Blog: Dev Diary #25 - Hi neighbor!

What determines a happy population can be a myriad of things such as individual wealth and individual freedoms, both of which can have positive and negative affects for going both up and down. in most countries having wealth grants freedom and if both simply grant happiness then why have so many famous artists and athletes of all sorts committed suicide or turned to drugs? This is not a conversation I will have here as either does not necessarily have to do with their own individual happiness and is therefore an ever more compicated issue. It is for this reason, imo, happiness should not play a large lasting role in this game. Where it is now is good, it would be fine to add operations for an invader and defender to affect it, but imo, we should not change its role.

We are all aware of a plot hole in any game, odd game rules and quirks wouldn’t make sense in real life. IRL, multiple “pieces” move at the same time but in chess and checkers, this is not so. In Vega, it takes 3 minutes to travel to the far side of your neighboring sector using cutters (the fastest ship class), but to disassemble, move, and reconstruct your base in the middle of a heavy war is not only safe, but only takes the blink of an eye even though it took you a year to build each structure. Game rules should be easy to follow and remember, therefore simple, but this does not mean that the game itself should be simple.

Beyond this, I feel that every structure should be augmentable and the details of that should be left largely up to the player with respect to the defender. Reload time, damage done, bombardment protection, security vs covert ops, security vs overt ops, as well as energy management, and the like can very easily be added and be the primary cause to mine B late into the game whereas now, B relatively useless after a player becomes well developed. Patterns can be research just like ship designs and then applied. The details of how to manage the individual upgrades is probably more important than what should be augmentable.

Augmentations will allow players to choose the rate their bases produce troops and the capacity to which they are stored or increased repair rates. They can alter radar stations to detect invisible fleets or increase sensor range (with an energy cost increase of course), or left standard without augmentations in pursuit of other benefits.

I can come up with different concepts and methods but I haven’t felt like people wanted this level of customisation.

Please do. I would read them I feel the more we explore possibilities the more chance that one of them will come up that fits in with the ability of the DEVS to adjust the game.

So the above is an old post, that i do not feel we should use, but as far as food for thought goes, i do not think any game uses it and possibly for good reason. The system is somewhat clunky and doesnt flow well, but if someone has a way to make it better, i wouldnt mind hearing it. Possibly, when the building is selected with the upgrade button, a side menu can be added with a list of upgrades and upgraded structures of that type. Again, I like the individual customization, but that’s about the only upside imo.

More simple ideas are based off of augmentation slots. Structures can have 1 or more augmentation slots based on the structure and/or level but this may develop a lot of friction as the game moves forward, having to produce and attach 30 augments every day can be tiresome. Because of that, this kind of augmentation is generally more global; augmentation slot(s) per planet for example and dont typically come with negatives but this promotes each planet’s individual specialization which seems to be what we are trying to avoid. The last 2 can be global augmentations that affect your whole empire. These can be research based or some sort of 1 per player structure. Again, this lacks the individual player customization and no one is going to pick an OD mod over resource production or ship production unless these mods are scarce. The more global the affect and design, the more simple the mechanic, but it allows for less customization.

I personally believe the best modifications should come in the form of building type; mines can all get the same mod and if the mod is determined by the cost of the structures, then after it is applied, all future structures costs increase to match take up the difference. specialized structures (ones that you are limited to by planet), each could/should have their modifications. An additional button can be added to bring up an augmentations menu or it can be added someplace to the structures menu when one is selected.

The next part of this is that we would need a method to acquire the modifications. They can be researched and/or constructed, won in mini-events, or earned in fights or by completing quests. We can also have augments won from previous galaxies, but these should be limited to what essentially should be decals avatars and badges. I feel that this system should be simple because if not, later in the game it will become too much, however it can also take up time early game if the player finds it interesting. Maybe a fully automated system could be added to create them?

The next conversation should be about what functions each building should be able to be augmented with, and i feel that each structure should have 1 special augment for that only be attached to that structure, for example, only a military base can train troops and therefore be augmented with troop training speed. Only a mine can be augmented with additional deep mine functions. Imo, all structures should be able to be augmented to hold troops (which would resist covert and overt operations vs those structures), reduce energy consumption, shield vs bombardment strikes, and other generic functions.

