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Research trait bonuses
06-15-2013, 10:56 AM (This post was last modified: 06-15-2013 11:03 AM by anthee.)
Post: #1
Research trait bonuses
I see research trait bonuses were tuned down somewhat in the latest beta version. Was there some specific reason for this? I have done some extensive testing in single player beta with research builds VS industry builds, comparing the population, production and ship technology levels of different racial builds at different stardates on different maps, and I never felt that research builds would be overpowered with the +2/+4 bonuses for Quick Thinkers and Borderline Genius, respectively. On the contrary, early expansion is still almost always crucial, limiting the points you can spend on research traits.

I did find that some research builds could, with the right research strategy, start to get rolling pretty well after a slow start but that was just a fresh alternative instead of something overpowered. Now, especially since Slow Thinkers was modified to give just a -1/2 penalty to research, I'm worried that industry builds are the only valid option again. It's just too easy to pick Slow Thinkers now especially with a Shared Intelligence build.

Thoughts?

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06-16-2013, 12:46 AM
Post: #2
RE: Research trait bonuses
(06-15-2013 10:56 AM)anthee Wrote:  I see research trait bonuses were tuned down somewhat in the latest beta version. Was there some specific reason for this? I have done some extensive testing in single player beta with research builds VS industry builds, comparing the population, production and ship technology levels of different racial builds at different stardates on different maps, and I never felt that research builds would be overpowered with the +2/+4 bonuses for Quick Thinkers and Borderline Genius, respectively. On the contrary, early expansion is still almost always crucial, limiting the points you can spend on research traits.

I did find that some research builds could, with the right research strategy, start to get rolling pretty well after a slow start but that was just a fresh alternative instead of something overpowered. Now, especially since Slow Thinkers was modified to give just a -1/2 penalty to research, I'm worried that industry builds are the only valid option again. It's just too easy to pick Slow Thinkers now especially with a Shared Intelligence build.

Thoughts?

Prior to Beta, I only played industry builds. And I tried and tried to successfully play them after the modifications to research, but I kept losing to science builds. I then played science builds against industry builds and won. The pendulum had, I believe, swung too far to the other side.

At least player-vs-player, I think the changes are good. Will have to see, though.

After 2-3 months of play-time I am pretty sure Roc will have enough empirical data (by what traits people choose, particularly if he separates out those that won the game vs those that lost) to know:

1) which traits are winners (and potentially OP);
2) which traits are losers (and need a boost);
3) which traits are neutral (and hence well-balanced); and
4) which traits never get used (and need a boost).

If you could add a variable of total games won (to control for experience/skill), that would be even better.

Send the raw data my way - I'd love to tease that out Smile
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06-19-2013, 12:57 AM
Post: #3
RE: Research trait bonuses
Two other traits that seem imbalanced are battle hardened and tolerant -- too powerful and not powerful enough, respectively. Battle hardened was dropped from 2 to 1 point and buffed from 10% to 20% bonuses. Seems like a must pick at 1 point and I haven't run into anyone who hasn't picked it. On the other side of the coin, I've never seen anyone pick tolerant.
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06-19-2013, 01:11 AM
Post: #4
RE: Research trait bonuses
(06-19-2013 12:57 AM)Skins0815 Wrote:  Two other traits that seem imbalanced are battle hardened and tolerant -- too powerful and not powerful enough, respectively. Battle hardened was dropped from 2 to 1 point and buffed from 10% to 20% bonuses. Seems like a must pick at 1 point and I haven't run into anyone who hasn't picked it. On the other side of the coin, I've never seen anyone pick tolerant.

@Skins: As someone who is successful with a science build, do you agree that science was OP @ +2/+4?

I agree that tolerant is very marginal as a trait. If tolerant made it so regardless of planet type you received +2 farming (or something like that), but cost more (3 points maybe), I can see it being a fun trait. Early benefits (can farm any planet equally) but short and long-term costs (Gaia doesn't really help, farm worse on terrans than other races). The main benefit would be reduced costs due to no need for food transport and reduced building maintenance.

And battle hardened is nice, but probably not a 2-point trait. I would skip it if there was a better 1 point trait (nice, but not critical). I would rather have navigator than battle-hardened, for example.

Battle hardened would be a nice 2 or even 3-point trait if having it made your barracks act like barracks 2 (so you double marine growth with MB1, quadruple with MB2).
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06-19-2013, 01:57 AM
Post: #5
RE: Research trait bonuses
(06-19-2013 12:57 AM)Skins0815 Wrote:  Two other traits that seem imbalanced are battle hardened and tolerant -- too powerful and not powerful enough, respectively. Battle hardened was dropped from 2 to 1 point and buffed from 10% to 20% bonuses. Seems like a must pick at 1 point and I haven't run into anyone who hasn't picked it. On the other side of the coin, I've never seen anyone pick tolerant.

I think we are ok to release the update with both of those as is; it may be that you're right, but I think the stats from a couple months of it being live will prove that out or not.
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06-19-2013, 02:02 AM
Post: #6
RE: Research trait bonuses
(06-19-2013 01:57 AM)rocco Wrote:  
(06-19-2013 12:57 AM)Skins0815 Wrote:  Two other traits that seem imbalanced are battle hardened and tolerant -- too powerful and not powerful enough, respectively. Battle hardened was dropped from 2 to 1 point and buffed from 10% to 20% bonuses. Seems like a must pick at 1 point and I haven't run into anyone who hasn't picked it. On the other side of the coin, I've never seen anyone pick tolerant.

I think we are ok to release the update with both of those as is; it may be that you're right, but I think the stats from a couple months of it being live will prove that out or not.

