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RE: Distant Worlds: Shadows

 
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RE: Distant Worlds: Shadows - 11/19/2012 11:15:10 PM   
Simulation01


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I'm done.

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Post #: 151
RE: Distant Worlds: Shadows - 11/20/2012 1:01:27 AM   
Erik Rutins

 

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quote:

ORIGINAL: Simulation01
"pre-hyperspace"
Does this mean that you will introduce alternative faster than light travel modes for the different races....like wormholes, jumpgates, and jumplanes?


Not yet, but it does mean that you will be able to start with a planet, with no stations or ships or the tech to build all those possible types, no hyperspace drive and start exploring your own system, building your first space port, mining stations, etc. and trying to defend those and keep growing until you can start to explore the galaxy beyond your own system.

The idea of doing other methods of FTL is very appealing though and has been on our long-term list for a while. No specific plans for that in this release though.

quote:

Also, what about planetary construction, Dyson Sphere's, Ring World's...those are long sought after additions by me and others? Will those be introduced? I think they could really be integral when contemplating space based civilizations?


No artificial planets - we took a good long look at that as it interests us as well, but within the current engine it would mean a huge amount of development work for the benefit. The space-based civilizations do have an eventual path towards planetary population though (if they want to pursue that) but can also remain a lower population space-based faction.

Regards,

- Erik


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(in reply to Simulation01)
Post #: 152
RE: Distant Worlds: Shadows - 11/20/2012 1:02:47 AM   
Erik Rutins

 

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quote:

ORIGINAL: feelotraveller
So maybe smuggling Natarran Incense is back on the agenda. 
It all looks very interesting. 


Well, if you are playing as an independent/smuggler, the increasing planetary populations are the best source of income for you. Meeting their general demands as well as specific requests can give you a good income.

Regards,

- Erik


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Post #: 153
RE: Distant Worlds: Shadows - 11/20/2012 1:04:07 AM   
Erik Rutins

 

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quote:

ORIGINAL: solops
I think the ground combat complication is a move in the wrong direction. The AI does a poor job now. Adding to the complexity will make it even less competitive as well as increasing player micromanagment. 


Just FYI, we're doing everything we can in development to make sure that the AI can fully handle all the new features and additions. So far it's doing well with the new ground combat in my experience, but a lot more testing and AI work still remains.

Regards,

- Erik



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Post #: 154
RE: Distant Worlds: Shadows - 11/20/2012 1:06:26 AM   
Erik Rutins

 

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quote:

ORIGINAL: Raap
Any hints as to how resource and cash management will be for those factions? I suppose the resource part could be kept mostly the same( with a heavy focus on cargo bays in the ship/base designs to compensate for lack of planetary storage), but unless you now allow ships and bases to have actual populations in them, I'm kinda interested in how you plan to replace tax income and the research aspects.


The economy is quite a bit different for those space-based factions, but there are multiple playstyles you can pursue, from raiding and pillaging planets to taking on mercenary missions to trading peacefully to setting up your own "underworld economy" on a world and gradually taking it over from within.

Research is quite a bit slower for space-based factions, without the planetary populations and their benefits, but they are also quite good at stealing/capturing and reverse engineering tech. Also, if you're playing in the Age of Shadows, the space-based factions start out with a tech advantage.

Regards,

- Erik


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Post #: 155
RE: Distant Worlds: Shadows - 11/20/2012 1:10:35 AM   
Erik Rutins

 

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quote:

ORIGINAL: Kobracan
I have to be honest: independent races don't excite me much but detailed ground combat and AI improvements are exciting. I'll be buying it the day it comes out!


We tried to put something in there for everyone, whether you like "pirates" or don't, whether you want to play in the Age of Shadows or stay in the previous storylines/timelines, etc. Good to hear that from the comments so far, everyone seems to be finding something they will like. The overall continuing improvements to the AI and improvements to automation that we've done in every release are part of the development of each new expansion as well. In this way the expansions help us to continue improving the game as a whole.

