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RE: Distant Worlds: Shadows

 
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RE: Distant Worlds: Shadows - 5/9/2013 2:52:04 PM   
Erik Rutins

 

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quote:

ORIGINAL: lancer
What exactly is the difficulty slider adjusting and does it have any impact on resource availability?


There is little it does not affect now. Colony income, corruption, research speed, mining rate, population growth, war weariness, targeting and countermeasures and others are all now connected and scale with difficulty. The mining rate would be the key one for resource availability, but more on that in a couple of posts as well.

Regards,

- Erik



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Post #: 721
RE: Distant Worlds: Shadows - 5/9/2013 2:54:59 PM   
Fetrik Snubbe


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Good info. Thank you Erik.

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RE: Distant Worlds: Shadows - 5/9/2013 2:56:43 PM   
Erik Rutins

 

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Hi MartialDoctor,

quote:

ORIGINAL: MartialDoctor
I have seen it mentioned a few times now that the AI and "automation routines" have been improved. What specifically has been done in these areas to improve them?


First, I know how important it is to you to have DW give you a more challenging game. If Shadows does not, then I don't know what will!

The AI is still an AI (meaning there's only so far it can go until real artificial intelligence is invented) but we had to improve it in many areas in order for it to be able to handle pre-hyperspace empires and pirates at all. Our test team then gave us many more suggestions that have allowed us to optimize it further. Key areas from my perspective:

- Much better exploration
- Smart about research, focuses on tech trees properly and expands to its full research capacity from the beginning
- Better construction
- Better at building and routing freighters and delivering resources
- Smarter about dealing with threats
- Much smarter with fleets and other ships about calculating fuel distance, refueling at waypoints and assembling before an attack
- Better at rebuilding stations and spaceports when destroyed
- Smarter about retrofitting ships
- Able to keep things going with fewer resources and less income than ever before

Regards,

- Erik



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Post #: 723
RE: Distant Worlds: Shadows - 5/9/2013 3:01:30 PM   
Mansen


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Sounds good.

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RE: Distant Worlds: Shadows - 5/9/2013 3:04:26 PM   
Erik Rutins

 

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quote:

ORIGINAL: hewwo
Eric, could you comment on how you've balanced resources? In theory there should be amazing strategic gameplay with me trying to get hold of certain planets or taking out specific mining stations of enemies, but in practice I've never had any shortages other than my annoying private sector not efficiently distributing them...


Primarily one huge change. Every planet uses a base level of strategic resources now (they don't just get bonuses for the key resources, or consume resources when building something, they use resources now just to exist and keep the planet growing). If they lose access to the supply network and run out of resources, their growth slows or stops and the people get unhappy. That was a pretty massive change for us to balance to make resources more important and we also had to make sure the AI could handle it, which it now can.

That means that you really have a constant resource demand and you need to keep those new colony worlds well supplied if you want them to grow and prosper.

In addition, you now have fully integrated notifications about shortages at any location, whether it's a planet or a space station. It's reported on the bottom left detail screen when they are selected, but can also be reported in messages. That means you don't have to look through the cargo list or unbuilt components to figure it out. This makes shortages much easier to spot, figure out and address.

If you play in the Age of Shadows, you will also find that the Pirates and the AI in general is quite good at dismantling your resource network in order to cripple your economy. They have an interest in that as they are your main backup plan, through assigning smuggling missions (and paying them money) when you have a shortage of resources that you cannot address yourself.

Regards,

- Erik







< Message edited by Erik Rutins -- 5/9/2013 3:36:14 PM >


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Post #: 725
RE: Distant Worlds: Shadows - 5/9/2013 3:07:01 PM   
Fetrik Snubbe


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Well after hearing all this i know i just can't continue my current game or start a new game untill i have Shadows. Despite buying Dishonored and Hitman abolution today for cheaps at Gamersgate i think i'll go play a co-op game in Dota 2..

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Post #: 726
RE: Distant Worlds: Shadows - 5/9/2013 4:33:09 PM   
Arcatus


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This looks awesome, but..

uhm..

I got nothing.
This just looks awesome. Can't wait to get my hands on it!

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RE: Distant Worlds: Shadows - 5/9/2013 4:41:04 PM   
Cauldyth

 

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Indeed. If it turns out half as good as it sounds, it'll be tremendous.

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Post #: 728
RE: Distant Worlds: Shadows - 5/9/2013 5:51:52 PM   
Bleek


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I've not played DW this year, so all these additions and improvements sound great and I can't wait to test them out.

