hard difficulty - too hard? (Full Version)

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Don_Oda -> hard difficulty - too hard? (2/1/2021 6:56:32 PM)

2nd time playing on hard and no success, Its just amazing how the AI just can do thinks.
This time no luck on energy research and game over – unable to keep industry growing at level of AI.
The research is too random – I must be able to tell my people to research solar panels … they keep discovering thing I don’t need … its all very unnatural way of tech evolution.
Now .. I may try again the hard difficulty level and keep re-doing the planet generation until I find a spot that gives a chance to win. Also, another thing that needs to be changed (planet generation).




zgrssd -> RE: hard difficulty - too hard? (2/1/2021 7:00:44 PM)

Trying to do hard on TL3 start? That is ultra hard!
I started starting at TL4. You already got power tech and some rather important weapons like RPG's.




BlueTemplar -> RE: hard difficulty - too hard? (2/1/2021 8:17:52 PM)

But you find Normal too easy ? Then maybe an intermediate difficulty might indeed be warranted...

This is on Hard, TL3 :
http://www.matrixgames.com/forums/fb.asp?m=4952831
quote:

ORIGINAL: BlueTemplar

Here fore instance : (on Difficult or is it Hard ? The 3rd level.)

Despite only having 3 scavenging hexes, no starting metal mine, and having a tiny territory, I'm doing just *fine* (the major north seems to have just this turn given up on attacking me, and called back most of his troops - though maybe this is because another major is attacking him ?)

The overwhelming majority of my items are spent on building up my capital (including upgrading the scavenging sites), with only a token defense. One of the scavenging sites is going to run out in ~3 turns, but I've recently researched Metal Filtration, so it shouldn't be a big issue. (This might have been an issue if my planet was low on heavy elements, but at 126%, it probably won't be.)

[image]local://upfiles/34953/CC8A50FBB4674D6997FEC549AB2FDF65.jpg[/image]

I *did* reroll Siwa several times, because I wanted to experience open farming with water. Had no such luck on Unclassified :
http://www.matrixgames.com/forums/fb.asp?m=4951290
quote:

ORIGINAL: BlueTemplar
[...]
P.S.: Speaking of Unclassified Planets and random generation, I've tried to roll a "Drop me in a game now!" Unclassified with the following parameters :
- Open Farming is possible *and* not too penalized *and* requires water. (Sub-zero xenoplants don't seem to require water, though one wonders how can they be edible if they use any other kind of solvent ?)
- Capital starts in an area good enough to start with an open farm rather than a dome.
- Capital starts in an area with enough rain/water body so that open farming is still not worse than domed farming.
Well after rolling what must have been fifty planets, not managing to find one, I gave up.
Took me less than a dozen tries on Siwa class (which was still surprisingly high).
(Also, Medusa class seems to always prevent Open farming completely with both Bio Hazard and Alien Nutritional Toxicity at lvl 4.)

I actually discovered Solar Energy first, but I waited to get Power Plant instead : I assume that with plentiful water => food => fuel, it will be better than solar panels..?

I'm holding so far... while the Expansionist came back again with even more tanks, I now have some tanks of my own ! ^^

Now if only I was able to get rid of this (beta only?) treasury-emptying bug !
https://www.matrixgames.com/forums/tm.asp?m=4953281

quote:

ORIGINAL: BlueTemplar

Treasury Cashflow overview :
181 credits of revenue
233 credits of expenses

Urgent issues :
You have 1869 (!!!) Credits negative cashflow (see treasury).

Coffers : empty (almost?)
Workers : [:@]
[...]




Don_Oda -> RE: hard difficulty - too hard? (2/1/2021 8:47:28 PM)


quote:

ORIGINAL: zgrssd

Trying to do hard on TL3 start? That is ultra hard!
I started starting at TL4. You already got power tech and some rather important weapons like RPG's.

quote:

Trying to do hard on TL3 start?


did not know that -hard on TL3 start- was extra difficult. Was doing that .. like to research from the start.
I have the impression that it is impossible to keep up with the aI on country development. Did someone actually won a game on hard?

Maybe I try one on TL4...





