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 Post subject: Re: Scylior
PostPosted: Fri Jul 03, 2015 8:24 pm 
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I thought about the Scylior a lot lately and want to discuss two topics:

1. They are too good for a native species.
Great Research, Good Population, Large Planet and nothing below average makes them better than most of the playable species. That's not surprising, because they have been a playable species years ago and have never really been downgraded. Unless someone wants to make them a playable species again, i suggest giving them Average Population and removing Large Planet.

2. I really like their story with the Mind and i would like to add some content related to it:
- A Scylior homeworld gets a special called "The Mind" which grants a bonus of + 2 RP.
- When an Ancient Ruins special is discovered with xenoarcheology and a "The Mind" special is in the galaxy there is a chance to get a another version of the Ancient Ruins Depleted special that mentions the remains of the Mind. Whenever a player controls this Ancient Ruins Depleted special and "The Mind" special, "The Mind" special will become "The Mind (Restored)" special which gives + 10 RP and has an effect like Psychogenic Manipulation (taking control of enemy ships in the same system).

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 Post subject: Re: Scylior
PostPosted: Fri Jul 03, 2015 8:43 pm 
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Sloth wrote:
1. They are too good for a native species.
Great Research, Good Population, Large Planet and nothing below average makes them better than most of the playable species. That's not surprising, because they have been a playable species years ago and have never really been downgraded. Unless someone wants to make them a playable species again, i suggest giving them Average Population and removing Large Planet.
It makes more sense to me to actually have the opposite expectation/rule-- that it makes for better gameplay for the 'best' species to be Natives and not Playable, that the Playable species cover more the middle range. Of course, none of the species should be hugely advantageous.

I would agree that finding Scylior nearby is a bit of a minor lottery jackpot, but , minor jackpots are a fun part of the game. Is this one too big? I guess it doesn't really seem that way to me, but I realize that's quite subjective. It seems like removing the 'Large Homeworld' is the lesser of the nerfs you propose; although I'm not convinced they 'need' to lose it, I don't have any argument that it's important they keep it, either.

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 Post subject: Re: Scylior
PostPosted: Fri Jul 03, 2015 8:48 pm 
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I'd vote take away the Large Homeworld for both them and Hhohh, because it is there purely because they were playable, at the moemnt I'm looking at a Scylior homeworld just out of my supply range in my new game and pondering whether to take them or something else because I can't link them up for several more turns, whereas the Volp link themselves up, having them start occasionally on small or tiny worlds'll make them interesting.

I do have zero other problem with them though, if they're 'overpowered', then Tae Ghirus are moreso, and natives can be a bit good.

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 Post subject: Re: Scylior
PostPosted: Fri Jul 03, 2015 10:02 pm 
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Dilvish wrote:
It makes more sense to me to actually have the opposite expectation/rule-- that it makes for better gameplay for the 'best' species to be Natives and not Playable, that the Playable species cover more the middle range
Dilvish wrote:
I would agree that finding Scylior nearby is a bit of a minor lottery jackpot, but , minor jackpots are a fun part of the game.
Reasons:
1. I also like some jackpots from time to time, but we shouldn't forget that FO is supposed to be a game that supports multiplayer. So the best case (or worst case for the opponents) shouldn't be too extreme. Imagine a player chooses Egassem and finds the Scylior - his empire will jump from hopeless to terrifying.

2. Selecting a starting species should be a meaningful decision. Players will be emotionally attached and/or find them suiting their playing style. Finding Natives that can build ships, can colonize and have better traits overall can sadden the player (even though he hit the jackpot), because for optimal play he should switch to the new species (and maybe even a new playing style).

3. Species like the Scylior who have lots of upsides (and Good Population means a bucket of upsides already) and no weaknesses will lead to less interesting species management. I love to decide which species to chose for a new colony and i hope that most species that can colonize have a chance to find their niche in an empire. The Scylior will push at least the Happybirthday, Laenfa (maybe not with blue stars), Eaxaw, Humans, Silexian, Setinon and Phinnert mostly out of contention to get a good PP and RP output.

So long story short i suggest that natives that can colonize should be a little weaker than the playable species (ignoring humans). Planetbound species on the other side can be overpowered. And even though i can't find something to quote, i was under the impression that eleazar shared this idea.

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 Post subject: Re: Scylior
PostPosted: Fri Jul 03, 2015 10:20 pm 
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Scylior are nowhere near as good to find as Tae Ghirus, especially if you're playing Egassem, and Tae Ghirus get even better in the late game when you've researched everything.

Also, one of the bigger plans is to go over all the effects that could do with being prioritised, especially population effects, which will help balance out the overwhelming strengths of Good Population species across the board, and also make Bad Population less of a bad nerf. I haven't started even looking at it before 0.4.5 because it's going to be a big job, as it'll involve rebalancing virtually all the population, production and research modifiers.

I'm very supportive of removing Large Planet from any non-playable species (and adding it to Etty? Is there a reason for them not having it, they've switched playability a few times), but given that, apart from that I don't see a problem with them compared to many other natives (they're nowhere near a top grab for me if I've got a choice), definitely not enough to make them overpowered, it's Good Population that's overpowered not all the species with it.

