(Future) Era 4 Development Discussion Thread

General discussion for the game Anacreon
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--Imperator--
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Sun Apr 29, 2018 8:06 am

In early 2017 (around this time last year) we had the Era 3 update, which:

1. Fixed the double capital/no-capital bug.
2. Fixed the graviton launcher overproduction bug.
3. Combines multiple alert messages of the same type into a single one, instead of infinitely stacking them.
4. Introduced the Beacon mechanic for jumpships: restricting jumpship movement to within 250LY of a friendly jumpship yard.
5. The Great Rebalancing: completely changing stats of all units to be fairer overall, encouraging players to use different unit types.
6. Restricted sector capital placement to areas outside an existing sector capital's control radius.
7. Prevented foundations from uplifting worlds past the capital's tech level, and disallows using the foundation to uplift the capital itself.
8. Allowed purchasing of every ship type from Mesophon.

We were promised "1-2 weeks" of development towards an Era 4 with some more bugfixes/features in late 2017, which didn't happen. That's okay, given releasing Transcendence Part II is a priority. George also stated that Anacreon development would resume once Part II is released, which hopefully would be sometime this year.

Certainly not complaining though, I'm used to waiting... and besides the pace of Anacreon development certainly can't beat this, another project I'm tracking which has been in "Beta" for over 8 YEARS without a stable 1.0 release.

That aside, and given the situation, I thought it would be a good idea to compile a list of desired features/changes/bugfixes that could be prioritised for the next time George does takes a look at Anacreon. For everyone contributing, please keep them simple, realistic and easy to implement (e.g. no grand ideas about introducing new mechanics like different star types or whatever)

I'll start with a personal list...

TLDR: these are some simple things that could realistically be done in the next update:
Interface:

1. Button in top panel to dismiss all on-screen messages. Checkbox beside it to prevent any new messages from appearing for as long as it's checked (toggle on/off during war, etc).

2. Button in bottom panel that appears when selecting own fleet with 2+ others in orbit over the same world: "Merge". Immediately transfers all ships in all other fleets to the one selected. There's even space for it below "Deploy", or between "Transfer" and "Deploy".

3. Ability to input number of ships when purchasing from Mesophon worlds, or at least changing the base purchase quantity from 1k to 100k.

4. Allow selection of empire color which will replace the default white for yourself/red for other players scheme from options menu in top panel, perhaps from a few pre-selected colors/color wheel? Alternatively, allow each player to set the color of another player's empire in their own view, via a button next to "Send Msg" in the capital empire tab. Not everyone is an enemy by default, and the color red used in games traditionally seems to imply this is the case.

Bugfixes:

1. Find out what is causing the additional dark nebula layer to appear and mess up ramjet movement.

2. Disallow purchasing of ramjets if the Mesophon world is located in clear space, perhaps by using two different lists of ships (one with ramjets, one without) and using the appropriate one based on whether the Mesophon world is located in a nebula or not.

Rebalancing:

1. (Controversial!) Increase capital starship movement speed to 1.0 LY/min (same as capital ramjets), and increase capjet speed to 2.0 (double). Reasoning: the speed at which capships move restricts them to being primarily defensive units, which is bad. In the original Anacreon, starships could feasibly be used in offense as well. 1.0 is a good speed, not so mind-bogglingly slow as 0.2 LY/min but still slow enough for other players to notice them and react appropriately.

2. Buff stats of planetary defenses even more. As it stands, most players still do not use them, as a sacrifice of 5-15% efficiency per world is still not worth the extra minimal defense provided. Double stats? Triple? Or increase their half-lives instead.

3. Buff stats of low tech units OR decrease Supply-Chain-Inclusive Work Units cost. There is still no reason to use low-tech units over high-tech, as more high-tech units can be produced than low-tech ones given the production bonus of higher tech levels. This should obviously be the opposite i.e. low-tech = low stats, high quantity and high-tech = high stats, low quantity. A good instant solution would be to double the halfLife attribute of all low-tech units across the board i.e. low-tech = low-maintenance.

