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Questions from a noob!

 
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Questions from a noob! - 4/17/2013 10:49:50 PM   
Balkor Wolf

 

Posts: 18
Joined: 4/17/2013
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o/ Everyone

First of all before I get to asking questions I need to say that Distant worlds is unlike any other kind of game I've ever played before. I've played a lot of 4X, RTS and Grand Strategy games but only one of them has ever come anywhere near this scale. Sure it's not the prettiest game in the world but the game play is so fun that it more than makes up for it.

Now to my questions...

My first one is in regards of ship design, I always prefer using my own designs and so the first thing I did was get to creating one however the one thing that greatly confused me was the ship type. When selecting between Frigate, Destroyer, Cruiser and so on I can't seem to find any actual differences between them since habitat modules allow me to build up ships so that they can all essentially hold the same amount of components. Is this correct or is there an actual difference that I am clearly missing?

My second question is can I set a fleet to patrol a whole system? I should add here I only have the very original game, no expansions yet, however I can't find any patrol options over than to patrol a particular planet or station and so I'm having to build more ships than I would like to cover each star system.

This final one is bit more of a strategy question, should I focus on a relatively rapid expansion in order to grab every available moon and planet I possibly can or should I be a bit more conservative with it? I've only played a short amount of time so far and have yet to notice any downsides to stealing every bit of space I possibly can.

Oh and a final final question (Sorry >.> It just came to mind) I remember one video I saw there was an option to show a more expanded view of your empire's borders (So instead of a small bit of colour surrounding each system, it was one giant blob of colour surrounding all your territories). I can't find the video I saw it on, neither can I find an option for it so I don't know if it's part of a Mod or a different Expansion.

Anyway sorry for the long read >.> Thanks for any advice, I look forward to spending many hours on this game.
Post #: 1
RE: Questions from a noob! - 4/18/2013 7:29:40 AM   
Sirian


Posts: 89
Joined: 11/29/2012
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Hello Balkor Wolf!

Welcome to the forums! Lets see if I can lend some insight. First of all, consider to buy at least one expansion. (Return of the Shakturi) There are so many updates to the game that make it more fun and easier to handle. The territory blobs from your third question were added with the second expansion, Legends. (Which also contains a lot of gameplay enhancements and polish) In Legends, there are tools to let you patrol a solar system or even a whole sector.

The thing about the different ship classes is confusing it took me quite a while to figure it out. The key to my understanding was the "build ships" menu (the little hammer in the middle right top of the screen) It is true that you can build escorts that are larger than capital ships but that is not the point. I know all other 4x games function that way and it takes some time to get rid of that kind of thinking. The different ship classes give YOU the possibility to create 5 or 6 different ship classes in a way how YOU see fit. They may even all have the same size, the differentiation is not size, but purpose or function. Then you can easily order those ships via the ship build menu (the little hammer) or the ship build icons at the spaceports (lower right icon of little window in the lower left corner)

If you design 2 different cruisers, you cannot easily order them, since you can only order one design per category per usage of the build ships menu, although you can change that design in the dropdown. At the laest when the automatic tries to upgrade those ships it gets confused. So you can design an escort that is for instance a fast and expendable missile boat, a frigate for patroling shipment routes, a destroyer for general ship to ship combat and cruisers or capital ships for task forces with fleet support modules and such. (These are only examples) Resupply ships make great flag ships, btw.

The same mechanic that allows you to create a size 1200 escort allows you to design a size 200 capital ship, so you can have the distinction from the beginning on. Those ship classes are not defined by default, but you can always design one manually.

All this is based on my experience while playing the Legends expansion.

< Message edited by Sirian -- 4/18/2013 7:41:22 AM >


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(in reply to Balkor Wolf)
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RE: Questions from a noob! - 4/18/2013 9:45:07 AM   
Balkor Wolf

 

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Thanks Sirian, certainly helped me out!

You are right about me having the whole mindset of bigger ship name should do bigger things but it makes sense to have it as a way of organizing which ship is which so I guess I just need to make my own system on how I will fit them all out.

I will certainly look into the expansion packs however before hand I want to make sure I do truly enjoy the game and so I'm going to be starting a full play through soon and intend on documenting it on the AAR section presuming its okay to post while the game is still in progress, I couldn't imagine trying to remember all the details of a game that could span over many hours and days.

As for another quick question, have you, or anyone else for that matter, ever tried the scenarios that are suggested in the tutorial such as setting everything to automatic and just controlling one specific aspect of the empire (Such as Spy Master or Fleet commander) or does that generally not work out?

(in reply to Sirian)
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RE: Questions from a noob! - 4/18/2013 1:22:59 PM   
Bingeling

 

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First a disclaimer, as I have not played the original for ages. This could leave me a bit off.

You asked about patrol. I have not found this order useful if managing things myself. They drive around and burn fuel, while they could just sit nicely with energy collectors and use no fuel at all. All the while having the same response time. Look for engagement stances, you want to attack system targets (or however it is phrased). A button around the selection should toggle it (here is where doubt comes in as original gui for me is a faint memory at best).

