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  #1  
Old 08-07-2012, 10:11 PM
Korin Korin is offline
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Default I want to feel like a mercenary.

I really enjoy the concept of Drox. I like the idea of being a mercenary, choosing to subtly shape the development of race relations or blast to pieces any empire that gets in my way. Unfortunately, I don't feel that concept in the gameplay at all. I feel incredibly weak in this game. There's no tangible effect to any of the aggressive non-war actions (espionage, sabotage, propaganda). My own ship is hardly stronger than those of any empire. I don't even have great control over my relations with empires, as once I commit to one, it's very difficult to redeem myself with his enemies.

I have no how empire/planet resources work. I don't know if empires spend minerals or credits to build ships, how long it takes to build a ship, how planets grow population and why it matters, whether or how technology is used by empires, why empires choose to expand, and many other things. As a result, I have no idea what I'm actually doing when I use propaganda, sabotage, or espionage. I have kind of an idea that it affects ship building speed and subraces, but with all that information hidden, I can't justify using credits on it. I just don't see the returns.

The only way I feel like I affect the outcome of the game is by going to war and personally contesting planets. Even then, my impact is minimal, because on top of the empire ships being almost as powerful as mine, the empires can colonize new planets and churn out defenders just as fast as I destroy them. I can spend all my time destroying one colony, leaving to repair, and returning to destroy that same colony over and over. The only chance to beat this cycle is to attack from a friendly planet right next to my target or assist in an empire's offensive, and that leaves me feeling like just a cog in a machine (which machine is usually too stupid to colonize the planet it just cleared). Because I can't significantly affect a war, my choice is limited to picking the empire that's already winning. If I pick wrong, I'm screwed.

Because of how the relations system currently works, I don't feel like I get to be a gun for hire, a double agent, or really anything but just another soldier in an army. Every empire seems to hate me unless I help theirs and only theirs. Once I commit to allying one empire, most of the time, I can't change my mind and ally another, because the options for raising relations are weak. Paying credits for relation points feels like a copout, and I honestly think it shouldn't be possible on the scale it now is. Questing is very slow (unless I luck into a terraform mission) and somehow lowers my relation with the questgiver's enemies more than it raises my relation with the questgiver. (They don't see me hovering over their planet blasting propaganda at full volume, but they know it when I'm collecting ice shards three jumps away from their nearest planet?) The only other option is killing ships of an empire's enemy, which requires me to immediately go to war. Either way, for some amount of time, I'll be at war with at least two empires, and if I had to change my allegiance, chances are good these are the only two empires left, and that just lost me the game.

Basically, I feel less like a mercenary than a relatively beefy soldier that gets a one-time choice of empire. And that feels bad.

I understand that this is currently in beta, and I hope you can bump up player power and knowledge by the time it's released.
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  #2  
Old 08-08-2012, 11:20 PM
BQwoobie BQwoobie is offline
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I think that when one empire gets too powerful, the other empires should try desperately to ally with you against it.
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  #3  
Old 08-09-2012, 01:43 AM
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Axegrinder Axegrinder is offline
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I believe the issue with one empire being overpowered over the course of the game was fixed in the last patch. Other empires will now gang up on him.


In my opinion the game does a pretty good job as portraying the player as a mercenary. You are only a part of the whole picture,and no matter how powerful your ship is it can't defeat empires on its own, however like Diablo II, you can become a minor god in certain sectors in relation to the monsters.


Do agree with you about the relationship thing being somewhat fickle at this point and hopefully further patches will address this in this excellent game.
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  #4  
Old 08-09-2012, 02:13 AM
Chumpy Chumpy is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Axegrinder View Post
I believe the issue with one empire being overpowered over the course of the game was fixed in the last patch. Other empires will now gang up on him.
Nope!

At least, not enough to make a significant difference.
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  #5  
Old 08-09-2012, 07:44 AM
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Crisses Crisses is offline
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I played the first challenge sector, I was about twice the level of the sector -- so that made a difference -- but I was able to back an underdog and haul their butt up the food chain to come out the winner.

There were some strategic advantages: the other races left standing were all at war, and all shared systems together. The guy I sided with had 2 systems ALL to themself, and had colonized nearly everything in sight in those systems. That's a huge advantage because anyone who wanted to attack them (even though they were "at war with them") had to haul troops through conduits to get there -- and they could NOT colonize in those systems. So they were busy picking at one another, not bothering to fight with the cause I championed.