Regards,

- Erik


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Post #: 156
RE: Distant Worlds: Shadows - 11/20/2012 1:12:52 AM   
Erik Rutins

 

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quote:

ORIGINAL: Darkspire
A. Is it an expansion needing the others to work, like Legends?


Yes, this will require the previous expansions. We realize the list is getting pretty long, so I expect within the next year we'll consolidate that a bit as well but for now it's sequential.

quote:


C. What is the price range, same as Legends? Asking as I would like to get it and would like to start putting pennies aside.


I would expect the same price range as Return of the Shakturi and Legends.

quote:

D. Will the race portraits be updated? IMHO they should have been updated in Legends, a variant for each character type of the race, leader, general etc.


There will be some new art for the space-based factions. No plans at present to add unique character art, though we may add some if time allows or in a future release.

Regards,

- Erik



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Post #: 157
RE: Distant Worlds: Shadows - 11/20/2012 1:14:36 AM   
Erik Rutins

 

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quote:

ORIGINAL: tjhkkr
Will we get a cool contest like last time?
I trully had fun reading all the cool ideas people had?



Hm, I've been thinking about this but hadn't come up with a good one yet. We could do another space monster, or perhaps a unique space-based faction. Any suggestions?

Regards,

- Erik



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Post #: 158
RE: Distant Worlds: Shadows - 11/20/2012 1:18:58 AM   
Erik Rutins

 

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quote:

ORIGINAL: Rtwfreak
I want to know "exactly" what you did to "improve" the AI. It's all too easy to make a blanket statement like that and no real improvement even exists. So please in "detail" tell us how you improved the AI.


The main improvements have been in the area of how the private sector economy works, how exploration and expansion is planned, how certain threats are responded to and "remembered" and "aged" and how fueling/refueling is handled. In addition, "Pirate" AI is pretty much completely rewritten and they are much "smarter" than they were. Improvements in many areas continue. The AI and automation has improved with each expansion, but in many cases getting down to small details on this is also misleading as the overall effect of all the smaller improvements together matters most. While Distant Worlds: Shadows is still in development, I also don't know yet all the improvements for the final release or how much better the AI will be at that point. We just want to make sure it's significantly improved.

Regards,

- Erik


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Post #: 159
RE: Distant Worlds: Shadows - 11/20/2012 1:21:32 AM   
Erik Rutins

 

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quote:

ORIGINAL: Bebop Cola
Will it be possible for an empire to transition back and forth between these states? For example, could a space-based empire capture a planet to become a traditional empire, then return to being spaced-based if their last planet is captured while they still retain say, a construction ship, in play?


Yes, there is a path that space-based empires can pursue (it's not easy though) that will give them control over a planet and they could also lose that planet and be entirely space-based again. It's difficult to eliminate a space-based faction entirely because as long as they have a space port or a resupply ship or a construction ship somewhere, they are still in the game. With the new ability to board and capture other ships and bases, they are quite resilient.

Regards,

- Erik


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Post #: 160
RE: Distant Worlds: Shadows - 11/20/2012 1:28:02 AM   
Erik Rutins

 

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quote:

ORIGINAL: Kayoz
1. graphics
I hope not too much time has gone to improving graphics. DW could use some improvements to the efficiency of the graphics engine - but trying to make the game prettier is, in my opinion, a waste of time in a strategy game.


One thing I have not mentioned is that we've made some major improvements to the underlying graphics engine which _should_ mean a significant performance improvement for everyone. So far, in my testing, much less graphical lag and higher fps on low and mid-range systems, though until we start the wider beta test we won't know if that's the case for most players.

Regarding 2 and 3, we are improving the AI and teaching it about all the new stuff. :-)

quote:

4. multiple stages of a planetary assault
Please make sure that this also applies to pacification. Currently, it's "invade, load troops, invade next" - there's no need or benefit to pacify a planet - so you can easily steamroll an empire down to nothing in the matter of a few minutes. This does not seem to add to the game play.


