Game balance in 0.4.4 release—feedback needed

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Morlic
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Re: Game balance in 0.4.4 release—feedback needed

#151 Post by Morlic » Wed Jun 10, 2015 5:47 pm

How about instead of nerfing the decoy tactic directly, we would introduce some sort of AoE damage part? The idea would be to price the part high enough so it is only attractive to use vs a swarm tactic but much inferior (not cost-effective) against few strong ships.

Some basic ideas would be effects such as "destroy this ship and deal 20 damage to all enemies" or "deal 2 damage to all enemies ignoring shields".

This would allow for some more strategic diversity and adds an incentive to actually adapt to the enemy. Also make sure to add a seperate tech line for this so the player does not get the option automatically.

/Edit: Ok, sloth had already stated the AoE weapon, I somehow overlooked his post. Anyway, I fully second his suggestion.
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Kassiopeija
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Re: Game balance in 0.4.4 release—feedback needed

#152 Post by Kassiopeija » Wed Jun 10, 2015 11:13 pm

Sloth wrote: 1. A weapon ship part that always hits all enemies (like system defense mines).
2. A combat computer tech (or ship part) that increases the chance of weapons hitting the biggest threat (at least only armed ships).
Sounds great, I like both ideas.

It would make sense if weapons fire was logically ordered by a decimation/elimination-of-enemy-attack-strength, that way glasscannons are prioritized and unarmed craft are initially ignored and rounded up when no more danger is present. As such, the usage of decoys would be totally limited, ie. one had to stuff, at least, a single gun on them (so a decoy essentially would become defensive lowatt highstruct ships)

@Dilvish
I'm gonna start a game this morning with a 0.02 setting, keep you posted.

edit:
to add, (1) would make the game more challenging, because, I have the impression that the player is better capable of clumping his ships together to big fleets, which then have a huge advantage picking on smaller AI fleets. however, such a shippart could do tremendous amounts of damage versus maxed fleets even when coming from relatively low number of ships, so there would be a true reason to, sometimes, split up attackfleets.

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Kassiopeija
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Re: Game balance in 0.4.4 release—feedback needed

#153 Post by Kassiopeija » Thu Jun 11, 2015 11:15 am

Currently in a testgame with the 0.02 multiplier, humans, 300 systems, 5 AI, irregular1, low starlane, low special, low natives, medium monsters, currently 150 turns in, playing a heavy colonization tactic. all planets get colonized, terraf + gaia no matter of size. met 3 AI so far but they have only robotics versus my gravitators, don't have to use decoys at all. the 0.02 isn't really noticeable, I have alot of excess production which go into additional warships that I wouldn't even need. maybe this will change as the game progresses but I have a feeling that in the next 25 turns I defeat those 3 AIs and simply overrun the other 2 once I find them.

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MatGB
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Re: Game balance in 0.4.4 release—feedback needed

#154 Post by MatGB » Thu Jun 11, 2015 11:40 am

To be honest, I think the biggest individual balance problem in the game at the moment is runaway production from massive empires with loads of planets, once you're ahead in population and research you race ahead faster and faster, and the industrial production output you can get once you've got the key boosters is insane.

But, it's not something I've been prioritising working on as, while I've got several different, competing, ideas, each will take work to implement and I'm not sure any solve the main problem, which is that big empires have a massive advantage in everything (ie colony upkeep makes colonising more expensive, but not conquest, but more colonies give you a massive advantage when it comes to conquest).
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pheldens
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Re: Game balance in 0.4.4 release—feedback needed

#155 Post by pheldens » Fri Jun 12, 2015 12:21 pm

a quick fix would be to reduce those booster multipliers, and to make boosters galaxy size dependent, so they are proportional

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Kassiopeija
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Re: Game balance in 0.4.4 release—feedback needed

#156 Post by Kassiopeija » Fri Jun 12, 2015 11:21 pm

In bigger games colonizing is the only thing to do with production since it'll take some time until you can meet the other AI. Maybe with Monsters set to maximum it'll be different but I've seen such a setting hurting the AI progression esp. if Sentinels are close to him, instead of ignoring them (as they're impossible to defeat in the earlier stages of the game) they send their suicidal fleets in.

