[Balance] Natives

Creation, discussion, and balancing of game content such as techs, buildings, ship parts.

Moderators: Oberlus, Committer, Oberlus, Committer

Message
Author
User avatar
alleryn
Space Dragon
Posts: 259
Joined: Sun Nov 19, 2017 6:32 pm

Re: [Balance] Natives

#16 Post by alleryn » Mon Sep 23, 2019 3:36 am

A couple of quick thoughts:

- I'd like to try out a branch after the next release with some of the modifications suggested in this thread: balance to the native species, changes to the "tech status" of natives (i'm thinking make moderate tech the default, have low tech be a special, but i'm still mulling the best approach), etc. I'm happy to author the changes wholly or in part, and i see no reason it wouldn't be compatible with Ophiuchus's changes in that branch so i don't see a conflict there.

- Regarding the Kobuntura specifically, perhaps addressing self-sustaining can be part of this. I think it's generally agreed the Trith are too strong right now as well. I'm fairly sure i read some suggestions about this a couple years back (MatGB i think); i'll see if i can locate that.

User avatar
Vezzra
Release Manager, Design
Posts: 5106
Joined: Wed Nov 16, 2011 12:56 pm
Location: Sol III

Re: [Balance] Natives

#17 Post by Vezzra » Mon Sep 23, 2019 10:25 am

labgnome wrote:
Sun Sep 22, 2019 2:10 pm
I've designed native species in the past before, but I'm not always inspired about creating names. If you want to make that an assignment with some more specific parameters, like what gaps we want to fill first, I'm willing to start trying to crank out native species. Personally I think native species could use some love after their roister got cannibalized to make for more playable species.
I haven't been talking about adding new native species, I was just referring to the rebalancing of existing ones.

But you're right of course. We definitely could use a lot more native species, to have more variety. I wouldn't even mind if some native species were quite similar, because IMO it would be ideal if each species would occur only once in the game (more immersive, and would avoid the issues that come with the same species spawning more than once). Most 4X space games I know work that way.
However I don't know if we want to wait until influence is a thing or not to do that.
Sure, there are a lot of things we can do in the meantime to make native species more balanced. No reason to wait for influence to do anything.
On the subject of the Kobuntura, I'd be hesitant to get rid of them completely, as currently they are the only colonizing natives you get for barren planets.
Sorry, when I said "do away" I didn't mean to actually remove the species in question, but just to change them to something more balanced/reasonable.
Also, something else to consider is giving species spawn rates so that "average" species are more common while "good" and "bad" species are less common.
That's certainly something worth considering.

Ophiuchus
Programmer
Posts: 1096
Joined: Tue Sep 30, 2014 10:01 am
Location: Wall IV

Re: [Balance] Natives

#18 Post by Ophiuchus » Mon Sep 23, 2019 1:08 pm

The Silent One wrote:
Sun Sep 22, 2019 7:26 am
I think there is some growth tech (pure energy metabolism?) that modifies resource growth, that should probably also be modified?
It is force energy structures tech in construction that I forgot about. Fixed in branch. (rev 5bdcb99be9d1e608a55edce28c622e0d8d54558c)
Any code or patches in anything posted here is released under the CC and GPL licences in use for the FO project.

Furthermore, I propse... we should default to four combat rounds instead of three ...for the good of playerkind.

User avatar
labgnome
Vacuum Dragon
Posts: 625
Joined: Mon Mar 02, 2015 5:57 pm

Re: [Balance] Natives

#19 Post by labgnome » Mon Sep 23, 2019 4:30 pm

Vezzra wrote:
Mon Sep 23, 2019 10:25 am
But you're right of course. We definitely could use a lot more native species, to have more variety. I wouldn't even mind if some native species were quite similar, because IMO it would be ideal if each species would occur only once in the game (more immersive, and would avoid the issues that come with the same species spawning more than once). Most 4X space games I know work that way.
I mean I'm fine assuming the various species have been "seeded" on their worlds by whatever precursors there used to be. Also until we can get a random species generation system like Stellaris has I think if we want every possible size of galaxy to also have similar rates of native species are going to get repeat species in sufficiently large galaxies. But we can definitely use more native species. Right now I'm just looking for some direction on where to start.
Sure, there are a lot of things we can do in the meantime to make native species more balanced. No reason to wait for influence to do anything.
Well I just wanted to get a gauge on that before we jumped head-on into these ideas.
Also, something else to consider is giving species spawn rates so that "average" species are more common while "good" and "bad" species are less common.
That's certainly something worth considering.
I think I suggested the general idea before, ages ago, but I could be wrong.
All of my contributions should be considered released under creative commons attribution share-alike license, CC-BY-SA 3.0 for use in, by and with the Free Orion project.

