Some relevant material (post content may be pruned for relevance to this topic):
- Start of the conversation:
Morlic wrote: ↑Mon Sep 17, 2018 8:41 pmRelevant PR: https://github.com/freeorion/freeorion/pull/2281
Invading enemy or native planets seems way too strong compared to peaceful expansion. Besides getting possibly a new species or weakening your enemy, conquering a planet will keep the current population alive - compared to early game 1 pop colonisation, this can easily mean 20+ turns of growth. In particular, the capture of an early native planet with high pop can snowball into a victory.
I propose that part of the population (between 80-90%) doesn't survive the conquest for balance purposes.
In the future, various effects could be added that affect that percentage:
- Certain techs
- Influence / Interspecies relations
- My objection:
alleryn wrote: ↑Thu Sep 12, 2019 11:31 amI am a little wary of this idea as it stands (even as a stopgap).
I do find early native conquest snowball highly problematic. But i would suggest an alternative method to curb this.
I think that it is important for military conquest to remain a viable strategy in the early-mid game in order to maintain some approximation of species-balance. Some species are naturally more inclined to war and others to peace. Take for example, a three player game Eaxaw vs Gysache vs Gysache. Given relatively equal starts, the Eaxaw cannot hope to compete if the empires stay on peaceful terms.
My thinking is that the Eaxaw's strategy "should" be to go on the offensive early against one of the opposing empires, hoping to claim the capital and gain enough value out of the conflict to hope to come back against the other empire, which surely has noticed the war and is making advances of their own, etc.
Also, the latest (i think) added species, the Fulver, are built around early aggression using their Fuel and Stockpile advantages to create deep bases and build forward Shipyards. If we are to maintain interesting tactical variety like this in species(es), then i would suggest that it is important not to limit conflict(which is by its nature a lose-lose proposition at least at the start)'s upside.
Of course, coming back to the original point, which i think is mostly about invading native planets (i'm not so convinced about the enemy part of
since one would usually expect reprisal from an enemy), here there is no enemy and what's more, native planets (apart from the Moderate/High Tech versions) have no defenses and can often be taken with very little industrial investment (considerably less than establishing a colony 'normally').
So something ought to happen here, be it making Moderate Tech natives the default, capping the native planets' population at some low number (even 1), putting guard ships in orbit of native planets, ...
I mean i could live with the plan if you go through with it, but if natives are the real problem (and i think they are), i think there are alternatives that are more pinpointed at natives and don't limit overall tactical diversity as much.
labgnome wrote: ↑Thu Sep 12, 2019 8:58 pmSo as someone who likes native species and having a diverse empire I don't think I like the idea of penalizing the only way to diversify your empire before we establish mechanics on how to otherwise integrate new species into our empires. I especially don't like the idea of loosing a significant portion of the population of a planet from invasion. I think that acquiring natives should be a good option, and should be a better option than just colonizing.
I think that an alternative, and this might be off-topic, solution is a re-working of the happiness mechanic to have more penalties for low happiness. This has been proposed before and if we really think we need a stop-gap would be a better solution.
Basically we raise the "general contentedness" level to something higher, having it take longer to get to that point, while also having minimum happiness levels for things like establishing colonies, constructing buildings and building ships. This way you could not take full advantage of a conquered planet for a while. Maybe something like the following:
- Happiness < 50, cannot produce troops
- Happiness < 40, cannot found colonies
- Happiness < 30, cannot build ships
- Happiness < 20, cannot construct shipyards
- Happiness < 10, cannot construct other buildings
- Some minor species are extremely powerful. For example, 57 have ultimate research. An empire with an industrial starting species picking up an early 57 planet have their main weakness addressed with a single planet acquisition. And this isn't even a species that can colonize planets, so probably not the worst offender.
- Minor planets are poorly defended. Compared to a planet with a Tidally locked rotation, even some less powerful specials, which are automatically (i think, at least often) guarded by a Space Monster, native planets are by default unguarded, leaving only (in the absence of Moderate Tech/High Tech Native special) the troops to get through.
- Troop Ships are much cheaper than Outpost Ships + Colony Buildings (or Colony Ships). Even an empire with a starting species that has Bad Offensive Ground Troops will find it more cost effective to build enough troop transports to capture a native colony instead of building a new colony, except perhaps in the most extreme circumstances (Raaagh, and even then it can be borderline, and Ancient Guardians of course) [Edit: Probably an exaggeration. Merely Great Ground Troops (e.g. Hhhoth) combined with Bad Offensive Ground Troops already makes the necessary PP investment of Troop Ships vs. Outpost/Colony fairly even].
- Native planets often have high starting population. Capturing a native planet can potentially double a player's empire population within the first ten turns.
There are some counterpoints. One is that it feels nice to get a really satisfying start, so the random factor can be viewed as a positive, though i'd imagine it's a goal to keep the starting situation somewhat balanced for the sake of multiplayer, etc. Another point is that it's possible to limit or entirely disable natives in game options, which is a reasonable alternative for players who think natives are in a bad place. Still, i'd suggest that the game should be balanced as much as possible around default settings.
If we agree that natives are imbalanced, and that that imbalance is a problem, what is to be done?
Some proposals have been indicated in the quotes above:
- Not quoted above, but Geoff indicated in the other thread that Influence will take care of some of these issues.
- Morlic's suggestion of reducing planetary population upon conquest
- labgnome's suggestion of using the Happniess mechanic
- My suggestions of making Moderate Tech natives the default, capping the native planets' population at some low number (even 1), putting guard ships in orbit of native planets, (not quoted: increasing the Native Homeworld troop contribution)
This thread is meant as a place to discuss Minor Civilizations (known in game usually as Natives, i suppose due to the influence of MoO2 -- although yikes speaking of imbalance, Splinter Colonies were enough to give Transcendental Lucky species a shot), what their role in Free Orion should be, and especially whether they are balanced or should be. Thank you for your interest and comments!