Last week we proposed changes to minefields and have received more feedback on the topic since. The discussion has split across multiple threads and it’s difficult to follow. But we have an updated proposal and are really keen to make improvements quickly.
Part 1 - Immediate changes
- Remove the recently added restrictions for overlapping minefields
- If a fleet passes through an area covered by more than one minefield only the strongest minefield is taken into account
- Minelaying is blocked/cancelled if a minesweeper is active in the minefield’s zone
- The lay minefield button is disabled if a minesweeper is already active
- Minelaying is cancelled - with a notification - if a minesweeper activates while the minefield is being laid
- Remove the recently added block on activating a minesweeper if another active minesweeper is too close
- When more than one active minesweeper is in a minefield at the same time only the strongest minesweeper sweeps the minefield - but other active fleets avoid damage
- When an active minesweeper is in multiple minefields it sweeps all of them at the same time - it doesn’t sweep one at a time or divide its sweeping power
- Fix any issues with wrong minesweeping times that have been reported
- Minelaying: T1: 8 hours, T2: 4 hours, T3: 4 hours (no changes)
- Minesweeping (density swept per hour): T1: 4 hours, T2: 2 hours
The v114 patch (current version) attempted to reduce minefield spam by removing stacked behaviour e.g. minefields couldn’t be laid on top of each other, one active sweeper at a time. But even with refinements this approach probably wouldn’t work well.
Instead, the above changes would remove the unbalanced advantages gained by stacking minefields. A fleet moving through overlapping minefields can only be affected by 1 of them. And a minesweeper can sweep them all as quickly as it would sweep 1 minefield.
These changes also partially address the attrition of mine warfare. Because additional minefields can’t be laid while an active minesweeper is present.
Part 2 - Further changes to follow
Although the above changes should quickly improve the situation with minefields, we agree with the feedback that alternative mechanics would be better suited for defense and think the scope of minefields should change.
New mechanics for defense
For example, a planetary structure that generates a field around a system and limits fleets within it to Warp 1, taking them hours to cross, and giving an offline player more time to respond to a pending attack.
Change the role of minefields
Reduce minefield laying and sweeping times to define their role as a tactical weapon and a way to lay traps, rather than something expected to provide a defensive barrier while you’re offline (which they don’t do a good enough job of anyway).
We can dive deeper into the changes in Part 2 later, for now we just wanted to outline what we envisaged to follow the changes in Part 1.
We appreciate that not all of you will entirely agree with this proposal, we’ve seen a lot of different opinions in the community on this topic. But we hope that for most of you the changes will be positive.