Feddback after four games plus some suggestions

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Toastmartin
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Feddback after four games plus some suggestions

#1 Post by Toastmartin » Thu Nov 19, 2015 10:49 am

Hello,

I just played some games of free Orion v0.45 and wanted to leave my thoughts:

First of all: Great game! It really has the "one more turn"-addiction, MoO2 and Ascendency had. What I like in particular:
- Starlanes! They make exploration more exiting (what will my scout see at the end of that lane? A monster? A planet to colonize? A planet to conquer?) And it makes the combat more tactical!
- The overall feeling of the universe: It is a dangerous and hostile place! (until you made some progress in ecology and warfare)
- Supply lanes: Very innovative and "realistic" system .. avoids a lot of micromanagement, MoO2 was suffering from. It really feels like I am bringing civilization into the hostile universe.
- The maximum industry/research points per item. Feels "realistic" and requires you to plan in advance.
- The detection/stealth-system is innovative. It makes exploration more interesting (scanning radii) and combat a little more tactical? But hard to understand ...

I have a lot of questions and (hopefully constructive) criticism:

- The quick start-game (my first game) had to agressive AI's. I think they were set to "typical". While im still learning what a supply lane is, they are too fast. Intended to motivate learning?

- Towards the end of the game and bigger universes the micromanagement approaches a painful level. I mean the colonisation of smaller planets and Terraforming/Gaiatransformation. Why is there no button in the industy UI for "build terraforming/Gaia on all my planets when possible"? That would save me a lot of boring work. Also, it is efficient, but painful to colonize all small/tiny planets/asteroids in your territory. These are a lot of clicks (produce outpost, send outpost, place outpost, check best species, select the colonisation, terraforming, .. ). The colony/outpost DROP ships don't solve that because they require a shipyard, thats more micromanagement. Idea: remove the drops and add the option to colonize/outpostize a planet/object if you have a colony of sufficient size already in the same system and there are no enemies. One could just use the industry UI on a planet that has no outpost/colony. Just like you build a colony on an outpost in the current version.

- Why is there no repeat build ship button?

- It would be handy if the whole tech tree was visible from the start of the game (it is in the pedia anyways) and selecting a tech further down the tree selects all prequisites. Technology is pretty much the most important resource in the game, thats intended, heh? I hardly set any colony to any other focus .. although I didnt play against the most agressive AI's jet. I wonder, if the races with bad research are viable at all.

- The Victoy, why is there no sceen? A message in the report is easy to overlook and not very rewarding. A nice picture, with the word "victory" on it and maybe some statistics of the game would be cool. Also I like the game to end, when you reach the victory condition.

- Why don't my researchers just research any of the next techs, when I am to lazy/blind to select it? It would still be MUCH more efficient to select the techs by hand. I had the problem, that I was visually missing one tech on the way and had to search back, whats missing for the tech-victory. Maybe improve the visibility-difference of researched vs. unresearched techs.

- The game does not tell you how shields work. They subtract from the enemy weapon damage, right? From each individual weapon, or from the sum of a ships weapons? Aren't robotic shields at the start of the game totally overpowered when you have 20 ships with them in one system?

- The hide-setting for fleets does not really work (how does ist work? does the stealth-value come into play?) If I send a combat fleet (fight-setting) und a troop-fleet (hide setting) into a hostile system, my troops always get hit. That forces me to delay the troop ships, witch is just annoying micromanagement. Can't there be a rule that the enemy has to destroy your armed ships first? Also when combining troops into armed ships, the ships get scapped when the troops are used. Intended?

- The stealth-system is hard to understand. I want to conquer a planet. It has the cloud-symbol and is dashed. I can see the exact troop number on the planet. But I cannot invade it. Shouldn't it be the other way around? If they have to much stealth, I cannot see the defense details but, I CAN send the Marines! Also, why can't I colonize planets with clouds? Ok, I cannot scan them .. but then how do I know its a terran planet? Shouldn't that be hidden then? Why cant I solve this problems by bringing a scout ship (with a basic scanner)? It seems to only depend on my empires detection..

