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-   -   [Balance] Is this how it's supposed to be? (http://www.soldak.com/forums/showthread.php?t=31588)

Tuidjy 05-14-2014 05:20 PM

[Balance] Is this how it's supposed to be?
 
I've finally managed to get my wife to try Drox, so I have had a chance to look at Drox through some non-jaded eyes. She's an experienced Action RPG player, and a bit less of a strategy nerd than I am.

As soon as she reached the 50-70 levels, she hit a wall, strategy-wise. Basically, T/O/L are overpowered to the point that it's simply ridiculous.

A few facts:
- A single Talon ship can fight five equal-level Cortex ships for 7 minutes, and remain at full structure. Then it kills the first enemy. Two of the other the Cortex ships were at death door by then.
- Talon can fight a four to one war against Zombie, Drakk, Cortex, and Brunt, and steadily expand, while its enemies are losing planets, mostly to quest problems. With literally hundreds (in a small sector) of these, the player can hardly make a dent.
- Against a player ship that claims 95% to-hit rate, and 15% to-be-hit, a Talon ship with three virus debuffs, three botnet debuffs, and one EM debuff of the appropriate level hits every time, and dodges quite often. The debuffs add to about 5500 defense and attack. Yes, with -5500 to attack, a Talon ship hits about 95% against a 4000 defense ship of the same level.

This was my wife's experience, with a ship that I would expect to be better than average for its level.

So I took my best ship (one that is comfortable at level 200) and rolled level 100 sectors (small, established) until I got Talon and three other races. I started questing exclusively for one of the other races (Telepath, as it happens) and turning in quests.

Twenty minutes of this, and of course, everyone ganged up on the Telepaths. At this point, everyone but the Telepaths was completely swamped by problems.

Once the fighting started, I played by very simple rules:

(1) I cleared everyone else from every sector with a Telepath presence.
(2) If I saw a Telepath planet being attacked, I went in that sector and cleared it of everything but Telepath ships. (With that ship, it was trivial. Everyone that comes in EMP range dies instantly, and 20K hp planets melt under two seconds under its beams)
(3) If the Telepaths were not under attack, I would quest, prioritizing to the best of my knowledge: bosses that create problems, crowds that create problems, devices, etc... while pausing constantly, and doing all the fedex and plague clearing quests that were local to whatever I was doing.

So, I had an insanely good ship, and was trying to help the Telepaths to the best of my ability EXCEPT FOR ACTUALLY GOING OUTSIDE THEIR BORDERS AND KILLING EVERYONE.

Within thirty minutes, the Telepaths were down to one sector, and Talon had three times as many planets as they had at the time I finished evicting them from Telepath's sectors.

What happened?

Well, when the player is near a sector, all problems worsen at much higher rate. Despite having an extremely good ship, I could physically protect only the planets of the sector I was in. The planets in the neighboring sectors were simply dying, because five problems were occurring for every one I cleared. (And I cleared 148, in less than an hour, with a lot of pausing and thinking)

When the player is far from a sector, the problems worsen, but the planets do not die unless something extra happens. The Talon invading was that extra. The races that I was not helping could not stand against the Talon, because their planets were slowly dying, and once the Talon showed up, the defenders could do little.

Note that despite all this, the race that was worst off was still the one race that I was helping, and by helping I mean that I stopped every attack dead as quickly as it took me to go through a gate and double boost (auxiliary and consumable) to the planet being attacked.

This is IMMENSELY frustrating to any player.

I have been around for a while, and I understand the mechanics of what is happening. I do not allow things to get out of control in my normal games. I always have wars started and lines drawn before I allow myself to turn quests in and to align with a race, which upsets everyone else unless you have planned for it.

But to a new player, this is extremely discouraging. You appear to be doing everything right, and the people you are helping are getting wiped out. You help someone, and immediately, everyone hates them.

I know that Soldak is working on a new game, and I doubt much will be done. But just in case someone has the time and desire to address the problem, I wanted it out here.

PixelLord 05-14-2014 09:10 PM

Agreed! The game still needs to be adjusted to keep things like this from happening. The devs haven't quit on Drox!

I've felt this (What your wife felt) for some time. The game get's way to hard for the average player (at the defaults) and it's not fun for them after level 30 or so. Some players (Truidjy) are totally masters, but most are not. Soldak needs to accommodate everyone. This can be difficult. We need to strive to make as many happy with our games as possible.