User avatar
Krikkitone
Creative Contributor
Posts: 1509
Joined: Sat Sep 13, 2003 6:52 pm

Re: [Balance] Natives

#20 Post by Krikkitone » Wed Oct 02, 2019 1:32 am

One idea on the "more powerful"= harder to acquire

Have the "Tech level" Special of the natives give both defense and population

So Natives "Tech level" (Default, Moderate, or High) gives them a population cap (removed on conquest) as well as base defense (obviously removed on conquest)

That way the random distribution of the "tech specials" won't be as severe (high cost/high reward v. low cost/low reward)


Adding in a "death of population on conquest" and maybe upgrading defense for all of them...and that should be sufficient

When Happiness/Influence are fully worked out then a readjustment of the defense/pop caps could be provided

User avatar
alleryn
Space Dragon
Posts: 259
Joined: Sun Nov 19, 2017 6:32 pm

Re: [Balance] Natives

#21 Post by alleryn » Thu Oct 03, 2019 1:34 pm

alleryn wrote:
Mon Sep 23, 2019 3:36 am
- Regarding the Kobuntura specifically, perhaps addressing self-sustaining can be part of this. I think it's generally agreed the Trith are too strong right now as well. I'm fairly sure i read some suggestions about this a couple years back (MatGB i think); i'll see if i can locate that.
Just collecting a couple threads here:
https://freeorion.org/forum/viewtopic.php?f=15&t=10996 (Make self-sustaining = radiovore)
https://freeorion.org/forum/viewtopic.php?f=15&t=10397 (Balancing the Playable species)

User avatar
labgnome
Vacuum Dragon
Posts: 625
Joined: Mon Mar 02, 2015 5:57 pm

Re: [Balance] Natives

#22 Post by labgnome » Sat Oct 05, 2019 1:32 am

alleryn wrote:
Thu Oct 03, 2019 1:34 pm
alleryn wrote:
Mon Sep 23, 2019 3:36 am
- Regarding the Kobuntura specifically, perhaps addressing self-sustaining can be part of this. I think it's generally agreed the Trith are too strong right now as well. I'm fairly sure i read some suggestions about this a couple years back (MatGB i think); i'll see if i can locate that.
Just collecting a couple threads here:
https://freeorion.org/forum/viewtopic.php?f=15&t=10996 (Make self-sustaining = radiovore)
https://freeorion.org/forum/viewtopic.php?f=15&t=10397 (Balancing the Playable species)
I think I have suggested this before, but I would remove the three-specials population boost for the self-sustaining metabolism. Possibly having technologies that boost self-sustaining populations, so that they start off relatively weak, but finish strong.
All of my contributions should be considered released under creative commons attribution share-alike license, CC-BY-SA 3.0 for use in, by and with the Free Orion project.

