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Your Experiences So Far with Shadows Difficulty Settings

 
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Your Experiences So Far with Shadows Difficulty Settings - 6/8/2013 2:24:36 AM   
Icemania


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I'd appreciate your experiences with Empires in the Age of Shadows difficulty settings.

We all have different styles ... this is not intended to be a "who is right or wrong" thread. My particular style is that I enjoy games that are epic, eventful and challenging (but also victory needs to be achievable).

Most importantly I prefer to set a scenario rather than give the AI cheats e.g. so Normal Difficulty setting.

My current scenario is that my empire is the new kid on the block of an established 1400 star 10 x 10 galaxy. I start Pre-Warp while the 19 other empires are at least Tech Level 2 and Expanding. For late game the Insect Races are set to Tech Level 3, Mature and Distant. As a result there are no easy early conquests, the AI's will probably find the goodies first (e.g. Super Weapons, Way of the Ancients) and you can't technology trade for a while.

Very Expensive Research, making it hard to catch-up to the AI's.

To avoid colony spam and limit early growth options, Occasional Colonies and Scattered Independent Life.

Very Many Pirates. Killing Pirates should mean something so No Re-spawning ... I find Re-Spawning annoying late game.

Many Space Creatures, Unstable Aggression are also intended to keep the game eventful.

So I applied my usual Strategy and these settings only partly worked. I had no choice other than to Turtle for a while but no balls of doom ever arrived. With Intelligence Agents I was able to progressively catch-up on Technology and once I had a Technology lead, even though I still only had 3 colonies at the time, taking over the galaxy just became a matter of time, and in the end faster than an "all things equal" game. The Empire settings also pretty much cleaned out Space Creatures except Silvermist, although there were pretty huge clouds around.

So what settings to change for a more epic, eventful and challenging game?

Pirates Nearby rather than Average Distance. I'll also have a Harsh Homeworld while everyone else is Excellent. I can include those in the scenario ... now not only am I the new kid on the block but I'm in a nasty part of the galaxy. Should make life interesting.

Extreme Difficulty? Banning Technology Trading? Preferably no. But maybe there is no choice ... as I actually want to get slaughtered sometimes ...

< Message edited by Icemania -- 6/14/2013 2:40:15 PM >
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RE: Your Experiences So Far with Shadows Difficulty Set... - 6/8/2013 3:44:26 AM   
TrooperCooper

 

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There is just one real solution you can hope for... one day... maybe... in DW 2... multiplayer. Shame most 4X dont include that.

(in reply to Icemania)
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RE: Your Experiences So Far with Shadows Difficulty Set... - 6/8/2013 4:04:56 AM   
HJFudge

 

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Just a quick Hello. Ive played DW since Legends, and enjoy it immensely. I dont consider myself that great at the game, but here is my take on the shadows difficulty thus far.

Ive played about 3 games so far with Shadows, and with varying settings...tried different map types, control sector ranges, and colony/independent prevalence.

I play on very expensive research, hard difficulty, pre-warp start with normal pirates and no space monsters. I dont feel space monsters add much to the game, and I feel they hurt the AI more than they hurt me, so I try not to have them in there as I feel the monsters slow the AI down.

Also I like a LARGE amount of Empires. For a 10x10 sector map, I include at LEAST 20 Empires...oh and I use the DW:Extended Mod because it adds more races.


So, with that being said, the difficulty in shadows seems the same as in Legends. If I can make it past a certain threshhold, I just snowball to the win. Usually the early game and the early-middle game are the toughest, but then somewhere in there I just get too powerful to stop. I have tried turning the difficulty up, but that just makes it harder for me to reach that tipping point.

I think next Im going to try the 'difficulty scaling' option. See if that helps.