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Post #: 729
RE: Distant Worlds: Shadows - 5/9/2013 5:59:12 PM   
ASHBERY76


Posts: 1973
Joined: 10/10/2001
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quote:

achievements and awards
Sweet.

Is war wariness relevant? The old get peace and DOW exploit kills the mechanic.

Is subjugation relevant? Putting the work into destroying an empire to get this treaty only to have the other empires get it too makes it not.It should be a treaty only one race should get with subjugated empire in question.Mopping up the whole empire is the only sensible option atm.

Are alliances and bribing empires to attack relevant? Bride100,000 to get an empire to DOW and 5 mins later they are at peace again.Wut.

I cannot ask the military access or miing rights.Silly,silly,silly.

Spies and A.I.Not relevant in legends.

I hope some long term issues are fixed along with the new awesome.

(in reply to Cauldyth)
Post #: 730
RE: Distant Worlds: Shadows - 5/9/2013 7:11:25 PM   
MartialDoctor


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Eric,

Thanks for the detailed information. It sounds like you all put a lot of effort into this!

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RE: Distant Worlds: Shadows - 5/9/2013 8:09:27 PM   
Hawawaa


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Early preview of Shadows- http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=C-1fKmz4MdY

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RE: Distant Worlds: Shadows - 5/9/2013 8:15:32 PM   
Webbco


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Good find

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Post #: 733
RE: Distant Worlds: Shadows - 5/9/2013 8:44:12 PM   
ASHBERY76


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Status: online
Checking out that vid shows Pirate ships can control planets while their ships are half a galaxy away.

< Message edited by ASHBERY76 -- 5/9/2013 8:47:53 PM >

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Post #: 734
RE: Distant Worlds: Shadows - 5/9/2013 9:32:38 PM   
Erik Rutins

 

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Ah, nice to see Das is playing his preview build. That beta is a bit older than what we have now, but it's fairly representative.

One possible bug that showed up there is the advisor suggesting the raid when he'd already accepted the defense mission, but that may simply be because the raid was evaluated as the better choice. The default "click on the planet to attack" also didn't work for him because he didn't have troops to invade with, but in the release version that should default to raid for pirate ships and fleets without troops (but with assault pods and raiders). I'm glad he found how to order a raid through the right click menu.

You can also set a ship to be the lead ship in a fleet through that same right click menu when you have the ship selected.

As far as pirate control, it's easy come, easy go. Pirates can build up influence anywhere they can reach, but their "control" over a colony represents everything from establishing an underground economy to pure intimidation and tribute, depending on playstyle. Influence decays whenever the pirates do not have a force nearby. Influence increases when they do, in proportion to the strength of their presence. Once you get enough control over a planet, you can start to build things like hidden pirate bases, which can secure your control and prevent decay past a certain point even when you do not have ships nearby, as well as increasing your income from that planet. However, if you don't guard those planets other pirates or the planetary forces themselves may try to attack and destroy your hidden bases.

Ashbery, not sure what you mean - in the video I watched he only started gaining control when his resupply ship, which is a powerful military ship, arrived in the system near the planet.

Note also that 100% control is not ownership of the colony in the normal empire sense. You can have 100% control of an independent colony or one that belongs to another empire. That will give you income and other opportunities, but not ownership. Pirates don't have enough population, at least at the start, to own anything that size. It shows the influence you have on the planet though and having multiple controlled colonies with hidden bases is pretty much a prerequisite for a good economy and advancement as a pirate. Eventually, there is a way to actually take over a colony completely and transition to being a planetary empire, but I won't go into detail on that just yet.

Regards,

- Erik


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Director of Product Development


For official support, please use our Help Desk: http://www.matrixgames.com/helpdesk/

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Post #: 735
RE: Distant Worlds: Shadows - 5/9/2013 9:38:14 PM   
Erik Rutins

 

Posts: 32912
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Hi Ashbery,

quote:

ORIGINAL: ASHBERY76
Is war wariness relevant? The old get peace and DOW exploit kills the mechanic.

Is subjugation relevant? Putting the work into destroying an empire to get this treaty only to have the other empires get it too makes it not.It should be a treaty only one race should get with subjugated empire in question.Mopping up the whole empire is the only sensible option atm.

Are alliances and bribing empires to attack relevant? Bride100,000 to get an empire to DOW and 5 mins later they are at peace again.Wut.

I cannot ask the military access or miing rights.Silly,silly,silly.

Spies and A.I.Not relevant in legends.

I hope some long term issues are fixed along with the new awesome.