Already in there. :-)

quote:

5. new planetary facilities
Running costs. Please. Every planet with full shield, ion cannon and everything else is a bit boring. Adding a dozen more facilities I can build with my nigh limitless funds is a big yawn.


Maintenance costs for facilities, also already in there.

quote:

6. Pirates
More control or at least hiring of them to perform specific missions would be greatly appreciated. I don't want the pirates to simply suicide on mining stations - I want them to blow up a SPECIFIC mining station. And if they need ships, I want to be able to give them ships - not cash which they'll spend building a dozen useless escorts.


Already in there. :-)

quote:


7. area weapons
Please make them hit fighters and possibly missiles/torpedoes. Area weapons are either useless or a detriment to any player that's daft enough to use them.


The new area weapons are different and more useful IMHO but we're still checking on whether we can include effects on fighters or not, mainly a performance concern.

quote:

8. diplomacy
Blockade mechanics need a serious look over. Attacking ships that are blockading your planet should have little or no reputation hit. Also, the current implementation of diplomatic demands to remove military forces from my (player) system seems to go to NULL. There's no indication what's being done with diplomacy, but please FIX the existing problems before adding new ones!


We'll take a look at this, haven't changed anything in terms of blockades yet.

quote:

10. memory management
Please please tell me that Elliot has implemented his own memory manager. The .net limit of 800-1200mb is ridiculous given modern PCs. It's purely a .net limit, which he can (hopefully) easily work around. Please please please tell me he's done this...


Performance overall is quite improved, we'll have to see if it's enough. As always, we tend to improve performance and then find new ways to slow it down again with new features.

Regards,

- Erik


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Post #: 161
RE: Distant Worlds: Shadows - 11/20/2012 1:29:20 AM   
Erik Rutins

 

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quote:

ORIGINAL: jabbahutt
1. Mechanical races (Borg anyone?)
2. Random tech trees - where not all techs always appear and the research time is semi-random.


Good suggestions, both are on our long-term wish list as well, but not for this expansion unfortunately.

Regards,

- Erik



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Post #: 162
RE: Distant Worlds: Shadows - 11/20/2012 1:43:06 AM   
Erik Rutins

 

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quote:

ORIGINAL: Bebop Cola
I'd also like to see much more done with running costs. Not just raw cash, but resources as well. Large worlds need to be gluttons for resources and those resources need to disappear. Most times I feel like large stockpiles are just shuffled around currently.


We've been thinking along these lines too - the faction-specific resource bonuses in Legends were a step in that direction, but in Shadows each colony consumes strategic resources based on its size and development. If it doesn't get enough, it won't grow and it will keep demanding those resources even if nothing is being built there. We were a bit cautious about doing this earlier for various reasons, but it's working well in Shadows and I think it has a great effect on the economy and gameplay.

Regards,

- Erik

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RE: Distant Worlds: Shadows - 11/20/2012 1:46:47 AM   
tjhkkr


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You have been very kind about answering questions:
Any word you can give us about Special Forces Missions?

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RE: Distant Worlds: Shadows - 11/20/2012 1:47:44 AM   
Erik Rutins

 

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quote:

ORIGINAL: Ralzakark
1. Shadows is set before the original DW and its expansions. If you play long enough will the timeframes run together, so that you can continue from the age of Pirates into the age of Empires?


Yes, this is quite possible.

quote:

2. Given the background will there be new technology which is more basic than the current lowest level in Legends, for example weaker blasters and slower engines?


Yes, there's a new "Level 0" in effect for pre-hyperspace tech, just enough to get you into space.

quote:

3. Will you still be able to play in the DW timeframe, so play against the current background but with the new technologies and enhancements to ground combat?


Yes, absolutely.

