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Thoughts on balance for beta release 1.2.2.b5
09-06-2013, 03:06 PM
Post: #1
Thoughts on balance for beta release 1.2.2.b5
I definitely think the changes in the last couple of releases improve the balance of the game. Here are a few thoughts and suggestions for potential tweaks to further improve balance. Some of these are new ideas, some of them are pulled from other threads. Curious what others think:

• Taxes from population and economic funding are now much more important and viable with the 60% recovery rate on scrapping ships and the elimination of the “scrapping buildings on planetary expansion 2 and 3” exploit. A couple of suggested tweaks:
o Consider putting a 60% recovery rate on scrapping buildings – same as the 60% for scrapping ships. Otherwise, you can still hoard money by building and scrapping buildings, though I admit it is much harder to do that given the limit of scrapping 1 building per turn, the maintenance cost of buildings, and the presumable value of the buildings you’d have to scrap.
o Trade ports are now more valuable, and it becomes a brutal choice in the early game for non-brilliant research races doing astro research, with fuel cells 1, star drive 1, and trade port all starting off as yellow. Perhaps consider switching the research requirements of deep space jamming and trade ports so that non-brilliant research races can get all three?
• With the nerfs to orbital labs, brilliant researchers, and persnickety, it will take longer to conduct research. This makes an early Gentry or Gorzons even more powerful. As was suggested in another forum, consider not having military leaders show up until turn 100 instead of turn 70
• The 80% recovery rate on upgrading ships will have a massive impact on tactics and strategy. No longer can you build ships up to the command point limit with little/no risk. This will encourage economic hoarding (side note – what about changing the name to production hoarding to avoid confusion with economic funding?) It will also generally discourage early-game attacking, since ships will incur production losses when they need to be upgraded as their tech becomes obsolete. Of course, it’s only a 20% production penalty, but I think we should pay close attention to whether this change swings the balance in favor of research races which have a natural defensive advantage given the relatively limited usefulness of 1 and 2 level weapons techs except on starbases. If you find balance to be a problem, you could nerf starbases or make them more expensive, though this could have unwanted consequences of facilitating very early blitz strategies. There may be other solutions here, I just worry that you’ll see a lot fewer attacks and more slow play games now that upgrading ships incurs a 20% production penalty.
• With the production penalty for upgrading ships, space elevator is now less useful. Previously you could build 1-2 space elevators on key planets with starbases, and upgrade all your ships there (at full price) before using the production with the space elevator’s 10-20% production cost reduction. Now, you’d need a space elevator on every planet that will be cranking out ships. That might be fine, but if you may want to consider reducing the maintenance costs on space elevators
• With the changes to colony ships 3, I don’t think it is worth it to research. For a very expensive 3,300 research, you only get an extra hydroponics with each colony ship or planetary expansion. As has been suggested in other forums, consider a 10-20% reduction in the cost of colony ships and planetary expansions
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09-06-2013, 03:28 PM
Post: #2
RE: Thoughts on balance for beta release 1.2.2.b5
(09-06-2013 03:06 PM)Skins0815 Wrote:  • Taxes from population and economic funding are now much more important and viable with the 60% recovery rate on scrapping ships and the elimination of the “scrapping buildings on planetary expansion 2 and 3” exploit. A couple of suggested tweaks:
o Trade ports are now more valuable, and it becomes a brutal choice in the early game for non-brilliant research races doing astro research, with fuel cells 1, star drive 1, and trade port all starting off as yellow. Perhaps consider switching the research requirements of deep space jamming and trade ports so that non-brilliant research races can get all three?

Honestly I don't think it should be changed. There SHOULD be hard choices in the tech tree. If you have to choose between 2 different techs you really want, that opens up 2 differnet play styles and strategies. If there's no hard choices, everyone just always researching the exact same things. I'd rather have the diversity. I still think warp games should be moved out of civil and into early astro exactly to add another hard choice in there. Do I research star drives for the ability to travel fast when attacking my opponent, or do I research warp gates and play defensively, able to get between my own planets instantly, but slow to attack until the second time around the tree? Or get both, but lose out on fuel cells, etc.

IMO, the more hard choices for research the better. It's much more interesting if you don't hvae everything you want until after a coupla passes.