- IMO the auto-design of ships is useless. I delete all of them so I dont have to scroll down to my ships. Also some of the ship hulls are pretty useless. Maybe I'm just missing their point. What does an organic hull give me? Its to small for a lot of weapons .. What does the solar-energy hull give me? I have to build SO MUCH infrastructure at a black hole .. a Titanic hull is much easier and there are no meaningful differences .. are there?

All in all great work on the game !!!

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Geoff the Medio
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Re: Feddback after four games plus some suggestions

#2 Post by Geoff the Medio » Thu Nov 19, 2015 11:52 am

Toastmartin wrote:- Why is there no repeat build ship button?
On the panel for a ship design / ship on the production queue, there are spinner controls to produce multiple ships or repeat the production order.
- It would be handy if the whole tech tree was visible from the start of the game...
Click the "Locked" button on the tech tree controls.
- The Victoy, why is there no sceen?
Nobody has implemented one.
- Why don't my researchers just research any of the next techs, when I am to lazy/blind to select it?
Can you provide a function to select what tech to research automatically?
- The hide-setting for fleets does not really work (how does ist work? does the stealth-value come into play?) If I send a combat fleet (fight-setting) und a troop-fleet (hide setting) into a hostile system, my troops always get hit.
Ships can only (try to) "hide" from a hostile forces if they are sufficiently stealthy. Otherwise, "hide" means, more or less, that they won't initiate a battle. But if something else initiates the battle (your ships or enemy ships in the same system), any present ship will be in the combat.

Edit:
Toastmartin wrote:- IMO the auto-design of ships is useless.
You can remove designs you don't like from premade_ship_designs.txt. Only delete the designs that appear in your list though; some others are used by game content...

https://github.com/freeorion/freeorion/ ... esigns.txt

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MatGB
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Re: Feddback after four games plus some suggestions

#3 Post by MatGB » Thu Nov 19, 2015 1:46 pm

Toastmartin wrote: First of all: Great game! It really has the "one more turn"-addiction, MoO2 and Ascendency had. What I like in particular:
- Starlanes! They make exploration more exiting (what will my scout see at the end of that lane? A monster? A planet to colonize? A planet to conquer?) And it makes the combat more tactical!
- The overall feeling of the universe: It is a dangerous and hostile place! (until you made some progress in ecology and warfare)
- Supply lanes: Very innovative and "realistic" system .. avoids a lot of micromanagement, MoO2 was suffering from. It really feels like I am bringing civilization into the hostile universe.
- The maximum industry/research points per item. Feels "realistic" and requires you to plan in advance.
- The detection/stealth-system is innovative. It makes exploration more interesting (scanning radii) and combat a little more tactical? But hard to understand ...
Agree with all this, the stealth system is hard to understand in part because it's a work in progress and it'll be changing a bit soon, at which point all the outdated documentation will need updating anyway (and I haven't got around to doing either, nor has anyone else).
- The quick start-game (my first game) had to agressive AI's. I think they were set to "typical". While im still learning what a supply lane is, they are too fast. Intended to motivate learning?
Tradeoff, we've had it set to 'beginner' for the Release versions in the past but not everyone that downloads/updates is a new player and not everyone knows how to go into the backend to set an override so it doesn't revert to defaults when you update the game (and being able to override it is a newish feature anyway that needs better documentation, I want my AI to always be aggressive or maniacal and used to regularly forget to change it when I installed a new version)
- Towards the end of the game and bigger universes the micromanagement approaches a painful level. I mean the colonisation of smaller planets and Terraforming/Gaiatransformation. Why is there no button in the industy UI for "build terraforming/Gaia on all my planets when possible"? That would save me a lot of boring work. Also, it is efficient, but painful to colonize all small/tiny planets/asteroids in your territory. These are a lot of clicks (produce outpost, send outpost, place outpost, check best species, select the colonisation, terraforming, .. ). The colony/outpost DROP ships don't solve that because they require a shipyard, thats more micromanagement. Idea: remove the drops and add the option to colonize/outpostize a planet/object if you have a colony of sufficient size already in the same system and there are no enemies. One could just use the industry UI on a planet that has no outpost/colony. Just like you build a colony on an outpost in the current version.
This is several different sections in which I partially agree and partially disagree.

