(Future) Era 4 Development Discussion Thread

General discussion for the game Anacreon
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Thu Jun 07, 2018 1:43 am

Timer for redesignating worlds: Add a 5-10 minute counter for designating important worlds like SCs and jumpbeacons to some other thing - as we all know players redeginate these during war to stop the enemy getting a strategic advantage.

Yes, I forgot to add the balance between low/high-tech units. I outlined the problems with these a few posts up ^^ And there's also an issue with planetary defenses being too weak, especially the low tech versions. Rather, not so much "weak" as "waste of labor". If we don't increase their halfLife they could still stand to be buffed somehow. Same with citadels. The "somehow" is the difficult part.

Personally the feature I'm looking forward to the most would be the different empire colors. Shouldn't be too complicated a change, I posted a bit about how the source JS defines colors, all we would need to do is add a "neutral" color as opposed to only "player empire" and "enemy". Replacing the placeholder grey boxes would be a very nice visual change too, I agree. I'm sure some Transcendence ship images can be used in place. Heck, IIRC there's an "Eldritch-class" and "Minotaur-class" in the Eternity Port expansion already!

One last thing: Fleet Icons.

The fleet icon colors would need to be changed as well if we're having different empire colors (should be another easy change that improves the game a lot). Right now there's only yellow for player fleets and red for everyone else. Something better might be green for player, yellow for neutral and red for enemy. Blue can be another color if an "allied" state is introduced in a future update.

Something like this (from my current Stellaris playthrough). Look how pretty the galaxy is. Oh, and each fleet type has a different icon - combat, transport, explorer and constructor vessels can be distinguished clearly. Something else that can be stolen borrowed from Paradox is the "fleet was here" icons - the red exclamation mark [ ! ] indicator. Right now in Anacreon if a fleet leaves sensor range it either disappears completely or the icon remains but no details are shown. See: this ticket.
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Tue Jun 12, 2018 11:14 am

One issue is that when two or more fleets of the same speed leave the same planet and head to the same destination, the fleets will stack on top of each other. This means that only the fleet which happens to appear on the top can be inspected. This raises many problems. Not only is it hard for the owner to control the fleets, but entire fleets can be 'hidden'.

For example, when I attacked the Bug Homeworld, it took over 2 days for my Tyhon starcruisers to reach his capital. In order to be less suspicious, I broke my 12,000 Typhons into three fleets of 4,000 which stacked during the transit period. So to the Bug King, it only looked like a fleet of 500,000 space forces, instead of 1.5 million.

This could be taken further, making a fleet of 5 million look like 500,000 etc.

A solution would be to show all the fleets within a close distance of each other, as one fleet icon. There could be tabs to view the composition of each fleet and a 'destination' button to control each fleet.

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Tue Jun 12, 2018 12:48 pm

That is a really good point. The game client should not conceal information like that; I'll put up a Ministry ticket.

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Tue Jun 12, 2018 4:18 pm

Do we consider the hammer-and-shield technique an exploit?

Hammer-and-shield is when an attacker attacks a planet with a huge explorer fleet right before the watch changes and the attacker's heavy ships arrive, so that the defenders only target the explorers for the duration of the attack.

George's comments in the jump beacon spec suggest that he does not view explorers as primarily being an attack unit, but they've ended up seeing extensive use when attacking strongly defended planets.

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Thu Jun 14, 2018 2:32 am

Ah yes, the Imperium's signature strategy used to crush its enemies many times over.

Definitely an exploit. This will be fixed, as opportunity fire will update the "best" target for each wing once every few ticks - i.e. whichever enemy wing is closest. I think that issue had an Era 4 tag on Ministry. So warping in a starfleet on top of an explorer vanguard will have the enemy target the explorers for a few combat ticks, then retarget the newly arrived ships as they close into range.

Theoretically, anyway. Era 4 Alpha players can test if its been implemented correctly, then it should work.
Project Terminus: An extension for Anacreon 3.

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Thu Jun 14, 2018 2:47 am

Is the barrier to entry too high for new players? Would it make sense to start empires with 3-10x as many ships, and/or assign them two or three autonomous worlds at game start so that they can play with designations and trade routes immediately?

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Thu Jun 14, 2018 2:59 am

It's fine IMO. Speaking from experience when I was the "newbie", I didn't know what any of the buttons did, just clicked randomly and found out. A tutorial of sorts would really help more than an "advanced start" in that regard. In fact, giving 2-3 colonies straight off the bat might make things even more confusing. The #1 newbie mistake (For me) was ganking the whole damn imperial fleet against a world with too strong defenses. Had to restart after that one. The defenses are powerful early game but really underwhelming later on.

To be fair, I enjoy a lot of 4X/Grand Strategy esp. Paradox titles like CK2, HOI4, Stellaris and Civ 5 of course. So mileage may vary with respect to how quickly new players pick things up.
Project Terminus: An extension for Anacreon 3.

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