Blog: Dev Diary #25 - Hi neighbor!


I am with @Puma here. Reducing the capacity of the modules is not the solution. I was mankind in A2 and A3 and left for Ripchee in skirmish because of the disadvantages mankind has.
If you reduce the troop capacity of mankind, that can not reach 98k in a single ship, and also has a lower troop strenght, that will make mankind invasions even more difficult. Another reason to avoid playing mankind.
If 98k is too much, adjust Ripchee’s modules or the design of the Scare.



Hey, guys, do u really think that 1.7M assault is so dangerous now? lets calculate! Power of tech x4!!!. Power of Orbital Defence x2. Together x8. 1.7M/8= 212,5K. 212,5K/1,7K = 125 barrackes (250K workers). And this is just to make equal odds. In the late stages (exactly when dread+17cruisers appear) players can have double population (where one of these populations are ripchee) on 20k+ size planets with 1.5M-3M of population. To spend 500K workers on barrackes is a small matter. And to assault such a planet enemy will be need to kill 1.25M-2,75M of population with orbital cannons wich is crazy as hell with current time of orbital cannons to perform the atack.

The only players who can suffer from assaults now is slackers. Who slack the management, ignore planetary defence, etc. But why the game must be friendly to them? I think they must suffer for their inability!



Thanks for the feedback here! I’ll go over it with the devs and get more details about the rationale for decreasing the capacity of assault troop carriers.

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Just a reminder when you discuss it with them, you are going to hurt PR and Mankind more than you will hurt Ripchee by the change, because of the fact that they have 4 large general slots on their cruiser vs 2 on PR and mankind. That is one of the biggest issues with this change.

And something to include in your discussion. This change along with the other changes to improve planetary defense could push invasions into the “impossible” to accomplish mode. They shouldn’t be impossible to invade, just very difficult.



to @joe (not looking for comments)

I feel you need to stop with all the limitations… Forcing people to bomb before being able to take a planet will be too much for people… that harder and much longer it is the more people will just not bother playing… It needs to be open and not restricted, your going to tie your own hands with this thinking…

This will frustrate more players and there is already no one talking in my alliance… I think people have stopped caring…

Together with the recent emphasis on a shorter game, I feel you have really lost your way



I’m hoping for long drawn out games. Even hoping for longterm research that is meaningful, perhaps even with incremental improvements on previously researched techs. Then again i’m a weirdo :frowning:



@Veqlargh u and me both.



I won’t respond to DeicidE since he doesn’t want comments, but the developers aren’t emphasizing the short game, that’s a side game from the main galaxy. It’s a choice to play there or not. As you know I played in skirmish for a while, but was pulled back into the main game to help out in a couple of wars that are going on. And skirmish was fun while I was active in it, but the main game is fun too if there is something to get involved in.

The developers are trying to address concerns that have been presented many times from people about getting conquered while they sleep. Minesweeping being completed in minutes and invasions being all too easy to accomplish. I suspect they are going a little too far with their defense changes, but not entirely overboard.



Very polite way of putting it! But I agree they are making attempts to remedy the issues we discover… in many cases.

I question thier priorities however, but recognise its very easy to direct whats should be top priority from the sidlelines!

I just hope somebody is watching the chat and begins to wonder why so many old hands are kinda kicking back and (semi) retiring! I understand.

The game is so BOREING now for me as they’ve cut so many good bits out of it… I desperately hope something (anything!) is introduced soon to catch some interest again!

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I’ve spoken with the devs and put some numbers together to show why reducing the capacity of assault troop carriers is being considered.

Invasion attack strengths

Civ Frigate Corvette Cruiser Dread
Mankind 140,000 60,000 896,000 1,088,000
PRealm 440,000 44,000 985,600 1,196,800
Ripchee 352,000 343,200 1,416,800 1,720,400
Syntis 570,000 156,000 1,092,000 1,326,000

The above table shows the strongest invasion fleet each civ could put together for that hull class, based on the max assault troops that could be carried multiplied by their strength (Dread means a dreadnought flagship with 17 cruisers)

Planet defense strengths

Population Size L1 Bases Strength +L1 ODS +L2 ODS +Homeworld ODS
700,000 60 137,500 183,333 275,000 550,000
700,000 240 434,500 579,333 869,000 1,738,000
  • This table shows the defensive strengths a planet with a 700k population could achieve depending how many military bases built and whether there is an orbit defense system e.g. ‘Strength’ is with no ODS but ‘+L2 ODS’ would be with a level 2 ODS)
  • Therefore the strengths an invasion attack would need to exceed to be able to capture the planet
  • It applies to both Ripchee + People’s Realm - both have x1.1 strength, 5% max home guard, and 100% happiness is assumed

Although there is more to the invasion outcome formula than a straight comparison on strength - let’s assume here that the stronger side wins.