First of all, you don't need a shipyard to build 'drop' outpost/colony bases, you merely need a species that can build ships. The ability to upgrade an outpost to a colony via a building is a newish feature, and is a vast improvement on micromanagement, you used to have to build a colony ship for your preferred species and then try to remember what system it's meant for when it's completed (hard enough when you play through directly, my memory just couldn't handle it if I'd saved).

We've discussed various methods of improving the selection criteria for terraforming and gaia, I personally favour queuing them from the Objects screen, but a) there's no clear consensus and b) no one's wanted to code anything up. In addition the design objective is to not need/want to do such things everywhere, so we're talking through whether to make it more expensive, harder to do, doable via focus, etc. Basically, if you're finding it too much micromanagement, do less of it as you generally don't need it.

Over time, you do learn which species you have access to that will work best on a given planet (eg on swamp, toxic and ocean worlds it's almost always better to use Gysache or Tae Ghirus if you've got them, on Barren, radiated or Tundra you want Kobuntura, etc. But there could be ways to make it easier to understand and better explained, in particular the way environmental prefernces work and which techs improve things is badly documentated, but that that's the case isn't obvious to those of use who've been playing for ages as we just know it now.

Regarding
it is efficient, but painful to colonize all small/tiny planets/asteroids in your territory
I disagree it's efficient, in general I find it's better to select a given system you want and fill that up, but ignore places that are too small or aren't in strategically useful position. The way colony upkeep works means that the more colonies you have of all sizes the more each costs, I tend to not bother with tiny or small worlds except to extend supply or fill a system, etc.

We have discussed previously simply being able to colonise directly planets in supply/in claimed systems, but there are balance concerns and "how do we teach the AI this" concerns, the current system is a compromise I personally like. Then I tend to take the approach the best way to get more colonies is to invade some else's.
- It would be handy if the whole tech tree was visible from the start of the game (it is in the pedia anyways)
Agree with this, I personally dislike the current display defaults and we've talked through various different ways of both making it easy to use and also not at all daunting, others are concerned that too much to absorb at the beginning will confuse substantially.
and selecting a tech further down the tree selects all prequisites.
It does? At least it should do, try again maybe you've found a bug?
Technology is pretty much the most important resource in the game, thats intended, heh? I hardly set any colony to any other focus .. although I didnt play against the most agressive AI's jet. I wonder, if the races with bad research are viable at all.
I think you'll need to ramp up the AI aggression a bit ;-) But yeah, it currently is slightly too easy to get ahead then race ahead in research, we've discussed changign the cost multiplier in a few ways, I'm also tempted to simply increasing the base costs of several of the mid and late game techs, but we want to revamp the whole thing relatively soon anyway, but that's a fairly big project.

Re low research species, yeah, they're harder but have different advantages, I personally consider Egassem to be the hardest species to start with as bad research and low population hurts them, but they are viable, you just need to play differently, a low tech invasion force and go and grab territory quickly and then use your conquered species to research works well.
- The Victoy, why is there no sceen? A message in the report is easy to overlook and not very rewarding. A nice picture, with the word "victory" on it and maybe some statistics of the game would be cool. Also I like the game to end, when you reach the victory condition.
The wya Victory is handled has been improved a bit in the more recent Tests, but mostly in the backend code we haven't taken massive advantage of it in the scripts. And while I find the idea that a Sitrep right at the top is "easy to miss" a bit strange, that's possibly because I'm so used to the Sitrep panel being all important in a way that newer players aren't necessarily expecting.

Also, having a victory=game end option in game creation would possibly be good. But I wouldn't want it, especially given you can still accidentally get a tech victory or defeat the Experimentors way before you've conquered or explored everywhere (have you met them yet? If not, have fun when you do ;-) ).
- Why don't my researchers just research any of the next techs, when I am to lazy/blind to select it? It would still be MUCH more efficient to select the techs by hand. I had the problem, that I was visually missing one tech on the way and had to search back, whats missing for the tech-victory. Maybe improve the visibility-difference of researched vs. unresearched techs.
If you want a tech victory (boring! ;-) ) then just double click that tech when you're setup and everything'll queue, then you can simply ctrl+double click anything else you want to go in ahead of it.