PixelLord 05-14-2014 09:33 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Tuidjy (Post 73151)
I know that Soldak is working on a new game, and I doubt much will be done.

I, for one, hope you are wrong. :)

BTW, I read everything you write. Thanks for everything!

Castruccio 05-15-2014 12:03 AM

Great post. Perhaps something can and will be done about it. Shadow put out a few patches for dins and DoP several years after their release, so I suspect Drox will still get updates. Posts like this are quite helpful.

Shadow 05-15-2014 10:40 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Castruccio (Post 73154)
Great post. Perhaps something can and will be done about it. Shadow put out a few patches for dins and DoP several years after their release, so I suspect Drox will still get updates. Posts like this are quite helpful.

Drox will definitely still get patches here and there.

Tuidjy 05-16-2014 02:07 PM

I'd be perfectly happy if I just knew that there will be a Drox 2 or at least an extension pack at some point. This game has so much potential that it sometimes makes me nostalgic about game development. Not for long, though.

Bluddy 05-16-2014 03:08 PM

This problem probably stems from the fact that at levels 25, 50, and 75, when you progress to a new difficulty level, the monsters get huge multipliers to everything: hit points, attack, defense etc. I had to tone this way down in my old DC mod. In DC, it just meant that some characters had a very tough time fighting monsters in the higher levels. In Drox, the player is much more powerful than in DC, and therefore it's not a matter of the player surviving, but of the races no longer being able to put up a fight against the monsters at the higher levels.

The Talon and other monster races have the advantage that their specific races don't attack them. That may be enough of an advantage to dominate at high levels. Additionally, it seems like they may be able to recruit monsters from their races, which, if correct, would allow them to recruit very strong monsters at the higher levels. These monsters may be making the difference.

Tuidjy 05-16-2014 05:05 PM

The Talon and other monster races have the advantage that their specific races don't attack them. That may be enough of an advantage to dominate at high levels.

T/O/L Empires are not being attacked by any T/O/L monsters, not just by their own. And yes, that is an incredible advantage, because standard races cannot mount any successful invasion if the player is around. In remote sectors, dice are rolled, and the standard races sometimes may achieve something.

If the player is nearby, fights are actually simulated with more accuracy, and:
(1) Standard planets get attacked by monsters, the defenders switch their targets, and the T/O/L pound them with impunity.
(2) Any standard race's invasion across sectors gets mired in skirmishes with monsters. The monsters are usually too quick to be destroyed by the standards, and the expeditionary force never gets to their target. Eventually T/O/L warships show up, and annihilate the standard races' ships.
(3) T/O/L defenders never have to go back to their planets (which do not get attacked by monsters) and so, if disturbed, go on rampage across their system, wiping every standard race's colony.
(4) And finally, T/O/L ships seems to be just better one-on-one.

So unless the player does ALL of the fighting, T/O/L completely and utterly wipe the floor with any standard race. In six race sectors, T/O/L wins handily 1-on-5 wars, as long as the player does not destroy them singlehandedly.

As a matter of fact, the only way I have found to destroy T/O/L in sector level 150+ is to fight them on my own WHILE INSURING THEY REMAIN AT PEACE with the standard races. Otherwise, even my best ships sometimes fail at protecting the standard races. These are ships that clear systems in a few minutes, if that. In any sector bigger than tiny, T/O/L still manage to ruin their enemies while I am doing so.

By the way, I am not naive enough to think that the game should be balanced at level 150. It's just that at level 150, the effects already present at levels 50+ are even more obvious.

DyingCrow 05-17-2014 11:33 AM

In my experience, the most OP race of all are the Scavengers. I have yet to play a scenario where they are present and everyone else does NOT get steamrolled by them :D
It feels almost critical to side with or wipe them early on.
It would be nice if there was a little more balance between races, yes, but i guess the cannon fodder needs to be. Dryad, Lithosoid, Shadow... they're pretty much filling, always on the losing side.

