Time Distortion Field for Planetary Orbit (formerly Warp Interdiction Field)

Intent: Give defender control over defense timings, enabling defender to bring in fleets against attackers. Improve defender outcomes when it comes to active versus inactive players. Shifts defense emphasis from static ODS / barracks to time distortion and fleets.

Problem With Feature: Easier defense leads to game balance issues.

Mechanic: “Time Distortion field” building triggers when enemy fleet attempts to enter planetary orbit. Instead of entering planetary orbit, enemy fleet is locked in place for 9-24 hours during which ODSs etc do not fire as attacking fleet is not actually in planetary orbit yet. At end of period, enemy fleet enters planetary orbit and is subject to ODS fire &c. Attacker may exit time distortion field at any time by moving away from planetary orbit, including auto-movement (as in when a ship moves into planetary orbit momentarily then out of planetary orbit when moved around a planet).

Intended Gameplay: Online player waits for another player to go offline, sends bombing fleets &c. Attacker knows and controls attack timing, can be online when attacking fleets arrive at target, can decide whether to call off attack when interdiction field encountered. Offline player wakes up, logs in, notices attack, builds ODSs and/or sends fleets to wipe out attackers.

If attacker is online and notices fleets incoming or ODS buildup, they can run away. If online player went offline, probably their attacking fleets get wiped out, that’s the risk they take.

Comments: Fleets can move away from threatened areas, planets cannot. ODS and barracks-based defenses are static and boring and costly. When offline player is attacked, defending fleets sit around uselessly as attacker scouts ahead to go where defending fleets are not.

Time distortion for planetary orbit means one fleet can protect more than one planet, freeing fleets to be used elsewhere, increasing player options.

Locking attackers without ability to back out increases attacker risk, reducing attacks, leading to conservative gameplay. Game mechanics should encourage players to do things and move around.

[EDIT 1]: Changed “Warp Interdiction” to “Time Distortion” field. There is no warp in a planetary system (thank you Puma), and “time distortion” is a better reference for the feature anyways. Future edit to address attacker needing to sit on top of fleets, other things as I read through posts.


This is just a bad version of the warp1 minefield idea that been going around.

By giving the attacker the ability to run away undamaged all your doing is telling the attacker he needs to be on 24/7 monitoring the situation. the attacker takes 0 risk in this system. The defender should have an advantage.

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Appears to be the similar in intent.

Locked in place for 24 hours? So you have to babysit those fleets for an extremely long period of time. Only works if those fleets are also immune from attack during that time-frame and have immunity during retreat.

And depending on how wormholes get implemented attackers would be overwhelmed by defenders.

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There is no warp speed inside a system. It is impulse speed only.

People seem to forget that we are knowingly playing in a persistent galaxy. This means activities go on 24/hr a day 7 days a week. Increasing distance between players will reduce the capability of sneaking up so quickly on another player. This less than 50LY between players is most of what’s causing the current problems.

Now if this issue was fixed and a player knowingly colonizes systems near another player, then they are responsible for the consequences of possible invasion, 24/7.

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This is as good as saying “you can’t play Outscape unless you live at home with your mom and a laptop and can access the game nonstop”. There are going to have to be ways to make this game reasonable to play for people who only play 2-4 hours a night, which means timers need to be on the order of 20 hours long. “If you can’t play 24 hours a day then you shouldn’t fight” is not a reasonable argument, especially when it only takes 1 willing party to have a war.

I tentatively like the idea. Maybe call it a “planetary shield” though, with a slight(?) adjustment:

  • Attacker pulls up to a planet he intends to attack.
  • Without entering orbit, attacker declares an attack with any fleets he intends to use.
  • Fleets begin “shield decryption” phase.
  • This lasts 20 hours.
  • Being attacked does not interrupt decryption but being moved does.
  • After 20 hours, the fleets which ran decryption have a 6 hour window in which it can come and go freely and do whatever.
  • After that 6 hour window, the fleet will be locked out again and must do another decryption phase.
  • Note that decryption only lets that fleet in. Any fleet that wants in has to run its own routine.

Intended gameplay:
I bring my warfleets to blow you up. I arrive at 11pm and begin decryption. Content that my warfleets are better than your warfleets, I log out for the night and go to work tomorrow and come back the next day. At 8pm the next day, my fleets have finished their decryption and I have from 8pm - 2am to conduct any attack I want.

As the defender, you see what I’m up to and have plenty of time to respond – evacuate the planet or challenge my fleets or whatever you were going to do. Really the advantage is to the defender here, as I think it should be.

I think it’s a solid idea and has some advantages over the warp 1 minefield idea.

