Minefields: Updated Proposal

Hi everyone,

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

Minelaying

  • 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

Minesweeping

  • 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

Config changes

  • 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.

13 Likes

Very interesting. Should be a massive improvement over the current situation. When can we expect it to roll out? Today is Tuesday, the 23rd.

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All being well, the changes in Part 1 will be in the patch released at the same time as the new galaxy launch this Sunday.

4 Likes

the idea for the “slow field” will that effect all non NAP player fleets?

Nope!

You are just trying to over complicate something you barely have any understanding of anyway.
I can see the implementation of this being a total mess.

Just cap each player to 5 active minefields. Bingo, fixed, easy…

Minelaying at 8 hrs and 4 hrs are worthless for tactical purposes. If you reduce the times back to A2 levels maybe. 1 hr for T2 and appropriate changes to sweeping to match this maybe.

I’m sure this will make some happy. I’ll just not bother, they are basically useless under this configuration for now.

Any non-friendly fleet, yes. Unless there’s a reason not to?

Those times of 8hrs and 4hrs are part of the config changes we would make now, to improve the situation quickly (Part 1).

Changing the role of minefields and then reducing those times further were mentioned in Part 2, which would come after, along with the new mechanic for defense.

2 Likes

i see no reason to effect allied fleets i was hopeing that would be the case (that they arnt affected)

The warp interdiction field idea in Part 2 is indeed interestnig. As long as we can see what area it covers.

Mine changes is a good step in the right direction and i disagree with the person saying its overcomplicated. As long as its mechanically sound we can always adjust the times for dropping mines etc in a future balance pass if needed.

2 Likes

ohh @joe will there be a way to “turn off” the slow field? like the toggle we have for cloak or sweeping

Can you lay mines on top of the interdiction field?

from what i read i see no reason not to be able to

I have never understood the reasoning behind T1 minelaying taking so much longer than T2 and T3 deployments. Let’s face it, babysitting anything in a game for 8+hours stretches ones commitment to ‘playing a game’. T2 and T3 minefields get a huge increase in bang for the buck. Why penalize lower tech level players the extra 4 hours? Removing the 4 hour penalty would be an incremental change that benefits early gameplay and newer positions starting in already developed games.

Same don’t understand why there’s only 2 tech levels for sweeping. Having T3 sweepers to aspire to offers a little more tech differentiation. So sweeper rates would have 4 flavors: degraded sweep rate, nominal rate, enhanced rate, and super duper rate. Then sweep vs deployed minefields of higher TL =degraded rate, sweep vs. same TL field =nominal rate, sweep vs. a field 1 TL below sweeper =enhanced rate, sweep vs. field 2 TLs below =super duper rate.

The proposed rules changes would accommodate this scheme easily with highest TL sweeper assigned as the priority sweeper.

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And if they wanted to get really fancy, they could give different mine layers and mine sweepers different names. Power Minelayer (T2) vs. Power Minelayer (T3), and Mine Sweeper (T1) vs. Mine Sweeper (T2).

I think I’d prefer a sequence like Minelayer for Dummies (T1), Minelayer for Power Users (T2) and Mega Minelayer for Masters of the Universe (T3) :sunglasses:

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If you add a interdiction field to slow people to warp one as well as add in strong AI defensive fleets you create a trap option if you can power off the building that charges the field. The field really needs to be on 100% of the time regardless of power on the planet and visable to players.

Also feel it should affect all fleets, owned, friend, pirate and foe with one exception.

Add in a small recon craft that is immune to the field for scouting interdiction fields. Warp 4 only, no weapons, limited view range and flag one.

So you want to make all systems with colonies in them and defenses visible from how far away? No.

And you want to trap all fleets, so automated cargo fleets… no. We just got those, even if they still have some flaws.

Combat fleets, as defined by whatever measure, maybe, but they’re still supposed to be defensive fields. You’d add hours to any possible response times to anything near one of these systems. Ugh.

As for recon crafts, that’s just going to make a bigger mess out of the already irritating fleet limits, and not just for Syntis.

There needs to be a cost for turtles as we don’t want this at every planet. And if IDA ever gets wormholes done they can setup automaton in and out via those.
Recon craft could be built like a drop pod on site for scouting and have a life timer. Just have farsu on hand.

Mines on top of interdiction effectively ends any cloaked infiltration of systems.

true and honestly i am both annoyed by that idea and happy about it as the same time