Velox 05-18-2014 12:27 PM

I'm a relatively new player who has been utterly consumed by the game; I'm creating an account just to reply to this, even. I'm somewhere in the mid-to-upper 30s on a couple of ships and I am definitely noticing this. It's getting pretty predictable: I appear in a new sector and meet a couple of races, and decide to forge them into a mighty federation that will bring stability and order etc etc. Do a bunch of missions for them and manipulate them into being friends, find a third fairly compatible race and get them all aligned together... then fast-forward an hour or so. All three races have peaked in size and have begun to decline. All of the worlds in their shared home systems are constantly under attack by wandering monsters and slowly eroding into nothing, dotted with dozens of debuffs I can't begin to clear. Instant destruction by an emerging monster/ancient race has outpaced colonization, and the hostile fourth race (or worse, an ancient I didn't catch when it was just one planet) is now more powerful than the three I've been grooming for succession. I'm clawing my way through an ever-expanding mass of red/purple/orange bosses and starbases that choke the jump lane routs with troops (which level up into experts on a steady diet of diplomatic vessels and colony ships.) In the fairly immediate future lies the hollow "boom"s of my client races' final extinctions, the only question is whether I'll have enough legend points to move on before it happens or whether I'll have to farm a bit afterwards.
It's definitely frustrating: it's basically the tale of the inevitable extinction of star-faring civilizations in a hostile universe, and of the player's powerlessness to deflect the inevitable march of fate. Earlier on in my Operative career, it felt like the story of great empires rising and clashing while behind the scenes I pick the winners and losers and fate of the sector. THAT was seriously fun. Looting modules while random monsters gradually fill up the map and un-do by planetary extinction any shaping I try to do, decidedly less so. I don't know how to succeed in the game anymore and it's a bummer because otherwise SO FUN. I've read a decent quantity of posts here, enough to know I don't have anywhere near enough experience/understanding to suggest a remedy (even if there are ever future updates to the game) - so I guess I'm just complaining unproductively, which I try to avoid. Still, I wanted to at least say something because of the SO FUN. I don't often find a game that grabs me so, and so above all else thank you for it!

Tuidjy 05-19-2014 03:07 PM

DyingCrow, the Scavengers may be a bit more powerful than other standard races, but in my experience they do better because they are expanding more recklessly, and getting into fewer wars. They are absolutely no match for T/O/L at higher levels. You have not seen a scary Empire until you allow T/O/L to become a starting race in a level 50+ sector.

Velox, keep improving your ships, and you will come to the point where you will be able to keep your friends healthy even at high levels... as long as you have no more than two friends, they are sharing the same systems, and the sector is no bigger than small.

Three allies, different corners of the sector, or more systems, and it becomes extremely hard unless you have maintained the galaxy free of T/O/L and Ancients, have consistently brokered alliances between those who play well with others (Dryads, Drakk, Lithosoids, Scavengers, Asexuals, etc..) and have always suppressed those that do not (Shadow, Brunt, Pirates, Xenophobia, etc...)

But right now, I am playing in my 'wild' galaxy - one that I used to unlock all the subraces, and one in which every strain of T/O/L and Ancient is loose. I usually spend three-four hours after the sector is won to wipe out the T/O/L and Ancients, and I do not always succeed in keeping even one standard (sub)race alive with my hardcore Command Zero ship. It's still fun, if you like to feel like a bit player, but I absolutely agree that Drox would be a better game with some balance changes.

Bluddy 05-19-2014 03:23 PM

Shadow, I believe I've found a bug in the relations file. BaseMonsterFaction isn't set to hate any one of RaceTalon, RaceLegion or RaceOverlord. This is why they're never attacked by monsters, and why they have such a huge advantage in the later levels where monsters are much stronger.

alstein 06-19-2014 08:48 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Shadow (Post 73157)
Drox will definitely still get patches here and there.

You're still updating DoP and Din's on occasion.

That said, the problem listed in the OP, it is a problem that has been consistent throughout all of your games- the difficulty level stays low, then it spikes super-hard at times in ways I consider unfair, which does make it less fun.

It probably should become harder over time, but it should be more gradual (maybe level cap would have to be increased though to compensate)

ShaggyMoose 08-10-2014 06:56 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Bluddy (Post 73177)
Shadow, I believe I've found a bug in the relations file. BaseMonsterFaction isn't set to hate any one of RaceTalon, RaceLegion or RaceOverlord. This is why they're never attacked by monsters, and why they have such a huge advantage in the later levels where monsters are much stronger.