Regards,

- Erik



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Post #: 165
RE: Distant Worlds: Shadows - 11/20/2012 1:48:51 AM   
Erik Rutins

 

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quote:

ORIGINAL: Kayoz

13. ship design cleanup

requested changes:
a) inclusion of required components should be done automatically. All ships, regardless of type require a few components - command center, one generator, one fuel storage, etc. Why force the player to peck through the list for these REQUIRED bits? If you have researched others, then you should be free to swap them out - but I'm guessing that most players will only research one line of engines and use them on all their designs. Another example, say I'm designing a colony ship - why is it that I have to peck through the list for the colony module??? It's required by it's role - so pecking through the list for it (and there's only ONE to choose from, realistically) is a complete waste of time. Other bits, like the first reactor, the command center and the first fuel cell are mandatory. Forcing the player to peck through the list of components that are REQUIRED is a waste of time. How does forcing a player to do this add to the depth or enjoyment of the game?
b) group component types visually by type - they're arranged by type in a list, but this should be made more explicit. Using the first few pixels of each component to form a colour ribbon is one potential method. That way, for example, all weapons would have the first few pixels of the component showing red - so the weapons section of the list shows up as a vertical red ribbon, followed by another colour based on what's next.
c) remove irrelevant component types from the list - mining stations and space port design should not even present the hyper drives to you. Selecting this as a component should not be possible.
d) redundant components - once you have a medical or recreation center in the design, further components of that type are utterly pointless (redundancy in the case of one being destroyed aside, but I suspect that's incredibly rare). Same applies for hyper drive, command center, etc. Once a component of this type has been added, further additions of the same type should be removed from the left hand side selection list. What is to be gained by confusing new players who might try to add a dozen recreation centers, and are confused when their design costs more, but does the same job as the one with only one recreation center. Remove this confusion by removing it from the list.
e) Please remove the automatic "obsolete" flag every time I cancel a manual upgrade. This bug has been in the design screen since the first release and has never been fixed.


Some good ideas here, noted.


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Post #: 166
RE: Distant Worlds: Shadows - 11/20/2012 1:56:19 AM   
Erik Rutins

 

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quote:

ORIGINAL: tjhkkr
Can you throw me a tidbit about Special Forces in the new game?
I am kind of excited about that feature.


Well, as you might expect they are quite capable. They can get in and survive where other units cannot and they are excellent at disabling planetary defenses and fortifications either before or during an invasion. They are also not available right away. You need to put some research effort into the ground combat tech tree to get access to the armor/mech forces, special forces and the various planetary defense options.

Regards,

- Erik



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Post #: 167
RE: Distant Worlds: Shadows - 11/20/2012 1:58:43 AM   
Erik Rutins

 

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quote:

ORIGINAL: ASHBERY76
I am thinking this expansion will not make an x-mas release this time.


Well, that's the other reason I'm posting here, because unfortunately we will miss the pre-Christmas release. We all decided it was better to put in the extra time and get things right than to rush it out for the holidays. Many of the new features involved some fundamental changes to Distant Worlds and we need more time to finish testing, balancing and tweaking them to get everything working together the way we want. I do expect the beta test to start this year though, but we're now looking at a Q1 2013 release.

Regards,

- Erik



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RE: Distant Worlds: Shadows - 11/20/2012 1:59:44 AM   
Erik Rutins

 

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quote:

ORIGINAL: Blueberry
Will the the aforementioned new elements of boarding/ground combat/new units be strictly limited to the age of shadows gameplay or will the installation of the latest expansion change (where appropriate, without affecting the game's plot) the Legends as well? Will the player be able to play the usual 'empires' game with some of the new stuff?


Yes, everything will work with the existing timeline and the usual game as well. In fact a lot of the new tech is more aimed at that than Age of Shadows.

Regards,

- Erik



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Post #: 169
RE: Distant Worlds: Shadows - 11/20/2012 2:00:17 AM   
Erik Rutins

 

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quote:

ORIGINAL: Simulation01
I love how all of our questions have been completely ignored. Carry on Matrix...carry on.


Sorry man, I've been a bit busy! Seriously.


