Great game. I have some feedback.

Describe your experience with the latest version of FreeOrion to help us improve it.

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Moriturus
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Great game. I have some feedback.

#1 Post by Moriturus » Fri Jan 23, 2015 9:20 pm

Hi. I have FreeOrion installed with my Debian distro. I liked Master Of Orion back when that was a thing, so I tried it out. I'd like to tell you what version the one I have installed is, but version info doesn't show up under the "about" menu from the opening screen... Um, that is where it's supposed to be.

Hmmm. Forum rules say mention the version, but the game doesn't give its own version number? Hang on while I open my package manager. Okay, the installed version of the package is 0.4.4-2+b1.

EDIT: When I enabled title bars in the window manager, the title bar also shows some version info: FreeOrion v0.4.4 [SVN 7640] CMake.

First thing I want to say: AWESOME game! Seriously, you guys did a great job. I've run into a few things that you may want to know about, but first of all I wanted to say this is good.

So far I've played about a halfdozen games. I've been playing as humans with one AI opponent (which is how I start learning any 4x game). I got reamed on a couple of early games by an opponent who inhabited planets (and asteroid belts!) which I couldn't even colonize, so for the last few games I've been outposting literally every planet and every asteroid belt in systems where I have a colony, in order to deny potential opponents later entry into my empire. When it turned out that I could build useful things at those outposts, that was a bonus!

My most recent game was dead lucky. I ran into two planets with caretaker fruit and three with probiotic soup within five warps of my homeworld. None of them were habitable until a bit later when I colonized them all on the same turn. :lol: after that I was spamming colony ships at the game literally as fast as I could build them. Well, colony ships and the cruisers they needed to get through all the monsters. And the monsters were getting tough to deal with by the end of the game.

I had set the galaxy to be very large, 450 systems. There were also lots of monsters and lots of specials, so monsters were a constant fight. But if there was an AI opponent in the last game, I never ran into it. It was turn 520 and I had about 150 systems (but over 400 inhabited worlds and another 200 outposts) when I won the game via research.

As to the reason I never ran into the AI opponent? I don't know. Many times during the game though, the message window complained of an AI script error: The message from the logfile is:

2015-01-22 21:28:14,390 DEBUG Client : (HumanClientFSM) PlayingGame.PlayerChat: AI_Error: AI script error in "calculate_priorities": "43"

According to

Code: Select all

grep "calculate_priorities" freeorion.log | wc
[/b] this error happened 118 times during the game. There were stretches in which it happened every turn, and then it would go away for a while, and then it would happen for another stretch.

With the size of the galaxy I expected to run into the AI opponent a bit later than usual - I was trying a playstyle focusing on early research as much as possible in order to take advantage of the galaxy size/delay before reaching opponent, and the monsters may have been a problem for the opponent AI as much as they were for me. Late in the game I was running into absolutely enormous Dyson Forests and swarms of up to a halfdozen huge Juggernauts at a time, which are circumstances so outside the ordinary run of things that I don't know if an opponent AI would be able to figure out how to handle them.

Other feedback: The interface is very sluggish. When I move the mouse, the pointer trails behind my movement so badly that it sometimes takes a full second to be sure I'm pointing at what I want to point at. This makes it extra-tedious to do things like seeing what is and isn't already built at a colony and managing the production queue. It also makes it take too long to switch back and forth between situation-report view and production-queue view (which are my two main views on the game), especially when the icons for them are at opposite ends of the screen some 3000 pixels apart. I would appreciate a snappier interface or keyboard shortcuts or a smallish unified control panel that shifts between the primary views.

The planet list and system views come up without habitability information, which is virtually the only important information about a planet early in the game. Seriously, if we can have icons for ancient ruins, caretaker fruit, computronium moons, etc, is it too much to ask for an icon that says "HABITABLE TO YOUR SPECIES" ?

Managing the buid queue is annoying. Micromanagement is appropriate for the early game, but somewhere around midgame I would really like to be able to have some macromanagement capabilities like, if I have just researched a more advanced kind of industrial center. I'd like to add it to a "generic planetary build queue" so that every time I'd otherwise waste production, these will get enqueued, at places that can build them, until no production is being wasted. Later in the game I'd also like a "generic solar-system build queue" where you list things that you'd like to build one of at every solar system (like a transformer).

