Blog: Dev Diary #25 - Hi neighbor!


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??



First you have to define “slowly”, currently they are already converted from population to military when you build the base, they aren’t military at any level (except home guard) until the base is built. So in theory this is already occurring, just possibly not at the pace you’d prefer.

Considering this has never been introduced, if a method of using only trained military were to be introduced, it would need to be in either the next Alpha or at Beta. Given the lack of usefulness that military held before, it’s doubtful that many have allowed for enough population that could be used only as military for both defense of your planets and to be used for expansion via invasion. If this were implemented, I’d want to build a few dedicated planets to the “invasion” military and not take it from defending my own planets.

And this would not stop someone from acquiring the population to take to said base for conversion to military, all it might do is slow down the process a bit. The only possible limitation you might place on removing the conquered population might be happiness, if the population is very happy with their new “dictator”, why wouldn’t they accept a post within their military? But if they weren’t happy, maybe they wouldn’t be so inclined. A 22k beron rich planet (of which many exist but aren’t normally very useful if alone) would be great homes for said military.

The developers are already placing enough limitations, through excessive defense changes, on invasions to make them almost impossible to carry out, we don’t need something else to further hinder invasions.



@joe @loopzilla @mel

Your going to bind yourselves too tightly with this… means you cant ever increase fleet sizes or troop capacities, as you know in software dev if you tightly couple things you’re in a world of pain so why do it in the game… and who in their right mind will build 60 military bases… let alone 240…

A series of ODS upgrades from 25% to 95% and firing times from 60 down to 10 minutes could do what you need… make the early ones cheaper and later ones expensive… this is not coupled to fleets size nor troop capacity… ODS is a cross cutting feature with no dependencies… apply what you know about software development to solve game problems… create the monolith at your peril…

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I agree that at some point soldiers need to be an actual resource that you train over time rather then just instantly convert from population. When this should happen is up for debate as there are many priorities to pick from. And in a perfect world the ODS would only destroy alot of troop transports if it is still online when invasion is in process. I think the ODS’s need to be a beefier deterent that need to be dealt with if you want to interact with an enemy planet without taking heavy losses to ships/troops. They should be tough to take down and capable of being brought back online relativly quickly thus allowing only so much time for the attacker to accomplish their mission.



Well yes but this is a simple variable that can be tweaked as the idea is tested. If you want a number for now then I’d say 50% of the population growth figure for that planet per base as a ceiling. Ideally the speed should be either player definded of dependant on how war like the race is. Likewise if a base is destroyed then troops over what the remaining bases can support need to be reintegrated with the local pop at a similar rate.

No it is not occurring in any way right now. When you build a Mil base you “get” 1500 pop transform into soldiers that cannot die if their base is intact. No matter how many invasion they fight in as long as the sacred re-spawn base lives so do they: not so the attackers troops.

Battle over worlds as I have said elsewhere should take re time hours to complete with stages to the fight (at least three - Beachhead - advance- consolidate) having a finite amount of troops that you can manually adjust to compensate for losses means you have an actual fight rather than merely waking up one morning and seeing which planets swapped allegiances, which is highly yawnsworthy.

You are absolutely correct this would need at the very least to be added to a new Galaxy to give all folks an even footing! I don’t see why a new Alpha or Beta would be required: plenty of things were tweaked for skirmish why not this? In fact why not USE the short lived skirmish model to fast test these ideas… Oh dear I am being Wildly optimistic at the level of logic here aren’t I… never mind.

I really like the comment on the large beron rich world with a decent size but are otherwise unremarkable. These would make excellent training camps. Be nice to make these oft overlooked worlds actually useful! Because unless they also had Giants on them they really aren’t worth the effort to develop unless they are the only rich source of Be in that system?

Ah now you hit the nail on the head with the talk of limitations. In my mind this sorta system was a tactical option not a limit per say but that’s why feedback is so important. One mans option can be seen as another’s limitation: fair enough. Not my intent but I now see your point. Don’t completely agree with it but yes It could be a complication, though as most know I feel all complications are good PROVIDED they are documented and perhaps walked through with a tutorial.

The main thing Pepe antics showed me was the silliness of having a Pop that was fighting against him one moment suddenly turn into shock troops the next minute. Making battles longer helps but can’t overcome that brain achingly illogical situation. I think I suggested elsewhere a cool down period after a planet is taken where output and happiness drop as the new overlord establishes control. If that period of pacification (during which Corruption from that planet should NOT be added to the new owners total: no chance for it see, he is imposing military rule and corrupt types would be shot so are laying low) also meant you could only conscript troops via bases at a much reduced rate (conscripts are never enthusiastic as a rule) the conquest Juggernaut would have been slowed to a manageable rate.

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Genius. SO simply done: = Give the ODS a drop down target selector like all ships/fleets have. That code & mechanic is already there so why on earth could it not be reused here:
Target selection:

  • Random (Default)
  • (Hull type) First then Random
  • (Hull type) or larger only [This will allow smaller merchant ships to enter orbit and not kill scouts]
  • etc
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It’s not a silly it’s common thing trough most of wars in history.



Citation needed :stuck_out_tongue:

Hmm do we simply have a cultural difference here old chap: Found this offering an interesting insight that may be germane to the discussion:

According to that east & west look on these conflicts in a different light which might allow for our difference of opinion. However; in the context of this kinda game I submit that initial conquests can never be wars of liberation that the population welcomes. Now if I was to attempt to take a world back from you then thats another matter.

But also even more of a complication that even I would be asking fro LOL!

Bottom line I feel a period of pacification is logical and reasonable after a planetary conquest still.