Ship classes are as above said to be rather irrelevant. I assume they are used by the AI to set up fleets, and assign more powerful ships (destroyers) to guard more valuable objectives. So they matter for the AI behavior, not for much else apart from separating things. Also, pirates steal empire designs, and making a giant escort of ultimate power may not be the best idea, just in case your local pirates build a few of them. They prefer the small designs (escort, frigate, destroyer).

As long as you don't go broke doing it, stealing space is not bad. You may discover spreading your population more thinly for a while, which could be bad for tax income. Also you (and the civilians) may have more ships and bases to maintain due to larger empire sizes. Consider planet quality. Sub 80 will not give much money even when "full", but they can be nice in order to keep others away. This is more relevant with borders in legends, but if you have a prime mining system with lots of mines, a "poor" colony in it will prevent others from colonizing your mining system which is annoying indeed.

All of my AARs have been "under action reports", writing as I go. There are many ways to write them, from more abstract stories, to more "game tracking". My style is the latter. I figure that "spymaster", "fleet admiral" is a bit limited, but I have played games as master of the armed forces (mostly ships). Heavy automation (like diplomacy) adds difficulty, since diplomacy can be abused (tech trading...) and not having control removes your option to choose when to end wars.

(in reply to Balkor Wolf)
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RE: Questions from a noob! - 4/18/2013 5:42:54 PM   
Balkor Wolf

 

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Thanks Bingeling =) Has helped a little with my understanding, I didn't consider the fuel usage of ships just patrolling around and I will double check the AI settings for them, I do believe there was an option for attack in sector and I may have instead gone with attack nearest or something of the sorts, I'm still at college so can't double check just yet.

In regards of the AAR I intend on doing it's pretty much just going to be in complete sandbox mode and I'm going to try and RP it as a pirate/mercenary's story, see how long I can survive raiding empires and stuff before they gang up on me and wipe me out ;P

(in reply to Bingeling)
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RE: Questions from a noob! - 4/18/2013 7:18:04 PM   
Bingeling

 

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I don't remember details about vanilla (there is no manual research, right?), but if you got alternative hyperdrives, consider to use fast jump ones for local defense ships. They can easily protect a sector or so from pirates. This view is though tainted by ROTS and Legends, I can't remember vanilla much.

Spend some time figuring out the basics and whether you like the game now, and hope or a sale on all expansion when Shadows is released in a few weeks (one can hope). Each expansion has been a nice improvement.

(in reply to Balkor Wolf)
Post #: 6
RE: Questions from a noob! - 4/19/2013 10:14:58 PM   
Balkor Wolf

 

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Sooooo... I buckled and got the expansions Glad I did though, a lot of the features included have been helpful and make things easier.

However! Two more questions >.>

As my current game goes I've only met 2 of 19 other factions and I am ahead by an insane amount. Their combined fleets barely matches the strength of my strongest fleet (I have difficulty set as normal, may have to boost that up next play through). With this in mind I've figured I would try to cruel and force some money out of my neighbors in the form of demanding money and threatening trade sanctions/war to encourage their decision, first question is what are the chances the AI will go along with it considering my vastly superior military strength?

These trade sanctions/war however brings me to my second question... My ships seem to have a fuel problem, their range is somewhat limited which I've kind of narrowed down to my ship design (Most ships only have 2-3 fuel tanks that will get me about half way towards my future enemies). This problem however I think can have multiple solutions and I was curious which you guys find to be more viable:

Option 1: Most obvious, add more fuel tanks for extra range with enough spare for a siege.

Option 2: Use resupply ships, I have never used these yet though and not sure of the mechanics, will they bring the fuel to my fleets or do I bring my fleets to the fuel?

Option 3: Slowly make my way up closer towards my enemies via gas mining outposts, there are a lot of gas clouds nearby that could be suitable for this.

Now I know research will help fix this issue over time with more efficient reactors + fuel tanks however that is time I would rather spend enjoying my new slave colonies and so for now I'm looking at a bit more shorter term.

Another idea I've had is weapons, I noticed that ships equipped with missiles, even when out of fuel, still fire the missiles although I'm pretty sure missiles still require energy to run and so I think it may have been a tiny bit of left overs however in the case I'm wrong, would replacing lasers with missiles (And maybe railguns) lesson the stress on my fuel supply?

(in reply to Balkor Wolf)
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RE: Questions from a noob! - 4/20/2013 12:08:40 AM   
Bingeling

 

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I am peaceful and don't extort my neighbors, so I can't help there. Why not try? :) You can even cheat and save/reload.

More fuel cells, and improved storage tech (fuel cells) are of course tools for better range. As are more efficient hyperdrives and more efficient reactors. Many things are involved. I usually run with AI designs, it is one way of not making things too easy.

Shooting uses energy. To get energy the reactor burns fuel. Using weapons with less energy range helps real range when it is a question of "travel - fight - refuel". And long travel is usually due to fighting, right?

There are certain actions that are very efficient and of no help in keeping the game challenging. You may notice if you do any of them yourself. Reading the quick strategy guide on this forum should give a nice overview...