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 Post subject: Re: Scylior
PostPosted: Fri Jul 03, 2015 10:57 pm 
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Sloth wrote:
Finding Natives that can build ships, can colonize and have better traits overall can sadden the player (even though he hit the jackpot), because for optimal play he should switch to the new species (and maybe even a new playing style).
This just does not make any sense to me. Sad to "switch" to the new species? Huh? Even that concept of 'switching' cannot even truly apply here unless the player started out Laenfa. Perhaps it could sort of apply some if you start Human or Gyisache, but not really. And regardless, as Eleazar was quite fond of reminding us, starting species != empire. Species are just another strategic asset of an empire; they may strongly shape starting strategy, but they are not supposed to define the empire for the life of the game and lock a player permanently into one particular playstyle.


Quote:
The Scylior will push at least the Happybirthday, Laenfa (maybe not with blue stars), Eaxaw, Humans, Silexian, Setinon and Phinnert mostly out of contention to get a good PP and RP output.
Isn't it meaningless for you to mix other natives into that list? Laenfa, Eaxaw and Humans would give up some share of planets, but not all, at least not until very late in the game, and at that point it is nothing unique to Scylior and results from the strength of the techs.

Quote:
So long story short i suggest that natives that can colonize should be a little weaker than the playable species (ignoring humans).
And it appears that Mat and I suggest "Au contraire, mon frère," things can be more mixed.

Quote:
Planetbound species on the other side can be overpowered. And even though i can't find something to quote, i was under the impression that eleazar shared this idea.
Yes, we can all agree about this, but that has absolutely nothing to contribute regarding whether colonizing natives have to be weaker than playable species.

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 Post subject: Re: Scylior
PostPosted: Sat Jul 04, 2015 6:25 am 
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MatGB wrote:
Also, one of the bigger plans is to go over all the effects that could do with being prioritised, especially population effects, which will help balance out the overwhelming strengths of Good Population species across the board, and also make Bad Population less of a bad nerf. I haven't started even looking at it before 0.4.5 because it's going to be a big job, as it'll involve rebalancing virtually all the population, production and research modifiers.
Yes, please let us tackle this after the release of 0.4.5.

MatGB wrote:
I'm very supportive of removing Large Planet from any non-playable species (and adding it to Etty? Is there a reason for them not having it, they've switched playability a few times),
Yes let's do at least that. I will create a PR for that later.

Dilvish wrote:
Sloth wrote:
The Scylior will push at least the Happybirthday, Laenfa (maybe not with blue stars), Eaxaw, Humans, Silexian, Setinon and Phinnert mostly out of contention to get a good PP and RP output.
Isn't it meaningless for you to mix other natives into that list?
Please let me rephrase my reason 3 again: I want my empire to have a lot of species that are strategic assets. So when one species is strictly superior to lots of the other species in my empire it means less strategic decissions.

When you already have the Scylior (or Tae Ghirus) finding other natives is often useless. Less treasures to find. Less fun exploring.

Dilvish wrote:
Laenfa, Eaxaw and Humans would give up some share of planets, but not all, at least not until very late in the game, and at that point it is nothing unique to Scylior and results from the strength of the techs.
This is not true: Symbiotic Biology + Good Population + Adequate Environment is already better than Symbiotic Biology + Average Population + Good Environment.

MatGB wrote:
it's Good Population that's overpowered not all the species with it.
Maybe this sums it up. I can live with the perspective of having the Scylior be nerfed indirectly in the future.

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 Post subject: Re: Scylior
PostPosted: Sat Jul 04, 2015 8:14 am 
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Sloth wrote:
Dilvish wrote:
Laenfa, Eaxaw and Humans would give up some share of planets, but not all, at least not until very late in the game, and at that point it is nothing unique to Scylior and results from the strength of the techs.
This is not true: Symbiotic Biology + Good Population + Adequate Environment is already better than Symbiotic Biology + Average Population + Good Environment.
When I said "some share" just what did you think I was referring to? It sounds like you think I was just saying that Humans, for example, would give up "some share" of Terran planets. I suppose it's possible that even if Scylior were better for all of them you could be in a hurry and still use nearby Humans instead for a small or tiny planet. But that is not at all what I meant. What I was referring to was that in some games you just don't have an ideal species handy for every environment type, and Humans might be your best option for Desert or Tundra, much sooner than those would be viable for Scylior; I've certainly had games like that.

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 Post subject: Re: Scylior
PostPosted: Sat Jul 04, 2015 10:25 am 
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Dilvish wrote:
What I was referring to was that in some games you just don't have an ideal species handy for every environment type, and Humans might be your best option for Desert or Tundra, much sooner than those would be viable for Scylior; I've certainly had games like that.
Yes, now i understand what you meant and that's certainly correct.

And even though the matter should be settled now with the plans of Mat, i want to stress that i'm ok with species that are more powerful than others, but want to avoid species that invalidate so many others, for the sole reason that species management should be an interesting part of the game (even in the late game). And i hope you can agree with that.

EDIT: And my statement that you quoted is actually not correct when i look at the numbers (GRO_XENO_GENETICS is necessary). :D

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