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RE: Your Experiences So Far with Shadows Difficulty Set... - 6/8/2013 4:28:16 AM   
DeadlyShoe


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all 4x have the tipping point, its part of the nature of the game. DW has less of it because of the nature of its research.

at least there's the Shakturi :)

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RE: Your Experiences So Far with Shadows Difficulty Set... - 6/8/2013 4:39:46 AM   
MartialDoctor


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Icemania,

There really is no other way other than extreme difficulty. That, and make the other empires a little more powerful than you. Experiment until you find a good point for you. Pre-Shadow, I used to do a similar thing to what you are doing. Once you get over the initial challenge catching up to everyone, the game then loses the challenge. That was the main reason I stopped playing Legends previously...

Edit:
However, the fact that no one attacked you in your weakened state makes me think two things. You picked a race that others like and were less likely to attack and your neighbors all liked you. I thought maybe it was your aggression level but I see you set it to Unstable; so that can't be it.

Also, from my experience, by putting colonies and independents low, you are hampering the AI from what I have seen. The AI seems do not do too well with few colonies. Although with extreme difficulty, it seems to do better.

Also, I ban technology selling although not trading. The reason for banning selling is because the AI will give you far too much money for technology.

Edit:
You can do normal difficulty and put yourself to harsh homeworld and the others around you larger. However, you will run into the same problem I had. Either, you will get absolutely crushed if one of your neighbors decides to attack you or you will get by that stage and then have the same thing happen to you in your current game.


< Message edited by MartialDoctor -- 6/8/2013 4:45:53 AM >

(in reply to DeadlyShoe)
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RE: Your Experiences So Far with Shadows Difficulty Set... - 6/8/2013 4:42:28 AM   
MartialDoctor


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quote:

ORIGINAL: DeadlyShoe
all 4x have the tipping point, its part of the nature of the game. DW has less of it because of the nature of its research.


You mean DW has more of it because you can easily reach maximum research right from the start

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RE: Your Experiences So Far with Shadows Difficulty Set... - 6/8/2013 6:38:12 AM   
Icemania


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Thanks for your responses, interesting reading.

I played my preferred race Ikkuro in my last game hand and had the Teekan, Zenox and Naxillian nearby (as always with as many other empires around as possible). Some tension early of course, but with some routine gifts and being a little careful about where I put my mining bases, the relationships were manageable, all evolving to Friendly. When I have the funds I also like to use the Pirates to get in touch with others early so the "we don't know you yet" penalty can wind down ASAP.

Next time I'll avoid placing the Bugs distant and leave them Random. That said, the Bugs didn't go to War either, just the usual Trade Sanction spam. So I'll also increase Aggression to Chaos and bump up all the empires up to Mature and Tech Level 3 (rather than the previous mix of Expanding/Mature, Tech 2/3). Since they are very well established, Chaos won't hinder their early expansion, but it will make my life more difficult.

In this case lowering the number of Colonies and Independents didn't seem to cause the AI trouble, since they all were either Expanding or Mature, they all had plenty of colonies from the start. However, it certainly hindered my game, as I had very few expansion options early on ... so I'll leave this as is.

Grudgingly I'll try Extreme Difficulty with Difficulty Scaling. Looking forward to seeing the Difficulty improvements from Legends.

I'm torn on going to Harsh Homeworld while the others stay Excellent but I'll stick with the status quo. Hopefully the above does the trick.

I'm still going to allow technology selling. It will be a long time before I can trade anyway at least until I can steal some Racial Technologies. Each to their own ... but philosophically I find find banning this artificial i.e. if it's in the game I'm going to use it.

I wonder what settings CodeForce use?