A planet with 700k population, 240 military bases (which could be 60 constructed but effectively boosted to the strength of 240 (400%) by unlocking tech), and a level 2 ODS, can still be captured by an invasion fleet of cruisers of any civ.

Therefore our opinion is that the balance is tipped too far in favour of the invasion force. A planet that has developed to 700k population and invested into its own defense to this degree should be more difficult to capture, like larger planets with larger populations and those with 2nd populations are.

The changes we had in mind were:

  • Decrease assault troop capacity by up to 25% (and better balance the number of max assault troops each civ can carry)
  • Increase the number of casualties from an invasion
  • Increase the number of colonists that are destroyed by bombing

Smaller and less defended planets would be little affected by these changes. And although it would mean a few more planets would need to be bombed/invaded before an invasion could succeed, bombing would be more useful.

What do you think?

Do you agree that it shouldn’t be possible to capture a planet with 700k colonists and the strength of 240 military bases without having to bomb it first? If you do agree, does another approach to what we’ve proposed make more sense?


  • Very well I see better where your coming from. 25% seems too harsh to me but OK if its a trial change. Naturally you will balance the invasion forces ratioed against combat strength of the troopers yes?
  • Increase whoes casualties? The invaders? MADNESS! So you drop capacity then rip up the invaders win or lose with the defending planet still at its full defences? Utterly Bizzare. Name me ONE example of a city or country that threw off an invasion and was totally unhurt by it? If you mean win or loose some defensive value is whittle away (perhaps by destroying one or more Mil Bases) along with the attackers losing some troops - OK now you’r talking! But which is it?
  • Absolutely! @BigBoomer proved that was massively outta whack some time back glad to see your seeing his well thought out point!


First, I loved the info, it was very helpful.

It is my opinion that military bases should produce and store military troops, not only would this give value to each planet having bases on it (there is less friction by using each planet’s natural growth rate instead of having to also build a number of centers in order to keep the planet’s growth positive), it would also level out the capacities of troop transports (they are worthless if you dont have the troops to fill them), and it would allow one player to whittle another away as @Zathabar asked for above. In addition, it will prevent one player from absolutely steam rolling another using fresh conscripts (unless we, and by we I really mean you, decide they should be a thing) from the conquored player at every pass in the specific way that pepe used to conquor zath (presumably. I think I read it somewhere that thats basically how it happened).

Also, covert operations can be conducted to prevent the troops stored at the base from participating in battle. Multitudes of other ideas were added in other threads.

Edit: fix auto correct fails

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Without seeing how you intend to implement this by civ, it is impossible to comment on the 25% figure. On the surface it still seems that the numbers will favor Ripchee if hulls are not redesigned so that they carry a more equivalent number of troops to the other civs, given that they have equal strength as PR and are stronger than Mankind.

In general I would concur that a fully defended Mankind planet should not be able to be conquered by only an invasion fleet of ANY Civ without bombing first.

Also I ran a couple of calculations and I believe some of your base numbers on the hulls are incorrect. I won’t do them all, I’ll allow you to verify them first.

I also still feel that assault troops do not belong on corvettes, Ripchee can still bring 257k troops cloaked for an invasion on a lesser developed or small planet. This should not be allowed to happen at W9, cloaked.



I think that’s will ruin the game. I’ve explained why before and don’t want to repeat. As for me such a thing will makes my playing much more simple and grant a lot of free time because with such a changes there is no any reason to spent time for PvP activity. Piecefull development in area far from other players will be much more beneficial. No PvP - minimal time for outscape to play. I will play something more interesting instead.

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And we’ll all miss you very much. Have a nice day somewhere else.



LOL tbh I was away and am not absolute sure. Hopefully @Pepelekus will explain his technique to me later :slight_smile:

But I do see the point, if you conquer a planet held by your own race then = INSTANT FRESH TROOPS!

Madness utter madness, just one more example where the game mechanics (because nobody has just thought about what sort of thing happens in real life and pulled a game mechanic outta thin air) failed to consider the consequences of the mechanic.

I am not talking about every obscure permutation of every action, just a half minutes thought would have seen a “cool down/Pacification” period on a new conquest (as every invader in human history has proved) is 100% needed to prevent an unrealistic snowballing juggernaut effect. Pepe did us all a favour by demonstrating it so graphically. I think the tester base here are basically nice guys (gals?) and don’t play like beasts unless given an opportunity like Skirmish and even then most held back. He didn’t and the games development is the better for it - or it may be if the lessons are learned. Lets not forget the idea of Skirmish was a community proposed one a LOOOOOONG time ago, we finally got it and we learned a LOT in one month!

This is what frustrates me, its like we get a rule change proposed and it takes less than a second to see that less than a Minute was taken considering the logical consequences of said change! The DEVS must love being flamed as all it takes is a moments thought to see where most of these changes of late have been bad ideas or have obvious flaws.

