Dev Diary #21 - Trade mechanics for fleets and planets


This is a little bit better, however as Syntis, my T2 corvette can also be a minelayer, not something I’d imagine many enemies would be happy to have running around at 4/9 speed, cloaked all over the place. It is my unique tech.



I fear alting will happen regardless of what you do…

  • In A2 the sheer work needed to manage the empire would not have left any time for an ALT, in fact it would of been counter productive.

  • A3 is capped so hard that early game you could be tempted to alt hard… If Alting is the only way to scale then that will happen… I hear a relaxation in coming… then after 3 months ask how much time they spend in game… (metrics are the key… cant measure cant manage… so open it up in stages and ask everyone, how long do they play, did they have enough time each day)

  • advantage for the micro manager, if a player can spend an extra hour per day optimising trade routes, mine laying auto, planet builds and gain a small advantage then that may persuade some not to alt…

  • Alting is about scale… so the game cant be overly about resources derived from planets… resources from mining helps remove that a little. Though if a player cant make enough themselves they will Alt… So to resolve this being able to remote mine a planet by ships would be part of that solution… so it should be by fleet power, so fully maxed out fleet with remote miners should not be able to take off more than 250 per hour or random resource… Though 10 fleets would get 2500 per hour of random resources… random in that you would resource based on the concentration.

  • consider making auto building dumber. Alts will take 30 planets and auto it to death… no need to log in after day 1… you will just go raid them… So build to T1 only… no upgrades…

Things to be cautious about and have a very clear policy.

  • Sharing accounts… while on holiday a player gives their details to a friend to look after it…
    Is it against the ToS? Can a player freeze their account while in the sun?

  • accessing an account at work and at home, I know for sure my work IP address is almost 200 miles away (due to managed BT service) from where my registered home IP address is…

How do you tell the two apart… allow a 200 mile limit…

Do I not tell my work colleagues about the game for fear the game detective thinks I’m alting with 2 accounts?

Alters will say yeah my wife plays too, and rover… so 3 legitimate players… well rover is the dog but how do you know? gotta be really specific on the lie detector test…

I would say as you’ve already said… design to mitigate it but its a war you’re not gonna win without every tweet you send out… either saying “you stole my account”, “get rid of the alts”…

Keep everyone busy will keep a lot of alting at bay… but never all of it…



I really feel like some kind of exponentionally runaway affect is necessary. My vals are not particularly useful to anyone so why should they be banned from having 2 fleets of them while many corvettes have their own eye poping value. If each traded ship added to fleet count at a rate of 1.5^X rounded down for every ship (with vettes having a greater value) meaning having 1 of another race’s battleship in your fleet would make that fleet count for 2, each player would have to seriously take into consideration what they were getting. Adding a tooltip that fully displays the formula may help here. I feel that making ships havr a maintenance cost of credits instead of having the hard caps we do now would make more sense and would probably be easier to add in this feature.

I’m not sure I like my own idea, but its the concept that I do want. Any 1 ship from another race isnt going to break the game, but I do feel like this exponential affect combined with a number assigned to each ship that contributes to X is too complicated to be a single thing to add (I want simple rules that come together to develop a complicated game, not complicated rules). This might be more simple if the rule is defined in vague terms and then explained to the player as they accept more ships (just some blurb that says this ship will cost you X).

Possibly the best idea might be a foreign device counter (or if you can come up with a better name) where instead of the exponentially increasing calculation, X of each traded ship is just added and each race can acquire a different number based on their own race’s strength. Each race can have a different value for x, for example if a race has poor ships all around, maybe they can handle a higher X but ships with larger flagship numbers cost more and races that have strong battleships can acquire other battleships at minimal cost. When bringing up a design of the ship, players can mouse over a tooltip to see the value per race.



I hope you didn’t mean this as it is written. “money”? or are you referring to credits. They already cost credits and resources, so I don’t know what you are getting at here.



Credits as a maintenance cost, I’ll fix it.



I initially made 1 corvette with sweeper module (but it could of been a cloaker) and put a minelayer on it… so I lost a shield or fuel… I made like 20 of these… and then went to war and cursed myself so hard…

the benefit is there for sure… but so is the trade off… and thats what I love about it…

So to cloak is err 800 fuel and you deploy the minefield, so 1 hour uncloaked and 800 more to re-cloak… ok so at warp 9, with your cloak detector on… the window is around 1 hr 45 minutes in which you can sleep… sleep in and your dreadnoughts are gone… @Belisarius was 6 minutes from vapourising my Dreads… but I set the alarm and when you’re playing at that level… boy you wake up…

I think Belisarius would agree that Warp 9 is rather fast for that scenario… and his excellent rebalance of engines is worth a read… So TL;DR there is corvettes down to warp 8. So you still dont like minelayer on there… ok…

Currently I can make a corvette cloaker with no minelayer, hook up a frigate and 2 freighters… both with 7:1 engines and load of fuel… and do the same tactic… so it takes me a little longer… but really not by much… 20 minutes more? so set your alarm for 2hrs 5 minutes… and each race can do that…

So the real benefit for Syntis with minelayer on corvette is 20 minutes… I understand why you think its OP but its really not…



Depends on where you are having the mining war. Emarel and I are currently involved in a mining war, no one is playing on home turf, for whatever reason, this is the war at hand. So a 7/1 engine wouldn’t be useful to the person laying the mines, they already are using their cloaking vette, a minelayer frigate, a cruiser or two, then a couple of freighters for fuel supply. So they are using 5/3 engines of course.