The next conversation would be the magnitude of the augments, which is a hard conversation to have when you haven’t nailed down all of the previous options but I personally dont mind stronger augmentations that will also require more energy, workers, or other downside.

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i forgot to bring up the thought about rarity. These are generally thought to be common, but can instead be made quite rare which is not specifically something I am ok with. If producing them was time consuming, but they could be acquired through multiple means, meaning that they would achieve a common occurrence based on a player’s progression, to me, it would highly depend on the frequency they would be acquired. Naturally a top tiered player would develop the mods faster than a player ranked 60, but the issue I have would be that this affect would assist the top player to stay on top. For this reason, if the augments are not common or easily constructed, they should be acquired at a diminishing rate relative to the effort put forth to get them as they are acquired but completing quests should not affect the rate as this would cause players to avoid the quests initially.

It maybe best to have players design their own and produce them. Maybe it would be best to research the upgrade path, then design and research the actual upgrade, and produce it, similarly to how ships are produced. Idk.

Thanks for the feedback and suggestions everyone :slight_smile:

About changes to troop mechanics: it’s not something we planned to change just yet, but we do agree with the changes to troops/military bases proposed. And the devs think they could get it done quite quickly (possibly the next patch, more likely the one after). So to summarise what this would entail:

  • Military bases would be entirely responsible for producing/supporting troops (for attack and defense)
  • A base would train X troops an hour, up to the limit of troops it could support (if troops are transferred away more are trained)
  • Troops can be left on the colony to defend it if invaded
  • Troops can be loaded on to fleets using assault troop carriers (to transfer to another colony to defend it, or to invade another player’s colony)
  • If troops are transferred to a planet with not enough military bases to support them (including after winning an invasion) their numbers gradually decrease (converted to regular colonists)
  • And we wouldn’t decrease the capacity of assault troop carriers

Does that sound good to go or does anyone have any questions or concerns?

If we could get troop mechanics reworked, we’d then be able to get to expanding invasion mechanics towards some of the suggestions posted. We don’t have a lot of spare time, but some simple changes would go a long way e.g. increase the duration of invasions and allow both attacker and defender to affect the outcome by sending in troop reinforcements.


I am genuinely staggered Joe. Feels like my birthday came all of a sudden. On the face of it the suggestions you detail above are pretty damn close to perfect.

For now at least, please bring these in and we can see what can get a further tweak later :smiley: :+1::+1::+1:

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So if a planet is already at Max population does it go over that if troops are added or will you be unable to defend further?

It shounds like the troops being converted back to normal just die off in accordance with the other set of rules.

Awesome, hands not bound any more… good job…

So should troop totals not be part of planet totals? Say planet population is max of 700k, but military bases fill a separate max limit for troops. So you could have 600k troops on top of the 700k population.

Yes but only if you have enough military bases. Besides, you can’t force them to work as miners.

Of course troop totals would be based on amount of military bases. The civilian population would still be the workers for military bases as well so that would continue to be the cap on troops via how many bases you build. Troops would only function on troops.

Trying to decide how energy storm would work. Would it hit both civilians and troops at the same time or potentially just one or the other?

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I know you know, but to others it may not be 100%.

As for military and civilian deaths, Idk. Thats a good question. Maybe make it random?

@joe can I request that mankind get the highest barracks troop capacity? I’m not sure being the most agreeable with other races is worth the small troop transport size and this would be nice. Admittedly I ask from a place of some ignorance, but i do not see any other significant advantage to being mankind…

Also, we need to figure out a a formula for the decline of combat troops so that we cannot just import soldiers from other planets.

My concern is implementing it now in the existing A3 galaxy will catch those that are active by surprise. Previously the military bases were practically useless, so many of us (me included) are catching up with building them where we can. Having them not preplanned, will cause difficulty on planets that weren’t intended to support this situation. Given we have corruption to top it off with, having the necessary military to even consider for invasions will be practically non-existent.

For the next galaxy, I think it’s a great idea, because we will know that military is important for both defense and invasion purposes. Do it now and you will end the possibility for any invasions. If it is put into a patch in A3 and I’ll sit out the rest of this galaxy and wait for A4 or Beta, whichever is next.

I would think that if the planet can only support 700k total population, that should include military population in that total. So I’d say no, 700k is 700k, not 1.3M because you have 600k workers and 700k military.

