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 Post subject: My game testing thread
PostPosted: Thu Apr 21, 2016 11:41 am 
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Space Floater

Joined: Thu Apr 21, 2016 11:02 am
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Hi Forum, after some month of playing this game i would give my play testing feedback to the development and community:

As a main suggestion to the game i would propose to offer a settings with a far less planet/star density. Reasons are ..
- that the technologies for exploring, play a completely minor role in my opinion. A lower density would give them some sense.
- Also it would mean that it creates some challenge to find suitable new planets, what is not given presently.
- As i saw the new possibility to colonize planets via outposts i had the impression that it would make the game much easier (too easy?). Here the Colony-Ship looses its meaning in my opinion. But with a larger map, that has a lower planet/star density this all could get some new sense.
- I never really needed the longer supply lines to reach a new system, except in the very beginning of a game, because this completely can be done with outposts. In many games where i tried different settings i never needed a space elevator f.e. The space elevator also in the current settings has no real meaning, this could be different with other setting possibilities.
- Also to remove the technology 'Environmental Encapsulation' increases those prenamed points.
- What also refers to those points is the question if its makes some sense, that all planets can be served from one industrial center, one solar generator a.s.o.

Its a great game! Some explaining for new players could make sense. I found it hard in the beginning to explore the game functions. Some different events, (such as experimentor outpost) could make the game more interesting in the later gameplay. I recognized that i never played a game to the end but ended it at some point of the later game.


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PostPosted: Sun Apr 24, 2016 11:56 am 
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Programmer

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Welcome user0169.

Your comments, observations and suggestions are very welcome. Keep them coming.

I've linked in your reasons for a sparser galaxy to a pull request creating a sparser galaxy.

I think that currently the Output ship and the Colony ship overlap too much in functionality and availability. The outpost ship is almost always the correct choice, it is cheaper, more expendable and lower risk in a galaxy fraught with danger. If it were a mid game researched item, then it would make sense as an almost must have research item, but as they are both available from the start the Colony ship is usually the sub-optimal choice. I think this is unfortunate due to the naming as semantically Colony ships seem like the better choice for colonization.


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PostPosted: Sun Apr 24, 2016 12:32 pm 
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Release Manager, Design
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LGM-Doyle wrote:
The outpost ship is almost always the correct choice, it is cheaper, more expendable and lower risk in a galaxy fraught with danger ... as they are both available from the start the Colony ship is usually the sub-optimal choice.
This is by design. Putting an outpost at a planet and then produce a colony building to create a colony is the standard/default way to do colonization in FO. However, that only works for systems within supply range. The colony ship is specifically intended for the colonization outside supply range (a special case).

The reason for this change was to reduce micromanagement, not to reduce the cost/time investment required for colonization.
Quote:
I think this is unfortunate due to the naming as semantically Colony ships seem like the better choice for colonization.
The term "colony ship" might not be ideal in the context of the revised mechanic. Feel free to suggest alternatives - something like "Long Range Colonizer" maybe?


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PostPosted: Sun Apr 24, 2016 5:03 pm 
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Vacuum Dragon

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Vezzra wrote:
The reason for this change was to reduce micromanagement, not to reduce the cost/time investment required for colonization.

If one hasn't played a version prior to the new colony start mechanism, I don't think this point can really be appreciated. The management of colonization was a distinct challenge. At times I would have a text file open with entries for build planet/species/target so that I could keep track of which colony ship was going where, and which target worlds had one in build (so I didn't forget after four or five turns and start another).


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PostPosted: Sun Apr 24, 2016 7:50 pm 
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Vezzra wrote:
LGM-Doyle wrote:
I think this is unfortunate due to the naming as semantically Colony ships seem like the better choice for colonization.
The term "colony ship" might not be ideal in the context of the revised mechanic. Feel free to suggest alternatives - something like "Long Range Colonizer" maybe?

I nearly renamed them Generation Ships when I last did some tweaks to the premades, but held off as it wasn't something we'd discussed.

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Any code or patches in anything posted here is released under the CC and GPL licences in use for the FO project.


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PostPosted: Sun Apr 24, 2016 8:05 pm 
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Programmer

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Both ships are unlocked at turn 0 for free and you are provided a free Colony ship.
This implicitly guides the player in a sub-optimal direction.

Two changes that might improve this are.

1. Provide the player with a free Output ship and not a free Colony ship.
2. Make Colony Ship/Long Range Colonies/Self Sustaining Colony a researchable tech, so that the player has to invest in it to solve the supply range problem.


