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PostPosted: Sun Aug 21, 2016 2:04 am 
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It's turn 95. None of my ships have fired a single shot against another ship. I'm about to win the game:
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Because I'm playing on None for monsters (I fancied a change), the Honeycomb is completely unguarded. I've previously expressed my dislike that monsters=none removes all guards, and favour improving the explanations, but I accept I'm in a minority.

From a balance perspective, allowing such overpowering specials and effects—an early Death Ray unlock from a Ruins would be just as overpowering—without any balancing defence is a really bad thing. Because of this and the black hole I've found with an asteroid belt, I'm basically assured of a win in this game unless I sit and do nothing for 100+ turns. That's not fun

Sloth's Added Ancient Guardians species as an alternative to Sentries guarding specials idea would definitely help with this, but I'm very uncomfortable with the current balance and I'm not sure Sloth's idea would be enough.

If we're to keep monsters=none to also include guardians, then I think we need to stop the specials that really need guards for balance to not appear.

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PostPosted: Sun Aug 21, 2016 2:42 am 
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Wasn't on a no monsters gave but did have an unguarded Ancient Ruins early on one game, Got Misiorla and a Dragon Tooth. Having not even built any warships yet the Dragon Tooth was rather useful for a change, and having bad pilots the Misiorla was nice as well.

How about separate settings?

Wandering monsters / guardian monsters / experimenters?


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PostPosted: Sun Aug 21, 2016 2:59 am 
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I've long argued that Experimentors should be an optional victory condition, I've played a few games (Colonisation/FreeCol being the most obvious) where you can choose at the start how you can win, so tech victory and even conquest victory can be disabled.

But to me there already is a setting for no guardians: it's called Specials=None.

I didn't say it above but I think the current 'chance of guard' for Ancient Ruins should be to always have a guard, they're not that hard to get through but they're not just freely available.

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PostPosted: Sun Aug 21, 2016 3:44 am 
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MatGB wrote:
I've long argued that Experimentors should be an optional victory condition, I've played a few games (Colonisation/FreeCol being the most obvious) where you can choose at the start how you can win, so tech victory and even conquest victory can be disabled.


Don't forget the Antarans Attack setting in Master of Orion II.


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PostPosted: Sun Aug 21, 2016 10:59 am 
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Mat, I do see your point, however, the annoying thing about that guard monsters is a) I constantly loose scouts to them in early game, and to me that's just, well, annoying, and not fun, because frankly it happens too often, and b) they can constitute a significant roadblock in the early game, annoying for the same reason, because it happens too often. The problem is quite simple that they not only just act as a guard for some special that shouldn't be too easy to get (which I completely agree to), but these scout-eating road-blocking "side effects" they have. Which is the strong point of Sloths idea of "ground guards" - they provide the means to make certain specials not too easy to get, while avoiding those side effects.

Nothing we can solve for the release, any good solution to that issue will require more effort than we can squeeze in in the few days we've left until our deadline. However, I don't see that much of a problem with that, because the option you prefer when you want a game with "no" monsters (that is, if I understand correctly, having no roaming monsters, but only those stationary guards) is more or less covered by the "low" monsters setting. "None" monsters is for those who want absolutely no monsters (and we made it that way after several complaints that "None" still left you with those guard monsters, so there are actually people out there who like it that way), why deprive them of that option? If that setting is no fun for you, don't use it, and those that want it will have to put up with the consequences (after all, you can't eat the cake and keep it... ;)).

Anyway, I expect that problem to be much alleviated once we introduce some kind of "tactical" combat (however that may look like in the end), like SilentOne proposed here (look at the second proposal on the second page too, I think it's better). Something like this will allow your fleets/ships turn tail and retreat if they unexpectedly stumble over hostile forces, instead of being annihilated every time they poke their noses in the wrong system, which would at least take care of that annoying scout eating. Or allow us to make space monsters that guard only a specific planet (the one with the special) instead of blocking the entire system.

Once we have something like this in place, there's probably no problem anymore in just exempting guard monsters from the monsters frequency setting.
MatGB wrote:
I've long argued that Experimentors should be an optional victory condition, I've played a few games (Colonisation/FreeCol being the most obvious) where you can choose at the start how you can win, so tech victory and even conquest victory can be disabled.
I think there is a general consensus that we're going to do something along those lines. Experimentors having their own setting, victory conditions selectable during game setup.

It's just one of the many things on the todo list we haven't gotten around to yet. ;)
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But to me there already is a setting for no guardians: it's called Specials=None.
Well, not wanting to have to deal with annoying guard monsters doesn't imply that you want to play without specials at all.
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I didn't say it above but I think the current 'chance of guard' for Ancient Ruins should be to always have a guard, they're not that hard to get through but they're not just freely available.
A specific issue with those Ancient Ruins special is that some of the benefits this special offers are very powerful and unbalanced, if up for grabs without any obstacles to overcome. Others are nice, but wouldn't be that much of a problem if left unguarded. That could be solved if what an Ancient Ruin will give the player is already decided at the time of placement, so you can decide on the kind of guard accordingly, instead of the time a player "activates" it.


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PostPosted: Mon Aug 22, 2016 10:37 am 
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I agree with Vezzra here. A game in alpha stage doesn't have to be balanced for every combination of settings. Some of them can be considered Sand-Box.

Vezzra wrote:
That could be solved if what an Ancient Ruin will give the player is already decided at the time of placement, so you can decide on the kind of guard accordingly, instead of the time a player "activates" it.
That should be possible by setting a random capacity related to each reward at start-up.

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PostPosted: Sun Aug 28, 2016 5:24 am 
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My feeling is that any special that is so powerful that getting it guarantees a win shouldn't be in the game in the first place.
When playing MOOII against a Human player I always wished I had the ability to turn off the Orion Guardian AND special as whoever was able to get it first essentially won the game. I didn't like that, because sometimes it came down to luck.


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PostPosted: Sun Aug 28, 2016 11:18 am 
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EricF wrote:
My feeling is that any special that is so powerful that getting it guarantees a win shouldn't be in the game in the first place.

There are none, really, as long as you aren't able to get them ridiculously early.

The Honeycomb is meant to be guarded by the Warden, the only special guarded by the top end Guardian monster, tot ake it down you need a fairly substantial fleet.

However, if you play on Monsters=None then there are no guardians and if it's close to you you do get a massive advantage.

Basically, I agree that specials that powerful shouldn't be available unless the things put in to balance them are also there, removing the balancing guardian makes them unbalanced.

(oh, it also didn't guarantee a win, no monsters meant the AIs were able to spread out quickly so I had several pretty tough fights, but I was always ahead because I could replace losses and expand into new colonies far quicker)
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When playing MOOII against a Human player I always wished I had the ability to turn off the Orion Guardian AND special as whoever was able to get it first essentially won the game. I didn't like that, because sometimes it came down to luck.

Yeah, in MOO2 the Orion world is basically "I win", which I'm sort of fine with if that's the objective. We don't have anything in FO that's that overpowered, even Honeycomb requires you know what you're doing to get the advantages.

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