What if all minefields took 24 hours to lay?

The later game is what I refer to as “Minefields: The Game”. It’s very hard to have a good ship battle because we all spend all of our time sweeping and laying mines. Technically you can run entire dreadnought fleets through minefields by splitting them up with corvettes but (unless you are Ripchee) there is some risk to this and mostly it’s just such a hassle that we can rarely be bothered to do so.

But what if all minefields took 24 hours to lay?

  • This greatly limits how many minefields 1 minelayer can have active. 7 instead of the current 42.
  • Minefields still work as a defensive deterrent but you have to do it well in advance.
  • Minefields on offense will require your minesweepers to be part of your main war fleets (which isn’t really a problem since the mine layer does not need to lead the fleet, unlike the mine sweeper).
  • Minefields on offense will require risking those warfleets overnight or trying to hide them in a planet and hoping nobody notices.
    …which I think is fair. If I’m bringing 3 warfleets, it’s because I expect to punch you in the nose with them. If you want to come out and attack them while they are laying mines, this saves me a step.
  • Evens out the online vs offline action somewhat.
  • Preserves the “need to sweep 50 minefields” gameplay but renewing them as they are swept will probably not be realistic.

I’m trying to think of a downside to 24 hour minelaying and I’m not seeing one.

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Just need to make it so nothing can pass through minefield other then a new weaponless flag one recon ship.

Then move sweepers to the destroyer class hulls and have three tiers of sweeper each being a little faster then the other starting at warp one for the tier one and warp three for the tier three. They sweep a narrow path not the entire minefield.

In the end people will have a friend with 70 fleets of mine layers building massive 100+ ly wide minefields if they can.

That’s a complete redesign of everything about minefields though. It might be needed but I doubt we’d see it before the year of our lord 2022.

Making them take 24 hours seems like it would solve most of the problems and the devs could fix it in about 2 minutes.

I’m not sure that would go far enough. Also depends on the relative effectiveness of sweepers.

From my very limited experience of dealing with minefields.

One issue, was the defender has 5 layers in system and spams out 500 damage, 100% fields. I can’t get to those layers, since all ships are now stuck outside the wide area.

So, if the layers are parked around a planet that has Limbalt. That system just because like a fortress.

Some ideas, which I would encourage @Slamz to respond to, as you one of the players on the server that has the most experience with this.

  1. Minefields no longer stack.

Could change the dynamic through research. So different levels of research, give you better mines. 100 to 500 damage range. For example.

  1. Mine layers have to go on the a path on where those mines are meant to be. So no more minelaying 5 LY’s away from where the ship actually is.

  2. Mine layers can only mine, systems where you have own a planet.

Thoughts?

Yeah… that would make the math easier. Right now, minefields represent a completely unknown barrier. They could buy you 8+ hours or they could buy you 10 minutes. It depends on how many sweepers arrive and how many minefields you have stacked. Which I’m “okay” with but it does turn minefields into a tedious spam, both for deploying them and for removing them.

I actually think the damage range is kinda silly. I suppose in theory a beefcake fleet could barrel through a 100 damage minefield and make it (assuming they are Syntis or have a shipyard they’re about to reach) but I wouldn’t want to be the one trying it. And realistically nobody hits mines unless they made a mistake or got caught unawares while offline. I don’t like to move anything at warp 3 anywhere while offline because it’s too easy to drop a minefield ahead of it and damage doesn’t matter if you’re flying through the whole thing with anything less than a major beefcake fleet.

I would probably make the progression more like 50, 100, 150.

I guess they could lay paths like Tron light cycles? I feel like that would be more annoying all around. I think the circle drop is good enough but now I probably agree with @Lady_Aura that minefields are too inexpensive for as huge as they are.

Maybe the different tiers are less about damage and more about field size. And you might keep using the small fields because you can actually afford to maintain them.

I don’t know if I want to totally eliminate offensive mining. I just don’t think it should be as dead easy as it is today. 4 hours is just too short.

In the end, I think we should set the timer to 24 hours, because that’s a super quick change, until such time as we can invent a better system. I really don’t want to play another galaxy with the current minefield mechanics but a 24 hour switch might be enough to at least bandaid it to a tolerable state.

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this doesn’t solve much of the mine problems though

24 hr timer doesn’t change offensive mining when the fleets are invisible from hiding in a planet. How you dont see a ship flying LY away placing trillions of objects on radar(?) i have no idea

Much rather have mines changed to be something that actually buys time, like forcing warp1 with a larger aoe, rather then currently when anyone can by pass them if they arnt lazy

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Part of the problem for a new player is that minelayers force the player with the inferior fleet to attack a superior fleet or risk getting into a worse situation, creating a “poor gets poorer” scenario.

Just remove the current mines. I would have fun fighting if space battles was the main focus of wars and not minesweeper. I pretty much stopped playing because of mines killed any fun I had fighting my arch nemesis chiral. :woman_shrugging:

There were mentions about virality and such. Well, the “how much I want to play” score of Outscape plummeted to oblivion for me because of mines. I cannot fight back because I cannot commit the time needed for clearing even a single system from mines.

We need wars to be enjoyable for people with little time for the game, and open it up a bit for more casual minded people, like myself. If mines stay as is… I think, I’ll leave Outscape. :slightly_frowning_face:

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I won’t comment much except to say minefields have been discussed to death in the last Alpha test. Good luck in protecting your territory if it took 24 hours to lay a minefield, especially if you want to have enough fleets to fight with and lay mines on your systems.

There was a previous suggestion that I still think should be implemented. Separate minefields into defensive (system defense) vs tactical (use for war purposes). Tactical are laid and swept quicker but do a little less damage vs system defense which take longer to lay (are part of the ODS) and take longer to sweep.