User avatar
alleryn
Space Dragon
Posts: 259
Joined: Sun Nov 19, 2017 6:32 pm

Re: [Balance] Natives

#23 Post by alleryn » Sat Oct 05, 2019 3:22 am

labgnome wrote:
Sat Oct 05, 2019 1:32 am
I think I have suggested this before, but I would remove the three-specials population boost for the self-sustaining metabolism. Possibly having technologies that boost self-sustaining populations, so that they start off relatively weak, but finish strong.
At first glance, i like this suggestion. It's somewhat similar to one of MatGB's from one of the threads i quoted. Here also is your response from that thread:
labgnome wrote:
Wed Feb 01, 2017 8:40 pm
MatGB wrote:Self-Sustaining: Yup, overpowered, and I actually made it worse when I fixed Good/Bad Population, it now applies always rather than only on otherwise habitable worlds. A quick and dirty solution would be to reduce the bonus to equivalent of two growth specials not three, a more longer term solution is to change the Growth tech tree so that not all habitability boosts affect all metabolisms, and Self Sustaining creatures get fewer boosts. The former is easy, the latter a large project and thus delayed.
MatGB wrote:Should we reduce the Self Sustaining bonus from 3*size to 2*size?
I'm already working on a tech overhaul on my own, and I plan on the self-sustaining tech fix to be a part of that. Basically they'll be nerfed out of the gate but will perform really well late-game (hopefully).
I'm not sure quite what you had in mind here, but i really like your approach. A simple enough thing would be to attach the three growth specials for self-sustaining to the three growth techs Symbiotic Biology, Xenological Genetics, and Xenological Habitation. This would preserve maintain much of one of the key advantages (imo) of self-sustaining in it's current state: being able to colonize hostile worlds after this third a relatively small investment in tech [Given multi-species empires, this may not seem like a huge advantage, but for the xenophobic Trith, i would consider it intrinsic to their current playstyle]. While at the same time nerfing the out-of-the-gate advantage self-sustaining currently provides (indeed, it's often quicker to capture a growth special than to research Symbiotic Biology, in my experience, though this of course depends on RNG).

I'm guessing what you intended was a more dramatic approach from the way you described it, but this could be a "baby step" (which i think shouldn't be terribly hard to implement, though i haven't actually done it yet) in that direction to test if it feels like we are moving in the right direction.

Here are a few little charts to illustrate habitability req's:

No Self-sustaining (add +1 for ea growth special):
Good Adequate Poor Hostile
Base 3 0 -2 -4
Sub Hab 4 1 -1 -3
Symb Bio 5 2 0 -3
Xen Gen 5 4 2 -2
Xen Hab 5 4 3 0
Self-sustaining:
Good Adequate Poor Hostile
Base 6 3 1 -1
Sub Hab 7 4 2 0
Symb Bio 8 5 3 0
Xen Gen 8 7 5 1
Xen Hab 8 7 6 3
Proposed change (self-sus):
Good Adequate Poor Hostile
Base 3 0 -2 -4
Sub Hab 4 1 -1 -3
Symb Bio 6 3 1 -2
Xen Gen 7 6 4 0
Xen Hab 8 7 6 3
Postscript: Looking at these numbers, i'm thinking the Trith would probably be over-nerfed by this change. They'd lose the capacity to colonize poor worlds from the start (which presently 'compensates' them for having Narrow Planet Tolerance), and actually not be able to colonize poor planets earlier than other species (needing Xen Gen). So should remove their narrow tolerance if adopting this idea. After factoring in Subterranean Habitation, this no longer applies. Trith would need only Symbotic Biology to colonize poor worlds, and would now need Xen Hab instead of just Xen Gen to colonize hostiles. This seems like a reasonable nerf to me, given the large population advantage they end up with in the early-mid game over species without access to growth specials.

EDIT: I just realized i made a major omission, forgetting to factor in Subterranean Habitation. I'll redo the charts above shortly. /EDIT

Edit2: I probably should've explained what the numbers in the chart are. For species with Average Population, multiply the number in the chart by planet size to determine Maximum Population (there are some other adjustments like Homeworld and Planetary Ecology, the latter of which only applies pre-Symb Bio). /Edit2

User avatar
labgnome
Vacuum Dragon
Posts: 625
Joined: Mon Mar 02, 2015 5:57 pm

Re: [Balance] Natives

#24 Post by labgnome » Sat Oct 05, 2019 12:12 pm

alleryn wrote:
Sat Oct 05, 2019 3:22 am
I'm not sure quite what you had in mind here, but i really like your approach. A simple enough thing would be to attach the three growth specials for self-sustaining to the three growth techs Symbiotic Biology, Xenological Genetics, and Xenological Habitation. This would preserve maintain much of one of the key advantages (imo) of self-sustaining in it's current state: being able to colonize hostile worlds after this third a relatively small investment in tech [Given multi-species empires, this may not seem like a huge advantage, but for the xenophobic Trith, i would consider it intrinsic to their current playstyle]. While at the same time nerfing the out-of-the-gate advantage self-sustaining currently provides (indeed, it's often quicker to capture a growth special than to research Symbiotic Biology, in my experience, though this of course depends on RNG).

