Assaulting is like watching paint dry.
To start off, I have a separate thread on defending, this is just for assaulting. I get that there’s overlap between the two but this thread will just be too long and too divisive if I pair them together, so I’m not going to.
To start with, thank the stars that in Andradite mines are actually functioning as intended. They certainly exist, and they can offer an advantage if you try and rush through them, but finally at long last they no longer are like watching paint dry to clear with corvettes as your dreads sit outside! Their damage is balanced, and they clear at a reasonably fast rate. Hate on me all you want, but the Andradite mine values & clear times should be exported to Main and that cannot come a moment sooner.
Assaulting however, well, lets just be blunt about it. The system is fundamentally broken and in need of reform. It is miserable to the defenders, it is miserable to the offender, and it is a major problem on all ends. I will leave the defense arguments to my other thread, but on the offense side, I would like to note some immediate problems right off the back.
People justifiably complain about being wiped out while being asleep, or being unable to defend themselves online. These complaints are valid and are a discussion on defense. People on offense justifiably complain about defenders having a massive advantage when online. These complaints are valid and are a discussion on offense.
I’m sorry to the people I’m about to offend. Defenders have too much of an advantage while online. We can have a discussion about people on offense being too powerful in other aspects while respecting this as still being true. This problem, in my opinion, fundamentally stems from a problem with ship production & fleet docks being used as a loophole to cripple an offensive strike.
To elaborate, I am talking about how defenders can launch up to 32 fleets at once from their fleet dock into a swarm of decoys, orbital bombers, & assault fleets in orbit. This in itself would not be an issue if it were not for the fact that these fleets cannot be targeted by the aggressor before launch meaning that someone engaging such a planet, has no choice but to stare, without a break, for an entire hour at a planet, waiting for the defender to spring them with fleets if they’re online. Watching that orbital bombing number go down is like watching paint dry.
To make it clear, I am not arguing against a defender being able to defend themselves, I am arguing against staring at a countdown clock tick down the seconds for an hour straight. Anyone who doesn’t think that’s boring is a liar. Period. This problem is not limited to just fleet docks though, as a planet with a shipyard can also spam out scouts which will engage decoys or disrupt an orbital bombing if it happens to spawn on top of a bomber, forcing the countdown to start all over again. Mankind can also instantly produce ships using their special ability, for the same issue.
Arguments for a reform on the entire offense / defense system probably should be made, albeit I will refrain on mentioning a specific system change, and more on mentioning the problems that such a change should address. I do this because such systems have been made before, and many people whom read this, if not IDA themselves, already have such a replacement system in mind which may work just as well or better than anything I can come up with.
However, I will mention quickly, that there should be, effective immediately, a change put in place which will prohibit the creation of ships when your planet is under orbital bombardment. Even realistically speaking, if an opposing army is bombing your planet from orbit, then under no circumstances are you in control of your planet’s orbit and under no circumstances would you be able to produce ships to attack their bombers. It simply makes no sense.
More than that, fleet docks should operate under similar no launch conditions, or, as I imagine many pro-defenders would prefer, should launch their fleets once an aggressor has entered orbit and destroyed all of the defender’s fleets already in orbit. If you’re going to lose the planet, you’ll lose the fleets anyways, so they may as well go down with a fight, right?
The primary point however, is that until a better invasion system can be created, we should have some sort of easy to implement hotfix to ensure the current system is playable. I think that these fixes are relatively fast and straightforward, even if they are a band-aid.
Another point of contention on the offensive perspective is that of decoys and orbital defense systems. Allow me to point out upfront that anyone about to make an argument that a defender should be able to spam 75+ ODS at once has clearly never fought someone who put 75+ ODS on a planet.
On a purely logical and reasonable level, having to split 75+ single ship decoys to tank ODS fire for an hour because your bombers can’t handle it, is a logistical nightmare and just miserable, not fun.
Defenders should have a way to defend themselves, but offenders should have a way to attack too. Take the planet above. Syntis have a fleet cap of under 100 fleets. In order to tank all of the ODS fire, use orbital bombers, and have some measure of protection for their fleets, they will be well above the fleet cap even assuming every other fleet is docked (which is not a reasonable assumption). The only way to take such a planet is to work with another player. Now, I’m in an alliance with Nizar (above), so we can tank together, but a system that is impossible for solo players is a system that should not be allowed. People can work together, but people should not be required to work together to take a planet.
There should immediately be a constraint placed on the number of ODS a planet can have to ensure it is within the limits that it is possible for a single player to take. Similarly, whenever resources can be allocated, the ODS system should be completely reworked and revamped. An effective assaulting system should not require a player to split a million single ship decoy fleets in order to take a planet. It’s tedious, boring, and makes no sense. It is nothing more than a player gaming the system as it is built, rather than an effective and reasonable way of taking a planet. Again, I leave discussion on what such a system would be to someone else, I’m just pointing out flaws.
I think I’ll leave it at that for this assault post, it’s long enough. Like I said though, a lot of this overlaps with defense by virtue of the topic, so I’ll leave defense discussions to that post, come check it out.
TL;DR: Assaulting is stupid. Defenders are too weak offline and too strong while online. Fleet docks have an unintended benefit that makes assaulting like watching paint dry, and the ODS system can be abused to the point that solo players have no chance of taking certain planets on their own. Immediate hotfixes are needed to ensure a temporary game balance can be maintained while long term reforms to the assault & defense system should be considered for the future when resources can be allocated.
If anyone has any thoughts or ideas on the subject feel free to comment below. This is part of my “Can we talk about this” series of forum posts. Feel free to check out the rest and share your thoughts!