4. Make citadels useful: Increase the LAMRange attribute from 100 to 150 LY. Triple the stats of jumpmissiles to count:48, damage:540, halfLife:12.

New Features/Gameplay:

1. Add a brief timer when redesginating worlds, similar to the sector capital timer when building the "administration" building. So the main structure e.g. the "jumpship yards" structure would take 5-10 minutes to build. This is to prevent instant redesignation in wartime. Should be just copy-paste code and change variables.

2. New units! Specifically: Low-tech WARP-transport with exactly the same stats and cost as the Reliant jumptransport, but with 40KT capacity as opposed to 20KT and a speed of 3 LY/min (same as low-tech Sirius gunship). And its high-tech counterpart matching stats and cost with the Warphant, but with 80KT capacity travelling at 5LY/min (same as the high-tech Minotaur gunship). Votes/suggestions for names welcome... I'm leaning towards "Providence-class" and "Leviathan-class".

3. If time permits:

Rebalance doctrines, so there is an incentive to go with something other than L&O. Perhaps no need to introduce the new ones like "Faith & Destiny" mentioned in this thread, but an idea that I had which would probably be easy to implement was giving the existing jumpship and starship production doctrines ("Fire & Movement" and "Strength & Honor" respectively) a 1000% boost to labor on capitals and sector capitals (10x), to offset the benefits of having a "Law & Order" empire that can control more than 2 sector capitals and 100 worlds. The boost can be applied via a structure unique to that doctrine, like "imperial security" for L&O. As for "Trade & Enterprise", it's already quite strong if the Mesophon buying limit is raised/removed (above), as their capitals also act as hubs, so no need to change it.
New map would be great too!

Feel free to add to/comment on/refute any suggestions in this list.

George also posted a series of topics about game balance thoughts: on Economy and War. Interesting reads for anyone who hasn't seen those.
Last edited by --Imperator-- on Sun Apr 29, 2018 11:31 am, edited 4 times in total.
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Sun Apr 29, 2018 9:47 am

 I’ll make sure George sees this thread come Thursday’s stream.
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AssumedPseudonym wrote:
Sun Apr 29, 2018 9:47 am
I’ll make sure George sees this thread come Thursday’s stream.
Thank you!
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Wayward Device
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Sun Apr 29, 2018 3:28 pm

Great stuff Imperator. I don't know if you've ordered them by priority but if you have then I certainly agree that the interface and bugfixes ones are the most important. Your list is pretty comprehensive but I'll add a few of my own:

Interface

- Trade route templates. Right now, adding a CGA world to a cluster hub is 17 actions. That's [click hub], [right click CGA world], [click CGA world], [right click hub], [click Hub-CGA world trade route], [click durable goods], [delete value], [type "100%"], [click set/hit enter], [click organic food], [delete value], [type "100%"], [click set/hit enter], [click luxuries], [delete value], [type "100%"], [click set/hit enter]. I've done this so many times that I didn't even have to look at the game to write it. It would be great if we could have something like: [select "100% import trade route route], [click hub], [right click CGA world].

- Similarly, the ability to export ships/troops with a trade route. Something like: At [time interval] move [percentage] of [unit type] to [world].

- An "Import all surplus to hub" option. 100% import trade routes create a small stockpile (usually about 20-30 mins worth of exports) but it would be great if I could get my hub to import those 200 million durable goods and keep importing as normal.

- A message log, maybe even with sub folders for messages from different empires!

Diplomacy

- The ability to abandon words.
- The ability to gift ships to another player.
- The ability to gift worlds to another player.

All of these are possible (and already exploitable with alts etc) with the current mechanics. People want to do this and are already doing it, let's make it easy.

Balance

- I agree with increasing Jumpmissiles to 150 LYs, but how about instead of upping their power per missile, we make the cap per planet? So that after, say, 30 cycles of continual max production you could have multiple citadels with 2-3 million missiles. I have no problem with a serious defensive threat that builds up after a long time, especially when it can be captured. If anything, it would add more strategic depth. I don't think anyone is currently complaining about how hard it is to attack.

