From: Secret Underground Lair
Haven't read the whole thread but . . . why play on Extreme difficulty? Moreover, if you are playing on Extreme difficulty, how could you possibly have anything useful to say about "game balance?"
I would think that the game is "balanced" if it offers an average user (meaning not an expert like yourself Icemania) a fun challenge but a reasonable prospect of victory on Normal Difficulty.
Difficulty settings like "Extreme," and "Insane" and "Masochistic" are there for folks who have 'beat' the game a few times and want extra challenge.
ADDIT: sorry man, your first post is a bit hard to follow. Are you basically saying that "Extreme difficulty" is not hard enough? and moreover that: (a) it shouldn't be so easy to invade homeoworlds early in the game; and (b) sell Techs, because it makes the game too easy?
If that is the case, then my previous comment is not so salient.
I have to add here though that, part of this is how a player approaches a game. Some players like to approach games they play with a "How do I beat this" attitude, and there is nothing at all wrong with that. This playstyle lends itself to playing at higher difficulties, and making clever use of game dynamics to achieve rapid non-linear effects, like exponential tech growth or crushing military victories. After I spent many hundreds of hours playing Civilization, I slowly evolved into this style of gameplay. In fact, some of my most warmly remembered moments of gaming were times when I executed this style of gameplay in play-by-email games. There is nothing quite so satisfying as taking your human opponent _completely_ by surprise and crushing him in the span of two or three turns and bringing a long multi-month PBEM run to a decisive end! Sadly though, what this style of gameplay reflects is that, the player has truly and fully "mastered" the game. The ecology of the game is so fully intuitive that it is mundane to achieve victories that might have felt like major challenges when you first started.
Another style of gameplay that I _highly_ recommend if it is not something familiar, is the 'laid back' 'getting my monies worth' style. Whenever I buy a new game, I always tend to play it this way for as long as possible, for a couple of simple reasons: I enjoy it (which if you don't you shouldn't force yourself to play this style), it maximizes my utility of each game I own.
I've noticed that this style of play seems to be a bit foreign to some younger gamers or else gamers who did not start out from a strategy gaming background, though that may just be anecdotal. The real key to this style of game play is to strike a balance between three factors: (i) staying 'in-character' relative to the tone, style and content of the game in question; (ii) learning the games ecology, including developing an intuition for all the quantitative interactions in the game (e.g., in DW that would be ship parts, ship design, colony economies, technology growth rate, fleet ops, etc.); (iii) trying to 'win'
< Message edited by Anthropoid -- 8/21/2013 2:59:35 PM >