The correct process is:

  1. Brainstorm an idea (or listen to feed back)
  2. Consider a change
  3. Ask yourselves “What would real people do if that happened”
  4. Amend adjust as needed
  5. Repeat step 3, if you cant think of any THEN (and only then)
  6. Propose it to community
  7. Discuss feedback
  8. Propose amended version
  9. Repeat 6, if nothing drastic is flagged then:
  10. Build some code and patch into game for testing under live conditions.

Why is this so hard to grasp? Just… just bring in Step 3 above and you’ll save so much time and wasted effort…

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It just bothers me that I can create troops from the extra population from my planets, but I can in no way use those troops to defend an embattled planet, only invade, so to do those troops defensively, I need to let my opponent invade my planet, and then invade my own world… :unamused:

If I could at least add my own troops to that planet and fight it out, the issue described by the devs, while still significant, changes and is more balanced. We also really need ally and alliance (2 different sets) of notifications. Players may decide its in their interests to pay each other to watch over their territories while they are away, giving way to another long set of coding that needs to be added, when a player tells his fleet to deploy troops, he needs to be able to tell the game if he’s a defender or invader.

I dont know the background of our devs, but i do have some personal experience with this. the process can sometimes be a long one when it can be much faster to just do it and then ask for forgiveness if things go awry. While i agree, it is much easier on us to see where the devs are coming from and help them plan the path forward, we did sign up to test their ideas.

As much as i dont like the direction the game is going in, i hope the features were removed to add something better.

Also, i just now looked up how many troops mankind can have on a corvette and am not happy that not only do mankind have the fewest troops to transport across the board, but ripchee can have almost 6 times my max capacity on theirs.



This is very true. Its also a great way to alienate folks. Frankly if they wanna throw stuff out “just to see if it flys” i am good with that. What I am less good with is the stone walling when great swathes of the community say “uh uh no nope don’t do that it’ll not… Uh the numbers say different… Well I ran the numbers and…” and yet STILL they carry on. That’s not trying stuff out on testers that steamrollering the folks you asked to help you in defiance of reasoned calculated arguments often backed up with in game examples.

Eaiser sure, dumb though. Plus doing stuff (apparently) hit and miss will indeed make for just as longer process. More sensible would be to listen to the few thousand folks they have signed up. Though the level of participation in the open forum is poor, but that in itself begs the quest ion :Why As you say we did sign up to test their ideas. I have very little patience for folks that wont actually test, though I acknowledge that given the lack of feed back from many may simply be saying “why should I bother, others have said it already…”

That is a terrible mistake on the communities part. Its like democrasy the moment you stop doing it you loose it by default. Joe has been pretty good at times saying “because the community feels so strongly we…” Had more folks chipped in their opinion we might not be where we are.

You forgot to add Mankind alone have 1.0 Troop rating so they have less troops and less effective troops…

I seem to recall many moons ago there was plans for a rework on how Mil bases produced troops. If that’s correct then all this blathering from us (and changes they make to the game) are rather pointless as when you do that you change the whole metric once more.

Fix root causes not symptoms. We have an over simplified system that is not fit for purpose. Add in some properly explained and documented complications and the whole experience improves tenfold…



I only just realized how unclear i actually was. I meant that it is wise to talk things over and come up with solutions, but like me with my wife about how to do the work around my house, it is rather pointless and makes more sense for me to just do it the best way and then ask for forgiveness afterwards rather than talking it over with her and then having to make my own decision.

Just because we all like option A better, doesn’t mean its the best when it takes 10 times the effort to code and puts 5 times the weight on the server. I am always trying to be sensitive to the fact that i do not know what the devs can see, while also trying to impress upon them what i see. For example, removing 1 favored feature is bad, but maybe there is a good reason for it. Removing a lot of good features without really replacing them with anything substantive leaves me wondering, which is why i spit ball a lot of ideas.

I am having some trouble explaining more clearly than this, but if they ask for our feedback, they should at least inform us why our feedback isn’t sufficient for example, option B is better than A, it’s just going to take a few steps to get there.

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Wise words.

I suck as a programmer but I have done enough of it to have near limitless sympathy for those that have a gift in that area trying to achieve something wonderful.

I wish with all my heart though that some of the well reasoned and logical arguments & suggestions given here (and in this I discount ALL my own posts - many other have made much better contributions that I have!) would be just tried: they are so much better than some of the things done over the last year.

Back to topic then: So if each Mil Base did a few things we would all like it I suspect:

  1. They slowly convert Population to troops at a set speed per hour based on the Race & the Tech level of the Mil Base
  2. They hold a maximum amount of troopers based on their Tech level.
  3. When you load troops onto a Space ship fleet it comes off the trained troops currently held in the Mil Bases. If you didn’t have enough then tough!

Something like that I think? Opinions my learned colleagues??