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As I said, the above also needs to happen to reduce the incidence of people being much to close to one another as it is in the current galaxy.

Also a properly defended planet takes over 24 hours to complete an invasion, which should be enough time to bring in reinforcements if the player has properly developed his defense forces on nearby systems/planets

You’d be correct if bombers didn’t exist. But under current bomber mechanics, even a planet with 250,000 troops and 20 ODS should be something you can invade in 9 hours or simply destroy entirely in one sitting because bombers stack infinitely. Once you have a leg up on someone in fleet battles – or if you can offline them – then the game becomes all about bombers.

But increasing new player start distance doesn’t resolve any of the issues. Once the shooting starts, I’m already in your space, probably building forward operating bases, and bombing you when you’re offline. The start distance may have given you a couple days of warning to prepare for war but once I’m there, nothing else is better and it’s all about how well I can offline you.

Perils of a persistent galaxy…

And for sure the #1 challenge of this style of game. If the developers can’t narrow the gap between online vs offline and 2 hour players vs 16 hour players then this game is doomed.

I do wonder sometimes if people would play a turn based game where the turns process once a night. So everyone has basically 24 hours to plot their moves and then the turn happens. That was how the old games like “Stars!” and VGA Planets operated. Maybe in the modern era of RTS and Steam that wouldn’t fly, but it’s also possible that persistent universe 24/7 4X is never going to work for players who can’t play at least 12 hours a day.


Maybe you’re the one with the problem here, not everyone else. Preaching doom and gloom in every thread about possible solutions.

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That sounds like something that I would be interested in!

Sure, but why not give the chance for the defender to use fleets to intercept the invading fleets? And I mean like a real chance where someone like with a few hours/day play could do it.

I am 100% behind the interdictor idea.


Did anyone read the part about the fact that there is NO warp inside a system or anywhere near the planet. Warp is before you get into the system.

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Then don’t play in a persistent galaxy game. And you DO have a chance. You can reinforce any invasion and you can kill the fleets in orbit by defending the orbit with defense fleets.

I just want to actually hear you say that you feel only 12+ hour players should play Outscape.

You’re kinda beating around that bush but all of your arguments to date point to that position. You don’t think 2 hour a day people should be here. Azafiel complains I made khemul quit while at the same time all of you argue for things that guarantee players like khemul don’t belong here at all.

Not when invasions take less than 10 hours.
And not when glassing a planet with orbital strikes can be done in 1-4 hours even against high population, hardened planets.

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I was talking about the other idea that works like a minefield around a system and is a structure on a planet.

I’m sorry. The game is advertised in a way that suggests I should be able to play without any major disadvantage (with my few hours of play a day). I think, not being able to intercept attacking fleets is a major disadvantage for me.


tbh 2 hour a day players won’t do well in this game, it’s just a fact of ALL persistent galaxy games. This isn’t the first I’ve played and if you don’t have the time to be involved several hours a day it’s unlikely you’ll be successful. In the other game I played they solved people’s complaints by allowing them to buy (literally buy) 3 day truce protection. Then we just had a whole bunch of planets that couldn’t be attacked because of these 3 day truces. What you are asking for is the equivalent sort of a 24 hour truce, by force stopping your attacker and holding him hostage for 24 hours so you can wake up, get a fleet there and destroy him. Keep fleets in orbit of the important planets and that will improve your chances of reducing intrusion by people you don’t want bombing them.

@Lady_Aura I accidentally happened upon one of your systems in a non-invasive fly by. Not one fleet in orbit of any planet in the system and nearly all were colonized… This by itself opens you up for invasion.

Slamz, you missed an important part of Puma’s post. That if the distances between players are fixed to reasonable distances. He isn’t saying it shouldn’t be fixed, he’s saying he rather use distance to buy the time needed. And if someone deliberately comes in so close he does not have the space/time to react, then it is a bad strategic decision since the space was given specifically not to get sneak attacked.

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If he can’t defeat my local fleets, did he really deserve to take my planet when I’m offline?

This should be a fleet battle game foremost. Defeat my fleets and THEN think about invading my planets. Invading because I am offline is derpy gameplay that I doubt enough people will enjoy to keep this game afloat.

We could slow down all space travel dramatically – either by reducing warp speeds or by increasing distances – so that the “reaction time” is in seeing you coming but this also means we are slowing down literally all aspects of gaming. It means your own internal cargo runs take 20 hours too.

I would rather do something that keeps the general logistical pace of the game reasonably high but slows down the pace of attacks.


If there are local fleets then I don’t understand the problem? You are contradicting yourself I think. If you are properly defending the planet with fleets, then of course he’d have to destroy them first to even begin to work on the planet.