Quote:• With the nerfs to orbital labs, brilliant researchers, and persnickety, it will take longer to conduct research. This makes an early Gentry or Gorzons even more powerful. As was suggested in another forum, consider not having military leaders show up until turn 100 instead of turn 70

I'm all for this, since as mentioned, the pace of the game has been slowed WAY down by the research changes, even before the nerfs you mentioned. I'd say it should have been done when RCs and Labs were changed originally to remove the static bonuses.

Quote:• The 80% recovery rate on upgrading ships will have a massive impact on tactics and strategy. No longer can you build ships up to the command point limit with little/no risk. This will encourage economic hoarding (side note – what about changing the name to production hoarding to avoid confusion with economic funding?) It will also generally discourage early-game attacking, since ships will incur production losses when they need to be upgraded as their tech becomes obsolete. Of course, it’s only a 20% production penalty, but I think we should pay close attention to whether this change swings the balance in favor of research races which have a natural defensive advantage given the relatively limited usefulness of 1 and 2 level weapons techs except on starbases. If you find balance to be a problem, you could nerf starbases or make them more expensive, though this could have unwanted consequences of facilitating very early blitz strategies. There may be other solutions here, I just worry that you’ll see a lot fewer attacks and more slow play games now that upgrading ships incurs a 20% production penalty.

I don't think it's that big a deal. Now, instead of scrapping and it takes you 0 turns to build the new ship, so you hoard all the production you create that turn, it'll take you 1 turn to upgrade for smaller ships, and maybe 2 for big ones? Personally, I rarely build ships that take more than 10 turns to build, and frequently will try to hold it under 5 if I'm not at the CP cap, which again, means only 1 turn to upgrade the ship. A fully equipped mammoth might take you what, 10-15 turns to build depending on the planet? So it'd take you 2 or 3 turns to upgrade it, but I can't say I really ever build mammoths before I have all the tech done anyway, so the only reason I'd want to scrap them is if I need to change my fleet configuration for whatever reason. I rarely scrap anything bigger than probably a cruiser, maybe a battleship, which again, will probably only take 1 turn to upgrade with the 20% penalty. And if you're just upgrading weapons from level 1-2 or 2-3, it's not even a full 20% penalty to the total cost of the ship, since each level of weapons is 20% cheaper than the previous one, so you only get the hit on the hull and systems.

And honestly, it SHOULD take you some production to completely overhaul a ship. What dock in the world can overhaul an entire ship without doing ANY work to be able to hoard it all for later? Hell, as it stands now, if you're only upgrading the weapons to a higher level on a ship, you actually GAIN production from upgrading it. That makes no sense at all logically. My original proposal for upgrades way back when before they were implemented was to have you actually upgrade a ship (as opposed to scrapping and building a new one), and having to pay a fee for the changes, so you pay a bit to upgrade a weapon, or to change it to a different type of weapon, etc. This has the same basic effect, it just makes it a flat cost as opposed to being based on what work is being done as my original proposal suggested.

I haven't actually played any of the latest beta yet since I just got home today, but I doubt the scrapping change will affect my gameplay much. Now what this WILL hurt a lot is the distributed production strategy of building empty frigates all over to scrap for production at a central location. Which I also think is a good thing, since that was never the intention with the upgrade system.

Quote:• With the production penalty for upgrading ships, space elevator is now less useful. Previously you could build 1-2 space elevators on key planets with starbases, and upgrade all your ships there (at full price) before using the production with the space elevator’s 10-20% production cost reduction. Now, you’d need a space elevator on every planet that will be cranking out ships. That might be fine, but if you may want to consider reducing the maintenance costs on space elevators

Again I disagree. Again, since I don't use distributed production, I've always just built space elevators on any planet that I'm using to build ships. The maintenance cost has never been prohibitive.

Quote:• With the changes to colony ships 3, I don’t think it is worth it to research. For a very expensive 3,300 research, you only get an extra hydroponics with each colony ship or planetary expansion. As has been suggested in other forums, consider a 10-20% reduction in the cost of colony ships and planetary expansions

Definitely agree. As it stands, I see no point wasting the time and RP researching colony 3 anymore, I'd rather just get colony 2 and start pumping out colony ships.

GC ID - VanderLegion, GMT-9. Sandbox GC ID (Beta) - VanderLegion
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09-06-2013, 07:08 PM (This post was last modified: 09-06-2013 07:09 PM by General_Grr.)
Post: #3
RE: Thoughts on balance for beta release 1.2.2.b5
Think all suggested changes above are great. Would just suggest tweaking recovery rate as below

Starbase 1: 70%
Starbase 2: 80%
Starbase 3: 90
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