Recommendation on the Starting Planet size by Civ for both Consistency between Players and usefulness of the HW planet

It has been discussed several times, in multiple Alpha tests and now in Pre-Beta about the inconsistency between starting Homeworlds and Homeworld systems. I thought that Pre-Beta was going to be much better than A3, but that has not proved to be the case from everything I’ve seen, including my own start (yet again lol). I initially planned to reset, but I decided to accept the dice that was thrown and deal with it. This post will dead with 3 issues regarding the “start” of each player’s game in the permanent and persistent Outscape galaxy. (off shoots like skirmish or special galaxies could be designed differently)

  1. Consistency - every player should have a somewhat equal starting homeworld system, along with a reasonable number of systems that could be colonized within the first week of gameplay. As it is now, from what I’ve seen, the actual Homeworld itself could range from 7k km to as high as 22k km in size, without regard to which civ is receiving the homeworld. Obviously the person who received a Homeworld of 22k km size is set for the entire game with the ability to fully develop that planet for both ship building and the ability to defend one’s self. However the person receiving the 7k km size, will be lucky to get a T2 SY and if lucky barely able to defend it, with only a T3 Orbital and a few military bases. So this planet is not likely to be considered a permanent home for very long. (will get on to some thoughts regarding this towards the end).

I did an analysis of the “perfect” world by civ, containing both the starting structures, plus what would be necessary to be built/upgraded on the planet to both have at least a T3 SY plus the ability to defend itself adequately against an assault. For the sake of balance, I considered the multiplier for each civ when determining the ideal minimum size for each civ’s starting Homeworld.

Syntis - 15.5k km
Ripchee - 21.5k km
Mankind - 19.5k km
People’s Realm - 19.5k km

The above numbers approximate the size necessary to add the following to the initial structures found on the Homeworld when you begin the game, resulting in close to a 725k-732k max population available for each civ. This population will allow the player to add the following structures to their planet if they chose to distribute the structures in the following fashion:

Starting structures include (2) mines, (1) Scanner, (1) T3 Orbital Defense System, (1) T1 SY, (5) City Centers, (10) Military Bases and the starting Power Stations to power them all with a slight excess of power.

Additional Structures Supported would allow the addition of up to (48) additional mines (total of 10 ea distributed at player choice), (43) military bases, (2) Research Labs, (1) Transporter, (1) SY Upgrade to T3, plus farms and power stations to support this.

For flexibility of the homeworld’s planetary use, I’m not opposed to allowing the Homeworld system to be up to the maximum I have seen of around 23k km in size, but NEVER lower than the mimimum, based on civ. This would put all systems on parity with all other homeworld systems during early to mid-game, if the player develops them according to their minimal needs. No I did not take into account the civ’s need for Entertainment Centers for the longer game, how they are added and distributed by planet will be in the “cushion” of population provided at the starting maximum population. Some improvement in the utilization of the workforce can be found in the labor shortage allowance, which will help to support additional Entertainment Centers for organic civ’s.

In late game, a player may choose to expand their available max population on a Homeworld by “sharing” the planet with a complimentary civ, and then would be allowed to expand it up to a T4 SY, which requires substantially more population and power than the initial homeworld size would allow.

  1. Availability of an adequate number of systems to explore during early game. Currently there is quite a disparity between the number of “visible” systems that are explorable in early game. It could be as few as “1” to as many as “20” or more, without ever leaving your homeworld system, though size and content of these systems may be unknown.

a. I believe a fair middle ground should be a minimum of 10 systems in visible scanner range and no more than the 20, with most of the additional 10 at a far distance and likely occupied by another player.

b. There should be at least 1 system within reach and size of the system (number of planets) visible at the homeworlds T1 sensor range and always unoccupied by another player or native. Of the 10 in scanner range, there should be 2 systems containing natives, one of which I believe should be very complimentary with the homeworld’s civ and the 2nd a useful but potentially challenging native for the startup’s civ to co-exist with.

From what I have heard the distribution of planets within the HW system is much better than in past start ups, both in size and resources available to utilize for making another 1-2 colonies inside the HW system, so I’m suggesting no change in this.

