Blog: Dev Diary #24 - Conquered while you sleep


Hi everyone,

In this post we take a look at some changes we want to make soon. Take a look and let us know what you think!



I like that you guys are listening. Here are my suggestions.

A single mine sweeper should takr 12 to 24 hours to sweep a minefield. You should require multiple of them to sweep efficiently.

Orbit defence should be damage per second. Even with the 3 minute cooldown you propose it wont be enough. Hell, 10 seconds is enough to get your troops ready. Orbit defence should do 10, 25, and 50 damage per second for each level, to all ships in one fleet, split between all fleets in orbit. So a way of countering it is to sacrefice multiple high armored ships to tank damage as you wait for an orbital strike or troops landing. So the more ships you have present, the longer you can survive in orbit. Also fix the thing where you can leave orbit and still have the invasion happen.

I really like the buff to troop research buffs. It will really help in defending planets.

The syntis happiness issue is finally being fixed and i am so glad you guys listened.

If my suggestions are considered then war will be far less one sided. I honestly dont think a 3 minute cooldown will be enough, unless you guys fix the issue where you can leave orbit while attacking.

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Is there a countdown timer on orbital bombardment now. I haven’t bombed anybody to test yet but someone posted a screenshot of a nearly 50 minutes timer to shoot.

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There always has been. Ive seen claims where they get an instant shot, thats a bug. You can see in the wiki the t1 strikes take 30 minutes and keeps going up in time up to an hour for t5 cannons. In my opinion the first salvo should be instant.



I haven’t bombed anybody in A3 but in the last Alpha it was instant. There’s no way you could sit orbit waiting to shoot if you’re getting peppered from the ground for an hour.



I have to say overall I like these changes actually covers a lot of the stuff I’ve been mentioning for a long time.



But as a level 2 minesweeper can clear a freshly laid minefield in an hour, it certainly limits a minefield’s usefulness as a defensive barrier.

Players have suggested that we should decrease the time it takes to sweep a minefield. We agree and propose the following changes:

  • Level 1 minesweeper should take 8-10 hours to sweep a minefield (5 hours currently)
  • Level 2 minesweeper should take 3-5 hours to sweep a minefield (1 hour currently)

Umm… level 1 minesweeper takes 1 hour to sweep a minefield. Level 2 minesweeper takes 12 minutes.

Unless you’ve changed anything significant in the last month.

See this thread:

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Good stuff @joe look forward to seeing it in game and how these changes affect tactics

The rapid fire Orbitals is a decent idea HOWEVER the 3 minute window to launch an attack forces is 2 mins thirty longer than we need… Sorry good change but doesn’t actually change the mechanics I think you will find.

DO NOT use 150 damage. We’ll just design ships with as close to a division of 150 hp as we can. Make it 100 + 1-100 damage variable per shop t keep us guessing :slight_smile:

Consider how fast troops can be deployed in invasion: Should it really take the same amount of time to deploy 2K raiders as it does 240K Homeworld assault forces?


  • Level 1 minesweeper should take 8-10 hours to sweep a minefield (5 hours currently)
  • Level 2 minesweeper should take 3-5 hours to sweep a minefield (1 hour currently)

There is only one BIG problem. Lets imagine that atacked with sweepers player is not offline but online. And when he see how some sweepers wich need 3-5 hours to sweep sweeping what his most resonable act to do? Exaclty! He will start deployng minefield (needs 1hour to deploy). And sweeping becames useless.
Moreover defending player can atack sweeper with his 16 or 18 battleship fleet. Then sweeping player have two choices. 1) leave the area 2)flying from these battleships and changing trajectory manualy entire 3-5 hours.
So well. If such a changes will be done I will never atack anyone. Because it will be boring and time consuming. I will focus on defence and economic and no one can do anything against me. I will be happy with it but… Outscape without PvP becames boring thing for lots of other players.
Obviously these change is bad thing. (if u really wish to change it than better to make 3-5 hours of sweeping only if owner of minefield is offline when sweeping starts. And if he was online - then 12minutes to sweep is good enough time)

Than the next point. Currently Minefields are very usefull thing. 1) Swepers is a costly tech wich makes minefields the best defense in firsth month of game. 2) If u place minefield on system then to enter these system another player needs to sweep this minefield. That a good method to detect infiltrating fleets at the any stage of game.

And the last. All these increasing difficulty of assaylting and bombing looks good but please don’t forget another thing. If player’s fleets were destroyed while he sleeping than no matter how sturdy his planetary defenses are.
Instead of changing minefields U can add something new to save fleets while sleeping. For example “hyperspace pocket module” which can be activated only withing system, charges 1-5minutes before activation and hide all nearby fleet from the space for 12hours. When 12hours ends all fleets comes back to former position and all “hyperspace pocket modules” on every ship of these fleets go cooldown for a 1hour. These 12hours can’t be aborted early and while it’s charging there must be bright eye-catching animation for very player who hve these fleets on outer scanners. (I never meet anything like these in other space games so it’s can became unique feature of outscape)



Youre literally saying the game will be boring if you cant wipe people out overnight. Not gonna take you seriously. This isnt vega, stuff doesnt happen in minutes. Wars last weeks or even months. Is how it should be.