But the principle reason they don't auto choose is a) coding it up would not be easy (the AIs are run by completely independent processes) and b) is it actually a good idea? A lot of the information about what you can do and what direction to take your empire is in the tech descriptions (or should be).

Having said that, if you want to learn C++ well enough to build a module to do it then I suspect you'd get some help ;-)
- The game does not tell you how shields work. They subtract from the enemy weapon damage, right? From each individual weapon, or from the sum of a ships weapons? Aren't robotic shields at the start of the game totally overpowered when you have 20 ships with them in one system?
It's not clear and needs improvements in the documentaion (it's an open source game, if in doubt, the documentation needs improving), the shields reduce the strength of each individual shot.

Robotic Shields were, um, forgotten, when I recently did a balancing pass on all the other shields and I do suspect 20 is too high a max even though you need way more than 20 to get there. On the other hand, they are ludicrously expensive parts, if you can get that many in one place you're doing well anyway, it'd be an overpowering fleet regardless.

They need a balancing pass but it's a low priority for me, if someone else wants to look over the numbers and fit them into the current costing setup that would be cool.
- The hide-setting for fleets does not really work (how does ist work? does the stealth-value come into play?) If I send a combat fleet (fight-setting) und a troop-fleet (hide setting) into a hostile system, my troops always get hit. That forces me to delay the troop ships, witch is just annoying micromanagement. Can't there be a rule that the enemy has to destroy your armed ships first? Also when combining troops into armed ships, the ships get scapped when the troops are used. Intended?
Perhaps calling it 'hide' isn't accurate, and it's badly documented. If there are any armed ships set to aggressive in a system, they will engage any enemies they can see. If all ships present are set to passive, or the only aggressors can't see the passive ships, no combat happens.

And yes, don't put troop pods on warships, any ship used to invade is lost in the invasion (not the only way we could do it but it has the massive advantage of being simple, you could image the warships are in orbit for a few decades Justice Of Toren style if you like ;-)
- The stealth-system is hard to understand. I want to conquer a planet. It has the cloud-symbol and is dashed. I can see the exact troop number on the planet. But I cannot invade it. Shouldn't it be the other way around? If they have to much stealth, I cannot see the defense details but, I CAN send the Marines! Also, why can't I colonize planets with clouds? Ok, I cannot scan them .. but then how do I know its a terran planet? Shouldn't that be hidden then? Why cant I solve this problems by bringing a scout ship (with a basic scanner)? It seems to only depend on my empires detection..
Actually, you can't see the current defence details, you can see what you last knew them to be, this isn't clear.

And yes, it does, currently, depend entirely on empire detection, although you can build Intersteller Lighthouses in system or put a Distortion Modulator on a ship. But I'm hoping to change that a bit relatively soon so that sensor parts do reduce in system stealth a bit if they've been there a turn, I'm working through a spec for an overhaul of all the stealth/detection parts and numbers but it's very early in the planning process currently.
- IMO the auto-design of ships is useless. I delete all of them so I dont have to scroll down to my ships.
Again, they're getting redone, I think they should be tier one exemplars of what you can do with a hull/weapon type, and not use refined parts that much, etc. All should say "this is an example design you can upgrade it as your tech improves" to encourage players to use the system and save their own designs.

Basically until recently you couldn't save designs to carry them across game to game, since that was implemented the need to have some higher end stuff auto designed. I also got about half way through moving them around so the core stuff you always want is listed first but that got sidelined and I haven't got back to it.
Also some of the ship hulls are pretty useless. Maybe I'm just missing their point. What does an organic hull give me? Its to small for a lot of weapons .. What does the solar-energy hull give me? I have to build SO MUCH infrastructure at a black hole .. a Titanic hull is much easier and there are no meaningful differences .. are there?
Re Organics, 18 months ago they were the most overpowered hull line, but we balanced their costs and effects massively and it's possible we went a bit too far. However, I personally love playing with them and find them fun to use, but they're not as good at blunt instrument straight up fights compared to robotic line hulls. They're exceptional at out-of-supply manouvres and they get by far the best scouts in the game. I don't want to go back in and balance their current costs too much as I'm certain when Stealth is reworked they'll go back to being overpowered, etc. They're more subtle, but fun.