BlueTemplar -> RE: hard difficulty - too hard? (2/1/2021 9:01:18 PM)

https://www.matrixgames.com/forums/tm.asp?m=4949938
quote:

ORIGINAL: DasTactic

https://youtu.be/v7DcBakQmuU

This was a live-stream on YouTube just [beating the game] on extreme difficulty. The first part of the video is loading in a lot of the auto-saves and talking about the decisions.




redrum68 -> RE: hard difficulty - too hard? (2/1/2021 9:02:14 PM)

Plenty of people have won on Hard and DasTactic just posted a video of him winning on Extreme with TL4. I do agree TL3 is more difficult and has some balance issues.




zgrssd -> RE: hard difficulty - too hard? (2/1/2021 9:09:00 PM)


quote:

ORIGINAL: Don_Oda


quote:

ORIGINAL: zgrssd

Trying to do hard on TL3 start? That is ultra hard!
I started starting at TL4. You already got power tech and some rather important weapons like RPG's.

quote:

Trying to do hard on TL3 start?


did not know that -hard on TL3 start- was extra difficult. Was doing that .. like to research from the start.
I have the impression that it is impossible to keep up with the aI on country development. Did someone actually won a game on hard?

Maybe I try one on TL4...



T4 usually fixes the "I never rolled important Tech Y" problem. That alone makes it a major reason I pick it.

As for beating it on hard: In the end, it is only a AI.

In my experience:
- Harder difficulties simply give the AI more bonuses. Because having to weaken the AI for easy mode, would be a nice ideal scenario.
- Harder Difficulties simply become a exercise in exploiting AI limitations and weaknesses harder. Stuff like attacking a minor while it's whole forces are commited fighting another major.

I never run harder difficulties unless it is for a challenge/archievement. I could exploit the heck out of the AI, but I prefer the illusion of a intelligent adversary I can outthink.




Pratapon51 -> RE: hard difficulty - too hard? (2/2/2021 12:45:56 AM)

Purportedly, the AI is considerably smarter with Slow and Very Slow turn processing, but I'm not that willing to undo the improvements the latest beta made in turn processing time. [:D]




yutowap33 -> RE: hard difficulty - too hard? (2/2/2021 1:19:32 AM)

quote:

ORIGINAL: Don_Oda
This time no luck on energy research and game over – unable to keep industry growing at level of AI.
The research is too random – I must be able to tell my people to research solar panels … they keep discovering thing I don’t need … its all very unnatural way of tech evolution.


Yeah, this can happen. What you can do is

* Make sure to adjust your research heavily in favor of discovery.
* Change your research project/priority the moment you discover what you want.
* In the extreme, skip formation of new directorates, to avoid splitting points from EC.
* There is often an' ancient vault' stratagem card that gives you a free tech.
* Start with Technology Lvl 4 in the first place.




yutowap33 -> RE: hard difficulty - too hard? (2/2/2021 1:35:12 AM)

quote:

ORIGINAL: redrum68

Plenty of people have won on Hard and DasTactic just posted a video of him winning on Extreme with TL4. I do agree TL3 is more difficult and has some balance issues.


There is hard and there is HARD. DasTactic played on hard but had a really easy start with no major bordering him, plenty of metal/rare/urban tiles, got a GR tank etc!

I on the other hand seem to have offended the RNG gods, got stuffed with 3 Majors bordering me including 2 militarist, stacks of 50 ****ing tank like snakes, not much resources and no ****ing luck. The only reason I am still alive is save-scamming.




redrum68 -> RE: hard difficulty - too hard? (2/2/2021 1:48:55 AM)

quote:

ORIGINAL: yutowap33
There is hard and there is HARD. DasTactic played on hard but had a really easy start with no major bordering him, plenty of metal/rare/urban tiles, got a GR tank etc!

I on the other hand seem to have offended the RNG gods, got stuffed with 3 Majors bordering me including 2 militarist, stacks of 50 ****ing tank like snakes, not much resources and no ****ing luck. The only reason I am still alive is save-scamming.


Oh, totally agree. Planet RNG in terms of type of planet, starting deposits, neighbors, leaders, neutral creatures, etc can have more impact than the difficulty level. You can easily have say a Hard game with a very tough planet/start be more difficult than an Extreme game with a very easy planet/start.




CaptBeefheart -> RE: hard difficulty - too hard? (2/2/2021 1:51:39 AM)

I just won on Extreme with TL3. I had one scavenge hex with a ruin on it to start. There were no impossible-to-kill critters in the game. In terms of energy, luckily the ruin shat a couple of energy generator artifacts and there seemed to be quite a few energy hexes in the hinterlands. That was all good since it took a while to research solar energy.

