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Playtesting Rev 5689

Posted: Tue Jan 29, 2013 10:01 am
by Bigjoe5
I decided to try a big playtesting game for the first time in a while. I kept a brief log of my experiences:
Bigjoe5 - PlaytestLog.txt
(10.24 KiB) Downloaded 50 times
I didn't actually finish the game, because turn-processing times just got way too long, but it looks like I was in a reasonable position to secure my safety. I had blocked off 3 out of 4 corners of my starting region with Gateway to the Void, which the AI appears to be too dumb to just go past, and was well on the way to building the last one. Meanwhile, my monstrous fleet of ships was stomping the Gyisache, and most of the rest of the galaxy didn't have adequate detection to see me at all.

I would say, based on the state of the galaxy, that I was at the early-mid game, since only a few empires had been eliminated, and I could probably see only about a quarter of the galaxy. Looking at how gameplay scales to such large games (i.e. I ran out of tech to research) is something we'll have to look at when such games are actually playable.

Re: Playtesting Rev 5689

Posted: Tue Jan 29, 2013 10:53 am
by Vezzra
Bigjoe5 wrote:(i.e. I ran out of tech to research)
That's definitely something that needs to be fixed. I run out of meaningful techs to research almost every time in midgame - in large galaxies even sooner.

Re: Playtesting Rev 5689

Posted: Tue Jan 29, 2013 12:07 pm
by Geoff the Medio
Any chance you can reproduce the unordered map crash? My guess would be it's related to moving things around on the research or production queues...

Any sense of what was making turn times long? In particular was it AIs thinking, or effects processing, or something else?

Sounds like techs after the first tier need to be more expensive. How was the rate of tech progress while you had the tomography penalty?

I think that if you're 200+ turns into a game and have researched the whole tech tree, it's not going to be the "early-mid" game anymore, regardless of how big you made the galaxy and how little of it you've managed to explore...

I'm almost amazed you were able to play for 200+ turns with a 500 stars and 20 AIs game. It certainly wouldn't have worked 6 months ago, and I certainly wouldn't recommend those settings.

Note that stealth shouldn't act as an invulnerability shields; once you're in a battle and shooting a things, your ships should be revealed and able to be counterattacked, even if the other empire has zero detection ability.

Re: Playtesting Rev 5689

Posted: Tue Jan 29, 2013 3:56 pm
by Sloth
Vezzra wrote:
Bigjoe5 wrote:(i.e. I ran out of tech to research)
That's definitely something that needs to be fixed. I run out of meaningful techs to research almost every time in midgame - in large galaxies even sooner.
I think eleazar is still working on balancing the RP and PP output:
eleazar wrote:What remains for me are the revisions to the research/industry effects and descriptions which are a mess.

Re: Playtesting Rev 5689

Posted: Tue Jan 29, 2013 5:00 pm
by Dilvish
Bigjoe5 wrote:... I had blocked off 3 out of 4 corners of my starting region with Gateway to the Void, which the AI appears to be too dumb to just go past...
Hmmm.... Ok well I'll take the challenge. I suppose if I start having the AI process Sitreps (certainly has been on the gameplan & has all sorts of applications) then I could at least easily distinguish a ship loss due to this from a ship loss due to a large stealthed monster or fleet (which the AI currently will consider attempting to take on with a yet larger force). It'll be a little while, though...

Re: Playtesting Rev 5689

Posted: Wed Jan 30, 2013 3:03 pm
by MiniMe
Hi,

i've played several games now, really great fun! Thank you for this!

Today i started a map with Rev 5689 and i'm either missing something or there might be a bug:

Black Hole System with a medium swamp planet. That planet has two specials, Caretaker Fruit and some cloaking thing.
I used to have a Chato colony here before i artificially created that black hole. Once the black hole was created, the colony died out and became an outpost.

Now i'm trying to colonize again with Chato, but it shows -9 when i try.


And to contribute to the topic:
I also agree that research is too fast. I'm almost done with everything and havent even explored the map completely.

Re: Playtesting Rev 5689

Posted: Wed Jan 30, 2013 3:36 pm
by Sloth
MiniMe wrote: Black Hole System with a medium swamp planet. That planet has two specials, Caretaker Fruit and some cloaking thing.
I used to have a Chato colony here before i artificially created that black hole. Once the black hole was created, the colony died out and became an outpost.

Now i'm trying to colonize again with Chato, but it shows -9 when i try.
The Chato are a Phototrophic species (i.e. they need light to live). White stars give a population boost and Black Holes a huge malus.