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I would think you can’t take “military” from a conquered planet. You should be able to take population (which may include their military portion of the population) that is your own civ, but they’d have to be “retrained” to become your own personal military.

No, i mean that there needs to be a some form of limitation that a player cannot just keep taking troops from his planets and stacking them all onto 1 planet. what pepe did except with troops instead of pop.

That’s the flaw in the population cap though. A planets supports only 700k unless there are natives or someone friendly adds a race then it might magically support 1.4 million. No Real reason the troops can’t be separate from the population cap. In fact it opens up opportunities to have multiple races attacking and defending. But some cap would be needed for attackers or there would be the go2 rbp issue of a cap on defense and unlimited attackers.

Excellent idea. Reading some of the other comments begs a thought on the actual bases themselves.

Currently a base is what 2000 personnel yielding 1500 troops at T1. Or put it another way 500 support personnel (this number effectively goes down the more you automate and is replaced with more trooper capacity using current techs). So under the proposed system would building a Mil base use 500 personnel then start to draw general population till it also holds 1500 troopers? Or will the troopers spawn independently of the planets growth. I hope its the former myself.

I use those number bearing in mind @Puma’s observation that the current Galaxy will be very unprepared for this change. But if as hoe implies its a comparatively easy add in if we keep those numbers then the value of troops to worlds is maintained in the short run making the transition easier.

As to Odis’s point about capacity. Gotta agree wholeheartedly there. Trooper capacity per base should be directly influenced by the combat strength (which surely also reflects physical size and or specialised needs of that race) so if a New T1 base is 500 personnel & 1500 Troopers for humans it follows that a PR or Rip Base is 500 Personnel & 1350 troopers (1500/1.1) That may be too limiting for the toasters as by that simplistic metric you get only a 1000 trooperbots but we shall see. That’s a simple variable tweak presumably easily done in game.

Side note: How interesting to see the old forum set up itself objects to my posting. 21% of the replies here apparently. Maybe the other regulars have seen this maybe, in the preview panel?
Sorry, maybe if we had more general interest my rants wouldn’t be needed. Yet another interest killer. Good job.:cry:

If the numbers remain the same (ie., the 2k with 500 being support/1500 being military), I’d suggest that the “employed” number still be the 2k, with the initial 1500 untrained military be moved to a “military in training” category (unavailable for defense or invasion) and from that as the military completes training they are drawn from the “military in training” category to the actual “military”.

@odis the 1.0, 1.1 and 1.5 strength does not represent population numbers, it represents strength of the population that has been trained as military. It should have no bearing on the number of troops that can be carried on a planet. I understand why you would want the change, but with it, why have the difference in strength of the individual civs. I would propose that the developers look at the troop transport capability though and give Mankind the ability to carry the necessary troops to overcome a population that is 1.5 times stronger a little bit better than the present set up and possibly adjust training times to reflect quicker training for Mankind than the other 3 civs so they have trained troops available faster.

@WarMongers I understand what you are saying, I’m not sure why a planet that can only maintain 700k Mankind (for example), can magically maintain the same 700k Mankind and another 1 mil Ripchee (for example) just because the planet is conquered by the Ripchee. I would prefer that the original concept be evaluated, where co-habitation on a planet takes into consideration the original civ’s population vs the max allowed before calculating the “available” space for the conquering civ. If this were considered, there would need to be a way to “remove” the native or conquered population in order to make room for the conquerer to expand. The military of the native civ would need to be reduced to zero once conquered and require retraining to become part of the “new” military under the invader’s rule. Also the conquering civ’s initial population would need to automatically be trained military, but the growth that results from it would be added to untrained population. Right now there are limitations on invasions where you can only send a single invasion “fleet” and it has to be of sufficient size to conquer the military on the planet. Down the road, if there are changes that allow attackers to send more than one invasion fleet, there will need to be the ability for the defender to bring additional defense fleets as well that can drop “temporary” military defense troops in order to avoid the situation that you describe. I don’t feel it makes logical sense for a planet to hold more population than it’s size/climate/land mass/farms can support and military comes from the population (if native). Something else for the developers to consider is the creation of “temporary” barracks to house the invading military force once the planet is conquered to give time for the new civ to build it’s own military bases (or convert existing military bases on the conquered planet).

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