Has this actually been confirmed as a bug? It seems a bit off that monsters fight all the time, yet Talon never gets attacked by any of them. It also makes them a very difficult race to support, as you can't use them as a "base" to pull monster agro. They just ignore everything while you get kicked around like a tin can...

I will second the feeling that the game starts to feel a bit hopeless from level 30+. Most sectors are a long grind for me and it seems like all the races end up in a hopeless death spiral where the problems just multiply without any hope in sight. Usually I am severely underpowered at the start of a "normal" or "hard" sector and it takes me a while to break out and starting helping people. By then, its often too late.

Tuidjy 08-10-2014 08:03 AM

The change log for the last Beta patch listed this as fixed, and from what I can tell it has been.

I have seen that in 1.042, there are non-aligned monsters that you can kill to get on Legion's good side. I assume that it works the same way for Talon and Overlord.

ShaggyMoose 08-10-2014 09:40 AM

Ahh, Steam version is still 1.041. I look forward to the update!

On a related subject, does killing Talon and Legion count against Legendary wins?

Tuidjy 08-10-2014 03:08 PM

Killing T/O/L and Ancients counts towards both Fear and Legend wins. Killing standard races and their non-T/O/L subraces counts towards Fear wins, but against Legend wins.

Well, that's how it was before 1.042. I'm afraid I have not been paying attention to this in 1.042, but soon I'll know.

ShaggyMoose 08-11-2014 09:14 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Tuidjy (Post 74885)
Killing T/O/L and Ancients counts towards both Fear and Legend wins. Killing standard races and their non-T/O/L subraces counts towards Fear wins, but against Legend wins.

Does this apply without IotA installed? I just destroyed Legion and my Legend "win counter' dropped 7 points...

Tuidjy 08-11-2014 12:51 PM

Yeah, I forgot about that. The ship kills and colony destructions follows the rules above. Being the one who is credited with destroying a race always counts against Legend, no matter which race. And to make things even more annoying, it is not easy to insure you are the one credited - I cannot make it happen reliably.

Of course, I mostly look at things from the other direction - I usually try to delay the win, not to hasten it, which is why I hate having to go to overt war with T/O/L and Ancients that are native to the sector. With multiple planets and dozens of ships, fighting them brings both wins much closer, much too fast. Bad for business.

I hope the 1.042 change makes the standard races more likely to wipe T/O/L without mt help.

username 09-22-2014 08:46 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Tuidjy (Post 74917)
Yeah, I forgot about that. The ship kills and colony destructions follows the rules above. Being the one who is credited with destroying a race always counts against Legend, no matter which race. And to make things even more annoying, it is not easy to insure you are the one credited - I cannot make it happen reliably.

I can: It's caused by being the one to cause the most damage to that race. This is why if you blitz and kill a race early, the destruction will often be blamed on "Drox Operatives" (you), but by later in the game, everyone dies to "Monsters". It does not matter if they were a formerly sustainable empire where you personally went and destroyed all of their 10 remaining planets in a sudden blitz. Monsters get the blame for it.

Quote:

Originally Posted by Tuidjy (Post 74917)
I hope the 1.042 change makes the standard races more likely to wipe T/O/L without mt help.

It did not. But now T/O/L struggle like anyone else, being no longer impervious to monster attack. I have witnessed a rapid succession of T/O/L coming into being, being immediately destroyed by monsters which replace them with a new T/O/L, only to then immediately be destroyed again.

The monsters are simply insane, and I think I've sort of figured out why: As the difficulty level increases, Monsters receive an increasing large multiplier to all their stats, going all the way up to 5.6x Health, Armor, Defense, Damage, and Resistance. This results in an exponentially increasing amount of damage inflicted on planets by monsters as it requires exponentially longer to stop them: If, for instance, a monster is now dealing 5x as much damage as before when it hits, hits 5x as often due to massively increased attack values, takes 5x as much damage to kill, and due to increased resistances, gains another 5x as much effective HP on top of that, it is actually going to inflict 625x more damage, because it will deal 25x the damage over 25x longer.

When something is causing 625x damage, and the corresponding planetary health modifier at that level is a measly 7x, it's not hard to see why the races are simply being totally overwhelmed by the monsters, where even the most determined resistance from the player simply isn't enough to prevent the galaxy from ultimately being eaten by monsters one planet at a time.