Titans are almost certainly the best cost/benefit big hitting hull that there is, but Solar hulls can be a lot faster, and as we introduce more internal parts they'll become more useful, and they get the flagship refuel bonus, which will get more useful next time re tweak supply, etc.

Some very nice feedback though, it's always worth being reminded that, for example, we haven't updated documentation on X or why isn't as clear as it could be.

When you're about to restart a game, download the most recent Test release and give that a go, lots of improvements since Release, some of which aren't balanced well yet (hello Starlane Bore I am looking at you you overpowered thing ;-) )
Mat Bowles

Any code or patches in anything posted here is released under the CC and GPL licences in use for the FO project.

Toastmartin
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Re: Feddback after four games plus some suggestions

#4 Post by Toastmartin » Wed Nov 25, 2015 10:40 pm

Ok, thanks Geoff for the hints on the controls, that makes the UI much more handy, I must have missed them because i was so nervous with the monsters beneath my systems.

Ok, MatGB, I noticed I can build the drops even without a shipyard, but the orign need to have population 3 and lots of happyness.
By the way: what does happyness do and how is it generated?
What does the groth focus do?
I tried not to terraform/gaiaform all my planets. Didn't notice any difference .. that saves me the hassle of clicking, but what does that imply for the gameplay? Does terraforming make sense in the game then at all?

So I was taking your advice and played two games against the hardest AI's as Cray and Gysache. These Species are broken, especially the Cray. You get ahead in research, colonize nearly every planet type (broad tolerance+tech) relatively fast. If there are white-tribe-planets, you can conquer them relatively easy at the start due to good ground troops. And if you have some industry at the start your ships are pretty invunerable due to the robotic shields.
How does the AI choose its techs? Is that the reason they are not so strong? I fond both games (180/250 stars, random shape, 5/7AI's, low starlane, other settings medium) relatively easy. I just colonized a lot at the start. Went full tech, and the atomative factories give me industry. When Hostile players or to many monsters are there, grab the next armor/weapon/shield and build ships they cannot handle.
In the second game I made the galaxy so big, to see the experimentors. That worked, they were there, they started turn 273 and I had my army in the region, because there was the closest AI left. By that time I had the full tech tree and lots of my ultimate titanic hulls around. Took me some turns to ge to know the krakens, and bring down their planet-shields, so by turn 300 I had their planet.
Was I just lucky with the start? Nothing really hard there, although the second game a was in the center of the galaxy.

I personally find that the games take a bit to long timewise. The two mentioned games migth have taken my about 10 hours each.

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MatGB
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Re: Feddback after four games plus some suggestions

#5 Post by MatGB » Wed Nov 25, 2015 11:37 pm

Toastmartin wrote: Ok, MatGB, I noticed I can build the drops even without a shipyard, but the orign need to have population 3 and lots of happyness.
To initiate a colony, yes, but generally you'll have that for each species somewhere in your empire, it doesn't have to be in the same system. You need population 3 to build a colony drop, but an outpost drop doesn't and then you can build colonies anyway, they might take a bit longer if the species is a distance away.
By the way: what does happyness do and how is it generated?
Currently, not much except this. We implemented it as a good idea but haven't fully scripted up all the effects we want, partially as the plans will involve significant work for the AI team.

When you conquer or build a new colony the happiness starts at 1. Various effects can change your happiness, mostly specials, homeworlds, preferred focus and xenophobia. It goes up or down by 1 per turn until the planet reaches target happiness.