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I do not like the fact that all of these changes change all the races so that they are all identical. all of the races get the same percs and strategies. why do we all have the same minefield? I seem to recall a different but equal target set by the devs in one of the dev diaries. To me, it makes much more sense for every race to have a different (weaker and stronger) mine field as well as other defenses since its such an easy place to start.

If cheate’s ideas are added (not just the ones in the linked thread), not only can some mine fields be made to have longer durations, some can be stronger while other races have weaker mine fields, some can have a wider radius and others more narrow. some can be deployed faster. There are numerous other ideas posted in the threads, and many can be added. The same goes for sweeping, and again the same goes for orbital defense systems.

While i agree that having all the orbital defenses operate only from within a planets orbital makes things easy, cut and dry, so that it is easy to identify bugs, it should not be this way. such clearly defined rules also makes for a very boring system, and i can come up with a hundred different defense mechanics, but unless a course is plotted, even a vague path, I do not see much of a point.

At this point I think I am going to ask that the devs consider making some races more complex than others and simply add that as a note when players choose their race. Humans can be simple. PR slightly more complex, and some other race basically has you playing brain teasers trying to figure out if you should build a colony ship or another barracks…

i am going to end this by simply saying, its a step in the right direction, but i kinda feel like its 2 steps backwards and 3 steps forwards using a lot of extra energy for little fulfillment.



I don’t have time to properly comment in detail but in general if sweeping is lengthened to the degree suggested then there is NO chance to ever invade given fleet caps. You’re going from one extreme to the other. I’ll comment in more detail later.

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Wars can already take weeks or months. Been in one for almost two months already. So far only one planet conquered. If mineseeeping time is lengthened then minelaying has to be lengthened comparatively. Mine’s are used for much more than planet defense.



Excellent changes in general.

I think fleet caps will be changed at some point… current caps have stopped me from playing…

That is the way it should be, not a 5 minute rush… its a strategy game not an arcade game…

Yes I think each race should have different stats for sweeping and laying… including different radius, strength, duration, sweep time. At least one race should have a unique ability to increase sweeping rate if more than 1 fleet is used, so 2 sweepers would sweep at a rate of 2.2 for example.

I’ve never taken him seriously… Only interested in things that support his game play style.

All I will say here is that if they are online then yes it should be exceptionally difficult to penetrate them. Sending unprotected sweepers to sweep with an online player is pretty stupid… You would need to adapt and use additional tactics.

It should be time consuming, its not an arcade game… this is a war strategy game.

Yes indeed, however this enhances PVP, if someone is online every 2 hours, it should be impossible 1 on 1 to beat them. If they are online for 1 hour per day then they need protection or they will quit pretty fast… The balance of defense vs attack needs to be 2/3 in favour of defense…

Total war encompases several aspects such as planning, supply, tactics, designs as well as others and the game needs to support this model and not boil down war to sweep, kill, invade, done in a couple of hours…

When fighting LordVictor, when he was offline it was very easy to take planet, one planet on average would have only 3 fleets defending if they were at full strength… So its easy to rush the planet with 4 or 5 Dread fleets at the same time and kill anything there, then slide in an invasion fleet, drop troops and then withdraw everything outside for 36 mins…

When he was online, it was a different ball game, he would actively mine and sweep and attrition my corvettes… I could see that if he was able to keep up being online even with a 8 hour sleep break I would struggle to keep up with sweeper attrition. At the distance I was coming from that should be true.

The battles with @Belisarius showed how one player could sweep his way to victory almost against 5 heavy players… One player should be in a position to hold off 1 maybe 2 players by being able so slow attacking forces with decent minefields, high adaptability of fleet designs through upgrades and attrition and still be allowed 8 hours sleep…

Absolutely not… and in any case, planetary orbit hides fleets and if you arrive and their fleets are in the pocket, then he will lose everything even easier… We could add a 12 hours planetary shield… but I suspect you wouldn’t like that…

Ditto, It eases the need to flip planets back and forth between players to maintain happiness

Final note, Orbitals, Syntis repair module FTW



AFAIK this is accurate. Given the last time I played…



I was responding to Big Boomer insinuating that the current minesweeping prevents wars from lasting weeks or months. It does not if played properly.

“But as a [level 2 minesweeper] can clear a freshly laid minefield in an hour, it certainly limits a minefield’s usefulness as a defensive barrier.” An hour would be perfect even in today’s environment, but a level 1 minesweeper takes an hour, but a level 2 takes merely 6 minutes for a single minefield. Emarel and I timed it.

“Players have suggested that we should decrease the time it takes to sweep a minefield. We agree and propose the following changes” guessing you mean “increase” not “decrease”.

“* Level 1 minesweeper should take 8-10 hours to sweep a minefield (5 hours currently)” - level 1 currently takes 1 hour to sweep
"* Level 2 minesweeper should take 3-5 hours to sweep a minefield (1 hour currently) - level 2 currently takes 6 minutes to sweep

“The duration a minesweeper can sweep for once activated will also need to be increased so that one activation would be long enough to sweep an entire minefield.”