- Same thing with planetary defenses. Make the cap per planet. I might actually invest in them if I knew that after 20-30 cycles I would have something that actually makes a difference in an attack. Right now because of how the attrition cap works even a prime world at TL10 making nothing but defenses for tens of cycles is nothing more than a mild speedbump. Starships are orders of magnitude better in every way and can be moved.

Bugfixes

- Take a look at the priority of lie support production on dangerous worlds, especially barren. They go into rebellion spirals way to easily because they need like 6 extra people.

New Features/Gameplay

- I'm down with Leviathan for the high tech warp transport but support Atlas for the low tech one.

- While we are trying to get these classic units back in, how about the old fighters? There is an argument that either Helions/Vanguards or gunships currently fill this role but people seem to want it. Probably should be an even cheaper Helion/Vanguard that goes 5/10 LYs.

- Gates. The classic. I feel it should be a doctrine, with a building on capitals that takes 10k trillum/1k chronimium a minute to work. Lets any ship type move 250 LYs but only from the gate world (unless the world they move to is also a gate they move as normal).

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New Units

Here's an example of what could be added to the Core Library, with regard to introducing new units. All I did was copy-paste the existing data and change a few values.

Warptransports

I realized the jumptransport required jumpdrives, which obviously the warptransport shouldn't have: so to compensate I increased the resource and work unit requirement to incorporate the cost of the jumpdrive (200 labor, 10 trillum, 2 hexacarbide, 5 chronimium). Armor and mass were also doubled, presumably this "heavier" transport would be better armored.

Code: Select all

ResourceType core.transportLeviathan {
	category: maneuveringUnit
	name: "Leviathan-class transport"
	role: transport
	FTL: 5.0
	canLand: true
	cargoSpace: 80.0
	mass: 60.0
	maxDeltaV: 0.35
	scanner: 0.0
	visibility: 0.30
	halfLife: 4.0

	attack: { name:"turbolaser cannon" count:1 damage:4 type:direct range:5 area:0.0 }
	defense: { armor:48 }
	unitsPerCell: 8

	production: {
		workUnits: 400.0
		inputs: (
			{ type:core.trillum amount:15.0 }
			{ type:core.hexacarbide amount:12.0 }
			{ type:core.chronimium amount:10.0 }
			)
		minTechLevel: 9
		minTechLevelToDisplay: 9
		}
	}
We can make up something similar for the low-tech version.

Bonus: Fighters, hunter-killers and penetrators

Wayward Device mentioned bringing back fighters from Anacreon 2.0, this could easily be done. Same goes for hunter-killers and penetrators:
http://www.neurohack.com/anacreon/manual/Ships.html wrote: Hunter-killers combine the speed and agility of jumpships with the sophisticated counter-detection ability of penetrators. Unlike penetrators, however, hunter-killers are also nearly undetectable at short ranges. Fleets of hunter-killers remain unseen even when in the same sector as an enemy world. In combat, they can advance through enemy lines without being seen and then attack targets at inner orbits. Although they have respectable fire-power, they are not heavily armored and are easily disabled.
Units have "scanner" and "visibility" attributes, by editing these we can make a "stealth unit" that won't show up on the map. The effect of these attributes can be seen with small fleets of explorers being extremely good at spotting enemy fleets, while being extremely difficult to spot themselves. Let's create an extremely fast (100 LY/min) TL9 unit with attack:36, defense:16 costing the same as an Eldritch, but with visibility = 0.0 (is this possible?) Theoretically the fleet will never show up on another player's view, even when orbiting one of their worlds, which is in line with the original description.