I'm guessing what you intended was a more dramatic approach from the way you described it, but this could be a "baby step" (which i think shouldn't be terribly hard to implement, though i haven't actually done it yet) in that direction to test if it feels like we are moving in the right direction.
What I had fully in-mind was to give them their own separate pop-boosting techs, ultimately fitting those into one of the themes (maybe void) of the proposed tech tree re-work. I'd personally prefer separate technologies, so that you specifically have to invest in the research cost of those techs. However do I think that your proposal could be a good starting point.

On a side note: I also like the idea of techs to remove the phototrophic maluses (possibly under the proposed energy theme), as I consider phototrophic relatively weak since it's the only metabolism that gets maluses. But I don't think that there is as much of a consensus there.
All of my contributions should be considered released under creative commons attribution share-alike license, CC-BY-SA 3.0 for use in, by and with the Free Orion project.

User avatar
alleryn
Space Dragon
Posts: 259
Joined: Sun Nov 19, 2017 6:32 pm

Re: [Balance] Natives

#25 Post by alleryn » Sat Oct 05, 2019 12:23 pm

labgnome wrote:
Sat Oct 05, 2019 12:12 pm
On a side note: I also like the idea of techs to remove the phototrophic maluses (possibly under the proposed energy theme), as I consider phototrophic relatively weak since it's the only metabolism that gets maluses. But I don't think that there is as much of a consensus there.
I'd agree that phototrophic is generally weaker than the standard metabolisms (in Mature (default) Galaxy Age). Just one Growth Special is almost as good as a white star, and leaves photrophs with an advantage only on the tiny minority of systems that are blue. Couple that with the malus at the relatively common red stars, and the fact that phototrophs can't benefit from black hole generators leave them quite weak late game.

I think that this may somewhat be affected by the upcoming Influence mechanic, since phototrophic species do have the advantage of a small number of outstanding worlds early game (subject to RNG of course).

Edit: I want to add that i don't consider phototrophic metabolism to really be a problem right now. Currently the strongest playable and unplayable species are, in my opinion, Trith and Kobuntura (I don't know if that's something that's agreed-upon or not), so it makes sense to nerf self-sustaining.

I don't think Chato or Laenfa are underpowered. If anything i would rate them both in the top half of playables i think.

It's not necessary or even desirable (imo) to balance all the metabolisms. Balancing the playable species should be a goal, though. Native species don't need to be balanced, but removing high-end outliers makes it easier to balance the native mechanic as a whole.

User avatar
Oberlus
Cosmic Dragon
Posts: 1796
Joined: Mon Apr 10, 2017 4:25 pm

Re: [Balance] Natives

#26 Post by Oberlus » Sat Oct 05, 2019 1:50 pm

alleryn wrote:
Sat Oct 05, 2019 12:23 pm
phototrophs can't benefit from black hole generators leave them quite weak late game
Late game you have exobots minimum, other species probably. It's been never a problem for me as phototrophic to get full advantage of a BH generator mid/late game.
I would not remove their maluses, maybe give them some mid/late tech that "upgrades" one level the luminosity of a star.
___

Having separate habitability techs for different metabolisms... I don't see the point, appart from having more stuff to research. Yes, it adds the choice "do I boost first population of my normal species or my self-sustaining species?", whith the answer depending on which one will get you more profit, but I don't find that choice especially interesting, strategy-wise.

I like Alleryn's proposal. The same I'm doing for the new tech tree. My idea was to give Self-sustaining instead of +3 for every environment a different bonus depending on tolerance: good +4, adeq. +3, poor +2, hostile +1. So they get access to adequate from start (irrelevant for narrow tolerance species, nice advantage for the others), and require just one tech to access poor (nice advantage) but only one less tech than normal species to access hostile (quite small advantage, like accessing it in turn 40 instead of 50). The pro that I see with this approach compared to Alleryn's is that it allows to leave techs alone (no differente effects groups depending on metabolism), which seems a bit simpler (KISS).

User avatar
alleryn
Space Dragon
Posts: 259
Joined: Sun Nov 19, 2017 6:32 pm

Re: [Balance] Natives

#27 Post by alleryn » Sat Oct 05, 2019 2:18 pm

Oberlus wrote:
Sat Oct 05, 2019 1:50 pm
My idea was to give Self-sustaining instead of +3 for every environment a different bonus depending on tolerance: good +4
A potential disadvantage to this approach is that it makes even larger the self-sustaining advantage at the game start. The homeworld is with this bonus now starting at a whopping 36 population.