It would be nice if the "things you can build" list had a filter for things that would be useless if built at a given place, like building a transformer or a shipyard when one already exists (or is enqueued) in the same system. Or for things that you only need one of per empire (like a gene bank or a megalith). Basically anything we could do to keep the "things you can build" list short and focused on things that would actually be useful to build would be a win. It would be nice to have a user-defined filter - essentially a list of things to not even bother mentioning on the "things you can build" menu because the user has made a decision not to use them in this game (or, perhaps, because they are on the "generic planetary build queue" and the user doesn't want to bother with them other than by having put them there).

Also, why does it allow you to enqueue buildings that are already in the build queue for a given planet, or colony bases/outpost bases at systems that have no uninhabited or un-outposted planets? That seems like an interface failure.

I'm constantly going into "ship designs" to eliminate strictly inferior alternatives which are only producible at places where something better can be produced. For example, when I discover cryonic colony ships and colony bases, I no longer want to build regular colony ships or colony bases, ever, under any circumstances. When I get Scout II, I no longer want to build another Scout I, ever, under any circumstances. Otherwise the build list gets increasingly stupid and error-prone, especially with the 'vague' response of the mouse pointer. When I eliminate a ship design, the game should eliminate all such vessels on which production has not yet started from the build queue. It would be yet nicer if I could upgrade planned builds from the ship design menu. For example, if I could say "Every Scout I now in the pipeline, but not yet under construction, should be replaced by a Scout II." before eliminating the scout I design.

In some cases messages are misleading. For example after researching "domesticated megafauna" I got a message that said I could domesticate monsters, so I went into a system that had a monster, and it immediately destroyed that fleet. D'oh! It didn't actually mean you could domesticate monsters! It meant that, if you then built an orbital incubator, you could build/grow living ships!

A few new basic ship designs would be beneficial; For example, I absolutely hate it when I've had warships over an enemy planet, pounding it into submission, for 20 turns in a row, and gotten messages for the last ten turns that the planet is neutralized, and then I go in with 99 troop ships and EVERY DAMN ONE OF THEM gets destroyed by mines! What the hell does "neutralized" even mean in that case?! My warships can't clear a path for them? Can't escort them? There are no minesweepers in the game? So I go into ship designs, again, and specify an asteroid-hull troopship with a few slots devoted to armor and shields.... Likewise late in the game I need colony ships with armor and shields, or else they die in huge numbers too.

Managing planets individually is also annoying. I'd prefer to be able to set the research/industry/growth/logistics parameters for the empire as a whole, because that's really the only scale on which those numbers are meaningful in most cases. Individual systems cut off from supply lines are a special case that does not justify the added interface redundancy.

Anyway, I'm enthusiastic about it. Thanks for making something awesome!

Moriturus.

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Dilvish
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Re: Great game. I have some feedback.

#2 Post by Dilvish » Sat Jan 24, 2015 1:33 am

Moriturus wrote:First thing I want to say: AWESOME game! Seriously, you guys did a great job.
Thanks!
I had set the galaxy to be very large, 450 systems. There were also lots of monsters and lots of specials, so monsters were a constant fight. But if there was an AI opponent in the last game, I never ran into it.
Ya, that's an awful lot of systems for only one AI opponent. The AI is still a bit hit-or-miss as to whether it will be able to do well given its starting environs (moreso that for a human player), so if you only play with one or even a few there is a high risk that they will just get stuck in a situation they don't handle well. For 450 Systems I'd suggest you try something like 8 to 10 AI, or perhaps even up to 20 or so.
I don't know. Many times during the game though, the message window complained of an AI script error: The message from the logfile is:
2015-01-22 21:28:14,390 DEBUG Client : (HumanClientFSM) PlayingGame.PlayerChat: AI_Error: AI script error in "calculate_priorities": "43"
Hmm, hadn't had any reports similar to that before. The error message seems a bit incomplete, perhaps you could attach the entire AI log file ("AI_1.log") to a post.

...I don't know if an opponent AI would be able to figure out how to handle them.
Ya, the AI is still kind of mediocre handling monsters; you might want to try playing low monsters (though I suppose that would be boring if you don't add more AI opponents).