Code: Select all

ResourceType core.hunterkiller {
	category: maneuveringUnit
	name: "Shinobi-class hunter-killer"
	role: jumpship
	FTL: 100.0
	mass: 2.5
	maxDeltaV: 0.65
	scanner: 0.25
	visibility: 0.0
	halfLife: 4.0

	attack: { name:"polaron cannon" count:1 damage:36 type:direct range:10.0 area:0.0 }
	defense: { armor:16 }
	unitsPerCell: 16

	production: {
		workUnits: 200.0
		inputs: (
			{ type:core.trillum amount:5.0 }
			{ type:core.hexacarbide amount:10.0 }
			{ type:core.chronimium amount:5.0 }
			{ type:core.advancedJumpdrive amount:1.0 }
			)
		minTechLevel: 9
		minTechLevelToDisplay: 9
		}
	}
http://www.neurohack.com/anacreon/manual/Ships.html wrote: Although penetrators do not posses a jumpdrive, their warp generator is modified to travel twice as fast as normal warp ships (two sectors per year). In addition, they are equipped with sophisticated long-range sensor jammers which make them nearly invisible on an enemy's scan. Although ineffective against short-range sensors, the electronic jamming allows whole fleets of penetrators to enter deep into an empire's territory undetected.
Innuendo aside, it seems this "penetrator" was a cross between a gunship and a jumpship, with low visibility but not completely invisible like HKs. Let's make it a little weaker than the Undine, with a cannon-based attack instead. It travels at 10 LY/min, double the fastest gunship speed, and can only travel between jumpbeacons (see below). It also has a visibility of 0.002, 1/10th that of an explorer.

Code: Select all

ResourceType core.penetrator {
	category: maneuveringUnit
	name: "Ferox-class penetrator"
	role: jumpship
	FTL: 10.0
	mass: 20.0
	maxDeltaV: 0.5
	scanner: 0.1
	visibility: 0.002
	halfLife: 4.0

	attack: { name:"purifier beam" count:1 damage:100 type:cannon range:10.0 area:0.0 }
	defense: { armor:250 }
	unitsPerCell: 8

	production: {
		workUnits: 550.0
		inputs: (
			{ type:core.trillum amount:20.0 }
			{ type:core.hexacarbide amount:12.0 }
			{ type:core.chronimium amount:20.0 }
			)
		minTechLevel: 10
		minTechLevelToDisplay: 10
		}
	}
Penetrators and hunter-killers would both be classified as jumpships, hence limited to travel between jumpbeacons. There is also no low-tech version, as the very nature of these ships is high-tech (high stealth, specialized role, etc).

I leave it to Wayward to implement the concept of a fighter, given the stats and code is all there already we can just send a github push request like last time. It should probably be extremely cheap in both materials and labor, have a very high delta-V (higher than explorers), and a weak, short-range attack. Essentially cannon fodder. If fighters are to replace explorers in this role, however, it would probably be best to reduce the explorers' damage to zero, to prevent players from using them as such.
http://www.neurohack.com/anacreon/manual/Ships.html wrote: Fighters are inexpensive and thus very abundant. They make excellent protection for large fleets and in addition are able to operate in a planet's atmosphere (other ships, although able to enter the atmosphere and even land, are very vulnerable during re-entry and never attempt to do so during combat). Fighters can be created by the most basic space faring technology.
Does anyone else have ideas? Bug King posted a little bit in the Era 3 Discussion Thread, just as I was writing this. Maybe it would be better to keep future discussions here where George can see it?
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Mon Apr 30, 2018 12:39 pm

3 fundamentals things for me are :

1) a system to keep memory of the messages in-game
2) a button "All" when you have to DEPLOY or TRANSFER
3) FIX THE MOST ANCIENT BUG OF THE GAME: the game block itself when you max the zoom on a jumpship fleet in movement

MOREOVER

a thing that can be improved is the mechanic of the trading hub. Is there a way to make it more "intelligent"? A way to allow the hub to reach the resources where they are automatically (IF AVAIABLE).

I would like a special button to generate and erase automatically every possible trading routes around a single planet.
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Finnian wrote:
Mon Apr 30, 2018 12:39 pm

I would like a special button to generate and erase automatically every possible trading routes around a single planet.
This is already possible by a few different ways. One way is to click a world, zoom out, and then click import. All trade routes will be removed except for what is connected to that world. Another way is to click a world with jumpmissiles, zoom out, click the button to fire. There was another one, but I have forgotten.