Here are some numbers on turn one population and production with default focus:
Population Industry Research
Human 20 10 9
Egassem 17 15.3 5
Scylior 17.25 8.625 11.9
Trith(current) 32 16 11.4
Trith (with +4 on good) 36 18 12.2

User avatar
labgnome
Vacuum Dragon
Posts: 625
Joined: Mon Mar 02, 2015 5:57 pm

Re: [Balance] Natives

#28 Post by labgnome » Sat Oct 05, 2019 2:35 pm

Oberlus wrote:
Sat Oct 05, 2019 1:50 pm
I would not remove their maluses, maybe give them some mid/late tech that "upgrades" one level the luminosity of a star.
I could see that as an alternative.
Having separate habitability techs for different metabolisms... I don't see the point, appart from having more stuff to research. Yes, it adds the choice "do I boost first population of my normal species or my self-sustaining species?", whith the answer depending on which one will get you more profit, but I don't find that choice especially interesting, strategy-wise.
I get that you don't find it an interesting choice. However I think that I would.

Plus we aren't really talking about separate habitability techs, so much as how to balance the metabolism. I do think that making the player invest in specific technologies to unlock the full benefits of the metabolism would go to balance something that is currently over-powered.
I like Alleryn's proposal. The same I'm doing for the new tech tree. My idea was to give Self-sustaining instead of +3 for every environment a different bonus depending on tolerance: good +4, adeq. +3, poor +2, hostile +1. So they get access to adequate from start (irrelevant for narrow tolerance species, nice advantage for the others), and require just one tech to access poor (nice advantage) but only one less tech than normal species to access hostile (quite small advantage, like accessing it in turn 40 instead of 50). The pro that I see with this approach compared to Alleryn's is that it allows to leave techs alone (no differente effects groups depending on metabolism), which seems a bit simpler (KISS).
I think I prefer Alleryn's proposal over yours. I'd prefer it if self-sustaining didn't get any advantages "out of the gate". It starts-out more on-par with the other metabolisms. Plus it preserves the "three specials" attribute of the metabolism.
All of my contributions should be considered released under creative commons attribution share-alike license, CC-BY-SA 3.0 for use in, by and with the Free Orion project.

User avatar
alleryn
Space Dragon
Posts: 259
Joined: Sun Nov 19, 2017 6:32 pm

Re: [Balance] Natives

#29 Post by alleryn » Sat Oct 05, 2019 2:40 pm

Oberlus wrote:
Sat Oct 05, 2019 1:50 pm
Late game you have exobots minimum, other species probably. It's been never a problem for me as phototrophic to get full advantage of a BH generator mid/late game.
Oh, right; I hardly ever get to that part of the game. Still you can't use black hole conversion to abuse stellar tomography if you are phototrophic.

Also, late game, phototrophs just can't compete with multiple growth specials of other metabolisms insofar as overall population is concerned. Maybe some kind of late game "Star Renewal" tech that allows you to terraform stars to blue? Blues are still quite a bit worse than black holes as far as stellar tomography is concerned and they don't provide any more than the standard 3 growth specials for phototrophs. If the "Star Renewal" were similar in cost to Black Hole Transformation, it would seem reasonable to me -- i don't really think your suggestion of simple +1 to luminosity is enough IF we desire relative lategame parity among metabolisms.

Edit: I just noticed you can only turn red stars into black holes... I didn't know that. Hmmm... maybe i take it all back.
Last edited by alleryn on Sat Oct 05, 2019 2:43 pm, edited 1 time in total.

User avatar
Oberlus
Cosmic Dragon
Posts: 1796
Joined: Mon Apr 10, 2017 4:25 pm

Re: [Balance] Natives

#30 Post by Oberlus » Sat Oct 05, 2019 4:50 pm

alleryn wrote:
Sat Oct 05, 2019 2:18 pm
A potential disadvantage to this approach is that it makes even larger the self-sustaining advantage at the game start. The homeworld is with this bonus now starting at a whopping 36 population.
You're so right. With default good being 3*size (+2*size at HW), another +4*size is crazy (near +100% production). It is already crazy the +3*size. So... either make starting value bigger for everyone at good, or give less bonus from self-sustaining. +2 for all environments might make sense? as well as Alleryn's proposal.

Post Reply