Corruption Redux

It looks like there has been a bit said about corruption on previous forum posts. From what I can tell these posts are old and mostly relate to a previous universe than the one I play in. It does seem like corruption has been softened since the earlier versions. Having said that, I still feel that corruption is still far too harsh of a limitation.

It seems to me that this game plays a lot like a 4x game. Right now the universe is still early and I think a lot of us are just trying to expand our borders. At some point we will run out of space and that will be when the war element begins. The problem is that with the way corruption in set right now, if I colonize a bunch of planets, then if anybody attacks me, I would be unable to retaliate because I would not be able to handle the corruption penalty from taking their planets. Even in this early part of the game it is posing a problem in that I have found and colonized a number of planets, and am now at a point where I have colony ships sitting idle while I build more entertainment facilities. Even then, I will probably have to stop growing for a while because building nothing but morale structures is a great way to get decimated.

My other problem deals with taking corruption to the logical extreme. If I am correct in that this is a game of domination, then the point of the game is to grow as you defeat your enemies. I did some quick math, and realized that if I built 100 level three entertainment facilities on every planet, I could only build an empire that was roughly 300 planets large. In reality, that number would be smaller because other structures have morale penalties as well. Given time and enough population, you could potentially double this, but only in a universe with one player; you will still need to build defenses and other resource structures to compete and grow.

I believe that this game has several thousand planets in it. Given the high corruption cost, I could only conquer 300 at most. That does not seem like domination to me. Beyond that, it also tells me that once a player has somehow hit 75-100 planets, they should probably quit because they won’t really be able to grow any more.

I acknowledge that getting even 50 planets is a big deal, and that attempting to conquer even 100 players would likely take a tremendous amount of time. That is not my point; my point is that if there is a limit to growth, then I have to wonder if there is a point to such a game?

I also acknowledge that free and unfettered growth in this game could pose its own problems; in particular that those who started earlier would have an unassailable advantage. So there must be some balance. In previous topics there has been offered various suggestions, and some of them I thought were fairly good. In my opinion I would begin with the following ideas:

  1. corruption is not universal, they apply to individual planets
  2. Corruption is a function of distance from your home world. The farther away, the costlier the corruption
  3. Distance is measured in systems. In other words, all planets in the same system would have the same corruption, and that corruption would be calculated by how many other systems rest between it and your home world.
  4. Corruption is calculated in units of 0.01. Not the current 0.1
  5. Create tech that opens up building which can directly counteract corruption. For example, the base morale boost of entertainment centers is 0.1. You could create a building (like the CIA) which would offer a base of 0.3 or more, but that morale boost could only be applied to corruption.
  6. The synths get a tech line for morale of the organics they conquer. The morale boosts are worse than the organic techs, but they do not suffer from corruption at all. In this fashion, they can still build structures like mines, and have to balance efficiency with the primitive idea of happiness.

Those are my best ideas so far. This line of thought could also lead to other elements in the game. For example, you could also create espionage type tech which could be used as a weapon against other players to increase their corruption. Things like information warfare, or bribery.

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Preamble (since many hate the limits in the first place) I’ve long been a fan of soft caps, but I also believe caps are important. The endless sprawl that was A2 is unsustainable in a large, long running galaxy. I view corruption and syntis caps as a necessary evil.

This is a really sound idea from a growth limiting perspective. The issue I see is that it makes forward bases or any other empire that is spread far and wide more difficult to manage. Also, if something like this were to be implemented we’d need a way to move our “homeworld” designation. (which in and of itself isn’t a bad thing.

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Could allow players to outright build a tier three ODS on another planet after the original is disassembled. This could be used to designate where a players home world is located. Though if distance was a factor in corruption that could be a costly decision.

One of the best first posts I have seen in a while, Bravo!

Yeah this is tough one, and the lines of contention are pretty firmly drawn between the “No Corruption!” folks and the “Change corruption to…” folks (I’m with the latter) But your initial analysis is well made, if I may, let me look at it point by point.

Nice idea, I cant recall that coming up before (may have done but my memory aint what it once was lol!) Were you thinking of older planets being more susceptible or the newer being rife with corruption. I could see a case for either but I’d like to hear more of your reasoning here first please.

Yes this has come up a few times. And has merit reminding me of Peirs Anthonys concept of “Spherical regression” from his “Vicinity Cluster Series books” Its a decent idea and self limits over expansion by conquest to a good degree. Still the devils in the details so whats a good mechanic for it? I seem to recall using sensor ranges from the Capital system got suggested at one point?