I have moved the my list to this forum with a few edits:

---------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

I think that your bug fixes and ideas are really good, but it seems like they need to be more in depth than what you have described. The last of the series doesn't really make much since to me reading it.

About the interface with the hubs. I can understand, it is one reason why I don't like to use them and have so much issues using them. But I think that once you used what you are talking about you would find that it is still clunky.

A more streamlined version is this:

Menus, but not the clunky menus in the other games that are only confusing. Click on the hub, a tab, like the ones we already have opens. Control + Click on the worlds that you want to connect to the hub. Type the percent of imported/exported goods. Click ok. You could do all of the worlds at one time. What would make this even easier is a click and drag box. The ability to select multiple things at once is a life saver and makes things so much faster.

A thing to add to your list then would be the ability to multi-select.... multi-command. We've discussed it before, the ability to set way points: there is no reason that we should have to watch our fleets take an hour to fly in wonky directions bouncing off things when we can just upgrade our technology and give our fleet a way-point beacon some place (wishful thinking, but a grand idea: worlds with way-point beacons...yes, a tech 10 technology)

---------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
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Sun May 06, 2018 3:43 am

Well, I was present for the last bit of the stream for Q&A. George said he does plan to continue work on Anacreon once Part II is released, which will hopefully be within the year. As it stands we can still populate this thread with ideas.
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Mon May 07, 2018 2:44 am

I think the Mesophon Trading Union should be more of a core part of the game, than it currently is now. One idea I have, is the ability to buy ship designs from them. This means that a player cannot build certain (new) ship types at their shipyards until that particular ship design has been bought from a Mesophon world, for a cost in aes (eg. 20,000,000 aes). Once it has been purchased, the player can start to build that ship freely in compatible shipyards.

Perhaps new (tier 3) planetary defence designs could also be purchased from Mesophon worlds.

Mesophon worlds could have different tabs, such as "Buy ships" and "Buy ship designs", instead of just "Overview" and "Structures". The "Structures" tab could be removed as it doesn't really provide any useful information.

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These are great ideas! Thank you!

My current plan is to do two weeks of development after the release of Transcendence 1.8 Beta 2, which should be no more than two weeks from now.

I haven't yet come up with a plan of what to fix (two weeks is not a lot of time), so the list that you're all talking about here is very useful.

One thing I'd like to do is re-implement nebulas. In the current design, nebulas are implemented as complex polygons. Unfortunately, that means testing whether a ship is inside or outside a nebula is somewhat hard. In particular, the test is vulnerable to various floating-point precision issues. So if two nebulas (two polygons) are right next to each other, sometimes the test will find a "gap" between the two polygons that the ship won't cross.

I want to try a new design. First we tessellate the map into a set of cells. At game-create time, we assign each cell to be either open space or some nebula type. The advantage of this is that any point is space is always in one cell or another. There will never be any gaps to confuse the engine.

The easiest tessellation is a square or hexagonal grid, but that results in blocky nebulas. Instead I'd like to try some variation of Voronoi tessellation (which is how we create the current nebulas).

One disadvantage of this scheme is that it is harder to get the current rift nebulas (which have gaps through which fleets can pass). I'm not sure exactly how to fix this. We can increase the resolution of the tessellation grid to get this effect, but then performance could be a problem. This is the piece that I'll need to experiment with.

Beyond that, I hope to implement some of the UI ideas that you've all talked about in this list plus, of course, fix as many bugs and balance issues as I can. I'll write more as we get closer to Era 4.

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Wed May 09, 2018 9:25 pm

Awesome, thanks George! We'd all been resigned to Era 4 being at least 6 months to a year away, this is very exciting news. I think we've covered most of the bugs/things we'd really like to see with the UI already in this thread. With nebulas, the only thing we haven't really covered is exogalactic starship movement or the "going outside the galaxy to bypass nebulas" bug. Never been sure if a bug or a feature but it sure does have an impact on the game with the introduction of beacons and the increasing importance of gunships as a mobile non-jump attacking force that can also carry jumpships with them.