< Message edited by Icemania -- 6/8/2013 7:29:28 AM >

(in reply to MartialDoctor)
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RE: Your Experiences So Far with Shadows Difficulty Set... - 6/8/2013 7:11:45 AM   
Darkspire


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Small point to all your above suggestions, I created a custom race that pretty much does away with tech trading, trade agreements and anything regards being friendly with other races, took a few games to get the balance right but I used the biases file to make sure the race was not liked by anyone and the race did not like anyone either, ranges were set from 0 to -15. This makes a really different and difficult game, also have to edit the policy files / empire options regards trading, defense policies etc. Will say that it can be tricky as the AI will declare war fairly often, still trying to work that out as I have no idea what gives them the notion that they are in a good enough position to go to war with my race, is it population, military strength, reputation etc. I prefer to play on normal as well, IMHO it is a no-no to start juggling with cash, tech etc for raising the difficulty, would much prefer more advanced AI applied but I will have to wait, and hope, that DW2 can come through on that.

Darkspire

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RE: Your Experiences So Far with Shadows Difficulty Set... - 6/8/2013 7:28:54 AM   
Icemania


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Sounds like a fun "against a nasty Galaxy" scenario Darkspire. That said I do enjoy the the Friendly part of Distant Worlds Diplomacy as well.

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RE: Your Experiences So Far with Shadows Difficulty Set... - 6/8/2013 7:54:30 AM   
MartialDoctor


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Icemania,

Well, part of your problem is you have no hostile races near you. Teeken and Zeenox are both very friendly. Naxillian can sometimes be aggressive. Put bugs all over the place, not just distant.

And you also use gifting, another element I find to be broken.

If you are going to use all elements at your disposal, you're going to find it difficult to make the game challenging. Do you also keep all those high tech cruisers and capital ships that are basically game breaking?

I still find it odd that you aren't seeing wars break out. I wonder if it's because of the lack of colonies and, thus, lack of close contact with other races. I always get one or two races which starts to covet my resources and that creates tension.

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RE: Your Experiences So Far with Shadows Difficulty Set... - 6/8/2013 9:56:49 AM   
Icemania


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The Teekan and Zenox coveted my resources but the Naxillian were a bit further away. The Naxillian declared war at one stage and probably would have wiped the floor with me but a quick big payoff was enough for them to declare peace. The Teekan and Naxillian then had a war which softened the Naxillian up.

Gifting obviously helped. I don't agree Gifting is broken at least in this sort of game. A material effect doesn't come cheap when you can't technology trade early.

I used my early hyperspace fleets to focus on killing as many pirates as possible to improve reputation.

Derelict ships I always retire. A technology boost on very expensive research is a reasonable prize for the effort to fix them up. That said I tend to agree on your point about using them in fleets early although even that advantage is limited when everyone else is Mature and Tech Level 3.

If anything was broken it was probably the Intelligence Agents. With so many high technology empires around, you can shop around for the best chance of success, and my first Agent built up a great espionage skill.

Anyway, no doubt I got a bit lucky, I've started a new game with the updated settings ... which should be fun.

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RE: Your Experiences So Far with Shadows Difficulty Set... - 6/8/2013 5:02:26 PM   
Icemania


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With new settings ...

First game had Gizurean next door and they invaded almost immediately. Second game the Attuko ... grr ... did the same. I like the idea of being able to make a start in every game, which was part of the idea in keeping the Bugs Distant but at a higher level for later in the game, but anyway. So made one small change in Settings for the third game and put the Securans nearby (with the appropriate Vulcan headcannon) but all others Random.

Just got to Hyperspace. Happy to see a few good guys nearby other than the Securans with some bad guys not far away at all i.e. while I might last more than 5 minutes there is challenge ahead. I have almost no territory in which I can mine as every Empire is Mature and most of the stars around are Barren with a Void as well so I'm still missing a few Strategic Resources. Just managed to convince one of my neighbours to give me mining rights to secure the last few Strategics. Sorry MartialDoctor there was gifting involved. Some of the good guys are coveting my territory already, looks manageable, but there might not be much Free Trade. Looking good for an interesting game ... what will happen next?