I started by clearing monsters out of yet another neighboring system for my underdog to start populating. They had many quests for that system, so I knew they WANTED to go there. And it was in a corner away from the other races... Also, this kept my chosen race busy so they wouldn't waste troops/resources trying to colonize in the direction of the other races.

Then, because the top dog had their forces in 3+ systems, I was able to start picking off their planets and winning system-by-system... Even after destroying 1-2 planets, my choice race plinked to the top of the pack (partially due to colonizing, partly due to my taxing the top dog's resources...). After a couple more planets, their lead was ensured. I just took my time trashing the former leader, who had already trounced the other competition for me.

So I'd say pay attention to what's going on -- you really have to strategize. If you're going to back an underdog, try to get to them before they fall too far behind the pack and pick an underdog with advantages given the terrain. Play to their strengths and the map. Either you have to build up their strength OR whittle down the competition (or find some happy medium between). Going head-to-head with the lead race may not always be the best choice -- let other races do it for you when possible. And I picked systems where they only had a few planets to start with before trying to take down their home system that was highly populated.... When you attack planets, crush the colony ships first -- they're easy targets! You can seriously hamper a race just by flying around crushing colony ships. And if you have to pick a war with someone, do it with a race everyone hates...at least that wins you some favor.
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  #6  
Old 08-09-2012, 10:04 AM
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PixelLord PixelLord is offline
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Sometimes I don't understand how the strength of a race's ships is determined. In one game I went to war and it took tons of shots (50?) to kill even one ship while they were depleting my shields and armor in 5 or 6 shots. I could affect nothing!

Then in the next game with the same ship (still equipped the same), I again went to war with a race and found I could down a ship with much fewer shots (20?), which made a huge difference on my impact on that game.

Seems some races are way more powerful at one time and much, much weaker at other times. So I really don't know what's up with that. Anyone else know?
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  #7  
Old 08-09-2012, 11:39 AM
Bluddy Bluddy is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by PixelLord View Post
Sometimes I don't understand how the strength of a race's ships is determined. In one game I went to war and it took tons of shots (50?) to kill even one ship while they were depleting my shields and armor in 5 or 6 shots. I could affect nothing!

Then in the next game with the same ship (still equipped the same), I again went to war with a race and found I could down a ship with much fewer shots (20?), which made a huge difference on my impact on that game.

Seems some races are way more powerful at one time and much, much weaker at other times. So I really don't know what's up with that. Anyone else know?
It probably has to do with the components the races are equipping. The components not only determine their shields and armor, they also take damage themselves instead of structure (every component does). I believe components are determined by a race's tech level.

I believe one of the big problems right now is that race ships are too powerful. You should be able to take on some race ships fairly easily. Also, there's no variety in race ships other than diplomats and colony ships. Most race ships should be weaker -- especially for smaller races. Large races would have a few, more expensive strong ships.

If the issue is that monsters will destroy all race planets, then perhaps the monster population should be reduced, or perhaps planets need their own automatic defenses other than ships.

Another important change IMO is that components should not take damage instead of structure -- they should take damage WITH structure. So if structure gets damaged, there's a chance that a component will get damaged at the same time. This alone should make it somewhat easier to fight race ships.
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  #8  
Old 08-09-2012, 12:08 PM
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Crisses Crisses is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Bluddy View Post
Another important change IMO is that components should not take damage instead of structure -- they should take damage WITH structure. So if structure gets damaged, there's a chance that a component will get damaged at the same time. This alone should make it somewhat easier to fight race ships.
At the price that the same thing would be happening to our ships...?
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  #9  
Old 08-09-2012, 12:40 PM
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PixelLord PixelLord is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Bluddy View Post
I believe one of the big problems right now is that race ships are too powerful. You should be able to take on some race ships fairly easily.
I agree. 50 shots to kill a single ship is maddening.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Bluddy View Post
If the issue is that monsters will destroy all race planets, then perhaps the monster population should be reduced, or perhaps planets need their own automatic defenses other than ships.
If so, I vote for automatic defenses rather than fewer monsters (although I would like a few tougher monsters with different abilities/defenses - but it's probably too late for that this game.)
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  #10  
Old 08-09-2012, 01:45 PM
BQwoobie BQwoobie is offline
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Not sure I agree about race ships being too powerful. Personally, I like the challenge this presents. Having to beat down these extremely powerful mobs really makes it feel like a war.

Also, having to pay for boosts makes money more meaningful.
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