Game balance in 0.4.4 release—feedback needed

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Vezzra
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Re: Game balance in 0.4.4 release—feedback needed

#106 Post by Vezzra » Mon May 18, 2015 7:40 am

Scara wrote:in this case the shields might really be a bit overpowered!
Well, that's why they are so ridiculously expensive.
The described effect only happening on empty nods is strange...
Hm, can you post screenshots of combat reports where your Scattered Asteroid ship actually got damaged? That might help shed light on this mystery. I'm inclined to go with Dilvish and suspect that what you're observing has nothing to do with star or no star, but we need a bit more info to see what's going on.

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Re: Game balance in 0.4.4 release—feedback needed

#107 Post by marcOSX » Mon May 18, 2015 12:17 pm

Dilvish wrote:...That screenshot suggests to me that everything is working fine.
OK so it is as excpected. Wow!
Dilvish wrote:Total damage or per-shot damage? It is the latter than matters.I asked you this a few posts up, but you seem to have overlooked it or are ignoring it. It appears to me that this is the crux of the matter. Please post screenshots of the design information both for your ship shown in the above screenshot and for the enemy ship. It looks quite likely to me that your enemy's ship has three Plasma 4's, each rated at 18 points and unable to penetrate your rating 20 Black Shield.
Sorry I did not catch it until now. I thought that total damage (per ship )was at stake whereas it is per weapon! Now I understand it much better and OK it is as intended and for sure it is really powerful. It seems totally natural to you but was not to me. Thanks so I understand why my way to go straight for death ray ASAP gives me an edge and I will look better the design of enemy ships.

I did not notice that thing happenning out of empty nodes (outer space) but with your explanations in mind I will check in future combats. There is probably no problem.

I used exobots to produce my very first scattered hulls because I had nothing better at hand at the moment. Now they are built by my eaxaw planets, but taking no damage my first ships are still in service to blok enemy fleets.

I have one question: the good/bad bonus applies before calculation of the weapon passing the shield or after?

Sorry to have been ignorant until now, tho having played lots of games.

I still have a question that seems not clear to me: Are planet shields different?

So I will reformulate : YES the present power of shields is what helps me getting ahead really soon. And Yes I think balancing the shields would be good.

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Re: Game balance in 0.4.4 release—feedback needed

#108 Post by Vezzra » Mon May 18, 2015 12:39 pm

marcOSX wrote:I have one question: the good/bad bonus applies before calculation of the weapon passing the shield or after?
After.
I still have a question that seems not clear to me: Are planet shields different?
Yes, very different. They act essentially like some kind of regenerative armor. A planetary shield is reduced by the damage rating of the weapon it got hit by, and regenerates at a rate dependent on certain techs and planetary infrastructure (AFAIK).

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MatGB
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Re: Game balance in 0.4.4 release—feedback needed

#109 Post by MatGB » Mon May 18, 2015 12:46 pm

One thing I always wondered, if you mouseover the armour stat of a ship, it tells you where the numbers come from, same for shields and speed. But for weapons it just tells you it's the weapon. Given the importance of the per-weapon damage in various circumstances, is there any way that could be changed?

(for Good Weapons, it's added to the base stat when fired, shields deduct from the total strength, it's not +25% at any one point, it's actually hardcoded into the species descriptions as a flat bonus, that's likely to change)
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Re: Game balance in 0.4.4 release—feedback needed

#110 Post by MatGB » Sun May 24, 2015 7:05 am

Dilvish wrote:
MatGB wrote:I also want to make the shield strength start at tier 1 weapons, so Defence Grid stops Mass Driver 1 but 2+ gets through, Deflector Shield stops laser1 but Laser2+ gets partially through, etc.
Seems like a pretty decent idea to try (with some cost adjustments I presume)-- so the current 4/7/12/20 main shield line would go to 3/5/9/15, and Multispec could go from the current 15 to somewhere in the 10-12 range. I think I would prefer to see it at 10, so that regular Laser 4 could at least chip away at it, it already gives a free first shot from the stealth bonus (until the late game at least).
Agreed, and done (54847eb), I kept the costs proportionately as they were, Geoff set them at 10pp per shield strength, I suspect that's actually a bit high, but I'd like to play a bit with the new numbers before tweaking it further.
What I'm thinking is Good/Bad becomes a bonus per tier equivalent to one refinement level, so it's +/-1 for Mass Drivers, +/-2 for lasers, etc. Might need a cap,
Ya, that sounds good for Good/Bad. I don't think a cap is necessary for those, that's still just +/- 4 for Death Rays, not nearly as much difference as now.
Well, it would be +5 for good, +10 for Great and potentially +15 for Ultimate, which is actually still no more than currently and in some cases less, and Ultimate is rarely seen (it's, what, Super Testers only currently?)
not sure what to do with Great or Ultimate.
One reasonable possibility would be if, like now, Great gave twice the bonus as Good, and perhaps letting Ultimate give 3 times the bonus of Good. But Great maybe doesn't need to be that high -- double Good would be at (+2 / +4 / +6 / +8), and perhaps simply having Great being Good +1 or Good +2 would be enough, so (+2 / +3 / +4 / +5) or (+3 / +4 / +5 / +6)
What I was thinking cap wise was to say that the bonus doesn't take you above tier 4 strength, effectively Ultimate get DR4 when you first unlock it, Great don't need to research above DR2, Good can stop at DR3, then there's a max cap on weapon strength but the player/empire still gets a bonus, I think it'd be easier to balance but, well, not 100% sure.
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Re: Game balance in 0.4.4 release—feedback needed

