to draw conclusions.

I think I am mentally comparing things primarily to a cost of setting up a new colony or a decent warship. At least in early game. Secondarily I am thinking about when is my expected return on investment gonna happen, and thirdly, how big the production cost is in relation to my current per turn production (so at some point things stop being expensive, but also some of them may bring value back after projected end of the game sooo it's still a weird call to pick them)

wobbly
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Re: Ancient guardians

#5 Post by wobbly »

I'm mostly just saying if its so hard to invade that you don't and bombard it, then maybe it should be easier to invade in the 1st place. Or similar solution.

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Atreides
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Re: Ancient guardians

#6 Post by Atreides »

Maybe what's the real problem here is the AG's cost vs reward ratio? Are they too much trouble to subdue for what you get? Oh and using bombers sure does sound like a loophole to me. Assuming they are cheaper and don't take much longer.

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Re: Ancient guardians

#7 Post by Ophiuchus »

Atreides wrote: Mon Jun 10, 2024 2:13 am Maybe what's the real problem here is the AG's cost vs reward ratio? Are they too much trouble to subdue for what you get?
one of the question is if that is a problem or not. one solution would be just to ignore those. and I am fine with that - not everything needs to be accessible cost efficiently.
and I agree, if that is a problem, cost vs reward is a good way to look at this
wobbly wrote: Sun Jun 09, 2024 4:40 pm
BlueAward wrote: Sun Jun 09, 2024 4:05 pm Have to admit I am not sure why something I find to be legit use of bombardment, and pretty much only one that makes sense, you are calling an exploit.
Well we could discuss my use of the word exploit, or we could discuss whether ancient guardians as they stand are good. Up to you which you prefer.
For me bombing ancient guardians is the right (i.e. cost effective) solution and not an exploit.
And it is good that there is a second solution (invasion) for those who would rather save RP than PP.

The "mini-game" of optimizing RP vs PP depending on the number of interesting ancient guardians is bland/boring though. Maybe we should decrease the spawn ratio if the universe gets bigger?

The main problem I see is that bombardment has not much use outside of ancient guardians. So only researching bombardment to wipe out ancient guardians is boring. But I didnt play too much late game since we added the influence upkeep. Maybe sweeping up enemy planets which you do not want to keep in your empire anyway makes sense(?).

i think we should make bombardment more useful/interesting on itself. i consider that a bigger problem - bombardment has so much content but so little use. i think the previous version (one type of bombardment to kill them all) worked better than what we have now. maybe cheaper access to the bad bombardment parts?

One stupid idea: lets make the troop number higher the fewer ancient guardians planets exist in game? so it is easier to invade early and harder later (as the number of ancient guardian planets decreases).

p.s. I think increasing the troop number depending on the number of invaded/destroyed planets would be better than just to use the current count for scaling with universe size. but could be that would need some extra bookkeeping.
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LienRag
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Re: Ancient guardians

#8 Post by LienRag »

Ophiuchus wrote: Mon Jun 10, 2024 8:04 am For me bombing ancient guardians is the right (i.e. cost effective) solution and not an exploit.
And it is good that there is a second solution (invasion) for those who would rather save RP than PP.

The "mini-game" of optimizing RP vs PP depending on the number of interesting ancient guardians is bland/boring though. Maybe we should decrease the spawn ratio if the universe gets bigger?

The main problem I see is that bombardment has not much use outside of ancient guardians. So only researching bombardment to wipe out ancient guardians is boring.

Agreed to all this.



Ophiuchus wrote: Mon Jun 10, 2024 8:04 am
One stupid idea: lets make the troop number higher the fewer ancient guardians planets exist in game? so it is easier to invade early and harder later (as the number of ancient guardian planets decreases).

If someone can find the right fluff for this, it's actually a good idea...

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Re: Ancient guardians

#9 Post by BlueAward »

With each ancient guardian planet dropping out of the picture, would make sense others become stronger. Probably it's not that much bookkeeping? Some special that gets pinged after each destruction to increase a tally? Some set scale factor probably easiest (even just linear scale) but guess could be more complicated depending on the fallen guardian numbers, somehow redistributed around existings ones.

