Not impressed with these insta-builds (Full Version)

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Gregorovitch55 -> Not impressed with these insta-builds (8/6/2014 7:32:17 PM)

I've run into a pirate faction (which I seem to recall might be a "legendary" one) that seems to have the ability to insta-build a fully operational full strength pirate hideout any of my colonies even if i have a garrison there. Aside from my dislike of blatant AI cheats, this a spectacularly annoying as there appears to be no defense against it - you are forced to slog round with a troop ship laboriously killing them off since they are too strong for 2 or 3 garrisoned troops to handle.[:@][:@]

I have also witnessed an enemy empire colonise a volcanic planet (of 18% quality) on which I had a Zentabia mining station (not being able to colonise volcanic planets) and instantaneously build a medium space port with about 10,000 strength shields and 1200 firepower in front of my eyes. Some may consider this amusing - I can tell you I didn't find this amusing at all.[sm=00000023.gif]





ParagonExile -> RE: Not impressed with these insta-builds (8/6/2014 8:46:25 PM)

Super Lasers are the only solution.




DeadlyShoe -> RE: Not impressed with these insta-builds (8/6/2014 10:21:57 PM)

they....shouldn't be able to do that.

i didn't think the legendary pirates even built pirate bases.

what difficulty are you running on anyway?




Gregorovitch55 -> RE: Not impressed with these insta-builds (8/6/2014 10:28:01 PM)

very hard/unstable - one down from max.




Vardis -> RE: Not impressed with these insta-builds (8/6/2014 10:47:19 PM)

A more important question might be what speed you're playing the game at. What is "instantly" in terms of game time?

Regarding the hidden pirate bases, they can build them pretty quickly. It doesn't matter what your troop garrison is. However, I'm surprised that it's been difficult for you to eradicate them unless you are trying to do so with a few green troops at a planet with low population. Try keeping more troops at the planet, or keep pirates away in the first place so they can't build up an influence on the planet.




Gregorovitch55 -> RE: Not impressed with these insta-builds (8/6/2014 11:40:00 PM)

Normally at 2x game speed a pirate hideout takes, i don't know, 3,4 maybe 5 minutes to build during which time it is greyed out like your own improvements whilst they are getting built. My MO is to check colony list regularly and order garrison of two units to squash any hideouts in progress before they are built.

What is happening here is that this particular pirate faction's bases are not showing up in grey "work in progress" status. They just show up fully built. Just before i made this post I deliberately checked after about 30 seconds of eradicating the final hideout from my colonies (because i was getting suspicious) and saw two new ones had appeared, fully built.




DeadlyShoe -> RE: Not impressed with these insta-builds (8/6/2014 11:50:29 PM)

well i can't speak as to why they might be Suddenly Appearing (are you running mods?), but your primary defence against pirate bases should be space control and elimination of pirate spaceports rather than on the ground eradication.

it's not like having a few pirate bases is particularly detrimental for you after all.




Gregorovitch55 -> RE: Not impressed with these insta-builds (8/7/2014 12:58:08 AM)

yeah I know. I've looked for the bases everywhere using exploration ships with whacking great scanners on them, but I can't find them. No, no mods.




feygan -> RE: Not impressed with these insta-builds (8/7/2014 10:48:08 AM)

The pirate bases are very annoying as there is no clear instructions on how to prevent them, if we at least had a set of guidelines that detail what makes a colony at risk we could take steps or risk it as we see fit.

Your issue with the mining station however is not a bad thing at all when you think about it. Even a tiny body the size of our moon is still vast when compared to a mining operation there (I tend to think of mining stations not as silly things in orbit with magic lazors for shipping goods). At best you may have a 100 or so miners while the rest of it would be semi automated machinery, these miners are not trained or equipped to go fighting off the 1000+ new colonists that have just set down on the opposite side of the planet. Since your military (You) did nothing about preventing the colony ship from landing and setting up shop then why should they not just take over things? Eventually they will establish a space port and send over a shuttle or two of a local police force to "politely" inform your miners that their operation has to be shut down.