I started next to a Major but luckily smooth talked it into peaceful coexistence. Another Major approached from the other direction and started beating me due to better tech, but I let it send units into precarious positions that could be cut off and thus slowly eliminated its army.

Whenever I did the last turn for the session I had it on slow AI processing, otherwise normal.

Cheers,
CB




CaptBeefheart -> RE: hard difficulty - too hard? (2/2/2021 2:16:35 AM)


quote:

ORIGINAL: redrum68

quote:

ORIGINAL: yutowap33
There is hard and there is HARD. DasTactic played on hard but had a really easy start with no major bordering him, plenty of metal/rare/urban tiles, got a GR tank etc!

I on the other hand seem to have offended the RNG gods, got stuffed with 3 Majors bordering me including 2 militarist, stacks of 50 ****ing tank like snakes, not much resources and no ****ing luck. The only reason I am still alive is save-scamming.


Oh, totally agree. Planet RNG in terms of type of planet, starting deposits, neighbors, leaders, neutral creatures, etc can have more impact than the difficulty level. You can easily have say a Hard game with a very tough planet/start be more difficult than an Extreme game with a very easy planet/start.


Yes, the game I just played had fairly benign starting conditions and the Major next to me was a republic. The previous game was on Hard with super critters which was more difficult.

Cheers,
CB




KarisFraMauro -> RE: hard difficulty - too hard? (2/2/2021 7:02:56 AM)

Not sure I'm in a position to give advice, having only beaten hard once, but a hyper aggressive strategy worked with me. That one game I won I was surrounded by hostiles but that translated into gaining several cities in my early turns. And playing with lower tech levels definitely makes it a lot more challenging.




zgrssd -> RE: hard difficulty - too hard? (2/2/2021 10:13:34 AM)


quote:

ORIGINAL: KarisFraMauro

Not sure I'm in a position to give advice, having only beaten hard once, but a hyper aggressive strategy worked with me. That one game I won I was surrounded by hostiles but that translated into gaining several cities in my early turns. And playing with lower tech levels definitely makes it a lot more challenging.

As a note on that:
High TL starts do allow hyper-agressive Strategies.
You may want to pick up a model council early if you got weak important designs, but stuff like Military and Economic you can put off for a while.




BlueTemplar -> RE: hard difficulty - too hard? (2/2/2021 11:02:46 AM)

Yeah, if anything, I assume that starting with Sealed Roads and Aircraft makes an early aggressive strategy much easier on tech 4 than on tech 3 ?
(I thought before that "tech 4" would randomly give you 16-9 = 7 techs from the Basic Tech group, but it looks like it gives you instead 9 Basic Techs, always failing to pick Power Plant and University, and also RPG from Chemistry ?)

quote:

ORIGINAL: zgrssd
T4 usually fixes the "I never rolled important Tech Y" problem. That alone makes it a major reason I pick it.

This is not an issue in SE, you can always discover and research almost all the techs in the tech tree (the exceptions being a few Item Production Planet-dependent ones, and they are going to apply to ALL the Regimes, not randomly to one regime but not another). You just have to be smart about it (see yutowap33's advice).

The 4 FP Ancient Archive Stratagem (not to be confused with the 2 ancient vault stratagems that give you items) discovers and researches one random tech for you (though it looks like it can only give you a tech not farther than one group farther than you have unlocked ?)
There are no guarantees whatsoever that it will give you Power Plant / Solar Energy, in fact it can make the situation worse if it gives you your third Basic Tech, which will unlock Chemistry & Engineering, and will make discovering Power Plant / Solar Energy that much more unlikely ! (Are higher group techs harder to discover ? Less likely to discover ?)


Oh, yeah, I'm playing with the slowest AI processing too.

I kind of ****ed up in this game by allowing one insect unit to take one of my ruins and eat a lvl1 Recycling Facility that I had there. I failed to notice in advance how strong they would be against my infantry (and how weak my infantry would be against what seems a hard model ?), and how much of a defensive position ruins provide. I had to use ALL of my units for several turns to kill those bugs !
Another thing I learned from this : be VERY careful when you can walk into a Minor Regime territory for a dozen hexes, on a road, without ever meeting any units or having any diplomatic contact. This likely means that this is NOT a normal minor !


quote:

ORIGINAL: CaptBeefheart
I just won on Extreme with TL3. I had one scavenge hex with a ruin on it to start.