Very interesting. Bringing corruption to a system level. Yeah I like that a lot. Would encourage us to colonise the slightly less desirable worlds in our core areas over cherry picking our neighbours except in specific cases. Problem I see is it could put a brake on mid to late game desire for wars of expansion if not balanced right.

Sure. I presume it would start earlier than 14 planets (Or whatever racial threshold are) then?

Pretty sure this will come at some point. Problem could come with the super spamming of these buildings by already powerful players allowing for near unlimited expansion again :frowning: I hope any such building will be limited to one per Planet and eventually the expanding corruption amount would over take the offset provided otherwise we’ll get a snowball effect again.

Gonna pass on the Syntis comments as I am not very experienced with that races specifics.

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Coming from playing the Syntis, which lack corruption but have a hard limit on planets (they can never own 50 planets, much less 300) I think you just have to revise your concept of what planets are for and how we should use them. And maybe the game could stand to help us to that end.

How I think it should work:

  • You want to have about 25 “core empire” worlds. These are your population centers for taxes, research and shipyards.
  • You want to have probably 5-10 “forward operating bases”. These are planets you take in enemy territory and don’t really develop them except as troop production centers. Once they are too far away from the front line to really be convenient, you abandon them.
  • You want probably 5-10 “strip mining bases”. These are planets you take, mine them up as fast as you can and then abandon.

So you would never have 300 planets. You would have 30-50 planets and a lot of, basically, dead hulks. You are pretty much going around and consuming the universe. Anyone invading the core worlds of an old empire would find a lot of perfectly nice, empty planets with 0 resources.

We might just want to think about what the game can do to help us out here. Maybe mining modules for ships should also work on planets (at some reduced rate). Maybe the way you strip mine a planet should be to park some miners in orbit and start shuttling the resources off so we don’t have to colonize it at all.

Maybe we need “academy modules” that will take any colonists available in a fleet and convert them to troops so that you don’t necessarily need those “troop production planets” on the front lines either.

Corruption and Syntis hard limits means the game is telling us to keep a lid on our planetary expansion but it would be nice if it gave us the tools to make that easier to do.

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Alpha two server had no caps and players had hundreds of planets and thousands of fleets of ships. The lag was bad…

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Good thoughts. See now we are getting to the meat of it. We could do with defining what the DEVs (or maybe its us the potential player base) consider the “Ideal empire”. Without an established “Norm” or expected “Norm” theory-crafting corruption is a bit unrealistic as we have not established where we want to go with the concepts logical conclusion. Some DEV guidance or player consensus of what would be a satisfying “Mature” space empire would be very helpful indeed I think!

I agree with you 24 or so Core worlds with maybe the same again as out posts or similar is probably what they thought was a good idea as hard caps and natural progression looks to top out at 45-50 worlds right now.

Problem with that is that I see it makes every world too precious after they have been heavily invested in. Too crippling if its lost to enemy action.

Basically we need to have some “empire hit points” we can lose, feel sore over, but still be left in a position to rally fight back and have a shot at retaking some of the lost worlds.

Far better would be to be able to make Mining out post worlds for example that we would settle on with the object to taking the Surface res and boogering off afterwards. I submit a world like that should be less subject to the corruption limits and represent a “prize” that two players could fight over and take/retake etc in some limited war that damaged but didn’t break either ones economies.

Trust me 300 planets aint happening. Even with full automation you can’t manage that with the current set up. But you are right an old empire should have its core and be surrounded but by all but dead hulks of strip-mined planets. Some means of slow but continuous regeneration is prolly gonna be needed long term for the rumoured persistent Galaxy (is that the “pro Game” alluded to in the redone Lobby screen I wonder?

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To me, this is the biggest argument in favor of keeping limits.corruption. Force players to choose planets. Colonization should be a decision, not an endlessly repetitive task.

In any situation where there’s a choice between simplification or strategic complexity I’m generally going with strategic complexity. Finding, colonizing, and maintaining the right balance of planets is strategic.

Here’s one of the ideas I proposed a while ago:

Basically, the idea is that as you expand you start to get diminishing returns. Planets produce less resources (losses to corruption, theft, red tape, etc). Eventually planet production slows to the point that adding planets results in a reduction in production. Players don’t have a hard cap where they either can’t add a planet or doing so would upset their empire. Instead, this becomes a strategic choice. You want that forward base? Are you willing to reduce income by 1%? 5%? 20%?

The other advantage here is that players could exceed the cap for short periods. If you’re in a war and you want to invade planets under the current system you’d need to abandon some of your own. With this system you can invade and hold the planets for a few days without having to drop anything. Resource production will take a hit, but that’s war for you.