Code: Select all

Other feedback: The interface is very sluggish.  When I move the mouse, the pointer trails behind my movement so badly that it sometimes takes a full second to be sure I'm pointing at what I want to point at.
Hmm, the game used to get bogged down quite a bit, but that's been cleared up for well over a year now, and well before your version. I don't recall similar complaints for quite a while. Is it like that from that start for you, or only really late in a game with tons of monsters? Playing low monsters might help with that. There are some keyboard shortcuts available, take a look in the Options window. Also, if you're up for compiling FO yourself he newest versions might be snappier for you, particularly if you compile them in Release mode. More info on compiling here and here.
The planet list and system views come up without habitability information, which is virtually the only important information about a planet early in the game. Seriously, if we can have icons for ancient ruins, caretaker fruit, computronium moons, etc, is it too much to ask for an icon that says "HABITABLE TO YOUR SPECIES" ?
Right click on a planet in the Sidepanel and select "Suitability Report".
like, if I have just researched a more advanced kind of industrial center. I'd like to add it to a "generic planetary build queue" so that every time I'd otherwise waste production, these will get enqueued, at places that can build them, until no production is being wasted. Later in the game I'd also like a "generic solar-system build queue" where you list things that you'd like to build one of at every solar system (like a transformer).
For the most part we try to avoid having anything that you'd really want to build everywhere, so I don't think that kind of thing would actually be useful, at least not enough to make it onto any kind of priority list for development-- it's just a handful of us volunteers active at any given time doing coding.
It would be nice if the "things you can build" list had a filter for things that would be useless if built at a given place, like building a transformer or a shipyard when one already exists (or is enqueued) in the same system.
Coding support got added for that a little while back, so that en Enqueing condition can be specified for items, but it's only been added for a few items so far. Keep in mind, just simply one shipyard per system would be overly simplistic, with multiple species you might need more than one shipyard per system, and people sometimes like to be able to make backups. You can search for "Enqueue" in buildings.txt in the default content directory to see some examples of its use, and you can customize your own copy and share them here, perhaps they'd make it into the standard content.
Also, why does it allow you to enqueue buildings that are already in the build queue for a given planet, or colony bases/outpost bases at systems that have no uninhabited or un-outposted planets? That seems like an interface failure.
Just that no one has yet updated all the content to use the new EnqueuLocation feature as much as they could. Volunteers are solicited :D
When I eliminate a ship design, the game should eliminate all such vessels on which production has not yet started from the build queue.
I think a lot of people would hate that, at least such a simple treatment. Some feature to highlight any such builds would probably be good, but I suspect will be low priority for a fair while.
In some cases messages are misleading. For example after researching "domesticated megafauna" I got a message that said I could domesticate monsters,...
You need to also read the description of the tech for further info. When you own a monster nest planet and have this tech, if the nest spawns a monster it will be under your control.
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Re: Great game. I have some feedback.

#3 Post by Moriturus » Sat Jan 24, 2015 11:15 pm

First, thanks for the tip about compiling. I'll try it; maybe the release build will be less of an "ants stuck in honey" experience.

Second, yes, I know about the "habitability report" on the right-mouse button. But with the mousing being vague and slow and imprecise, that's VERY annoying. Having to right-mouse there IS the problem I suggested fixing.

Third, I will look for that logfile. I hope that I haven't already overwritten it with my latest game.

I think I have three really important suggestions about game balance.

Suggestion #1: Make speed of research depend on galaxy size, so that you should not usually get all the way through the tech tree in an average game. Also make later technologies exponentially rather than linearly more expensive in research points. Military/tactical victories are more satisfying, and actually very hard to achieve right now because you reach the end of the technology tree first almost no matter what you do. At least I've never won a game any other way. One of the points of running a large galaxy is to have time to really explore what you can do with a given technology before moving on to the next. Especially in a large galaxy, entire fleets of ships should be enqueued and built and placed into combat and lost and replaced by new ships, before the next shipbuilding technology makes them all obsolete. New technologies should be thrilling turning points, not routine occurrences. And while a Xentronium-armored Dragon Tooth is awesome in the early game, it's less thrilling if Xentronium becomes a routine technology in the time it takes to use it to conquer a half-dozen systems or murder a half-gross of monsters. I'd calibrate for one new technology about every 15-30 turns, even in the late game, and that means costs of later technologies in particular should be exponentially more expensive because late-game empires are exponentially more productive of research points. Research depends on population, and population is multiplied by every planet, every caretaker fruit and every probiotic soup. In the earlier game (before it becomes the case that literally every planet other than gas giants is habitable), This is a huge nonlinear multiplication because each such discovery opens up more planets as well as increasing the population per existing planet. Research also depends on research points per population, and that's multiplied by every computronium moon. With the sheer number of these specials depending on galaxy size, late-game research points available are exponential relative to the size of the galaxy.