Oh, so you don't always start with your city on Ruins with scavenge points ? Or was the ruin on your city hex too ?




zgrssd -> RE: hard difficulty - too hard? (2/2/2021 12:07:42 PM)

The cities of Majors always start on a Ruin hex. This provides Scavenging point and a exceptional entrenchment option for infantry. So good, you often need a 6 side attack to have any chance to dislodge them (but leaving one hex open, can make retreats more likely).




yutowap33 -> RE: hard difficulty - too hard? (2/2/2021 9:04:40 PM)

Overall I think that early game is the most challenging time. How challenging can vary from game to game, depending on the settings, world gen, etc luck.

I had games where I manage to stabilize early and steam roll the opposition, tbh at that point I could have passed 50 turns without doing anything and still would have won. And I had a game where every turn was about life and death, where every damn advantage mattered, still twice I had to reload rolling back years.




nathanebht -> RE: hard difficulty - too hard? (2/2/2021 10:56:37 PM)

I'm using the slowest AI processing with the latest beta. Been playing hard difficulty on all my starts for months.

The planet setup and especially if you have dangerous wildlife change the difficulty so much. If you have no access to metal and no access to water. If you can't expand in the early game because of super deadly, tough animals. You could sit there with one city and slowly research but I don't find that fun.

My current game is on a perfectly habitable planet and a ton of ruins to scavenge. Reroll until you hit a planet that started with a really high population before everything collapsed. Takes a lot of rerolls. Ruins everywhere. With this type of planet, the hard AI is initially a challenge but you don't have a tedious start. Using slow AI processing, sometimes the AI empires spread and develop nicely. Sometimes not. They definitely behave aggressively.




stryc -> RE: hard difficulty - too hard? (2/3/2021 9:27:55 AM)

The presence of the Absorption trait on tanky wildlife adds another level of effective difficulty all on its own; essentially, you can't do a damn thing to them until you've got tanks with chunky howitzers. This trait makes a TL3 start triple-hard (with TL3 start being double-hard in itself). Personally, I think the Absorption trait is broken and needs to confer proportional damage resistance not a binary threshold.




Pratapon51 -> RE: hard difficulty - too hard? (2/3/2021 9:32:21 AM)


quote:

ORIGINAL: stryc

The presence of the Absorption trait on tanky wildlife adds another level of effective difficulty all on its own; essentially, you can't do a damn thing to them until you've got tanks with chunky howitzers. This trait makes a TL3 start triple-hard (with TL3 start being double-hard in itself). Personally, I think the Absorption trait is broken and needs to confer proportional damage resistance not a binary threshold.


While starting at TL5, I had a Medusa world with 30+ meter xeno monstrosities. Many of them had both Absorption and one of the Hardness traits, essentially requiring that I field heavy tanks with big HV guns before I could reliably kill them or drive them away.




Don_Oda -> RE: hard difficulty - too hard? (2/3/2021 11:30:51 AM)

thanks all - good to know that it is possible to win on Hard ... and Extreme Hard!
Made some changes and started a new game: T4 hard, I am giving the AI extra time - and also disabled aggressive neighbors - this also made a big difference.
Agree on several comments (like from redrum68 and others) that the planned generator dictates how difficult a game can be.
For normal game I really enjoyed the following setup: small planet, at least 20 zones, 25 to 30% mountains - aggressive neighbors, ai extra time and T3. But for Hard this was ... how to say ... not good(fun) for me.





CaptBeefheart -> RE: hard difficulty - too hard? (2/5/2021 6:05:57 AM)

quote:

ORIGINAL: BlueTemplar

quote:

ORIGINAL: CaptBeefheart
I just won on Extreme with TL3. I had one scavenge hex with a ruin on it to start.

Oh, so you don't always start with your city on Ruins with scavenge points ? Or was the ruin on your city hex too ?


Ah, bad vocabulary. What I meant to say was I had a ruin next to the city which had a white pyramid thingy on it. The pyramid thingy shat up some interesting artifacts, including two 500-level energy generators.

Cheers,
CB




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