We did actually address a lot of long term issues in the process of Shadows development, but diplomacy was not our focus this time around. Unfortunately we could not revisit every part of the game and Diplomacy got a major overhaul during Legends development. We did improve tech trading further and made the AI smarter on how it uses intelligence agents as well as increasing the chance of getting new intelligence agents when you lose your last one.

Of the points you raise, most I would also like to improve and perhaps post-release we'll have a chance to do that.

Regards,

- Erik


_____________________________

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Director of Product Development


For official support, please use our Help Desk: http://www.matrixgames.com/helpdesk/

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(in reply to ASHBERY76)
Post #: 736
RE: Distant Worlds: Shadows - 5/9/2013 9:39:53 PM   
Antiscamp


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It was a real treat! Das' videos convinced me to buy this game in the first place.

"Already bidded" should be "Already bid". Otherwise I liked everything I saw in that video.

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RE: Distant Worlds: Shadows - 5/9/2013 10:40:40 PM   
ASHBERY76


Posts: 1973
Joined: 10/10/2001
From: England
Status: online
Will the improved A.I react to military build up and reinforce destroyed ship numbers faster.The A.I seemed to just follow policy factors and not the actual on map situation which should be panic fast ship building and mobilization when in total war.

When is the ETA? Sounds close.

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Post #: 738
RE: Distant Worlds: Shadows - 5/9/2013 10:42:05 PM   
Mansen


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Das mentioned that you only get the one Construction Ship - is this true? Is the only way of (re)gaining these by boarding other (pirate) empires for their ships? Seems like you can cripple a pirate empire incredibly easy if it is a one off thing.

Do you have to keep a colony in an Iron fist where they can't build any starships of their own while you orbit them with a death fleet or can you nurture them a bit and allow them to expand - but keep them in line by reminding them that they'd be better off under your wings?

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Post #: 739
RE: Distant Worlds: Shadows - 5/9/2013 11:03:13 PM   
Das123

 

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quote:

ORIGINAL: Mansen

Das mentioned that you only get the one Construction Ship - is this true? Is the only way of (re)gaining these by boarding other (pirate) empires for their ships? Seems like you can cripple a pirate empire incredibly easy if it is a one off thing.

Do you have to keep a colony in an Iron fist where they can't build any starships of their own while you orbit them with a death fleet or can you nurture them a bit and allow them to expand - but keep them in line by reminding them that they'd be better off under your wings?

Your second point is the most interesting aspect of the game for me as it promises a real balancing act of avoiding strength but balanancing control and growth of your intimidated colonies when playing as a pirate. I can't think of any other game that has attempted to do this.

And as far as the construction ship is concerned, yes, you have to capture others to grow this fleet. Keep in mind though that as a pirate you do have other options such as looting and raiding where building infrastructure is much less important than if you were an empire. Still, adds another very interesting aspect to the game.

I've started a thread in the AAR forum where I'll update the series as they are uploaded. :)

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Post #: 740
RE: Distant Worlds: Shadows - 5/9/2013 11:03:14 PM   
Bleek


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quote:

ORIGINAL: Hawawaa

Early preview of Shadows- http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=C-1fKmz4MdY


Thanks for sharing!

(in reply to Hawawaa)
Post #: 741
RE: Distant Worlds: Shadows - 5/10/2013 1:09:07 AM   
Simulation01


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Awesome preview screens and, I loved Das' video!


One question I have though.... how long does the "pre-warp" phase last? What I mean is...is hyperspace like one of the first tech's available or is it a ways down the tech tree? Also, is it possible to travel to other star systems while in pre-warp? Can we mod the game so that we can remain in pre-warp permanently or, at least modify the speed variables related to warp engines so that we could slow warp down? Stardrive had this and when I first heard about pre-warp in DW I was thinking along those lines.

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RE: Distant Worlds: Shadows - 5/10/2013 2:16:07 AM   
Dracus

 

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quote:

ORIGINAL: Erik Rutins

The much requested updated ground combat screen, taking community feedback into account. This is one from a Mortalen homeworld planet with lots of troops. You'll see the armor units in the front row, infantry behind, planetary defense units behind them. The population of the planet is in the back along with characters and facilities. The facilities in this case are from top to bottom an Armor Factory, Military Academy and Science Academy. You can also see the Small Space port in the orbit area.

Should enemies invade, they will first transit from the orbit area to the ground in assault pods. The space port and planetary defense units will be firing at them during that stage and they hit pretty hard, especially once your planetary defense units are upgraded. Those that survive will then engage the ground forces. There are a series of calculations that compare the relative forces on each side and list the bonuses above. I'll show that in another screen shortly.

You can watch the combat unfold, maximize it, minimize it, do other stuff and select other units while the combat screen remains open, etc. While combat unfolds you can see the units shooting at each other and who is taking damage. You can mouse over each unit to see its information and current strength.








