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New player impressions from a 4X vet

 
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New player impressions from a 4X vet - 1/4/2012 5:49:36 AM   
nickwwest

 

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I'm new to DW but not the 4x genre (been playing since Stars!) and I managed to play a solid amount of DW legends over the holiday break and thought I would leave my "fresh eyes" feedback in hopes it can make things better:


  • Exploration ships don't partition work in a sensible way, often it seems like 8+ ships will be heading to the same system, maybe split it up a bit?
  • The graphics performance on the game is pretty poor, my computer can play modern shooters at 2560x1440 with candy on no problem, but this game at 1920x1080 has zoom in/out issues, screen pan issues and window open issues (issues=redraw lag). Everything just feels laggy and it only gets worse as the universe gets busy. Looks like you're using a 2d renderer which might not be cutting it.
  • Speaking of resolution issues, I can't run at my native res because the fonts then become impossibly small.
  • Star bases don't launch fighters when an enemy ship is in range, usually the fighters get launched only after the base has been hit a few times. This is a real problem on mining bases with fighters as it means they'll lose fights they should win.
  • When a ship/base is selected, and it's your own, it would be great if there was a attack radius shown.
  • The ship design components list moves when you add a component (if it's not top justified). This is a right PITA if you were about to select the component above the selected component.
  • The ship design screen feels awkward, cramped and not well laid out. Given the number of ships that have to be designed, retrofitted, then manually edited, I must spend a significant portion of my time playing DW on this screen.
  • Maybe the retrofit should add countermeasures/targeting to combat classed ships on upgrade?
  • The max size limit of the ship your building should be displayed before you hit it.


Sorry if this seems harsh, I've only listed the stuff I think should be better. DW is a good game and the first 4X I've played in a long, long time that I feel is deep enough to be great 4X. For what it's worth I'm quite happy with the art assets, the level of complexity, and the general "fun" of playing the game.
Post #: 1
RE: New player impressions from a 4X vet - 1/4/2012 6:06:26 AM   
Gandalf

 

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Graphics performance here is flawless zooming in or out

My system (an M-Tech laptop) consists of an i7 (six core) 980 processor w/12 GByte Ram and an Nvidia 470M Graphics card with 1.5 GBytes on a 1920 x 1080 backlit screen.

To be fair, IMO, I don't believe the game was designed specifically for high performance graphically (as would be absolutely necessary in a shooter game) and instead depends more on user discretion on setup conditions and raw CPU processor power.

Have you tried reducing or turning off the Star Density on the Options screen?

and/or possibly reducing System Nebula detail (or disabling it entirely) on the Advanced Settings pop up?


< Message edited by Gandalf -- 1/4/2012 6:24:38 AM >

(in reply to nickwwest)
Post #: 2
RE: New player impressions from a 4X vet - 1/4/2012 6:21:54 AM   
Nedrear


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quote:

ORIGINAL: nickwwest

  • Star bases don't launch fighters when an enemy ship is in range, usually the fighters get launched only after the base has been hit a few times. This is a real problem on mining bases with fighters as it means they'll lose fights they should win.


  • Design error. You need to switch the defualt fighting stance in the design to distance battle instead of "point blank". Point blank means the fighter wait until the enemy is close by.

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    (in reply to nickwwest)
    Post #: 3
    RE: New player impressions from a 4X vet - 1/4/2012 6:57:12 AM   
    nickwwest

     

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    Thanks for the replies.

    quote:

    ORIGINAL: Gandalf

    Graphics performance here is flawless zooming in or out

    My system (an M-Tech laptop) consists of an i7 (six core) 980 processor w/12 GByte Ram and an Nvidia 470M Graphics card with 1.5 GBytes on a 1920 x 1080 backlit screen.

    To be fair, IMO, I don't believe the game was designed specifically for high performance graphically (as would be absolutely necessary in a shooter game) and instead depends more on user discretion on setup conditions and raw CPU processor power.

    Have you tried reducing or turning off the Star Density on the Options screen?

    and/or possibly reducing System Nebula detail (or disabling it entirely) on the Advanced Settings pop up?