< Message edited by Icemania -- 6/8/2013 5:03:06 PM >

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RE: Your Experiences So Far with Shadows Difficulty Set... - 6/8/2013 5:36:15 PM   
invaderzim

 

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How are you guys doing in terms of playing as pirates? I find the most successful strategy as pirates is to find empire homeworlds as early as possible and knock down their starport with a big fleet. Afterwards you can just camp their system and get tons of cash from their homeworld.

This seems to be the easiest strategy, but how do you go about winning without doing this?

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RE: Your Experiences So Far with Shadows Difficulty Set... - 6/8/2013 7:51:37 PM   
Plant


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Play on smaller maps, with less stars. Playing with more stars with greater distance only helps you catch up.

Also leave the race distance settings on random, it makes the game harder.
You basically set your settings up in such a way, that you delude yourself into setting yourself up for a challenge, when you set half the setting to negate the other half.

Not sure by what you meant by turtle, but it sounds like you set the game up in such a manner that you wouldn't face any challenges early on, so you can catch up easily, and then act suprised that you could.

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RE: Your Experiences So Far with Shadows Difficulty Set... - 6/9/2013 3:21:29 AM   
Icemania


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Plant, the intent in my original post, where I had the Bugs Distant but even more powerful than everyone else, was to help add mid/late game challenge beyond just the Shakturi. Everyone else was still Expanding and Tech Level 2 while I was Pre-Warp. The unintended consequence of this, at least with that particular galaxy spawn, along with a focus on doing everything possible to improve diplomacy, was that I could avoid forced early conflict and build up in a single solar system (i.e. turtle) and carefully selected mine locations, until I was ready to go on the offensive. So let's please park language like "delude" please.

My settings are now Extreme Difficulty with Scaling, all other empires are Mature and Tech Level 3 while I'm Pre-Warp, other Empire Locations are Random, with Chaos Aggression. After getting overrun a few times I felt it was prudent to set a single Nearby Friend (only) to reduce the chance of dying almost immediately with no realistic way of avoiding it ... while setting everything else up for epic challenge in the game years ahead.

My current game is looking much closer to the original objective of an epic, eventful and challenging game. But unfortunately there are again other unintended consequences. With Mature Empires all over the map it weakens the Pirate threat massively even though the setting was Very Many and Nearby. Space Creatures are almost non-existent even though they were set to be Many. Personally I want both to support an Eventful game. Also exploration becomes very limited. I could take the other Empire settings back a notch or two from Mature to say Young, but I don't really expect that to be as much of a challenge.

Note I have a very strong preference for larger maps with more empires but of course each to their own i.e. a key part of my definition of "epic".

As has been said, maybe we need to wait for DW2, but I'm still interested in exploring other ideas for this game.








< Message edited by Icemania -- 6/9/2013 6:50:55 AM >

(in reply to Plant)
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RE: Your Experiences So Far with Shadows Difficulty Set... - 6/14/2013 12:43:33 PM   
Icemania


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An update on Extreme Difficulty with Scaling, all other empires are Mature and Tech Level 3 while I'm Pre-Warp, other Empire Locations are Random (except Securans nearby) with Chaos Aggression. Relics had to be immediately retired.

In Pre-Warp I spent a good fraction of my funds on gifting to keep nearby Empires happy enough to at least avoid declaring war. Playing as Ikkuro I beelined to S2F7 RepairBot and then Technology Traded for almost everything at Tech Level 3 across the other Empires. At that point the game was effectively over ... even though I only had 1 colony and was completely surrounded. Just waited for opportunities to attack when another empire weakened enough to attack, got another home system first up etc.

As was said on SpaceSector the new Difficulty Settings really don't seem to make the game materially harder, just a little slower to get from A to B.

As MartialDoctor said before at these settings you will either get crushed early or win. I want to get beaten mid-game once in a while.

Does anyone have any other ideas for this problem? i.e. beyond manual banning of core features, or waiting for DW2 or all 4X have the tipping point.

Maybe set some / most Empires to Old and Max Tech?

I can't see a smaller map, or colony prevalence, making a material difference with these settings because I couldn't expand anyway and everyone else had many colonies.