Currently, the only thing it affects is ability to colonise, it's going to do other things as well (ability to build ships has been discussed), but we haven't decided exactly what yet and, for example, xenophobic AI species will be in severe trouble if we put in a shipbuilding restriction right now as they can't handle it.
What does the groth focus do?
Increases the maximum population other planets can reach, it needs better explanation in game. The higher the max population a planet has the faster it grows so it can be useful as a short term early boost for colonies even if you don't keep it permanently.
I tried not to terraform/gaiaform all my planets. Didn't notice any difference .. that saves me the hassle of clicking, but what does that imply for the gameplay? Does terraforming make sense in the game then at all?
It does make sense and is advantageous, I currently think it's not as advantageous as it should be and is too much hassle, this will change but changing it is a lower priority than other things.
So I was taking your advice and played two games against the hardest AI's as Cray and Gysache. These Species are broken, especially the Cray. You get ahead in research, colonize nearly every planet type (broad tolerance+tech) relatively fast. If there are white-tribe-planets, you can conquer them relatively easy at the start due to good ground troops. And if you have some industry at the start your ships are pretty invunerable due to the robotic shields.
Cray are terrible, and robotic interface shields are too expensive and I'll just swamp you with my organic or asteroid swarm ;-)

More seriously, yes, good research is beneficial and it's arguable that the species with it still have too big an advantage, but I don't, overall, think any one species is over the top compared to others, one or two are weak but that's about it. The problem is the AI is still in the "getting better" process, it's good, but if you're good at the game you're going to be better.
How does the AI choose its techs? Is that the reason they are not so strong? I fond both games (180/250 stars, random shape, 5/7AI's, low starlane, other settings medium) relatively easy. I just colonized a lot at the start.
If you look in Freeorion/default/python/AI you can read techlists.py (you can even edit it if you want)

To be honest, I think their problem currently isn't really their research choices, it's their slow colonising speed, they haven't yet got to the point of being able to assess potential as well as players can. The more planets you have over opponents, the faster you advance, etc.
Went full tech, and the atomative factories give me industry. When Hostile players or to many monsters are there, grab the next armor/weapon/shield and build ships they cannot handle.
In the second game I made the galaxy so big, to see the experimentors. That worked, they were there, they started turn 273 and I had my army in the region, because there was the closest AI left. By that time I had the full tech tree and lots of my ultimate titanic hulls around. Took me some turns to ge to know the krakens, and bring down their planet-shields, so by turn 300 I had their planet.
Was I just lucky with the start? Nothing really hard there, although the second game a was in the center of the galaxy.
Sounds to me like you're good at 4X games generally, we've had lots of feedback from people complaining the Experimentors are too hard, etc. I, personally, also find them easy but I'm an expert level player now so I can't judge.

We want to do more to make them more nuanced and give them some sort of difficulty level but haven't agreed on what yet. A lot of new players take ages, many many games, to be able to do what you've learnt to do quickly, trying to balance things so it's a fun challenge for everyone is, well, hard.
I personally find that the games take a bit to long timewise. The two mentioned games migth have taken my about 10 hours each.
I've never timed how long in total any one game takes, and I tend to switch screens and do other things all the time as well, but that sounds about right for me, and about what I'd want from a 4X game. You can always reduce the game size to make things quicker, the default used to be 60 systems ;-)

Feedback is always good, and I personally would like to put more work into making the Experimentors more fun and a bigger challenge, I don't think we've got the balance on them right yet, Experiment Zero was a nice step forward but it's too easy to kill.
Mat Bowles

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Re: Feddback after four games plus some suggestions

#6 Post by Slay » Thu Nov 26, 2015 3:07 am

"making the Experimentors more fun and a bigger challenge"

go to town with this, i want to be scared again :D here are some ideas.

will always exist in Maniacal.