    I've got a C2Q running at 3ghz, 4GB RAM and a Radeon 5770 with 1GB of ram, latest drivers. Perhaps a graphics chipset issue, I've heard of other smaller games not playing nice with certain chip families. Anyone else have a Radeon 5XXX run this game well with default settings? I'll try turning down the graphics.



    quote:

    ORIGINAL: Nedrear


    quote:

    ORIGINAL: nickwwest

  • Star bases don't launch fighters when an enemy ship is in range, usually the fighters get launched only after the base has been hit a few times. This is a real problem on mining bases with fighters as it means they'll lose fights they should win.


  • Design error. You need to switch the defualt fighting stance in the design to distance battle instead of "point blank". Point blank means the fighter wait until the enemy is close by.


    Sort of makes sense, the "Point Blank" is doing double duty then of what distance to keep at and when to start shooting (not that a base is going anywhere). Perhaps bases should default to the max range unless changed (I'm pretty sure I didn't mess with the stance)

    (in reply to Gandalf)
    Post #: 4
    RE: New player impressions from a 4X vet - 1/4/2012 7:00:18 AM   
    Nedrear


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    quote:

    ORIGINAL: nickwwest

    Perhaps bases should default to the max range unless changed (I'm pretty sure I didn't mess with the stance)


    High range with certain weapons reduce the damage tremendously and further reduces the chance to hit the target. To save energy and fuel there is a reason to that.

    _____________________________

    One Thread To Guide Them All

    "Nothing incorporeal wields such power as a word. Though it is the weapon of the smart and cunning it alas needs the same to prevail."

    (in reply to nickwwest)
    Post #: 5
    RE: New player impressions from a 4X vet - 1/4/2012 7:50:20 AM   
    MartialDoctor


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    quote:

    ORIGINAL: nickwwest

    I'm new to DW but not the 4x genre (been playing since Stars!) and I managed to play a solid amount of DW legends over the holiday break and thought I would leave my "fresh eyes" feedback in hopes it can make things better:

  • Maybe the retrofit should add countermeasures/targeting to combat classed ships on upgrade?
  • The max size limit of the ship your building should be displayed before you hit it.




  • Welcome to DW!

    You brought up some good points. The last two are definitely ones that would help improve designs.

    I don't know how many times I've gone through and redesigned all my ship designs once I've researched countermeasures and then targeting. I usually research those one after the other now simply so I only have to go through the redesign once.

    (in reply to nickwwest)
    Post #: 6
    RE: New player impressions from a 4X vet - 1/4/2012 4:36:06 PM   
    Cauldyth

     

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    quote:

    ORIGINAL: nickwwest
  • The ship design components list moves when you add a component (if it's not top justified). This is a right PITA if you were about to select the component above the selected component.
  • The ship design screen feels awkward, cramped and not well laid out. Given the number of ships that have to be designed, retrofitted, then manually edited, I must spend a significant portion of my time playing DW on this screen.


  • Yeah, you haven't been alone in this opinion. Fortunately, the developers have announced a redesign of that screen in the next patch, which is due early this month. Looking forward to it!

    (in reply to nickwwest)
    Post #: 7
    RE: New player impressions from a 4X vet - 1/4/2012 8:43:00 PM   
    Omnax

     

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    I have to say I have got also very good PC and having big performance problems, I have already mentioned it in other thread. And posted DXdiag in tech support. But it does affects me so much, that later in the game it is just unplayable. Would really like to see it fixed one day, but do not really count on it.

    (in reply to Cauldyth)
    Post #: 8
    RE: New player impressions from a 4X vet - 1/4/2012 9:27:20 PM   
    Manzikert

     

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    I have a newish PC, no performance problems whatsoever.

    I do think the ship design screen is a little clunky and hard to use, but they are working on that.

    The exploration pathfinding could be better, but that kind of thing is surprisingly hard to code.  I think it performs as you would expect for the current state of computer science and the resources available for this project.