On top of that, it looks like the monsters also move faster. The exact effect of faster movement cannot be directly quantified, but as we all know, movement is a powerful force multiplier, affecting both offense and defense simultaneously, often in far greater proportion than simple linear values would indicate: In some games, a merely 10% speed advantage over your opponent, all other factors equal, translates to the difference between evenly matched and being completely untouchable and able to crush an infinite number of slightly-slower enemies. Where Drox falls on the curve is hard to say.

Zato 09-22-2014 03:11 PM

Would increasing planet defenses against monster race damage help? The game has so many variables it's interesting where the domino's fall after changing something. Cruel cruel universe.

username 09-22-2014 10:42 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Zato (Post 75973)
Would increasing planet defenses against monster race damage help? The game has so many variables it's interesting where the domino's fall after changing something. Cruel cruel universe.

I am trying this in my own game, yes. I've significantly increased the toughness of planets by factors similar to the levels I described above, as a mere 8x HP modifier, obviously, was resulting in planets being annihilated faster than the races could form them, and the surviving planets taking crippling damage to the point where they were unable to send out more colonizers, starting the slow death spiral of the galaxy. Finally, I removed the speed bonus granted to monsters. The combined effect has largely stabilized the system: Planets no longer explode like popcorn, requiring a significant force to destroy, monsters no longer arrive on the scene faster than defending NPCs can show up, and even the player no longer casually burns a planet by accident. The lower-level game is mostly unaffected, since the modifiers at low-level play are all 1.0.

I used the formula as follows: planethealth modifier = Attack * HP * Defense * Damage * Resist, where HP mod = (Health+Armor)/2, since a ship's hitpoints are its health + armor. So, since "Expert" level gives a 1.5 modifier to Attack, Health, Armor, Defense, and 1.2x Resist, the value calculated for this is 1.5^4 * 1.2 = ~6. At Legendary, the values are 2.8^4 * 1.4, or ~98. At Ultimate 200, where the values are 5.6^4 * 2, this gives a value of ~1966.

These values may be on the high side at the moment, and I'm still fooling around with them, but at the moment, few planets are being lost to monsters, but planets still fall in the face of sustained attack by other NPCs.

Of course, the player, with the potential to be grossly overpowered, is still easily capable of singlehandedly destroying worlds and burning everything to the ground, but at least the world seems to be holding its own against itself now.

Zato 09-23-2014 12:35 AM

bump ditty

username 09-23-2014 02:26 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Zato (Post 75977)
That's slick! Not sure I have the skill to hack in those changes, though I can dabble.

Not much skill involved, in truth. All you need is NOTEPAD and WinRAR.

Quote:

Originally Posted by Zato (Post 75977)
Wonder how much of it is the effect of multi-player design choices.

I am thinking "basically none of it". It's a purely mathematical effect that results as stats increase with difficulty. It has nothing to do with multiplayer concessions. It's a phenomenon common to many RPGs, where the stopping power of weaponry often falls dramatically as you level as the number of hits to kill increases and the speed of enemy movement similarly increases, resulting in more hits to kill and faster closing times, rendering ranged weapons increasingly moot as they lose their stopping power, or, alternatively the opposite occurs, as in this game, where offense rapidly outstrips defense and planets die to stray bullets despite the "Defender Present" damage reduction.

Quote:

Originally Posted by Zato (Post 75977)
Sheer number of monsters seems more arcade crazy as I creep toward higher level ships.

Yes, it does seem like the sheer QUANTITY of monsters increases also, but I can't find any hard numbers on this. This, however, would be an extremely powerful effect. Combat in Drox would roughly obey Lanchester's Square Law, given that both monsters and race NPCs favor single-target weaponry and can each fire on a single target at once, but it only gets worse if monsters have AOEs and thus the planet will take completely unavoidable damage and be surely destroyed.

Quote:

Originally Posted by Zato (Post 75977)
Wondering if that's tied into the "starting planet - established" choice? Seems established sectors would be less dense, at start at least.