I agree that they are release-ready for sure. As I said, the data from this first update should provide wonderful data for balancing traits in future updates.
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06-19-2013, 02:19 AM (This post was last modified: 06-19-2013 02:21 AM by VanderLegion.)
Post: #7
RE: Research trait bonuses
(06-19-2013 01:11 AM)Diebo Wrote:  I agree that tolerant is very marginal as a trait. If tolerant made it so regardless of planet type you received +2 farming (or something like that), but cost more (3 points maybe), I can see it being a fun trait. Early benefits (can farm any planet equally) but short and long-term costs (Gaia doesn't really help, farm worse on terrans than other races). The main benefit would be reduced costs due to no need for food transport and reduced building maintenance.

+2 farming regardless of planet type basically just turns it into the 6 point food trait (with the added bonus of farming extra planet types, which means it should cost more). If anything were going to be changed for tolerant, I'd rather see it reverse your farming numbers, so you farm toxic as if it were gaia, radiated as if it were terran, etc. So gaia/terran would be unfarmable, etc. It would make for an an interesting dynamic, but it'd have to be made into a more expensive trait (and thus probably not used as much) due to the fact that there's far more toxic/radiated/barren planets than there are terran/gaia until you're terraforming.

I still like the idea of a trait that completely reverses everything so toxic are treated completely like gaia, radiated completely like terran, etc and vice versa. So instead of just farming, it'd be population numbers, etc as well. Maybe terraforming goes in reverse as well, so you turn gaia into terran, into arid, into desert, barren, radiated, then have "Toxic device" instead of Gaia device to turn it into toxic. Again though, it'd have to be a n expensive trait due to the proliferation of crappy quality planets, but depending on the cost it might be worth it for the early planet advantage...
I'll agree that tolerant isn't really attractive as-is. Even in unlimited games when I actually have it and the +2 food bonus, I rarely make use of tolerant because I'd rather have people farming on gaia/terran planets where they'll get more food per farmer.

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06-19-2013, 02:32 AM
Post: #8
RE: Research trait bonuses
(06-19-2013 01:11 AM)Diebo Wrote:  @Skins: As someone who is successful with a science build, do you agree that science was OP @ +2/+4?
I like the change from +4 to +3, I think it improves balance. Not sure about the rationale for +2 dropping to +1 instead of +1.5. I doubt anyone will take this trait at +1.
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06-19-2013, 02:43 AM
Post: #9
RE: Research trait bonuses
(06-19-2013 02:19 AM)VanderLegion Wrote:  
(06-19-2013 01:11 AM)Diebo Wrote:  I agree that tolerant is very marginal as a trait. If tolerant made it so regardless of planet type you received +2 farming (or something like that), but cost more (3 points maybe), I can see it being a fun trait. Early benefits (can farm any planet equally) but short and long-term costs (Gaia doesn't really help, farm worse on terrans than other races). The main benefit would be reduced costs due to no need for food transport and reduced building maintenance.

+2 farming regardless of planet type basically just turns it into the 6 point food trait (with the added bonus of farming extra planet types, which means it should cost more). If anything were going to be changed for tolerant, I'd rather see it reverse your farming numbers, so you farm toxic as if it were gaia, radiated as if it were terran, etc. So gaia/terran would be unfarmable, etc. It would make for an an interesting dynamic, but it'd have to be made into a more expensive trait (and thus probably not used as much) due to the fact that there's far more toxic/radiated/barren planets than there are terran/gaia until you're terraforming.

I still like the idea of a trait that completely reverses everything so toxic are treated completely like gaia, radiated completely like terran, etc and vice versa. So instead of just farming, it'd be population numbers, etc as well. Maybe terraforming goes in reverse as well, so you turn gaia into terran, into arid, into desert, barren, radiated, then have "Toxic device" instead of Gaia device to turn it into toxic. Again though, it'd have to be a n expensive trait due to the proliferation of crappy quality planets, but depending on the cost it might be worth it for the early planet advantage...
I'll agree that tolerant isn't really attractive as-is. Even in unlimited games when I actually have it and the +2 food bonus, I rarely make use of tolerant because I'd rather have people farming on gaia/terran planets where they'll get more food per farmer.

I like the idea of reverse everything, but that would be a 12-point trait! You would almost not have to terraform anything.

My idea was I guess that you treated any planet like it gave you what it needed for food without much work. I am thinking maybe you eat rocks (Silicoid) or something. So all habitable planets have rocks (even oceans), and rocks don't taste any better on a gaia than a toxic. You get +2 (or +1 or whatever) per planet, but there is no benefit from a terran (or probably from 2 suns, or weather satellites, maybe even no hydro centers... maybe hydro centers could be used to grow mind-altering substances that increased morale +10 percent but decreased productivity -10 percent instead). And I guess the farming trait would not be for "farming" but for "mining". There, you see, I took a simple concept and made it difficult to implement! The advantage would be early (all planets could farm, but not as good as the starting home terran for other races) but at a later disadvantage (no satellites, no advanced farming). Maybe PCM for this race would make rocks more available, so add +1 or +2 to "farming".

With minimal changes, tolerant would be a worthy trait just by removing all maintenance costs associated with atmosphere. I would have to do the math, but it would be a direct boost to early-game credit, and has the advantage of allowing farming on non-farming worlds during blockades.

Again, for a future update.
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06-19-2013, 02:58 AM (This post was last modified: 06-19-2013 03:22 AM by Skins0815.)
Post: #10
RE: Research trait bonuses
(06-19-2013 01:11 AM)Diebo Wrote:  With minimal changes, tolerant would be a worthy trait just by removing all maintenance costs associated with atmosphere. I would have to do the math, but it would be a direct boost to early-game credit, and has the advantage of allowing farming on non-farming worlds during blockades.

Again, for a future update.

I like this change, and I wonder if it might be simple enough for this release?
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