    (in reply to Omnax)
    Post #: 9
    RE: New player impressions from a 4X vet - 1/4/2012 10:23:21 PM   
    Emir Agic


    Posts: 324
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    From: Sarajevo, Bosnia and Herzegovina
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    quote:

    ORIGINAL: nickwwest
  • The graphics performance on the game is pretty poor, my computer can play modern shooters at 2560x1440 with candy on no problem, but this game at 1920x1080 has zoom in/out issues, screen pan issues and window open issues (issues=redraw lag). Everything just feels laggy and it only gets worse as the universe gets busy. Looks like you're using a 2d renderer which might not be cutting it.


  • Nickwwest, check this thread.

    (in reply to nickwwest)
    Post #: 10
    RE: New player impressions from a 4X vet - 1/5/2012 3:13:45 AM   
    Kayoz


    Posts: 1393
    Joined: 12/20/2010
    From: Timbuktu
    Status: offline
    quote:

    ORIGINAL: nickwwest

  • The graphics performance on the game is pretty poor, my computer can play modern shooters at 2560x1440 with candy on no problem, but this game at 1920x1080 has zoom in/out issues, screen pan issues and window open issues (issues=redraw lag). Everything just feels laggy and it only gets worse as the universe gets busy. Looks like you're using a 2d renderer which might not be cutting it.


  • DW is written in C# - not the first choice for game programmers, due to its unimpressive speed and a number of other technical limitations of the language. There are ways of working around (most of) the language's limitations - but that first requires that Code Force and/or Matrix acknowledge that there is a problem.

    As it stands, the position they hold is, "no problem".

    While it sounds better for the PR and marketing bods, it isn't going to help the long-term prospects of the game.

    < Message edited by Kayoz -- 1/5/2012 3:16:25 AM >

    (in reply to nickwwest)
    Post #: 11
    RE: New player impressions from a 4X vet - 1/5/2012 5:58:32 AM   
    nickwwest

     

    Posts: 17
    Joined: 11/26/2011
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    quote:

    ORIGINAL: Manzikert

    I have a newish PC, no performance problems whatsoever.

    I do think the ship design screen is a little clunky and hard to use, but they are working on that.

    The exploration pathfinding could be better, but that kind of thing is surprisingly hard to code.  I think it performs as you would expect for the current state of computer science and the resources available for this project.



    I bet we could do a little better than what it does presently with just a few lines of C#
    // assumes the desired explore location is where DW currently tries to send ships. Called when an explorer ship tries to figure out where to go next.
    // Given a desired location for an explore ship to explore, checks to see if anyone is already going there, if so, find another system at random in the sector. 
    // Give up if you can't find a suitable system in 5 attempts
    GetLocationToExploreBasedOnDesired(Location desiredExploreLocation){
    	int const maxAttempts = 5;
    	int currentAttempt = 0;
    	while(ships.Where(x=>x.ShipType == Explorer && x.Destination.System == desiredExploreLocation.Location).Count() > 0 && currentAttempt < maxAttempts){
    		currentAttempt++;
    		desiredExploreLocation = GetRandomSystemLocationInSector(desiredExploreLocation.System.Sector)
    	}
    
    	return desiredExploreLocation;
    }
    

    But you're correct, to optimally solve this problem, is probably something akin to the traveling sales person (NP), but we can get pretty far with a naive approach. Or at least far enough that I don't sigh and then micromanage my ships.

    < Message edited by nickwwest -- 1/5/2012 5:59:07 AM >

    (in reply to Manzikert)
    Post #: 12
    RE: New player impressions from a 4X vet - 1/5/2012 6:45:28 AM   
    Kayoz


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    quote:

    ORIGINAL: Manzikert

    ...but that kind of thing is surprisingly hard to code.


    It is? Considering you have no obstacles nor any dead-end paths to account for, it should be a piece pf p*ss. Pathfinding algorithms aren't exactly "new" to programming.

    I'm not sure what you're suggesting here.

    (in reply to Manzikert)
    Post #: 13
    RE: New player impressions from a 4X vet - 1/6/2012 1:26:56 AM   
    Kayoz


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    quote:

    ORIGINAL: nickwwest

    		desiredExploreLocation = GetRandomSystemLocationInSector(desiredExploreLocation.System.Sector)
    



    You proposed that you could do better with a few lines of C# - but that would require that your proposed function - GetRandomSystemLocationInSector - code be included as well.