This would also mean that games with low amounts of specials have especially low rates of technological advance, which would make a very different and possibly more interesting tactical simulation than the game can provide now.

Suggestion #2: Limit the rate of shipbuilding by the number and upgrade status of shipyards in a system. Each shipyard should be able to expend a limited number of resource points per turn depending on its upgrade status. So if I have a dedicated system with five shipyards all upgraded to the bestest available equipment, ordering a fleet of ships there ought to spend resource points five times as fast as if the order were placed at a system with one such shipyard, and many times as fast as at a system with "Basic Shipyard." This will probably require making ships cheaper in terms of absolute resource points needed to build them and other things more expensive. This would make it worthwhile to have a few systems deep in the empire with MANY highly advanced shipyards for construction, while limiting systems on the front-lines, which could still be lost, to basic shipyards for repairs.

Suggestion #3: Bombing a planet, if damage gets through the shields, should have a chance of either removing one of its buildings, lowering its population, or of downgrading one of its basic empire-dependent infrastructures until that system is no longer cut off from supply lines. Otherwise it's virtually impossible to make any military progress whatsoever once an enemy has defense system regeneration, system defense mines at level 2 or higher, and a shield. You can pound those systems all day long, and yet never be able to get any troops onto the ground.

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Re: Great game. I have some feedback.

#4 Post by Moriturus » Sat Jan 24, 2015 11:35 pm

Dilvish wrote:
like, if I have just researched a more advanced kind of industrial center. I'd like to add it to a "generic planetary build queue" so that every time I'd otherwise waste production, these will get enqueued, at places that can build them, until no production is being wasted. Later in the game I'd also like a "generic solar-system build queue" where you list things that you'd like to build one of at every solar system (like a transformer).
For the most part we try to avoid having anything that you'd really want to build everywhere, so I don't think that kind of thing would actually be useful, at least not enough to make it onto any kind of priority list for development-- it's just a handful of us volunteers active at any given time doing coding.
For the few things that you really DO want to build everywhere though -- industrial center, advanced industrial center, and solar generator on every habitable planet, gas giant generator and solar generator on every gas giant, and solar generator at every asteroid belt -- do you realize how incredibly tedious it is to go through literally EVERY system in a large empire, go to the production menu, then click on EVERY planet in the system, go to the build menu, run that maddeningly vague mouse around until you find EVERY exact thing you want (and not something else that's on a line near it), and add it to the build queue?

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Re: Great game. I have some feedback.

#5 Post by Dilvish » Sat Jan 24, 2015 11:46 pm

Moriturus wrote:For the few things that you really DO want to build everywhere though -- industrial center, advanced industrial center, and solar generator on every habitable planet, gas giant generator and solar generator on every gas giant, and solar generator at every asteroid belt -- do you realize how incredibly tedious it is to go through literally EVERY system in a large empire, go to the production menu, then click on EVERY planet in the system, go to the build menu, run that maddeningly vague mouse around until you find EVERY exact thing you want (and not something else that's on a line near it), and add it to the build queue?
Er, Yes! But No! :D
Yes, I do realize that would be maddening. But, No, FO doesn't make you do that!

It sounds like you have assumed too many similarities to MOO-- this game is being designed to have much less micromanagement than MOO did. Provided that you keep your empire systems all supply-connected, your entire empire only needs one Industrial Center and one Solar Generator. Sometimes it may make sense to build a backup, but just about never more than that. Gas Giant Generators will be more common, but unless perhaps if you're playing High planet density they will still be far far from every system.
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Re: Great game. I have some feedback.

#6 Post by Flash » Sun Jan 25, 2015 12:13 am

The Solar power generator was something I didn't understand. I build like twenty of em, because I thought the count idividially. btw. this would make sense in a real universe. Maybe the effekt should be only available in the system and its direct neighbors.

Having it empire wide is
a: to easy
b: to much research for a one time building
c: every race will build the one instance on a blue or white star. (At the time it is researched you have enough systems availbale to choose. So why bother with the different effects for different star types.)