Resupply ships are lovely. They are powerful warships, the AI equip them with long range scanners, and they function as efficient gas mining bases with lots of docking ports (for faster refueling of fleets). They are not trading points, and your state ships are the only that will ever refuel there. They also lift only caslon and hydrogen even if other resources are present. One issue with gas mining stations can be that when there is fuel problems, all fuel mined is quickly reserved by freighters that want to bring them to a spaceport. These reservations can also be alien. This usually makes gas mines unable to refuel a big fleet, since there is not enough "free fuel".

My tips are: To use them, they need to deploy. Locate a fuel resource (cloud/planet), have the resupply ship selected, and right click (or ctrl-right click) the target and select "deploy". After some time, the ship will be deployed, and start mining gas. When deployed your ships can refuel at it (like they do at a mine/spaceport).

What I do is that when at peace, I dock them at a good source (high percentage) that only carries the fuel I use. Caslon or hydrogen. Or that has a high percentage for what I want, or low for the other. This fills its stores, meaning ships can refuel once it docks, and don't have to wait for it mining new gas. It does not hurt if the chosen spot is one where you could possible need some extra fuel either...

When you plan war, use the galaxy map "known resources" filter to locate your destination. You want a reasonably close (and good) location with your fuel. I tend to try avoid "busy" systems, if I can choose. Sometime I attack enemy systems and park the resupply ships inside. I have deployed on the gas giant the enemy capital orbited, to refuel while fighting its defenses...

They are also a blessing if you have large fleets, as those will run even the best spaceport dry if they have to refuel often and arrive with little fuel. In peace I may park them at my edges where fuel supply is scarce, to provide fuel for the local pirate buster fleet.

This a screenshot from my Yor AAR, where I (purple) struggle in a war with the reds below me. Massive battles went on in my southern parts.



At the bottom you see my resupply ship (long range scanner) setting up in a gas cloud. A bit above is a fleet that has busted an enemy system. It is at the limits of what I could attack from my southern colonies. With the resupply ship as a base, this fleet can harass enemy systems both to its north, east and west. If the fleet runs out of targets, the resupply ship can move.

There was a crazy fight in those southern areas of mine. The image is after grabbing one enemy colony and getting some sort of control. 4-5 large fleets worked full time to protect my colonies, and even this was core areas for my empire, fuel supply became shaky. In those situations a resupply ship or two in the south (inside my borders) could be useful to help the fuel situation. They could even park on fuel sources in the systems being defended.

Oh, and when you struggle to deploy in a gas cloud, make sure you click the cloud itself and don't try to deploy on the system-level

(in reply to Balkor Wolf)
Post #: 8
RE: Questions from a noob! - 4/20/2013 4:54:19 PM   
meklore61

 

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I'm new to Distant Worlds also and I have a noobish question too. I opened the Tech that makes carriers and can build up to size 500, but I'm not sure how to make carriers like the tool tip says. It says that if 40% of the ship is Fighters then it can be 50 points over the current ship limit. I can't seem to make this work and I'm sure I'm missing something.

(in reply to Bingeling)
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RE: Questions from a noob! - 4/20/2013 7:15:01 PM   
Bingeling

 

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I don't mess with designs much, but make sure you select the "carrier" type top left. That is one ship class I think actually means something.

(in reply to meklore61)
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RE: Questions from a noob! - 4/20/2013 9:34:26 PM   
Bingeling

 

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Joined: 8/12/2010
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Stopping my manual game, starting a new afk game to work overnight (no client restart), and when I want to check the new game's progress, I got a crash. It looks like a tricky one, though.

Distant Worlds - Crash Dump - 1.8.9.19

22:23:06 20. april 2013


System.ApplicationException: Graphics device reset failed

Microsoft.Xna.Framework.Graphics.DeviceLostException: Exception of type 'Microsoft.Xna.Framework.Graphics.DeviceLostException' was thrown.
at Microsoft.Xna.Framework.Graphics.GraphicsDevice.Reset(PresentationParameters presentationParameters, GraphicsAdapter graphicsAdapter)
at DistantWorlds.Controls.MainView.jT9LJXghxBG7dR7Mddl(Object , Object )
at DistantWorlds.Controls.MainView.q4HFbPt4G3(Int32 , Int32 )
at DistantWorlds.Controls.MainView.EffFpsKcK2()
at DistantWorlds.Controls.MainView.DrawMainViewXna()
at DistantWorlds.Main.ProcessMain(DateTime time, Int64 starDate, BuiltObjectList builtObjectsInView)
at DistantWorlds.Main.ProgramLoop()


Application info follows:

Graphics device reset failed

Microsoft.Xna.Framework.Graphics.DeviceLostException: Exception of type 'Microsoft.Xna.Framework.Graphics.DeviceLostException' was thrown.
at Microsoft.Xna.Framework.Graphics.GraphicsDevice.Reset(PresentationParameters presentationParameters, GraphicsAdapter graphicsAdapter)
at DistantWorlds.Controls.MainView.jT9LJXghxBG7dR7Mddl(Object , Object )
at DistantWorlds.Controls.MainView.q4HFbPt4G3(Int32 , Int32 )
at DistantWorlds.Controls.MainView.EffFpsKcK2()


--- COMPLETE ---

(in reply to Bingeling)
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