It isn't. Monster density is unaffected by starting settings. Heavily settled areas are just as monster-infested as frontiers, as killed monsters respawn quite aggressively, making sure there is never a safe area. In fact, established, pre-settled sectors immediately fall into the pattern of attritional loss, where the peak of civilized power is typically right at the start of the game, and the races gradually lose colonies over time as monsters pick them off and they are not able to resettle them. This is what made T/O/L so overpowering pre 1.042: They were completely unaffected by this insanity, as monsters never attacked them. Now? Well, they're still very strong, being that they are ignored by one entire branch of monsters, which may be the ones inhabiting their spawn region, but in a system with heterogenous monster distribution, they die like everyone else, and if they spawn as a result of a monster attack in a heterogenous environment, they'll often repeatedly die, where the Legion spawns, is killed by Talon, is killed by Overlord, is killed by Legion again, ad infinitum.

DeathBreath 09-23-2014 08:07 AM

Those are some nice changes username. If it's not too much to ask can you post them as a mod if you can because i'm sure other players will benefit from them.

username 09-23-2014 01:21 PM

I'm still playing with it to figure how it pans out, trying to hit a balance between "planets die like flies" and "planets are nigh-indestructible", across all the various difficulty levels. Somewhere between the stock "not enough" and the current values I've hit, which are about right for Legendary, but way too much on Ultimate4. I may have overestimated at that point, since I discovered my ship, apparently, CAN run out of energy, as the batteries will eventually deplete after about 30-40 seconds of nonstop firing, which, at 150K DPS, has long since converted everything else to slag. I had previously never noticed this, as nothing would withstand 150K DPS for longer than about 3 seconds, but when you give a planet 12 million HP, it will take a good 90 seconds of continuous firing to slag it. So, the test of that level had monsters slagging only two colonies, both after extended sieges. On the other hand, NPC expansion and exploration remained utterly anemic: At Ultimate4, monsters will reduce even race flagships to slag quickly and are even capable of putting severe dings in my ship. I am not really sure what to do about that, if anything: U4 is the "Crazy" setting, after all...

DeathBreath 09-23-2014 03:31 PM

Okay take your time finding out the perfect values and if you manage to balance things out just post them in the mod thread perhaps for people to see them because I know there are other people who are frustrated from this "planets break like glass" thing. If you can't balance the changes from one difficulty to the next just find out what values work best for the different difficulties and post them as seperate files or something like that.

username 09-23-2014 04:12 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by DeathBreath (Post 76023)
Okay take your time finding out the perfect values and if you manage to balance things out just post them in the mod thread perhaps for people to see them because I know there are other people who are frustrated from this "planets break like glass" thing.

Well, at very large planetary health modifiers, planets no longer break like glass and random monsters stop being the dominant cause of planetary destruction. Planets breaking like glass, however, is very much a non-goal here. I am more concerned with galactic dynamics than the player's ability to slag planets. A galaxy that is NOT doomed to either death-by-monsters or indefinite gridlock is the goal here. If planets become a bit harder for the player to slag, that's really more of a byproduct. Because my original values gave a planet 50 million HP, and I still slagged it: It TOOK awhile, but the values had clearly gone too far in the other direction, and nobody else could make a dent in it: The galaxy could no longer go to war without the player. Admittedly, this is still an improvement over "the galaxy falls apart no matter what the player does", but it's not the answer I wanted, and I am tuning the values downward to a point that is somewhat more satisfactory.

Quote:

Originally Posted by DeathBreath (Post 76023)
If you can't balance the changes from one difficulty to the next just find out what values work best for the different difficulties and post them as seperate files or something like that.

Oh, the values are actually already separated by difficulty. The more interesting thing is that when planetary destruction stops being the dominant problem, Monster Blockade becomes the next revealed issue: With planets no longer being slagged by stray gunfire, I find that at U4, the NPCs are constantly begging for you to defend their planets because their fleets have all been destroyed by monsters, halting their expansion beyond their home system as their ships cannot survive the trip. Then again, U4 is supposed to be insane.

Tuidjy 09-23-2014 11:30 PM

I really appreciate what you guys are trying to do.

Have you considered that the problem is not just that the planets are weak? Sure, they should be significantly stronger, but their first line of defense is the race ships and stations. Those should be made stronger, so that they can deal with the monsters themselves, at least most of the time. As a matter of fact, I see no reason not to bring monster and race ships to nearly equal power levels by making their difficulty level modifiers similar.

username 09-24-2014 03:15 AM

Yes, I've looked for that, too, but I am not sure if there is a modifier specific to race but not monster ships. From watching battles between race and monster ships, the racial ships generally acquit themselves quite well at any difficulty setting, and a handful of defenders will generally succeed in repelling a raid.