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Re: Great game. I have some feedback.

#7 Post by Dilvish » Sun Jan 25, 2015 12:46 am

Blue and white stars are not so common (at least not in a Mature galaxy)-- One is not always visible to me when I get the tech, or may not have any planets. It's true I most often am able to see one, but they are rare enough they are a strategic asset.

As for one-per-empire being 'too easy', well, we really do have a strong aversion to micromanagement.
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Re: Great game. I have some feedback.

#8 Post by MatGB » Sun Jan 25, 2015 1:15 am

Moriturus wrote: Suggestion #1: Make speed of research depend on galaxy size, so that you should not usually get all the way through the tech tree in an average game. Also make later technologies exponentially rather than linearly more expensive in research points. Military/tactical victories are more satisfying, and actually very hard to achieve right now because you reach the end of the technology tree first almost no matter what you do. At least I've never won a game any other way. One of the points of running a large galaxy is to have time to really explore what you can do with a given technology before moving on to the next. Especially in a large galaxy, entire fleets of ships should be enqueued and built and placed into combat and lost and replaced by new ships, before the next shipbuilding technology makes them all obsolete. New technologies should be thrilling turning points, not routine occurrences. And while a Xentronium-armored Dragon Tooth is awesome in the early game, it's less thrilling if Xentronium becomes a routine technology in the time it takes to use it to conquer a half-dozen systems or murder a half-gross of monsters. I'd calibrate for one new technology about every 15-30 turns, even in the late game, and that means costs of later technologies in particular should be exponentially more expensive because late-game empires are exponentially more productive of research points. Research depends on population, and population is multiplied by every planet, every caretaker fruit and every probiotic soup. In the earlier game (before it becomes the case that literally every planet other than gas giants is habitable), This is a huge nonlinear multiplication because each such discovery opens up more planets as well as increasing the population per existing planet. Research also depends on research points per population, and that's multiplied by every computronium moon. With the sheer number of these specials depending on galaxy size, late-game research points available are exponential relative to the size of the galaxy.
We've discussed changing the tech cost multiplier to be dependent on galaxy size & planet density a few times, IIRC Dilvish wrote a patch but it was at a time I was too busy to test anything and I think it got forgotten. I've come to similar conclusions to you about it's desirability but I'm not sure I agree with every point—Computronium Moon should, unless I'm mistaken, be a once per Empire effect, second and third specials should be redundant, if that's not the case it ought to be changed and almost certainly needs better in game text.

I'm also of the opinion that too many of our resarch and production bonuses are population based, giving a massive undeserved advantage to Good Population species and significantly weakening Bad Population (so much so that I've rarely, if ever, seen an Egassem controlled AI empire doing well unless it's gotten very lucky early on with natives like Scylior). I plan, hopefully, to write up a set of changes moving some of the bonuses to be Infrastructure based, but it'll be a fair bit of work to do so it's not going to be immediately. Regardless, yes, the best way to increase research and industrial output is to increase your population rather than improve the techs that work on them directly, not sure that should be the case as much as it currently is.
This would also mean that games with low amounts of specials have especially low rates of technological advance, which would make a very different and possibly more interesting tactical simulation than the game can provide now.
Suggestion #2: Limit the rate of shipbuilding by the number and upgrade status of shipyards in a system. Each shipyard should be able to expend a limited number of resource points per turn depending on its upgrade status. So if I have a dedicated system with five shipyards all upgraded to the bestest available equipment, ordering a fleet of ships there ought to spend resource points five times as fast as if the order were placed at a system with one such shipyard, and many times as fast as at a system with "Basic Shipyard." This will probably require making ships cheaper in terms of absolute resource points needed to build them and other things more expensive. This would make it worthwhile to have a few systems deep in the empire with MANY highly advanced shipyards for construction, while limiting systems on the front-lines, which could still be lost, to basic shipyards for repairs.
Disagree with this, micromanagement hell, one of the things the game specs is trying to do is reduce and/or eliminate the need for buildings in general, ever. However, the design spec is also to try to have shipyards be a rarely built thing, but it's not possible with the current implementation. The new under-test Colonisation changes (avaialbe on SVN in a fork and hopefully soon to be merged into Trunk) do significantly reduce the need for shipyards in general, which'll hopefully open up flexibility on balancing costs and similar. But I dislike any building based controls on how much an individual system can build via production points, if you're in supply you can build. But there do need to be limits on what can be built on newly conquered/colonised planets, but I'd hate them to be in the way you're suggesting.
Suggestion #3: Bombing a planet, if damage gets through the shields, should have a chance of either removing one of its buildings, lowering its population, or of downgrading one of its basic empire-dependent infrastructures until that system is no longer cut off from supply lines. Otherwise it's virtually impossible to make any military progress whatsoever once an enemy has defense system regeneration, system defense mines at level 2 or higher, and a shield. You can pound those systems all day long, and yet never be able to get any troops onto the ground.
I think you're doing something wrong here, troop ships with armour and a decent fleet is all you should need and it's all I need normally.