    You are very badly oversimplifying the task.

    By your measurement of lines, I should say that I can do facial recognition in one line.

    < Message edited by Kayoz -- 1/6/2012 1:28:39 AM >

    (in reply to nickwwest)
    Post #: 14
    RE: New player impressions from a 4X vet - 1/6/2012 3:16:48 AM   
    nickwwest

     

    Posts: 17
    Joined: 11/26/2011
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    quote:

    ORIGINAL: Kayoz

    quote:

    ORIGINAL: nickwwest

    		desiredExploreLocation = GetRandomSystemLocationInSector(desiredExploreLocation.System.Sector)
    



    You proposed that you could do better with a few lines of C# - but that would require that your proposed function - GetRandomSystemLocationInSector - code be included as well.

    You are very badly oversimplifying the task.

    By your measurement of lines, I should say that I can do facial recognition in one line.


    Woah, relax bro, didn't relize this was a hostile interview, but I maintain it's not hard to do better than what is currently done without spending more than an hour coding and testing (code needs to synchronize and make sure the ship doesn't count itself in the computations)
    But how about this, long but still just one line
    desiredExploreLocation = desiredExploreLocation.System.Sector.AllSystemsInSector[(int)(new Random().NextDouble() * desiredExploreLocation.System.Sector.AllSystemsInSector.Count)];
    


    Anywho, back on topic, thanks for the suggestions all!

    (in reply to Kayoz)
    Post #: 15
    RE: New player impressions from a 4X vet - 1/6/2012 10:45:09 PM   
    Kayoz


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    quote:

    ORIGINAL: nickwwest
    but I maintain it's not hard to do better than what is currently done without spending more than an hour coding and testing


    I agree - the current method they are using for explorer control is pants.

    I'd very much like for this to be addressed - but there are more pressing issues, and I can micromanage my way around this.

    (in reply to nickwwest)
    Post #: 16
    RE: New player impressions from a 4X vet - 1/8/2012 3:34:36 PM   
    Erik Rutins

     

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    Hi Nick,

    Thanks for the feedback.

    Have you watched the explorers after they reach that first system? They should explore different parts of that system and eventually branch out to different systems. They don't all go to one system and duplicate the same exploration tasks. Multiple explorers in one system speeds up system exploration as exploring a system involves scanning all the locations in the system, not just getting to it.

    For performance, have you tried the suggestions in the Tech Support forum, including turning off system nebulas? Is performance poor for you in small galaxies as well as large ones?

    Retrofitting will add countermeasures/targeting as long as they are in the new design that the ship is retrofitting to. With design automation on, these should be added to new designs as they are reserached.

    Regards,

    - Erik

    _____________________________

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    (in reply to Kayoz)
    Post #: 17
    RE: New player impressions from a 4X vet - 1/8/2012 9:30:58 PM   
    the1sean


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    Hey Nick, welcome to the club! Thanks for sharing!


    quote:

    ORIGINAL: Erik Rutins
    Retrofitting will add countermeasures/targeting as long as they are in the new design that the ship is retrofitting to. With design automation on, these should be added to new designs as they are researched.

    It would still be nice if there were a minimalist/tier1 version of all of the most basic components that was given to all empires by default (like proximity scanners, targeting/ecm gear, long-range scanners, etc). That way there wouldn't need to be nearly so much retrofitting super early in the game; the minimalist components would just get automatically more powerful as the newer techs are discovered.

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    (in reply to Erik Rutins)
    Post #: 18
    RE: New player impressions from a 4X vet - 1/9/2012 9:16:15 AM   
    MartialDoctor


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    quote:

    ORIGINAL: the1sean
    It would still be nice if there were a minimalist/tier1 version of all of the most basic components that was given to all empires by default (like proximity scanners, targeting/ecm gear, long-range scanners, etc). That way there wouldn't need to be nearly so much retrofitting super early in the game; the minimalist components would just get automatically more powerful as the newer techs are discovered.


    That's an interesting point and it would make sense if all ships would require these components. They would need things like targeting and scanners in order to function effectively, I would think.

    (in reply to the1sean)
    Post #: 19
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