The problem: They repel one raid. In about 10 seconds, another one starts. They can repel that one, too...but they just keep coming. Each time, the planet takes a lot of hits before they can be shot down. Not even YOU can defend a planet well enough to prevent the planet from being hit at all by any means short of a constant wide-area search and destroy. And since planets, by default, have very few hitpoints relative to the damage they take in each raid, they are losing capability faster than they are regenerating it. Eventually, all the race planets are badly degraded or dead. They lose the ability to produce replacement defenses, replacement colony ships, replacement diplomats, freighters, etc. The web of galactic civilization slowly, or often not-so-slowly, crumbles.

The player is largely powerless to prevent this. Slaughtering enemies en-masse does nothing, they just come back. I made this one simple tweak: I increased the planet health multiplier dramatically in the belief that the difficulty boosts were polynomial in nature while the the basic planetary health boosts were linear, and therefore, completely failed to keep pace. It...sort of worked. Higher-level play dynamics started to resemble the game as it played out at lower levels before stacking multipliers on enemies came into play.

Admittedly, I think the topic has diverged somewhat from your original post. Your original complaint was about T/O/L Races being OP and dominating the others, which, as of 1.042, I am not really seeing as much anymore. They're still stronger due to their ability to ignore a third of the monsters in play, as their own breed of monster doesn't attack them, but since most sectors have a heterogenous population, they get boostafazooed and their colony ships and new colonies are burned to the ground like everyone else's now.

Zato 09-24-2014 07:09 PM

Planet health
 
Planets going down easier can be a positive for me, at medium levels.

username 09-25-2014 01:22 AM

What range of levels would say constitutes "medium" level? 25-50?

Zato 09-25-2014 03:36 AM

bump below

username 09-25-2014 02:54 PM

Well, the logic behind how wars start and how treaties occur is pretty straightfoward and simple: If relations fall below a certain point, I believe 35, the side will shortly declare war. It's entirely predictable and can be easily manipulated, and it doesn't matter how feasible winning the war is or how wise it would be to declare war: A one planet empire is perfectly happy to declare war on a 30 planet empire with 4 allies.

Zato 09-25-2014 03:33 PM

Ditto vertical

username 09-25-2014 09:56 PM

That would make for a more peaceful game overall, but wouldn't do anything to prevent early extinction. Allies don't directly assist or coordinate with each other, so a race doesn't actually receive any direct assistance from another. Besides, it is possible for the player to already intentionally create a more peaceful or warlike galaxy. If you habitually promote alliances between races and suppress unfriendly races, the races already begin at higher relationship to each other. High-difficulty extinction is pretty much entirely down to monster bleed damage on every attack. My experiments have pretty much largely curtailed inevitable extinction syndrome.

Zato 09-25-2014 10:11 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by username (Post 76086)
That would make for a more peaceful game overall, but wouldn't do anything to prevent early extinction. Allies don't directly assist or coordinate with each other, so a race doesn't actually receive any direct assistance from another. Besides, it is possible for the player to already intentionally create a more peaceful or warlike galaxy. If you habitually promote alliances between races and suppress unfriendly races, the races already begin at higher relationship to each other. High-difficulty extinction is pretty much entirely down to monster bleed damage on every attack. My experiments have pretty much largely curtailed inevitable extinction syndrome.

Sounds good, looking forward to trying it out.

BBHood217 08-16-2020 05:02 AM

Apologies for the necro, but I looked through the mod forum and it doesn't look like the mod to toughen up planets like what was described here was ever posted there. I'd like to know how to make the edit to the planet HP myself or if a mod that does a similar thing already exists and where to get it. Any help would be appreciated, as I'd also like my high-level games to not just be monsters annihilating the sector all the time.

Zato 08-16-2020 12:38 PM

mod_PlanetHealthIncr

Pretty sure got it from this site.

BBHood217 08-16-2020 09:13 PM

That's from this mod pack, right? I don't quite know how to put the formula posted here into the mod, so I'll just make do with what's on the mod coupled with another stronger races mod. Perhaps the two together will be enough to stave off galactic extinction at higher levels.


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