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Obtaining leaders
05-17-2012, 02:49 PM
Post: #1
Obtaining leaders
I wanted to express my thoughts on the new leaders:
First, as far as i can tell, playing with leaders is fun and exciting.

However, I am not a fan of the auction mechanic. I feel that this creates a huge need to generate cash, and tie that cash up for many turns. Im not sure if the investment is worthwhile, and i think it has the opportunity to lead to unhappy plays, like doing nothing but farm credits for turns at a time only to fail and end up with 1/4 the production you would have had otherwise, and even sacrificing buildings in the hopes of coming out ahead.

I would propose a few ideas:
1) make leaders optional when creating a game. Especially if they end up dominating the game in an unfun way, it would be nice to be able to turn them off.
2) replace (or optionally replace) the auction mechanic with a "find" system more like free tech/colonies/treasure. That way, you could discover the actual home planet of a particular leader, or find his or her ship orbiting a planet. There would still be all the options to move them once discovered, and maybe they could have additional abilities on their original planet or ship. There might not be an opportunity for all leaders to appear on smaller maps.
3) there could also be some sort of influence mechanic, where you might be able to steal, weaken, trade, turn into a double agent, or otherwise influence an enemy leader. i don't really have any solid ideas on this, but it could create the opportunity to resolve a situation where an oppponent is really destroying you with a particular leader.
4) leaders could "approach" certain players individually, whether it is because they "match" the leader in some way, or because that player is falling behind, and could serve as a last chance to save a losing player
5) leaders could join with you for other costs than just cash. Other ideas include auctioning ships, tech, population, whole colonies, etc. this could still use the auction mechanic.

I look forward to your discussion!
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05-17-2012, 03:19 PM
Post: #2
RE: Obtaining leaders
I do so love the leaders. I'm still mulling of your ideas. There's been a few times in 1v1 where 30-50 turns go by where neither of us has built a thing with everything on economic funding. But that usually only happens when a REALY good leader comes up. Like the bunny or four eyes. It's not so bad in bigger MP games, with a bunch of people bidding. Having more than one leader up for bid at a time helps also.

I think a game I had with VL on a small map, was nothing but generating as much cash as possible to out bid each other. He eventually won but with a very small fleet. The majority of the game we had destroyers. I forgot what turn it ended, but I dont think i even got to SB 2 in the same amount of time I would usually have gotten to PCM and orbs 2

It's completely different against the AI. The AI gives up to quickly.

If the leaders came in later in the game, when everyone is (mostly) established, It would be different.

It seams like when the leaders are up, the game is basically put on hold. If that happens early on and you don't have any research or industry built on a plant, you're kinda dead in the water.

What if the leaders don't show up until the combined X of all players is at a certain point.

Not sure "find" would work, exploring planets would be THE most important part. Ideally all parts of the game should be in balance.

There's been some discussion on being able to assassinate or influence them, but not enough.

I like the idea of being able to trade more than money. Makes it feel like an after hours poker match. I see your gold watch and raise you my wedding ring. (which I never did, honest Angel )

Who would you trade a system to? An AI? Or just scortched earthed?

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05-17-2012, 04:27 PM
Post: #3
RE: Obtaining leaders
2 & 4. both suffer the same issue of unbalancing the game; one of the reasons we went with an auction system to begin with.

3. I have plans for this when diplomacy is implemented; without diplo it just doesn't have a good place to live.

5. Is interesting. It would be difficult coming up with money equivalents for that (what is the GC cost of a colony?), and figuring out what to do with them once "spent".



I am all open for suggestions on how to tweak the current auction mechanic to discourage the "halt the game while we outbid each other" syndrome. Here are a few ideas floating in my head:

1) Lowering the leader cap to one leader; making Exopolitics I (bump to 3 leaders) and Exopolitics II (bump to 5 leaders). This won't eliminate the first bidding war for a leader, but it will delay subsequent bidding wars until later in the game. So far, this is my current favorite as it works with current mechanics.

2) Buy outs. Will be difficult finding a buy out price that scales.

3) We revert back to the original implementation of leader auctions; auctions have a set timespan off X number of turns, highest bidder at the end wins it. This approach led to people not bidding until the end to snipe the leader, but at least the bidding didn't drag on forever.
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05-17-2012, 04:35 PM
Post: #4
RE: Obtaining leaders
I like a mix of 1, coupled with leaders not appearing until X turns into the game... say... 40. That way the leaders that help with the early game aren't completely useless and you still have time to build up and make stuff before any type of bidding war.

But if we make exo 1 and 2 than we need to revamp the research system. On my latest game I had small minded scientists and at one point I had 7 research options in the weapons area.

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05-17-2012, 04:48 PM (This post was last modified: 05-17-2012 04:51 PM by VanderLegion.)
Post: #5
RE: Obtaining leaders
(05-17-2012 02:49 PM)Teet_III Wrote:  I wanted to express my thoughts on the new leaders:
First, as far as i can tell, playing with leaders is fun and exciting.

However, I am not a fan of the auction mechanic. I feel that this creates a huge need to generate cash, and tie that cash up for many turns. Im not sure if the investment is worthwhile, and i think it has the opportunity to lead to unhappy plays, like doing nothing but farm credits for turns at a time only to fail and end up with 1/4 the production you would have had otherwise, and even sacrificing buildings in the hopes of coming out ahead.