Anyway, because you can go outside of the galaxy with starships, the nebulas, as well as being broken, have much less of a strategic impact. In Era 3, I have a nice area in the South East corner that should be totally isolated from other clearspace except for a tiny gap in a rift. Would be a perfect spot to fortify with a ton of citadels (well, if they get buffed/improved). Except that it is accessible on the South and East map border by anyone who can move ships outside of the galaxy, which is anyone who can reach a map border anywhere. The only clearspace in Era 3 that cannot be reached by starships is the patch in the middle of the North where Imperator has his capital (a fact that has saved the Imperium from destruction on more than one occasion, arguably the only natural fortress in Era 3).

With the map cells/rift generation issue, I think it's important to consider the role rifts play at the moment. Essentially, they are the deserts of Anacreon, being both difficult to travel through and of very limited economic value (low world count). This is a good thing! Deserts/difficult terrain is one of the key things that turns a game like this into a grand strategy instead of a pure numbers rock paper scissors fest. I get issue of not wanting to have to many cells but needing to have loads if we keep the current rift gaps. Here is what I propose:

- Keep Rifts as desert areas, low world count wastelands. Maybe allow a few moderate "blob rifts" as well as the long lines we currently have.
- Rifts, as deserts, should be hard and restrictive to travel through. Right now this is accomplished by nebula unit limits (no starships) and them being awkward to find a point to cross, made more so because of the general nebula issues. Maybe allow them to be directly moved over (as opposed to being blocking objects) but with severe movement restrictions, maybe everything is reduced to 1 LY/watch.
- This would mean no more nice "shattered" looking rifts, as they would function more or less like a new kind of nebula. Could a texture be overlaid to keep them looking nice? They are the most defining thing that gives the galaxy shape and form as it stands. I'm sure between us, small as this community is, we should be able to find someone able to make a nice texture if this is possible/would take to much time for George to do it.

Aside from that, I just thought of another minor suggestion as I got to the end of this post. How would people feel about the ability to bombard a planet to kill population or to blockade its trade route? As it stands, we have two hostile acts: attack everything in orbit and attack everything in orbit and then invade. Bombarding would just kill a certain amount of pop each watch. I'd set it very low, something like 100k Adamants to kill 1 million/watch so you have to commit to having a large fleet in orbit over many hours, no easy genocide. With the blockade, it would be an action like attacking that while the fleet was engaged would block all trade route access, but only after all hostile space forces were eliminated.

I really want to blockade someone's hub now.

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Thu May 10, 2018 2:55 am

Oh, excellent news!

Nebula overhaul sounds great, that should hopefully fix the current bugs with ramjets being unable to path etc. With regard to fleets being able to path outside the map:
Watch TV, Do Nothing wrote:
Thu Mar 29, 2018 10:05 pm
It would be even easier to just put a single rift zone polygon around the entire galactic periphery, just outside the edge of the map. This would block movement and not require any additional code. If it had a crenellated edge (like \/\/\/\/) it could potentially improve fleet pathing near map edges since it would provide additional vertices for the pathfinding algorithm (not totally sure if that is a true statement, just a guess).
That would fix the problem. Not sure how this would work with a randomly generated map, but presumably the placement of a square rift zone just outside the visible area could just be incorporated into the galaxy generation algorithm.

UI fixes are undoubtedly at the top of everyone's Era 4 wishlist, especially with regard to suppressing messages.

For diplomacy mechanics proposed by WD in the 2nd post:

To allow "gifting" or "abandoning" of worlds, just make a separate designation e.g. "grant independence" that sets the sovereign of the world to independent and designation to autonomous. To allow gifting of fleets, simply remove the restriction of not being able to Transfer ships between different sovereigns. I.e. the Transfer button would always be present on the bottom panel. A simple solution which doesn't have any problems as far as I can see. Message log sounds cool but may be trickier to implement, depends on how much time George has, or if the time spent on that would be better used on more pressing features. Different player empire colors would be the best new feature for diplomacy IMO.