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RE: Distant Worlds: Shadows - 11/20/2012 2:01:26 AM   
Erik Rutins

 

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quote:

ORIGINAL: Haree78
I'm scratching my head trying to work out how you could play a game without moving between systems....surely it doesn't mean that.


Even a single system can be quite interesting when you are taking those first steps into space and other factions are eager to keep you on your planet.

Regards,

- Erik


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Post #: 171
RE: Distant Worlds: Shadows - 11/20/2012 2:34:20 AM   
lancer

 

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Hi Eric,

Thanks for the detailed answers. Appreciated.

You've mentioned that colonies now consume resources but are you able to highlight any other tweaks that mitigate against the 'unlimited funds' and 'meaningless resources' issues that were magnified by the previous expansion?

Cheers,
Lancer

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Post #: 172
RE: Distant Worlds: Shadows - 11/20/2012 3:18:46 AM   
Haree78


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Thanks a lot Erik, tons of info to get excited about. Can't wait to see what starting without hyperspace travel is going to feel like then. What an epic game experience that could be. Starting up with super slow inner system travel all the way to conquering a 15x15 map.
Sounds like a lot of people's suggestions have been pulled in to AoS :)

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Post #: 173
RE: Distant Worlds: Shadows - 11/20/2012 3:32:56 AM   
Shark7


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quote:

ORIGINAL: Erik Rutins


quote:

ORIGINAL: Kayoz

13. ship design cleanup

requested changes:
a) inclusion of required components should be done automatically. All ships, regardless of type require a few components - command center, one generator, one fuel storage, etc. Why force the player to peck through the list for these REQUIRED bits? If you have researched others, then you should be free to swap them out - but I'm guessing that most players will only research one line of engines and use them on all their designs. Another example, say I'm designing a colony ship - why is it that I have to peck through the list for the colony module??? It's required by it's role - so pecking through the list for it (and there's only ONE to choose from, realistically) is a complete waste of time. Other bits, like the first reactor, the command center and the first fuel cell are mandatory. Forcing the player to peck through the list of components that are REQUIRED is a waste of time. How does forcing a player to do this add to the depth or enjoyment of the game?
b) group component types visually by type - they're arranged by type in a list, but this should be made more explicit. Using the first few pixels of each component to form a colour ribbon is one potential method. That way, for example, all weapons would have the first few pixels of the component showing red - so the weapons section of the list shows up as a vertical red ribbon, followed by another colour based on what's next.
c) remove irrelevant component types from the list - mining stations and space port design should not even present the hyper drives to you. Selecting this as a component should not be possible.
d) redundant components - once you have a medical or recreation center in the design, further components of that type are utterly pointless (redundancy in the case of one being destroyed aside, but I suspect that's incredibly rare). Same applies for hyper drive, command center, etc. Once a component of this type has been added, further additions of the same type should be removed from the left hand side selection list. What is to be gained by confusing new players who might try to add a dozen recreation centers, and are confused when their design costs more, but does the same job as the one with only one recreation center. Remove this confusion by removing it from the list.
e) Please remove the automatic "obsolete" flag every time I cancel a manual upgrade. This bug has been in the design screen since the first release and has never been fixed.


Some good ideas here, noted.



Erik, may I make an additional suggestion to this?

Not only do the required components need to be included at the start, but things like the Habitation Module and Life Support Modules should be automatically added each time they are required.

Example: If I build a design and add in 5 maxos blasters which increases the number of required Hab and life support, then the needed hab and life support should be added for me.

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RE: Distant Worlds: Shadows - 11/20/2012 3:33:31 AM   
ehsumrell1


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quote:

ORIGINAL: Erik Rutins


quote:

ORIGINAL: Simulation01
I love how all of our questions have been completely ignored. Carry on Matrix...carry on.


Sorry man, I've been a bit busy! Seriously.



Thanks Erik for all the new information. Maybe this new info will quench the thirst of most
of the newer forum members.

Can't wait to start testing! Hopefully before my Galactic Birthday Party in December!

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Shields are useless in "The Briar Patch"...

