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  #1  
Old 07-11-2012, 10:41 PM
Chumpy Chumpy is offline
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Default Crowded! (Actual Play Story) UPDATED!

This is a true story. Some of the details are a little fuzzy,

So I recently made a Brunt ship, with the plan to focus on Computers, using that and an EMP to oneshot enemies with powerful missiles. I was pretty happy with the planet-crushing capabilities, and I soon picked up some decent equipment, finished my first sector at around level 7, and moved on to Crowded, the first challenge sector.

I did a few quests and got on good terms with Dryad and Human. Human declared war on Brunt. Races pay good money, better than anything else I'd seen thus far, for war buddies, so I offered to join them.

After destroying all the Brunt ships and planets, I checked the relations screen. The humans loved me, yes, but on the power level graph the Humans and Dryads were tiny slivers. Somewhere in the Galaxy, there was a race several times more powerful than any I'd met. Also, the Talon died somehow.

I flew around for a bit, EMP'd some monsters, and shrugged my shoulders at the Shadow. Then I found them: the Utopians. No other race was anywhere near their power level, and by pure luck I'd blown up some monsters they didn't like along the way. We were off to a good start. I put them in touch with the Humans, and they soon declared war. I offered to join them for some of that sweet Utopian cash, breaking my alliance. No one cared. Well, no one not at war with a totally sweet planet killing machine.

Somewhere around this time, things started getting crazy.



This is the technology graph for the various races. All I can use is the technology graph, because most races are literally indistinguishable any other way. That's how strong the Utopians are. I have no idea why Dryad don't show up. Maybe Overlord killed them while I wasn't paying attention?

Anyway, as you can see, Legion, Overlord, and Shadow were all killed at almost exactly the same time. Some or all of these deaths involved Utopians. Maybe Lithosoid or Drakk were involved. Probably the Utopians, though, because here's the Planets and Ships graph.



Yeah.

At one point I checked the Trade screen to see that the Utopians had over 100, 000 credits. Fortunately, killing all the humans generated enough goodwill to let me ally with the race that owned over half the galaxy. Talon came back. Legion popped up too but died almost instantly. The last Talon planet was a ways away from the Utopians, so I crossed Drakk country to deal with it myself.

Now, you have to understand something about the Lithosoid, Drakk, and Hive. It's not that the Utopians didn't know about them, or chose to leave them alone. No, the Utopians found them pretty quickly and poured resources into aggressively befriending them. A constant stream of diplomat ships and positive rumors brought everyone to near-total galactic peace.

But this was patch 0.907, so instead of nearly winning the game I just flew around for a while doing their housekeeping. The Utopians were generating so many quests I could pop out of a jump gate, immediately self-destruct, and probably complete at least one.

Anyway, I got bored pretty quick, and I noticed that Drakk-Hive relations were only in the 50-60 range. I asked if Drakk wanted to declare war. They were actually pretty cool with it! No money involved. The other races were allied with everyone involved, so they stayed neutral. Everything was going great, and then I got an idea.

I asked the Hive for a peace treaty. They instantly agreed. Then, I asked the Drakk for money to declare war on the Hive. They gave me six thousand credits. Obviously, I had to try again. I'd lowered my relations with the Hive to around 30. We signed another peace treaty. I got another several thousand (slightly less this time) from the Drakk to declare war again. I went back to the Hive. This time, they weren't so friendly. I paid them a thousand credits for the peace treaty. The Drakk paid me four thousand to break it.

This went on until the profit margin was less than a thousand. I closed the relations screen, unpausing the game, and immediately got a bunch of relations boosts for successful trades. I went back to the relations screen and scammed Drakk again.

I decided to check the relations screen every little while while doing Utopian errands. Interestingly, after I don't know how many reps, the Hive seemed to catch on. Even though our relationship was barely under 30, they asked me for four thousand at one point, and twelve thousand the next time I checked. I blew up their planets and declared war on Drakk.

The Lithosoid offered 22 thousand credits to make peace with them.

