Geoff the Medio wrote:
Planets which are blockaded off from my main supply chain (but which are not directly under attack) appear to starve to death.
What version are you playing? There is no "main supply chain" for food in the latest SVN.
I've been following the post-4776 updates pretty closely. I had been playing a 200-system game that happened to have a really sparse neighborhood as far as habitable worlds, that was located in the center of the galaxy too. Thus, in this particular galaxy, it was pretty much impossible to grow fast enough to be able to defend it before the hordes of monsters came. I tried probably five or six different strategies, and none was even close to survivable. Furthermore, since I was focusing on building as many Mark VIIIs as possible (and developing the technology to do so as early as possible), I was being blindsided by the hidden monsters, which were producing planet starvation messages. I know that now that I tried a different universe which put me in a more resource-rich and defensible area so I could research sensors too. Sorry for the ill-defined feedback.
Now, I will persist in the general game-balance thrust of what I was trying to say, which is really kindof a meta-feedback on the recent changes.
First, with systems now self-sufficient as far as food goes, the starvation code and SitRep messages should probably be ripped out. It's just confusing and not really relevant.
Second, with food gone, the whole supply/starlane system is much less important. Running ships out of fuel was only occasionally a problem for me under the old system, and it almost certainly won't be a problem now. Now, the only significant consequence of having supply lines cut is that you lose the ability to do much production in the isolated systems. But, because you aren't worrying about starvation, you can switch focus to mining&industry in the isolated systems and probably keep producing a little. That was a pretty unlikely outcome in the old system, where you were frequently scrambling just to feed the people when supply lines were cut.
Third, as I suppose I have implied, I am not personally in favor of eliminating food. It's taking out a lot of the fun/complexity of the game IMHO. Obviously, it's not my call, but that's how I see it.
Fourth, from a game balance perspective, the problem with the new monsters is that in a small universe, you have some hope of finding and eliminating their nests fairly early (once you realize that the AIs are no longer going to be a threat under the new system). But in a medium universe (I'm typically playing in universes in the 200-300 system range), the monsters are growing and breeding out there, and by the time you even encounter most of them, they are ridiculously powerful. The Black Krakens and Bloated Juggernauts were so sudden and numerous (and fast-moving!) by the time that I encountered them, that I couldn't build ships faster than they came, even though I initially was able to preserve the majority of my empire. I was building 50 Mark VIIIs every turn, and I probably killed 15-20 or so of them, but they kept coming & I kept losing all the ships I was building. I'm all for a challenge, and I'm all for new and more powerful monsters but I think they are too sudden and numerous presently, at least in a 200-system galaxy, by the time you encounter them.
I could go on, but that's probably (more than) enough to chew on for now. Hopefully, this feedback is taken as the constructive criticism it is intended to be.