#111 Post by Morlic » Sun May 24, 2015 9:32 am

MatGB wrote: Agreed, and done (54847eb), I kept the costs proportionately as they were, Geoff set them at 10pp per shield strength, I suspect that's actually a bit high, but I'd like to play a bit with the new numbers before tweaking it further.
I think the tweaking of cost is definitely required. The shields scale nonlinear with their capacity thus keeping the cost proportional to their strength weakens them severely from a bang-per-buck point of view.

Code: Select all

enemyDamage / (enemyDamage-Shields)
is a simple estimate of the scaling factor of a design with shields in terms of survivability (ignoring the discreteness of the combat mechanic and for enemyDamage>=shields).

Let's say we have MD4 with 6 dmg vs old shield (2 damage remain => Factor 3 in terms of survivability) and with new shield (3 damage remain => Factor 2 in terms of survivability). So the nerf by one point made it 50% worse in that case and not by only 25%.

I guess if the shields are based on the first level of weapon tech, it might make sense to balance the costs in terms of their last tech as roughly outlined in the example above. I guess that's at least a more reasonable place to start with than to keep the old cost of 10/capacity.
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Re: Game balance in 0.4.4 release—feedback needed

#112 Post by Vezzra » Sun May 24, 2015 10:21 am

Morlic wrote:
MatGB wrote: Agreed, and done (54847eb), I kept the costs proportionately as they were, Geoff set them at 10pp per shield strength, I suspect that's actually a bit high, but I'd like to play a bit with the new numbers before tweaking it further.
I think the tweaking of cost is definitely required. The shields scale nonlinear with their capacity thus keeping the cost proportional to their strength weakens them severely from a bang-per-buck point of view.
Assuming the bang-per-buck has been balanced correctly with the former numbers. People had offered different opinions on that. Some felt shields were overpowered even as expensive as they were, others felt that they were significantly overpriced. That said, personally I agree with both of you, that keeping the 10PP per point of shield strength might be too much.

Another thing to consider, which Mat obviously didn't touch, are the research costs. These too are extremely high, to account for the power of shields. Now that they have been weakened, research costs might have to be reduced also.

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Re: Game balance in 0.4.4 release—feedback needed

#113 Post by MatGB » Sun May 24, 2015 5:32 pm

Agreed, but I think the entire tech tree is badly costed as is and want to give it a serious pass at some point, making shields weaker doesn't make them less useful (because they're also cheaper I'd say they're in some ways more useable), but I think the entire tree needs recosting and I'm not sure where to start on that.

Regarding the shield costs, the hard thing is to cost them in comparison to themselves and the other choices you can make instead, one of the 'costs' of having a shield is less fuel in the early game and less speed in the mid to late game, plus you need to have a choice between continuing using the defence grid or upgrading to the deflector shield, halving the cost of the grid while only reducing the cost of the shield, for example, makes the shield a lot weaker (and that's the one that's, arguably, had the biggest nerf in terms of when it appears).
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Re: Game balance in 0.4.4 release—feedback needed

#114 Post by BlackUnicornPress » Tue Jun 02, 2015 3:12 am

From reading about everyone else's play styles I can see I play a different game than most other people but I think that is what is one of the most awesome things about the free orion framework.

I have been playing 200-250 system, low planet, low star lane, 2- arm galaxy games with 2-3 opponents and high monsters and natives, playing as humans.

The experimentors bring annihilation every time and around turn 200 and it is prayers to what ever gods are listening that they start far enough away from one of my defense positions that I have time to regroup and throw the entire fleet at them.

The Comsic Dragons are awesome!!!! Unparalleled destruction from any 4x game I have ever played. Their use of the nova bomb is absolutely perfect and, with 50k structure, there is almost no preventing the annihilation they bring. I want to play around with the nova bomb as a way of defending myself in the future but haven't got there yet. The only one out of ten times I have survived is by finding a great pilot species and having a fleet capable of dealing 12k damage. And by survived, I mean that I had a few systems closed off to the monster ridden wasteland of the galaxy with the building that lets you prevent slow moving fleets from getting in and had the one massive fleet to move back and forth to fight off the Kraken and juggernaughts that could get through. I won by trancendence but wish I wouldn't have deleted the save because I think trying to fight my way out and overcome the monster swarm would have been a more satisfying victory.

Currently playing with monster breeding and trying to survive by having walls of Great Kraken of my own. Does the Krill swarm generator not feed the Kraken? Whether or not it actually does I have built a monster trainer ship to feed my Kraken and it seems awesome even if it is not having any actual effect (although that would be a cool advanced feature for the future as well as being able to use the krill swarms to draw away monster fleets-have the monsters move to eat krill before other organic life). Combined with stealth this might be an interesting possibility for holding out against the monster hordes.