Now granted we have the reputation system in DW that means your only real options are fire on the colony ship to prevent landing or invade the colony after landing, both can be argued as stupid and broken. But you have to also consider we have a solid system of cultural influence in place so generally only empires either at war or that despise you will ever try to colonise a planet within your boarders. To say then it is daft that you take a rep hit for this is daft itself, to use a real world comparison (I use this very loosely and have zero interest in the political debate surrounding the issue) just about everyone on Earth believes it is wrong to bomb children in Gaza no matter who actually owns the land the school is located on, as such a reputation hit occurs regardless of ownership.

To sum up though you have two situations.

1.An empire has tried to colonise one of your mining locations within your boarders which is a hostile act. You can either fire a warning shot at the ship to force it away (possible tiny rep hit and small loss of opinion from opposing empire), or you can invade the colony after landfall with troops and suffer a larger rep hit for not solving your differences diplomatically (I like to think of things as having lots of interempire arguments about ancient tribal territories etc).

2.An empire has colonised a mining location outside of your boarders, you do not have any sovereign claim on this planet nor do they but they are staking a claim and investing in it and you are just mining it. You can try to do either action from above with the same sort of results.




Gregorovitch55 -> RE: Not impressed with these insta-builds (8/7/2014 12:32:00 PM)


quote:

ORIGINAL: feygan

2.An empire has colonised a mining location outside of your boarders, you do not have any sovereign claim on this planet nor do they but they are staking a claim and investing in it and you are just mining it. You can try to do either action from above with the same sort of results.


It's not the colonising I object to, for the reasons you state, it's the fact that the moment they colonise it they insta-build a medium space port of 10,000 strength shields and 1200 firepower. Instantly, i watched it happen. I had a troop ship standing by precisely to deal with this eventuality, but obviously it couldn't get past that space port.




Erik Rutins -> RE: Not impressed with these insta-builds (8/7/2014 1:44:16 PM)

The AI doesn't cheat, so this should not be possible. Please upload a save file that duplicates it so that we can investigate.




feygan -> RE: Not impressed with these insta-builds (8/7/2014 4:18:21 PM)

Was it a regular race or super ancient one? I know I have observed the Shakturi build some things at light speed before.




Gregorovitch55 -> RE: Not impressed with these insta-builds (8/7/2014 6:52:01 PM)

On the spaceport insta-build I have gone back to the incident and I must apologize for an error: what actually happened was that I had built a strong star base on the planet myself to protect the zentabia fluid mining station and I had forgot about it. When the Borcaran's coloniseed it they took control of this base - they did not build their own. I tested this by scrapping the base just before they colonised, so there is no question they did not and cannot instabuild a space port on the planet. My bad.

As to the pirates insta-building hideouts, well yes they do. I've run through this save just checking the F2 list every 30 seconds or so on 2x game speed and although it's like watching paint dry, after a few minutes you can observe two or three new fully built pirate hideouts will have appeared out of nowhere, no building phase. In all my previous games it has been required to check every few minutes to catch new pirate hideouts in construction as it takes several minutes real time to complete. Not here. I cannot say for certain the build is actually instantaneous because I haven't got the patience to check every second but it is certainly accelerated by a factor of 10 or more and this amounts to the same thing since you cannot check the planet list every 2 or 3 seconds in normal play.

https://app.box.com/s/oedgchszt0b6br73cz3i





Vardis -> RE: Not impressed with these insta-builds (8/7/2014 11:30:19 PM)

When I loaded your game, pirates showed up at Endilean 2 and a few months later on 2240.12.27 I saw a hidden pirate base pop up at 11%. By 2241.04.05, it was at 80% and it finished on 2241.05.05. So around 4 1/2 months game time to build - which goes fairly quickly at 2x speed.

Perhaps there's a faster build time due to difficulty level. You mentioned you were playing on very hard, but your game appears to be on extreme difficulty. It shows that in the empire comparison screen, plus I did a quick check of two comparable planets (one of yours, one of another empire), and they get around 4x the GDP that you are (which is what I see in my games at that difficulty level).