Much better, I can live with this one

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RE: Distant Worlds: Shadows - 5/10/2013 2:20:18 AM   
Dracus

 

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quote:

ORIGINAL: Erik Rutins

Ok, one last battle screen, this one of a pirate raid, and I need to get back to work. Still a lot of final production tasks to finish and not much time left...

(Oh, also we replaced the official attack alarm sound )

Also, before you all get too worried, I should note that the above pirate faction is an extreme example, more like the "Legendary Pirates" before they left hte galaxy for a while and my test game was specifically setup to create pirates like that.












Now that is more like it. I can work with this.

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RE: Distant Worlds: Shadows - 5/10/2013 3:19:28 AM   
lancer

 

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.
Hi Eric,

quote:

Primarily one huge change. Every planet uses a base level of strategic resources now (they don't just get bonuses for the key resources, or consume resources when building something, they use resources now just to exist and keep the planet growing). If they lose access to the supply network and run out of resources, their growth slows or stops and the people get unhappy. That was a pretty massive change for us to balance to make resources more important and we also had to make sure the AI could handle it, which it now can.


Thanks for your reply.

I'd also agree that the new ground combat screen is looking good.

Cheers,
Lancer

< Message edited by lancer -- 5/10/2013 3:20:12 AM >

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Post #: 745
RE: Distant Worlds: Shadows - 5/10/2013 3:52:35 AM   
Cauldyth

 

Posts: 512
Joined: 6/27/2010
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quote:

ORIGINAL: ASHBERY76
When is the ETA? Sounds close.


Last word was May 21st.

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Post #: 746
RE: Distant Worlds: Shadows - 5/10/2013 3:46:12 PM   
Erik Rutins

 

Posts: 32912
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From: Vermont, USA
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In case you all missed it:

http://www.spacesector.com/blog/2013/05/distant-worlds-shadows-preview/

_____________________________

Erik Rutins
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Post #: 747
RE: Distant Worlds: Shadows - 5/10/2013 4:25:59 PM   
Plant


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Very nice preview there; I feel that preview has given out more information on Shadows than Matrix has, especially on what raider, mercenary and smuggler factions actually entails.

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RE: Distant Worlds: Shadows - 5/10/2013 6:40:01 PM   
Buio


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quote:

ORIGINAL: Erik Rutins
In case you all missed it:
http://www.spacesector.com/blog/2013/05/distant-worlds-shadows-preview/


quote:

ORIGINAL: Hawawaa
Early preview of Shadows- http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=C-1fKmz4MdY


Thanks! Now I got some previewing to do for some time. :)

Finished watching Das video, and saw that he just put up part 2.
Here it is: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yioscyOI5xo


< Message edited by Buio -- 5/10/2013 7:32:56 PM >

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Post #: 749
RE: Distant Worlds: Shadows - 5/10/2013 11:08:56 PM   
Kobracan

 

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This is really great. The video and the screen look superb. I can't wait to play this. However, I can't help but agreeing with Ashbery76. He brought up some great points.

Especially:

* War weariness: This is low hanging fruit. The game already ticks up war weariness when in war. You just need to implement a ticking down war weariness when not in war (and teach the AI about it). As it is this is a useless mechanic as you can immediately get rid of all war weariness in an instant and re-declare war.
* Subjugation: This should also be fixed very easily. It's just a rule change.
* Reputation: To easy to game (raise by destroying pirates etc.) and not enough penalties/discouragement for bad reputation in my opinion.

I know Erik said diplomacy wasn't the focus for this expansion but we are not talking about a complete overhaul of the diplomatic system here. Just a few fixes / improvements. These are really some glaring long-standing problems that should be addressed (hopefully in a patch after the Shadows release).

That being said, Shadows looks great. Looking forward to it!


quote:

ORIGINAL: ASHBERY76

quote:

achievements and awards
Sweet.

Is war wariness relevant? The old get peace and DOW exploit kills the mechanic.

Is subjugation relevant? Putting the work into destroying an empire to get this treaty only to have the other empires get it too makes it not.It should be a treaty only one race should get with subjugated empire in question.Mopping up the whole empire is the only sensible option atm.

Are alliances and bribing empires to attack relevant? Bride100,000 to get an empire to DOW and 5 mins later they are at peace again.Wut.

I cannot ask the military access or miing rights.Silly,silly,silly.

Spies and A.I.Not relevant in legends.

I hope some long term issues are fixed along with the new awesome.


(in reply to ASHBERY76)
Post #: 750
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