However,, the basic idea that bombing should be useful is a good one, we've got a nascent Bombardment mechanic that allows for different effects to be written up, and different parts to do different things, but no one has written much for them except the death spores, it'd be good to have more variety there.

However, building destruction isn't necessarily a good plan here (although it's not a bad plan, either, the idea is that the planet's Infrastructure meter represents the buildings and similar, and that being reduced does reduce defence regeneration, although I'm worried about the balance of this and the speed they do recover, so that does need to be looked at again at some point.
Flash wrote:Having it empire wide is
a: to easy
b: to much research for a one time building
c: every race will build the one instance on a blue or white star. (At the time it is researched you have enough systems availbale to choose. So why bother with the different effects for different star types.)
Counterpoints
a) why?
b) It's both too easy and too much? It's a fair bit of research but then gives you an empire wide bonus.
c) Yes. And? That's a good thing, micromanagement is bad.

There was a discussion a few months back to make both Gas Giant and Solar Generators number dependent, one per empire would be for a system, 2 would be for nearby systems, three all in supply would affect everywhere, that's something I thought had a few legs but scripting it was completely beyond me, I forget who suggested it.

I'm not averse to the idea that you need to build a couple generators to have an empire/supply-linked effect, but I'm definitely opposed to one per system, that'd be interesting for a small game where system numbers are strictly limited, and it could be done with the Free Orion game engine, but it wouldn't be the game we've been working on where micromanagement reduction is a key design goal.

Let games like Civ and MOO have a "buildqueue for every location" approach and require you to constantly pay attention to what you've built everywhere, that's fine on occasions, but that FO avoids it reasonably well is part of the appeal of the game.
Mat Bowles

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Re: Great game. I have some feedback.

#9 Post by Vezzra » Sun Jan 25, 2015 12:42 pm

Moriturus wrote:Second, yes, I know about the "habitability report" on the right-mouse button. But with the mousing being vague and slow and imprecise, that's VERY annoying. Having to right-mouse there IS the problem I suggested fixing.
The problem here is, we can't show habitability of a planet for "your species", as there isn't such thing as "your species". One of the fundamental design decisions for this game has been that empire != species. There is no "standard", "default", "main" (or whatever you want to call it) species for your empire, just a starting species. But this starting species is in no way different to the other species that get integrated into your empire during the course of a game, it's just the species of the planet you start with, that's all.

So for which of the species that belong to your empire should the habitability of a planet be shown on the sidepanel? There is no obvious preference, and showing it for all of your species is impossible. The only option we could maybe consider is showing habitability as long as you've only one species in your empire that is able to colonize.
Make speed of research depend on galaxy size
As Matt already mentioned, this idea has already been brought up before, and, although it has been quiet on that front recently, is still under consideration as far as I'm concerned.

There is one major problem with that approach however. All you said with regard to research being population based and, by researching techs, getting planets with certain specials etc raising exponentially with each additional planet also applies to production. Now, each tech is supposed to provide you with a certain feature, bonus, etc that gives you an advantage. The costs of the tech are (or should be) balanced against how much of an advantage you'll get by researching that tech. Tech costs in general also have to be balanced against production costs for all the things you can produce, otherwise you'll have the problem that either the tech heavy or production heavy approach is clearly superior, so you won't really get a choice which way to go if you want to play an optimal game.