I would propose a few ideas:
1) make leaders optional when creating a game. Especially if they end up dominating the game in an unfun way, it would be nice to be able to turn them off.
2) replace (or optionally replace) the auction mechanic with a "find" system more like free tech/colonies/treasure. That way, you could discover the actual home planet of a particular leader, or find his or her ship orbiting a planet. There would still be all the options to move them once discovered, and maybe they could have additional abilities on their original planet or ship. There might not be an opportunity for all leaders to appear on smaller maps.
3) there could also be some sort of influence mechanic, where you might be able to steal, weaken, trade, turn into a double agent, or otherwise influence an enemy leader. i don't really have any solid ideas on this, but it could create the opportunity to resolve a situation where an oppponent is really destroying you with a particular leader.
4) leaders could "approach" certain players individually, whether it is because they "match" the leader in some way, or because that player is falling behind, and could serve as a last chance to save a losing player
5) leaders could join with you for other costs than just cash. Other ideas include auctioning ships, tech, population, whole colonies, etc. this could still use the auction mechanic.

I look forward to your discussion!

1) I would be okay with an option for custom games to turn off leaders, as long as they were on for standard matchmaking games, although I wouldn't ever use it. I love the leaders.

2) I dunno about replacing the auction mechanic with finding leaders, but I do think it could be a cool mechanic to add in addition to it, sorta like you research tech, but you have the chance to discover it as well. Maybe when you find a lost colony there's a possibility of it having a leader, or when you scavenge tech from a derelict ship in orbit there's a chance of it not actually being so derelict after all and you get a scout or destroyer or something with a combat leader (would work the same as everything else, mirrored for each player in their slice, random in the center, though for mirrored you'd obviously get different leaders)

3) Influence for leaders I think is something that could possibly be worked in when diplomacy is added to the game, not sure how it would work before that (or after really, but would make more sense with diplomacy to have something along those lines). I do like the option of doing something about enemy leaders (mainly finding a way to get rid of the stupid bunny without having to kill the burrow at least once, maybe more times).

4) Leaders approaching players who "match" them could be interesting. Not sure how it would work, but would be something different I suppose. I'm not a huge fan of them approaching the losing player simply because they're losing. For one thing, how exactly do you define losing.

5) Could also be interesting
I don't have a huge problem with the auctions themselves. In falanor and my last game, we only had 1 time that I recall where we both just went funding and bid for a long time (for the easter bunny), for the rest, I pretty much just kept going on what I was doing and bid what I could. If the opponent wins a buncha auctions, that just means they have less money for the next ones so you can win later. Early game, most of the time it won't be a huge deal because they won't be able to get to you to kill you with their leaders before you get some of your own.

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05-17-2012, 05:08 PM (This post was last modified: 05-17-2012 05:18 PM by elph.)
Post: #6
RE: Obtaining leaders
(05-17-2012 04:27 PM)rocco Wrote:  1) Lowering the leader cap to one leader; making Exopolitics I (bump to 3 leaders) and Exopolitics II (bump to 5 leaders). This won't eliminate the first bidding war for a leader, but it will delay subsequent bidding wars until later in the game. So far, this is my current favorite as it works with current mechanics.

2) Buy outs. Will be difficult finding a buy out price that scales.

3) We revert back to the original implementation of leader auctions; auctions have a set timespan off X number of turns, highest bidder at the end wins it. This approach led to people not bidding until the end to snipe the leader, but at least the bidding didn't drag on forever.

I really like your #1, but I would worry about what would get lost out against Exo. I usually play small minded, prefere it actually, so if it went up against something vital, it could really change things.

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05-17-2012, 06:36 PM
Post: #7
RE: Obtaining leaders
What about implementing a gc per turn for the leader that is based on his skills? Or changing it to the system where leaders aproach players 1 by one but to offset the unbalancedness of that, make a few clones, each with similar but slightly different stats moving it a bit closer to the moo2 leader system. You could have X amount of turns to purchase him before he moves on.

Or even use what I discribed above for leaders that only have a planter and/system skill and keep the auction system for ultimate skills. You could announce in sitrep when someone hires a leader.

Speaking of moo2, I miss random events and the news cast that would mention them haha. Sorry for jumping off topic.
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05-18-2012, 12:30 AM
Post: #8
RE: Obtaining leaders
Another idea: what if the next current minimum bid increased at a greater rate the more the leader was bid on? Right now it is just +10% of the winning bid, but what if that increased each time someone bid on a leader. Something like +10%, +20%, +30%, etc...

This would mean that in a heavy bidding war, the minimum price should scale outside of early empire abilities to out fund, drawing a natural conclusion to an auction faster.
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05-18-2012, 01:16 AM (This post was last modified: 05-18-2012 01:17 AM by drekx.)
Post: #9
RE: Obtaining leaders
(05-18-2012 12:30 AM)rocco Wrote:  Another idea: what if the next current minimum bid increased at a greater rate the more the leader was bid on? Right now it is just +10% of the winning bid, but what if that increased each time someone bid on a leader. Something like +10%, +20%, +30%, etc...

This would mean that in a heavy bidding war, the minimum price should scale outside of early empire abilities to out fund, drawing a natural conclusion to an auction faster.

I don't find the auctions taking too long and if the mechanic is to make it so that people don't just sit there trying to accumulate gc why not just go with option 1 you mentioned before.

Also what if you split leaders into 3 categories? early, mid, and endgame type leaders and then have 3 sets of auctions. 1st set of auctions would take place around the time they currently do. 2nd set would start up once a specific technology (1 or 2) has been unlocked by any players in the game (to signal that mid game has been reached), and then the 3rd set would be like the 2nd set but a much higher tech.
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05-18-2012, 02:41 AM
Post: #10
RE: Obtaining leaders
I like that idea, but the only bad part is if a powerful leader shows up early (like a military leader) and you aren't ready to fight anyone yet, sure you might get him cheap, but then he's just sitting in your officer pool taking up a leader spot
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