Playing with these settings, I pretty much have to race for deathrays ( few fights with anything until the galaxy is over run) and just build the cheapest ships I can. Big expensive ships are a waste because 6 bloated juggernaughts tear through even 20 to 50 ship fleets of them within a couple of turns. Researching hulls at all is pretty much a waste because I rarely have the ability to do anything with them before armageddon begins. I am guessing that a lot of folks would find this style of play frustrating and boring, because you basically spend 200 turns trying to research and expand fast enough to withstand wave after wave of unkillable monsters which will almost inevitably overrun you eventually, but I like the fact that this game gives me the option to not play against the other AI players but pick my own different objective.

Energy hulls look awesome, but it will be very difficult for me to ever be able to use in this style of game. Astroid and Neutroniun parts are equally challenging to utilize/find value in, but I assume they would be very good if I was more interested in pitting myself against fleets of other empires. Even playing as pasifistically as I do, I have never used trade, and the inability to prevent peaceful AI from trying to settle within my territory has meant I no longer try to make peace with anyone.

I think the shields are good the way they are, the better way to prevent the little ship with a death ray and black shield from seeming so powerful would be to introduce an expensive, shield penetrating weapon that does around laser-ish damage so it is more powerful than a death ray against a shielded opponent, but armor and health regeneration become a decent counter. For games against lots of AI empires, this will mean not being able to rely on X ship to win you the game. Alternatively a building that could create storms around its system could be another cool way to counter sheilds without making them weaker. I think those two options combined with the high cost would keep them balanced and tactically worthwhile with a couple of serious limitations.

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Re: Game balance in 0.4.4 release—feedback needed

#115 Post by Scara » Tue Jun 02, 2015 2:55 pm

Currently playing with monster breeding and trying to survive by having walls of Great Kraken of my own. Does the Krill swarm generator not feed the Kraken? Whether or not it actually does I have built a monster trainer ship to feed my Kraken and it seems awesome even if it is not having any actual effect (although that would be a cool advanced feature for the future as well as being able to use the krill swarms to draw away monster fleets-have the monsters move to eat krill before other organic life).
Hehe, that sounds like a nice piece of space ecology to me feeding the kraken with krill, like the idea!

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Re: Game balance in 0.4.4 release—feedback needed

#116 Post by MatGB » Tue Jun 02, 2015 3:09 pm

At the moment, the Kraken text about them eating Krill is just fluff, it perhaps shouldn't be, I'll look into making it more fun at some point. Because using the krill spawner to feed up your beasties is a brilliant idea that I want to see in the game, good call ;-)
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Re: Game balance in 0.4.4 release—feedback needed

#117 Post by MatGB » Thu Jun 04, 2015 2:26 pm

Last call for feedback

We're in the process of getting ready the 0.4.5 stable release, a lot of the issues that have been raised in this thread have now been addressed (some of which were put in yesterday so will be in the next test release), the rest of those raised are either not yet a major concern (but will be monitored) or are part of a larger project that won't be completed before 0.4.5 is ready.

So, any balance concerns you have for the game as it currently stands with the most recent Test releases (or your own compile from source) please do comment here, if it's possible to fix it it can be done as I'm working on a final pass of stat tweaks and similar.

I'm specifically interested in some feedback regarding the changes put in for the Asteroid hulls yesterday, which reduced their base fuel to 2 for most of the warships, and increased the build costs for several of the designs. I also changed the prerequisite for the Static Multicellular hull tech to make them easier in the early game, let me know if you find a use for them?
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Re: Game balance in 0.4.4 release—feedback needed

#118 Post by Scara » Fri Jun 05, 2015 10:55 am

MatBGB wrote:I'm specifically interested in some feedback regarding the changes put in for the Asteroid hulls yesterday, which reduced their base fuel to 2 for most of the warships, and increased the build costs for several of the designs.
Playing build 2015-06-03.1281208
Got your changes in Asteroidfuel, it's OK since they have enough room for extratanks. I didn't actually felt the rise in the cost, but was very surprised in the reduction of the productiontime of scattered asteroids, nice (old 15 turns). Maybe is 8 a bit to good for these mighty ships (+5 shields) so, IMHO maybe lift it to 10.
On the other hand other mighty ships like titans have low production time aswell...
Haven't tryed Static Multicellular yet.

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Re: Game balance in 0.4.4 release—feedback needed

#119 Post by Scara » Fri Jun 05, 2015 11:04 am

I still have this "Shield Bug Ship" design in the producible list.
Was questioning myself for some time now:
Is this actually a functioning ship design, or is it to demonstrate a not yet solved bug?

The producible list update, having the buildings vanish from the list when queued is nice!

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Re: Game balance in 0.4.4 release—feedback needed

#120 Post by Scara » Fri Jun 05, 2015 11:15 am

In my actual game:
turn26.jpg
turn26.jpg (31.76 KiB) Viewed 444 times
Ouch, well they must have sat on that one!
It's Turn 250 and I'm still living, havn't seen ships higher shielded than 5 I think...
now having black shield my self, I'm pretty save now.

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