I justify all of the above with the belief that this will bring balance between all start up worlds and the potential for the HW system to contain a T4 SY if prepared properly, though would likely require the addition of a 2nd civ to the planet in order to do so. A somewhat more favorable condition for members of an alliance, but not excluding the possibility of a lone player having the ability to achieve the same.

Thoughts everyone?

Make all homeworlds equally mediocre. This will help resolve the problem of getting a huge boost because your neighbors quit early (possibly because your neighbors were alt accounts set up specifically for this purpose).

I also frown on giving homeworlds advanced tech. I would rather give them larger numbers of basic tech. This should give them a decent defense without giving them anything super special (if you simply dissolve your T3 defense, you can pick up 50,000 gold at a time when that might make a big difference in pushing out the ships you need. Sure you’ll lose a great asset but you might be so far ahead of your neighbors that you won’t need it.)

So yeah, I would balance it, but I would do so by giving everyone a weak start. Push out quick or perish! I also think offensive techs should unlock sooner, or even have rudimentary versions available at the start, to encourage early fighting (e.g. bombing, invading, which has to be unlocked).

I have no issue with making them EQUALLY mediocre. Prepare the same analysis for a max T2 SY instead then. T3 isn’t top tech. T4 is. I don’t care just as long as they are all equally bad.

If they make them all mediocre, then there is no need for a T3 orbital defense, since the planet would basically be useless anyways. That IS the only useful thing on so many of these homeworlds to begin with. Everything else can be built.

Really wish they would have based the map on more of a grid system and we had a starting grid location with several systems per grid no one else starts in. Want control of a new grid you have to take over the pirate homeworld controlling it. I’d rather have grid caps then planet caps for better area control.

My original recommendation, which is “similar” to the pre-beta implementation had the spawning occurring within “sectors” of the galaxy, filling each sector to 75%, then moving to the next one as it spirals around. With it now, they are plopping people into certain “areas” somewhat randomly based on when they enter, with clusters of people in the same general area depending on when they enter the game for the first time. If they stuck to a single “sector” until it was at 75%, before moving on it wouldn’t be an issue (with expanse areas) between sectors. (the 75% was so “if” alliance features ever allowed it, people could “choose” which sector as an override to the system generated location).

The issue “within” sectors and as it is now, is to insure people aren’t spawning homeworlds right next to the expanse, which is seeming to happen often. They should be a certain amount of distance from the “expanse” with viable systems surrounding them with a obvious “ending” where the “expanse” begins.

This is my sole point of (slight) disagreement. While I agree it is better than it was its still not level enough for my tastes. So if some attention was also made to explaining that the benefits “In Toto” of your starter system were the equivalent of every other players, I think it would provide a better experience.

What I mean is that the Homeworlds could be touch smaller than the ideals you lay out IF: there was a guaranteed secondary colonisable world in system for example. In Alpha 2 my homeworld has a second planet with a secondary Pop of Humans on it which game me a tremendous boost as well as a third marginal world that I turned eventually into a limbalt factory.

Maybe I’m just ramping the problem up to the next level (Interplanetary) and that’s a slippery slope… Hmm I dunno, Potaytoe Potahtoe…

Offer a solution then… And do the analysis like I did.

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I agree with your assessment but to balance the size should be around 14K-16K for all races. It should not be the best but it should be viable to reach a T4 on your homeworld and still retain mines and scanner… resources should be randomised above 40% so that its not a given you found a players homeworld if you see 60% on most…

second worlds in a system are also important… and should have similar viability for the player race…

I would like to see some 30-50K diameter worlds too… but bar these from home system spawns. and limit to less than 1 in 1000 planets… (no planet is uncrackable given a planet can be stormed by 100 fleets to absorb damage of the ODS while bombers drop their ordnance)

I ran the numbers in order to come up with these sizes. They all result in the same ultimate max population. So they are balanced IF they all build the basic structures I described and with no 2nd civ, cannot upgrade to a T4 SY AND adequately defend the planet.

I’m happy to share my spreadsheet with you if you want to see if I made any errors.