Understand that I didn't touch the relations screen. The Lithosoid initiated this deal of their own accord. I took the money and ended the war. Of course I decided to push my luck. I opened the relations screen, declared war again, and asked more Lithosoid money. I took the money. The Drakk refused peace. I was able to take every penny Lithosoid had without closing the relations screen. This made Lithosoid love me.

I bankrupted Utopian the same way, then made peace with Drakk, declared war on Lithosoid, and took all Drakk's money (bringing my relations with Drakk back up to 100).

Anyway, I was feeling pretty lazy, so I decided to see if I could get the races to kill each other for me. Turns out it costs tens of thousands of credits, and tech and planet data are basically worthless. Even high level tech from the shared stash barely made a dent.

Eventually I brought some more level 50 tech, got Utopian and Drakk to break their treaty (saying goodbye to my hard-earned cash), and declared war. They're at war, but they still really like each other.

I decided to wait for 0.908.

Last edited by Chumpy : 07-23-2012 at 10:09 PM. Reason: Can I change the thread title?
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  #2  
Old 07-11-2012, 10:43 PM
Chumpy Chumpy is offline
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Sidenote: Utopian-owned systems (ie. most systems) are swarming with Utopian ships. An interesting side effect is that wandering vendors are no longer threatened by monsters, and are proliferating like crazy.
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  #3  
Old 07-17-2012, 04:04 AM
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Sinistar Sinistar is offline
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WHOA, thats, uh...well, quite a fun read!
I especially like how well you schemed to get every last penny from every race. To be honest, it's all really messed up, some choices AI makes seem really weird and yeah and I'll probably have to read it at least once more to really understand what's going on but entertaining read none the less.

I wish I could play the game like you.
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Old 07-17-2012, 02:35 PM
Chumpy Chumpy is offline
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There are still a bunch of things I don't understand, but I feel like I learned a lot here.

Has anyone else played the Crowded challenge map? Are the Utopians always so far ahead?
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  #5  
Old 07-23-2012, 10:07 PM
Chumpy Chumpy is offline
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I decided to go for either a Military or Fear victory. Either way, I'd be blowing up some planets. I wound up destroying the exact same Drakk planet several times – they re-colonized it whenever I turned my back. Eventually, I figured out where the colony ships were coming from and held them off long enough for Utopians to grab the planet. Some nice emergent gameplay there.

More nice AI bits:
  • Utopian diplomats arriving at a planet I'd just destroyed, then immediately turning around to head home.
  • Lithosoid just loved my fight with Drakk, and if I'd wanted a diplomatic victory, I could have had one pretty quick.

Anyway, Lithosoid are dead now. Let's take a look at the map.



Oh jesus fuck.

Interestingly, it's just this sector that's a huge problem. The other problem sectors (all Utopian) at least fit on the screen. I'm pretty sure there are over 100 quests in Cyonia alone.

But suddenly—





Hmm.

I do want to finish this sector, but the lag gets pretty bad sometimes. A new faction is exciting, but probably should have emerged hours ago.

I'll keep at it!
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  #6  
Old 07-24-2012, 11:19 PM
aReclusiveMind aReclusiveMind is offline
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I finished Crowded tonight on my now level 11 hardcore Utopian ship. I've had good luck with crew and have 3 nice Drakk crew members and a Utopian crew member in my race slot. I also have a lvl 15 req Human crew member waiting in my hold. In my game the Utopians fell behind the Dryad, and the Dryad and Humans ended up forming an alliance. I gave the Dryad a level 17 and a level 22 weapon technology once I had a good relationship with them. After that, they were cleaning house alongside me. It was a fun sector.
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  #7  
Old 07-25-2012, 04:07 AM
Chumpy Chumpy is offline
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Huh!

Did you find the tech in Crowded, or did you import it from the stash? Highest level tech I found was 15.
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  #8  
Old 07-25-2012, 11:41 PM
aReclusiveMind aReclusiveMind is offline
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I found it in the zone from a random drop.

I'm on the "End of the World" scenario now in the very early stages. It has some... surprises. My ship is level 14 Hardcore Utopian. I had a real close scare in the last normal sector I played due to those suicide ships.
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