-Edit: I’d also posted a similar formula for fleet limits. Basically, the same concept. The fleet limit is a guide, but it can be exceeded. However, exceeding the fleet limit means increased maintenance costs, and those costs scale exponentially based on how far over the target fleet number you go.

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You do make some good points.

However, as I told you in-game, corruption currently scales exponentially. So it would appear you haven’t even really started to experience it yet.

Once you get to 20 planets, you’ll see how it really works. And you’ll see why you’ll never get anywhere near 300 planets.

My first question is how worth it is this line of questions? What are the odds a player will even aqcuire 300 planets before hitting the galaxy victory conditions? In A2 and A3, we did not have any victory conditions, the skirmish galaxy did and lasted how long? A month thanks to pepe and zath “working together” :stuck_out_tongue: (I’m just playing, Zath was on vacation when pepe conquored him, they never worked together) but all it took was one large player overtaking 1 (if I recall properly) player.

My next question is, if this system is replaced, will the replacement truly be better? an outpost setup distantly with the purpose of assisting an ally in his defence would take much longer to make functional (if I understand it correctly) or just as long today with the small push back that highly active players will encouter less friction which presently allows those of us with 1 hour to play everyday to stand a fighting chance (happyworld and a few others).

Dont get me wrong, I am not saying I like the mechanic or that we shouldn’t discuss a new one, but as irritating and frustrating as it maybe, I dont think its as bad as we make it out to be.

What victory condition? I wasn’t aware of one in the pre-beta galaxy.

Pepe won the skirmish galaxy by cheating heavily. He was caught and reported over and over, and then continued his ways right into the pre-beta galaxy. And he’s so far ahead this time, again, that any fixes they make won’t change his position.

But, to their credit, they are fixing some of the things he’s been abusing, so there’s that.

300 planets is comical, given the a3 corruption settings capped most people around 25, and the current pre-beta ones get painful around 40? 45? I’m not sure, I only started up recently. As I said in my first response, Siofra hasn’t encountered corruption on the proper scale yet, they will soon enough.

Players have been presenting ideas on this subject since forever. The devs are at least listening, if not telling us what they think about it. Nothing wrong with giving them more ideas to consider.

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In a nutshell : THIS!

All we can do is chew stuff over. Hopefully the DEVS will pick out some of our ideas that they can integrate into the games framework.

For the record @Pepelekus & I never have worked together. No I don’t share the rabid dislike of him that some seem to but that snot the same thing as being allies as I think he’d agree.

Fact was I had discovered a little something and I believe one of my fleets gave him one of the very few bloody noses he got during his skirmish rampage, nothing more.

The scary thing about this test has always been how one person may have an idea or discover a borderline case and we then see the game fragment as they test that possible loophole.

But that I submit IS Alpha testing. The line is once you find a possible exploit/bug do you report it? If so then there’s no foul until the Devs tell you stahp! or Patch it then all you have is discovered the new Mega Meta.

The OP here has a fresh eye on the subject and while Teeo is probably right he hasn’t plumbed its full depths yet, I am glad for their insights. Besides if the Devs see new players roughly repeating stuff we’ve already said they might get the hint sooner :wink:

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I agree with everything you have said, I am only trying to widen the view of the community to also ponder what corruption does to as to not upset several other game processes that do currently work. As should be evident, a highly active player still has a significant advantage over a less active player and if removing corruption was part of the step to solve that issue to, id love to hear it, but I have heard too many times someone state they can’t afford someting right now so they will just put it on a credit card which makes me ask if they can afford it when the payment comes due. Far too many times I have heard, “I’ll worry about that next month.”

I thought I was clear enough, but I guess I wasn’t, it was indeed just a joke. I do not believe anyone thought the 2 of you worked toegther and I will amend my original post to make it more clear. My sincere apologies.

As far as pepe cheating goes, I wrote a novel on it and see no reason to add to it.

You’re entitled to your opinion, just as I’m allowed to disagree with it. One of the more egregious exploits that Pepe abused the hell out of this round was just fixed. Without getting into the details, it gave him a massive advantage that he will enjoy until the end of this round.

Thankfully I’m nowhere near him, so everyone who is can decide whether he was cheating or not. I’ll just continue to voice my opinion on the forums, and in-game when appropriate.

I think that’s how it’s supposed to work now and the tweak to invasion times in the patch may help with that.

What happened last week:

  • I show up with 200k troops and take your planet in about 2 hours. Then maybe I trash the place for cash.