@Puma Yeah dont mind a look at that… and I guess organics do need extra buildings… though since every planet will be swapped to give a dual pop… syntis would need medicinal and bio-farms… so maybe thats something to add… but I’m open to look at your sheet.

I didn’t consider EC’s specifically, but considered them as part of the allowable labor shortage. And syntis are a little limited there since they can’t upgrade their EC’s

Very well, I cant see any fault in your planetary stats so for brevity’s sake for the starter systems might I further suggest:

  • Each system have 7 planets exactly
  • One would be a good fit for the Player race to colonise right away. Not perfect (IE has two “Missing” resources but decent densities of the three it does have (65%+)
  • One would be a difficult colonisation task but not impossible. Ideal this should have Beron and the the two “Missing Resources” from the good planet above. Again at nice Levels Suggest Be 50% or less and the other two 75%. This is to teach how to get a slightly harder world with the right Tech
  • One “Hot” world 100c away from the top Survivable temp of that player race + with Beron & another res @ 90% Hard to get but not impossible by mid game with an effort.
  • One “Cold” world otherwise similar to the preceding.
  • One world should have a small colony of NPC Humans on it. So to show an example of a Minor race. I deliberately choose Humans so that Human players get a slight buff on Pop by this and everyone else gets an in system lesson on secondary populations. Apart from a Bit of Beron (<30%) this world should be always a marginal one maybe one other resource (suggest Olzine) at a usable 50% or so?
  • One utter Dud of a world negligible depositories of anything and very Hot or Cold to Boot! This is a deliberate warning to the new player that some planets just Aint worth spending time on.
  • Two Asteroid belts, One Farsu one Zyril these can vary slightly ( I suggest 60/40% Fs to Zy) but their total resource deposit is included in the below:
  • Total Resource count for the whole system should always add up to the same amounts It may be spread on the different worlds and Asteroid fields but everyone gets the same agreed on amount. No I don’t know what that is I leave exact number crunching to those far better at it that I. Just so long as everyone knows you start with the same total resource then all players can see its roughly fair.
  • Edit add on: Oh and I meant to say the total Density count for the whole system would need to equal out as well to be strictly fair as well as total Res count. Might make home-world generation a bit of a server nightmare in terms of processing but I say better than that the random stuff we have now?

Hows that for an opener? Will give it some deeper thought if others see any merit in the basic suggestions?

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Well, I agree so much with this :smiley:

What about only “first days”? Because I think in a crowded area a viable way to expand would be to conquer instead of colinising. Also I think in such areas different races would colonise different planets inside the same systems and duke it out later for control of the whole system. Syntis / ripchee / humans have different requirements, maybe avoiding putting two people of the same race very close could do the trick?

Mine is 6338km, with beron at 61% as it’s best mineral, I claim the “Unluckiest guy in Galaxy” award, unless someone had worst than this :smiley:

combined with :

That’s a difficult choice, with pros and cons everywhere… The goal of the homeworld is to be a “safespot” which cannot be taken out too fast, in order for the player to be able to try to compete for the area and not be instantly destroyed by player C is he is fighting player B.

If HWs are very good, as the number of possible planets owned is limited, then big players will collect HWs specifically. I was shocked to see that you can keep the T3 gun when you conquer a HW, this thing has such a huge value!

If HWs are very bad, you will not keep it when reaching the number of planet’s limit, trading it for a better planet. Weaker HWs also mean that your “carebear” lands are much less efficient, so you depend a lot more on what happens elsewhere, as you cannot turtle as much.

I’d say that if your start really sucks (not talking about the HW but the other parameters), like if you spawned in the middle of an alliance and they are going to kill you anyway, a weaker HW makes the player realise faster that he is doomed and should reset to try another location. A bigger HW would be harder to take, thus keeping the victim in a difficult and not enjoyable position for a longer time.

So I’d go with Slamz on this subject : let the players kill themselves fast to control territory. However avoiding the players who lose the intial fights to completly quit the game is a tricky thing, it’s the “reset” conditions and a whole different topic we should not discuss here but somewhere else. Puma? :smiley:

If you take a “death is not the end” approach, you can greatly increase player’s density as many would die and be pushed somewhere else, where they would face opponents relatively more of their level.