I'd like to see the game having less planets, asteroids and gas giants, simply make the game more spread out. This will also promote making range more interesting, right now once you get 2 or maybe 3 techs that give +1 supply you don't need to place fuel tanks to any hull anymore. I mean there's hulls that have +5 or +6 fuel, anti-matter give additional +5 fuel, but seriously, no distances ingame need +11 fuel, scouts so deep in hostile territory will be killed beforeahead and outposts or colonies cannot be guarded at that distance. It's kinda always better to grow by adding the nearest systems.

Reducing the multipliers sounds like a good idea, another thing that could probably be upped is the cost of the troop module. Invasion is just too easy. At that, the AI seems to put some emphasis on planetary shields and defense, but not on garrisons.. this is wrong, the garrison tech branch is one of the most cheapest to research and would force the player to have to bring more production to the table when wanting to take AI planets. This would be esp. effectful if the troop mod could be raised in cost. Planetary shields and defenses are kinda really effective versus specific roaming monsters or against low hp ships, but once you've got a better hull with enough hitpoints you can always shoot these shields/defenses down without loosing any ship, so no additional costs there.

So even if you've lost cosiderable amount of hp from planetary defense, your ships will be repaired back to 100% via the drydock after the planet has been taken. So there's basically no loss here. The AI tends to build Basic Shipyard, Drydock and Scanning Facility everywhere, sometimes the other organic shipyards as well. This takes his structures down to 0 and prevents a faster defense regen. Now these buildings are cheap, but if build everywhere, the total amount of production used would probably form a viable fleet -which could prevent the loss of planets in the first place.

I've recently played a game totally ignoring all planetary techs, garrison, shields, defense, defense regen, mines and also stealth. This saves considerable amounts of research which I instead use to get Self-Gravitating hull instead, thus, obtaining space superiority easily and at that point there's no need to have any planets going defensive anymore. Prioritizig hulls seems so much better as they can be used offensively as well.

One other thing I'll have to stress is that it seems to me that high-population species or broad-planetary tolerance species seems to have an advantage over the others. For example, Gysache, the only thing you'll need for them is to get a Etty, Eaxxaw or Mu Uursh planet which produces your fleets and all of a sudden their starting penalty is TOTALLY OBLITERATED but their enormous production bonuses are in place and boost that shipyards. (even a normal race without penalty or bonus would also do...)
On the other hand, if I start a game with Eggassem there's absolutely nothing ingaem that will defeat the starting weakness of the Eggassem race (low tolerance, low pop) these weaknesses will always be there from turn1 to end.

Also, I think that the production coming from a Gysache planet can become much greater than from an Eggassem planet simply because of the population discrepancy. That Eggassem have ultimate industry doesn't add that much really because it's just one multiplier beneath several others and they add to one another. If they're supposed to be the #1 in production (and they should, considering their penalty) then this could only be achieved if the racial industry bonus multiplier multiplies the total planetary output (although this would require a total rebalancing of all other multipliers as well).

Now don't get me wrong this is not supposed to be ment to critical, I actually enjoy playing the game alot, and esp. now that I've upgrode my rig and can play now with much more systems (so far experienced no lag at all :)))) but I see what you can do now when playing with much more systems, and so far, there's so much production available that I can enqueue anything possible and then still some more. Actually a strategy game should force the player to make decision between things because he only has a limited amount of resources and therefore has to evalute on what's best to do.

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MatGB
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Re: Game balance in 0.4.4 release—feedback needed

#157 Post by MatGB » Sat Jun 13, 2015 10:24 am

Kassiopeija wrote: Now don't get me wrong this is not supposed to be ment to critical,
Oh, it is, but it's not negative criticism, it's exactly what we need to improve the game. And I agree with you almost entirely, fuel is a problem, supply is too easy to extend, population is too important, gysache are too easy, the Egassem negatives are too big, etc.

None of them are going to be changed for 0.4.5, but they all hopefully will get at least some work for 0.4.6, I have some ideas regarding supply, bonuses, population and similar that're sort of linked and will require multiple changes at once, so I'm putting off even suggesting them until we're done with the current projects.