Also, those are Ugnari pirates, and maybe that race's 20% construction speed bonus is applied to facility construction, although someone else would have to verify that.


I don't see anything different from what happens in my games, although I tend to play at a slower speed. Even then, if I'm distracted, I'll check my colony screen and see a new base fully built (especially when I'm micromanaging space battles). Maybe a dev will take a look and can give you a more informed opinion. Until then I'd suggest doing more to stamp out pirate bases in your area. I tend to build gas mining stations at all fuel locations so they don't sneak in and start building w/o me being aware of it. Or if you add a few basic weapons to your outpost design, you have a cheap base that you can probably get up at colonies easy enough that can shoo off the lone pirate or two for the same expense as a single troop, giving you not only those med/rec bonuses but preventing a small force from gaining enough influence to start building a hidden pirate base facility in the first place.




Gregorovitch55 -> RE: Not impressed with these insta-builds (8/8/2014 12:09:21 PM)

I set the game up on very hard but yes, it shows up as extreme - I've heard this is a display bug.

I do have outpost bases but they keep getting destroyed - I could make them stronger I suppose. I wish i could find the pirate bases - I have looked for them extensively using exploration ships (later equipped with long range scanners, but no avail so far. Grrr.

You obviously have more patience than me, catching a base in mid-build like that. There are two pirate factions that were plaguing me, one of which I have almost eradicated so they rarely build bases now. This other pirate's bases were easy to deal with as they took a "normal" time to build and I routinely destroyed them during construction (which only requires one or two troops). With this lot i can't catch them in normal play before they are complete, so i am concluding that:

a) this pirate faction build bases much, much faster then the others, and
b) they build them so fast that it is not possible to deal with them in the normal way during normal gameplay.

My beef is that it doesn't seem right that one pirate faction should be able to build bases 10x faster than normal and that aside from spending a fortune on serious planetary defenses (and I don't think this would work against this lot 'cos they show up with 4/5 ships usually) there is no defense against it other than trolling round with a troop ship which is a super-major-PITA.

If this accelerated build time is intentional, i think it should should be removed, if not then I see this as a bug.




Mortimer14 -> RE: Not impressed with these insta-builds (8/8/2014 2:28:28 PM)

I recommend keeping 5 or 6 troops on garrison in each of your outer colonies .. at least until you get giant ion cannons and planetary shields up. I've never seen a pirate base appear once those were built.

Also have a defense fleet of some kind to keep pirates far enough away from your worlds so they cannot land invasion troops that are then able to start a base.




Gregorovitch55 -> RE: Not impressed with these insta-builds (8/8/2014 4:05:16 PM)


quote:

ORIGINAL: Mortimer14

I recommend keeping 5 or 6 troops on garrison in each of your outer colonies .. at least until you get giant ion cannons and planetary shields up. I've never seen a pirate base appear once those were built.

Also have a defense fleet of some kind to keep pirates far enough away from your worlds so they cannot land invasion troops that are then able to start a base.



At this stage of the game that's not really possible given the financial strictures of playing on very hard. I'm sure I'll eventually find the bases and wipe them out later anyway. The issue is why are these particular pirates able to build these bases so fast? Is this WAD? If it is, should it be?




Vardis -> RE: Not impressed with these insta-builds (8/8/2014 6:07:20 PM)

What would you consider a normal build speed, in terms of in-game time?




Gregorovitch55 -> RE: Not impressed with these insta-builds (8/9/2014 9:32:51 AM)

I've done some further investigation about this and it turns out that the rate at which the same pirate faction builds hideouts is extremely variable.