What should happen:

  • I show up with 200k troops and the invasion takes so long that you have a full day to try and run me off and drop additional troops that will help you counter my invasion. My troops kill a lot of your dudes but you save the planet.

Slower invasion times may give a lot more back-and-forth action rather than just “I showed up and took your stuff”. Maybe they should even be slower still… and I do wish bombardment was more of a day 1 option, or at least an option that starts with the first frigate. Maybe with an “energy weapon” version that does very little building damage but is good for killing civilian populations. This would give us a way to stage attacks that hurt you but don’t necessarily result in my having all your planets and the fruits thereof.

Already in game my friend: here POP Damage but no buildings. Still needs to be balanced but there in principle :slight_smile:

Oh yes I saw the invasion time had got right up A good first step sure IF (and we do not actually know this) that troops added after the invasion would skew the odds. I’ve played a few games where it instantly calculated the success and then just took hours to tell you. Hopefully this is better built! But I don’t Know yet.

The extended time fro me is fine. It just makes the screaming seconds a Full fleet battle takes even more damn silly! However as pretty much every argument we can use for stretching out Planetary battles to my mind applies there as well.

But as ever I am now ludicrously OFF topic and shall shut up for a bit!

Actually this statement is not correct.
I overtake quite aa number of same race players: First was Happyworld, but he click reset before I takes his cats. Luckly other players didn’t same cheating move and gladly benefit me with a lot of population 1)Gunter_Huldan 2) Dantoys 3) SlayMoreDragons 4)COINOPS 5)and the last one was Zathabar. Hm… Rampage!

After eating ZZath I was too bored to continue playing so I decided to finish it and since I had about 80k-85k scores and all did to get 100k from that is to spent all my beron on planets to queue unnessasary buildings (which still giving scores)

To compare. Now I’m playing comparebly piecefull development and don’t even eat one Ripchee planet to increasy my population true military action. And still I had the same 80k-85k scores at the end of month (I can make 100k right now but it will cripple future plans so obviously I will not do such a thing)

And don’t forget this time around evo had only x5 growth rate. So u can see how great city centers are atm

The player above is of course pure and has never secumbed to any exploitation and cheating…

For those that are new… thats sarcasm for you!!!

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@Siofra

I am not sure how many planets you have, but about 40 ECs at T2 is around 140k beron, and 72k credits. This gives you a +8, if you are Organic you start with a +1, giving you a 9. This is enough to battle 100% taxes, massive infrastructure and like 40 planets.

This is roughly 136k personnel between all of the man power for the buildings and supporting power plants.

If all of these are eventually upgraded, that is another 4 points…which helps battle deepmining, and probably gives you some extra.

Corruption this time around, is heavily softened, compared to A3. Where I had a -3 at around 25 planets. Here, I have around a -1 at 25 planets.

So second, this game isn’t meant to a game where a single person dominates all others. There are roughly 700 planets every 100 LY sectors, for this galaxy that is around 70,000 planets…You are never going to be able to dominate that and control that on your own.

I understand what you mean, by there not being much of a reason to play after a certain point though.

  1. We have suggested this before.
  2. We have suggested this before.
  3. We have suggested this before.
  4. We have suggested this before.
  5. We have suggested this before.
  6. We have suggested this before.

I didn’t write that to be an asshole, but to highlight the fact that all of these ideas have been put forward before, and they weren’t even considered.

@Archo

DecidE, Ikke, and myself already posted a massive sprawling idea about how to fix the corruption system, as well as implementing a way for people to wanting to fight each other, with this very idea.

@Zathabar

yeah man all of these were heavily suggested, remember that crazy ass long post between DecidE, Ikke, and myself? Where we were posting pages and pages at each other? lol

@Slamz

Yep we have suggested all of that as well.

In general, everything in here has had entire threads dedicated to it, for them to do, and they still choose to use this particular method of corruption. I will make another post explaining the idea that got fleshed out, that tackles A LOT of what everyone in here has been discussing.

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We know it. I just hope the new players that post these ideas (again) are not put off by statements like that. Not your fault if they are mind you, IDA gotta carry that one for not either publicly considering the ideas and or communicating why not at this time.

And yeah I really Really REALLY do appreciate how limited their time is and how small the team is but still you gotta give us something please!

I didn’t write this they did:

We have three important community tenets which govern the way in which we work:

  1. Respect the Community .
  2. Value Community feedback .
  3. Build for the Community , not yourself, not another group of players you can’t identify.

Full article here: https://outscape.net/current-priorities-role-of-the-community/

Without some more roadmap posts I’m not feeling this especially point 3. Anyone else?