Otherwise looks like it's time to ban technology trading and gifting ... sigh! Or ban my custom ship and base designs ... cry!

I really like the Empire game but might be time to be a Pirate?

All that said, I've certainly enjoyed playing this game for many hours, and when I get an itch to take over the galaxy, will surely continue to do so.

But it would be great to see this issue as a focus in the next expansion rather than waiting for DW2 i.e. mid-game difficulty.

BTW, does anyone else have a review up beyond SpaceSector? Seriously?


< Message edited by Icemania -- 6/14/2013 12:45:22 PM >

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RE: Your Experiences So Far with Shadows Difficulty Set... - 6/14/2013 1:49:13 PM   
Erik Rutins

 

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quote:

ORIGINAL: Icemania
Otherwise looks like it's time to ban technology trading and gifting ... sigh!


Frankly, I'm impressed that it's possible for you to win at Extreme difficulty, along with all the other improvements to how the AI makes decisions and fights wars in Shadows. We're still mostly fixing bugs right now, but I think the above option may need to be added in an upcoming update based on this feedback.

Regards,

- Erik



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RE: Your Experiences So Far with Shadows Difficulty Set... - 6/14/2013 2:56:41 PM   
Icemania


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Thanks for the consideration Erik. As a long-time lurker on the forum your participation with the community is appreciated.

In an ideal world I'd love to see a 4X game that has an AI Expert System based on modelling a couple of your top players. For example, playing against an AI that emulates a power hungry megalomaniac like Jeeves (whose guides and posts were required reading in getting started with this game) has much appeal ... and would be a path to a product even more unique than you already have. Not easy I'm sure!


< Message edited by Icemania -- 6/14/2013 2:57:18 PM >

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RE: Your Experiences So Far with Shadows Difficulty Set... - 6/14/2013 2:58:45 PM   
Shark7


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quote:

ORIGINAL: Erik Rutins


quote:

ORIGINAL: Icemania
Otherwise looks like it's time to ban technology trading and gifting ... sigh!


Frankly, I'm impressed that it's possible for you to win at Extreme difficulty, along with all the other improvements to how the AI makes decisions and fights wars in Shadows. We're still mostly fixing bugs right now, but I think the above option may need to be added in an upcoming update based on this feedback.

Regards,

- Erik




Just to make my opinion known on this. Outright banning of tech trade...no. Optional for the player, yes.

One suggestion I might make is that the only way you can trade techs, bases, planets, etc is if you have an MDP with the empire you are wanting to trade with. This I think would curb a lot of the problems. Trading your technology should be something you do with only the most trusted of allies.

In fact, here is exactly how I would do it:

Tech trading criteria:

* must have MDP agreement
* for techs 2 levels or lower than current, relations at +75 or higher
* for techs 1 level less than current, relations at +90 or higher
* for equal level or advanced techs, relations at +100 or higher
* for special techs, relations at +125 or higher


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RE: Your Experiences So Far with Shadows Difficulty Set... - 6/14/2013 2:59:47 PM   
Cauldyth

 

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quote:

ORIGINAL: Erik Rutins

quote:

ORIGINAL: Icemania
Otherwise looks like it's time to ban technology trading and gifting ... sigh!


I think the above option may need to be added in an upcoming update based on this feedback.

Regards,

- Erik



I would love such an option.

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RE: Your Experiences So Far with Shadows Difficulty Set... - 6/14/2013 3:05:11 PM   
ASHBERY76


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quote:

ORIGINAL: Shark7


quote:

ORIGINAL: Erik Rutins


quote:

ORIGINAL: Icemania
Otherwise looks like it's time to ban technology trading and gifting ... sigh!


Frankly, I'm impressed that it's possible for you to win at Extreme difficulty, along with all the other improvements to how the AI makes decisions and fights wars in Shadows. We're still mostly fixing bugs right now, but I think the above option may need to be added in an upcoming update based on this feedback.