This balance will be impossible to achieve if research costs are scaled (based on whatever factors). If I play on a huge map, research costs for all techs will be much higher. But the advantages you get from each tech will be exactly the same. We probably need to put that approach to some serious testing to see how much balance really gets impacted by that, but I wonder if this will lead to "Why bother with research? I just go production crazy and steamroller the galaxy!" far more quickly than we like. Still, it might work within certain limits.

This is why I tend more to the approach to expand the tech tree to the point where even on huge maps you won't be able to research everything too easily. That of course means that on small maps you'll only be able to research a fraction of the tech tree, but is that really a bad thing? The only thing that probably still has to be scaled are the techs that lead to a tech victory.

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Re: Great game. I have some feedback.

#10 Post by Vezzra » Sun Jan 25, 2015 12:46 pm

Making shipyards considerably more expensive once the new colonization mechanics get into trunk is an idea I very much like to second. They are WAY to cheap now.

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Geoff the Medio
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Re: Great game. I have some feedback.

#11 Post by Geoff the Medio » Sun Jan 25, 2015 12:55 pm

They can also increase in cost for each one built, so it's not prohibitively expensive to set up a few, but making very many is difficult.

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Dilvish
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Re: Great game. I have some feedback.

#12 Post by Dilvish » Sun Jan 25, 2015 7:03 pm

Geoff the Medio wrote:They can also increase in cost for each one built, so it's not prohibitively expensive to set up a few, but making very many is difficult.
I'm fine with making them more expensive, but for now at least I'd strongly prefer to not have that expense significantly escalate with number-- that would require the AI planning to be substantially more complex and just not a good allocation of time right now I think.
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Vezzra
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Re: Great game. I have some feedback.

#13 Post by Vezzra » Sun Jan 25, 2015 7:11 pm

Dilvish wrote:
Geoff the Medio wrote:They can also increase in cost for each one built, so it's not prohibitively expensive to set up a few, but making very many is difficult.
I'm fine with making them more expensive, but for now at least I'd strongly prefer to not have that expense significantly escalate with number-- that would require the AI planning to be substantially more complex and just not a good allocation of time right now I think.
I've opened a new thread on the Other Game Design forum to follow up on the issue raised here, with a proposal concerning the runaway production and cost-increase mechanics issues in general.

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vincele
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Re: Great game. I have some feedback.

#14 Post by vincele » Mon Jan 26, 2015 10:53 am

Vezzra wrote:The problem here is, we can't show habitability of a planet for "your species", as there isn't such thing as "your species".

So for which of the species that belong to your empire should the habitability of a planet be shown on the sidepanel? There is no obvious preference, and showing it for all of your species is impossible. The only option we could maybe consider is showing habitability as long as you've only one species in your empire that is able to colonize.
I think there is a viable option: you show the habitability of that planet for the best species currently available in your empire being able to colonize it.

That is what I've implemented, but I've ditched the sidepanel idea, because it is too costly at each system selection change. I've put that functionality in the object list window, where it has the potential to be more useful, and the cost is only taken when you display it in a column.

Patches still need to be polished a bit (and correctly separated from my other unrelated patches)...

Time is scarce.
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MatGB
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Re: Great game. I have some feedback.

#15 Post by MatGB » Mon Jan 26, 2015 12:04 pm

I definitely like the idea of having it as an option in the Objects list for the best species that can live there. I also think we need to better expose the right click option by having a button or similar to call the report up. But, unless someone comes up with a massively reduced method of calculating all the effects, given how slow my system is and the existing lag problems I definitely don't want it calculated each time I select a system with an uncolonised planet.

Moriturus, to break through the major issue, having the number display for even just the best species or your capital species for each planet each time you select a system would, under the current setup, cause a massive system calculation that, given you're already having problems with lag (the mouse pointer issue, etc) would make the game even slower. The report has to calculate for each species all the techs you've researched that affect habitability, all the buildings and/or specials that might affect it and whether it's in supply for other effects (eg Growth). That's actually a fair bit of work that, most of the time, isn't actually needed when you select a system, thus having it auto calculate is, currently, a bad plan, but having it more easily accessible would make sense and be a Good Thing (but beyond my ability to code).

Re lag specifically, I have similar problems on my older machine, it's definitely an issue that, hopefully, appears to reduce significantly with some of the backend work that's being doing in a fork that changes the graphics engine. In the meantime, strongly recommend turning off in galaxy options the gas field rendering and background star images, it does make a difference (doesn't eliminate it, does decrease the problem).
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