Blog: Dev Diary #25 - Hi neighbor!

Hi everyone,

The latest dev diary is up:

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Thanks for the update.

The private message feature sounds nice.

Assault troop nerf will be good considering ripchee. But if youre intending for people to use bombing first then orbital bombers need buffing. I calculated a fleet of Ziniths with all ordinance and level 3 strike cannons. 600 ordinance per shot, 2 shots per salvo, 50% accuracy and 1000 population damage. A single cruiser can have 7800 ordinance, for 6 shots, for a max of 6k population killed. A fleet of 14 will be 109200 ordinance, for a max of 84k population killed. These cannons need buffed. Increase the population damage each level. Level 1 should stay 1k, level 2 should be 2k, level 3 3k, level 4 4k, level 5 5k damage. If lvl 3 cannon was 3k damage instead of 1k, it would kill 252k population for its entire arsenal of ammo, instead of only 84k. Right now bombing is too expensive.

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Good changes/enhancements here Joe thank you.

One thing I take issue with is:

We appreciate that for experienced players the recent focus on making the game more usable and easier to understand isn’t very exciting

That is NOT the issue at all! Its not a case of not being exciting its a case that your changes have almost always made the game LESS INTERESTING for all levels of players. Simple = Boring.

Success will be a complex game that is relatively easy to comprehend via tutorials/mission training and so forth.

The distinction might seem a small one but trust me its not its a huge yawning chasm that will hinge success or failure in the long term.

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In general I like the private messaging option being added.

I think you need to take further consideration in changing the assault troop modules though. You are effectively going to nerf every civ because Ripchee has 4 large general slots on their cruisers whereas the others only have 2. With the change in assault troops allowed, if slot designations don’t change, Ripchee will still have 36 more slots in a Dread fleet than any other civ and at equal strength to PR, they will have an advantage over both PR and Mankind easily.

You might want to revisit the slot designations and why you decided to give Ripchee 4 large general slots whereas others only were given 2. Possibly slot designations need to be further refined, rather than making the “simple change” of just reducing the troop numbers on the assault troop module.

Also while we’re on the topic of assault troop modules, I feel they should not be allowed to be placed on a corvette. This will really only affect Ripchee in a material fashion since their Saber can have 12 ships in a fleet. I doubt seriously that anyone else would bother, but to be invaded, even at only 288k possible assault troops on the corvette, they can easily invade medium sized colonies and get there cloaked.

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I still dont understand why all the modules are the same sizes and such. It makes little sense to me why each race has identical items except where they are supposed to have a special x y or z. By forcing ripchee to have specialized slots for carriers, their carriers will still be more powerful because it will have stronger armour or some such thing. As mankind, if I want to have maximum troop deployment capabilities, I will be required to have fewer useful weapons on my ships because i wont be able to have a generator nor ammo.

Furthermore, having larger devoted troop carrier fleets leaves said fleets vulnerable. If troop carrier fleets are forced to have few weapons and armor, sending that fleet in while invisible and solo, means you risk those troops, those resources (human, cat, or toaster, its still a resource). Instead of blunting an edge of the double edged sword, we should be given a way to take advantage of that second edge.

By allowing persistent or self renewing strategies we can make better use of the 2nd edge. Give some mine layers the ability to maintain a minefield and others the ability to maintain cloak detection. A race that prefers brute force would have neither while another that prefers a lot of strategy might have both. Fleets in planet should also play a roll in that planet’s ground defense, whether it kills deploying troops or helps fight more directly I dont necessarily care.

I’m trying to write shorter replies.

I’m not sure I understand what you are saying. Right now Ripchee have 4 large general slots, whereas all the other civs only have 2. If assault troop carriers are reduced in their capacity overall, then Ripchee will still have 2 additional large slots and be ahead of both PR and mankind in their ability to assault. I think this is a bad fix for the situation that the developers are concerned about.

Also in general if you plan on assaulting a very large planet with a large population and army, you don’t arm your cruisers, takes up too much valuable troop space, so effectively they are undefended.

The developers are already adding a lot of other new enhancements to general planetary defense, discussed in a previous Dev Diary.

i am just against reducing the capacities across the board primarily (some should go up, others down), and opposed to what I believe you were thinking about requiring the Ripchee fleet to not use more than 2 of their large general slots towards troop carrying capacities. I would prefer more dynamic solutions, which dont seem to be coming.

The fleets should not be made to have the same anything imo.

I’ll leave it for the developers to determine the best solution to the problem that has been presented to them. It’s doubtful they will introduce more overall complexity to the game at this stage considering most of their current efforts are geared towards adding alliance features.

As far as “fleets” having the same anything, ship design automatically makes them different, unless people of the same civ get together and design to one method. Granted most of the “modules” are the same, how they are added to a ship design and depending on the hull they are added to makes the fleet they are in inherently different.

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!

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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

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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.

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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?

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  • 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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