Regards,

- Erik




Just to make my opinion known on this. Outright banning of tech trade...no. Optional for the player, yes.

One suggestion I might make is that the only way you can trade techs, bases, planets, etc is if you have an MDP with the empire you are wanting to trade with. This I think would curb a lot of the problems. Trading your technology should be something you do with only the most trusted of allies.

In fact, here is exactly how I would do it:

Tech trading criteria:

* must have MDP agreement
* for techs 2 levels or lower than current, relations at +75 or higher
* for techs 1 level less than current, relations at +90 or higher
* for equal level or advanced techs, relations at +100 or higher
* for special techs, relations at +125 or higher



Agreed.Improve the A.I mechanics would be a better solution.Personally I never would trade latest weapon type to anybody and I am way more carefull about giving my maps to any tom,dick or harry.The A.I seems to just accept anything on the basis of cash,relations and has no intelligence at all.

(in reply to Shark7)
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RE: Your Experiences So Far with Shadows Difficulty Set... - 6/14/2013 3:39:30 PM   
Icemania


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Also agree good idea Shark. I also agree with Ashberry that some race specific trading intelligence could be implemented such as setting different technology focus beelines depending on the race and differing valuations.


< Message edited by Icemania -- 6/14/2013 3:45:20 PM >

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RE: Your Experiences So Far with Shadows Difficulty Set... - 6/16/2013 8:10:52 PM   
paShadoWn

 

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I like to play Hard, Chaos, around 420 research (found it after experimenting, at this rate you actually get to use every tech and dont have to redesign every 5 minutes but also do not have to wait half hour to get into space), max respawning pirates and creatures (so i can at least get some).

I tried playing Extreme and did not liked it. It didnt made game harder, it made it lot more tedious. Meaning my fleets had to mow thru 3-4 times more of autodesigned junk - and with bonuses to cm they were also missing thus mowing longer - and i had to constantly bombard and recapture planets versus ground spam manually. You cant do it on auto because ai first lands troops then bombards them and population to extinction; it doesnt stop when there no more hostile troops 'then' lands own. And automated task forces simply fail to intercept transports because they are usually randomly scattered about. Or guard mining station in border nebula.

The problem with autodesigns is that they fail to survive, meaning my ships shoot them down, retreat, recharge and come back to shoot some more. I only lose some ships when attacking clusters of huge bases because my ships have decent shielding, armor and set to retreat when attacked (50% shield is too late and doesnt consider railguns) That means no amount of extra economy given to ai will make game harder, it will only make it somewhat longer. I once again urge developers to ask on forums for decent ship designs and make ai templates from them. You cant just put random amounts of random stuff into ship and make it win over balanced, optimized and specialized designs.

The problem we are facing here is global for most games; it is called by me the "feeder syndrome" deriving from LoL slang and is a tendency to suicide units. Meaning you just respawn or mass produce and send them to the enemy. To die. The feeder "strat" inevitably falls to anything including unit preservation as priority. Because preserved units, you know, accumulate. And in some games improve. But it does just fine vs itself. And because it is omnipresent, it actually works.

I played a game of Wesnoth recently, slain 6 enemy units with zero losses, leveled my ulfzerker to 2 and was about to finish off my side when my partner's overextended commander was assassinated because he suicided most of his troops and had nothing to cover him with. Result - they won. 3 feeders vs one me.

In shooter games like CoD it leads to hilarious 50+ killstreaks and nuking map. Because most players are feeders.

(in reply to Icemania)
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RE: Your Experiences So Far with Shadows Difficulty Set... - 6/18/2013 12:08:10 PM   
Icemania


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I agree with your call for the developers to improve default ship design templates for the AI on hard and above. I would suggest these improved templates are not made available to the human player at all, as it is a great feature of the game to learn to improve the default designs. Those learning the game should play on Normal so no real disadvantage to them and we should expect the AI to be smarter on harder difficulties.