“We need to find a good balance that enables players to use minefields to defend themselves, without going so far that minesweeping isn’t effective. Maybe there’s something else we should consider?”

If minefields were only used for planetary defense, I could see this as feasible, but they aren’t. It only takes 1 hour to lay a minefield, yet it is being suggested it could take up to 10 hours to remove that minefield if using a T1 minesweeper. Laying a minefield should take at least double the time to lay it as to sweep it, not 1/10th of the time if laid outside of an occupied system.

I can understand the need for occupied systems that have been surrounded by minefields to take longer to sweep than those laid in open space or an unoccupied system. Possibly I might suggest as part of orbital defense or planetary defense that a specific structure or function of the orbital to be one of mine laying for that system’s defense, which would consume some of the planet’s limbaldt and take up to 10 times longer to sweep than those laid in open space or in unoccupied systems. If sweeping is hampered extensively in open space or unoccupied systems, it will bring the progress of wars to a halt.

The war I’m currently involved in was started because a player decided it was fun to just randomly drop minefields in open space and surrounding unoccupied systems that another player was mining in without provocation. And this was done a very very long ways from their own territory of systems, so it wasn’t like they were protecting their own territory in doing so.

If the objective is to insure that a person doesn’t have their system conquered in their sleep, then the solution is to provide this capability for only occupied systems, not mine laying/sweeping in general and tie it to planetary defense, not mine laying from fleets. In open space or in unoccupied systems, I would propose that mine laying take twice the time to lay as it is to sweep.

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Why do orbitals have to be on a cooldown exactly? i mean why do they have to fire every last ounce of loaded payload at once? If an orbital defense system has the capacity to do 1000 damage and it engages a target with 150 hp it should only use what is required to deal with that target. If we are assuming there is no miss chance, and i’m not suggesting that should be the case, then it would have 850 damage worth of payload left and the orbital defense platorm would reload the remaining 150 at a set rate which could align with the current 20 minute cooldown. This prevents the ability to min max ships such as to waste orbital defense firepower and get them on cooldown while the invasion fleet just floats in drops its troops and floats back out to space. 2.5 or 20 minutes doesn’t matter either is more then enough time to doom the planet once you rope a dope the orbital system.

And if an OD has no chance of destroying a target due to it reloading from a low ammo state it wouldn’t fire and waste the ammo it has. But if that was the case chances are your screwed anyway.

As outlined with the 150 damage with 3 minute cool down i agree that it may have the same DPS, but as pointed out once on cool down that 3 minute window is more then sufficient to doom the planet so still doesn’t help the planet. In fact the planet is now in more peril because the Orbital is now a water gun. I can build scouts that can stand up to a couple of orbitals at that level. Step up to Cruisers and Battleships and they can really take a beating so they could waltz in take the hit like a champ and effectivly nothing was done to the attacker. Same DPS but less threat. In order to actually maybe kill something you have to invest in way too many of the damn things and they are already expensive enough as it is so i’m not thinking this is a viable option.



Disagree. This is solving a problem that only exists because the combat we have now is two lines of space monkeys throwing dung at each other till one dies…

When (if) a proper combat is introduced where a badly out numbered fleet makes at most a hit and run attack then disengages to try again the wipe out problem goes away, as while you will take some casualties proper combat AI will have such fleets fighting then disengaging forcing the online player to hunt them down again and try again and again.

Properly configured ships would get damaged yes but not wiped out in a single night if its done right.

I say “if” they fix combat. But if they don’t add in that kind of depth the game wont last a week on the open market due to its utterly boring fight system. I have seen face book games with combat graphics and tactics that outshine what we have now so am confidant it will be changed, or the game will be stillborn.

Until we see what they come up with such extreme defences are patching a problem that should not exist.



lol. It’s impossible whatever tactic u imagine. But looks like u r just unrational.

And here we are. That ur sentence is a proof that current 12minutes for sweeping is good enough. In my post higher I’ve firstly suggest to make different time of sweeping for minefield of player who is offline (like these 5-8 hours) and minefields of player who is online (12miminutes). Because it is just impossible to enter the system if player will have enough time to place another minefield while previous exist or were sweeped 10-20 minutes ago. And I suggest long ago somewhere another thing - to ban appearance of any minefields if there is active sweeper in 2-3LY radius (imho it’s the best option).

  1. Nothing stops from atacking fleets which stay idle withing orbit when player offline. 2) Such a thing must be used with brains. 3) Do u ever know current reality of assaults? 100current t1 barrackes = 400 old t1 barrackes = 600k troops. plust t2 OD. so if there is 200 barrackes (400workers) then it’s would be even 2,4M troops power which make any assault withoot bombing impossible. And bombing takes aprox 1h to 1 shot. So actually with such a thing player lose nothing and will be able to operate his fleets and not just watching howwho they dies while he was afk.


Not responding to you, not giving away solutions to those :stuck_out_tongue: