Can we talk about this? Defending and watching your empire vanish overnight

Defending and watching your empire vanish overnight.

This title probably resonates too well with a lot of people, and I’ll be guilty of admitting to doing this myself to others, although I’ve never personally had it happen to me. Whether I have or haven’t though, the reality is just as true for me as it is for the people I’ve killed, there is nothing stopping someone from wiping me out while I sleep and that is a fundamental problem.

One of the problems with the defensive system is the ability for an aggressor to come in while I’m offline and completely annihilate my empire, one planet at a time, before I can so much as respond to it. Consider this very real scenario. You go out to dinner for 2 hours, come back, and find that during that time someone has snuck into one of your planets with an orbital bombing fleet, has blown it up, and is currently waltzing home out of harm’s way.

I know this is possible, because I’ve done this, because the game is set up to make this one of the most cost-effective strategies in the game, and it certainly should not be possible. Unfortunately, unlike with assaulting, there is no quick and easy solution to this problem without a reform to the combat system itself.

In my assault post, I mention that fleet docks should launch all their fleets when all fleets have been destroyed in orbit, or an aggressor enters an undefended orbit. This is a potential short-term solution, as it will enable a defender to leave fleets in docks which can act as a defense and weaken an aggressor without counting towards the fleet cap, but it is by no means a long-term solution to the issue.

The reality is, that the system needs to be reformed. Defenders are simply too weak while offline, and aggressors can blow through defenses way too fast.

Unfortunately, although I have a lot of practice on offense, there are simply people more qualified on bringing up specific examples of these issues, and some solutions to them. Being a member of one of the largest alliances in the game, and a player that consistently places in the Top20 of leaderboards, I’m simply not often put in a position to experience these issues first-hand. I only hear about them from others or think about them in hindsight.

What I do believe I can safely say though, in part from my experience in offense, is that if a new system is implemented, it should engage in a siege mechanic that takes place over a minimum of 12-24hrs. During this period of invasion or orbital bombardment (or whatever new system replaces it), the person on offense needs some sort of protection for their fleets since they cannot be expected to watch that whole time, and the person on defense needs to be in a position to respond without being offered an overbearing advantage.

It’s by no means a simple problem for sure, but it is a problem none the less. I think I’ll leave most of the discussion on this to the comments section or to some of the dozens of previous posts that have discussed the issue. I just wanted to get a thread started on this while I was at the rest. I’ll just end off by saying, nobody, myself included, wants to wake up dead while they slept.

TL;DR: The defense system is just in need of reform. It shouldn’t be possible to wipe someone out while they slept.

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!

3 Likes

I think the most important question is what do you want it to look like and what hoops do you want the attacker to jump through to get to the ither side?

The ODS is a great early game short term mechanic but it fails in nearly every regard late game. IMO, the first thing that needs to happen is its functions should be split and other varieties of ODS be added in. A version that does 1k damage per volley but divides its damage to each ship in a fleet, or 10k damage but divides its damage to every ship of every fleet. These types of things are more difficult to cheese and make the attacker more vulnerable, without making the defense so powerful that assaults are worthless.

Follow this up with launching fleets from the fleet bay and a handful of other changes and I believe we are in a good spot.

I agree and in the long term I think the focus should change from planetary bombing/invasion to fleet vs fleet combat over resources so that you can have perpetual warfare over renewable resources instead of wiping people out and forcing them out of the game, likely due to them quitting.

If you look at the vast majority of MMOs out there, even Eve, there is no final victory nor defeat, only fighting over resources and territory with Empire space being the place where you can always retreat to. Outscape should imo be similar in this regard with zones where you build up and can get resources at low rate and if you want richer rewards, you go into the lawless space where there is higher rate of resource but also higher risk. I.e. higher risk and higher reward.

In short term the devs need to realise that people, most people, will not prioritize a computer game over real life such as job/school and health (sleep). So people need to sleep for about 8 hours and spend about 10 hour in job/school so at minimum invasion and bombing need to change to take 18 hours from the time of initiating it to the invasion concluding/bombs dropping.

That way people can react and bring their friends even to use fleets to fight over planets and not ODS which is really a poor mans solution for offline defense.

I was in the process of creating this, its not where I’d like it to be but noow is the time to get it out while we’re crying for help on a lot of topics

Introduction

Orbit defences – Require a certain number to become effective, to the uninitiated a few seem enough but not really. They are predictable and an expert can easily circumvent them thereby providing little or no protection.

Bombing is too lethal for the short deployment time, they also lead to catastrophic collapse of the planets functions below, this leads to the loss of a planet, a planet being something that each player puts a lot of time, resources and energy into, and its easy loss is something that a player at any level will find difficult to reconcile. It must be resilient even when a player is offline.

The time a player can spend online is proportional to progress, strength, longevity and many other attributes. The landscape needs levelling as much as is reasonable. We also go on holiday and this needs to be factored in somehow

Alliance mechanics are also lacking when it comes to a players protection, just being a chatroom is not sufficient. There needs to be notifications, imperative actions, a rallying cry

Below I offer a collection of ideas from other players, a few I’ve likely stolen and one or two of my own. It may feel that there are a lot of configurable options but this helps a player control their priorities and helps the game be less predictable.

Defence tiers

Guard zone

A projected radius around a system that emits a carrier wave identifying the owner within sensor range. Invisible to scanner range. It acts as a beacon/flag of ownership.

Features

  • 5 Tiers
  • Allows fleets to be assigned a defence role. 1 or more fleets will be dispatched to intercept ingress into the zone. A future stealth race may be designed to trigger the zone when it is 50% through it. Cloaked fleets are ignored. (configurable – number of fleets to dispatch per incident, match speeds)
  • Attacks initiated against that players assets in that region create an immediate declaration of war against them or their alliance. Alliance vs alliance declarations will initiate a press release to all players via notification. A cloaked ship attack will not activate any alerts.
  • Notification to player via app or email (configurable - once per 60 mins, each instance.
  • Notification to alliance (configurable - if total of enemy ships in guard zone > x, each incursion)
  • Tier 3 and above can prevent a minefield from being deployed (Guard zones can too easily be deployed by enemies as a way to disrupt, a defender may easily achieve level 3 but an abuser would need to commit resources and time to achieve level 3)

Warp field dampener

Disrupt enemy warp fields by directing cancelling waves at the fleet on approach…

Features

  • 5 Tiers. 1 – 5 reducing warp speed to by 1 – 5 warps… warp 1 being the minimum, warp 2 being the minimum for the avian race.
  • Allies and NAPs exempt.
  • Zone is not marked on the map however the owner can see its area of effect, which is the same as the guard zone.

Explosive Mine field dispersal

A minefield will be automatically deployed at a rate of x mines per 6 minutes through the whole zone. A zone is classified as requiring 10x mines to be 100% deployed. Mines can be swept by the enemy at a stacked rate… minesweepers will only sweep at full at a depth of 50% into a minefield, outside this the sweep rate is 10% of maximum. Mines are automatically manufactured by the orbital deployment facility and deployed with micro cloak devices that cannot be detected without specialist cloak detectors on mine sweepers.

Features

  • A building with 3 tiers
  • Tiers 1-3 increased rate of deployment.
  • Minefield is same radius as the guard zone.

Cannot be deployed if a speed trap minefield is deployed.

Speed trap mine field dispersal

A minefield will be automatically deployed at a rate of x mines per 6 minutes through the whole zone. A zone is classified as requiring 10x mines to be 100% deployed. Mines can be swept by the enemy at a stacked rate… minesweepers will only sweep at full at a depth of 50% into a minefield, outside this the sweep rate is 10% of maximum. Mines are automatically manufactured by the orbital deployment facility and deployed with micro cloak devices that cannot be detected without specialist cloak detectors on mine sweepers

Features

  • A building with 3 tiers
  • Tiers 1-3 increased rate of deployment.
  • Minefield is same radius as the guard zone.
  • triggered if the speed of the approaching ship is travelling greater than warp 3.
  • A triggered mine will inflict double the damage of normal mines on upto 5 ships in a fleet, if those 5 ships have olzine stored they will be catastrophically destroyed.

Cannot be deployed if an explosive minefield is deployed.

Planetary orbit

Defence satellites

A series of micro satellites that can assist in each battle

Features

  • 5 Tiers
  • tiers 1 to 5 giving the player 4 to 20 damage per second to each enemy ship.
  • Some races might do 50% hull and 50% shield damage
  • The satellites do not attack unless coordinated by the defender…

Defence co-ordinator

Ability to set options on how your orbit defence fleets operate.

Features

  • 1 tier building
  • Notification to player of incursion via app or email (configurable - once per 60 mins, each instance.
  • Notification to alliance if attacked (configurable - if total of enemy ships in orbit > x, each incursion)
  • Defence options – (configurable - highest attack fleet attacks first, or deploy highest docked fleet when defender destroyed, damaged fleets withdraw to dock and replaced with next highest, damaged fleets auto repair.

Dock

As per current dock.

Features

Auto deploy fleets as defence is eroded in orbit.

Planetary defence

Orbital cannon system

Orbital cannon system 1 protected building, 5 tiers, tier 5 activate only during truce (truce channels all power to the cannon, no other activity is possible, takes 1 day to activate and planet operates as normal until activate completes, cooldown 7 days, truce costs money, 1 free truce per galaxy), tier 4 activated if offline (comes into effect 2 hours after going offline.), tier 3 active if online.

Anti troop drop – take out 20/40/60/80/100 % dropped troops

Anti bombing – take out 20/40/60/80/100 % dropped bombs (damage per weapon reduced by 90%)

Anti LOSC bombing – take out 20/40/60/80/100 % dropped bombs (damage per weapon reduced by 90%)

Anti camping - Causes damage to all ships in a fleet in orbit 20/40/60/80/80 per ship per 5 minutes, targets bombers firing/troops dropping first, fairly weak and a hint not to hang around forever.

Player not aware of truce until first execution…

Building management during siege

War footing…

Non essential building are closed down during a siege if required when a player is offline

If power overloaded scanner, mines turned off (come back on when player comes online), build queue cancelled

Essential war footing buildings destroyed in bombing raids are rebuilt at the normal rate, current build queue is cancelled. (configurable options to not rebuild, reinstate previous build queue, give alliance leaders permission to manage rebuild (can only pause build queue and rebuild destroyed buildings

Resource permitting.

Military bases

Tiers 1 to 5. Same as now but tier 4 and 5 increase training rate.

Player should balance their pop growth with troop train speed for optimal defence.

Other ideas,

Attacking

Biological warfare, bomb mechanics but with virus, reduces growth rates for 24 hours, subsequent hits can turn them negative, causes happiness penalty -1 for 24 hours due to “lockdowns”.

Chemical warfare, bomb with chemicals that can degrade infrastructure disabling a building for 24 hours…

Cyber Attack, bomb with nanobots that can degrade cause shutdowns, disabling a buildings for 24 hours… reducing growth rates, nullify tax rate, cancel build orders…

Each race can be targeted generically or specifically…

2 Likes

Maybe I missed it, what exactly is a truce and I assume based on what I am reading that its different from just going offline?

Also, how would you assault a planet with a lvl5 OCS? Sounds like the planet is made invincible.

Yep level 5, this allows the player to have the planets that have level 5 ODS become immune to attack when they activate “truce” I think this was from another game and my mind sees this as a “truce” in fact what is happening is the player has paused their account, they have gone on holiday or need a “break” from the game… so only planets with a level 5 are protected… you cant just go “oh I’m being attacked” need this to go away… if you dont have level 5 and it will be expensive… then that planet wont be protected.

This is an extreme measure where players cant just drop in and out of “truce” it has cooldowns and the planet will not advance, generate resources, grow population, anything… but with ods 5 you’re not be able to kill it either…