I play on 2x speed, which equates to ~3 game months per real time minute. I sampled once per game month for about 2 game years. I found the rates at which this pirate faction built hideouts and approximate real time @ 2x to completion was

1 hideouts ~12% per game month / ~2:45 real time to complete
2 hideouts ~18% per game month / ~1:50 real time to complete
2 hideouts ~24% per game month / ~1:23 real time to complete
1 hideouts ~32% per game month / ~1:02 real time to complete
1 hideout was observed at 6% on first observation and completed by next observation / <20s to complete
1 hideout appeared fully completed between observations / <20s to complete

The build rates appeared to be consistent per individual hideout.

Clearly my initial observation that they were insta-building is not strictly speaking correct, however this data demonstrates why it would appear so and also demonstrates that for all practical purposes in game play they are insta-building most of these hideouts.

Attacking these pirate hideouts whilst under construction with 2 green garrisoned troops wins by ~45k vs 7k. Attacking a completed hideout with 2 green garrisoned troops loses badly to ~45k vs ~47k + bunker bonuses. In effect eradicating these hideouts early-mid game using an acceptable (i.e. just about affordable) number of garrison troops, which is the only in situ method available at that stage, requires a check on the colony list every 10s real time to get all of them or every 60s to get most of them.

In answer to your question, I do not consider that reasonable. Checking the colony list at that rate is unplayable and the alternative of microing a troop ship to go round dealing with them, the only alternative early to mid game, is a huge PITA and an even bigger one in the middle of a major war.

I would comment that I have not come across a pirate faction that can build bases this fast before (or at least i haven't noticed one, and considering how annoying this is, i probably would have. So I'm guessing there is something special about this lot or alternatively something is wrong.

I am conflicted over the whole issue of these pirate hideouts. On the one hand if there was an automatic procedure to deal with them (for example a garrison auto-attacks during construction) then the threat would evaporate to the extent that pirates in general could be more of less ignored. On the other hand the current situation just doesn't play well - it's simply annoying.





Vardis -> RE: Not impressed with these insta-builds (8/9/2014 3:03:33 PM)

I started builds of armored facilities at a large number of your planets, and found the same disparity in build times for those. Colonies such as Ilyseom 4 or Sulanos 4, with ~100% quality, a 5.7B population, and 135% culture finished when a similar planet with 1.1B population was at 25%. A new colony with 200M ppl on a 66% planet with 40% culture was only 5% done in that same period of time. I suspect the pirate build speed follows the same pattern. They are, after all, corrupting the colony it's being built at, and it would make sense if that's what's happening. Do you recall which planets you saw the <20s build times?

I guess I'd just assumed the bases were supposed to be annoying. Consider this though - the early ones aren't doing much other than increasing corruption at colonies where you don't appear to usually be taxing the planet anyway. Also, they provide an excellent opportunity for you to be getting experience for your troops and that general that has the ground attack strength skill, and to get new troop generals.

On a side note, if you are having financing trouble, you may wish to consider switching to a democracy or something at this stage. Even with the immediate drop in culture from switching governments, when I did that I saw a ~200k difference in your cashflow, and it comes with the 25% research bonus as well. With that much of a difference, you could probably manage 4 or 5 troops per planet (at least the better ones). Or go take over that sluken planet nearby and have them supply your empire with troops. :)




Gregorovitch55 -> RE: Not impressed with these insta-builds (8/9/2014 4:32:51 PM)

You may be right the speed is dependent on GDP/development/pop of the planet concerned. I don't remember which ones had those 20s build times, wasn't watching that closely. It's also a lot later than the save you've got, things have moved on since (although i still haven't found the blighter's bases), However as i say I've never seen these hideouts built so quickly before and i can't see whats particularly different about my current game. The only thing that's different is these particular pirates. I think going 6-8 troops per colony, even if you could technically afford it, is too much. You could field two additional fleets for that over 30-odd colonies. I'd rather have the fleets.

Not sure it's supposed to be annoying, I suspect it's so that the pirates represent a significant threat that you can't easily counter without finding their production and support assets and taking them out. Which is fair enough in itself, except that the mechanism creates a really annoying and uninteresting mini-game of whack-a-mole.

Yeah, I've already taken three of their colonies and their capital :)

Thanks for the tip about democracy. Sounds like a good idea.




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