I believe we disagree mostly in semantics, you want a trade window, I dont feel that is necessary at this point.

No mysterious force necessary, if 2 large alliances are going to fight, you do not need to take planets in the first few hits. A surprise attack vs any player with the only goal to annihilate enemy fleets can be completed in a single night, albeit difficult. Do this enough times to a single alliance and they arent much of a threat.

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A couple of things:

I 100% disagree with people having the ability to trade ships of multiple races, it completely removes the reasons for playing races past role playing. As a matter of fact we need more changes to make the various races more different.

I happen to like the idea of trading ships with the same Civ, because it means that you can help reinforce those around you. It also means that if I have to leave for an extended period of time, I can hand over ships and planets to someone else to manage for me while I am gone. No need to have a “vacation” mode.

I also like the idea of handing planets to people, this really helps in situations where you are trying to work out peace treaties, borders, and diplomacy in general.

I also don’t really agree as much with everyone about limiting things just because people don’t like alliances. They are inevitable, and if we didn’t have any alliance features at all, that won’t matter, because people will still form alliances, even massive alliances.

I also disagree with people saying that there isn’t to help out new players. By giving new players extra ships it will help keep them in game longer, it will help the community out as well. Also, its a good recruiting tool, fly in a ton of transports, freighters, and T1 ships and hand out small fleets around to a new area with new people, and talk to them about your group. At the least you are helping them, at the best you are making friends and allies.

Now, besides “GIFTING” things to people, there is something else that hasn’t been discussed: A Market Feature.

If you had a market feature where we could sell things for credits and resources, this would be a really really really good thing.

Also, IF EVERYONE really wants to have access to other race ships, then the best way to do that is:

  1. The ships have to be ship hulls with nothing more than engines and basic radars.
  2. The ships will be assigned the exact same flagship values as their racial counterparts.
  3. Racial penalty

This means that you can’t use other races special techs, and leaves the door open for races to have a lot of special tech/modules so that they are still individuals. This also means that you can use flagship levels more for balancing than you have now, that way each race still has some limitations. Finally, if you use another race’s ships, there is a penalty involved, your race can’t utilize their ships as well as they can.

This will open up a giant market for ship trades, either through gifting, or through a Trade Market system.



I do not want to limit this because of alliances, I want to limit this because, as synthis, you can make a new account, queue fleet cap research, and in 205.1 hours (just over 8.5 days) have a fleet cap of 42. therefore your actual maximum fleet size is really determined by how many accounts you want to make.

Simply put, trading needs to be as limited or more limited than an individual player to prevent abuse.

If this was A2, with no fleet or planet cap, this would be pointless. With the limits we have right now, this can cause massive issues.

Aside from this point, I more or less agree with you @Cheatle



I, personally, don’t like the fleet cap system.

They have the game setup in a way that it will be encouraged to have alts as it is.

If they switched back to an upkeep system, I believe that would make a huge difference.



If this is limited to T1 and T2 then it allows it to have an effect early game but not after. If the larger race differences are in T3 or above then its impact is mitigated. What we have race wise is limited so far, we could have better Frigates and destroyers that fall into T3+ tiers… This caveat helps the other 91.7% of your neighbours…

well only 8.33% of them

Do we help retain more new players with this or not?



Can everyone game expert in this thread give the update a chance?

New players spawn ages away from everyone anyway. Y’all acting like this is a crisis. Oh my my.



LOL! Agreed agreed! Mea Culpa!

I don’t think its a good use of DEV time as an idea and so forth but heck yeah lets give it a go. While the game is Alpha ALL things and changes are legit.




Actually, each race would have a different percentage.

And like I put forth, if they made changes to how the ships could be used, added in penalties, and fleet upkeep then it would be a different matter.

In general I don’t think that these features are going to help retain anyone that randomly spawns near you.

I don’t think that these are bad features, but to utilize them properly there are many other layers we need in game.

Beyond that, in general I don’t like the idea of watering down our races to the point they aren’t really choices. We all might as well play a single race, and they add tons more tiers to the game with all the various ship types from the 4 races we have plus tons of other special techs, put a few limits on how fast you can research, and make things like Shipyard and gateway techs wayyyy more expensive. This would effectively give people reasons to really focus on certain trees.



I was going solely off the fact they have 12 races and the distribution was even…

It could even be only T1 ships… at least a T1 coloniser or destroyer would help. We could have T1 stats very similar across the board as to give no advantage… and it would strictly limit it to just helping a newbie…

Its just the retention thing I’m thinking about…

Penalties could be added later but I fear its complication and without heavy notifications/warnings it could be misleading…



I feel we should have a survey to see which mechanics the players at large are ok with. I know ive given a good number of individual mechanics and having so few devs, I dont want this coded and recoded 5 times but I can’t seem to create one on the forums.



Have you tried the “Build Poll” option?

Try that it might give you the options you need sir.

Very good idea BTW :slight_smile:

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I did not think to look there, thank you sir.



Re read this and thought: @Joe this is prime Wiki material!

Any chance you could be so kind as to give us the specifics and it could be added to the Pirate Page to provide a useful hint to newer players?