So, following on from the first few posts: what does everyone else think about increasing the halfLife of planetary defenses and jumpmissiles? Also, what about increasing starships' speed - would that be a good idea? What about introducing new units - the warptransports specifically? How about extending it to bringing back fighters, hunterkillers and penetrators?

As I see it, adding new units or adjusting existing ones' stats is supremely easy to accomplish (George doesn't even need to code, just accept/edit the github push request which we can all contribute to compiling). Any balance changes can also be tested out on the existing Beta 3 map as both the Imperium and Hegemony already have massive empires with economies which can quickly produce any new units to be tested against each other.
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Thu May 10, 2018 5:23 am

Wayward Device wrote:
Wed May 09, 2018 9:25 pm
Aside from that, I just thought of another minor suggestion as I got to the end of this post. How would people feel about the ability to bombard a planet to kill population or to blockade its trade route? As it stands, we have two hostile acts: attack everything in orbit and attack everything in orbit and then invade. Bombarding would just kill a certain amount of pop each watch. I'd set it very low, something like 100k Adamants to kill 1 million/watch so you have to commit to having a large fleet in orbit over many hours, no easy genocide. With the blockade, it would be an action like attacking that while the fleet was engaged would block all trade route access, but only after all hostile space forces were eliminated.

I really want to blockade someone's hub now.
Hilarious. Have you been playing Stellaris?

This is literally how wars are fought there, by bombarding an opposing world until its population has been effectively genocided, after which the enemy empire surrenders to a predetermined set of demands. What fun!

I agree its a cool feature (I'd use it!), but probably lies more in the realm of "nice to have stuff but not critically important" in terms of how realistic it can be to easily implement. Probably one for Era 5 or 6, as George said 2 weeks is really not a lot of time. All the Era 3 fixes were done in 2 weeks too, so that's what can be realistically accomplished in that time frame.

Also some questions for George: Is it possible to just combine the two methods of nebula generation? I.e. still use solid polygons for rift zones but use cell-by-cell generstion for nebulae? Perhaps the rift zones just overlaid on top. And do these nebula changes mean we're getting a new map too (I assume so)? We'd all be looking forward to a fresh start anyway, I think most are tired of the Imperium/Hegemony chokehold on the galaxy.
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Thu May 10, 2018 7:43 pm

Exciting stuff! I can compile a new master list ( edit: here it is) of low-hanging fruit on Ministry. Changing nebulas and rift zones is a very positive step. It would also be very nice to have fleet and planet scanner ranges be more explicit in the user interface somehow.

Long-term it is worth discussing whether it makes sense to retain the initial exploration phase (with the map unrevealed) in long-term persistent games. If there is going to be a finite duration game mode, an exploration phase makes sense. In persistent games however, starting with the map unrevealed handicaps joining players for no good reason. It takes a long time to fully explore the map with rift zones, etc. but once it is fully explored the exploration mechanic disappears; the scanner mechanic (for detecting fleets) is not explicit enough in the game interface for most players to make the most effective use of reconnaissance.

There are issues with balancing building wide/tall and with how spending lots of time playing the game is rewarded. A player who is willing to dedicate a ton of time to playing the game will become absolutely unstoppable. These issues are broad and conceptual and I don't have great solutions worked out. However, revised planetary invasion mechanics would probably help; committing infantry to long-duration combat would be a practical check on how fast expansion can occur against other players (edit: I have in-depth suggestions about this in a later post in this thread)

My pet mechanic idea is fleet orders and I'm sure everyone would like to see better trade route demand handling and constructions.
Wayward Device wrote:
Wed May 09, 2018 9:25 pm
I really want to blockade someone's hub now.
I proposed a blockade mechanic, but now feel ambivalent about it. I think the most interesting applications of blockades would be to reduce sector capital control radius and potentially to cut off jumpbeacons, which did not exist when I proposed the mechanic. Blockades (combined with protecting longer planetary invasions) would certainly give starship fleets something to do while a player establishes jumpbeacon coverage to bring in transports.
Last edited by Watch TV, Do Nothing on Fri May 25, 2018 6:33 pm, edited 2 times in total.

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