The intent when I suggested an Expert System based on human players was to go a lot further than ship design e.g. Technology research order particularly early, better tax rate policy to encourage faster colony growth, more Explorers to find goodies, more Constructors to build Relics etc. Again, I would do this on hard or above.

Also I don't really mean using forum feedback, although that would be a start. I mean watching every moment of what an experienced human player does and distilling this down to as many practically implementable rules as possible.

I'm just finishing a game now on Extreme Difficulty with Scaling, Small Map, 19 other Random Empires Old and Tech Level 5 while I'm Pre-Warp, they have Excellent Homeworlds while I am Harsh, with Chaos Aggression. To be honest I'm not really sure why Erik is impressed with winning on Extreme Difficulty as it's clear many of us are.

I would make the goal of the next expansion to make a step-change improvement in the AI. Purely self-interest of course, as I want to play this game more ... but what a great competitive advantage, particularly in the current market place.


< Message edited by Icemania -- 6/18/2013 12:09:26 PM >

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Post #: 24
RE: Your Experiences So Far with Shadows Difficulty Set... - 6/18/2013 7:44:49 PM   
MartialDoctor


Posts: 383
Joined: 3/7/2011
Status: offline

quote:

ORIGINAL: Icemania
The Teekan and Zenox coveted my resources but the Naxillian were a bit further away. The Naxillian declared war at one stage and probably would have wiped the floor with me but a quick big payoff was enough for them to declare peace. The Teekan and Naxillian then had a war which softened the Naxillian up.

Gifting obviously helped. I don't agree Gifting is broken at least in this sort of game. A material effect doesn't come cheap when you can't technology trade early.


Gifting doesn't work well in the way it appears to be implemented. Let's take your situation. The Naxillian have a much stronger economy than yourself. If you give them a "large gift", it is based on your money, not on the Naxillians. The second problem is it's based on the amount of money you have, not on how much is being made.

The effects gained by gifting should be based primarily on how much money the empire receiving the gift is making. It should have nothing to do with how much you have. So, if you gift a "large gift" of 20,000 but the Naxillian are making 50,000 every year, that means very little to them and, thus, the effect should be negligible.

From what I've seen, it doesn't seem to work this way and, thus, I stopped using it. Since, as you've shown, you can give them money and they just won't attack you. Even though that money was probably pocket change for them, considering your settings.

(in reply to Icemania)
Post #: 25
RE: Your Experiences So Far with Shadows Difficulty Set... - 6/18/2013 7:50:47 PM   
MartialDoctor


Posts: 383
Joined: 3/7/2011
Status: offline
Regarding tech trading, I actually think the way it is implemented in Galactic Civilizations 2 is best. It's a bit annoying but it makes sense to make the game more challenging.

Basically, as you increase the difficulty level, the amount you receive for trading techs is much lower. The AI doesn't value your technologies as much. Thus, you must trade high level techs and will only get a low level tech in return or a smaller amount of cash.

Yes, it's not very realistic but otherwise you can do what Icemania does. Beeline for a high level tech and then trade it for all the other techs that other races have.

I also like some of the ideas presented above.

< Message edited by MartialDoctor -- 6/18/2013 7:52:55 PM >

(in reply to MartialDoctor)
Post #: 26
RE: Your Experiences So Far with Shadows Difficulty Set... - 6/19/2013 12:59:51 PM   
Icemania


Posts: 1528
Joined: 6/5/2013
From: Australia
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I never really felt threatened in my last game even at those settings. I just kept to one system until I was ready to strategically expand. By the time they were declaring war mid-game after I started to expand it was really already too late i.e. I had caught up in technology so the determining factor was fleet composition and ship design (i.e. my fleets with the largest possible custom designed ships versus the AI's auto-designed junk). My point is for the AI to have a genuine step-change ... all of these topics need to be in the scope.