I think there is a parameter which can be used to balance “crowded” starts with “Sahara desert” ones : the number and kind of initial ships. For exemple if crowded get 3 “short range coloniser”, basic engines & low fuel & 4k pop, if in a desert : get 1 short range and two long range (better engines, fuel and pop).

What I mean is that you don’t have to try to get everyone with the same kind of start, you just need to have a somewhat “fairness” system, if your location sucks, give bonii to make it fair.


The main thing to understand is that what you really need is your players thinking “everyone gets an equivalent start”. It does not have to be same, hell, player’s races are not the same anyway. What you need is, if a player really doesn’t like his start, he thinks “I do not like the KIND of start I got, I’ll try another one”, instead of “I was ripped off, omg, this game sux I quit!”.

And tell them in the tutorial that mechanics exist to balance starts as they need to know it, and also telling them “you will probably die at your first spawn location” helps to prepare oneself to a possible defeat.

There are many things that can be tinkered with to balance things out. However I think that modifying the star map would be awfully complex.

If you consider that you want HWs to be the same, then you can tinker with initial ships, initial stored minerals, initial credits, and maybe even the other planets in your initial system.

For exemple starting in the center of the galaxy would mean heavy star density, heavy competition, a likelyness to die, faster paced gameplay (shorter ranges) and overall a brutal experience.

If you lose you are slowly pushed away from the center, your neighbors are no longer the top 50 but other guys who were crushed like you or newcomers - your next war will be a bit less difficult.The guy who loses a war in this kind of neighbourhood is pushed even further away, stars are far from each other - thus slower gameplay, less intensive and time consuming.

Do it right and you get a natural population distribution : powergamers in the center duking it out like if there was no tomorrow, casuals on the borders experiencing a much more relaxed gameplay but, still, as they are able to devellop at a much lower cost (in ships losts), able to have an influence on what happens in the course of the game because their fleets can get there and get some action. This last thing requires alliance gameplay of course, so… Wait and see :wink:

Spreadsheet sent privately to you and @joe

I’d recommend also small in size so as not to be “too” expandable once bio farm tech is achievable. This should be usable for an early credit boost and to see the possibilities that having a dual major civ on planet can provide in later game. I’d make it a 1 or 2 resource mining colony (will do a spreadsheet on this too lol)

I think requiring 1 or 2 climate or Hydro adjustments would aid in it being a small challenge, but not so high as to be impossible and will teach the newcomer how adjusting the climate or land/water ratio will help them as they move out and explore. Should have surface beron high enough to build 2 climate stations, 1 power station and 1 farm or enough available at the uncolonizable (due to temp intolerance) at the planet immediately nearby which will teach what to do with that in system small freighter they need to build right away.

Would prefer this be Beron and Farsu, as they are the most needed resources in early game, lack of both will hamper progress, ziryl is needed later and should be found at a somewhat close by system. Will teach the need for having cargo miners that can travel a small distance.

Remind me I’ll do a spreadsheet and share later lol based on the minimum structures needed in the System, somewhere, in early game (first week).

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As it is now, I believe that the ability to “conquer” anything is way to early in game, and assault troop modules need to be placed a little higher on the tech tree. No one should have the ability to conquer anything in the first 3 weeks of game play. All players need time to adequately defend their “core” planets from assault during that time. It will teach them patience in “fast” expansion if they colonize too many planets early and not have the credits/beron needed to defend them at least against a small assault. I would also like to see assault troop modules removed from ALL corvettes, and only be on Frigates in early game, later game is fine with them being available on cruisers…

We used to have “too many” sahara desert systems, no resources or impossible to colonize early game. We went too far the other direction in Pre-Beta from what I’ve heard so far. Again a spreadsheet is needed to create some sort of balance here. Verbalizing it doesn’t make it easy to translate into hard numbers that the developers can take some action from.

I reluctantly have to second this.