(in reply to Erik Rutins)
Post #: 175
RE: Distant Worlds: Shadows - 11/20/2012 4:32:20 AM   
tjhkkr


Posts: 1846
Joined: 6/3/2010
Status: offline
quote:

ORIGINAL: Erik Rutins
quote:

ORIGINAL: tjhkkr
Can you throw me a tidbit about Special Forces in the new game?
I am kind of excited about that feature.


Well, as you might expect they are quite capable. They can get in and survive where other units cannot and they are excellent at disabling planetary defenses and fortifications either before or during an invasion. They are also not available right away. You need to put some research effort into the ground combat tech tree to get access to the armor/mech forces, special forces and the various planetary defense options.

Regards,
- Erik

Thank you sir!

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(in reply to Erik Rutins)
Post #: 176
RE: Distant Worlds: Shadows - 11/20/2012 6:25:35 AM   
Darkspire


Posts: 1946
Joined: 6/12/2003
From: My Own Private Hell
Status: offline
Thanks for all the feedback Erik but the one thing you have not touched on is what is being fixed in the new expansion?

Heres a few of the top of my head,

A. GUI, the way the screen 'clunks' on the the diplomacy screen and others. Double buffer anyone?

B. The way the exploration planner updates in slo-mo mid game.

C. The galaxy map forgets the last setting when your viewing resources, you choose carbon fibre, exit the galaxy map to issue an order but when you open the galaxy map again it is still on resources but has reset back to the first in the list.

D. Putting a sort function on the quick list on the left of the main screen. By midgame you have quiite a few things in those lists, mining, colonies etc, trying to scroll through them in a straight forward list is chaos, it needs a sort funtion of some sort so you can use the quick list properly, at the moment its more of a chore list than a quick one.

There are quite a few others that I have found but these four cause me the most problems.

One final question, any chance of putting a continue button on the main screen? I have to select load, then select details, then select by date so I can remember the last saved game. Would be a lot easier to have a continue that just loads the last save like most other games have.

Thanks

Darkspire



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(in reply to tjhkkr)
Post #: 177
RE: Distant Worlds: Shadows - 11/20/2012 7:21:20 AM   
Shark7


Posts: 7165
Joined: 7/24/2007
From: The Big Nowhere
Status: offline
Another suggestion, and a screen shot at the end so you can see why I'm asking for this.

Can we please get a way to filter our fleets in the sidebar fleet menu? When you have as many as I do, finding the ones you actually want to have any control over becomes quite frustrating. All we need is a way to mark a fleet when we create it so that it does or does not show up in the fleet sidebar menu. My patrol fleets are left to the AI to defend my planets, where the ones I need to quickly grab and control are the Assault Fleets.

The screen shot shows my current fleet list...or rather how completely jumbled it is. Even if it would just list them in an numerical/alphabetical order I could at least name them in a way that would put the ones I want to control at the top of the list and easy to find. Please give me a better way to find my fleets.




Attachment (1)

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Distant Worlds Fan

'When in doubt...attack!'

(in reply to Darkspire)
Post #: 178
RE: Distant Worlds: Shadows - 11/20/2012 1:28:19 PM   
Yskonyn


Posts: 175
Joined: 6/27/2008
Status: offline

quote:

ORIGINAL: Erik Rutins


quote:

ORIGINAL: Yskonyn
I hope they will also incorporate economy tweaks so its less hard to make insane amounts of money.


Yes, that's part of the balance we've been working on as well. Lots of economic and resource balancing so far during Shadows development.

Regards,

- Erik


Heh, I meant 'harder to make insane amounts of money', of course. But I think you got that. :)

(in reply to Erik Rutins)
Post #: 179
RE: Distant Worlds: Shadows - 11/20/2012 6:25:43 PM   
sveint


Posts: 1378
Joined: 1/19/2001
Status: offline
Include an "Impossible" difficulty level and I will buy this.

(in reply to Yskonyn)
Post #: 180
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