Fluff? Dunno, maybe precursor technology does enough quantum or void stuff that ancient guardians communicate between each other and give a heads up / automatic galaxy threat assesment triggers over the Ancient Guardian network.

Though that would only make the bombardment route better with time, but maybe makes sense. FIrst couple guardians could be easier to grab in sort of minigame race by relevant empires, then it becomes more cumbersome and ultimately probably wouldn't make sense without bombardment?

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Re: Ancient guardians

#10 Post by Ophiuchus »

BlueAward wrote: Mon Jun 10, 2024 1:17 pm Probably it's not that much bookkeeping? Some special that gets pinged after each destruction to increase a tally?
either that - but needs a trick to figure out that destruction actually happened; like registering ancient guardians as previous inhabitants using a special -

or registering the original count of ancient guardians as a special and comparing to the current count.
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wobbly
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Re: Ancient guardians

#11 Post by wobbly »

I haven't considered the suggested mechanic enough to have a strong opinion, but my initial suspicion is that the same could be achieved with a simpler mechanic? For instance having the troops grow slower in the early game, so you can blockade the troop growth early with a war ship on a planet close to you, or similar solutions.

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Re: Ancient guardians

#12 Post by Ophiuchus »

wobbly wrote: Tue Jun 11, 2024 8:44 pm I haven't considered the suggested mechanic enough to have a strong opinion, but my initial suspicion is that the same could be achieved with a simpler mechanic? For instance having the troops grow slower in the early game
yes, slowly increasing troops is similar.
not tied to empire progress but rather to turn number. I find personally empire progress more interesting, but no real objection to turn number.
Basing it on turns means the faster, the cheaper. Basing it on number of ancients' planets being invaded means one has to prioritze even more but still has time pressure because of the race with the other empires.
For AI it is probably better to stay turn based.
For fluff it is probably better to have it reactive to universe events.
wobbly wrote: Tue Jun 11, 2024 8:44 pm having the troops grow slower in the early game, so you can blockade the troop growth early with a war ship on a planet close to you, or similar solutions.
interesting, my gut feeling was rather the opposite. that stopping troop growth is rather boring. a single cheapest warship can do that currently (maybe we should change that?). OTOH this could reward deep exploration (which i think is good)

i would rather like to have another type of troop growth there.

fast "repair" troop growth as is is fine. although it makes more sense if the ancient guardians are able to hurt warships (e.g. adding defenses if and only if the ancient troops are already hurt?).

and slow unstoppable troop growth+max troop growth connected with turns or invaded ancients/empire progression.

note that currently the troops are tied to planet size via population.

so for simplicity: lets start with a certain amount of troops, lets lower max troops and add have slow unstoppable troop and max troop growth every turn. maybe lets do the max troop growth by population growth (in order to make ; also i think the vibe is better)

so for ballpark: lets say at turn troops about 30 for a medium planet; at turn 50 about 60; at turn 100 about 90?
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LienRag
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Re: Ancient guardians

#13 Post by LienRag »

The race to capture AG is fun and interesting for the gameplay, but the slow growth that wobbly proposes is simpler (and I don't consider it boring, as - per Ophiuchus' reasoning - it rewards early exploration, and also careful planning).

So it's basically an question of what to prioritize, fun or simplicity.

If the choice is for simplicity, the best way imho is to not limit their population size but have them start with 1 pop and grow population very slowly (self-replication or whatever fluff).

Yes it will reward Bombardment but if it's in the tech tree, why not reward it ?

Note that AG grow troops even under combat as I explained some time ago, and that should be fixed first.

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Re: Ancient guardians

#14 Post by Ophiuchus »

LienRag wrote: Thu Jun 13, 2024 11:31 am Note that AG grow troops even under combat as I explained some time ago, and that should be fixed first.
there is nothing special about AG concerning troop meter (search for SetTroops). save game or didnt happen :mrgreen:

i guess ancient guardians should have a different formula for species growth; any suggestions?
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Re: Ancient guardians

#15 Post by Oberlus »

My experience is that a warship (with anti-planet weaponry) planted at an AG planet prevents their troops growth. Seen it many times, never seen the opposite.

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