I say reluctantly as a bit of early conflict is good and a planetary Raid for resources is a bit of fun where you would think the low cargo capacity or early ships would prevent it from being too onerous to the raided player…

But due to a confluence in the force you can raid a planet DRY with a single Frigate or Corvette if they haven’t got at least a basic Orbital Gun (Thinking of referring to them as ODIIS [Orbital Defence Invasion Interdiction Systems] to see if our old pal @odis is paying attention :slight_smile: )

Not gonna say how its done here as its kinda bordering on a Griefing Exploit IMOHO but the terminally interested can PM if they cant figure it out :slight_smile: Soon as I have a conclusion and an a possible suggestion how to moderate this I’ll PM @joe about it.

Early scout & coloniser deaths are more than enough early game conflict as they will happen by accident quiet frequently enough for now…

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In general, let’s try to use simple English for our non-native English speaking friends please and so I don’t have to go to the dictionary (or google) to learn the meaning of a word lol.

Early conflict is already possible, just with scouts and colonizers flying around trying to find a place to colonize, no need to add more grief to that with the worry that scout could be followed quickly by an assault troop carrier that can easily obtain my Home World. If a player can raid with a T1 freighter, that’s conflict enough when it can only be “defended” by a scout or two with weapons and the limit of 4 ships in a fleet.

The game should be designed so that Frigates and Destroyers become available at the 2+ week mark as well “if” the player focuses on balancing his tech properly. Anyone can "rush’ a specific tech if they choose to under the proper conditions (which will be a little more limited if we have better balance in the available early system set up) but that “rush” should be at the expense of something else they aren’t researching, thus leaving them vulnerable to a counter attack.

Homeworlds have the best OBD now, so a frigate should “not” last long in orbit and the possibility of a raid occurring should “teach” the owner of the planet the need for defending ALL his planets, not just rely on his homeworld’s defense.

That exists now and I’ve talked on it before. If a planet IS properly defended, a player can “occupy” but not “take” a system unless you can overpower the occupying force.


Lol IDK that i have contributed enough to have anything named after me (yes i am aware it was a joke)

First lets start with parallels to our beginning story because the choice the devs ultimately make has requires little bearing as long as it is a fair system. So we are lured through worm holes realize we are abandoned on the other side with no chance to return home and the first thing we do is build a small brick house in our shuttles, and then colonize the first mediocre world we arrive at… There should be something special that would make our HWs valuable even if that is just very high res deposits which i believe is already in place, although i would prefer it if i could acquire some manor of deep mining before i mined through most of the res on my starting planets which might be a conversation for another thread.

As far as indigenous populations go, i would refer to Eddie Izzard because no one minds someone coming in and telling them what to do. It is my opinion that indigenous populations should either be conquered or a series of quests must be completed to win them over and they could also spawn pirates which is for another thread.

I believe we maybe getting hung up on the semantics of even, equal, and fair. When my daughter goes “potty”, we both get a treat. When I go “potty” we do not. This is neither fair nor equal but it is even.

It is my opinion that the worlds should be designed in such a way that after a month, each player should have a very similar amount of res farmed by building a predetermined number of structures on 4 of their solar’s planets. This means that if zyril is only on 1 planet, its density should be high or the deposits should be high.

it is my opinion that each system should have 2 large planets, 2 high density planets, and a number of other planets in the mix that can be pretty random. I may elaborate as to why later.

I created this to help me compare how the devs are changing the galaxies, its my scans of the planets in A3. it doesnt mean much on its own as the sample pool is rather small but it is a snap shot. IDK if this would help out anyone but i figured it couldnt hurt to post it.

im too tired to go on so ill end this one here.

This is not equall at all. Because in such a case Rypchee’s and Human’s hw became juicy sweety hot targets in the eyes of Syntis while in the eyes of organic robos hw just a little more than mediocre planet not worth of spending lot of efforts to capture.

Lets them all be the same size. Thats the only way to make it equall.
And it’s better ta make them “hot-juicy” ones for everyone to give a reason fight for HW and defend them (instead of abandoning).
So I suggest on the moment of spawning of player change that planet to homeworld with 24k size, and 99% density of all the resourses.