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PostPosted: Mon Apr 25, 2016 5:14 am 
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Vacuum Dragon

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I don't like either of the suggestions. Early game is a time when colony ships are useful. I'm not sure which problem is needing a solution. Very new players are going to be confused about many things. Learning to colonize properly is something you learn.


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PostPosted: Mon Apr 25, 2016 7:42 am 
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Well, I do expect that a better/more fitting name for the colony ship will help and certainly can't hurt...


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PostPosted: Mon Apr 25, 2016 7:38 pm 
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From a balance perspective, keeping the start with an actual colony ship is better, especially for species that have limited habitability, even with the Supply boost Egassem (for example) have a LOT of trouble unless they get lucky with a very close Inferno world.

From a gameplay perspective, colony ships are for colonising out of supply and/or in unsafe areas. At the start of the game, there are no safe areas. I am personally happy to keep the starting ships as are, but we do need to substantially improve the explanations given in game.

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PostPosted: Mon Apr 25, 2016 7:59 pm 
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Not every species has to start with the same set of ships...


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PostPosted: Mon Apr 25, 2016 8:20 pm 
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Very true, and making a change like that would definitely be on the cards as/when we do a proper balance pass on the species mix (I want more playable species), but I suspect the AI would need some work on that as well. I've played around with a playable species that started with various extras, it was normally a bit over the top.

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PostPosted: Mon Apr 25, 2016 8:23 pm 
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Vacuum Dragon

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defaultuser wrote:
Learning to colonize properly is something you learn.

He said redundantly.


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PostPosted: Tue Apr 26, 2016 10:26 am 
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Space Floater

Joined: Thu Apr 21, 2016 11:02 am
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This refers to the version v0.4.5 build 2015-09-01 f203162 MSCV2013. Also the starting post refers to this version.

Meanwhile i checked the files and found a possibility toi set some changes. In the file default/universe tables there is this default settings:

Code:
<1x8>
BaseStarTypeDist                Blue    White   Yellow  Orange  Red     Neutron Blackhole   NoStar
Base                            15      20      25      20      15      0       -5          10


I changed it to:

Code:
<1x8>
BaseStarTypeDist                Blue    White   Yellow  Orange  Red     Neutron Blackhole   NoStar
Base                            -10      -5      -5      -5      -10     -10    -10         50

This properly creates a universe with a lot of deep space that has to be overcome. Check on your own what it does if you like and tell me what you think.
This Situation caused me to use Space elevator and revalued to research technologies for logistics and exploration.

Theres one feature that disturbs the effect. Many new stars are created which fill the universe. After a while the situation comes closer to the default settings.
I did not find where to remove this effect. Would be nice if someone could tell me where i could set this effect to comment and check again.

Psychogenic domination seems to have no effect anymore. Also no focus could be set. Could be a bug?


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PostPosted: Tue Apr 26, 2016 12:10 pm 
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user0169 wrote:
Many new stars are created which fill the universe. After a while the situation comes closer to the default settings.
I did not find where to remove this effect. Would be nice if someone could tell me where i could set this effect to comment and check again.
To remove creation of nebulae:
https://github.com/freeorion/freeorion/blob/release-0.4.5/default/python/universe_generation/fields.py
or to remove the effect from the nebulae that exist:
https://github.com/freeorion/freeorion/blob/release-0.4.5/default/fields.txt#L111

Quote:
Psychogenic domination seems to have no effect anymore. Also no focus could be set. Could be a bug?
Sounds like your planets have lost their population or species. Look in the logs for errors in parsing content, which might mean that the relevant species couldn't be read from the scripts.


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PostPosted: Tue Apr 26, 2016 12:34 pm 
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Re PsyDom, it can currently only be used as a focus setting by telepathic species. At some point we're plannning a full balancing pass on telepathy effects, but it's a low priority and I think ought to wait until we have some sort of idea about how the allegiance system is going to work.

And editing the chance of a star instead of the chance of a planet is a much better approach, to me, of having more empty systems, I like. Observation: Dilvish put a lot of work into improving the AI to deal with large empty areas about 18 months ago (so in your Release version), but it still isn't particularly good, can you keep an eye out for AIs that haven't done much when you find them, trapped in a dead zone, etc? I susepct it'll increase odds a bit more than ideal.

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Mat Bowles

Any code or patches in anything posted here is released under the CC and GPL licences in use for the FO project.


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