So in other words, a big NO to 24 hours to lay mines. I hate the current 8 hours at T1 and 4 hours at T2, especially in tactical situations and when they can easily be swept in an hour or less.

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I think I could actually protect my territory better if minefields didn’t exist. In many cases I had the fleets available to push an enemy back from my territory but not the time to sit there and sweep their mines.

Now I have several systems camped by mine spam. I could swoop in with fleets and resume ownership of the system but again I do not have the time to sit and sweep for 16 hours straight with 20+ sweepers which is no exaggeration at all on what it would take. (8 hours with 20 sweepers dropped the field to about 40%)

But again, I would rather be wiped out than have to play Minefields: The Game again.

If I have to log in for 8 hours straight to launch a counter-attack inside my own territory only to end in a stalemate because neither of us can get past the other’s minefields then this game is gonna die.

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To each his own, you may not like them, I would if the design was altered somewhat. But their current design is very difficult to work with. I hope you’re online in that 2 hours before you wake up when someone decides to invade your area.

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So they invade my area. If they can’t spam mines, then I counter-attack when I get online. That’s what I would prefer. If they’re stronger then I guess I lose and start over. I would totally prefer that to the current setup.

The way it works today is that it’s a game of “who can be online the most”. In the Game of Minefields, the no-lifer who can play for 16+ hours straight can get through pretty much any minefields and launch an invasion and drop mines to prevent a counter-attack which the opposing player will never be able to dedicate his own 16 hour marathon to sweeping.

This is my actual experience fighting some no-life players. Their M.O. is that they will play for 16 hours straight (no exaggeration), sweep their way in and then just mine camp the system. Since I can’t (or won’t) sit at the computer and babysit the game for 16 hours, I can’t counter-attack.

They’re pretty much just trolling me at this point (because outnumbering me isn’t enough, I guess, they also have to use lame methods) but that’s what the current minefield mechanics encourage and reward: no-life trolling of the playerbase.

The way you think minefields should work in a normal battle between two normal empires is not how they actually work when your opponents have no life.

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Correct. That’s why the mechanics of minefields needs to be changed. A friend of mine made several suggestions in Alpha 3 that would fix the mechanics of minefields. I do totally agree as they are now they are a real pain. I’ll let you do the research if you’re interested.

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Yeah and to be clear, I fully support a total rewrite of how minefields work. But realistically I doubt we will see that before, like, July. If then.

A 24 hour timer would solve a great deal of the problems (too much stacking; “offline vs online”; minefields as an easy offensive weapon) without totally removing them as a casual defense. And it could be done by one developer in one sitting rather than us waiting for months with a totally broken system that people aren’t enjoying.

It would help. My ideas were also aimed at a band aid fix.

However, if you don’t remove stacking. Then 24 hours doesn’t solve the whole problem.

With time in this game, anything can be achieved. Then the Trollers just build ten, twenty minelayers. Stack the systems in one go.

Yeah, I just want to move the goalposts. As it stands today, 20 minelayers can lay 120 minefields in 24 hours if you’re on the ball about it. That’s just absurd. Even a casual 10 minelayers can drop 30 minefields in a mere 12 hours. You go to bed and everything is great, then wake up, go to work, come home and poof, you may have several dozen minefields over your homeworld and never once had a chance to do anything about it.

I’m actually thinking minefields should take 24 hours to deploy regardless of any other changes we make.

I waffle on removing stacking because it’s a bigger change with more things to consider. To me it implies we must also rework sweeping. If we can’t stack minefields then we probably shouldn’t be able to stack sweepers either (that is, only 1 sweeper should work on a minefield at a time). Otherwise you just render minefields moot as I hit them with 20 sweepers and cut right through your single-ply mines.

Same reason I’m fairly against ideas people float about “sweeping a path” – it implies big changes under the hood. Right now minefields are just a big dumb circle. To make them truly sweepable requires minefields become something completely different and more complicated… like instead of a circle it really drops like a 20x20 grid and you can sweep out individual boxes at a very accelerated rate. All very doable and I’d like to see that but I think something like that would be months away.

This is about the best discussion from A3 that I could find with most of the suggestions that I concur with on it. There’s a few behind it a little earlier.

You can make it 24 hours to lay minefields, but then you will have players dedicated to being the guy that just lays mines for the alliance. Play syntis on a couple accounts and run through the accounts every day dropping a couple hundred minefields every day or so. Was anything solved? It opened up a new play-style for someone…

If stacking remains as is. The game just turns into Attrition warfare. As in, Can I bring more sweepers to your layers, in order to clear out mines long enough to send in the main fleet?

Hopefully blow up your fleet, then send in the invasion fleet.

As you mentioned, I don’t want to spend a day babysitting sweepers to try to clear out mines. I’ve already tried that on my day off. With 20 sweepers and didn’t even make a dent.

With the unstackable fields fix. Mines revert back to closer to how I would think they should be intended. To slow down your enemy.

Yes, sweepers can come in and clear them easier. But that takes time. Time to build sweepers, time for the sweepers to fly from construction base to system with mines, time for sweepers to clear out mines. That could easily be one real day or more.

In that day, the defender could build 6 frigates in that system. Or send reinforces, bringing up their main battle fleet.

If this is true then something sounds broken. If you are using a T2 sweeper it should take out a T2 or T3 Minefield, even stacked at 1/2 to 3/4 of the time it took to lay it if used in multiples of 3 sweepers per MF. In other words if it takes 4 hours to lay a MF, you can (or could) sweep it with 3 sweepers in an hour or less. And if you’re allowing them in to even get it laid in time you certainly aren’t spending enough time trying to stop the minelayers to begin with. They have to travel in and it takes a minimum of 4 hours to lay the MF then they have to leave. So either you need to review your tactical defense or there’s something new broken in minesweeping.