+1 kraken/jugger per Head on a Spike, per spawn.

each planet lost in the starlanes returns 10-50 turns later with an Experimenter Outpost and a pack of monsters.

when the Experiment Zero is defeated, another one appears at the honeycomb planet with a double spawn of monsters, and will colonise the honeycomb. all planets lost in a starlane will return now as well.

starlane bore made the Experimenter Outpost so much more accessible. the Experimenters will need to think of something ;)

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Re: Feddback after four games plus some suggestions

#7 Post by Toastmartin » Thu Nov 26, 2015 1:20 pm

How do I quote someone? I suck at finding buttons ..
More seriously, yes, good research is beneficial and it's arguable that the species with it still have too big an advantage, but I don't, overall, think any one species is over the top compared to others, one or two are weak but that's about it. The problem is the AI is still in the "getting better" process, it's good, but if you're good at the game you're going to be better.
That may be the case here. I didn't relly test all the species, I just had the impression that +research, +troops and good pilots are the best traits. And while playing it felt really powerfull, probably due to that fact that the AI is only "good". I think MoO2 solved this problem by giving the AI's more traits and letting them cheat .. that is not a "fair" solution, but migth work for players, that find it to easy.
I should try a species with +industry. It just feels bad, to throw masses of ships at my enemies and loose a part of them. Or do you stealth that swarm and give it no armor?
By the way: How exactly is combat calculatd? I read somewhere, that stealth gives you "first strike" (MTG anyone?).

Why does Groth increase the maximum on OTHER planets? By how much? So, if i have a planet, that gives (in groth spec) the groth bonus to ALL my planets via special, I should very much do this, right? And the size of that special planet doesn't matter, right?

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Re: Feddback after four games plus some suggestions

#8 Post by Kassiopeija » Fri Nov 27, 2015 12:09 am

Some of the "species-penalties" (such as bad piloting) can easily be overcome and therefore, aren't a real long-term penalty, at all. Other penalties, such as being bad in research, production or planet tolerance, will basically stay forever unless you choose to depopulate inefficient planets & replace with a better species once it became accessable.

Also I think that an early good-research capacity (being it from having good research, broad planet tolerance or high pop) does speed up most games significantly, because you can get more early access to some key techs.

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Re: Feddback after four games plus some suggestions

#9 Post by Toastmartin » Tue Dec 01, 2015 9:12 am

After some more testing aka addictively playing, I changed my mind about the best racial traits a little bit. I tried the Korbuntura(?). The big lava industry-race .. to no success. The main reason was the narrow ecological tolerance. With such a race you are VERY dependent on the early white planets to conquer. And if those races cannot colonize, you are pretty screwed because the chances that you find another lava planet are slim and due to the narrow tolerance you have to research A LOT to colonize any other planet.
Maybe I am doing soething wrong regarding ship desing, but i also found the early Monsters pretty hard even with such an industrial race. Those maintenance ships just take super long to destroy. plus the travel time to repair my ships ..
I still think that cray and chato are pretty overpowered (in the hands of a human playing) due to their broad tolerance and +tech. With those , the AI is to easy .. what galaxy settings make it strong? More starlanes? More Inhabited white planets?
Regarding the AI behaviour: Do their homeworlds always start with industry focus? If tech is so good, just force the AI to do more resaerch maybe?

I discovered the combat log. Interesting. What determines the enemy that my ships shoot on first? What determines who shoots first?

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Re: Feddback after four games plus some suggestions

#10 Post by Scara » Tue Dec 01, 2015 10:06 am

Hey,

you sure ment the the Egassem, yeah they are a bit hard to play if you have no inferno planets around.
I like it that there are easier and harder to play species. They all have their boni and mali, forcing you to be strategic.
There are certain species that seem pretty dull at the first glance, but every species has at least one benefit and if it's their good population or telepathy ;-).
I guess it's a bit luck dependent where you end up in the galactic setup. When starting a new game I first take a look at the close neighbourhood, if I got stuck with a dull setup, like cutoff by monsters or nothing interesting around, I just give it a new try.
I try to develop the basic shields pretty soon, then it's possible to fight at least the maintenance ships without loss.