Gifting you make a very strong and logical argument. I've come around to agree and it sounds very achievable to implement.

A quick clarification the beeline strategy was for racial technology rather than general high level technology, otherwise trading for other technologies would have taken far longer (as it would have to be Level 6 since everyone else was Level 5 at the start).

With Technology Trading I would prefer Shark + Ashberry's solution as it has a realistic basis (e.g. the US is not giving anybody the F-22 regardless) rather than applying an artificial penalty.

I would add we shouldn't feel the need to avoid Technology Selling to maintain balance. Maybe technology should be worth less even at Normal ... but I expect this has been considered in the past?

(in reply to MartialDoctor)
Post #: 27
RE: Your Experiences So Far with Shadows Difficulty Set... - 6/20/2013 5:40:27 PM   
MarQan


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Joined: 6/15/2012
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Technology trading shouldn't be restricted in a way that Shark suggests, only optionally.
Although I agree that if the player aims for a challenging and realistic gameplay, he/she (most likely he) should only use it in desperate situations, when the empire is at stake.
If you read any sci-fi book, or watch a series you can see, that technology trading almost never happens; and when it does the price is unreasonably high, because there's no time or other solution.
Or just take a look at some higher-tech companies.

Btw when starting PreWarp, while other empires are on tech level 2-3, set research to 999k, corruption to very high, then how does technology trading help? Friendly relation is needed for tech-trading. With the above settings probably only Mercantile Guilds have enough money to buy techs, but they rarely get friendly with anybody (especially on unstable/chaos), and probably better off with research boost.

Don't get me wrong, having more options is the best thing that could happen to Distant Worlds, but if tech-trading is an issue for you, there are ways to negate its advantages.

As for making a game challenging (other than the trivial settings) the first step is choosing an inferior race or one that doesn't correspond to your playstyle. I think for most of us both applies to Atuuk, and neither to Ackdarians.
Races with access to Technocracy and Marcantile Guild are easier than others.

I also find Cluster maps to be more difficult.
I get in a cage fight with 1-2 empires as soon as I start expanding, then have to set up bases in other clusters to be able to attack them.

(in reply to Icemania)
Post #: 28
RE: Your Experiences So Far with Shadows Difficulty Set... - 6/20/2013 11:11:38 PM   
elanaagain


Posts: 254
Joined: 6/6/2013
Status: offline
I like many of the suggestions about tech trading in the above posts. I feel very strongly, however, that these changes should be options that the user many,or may not choose to activate at each game start. If fact, an easy way for gamers to mod this aspect of the game should also be included.

(in reply to MarQan)
Post #: 29
RE: Your Experiences So Far with Shadows Difficulty Set... - 6/21/2013 12:31:50 PM   
Icemania


Posts: 1528
Joined: 6/5/2013
From: Australia
Status: offline
MarQan, I don't see any current setting that would materially change the ability to exploit trading. And in any case I want to trade as it's a great feature of the game.

On Chaos I've always been able to find at least a few Empires to be friendly with at least temporarily ... enabling trading and catch-up. Once I'm expanding this can become far more difficult, so I don't expand until I've already caught up on technology, when playing a game with these settings.

As for restricting the races, I'd prefer the AI was improved, rather than putting in even more "manual" restrictions than what I've already adopted. But let's say I did what you suggest ... well I could still beeline for a higher technology which I could then trade. It would take longer to get to technology parity but it wouldn't fundamentally change anything.

Each to their own but personally I find technology research on $999k is too slow. Again, it would just take longer to get to technology parity, it wouldn't fundamentally change anything.

Same with high corruption. And I don't allow myself to sell technology anymore.

With Shark's suggestion it is certain my trading opportunities would be very limited but possible with enough focus. It better emulates the real world and provides a fundamental change to improve the game.

I'll try Cluster.


< Message edited by Icemania -- 6/21/2013 12:32:27 PM >

(in reply to MarQan)
Post #: 30
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