But they do all need work.
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Dilvish
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Re: Game balance in 0.4.4 release—feedback needed

#158 Post by Dilvish » Sat Jun 13, 2015 4:28 pm

MatGB wrote:the Egassem negatives are too big, etc.
I do sometimes see Egassem homeworld empires doing fantastic, though -- they can make good use of early native captures as well as anyone, at least if they get lucky with those captures. I'm not at all convinced that they are outside of the reasonable range.
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Re: Game balance in 0.4.4 release—feedback needed

#159 Post by pheldens » Thu Jun 18, 2015 11:12 am

the second half of the game (against AI) needs to be more challenging

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Geoff the Medio
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Re: Game balance in 0.4.4 release—feedback needed

#160 Post by Geoff the Medio » Thu Jun 18, 2015 11:35 am

Kassiopeija wrote:I'd like to see the game having less planets, asteroids and gas giants, simply make the game more spread out.
I've been inclined to agree, although others have intentionally made the opposite change: https://github.com/freeorion/freeorion/ ... 8de936ddbd

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MatGB
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Re: Game balance in 0.4.4 release—feedback needed

#161 Post by MatGB » Thu Jun 18, 2015 6:49 pm

Geoff the Medio wrote:
Kassiopeija wrote:I'd like to see the game having less planets, asteroids and gas giants, simply make the game more spread out.
I've been inclined to agree, although others have intentionally made the opposite change: https://github.com/freeorion/freeorion/ ... 8de936ddbd
That was 4 years ago, there's been another tweak more recently because the AI was having problems with large void areas with nowhere to extend supply.

I'd like it so that virtually all systems with stars had at least something else in them, but that there were also more deep space nodes (I'd rather all planetless stars were just deep space, to put it a different way), I don't like having to click on a system to find out it's empty, it adds little to the game, but I do like that you sometimes have to work to get through empty areas.
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Kassiopeija
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Re: Game balance in 0.4.4 release—feedback needed

#162 Post by Kassiopeija » Thu Jun 18, 2015 9:03 pm

MatGB wrote: That was 4 years ago, there's been another tweak more recently because the AI was having problems with large void areas with nowhere to extend supply.

I'd like it so that virtually all systems with stars had at least something else in them, but that there were also more deep space nodes (I'd rather all planetless stars were just deep space, to put it a different way), I don't like having to click on a system to find out it's empty, it adds little to the game, but I do like that you sometimes have to work to get through empty areas.
If empires have some inital problems developing from the starting point it could help a bit by increasing the supply coming from the Palace. Such a regional bonus would become moot during midgame anyway, because the starting planet will be surrounded by colonies at that time which all create their own range - which will exceed anything coming from the palace.

On the other hand, I don't know if the AI are coded to use the Logistics Planetary setting or the Space Elevator, because one of the 2 will most likely solve any range-issues even under the most critical circumstances. I'm currently playing a testgame against 5 AIs 450 systems, Irrelgular1, Starlane low, Planet low, Natives low, Monster Med, Special low and moded some changes into it to have that galaxy even less crowded [150 max starlane length, less general planets, even lesser planets in Blue/White star, more space between Natives] but all AI so far have developed good.
BTW good job on the AI! they are using Self-Gravitating Hulls now, and the Planet Defense setting very often if planet is somewhat away from their region. Nice :)

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Re: Game balance in 0.4.4 release—feedback needed

#163 Post by pheldens » Thu Jun 18, 2015 10:44 pm

please adjust the galaxy defaults to what devs and AI devs use, I see that irregular 1/2 is used most?

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Dilvish
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Re: Game balance in 0.4.4 release—feedback needed

#164 Post by Dilvish » Thu Jun 18, 2015 11:06 pm

pheldens wrote:please adjust the galaxy defaults to what devs and AI devs use, I see that irregular 1/2 is used most?
We had some debate about that last time (I had proposed Irregular 2). I forget just why we didn't go with it, I think there was some concern about greater need to manage Supply & the risk of starting players getting stuck in a dead-end. We have some new code to help reduce the risk related to starting in a dead-end, so perhaps it would now be a good time to change that default setting-- I'm fine with the idea of doing so.
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MatGB
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Re: Game balance in 0.4.4 release—feedback needed

#165 Post by MatGB » Fri Jun 19, 2015 12:01 am

The only reason I dislike Elliptical is it's too cramped, if it were spread out a bit more it'd be a nice setup. There isn't really a "what the devs use" setting, there's just different settings we use depending on what we're in the mood for.

I'd like it if the default were a spiral, but there's a chance of getting stuck fairly easily in that so it's not the best plan, elliptical is "safest" in terms of making sure a brand new player isn't stuck or trapped, once you've played a game or two changing the settings should be normal.
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