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Re: Feddback after four games plus some suggestions

#11 Post by MatGB » Wed Dec 02, 2015 5:05 am

Toastmartin wrote:After some more testing aka addictively playing, I changed my mind about the best racial traits a little bit. I tried the Korbuntura(?). The big lava industry-race .. to no success. The main reason was the narrow ecological tolerance. With such a race you are VERY dependent on the early white planets to conquer. And if those races cannot colonize, you are pretty screwed because the chances that you find another lava planet are slim and due to the narrow tolerance you have to research A LOT to colonize any other planet.
Maybe I am doing soething wrong regarding ship desing, but i also found the early Monsters pretty hard even with such an industrial race. Those maintenance ships just take super long to destroy. plus the travel time to repair my ships ..
I still think that cray and chato are pretty overpowered (in the hands of a human playing) due to their broad tolerance and +tech. With those , the AI is to easy .. what galaxy settings make it strong? More starlanes? More Inhabited white planets?
For the AI, more planets, more natives, more starlanes, less monsters and specials (they're still not great at dealing with or using them—good, and far better than two years ago, but not as good as we can be).
Regarding the AI behaviour: Do their homeworlds always start with industry focus? If tech is so good, just force the AI to do more resaerch maybe?
All species start the game on their preferred focus setting, which if undefined is industry, and at some point we'll go through and define it for all of them but it's a low priority, Humans start on research, I think one other playable species does, and Scylior natives definitely do.

In case not made clear, the AI receives no advantages or special knowledge over a player, no early bonuses, no boosts, if you played a game multiplayer and started in a different player location you'd get exactly what the AI got (you can play multiplayer with just one human, it allows a bit of flexibility that's rarely worth it unless you want to do something strange like, for example, testing different start locations on the same settings).
I discovered the combat log. Interesting. What determines the enemy that my ships shoot on first? What determines who shoots first?
All combat is simultaneous, 3 rounds, each weapon picks a random, valid target. When all shots have been fired, damage is calculated and anything at zero or below is destroyed, then you go to the next round. Many discussions have been had on how to improve this. No one with the coding chops (I don't) has volunteered to actually do it yet. Geoff's talked about a target priority system but it's in the planning/early discussion stage.
Mat Bowles

Any code or patches in anything posted here is released under the CC and GPL licences in use for the FO project.

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Re: Feddback after four games plus some suggestions

#12 Post by Toastmartin » Wed Dec 02, 2015 12:19 pm

For the AI, more planets, more natives, more starlanes, less monsters and specials
Cool! I'll try that. Also, that sounds like a good setup for Egassem ..
All combat is simultaneous, 3 rounds, each weapon picks a random, valid target. When all shots have been fired, damage is calculated and anything at zero or below is destroyed, then you go to the next round. Many discussions have been had on how to improve this. No one with the coding chops (I don't) has volunteered to actually do it yet. Geoff's talked about a target priority system but it's in the planning/early discussion stage.
Interesting. That makes all the useless scouts the AI is building a little bit less useless, because they are shielding the other ships. The easiest way for a priorisation would be
armed targets > unarmed targets, thats supposedly easy to do, "realistic", and a big quality of life improvement.
A more clever way could be priority=weapon strength/remaining structure (including shields).

Where does Stealth come into play in combat? Stealthed ships are not viable targets? I should try cloaking ..
So many games, so little time ..

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Re: Feddback after four games plus some suggestions

#13 Post by Geoff the Medio » Wed Dec 02, 2015 12:52 pm

Toastmartin wrote:Where does Stealth come into play in combat? Stealthed ships are not viable targets?
A stealthy ship can't be targetted until it attacks, typically in combat round 1. After that, it is revealed for the duration of the combat (combat rounds 2 and 3).

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Re: Feddback after four games plus some suggestions

#14 Post by Kassiopeija » Thu Dec 03, 2015 10:45 am

A targeting system, based on depreciation of enemy firepower, would be a really nice feature, because, as it is now, once you've got a fleet stuffed with enough ships, those will soak all damage and the likelihood of a ship destroyed falls pretty low.

I vouche for Geoff to do it! Who else? XD

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Re: Feddback after four games plus some suggestions

#15 Post by Crius » Thu Dec 03, 2015 2:02 pm

As soon as targeting is introduced then we need options for different tactics.

I've suicided ships into an enemy fleet in the hope of killing enough troop/outpost/colony ships to prevent invasion/expansion while my main fleet arrives. A desperate move but it can work :D .

Targeting based on depreciation of enemy firepower should go both ways. You'll also need to introduce defence of vulnerable friendlies to counter that tactic... or sacrifice of them if needed... :shock:

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