Re: Playtesting Rev 5689

Posted: Wed Jan 30, 2013 4:04 pm
by Dilvish
MiniMe wrote:and i'm either missing something....<snip>
I used to have a Chato colony here before i artificially created that black hole. Once the black hole was created, the colony died out and became an outpost.
Now i'm trying to colonize again with Chato, but it shows -9 when i try.
Yes, Chato are phototropic (sensitive to their sun type) They get bonuses from bright stars and severe penalties from dim stars. Their order of preference and effect on population is (currently):
Blue: +++,
White: ++,
Yellow, Orange: no effect
Red, Neutron: minus
Blackhole, no star: huge minus

Sloth has been rewriting species descriptions, hopefully he has something more informative planned for the Pedia entry for Phototropic Metabolism

**edit** bah! got pulled away again before I could finish & Sloth beat me to it -- usually the boards give me a warning before letting me submit the post but they didn't this time. Looks like Sloth is not volunteering to rewrite the Pedia entry, but maybe he's already done it and it's just waiting for review/incorporation. If not, perhaps he can be persuaded by subtle hints... :wink:

Re: Playtesting Rev 5689

Posted: Wed Jan 30, 2013 4:49 pm
by Sloth
Dilvish wrote:Looks like Sloth is not volunteering to rewrite the Pedia entry, but maybe he's already done it and it's just waiting for review/incorporation. If not, perhaps he can be persuaded by subtle hints... :wink:
Wish = Command.

Re: Playtesting Rev 5689

Posted: Wed Jan 30, 2013 5:45 pm
by eleazar
revision 5693
"detailed phototropic bonus description patch by Sloth"

Re: Playtesting Rev 5689

Posted: Wed Jan 30, 2013 8:54 pm
by MiniMe
Thank you for the explanations.
Sounds interesting, perhaps i try playing Chato next game (in this game i assimilated them playing as Eaxaw).

One more minor tiny thing:
When exobots inhabit a planet with a gaia special, the situation report shows the "gaia" message every round (since exobots stop at adequate).

Re: Playtesting Rev 5689

Posted: Wed Jan 30, 2013 9:13 pm
by Bigjoe5
Geoff the Medio wrote:Any chance you can reproduce the unordered map crash? My guess would be it's related to moving things around on the research or production queues...
Sorry - I thought of that after the fact, but by then I had forgotten all the details of what caused the crash, except that it happened when enqueueing a tech.
Geoff the Medio wrote:Any sense of what was making turn times long? In particular was it AIs thinking, or effects processing, or something else?
I had monster frequency set to high, and there were some regions that were totally blanketed by them, so having that many monsters on the map might have been at least part of the cause.
Geoff the Medio wrote:Sounds like techs after the first tier need to be more expensive. How was the rate of tech progress while you had the tomography penalty?
Pretty reasonable for the most part I guess. I think the main problem is a lack of content, which seems unavoidable at the moment, due to the lack of game mechanics to support them (although, I suppose happiness and alignment-related stuff could be added with just scripting, but let's wait until we're done with production for the time being). Another comment I have regarding research is that it feels a lot less rewarding than it did in MoO2 - you're researching tons of techs at once, and it's easy to get caught up in waiting for a particular tech to finish, such that all the other techs that you research in the meantime aren't as meaningful. I think we should start to seriously consider re-working the whole research system.
Geoff the Medio wrote:Note that stealth shouldn't act as an invulnerability shields; once you're in a battle and shooting a things, your ships should be revealed and able to be counterattacked, even if the other empire has zero detection ability.
This is working as intended.

Re: Playtesting Rev 5689

Posted: Wed Jan 30, 2013 10:20 pm
by Dilvish
Bigjoe5 wrote:Another comment I have regarding research is that it feels a lot less rewarding than it did in MoO2 - you're researching tons of techs at once, and it's easy to get caught up in waiting for a particular tech to finish, such that all the other techs that you research in the meantime aren't as meaningful. I think we should start to seriously consider re-working the whole research system.
I think the issue you cite is just about entirely a matter of having specified a largish number of turns over which techs must be researched, so that we wind up researching 5+ techs in parallel. I agree that it's less engaging, in that with so many things percolating at once it's easy to lose track of what you're hoping to finish next turn, and sometimes I don't even notice until a turn or 2 later, and then kick myself. I think we should try reducing most of the research times to 1 or 2, leaving the costs the same, long before considering redesigning the whole thing.

Re: Playtesting Rev 5689

Posted: Wed Jan 30, 2013 10:28 pm
by unjashfan
Just before the AI took over one of my colonies, I tried to build an evacuation building there in an attempt to turn the planet into an outpost before the inevitable happened. Turns out the AI forgot to remove the evac building from the production queue and the planet "died out" while it was under the AI's control. The AI seems to be lacking when it comes to reacting to sudden changes to its empire and colonies. The AI's gonna be so mean once it can do this :twisted:

Re: Playtesting Rev 5689

Posted: Thu Jan 31, 2013 1:12 am
by Dilvish
unjashfan wrote:Just before the AI took over one of my colonies, I tried to build an evacuation building there in an attempt to turn the planet into an outpost before the inevitable happened. Turns out the AI forgot to remove the evac building from the production queue and the planet "died out" while it was under the AI's control. The AI seems to be lacking when it comes to reacting to sudden changes to its empire and colonies. The AI's gonna be so mean once it can do this :twisted:
Just a couple days ago I started having the AI check all planets for Concentration Camps, I'll also add a check for Evacuations now, thx for bringing that up.