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Distant Worlds is Way Way Way Too Easy

 
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Distant Worlds is Way Way Way Too Easy - 5/20/2010 7:09:39 AM   
BoredGamer78

 

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This game would be absolutely awesome if it wasn't.

First game I play on Default settings. 700 planets, normal aggressiveness, 19 alien races all with starter empires like mine. Took about two hours to win through expansion (AI didn't even begin to match manual colonization rates).

Went online looking to see where the difficulty sliders were. Found that setting aggressiveness to "Chaos" and enemy starter empire size to "Thriving" or something (middle setting) was supposed to up the challenge. It didn't, even remotely, but it did make the game take almost 5 hours.

Here's how I went about it. 700 planet galaxy. Enemy started with something like 10 planets apiece and a dozen free techs or so. 19 of them again. Handled all expenditures (colonizing, ship building) manually, built a few scouts and three colonizers right off. Expanded, colonized, killed a few pirates. Eventually make contact with a few alien empires. Problem 1: diplomacy.

This is something you'd see a lot of in Civilization and GalCiv - tech trading. Once you get a tech that another empire doesn't have, you trade it for one of theirs and maybe some cash. Then you go to the next empire. Then the next. They don't (properly) trade with each other, so you're the sole tech broker in the galaxy. Within an hour I had all but a couple of super techs greedy races were holding out on, with plenty of spares to sell to the weaker races. I got the currency to buy the first tech from Problem 2: colonizing.

One of the colonies I happened to snag was in the same system as an enemy colony. They started to get mad at me, so I decided to sell it to them. Whoops - a planet I'd just blown 6,000 creds on to colonize was worth 1.3 million creds to them. Not only did I avoid a conflict; I got several techs and creds for more colonizers. I expanded in every direction as any proper 4xer would, and since I was new, I did so without regard to luxuries, planet viability, or any other nonsense that sensible AIs were probably paying attention to - I had all the creds I could ever spend from tech trading. I spread like a plague, built a ginormous fleet or troop carriers and capital ships, and once I had triple my closest competitor's total firepower, declared some wars (which was pretty easy, as everyone loved me up to that point). At this point, I ran into Problem 3: brain dead AI.

As things progressed, I let the AI handle more and more of the burden for me, until it reached the point that I let it run itself on 4x speed and just clicked through annoying treaty popups and tech traded a little to support my million cred a year deficit to support my fleet (how an enemy comes up with over a million creds a year to blow on my crappy trader techs I've no idea, but enemies with as few as 5 planets were doing it - maybe they were playing the game "properly"). Something that became immediately apparent was that not only did the enemy AIs (who started to all really hate me after I set everything to automatic, since Robot Me is an ass) refuse to attack even a single one of my planets to conquer it; my AI fleet was doing the same (that is to say, killing some ships, but not loading or assaulting with troops. Took over 2 planets in the course of an hour with 5 - 7 wars running at any one time and most the all enemy fleets and starbases dead [I helped a bit with the starbase part]).

After an hour of that crap, I paused the game, took manual control of the fleets, formed a few megafleets in planets with several starbases, and took over enemy empires manually, one system at a time. Fun part is that after the near hour spent organizing the fleets, they stomped enemies to paste with superior numbers and superior (traded) tech in no time whatsoever as I leap-frogged attacking fleets, allowing every other fleet to refuel while the fresh ones assaulted. With top tier engines, it took about a minute to take an individual system with an individual fleet (although I had to be careful to only invade enemy planets with one troop transport at a time, or I'd get to wait half an hour while the things tried to cram into a planet to get more troops, which's really rather annoying). I only had to kill three empires (two smalls and most of a large) to meet the 33% to win default requirement, which I didn't mess with since it would make games take longer, but not make them any more challenging.

Now I don't mind that the game's single player. I like multiplayer for competitiveness, and the game certainly has enough minutia to get competitive, but I can always play an RTS like Spring for a quick fix there, or hunt down an old Stars! game for one turn a day year long games. I love the amount of detail in the game and the way it all meshes, but I didn't have to use a bit of it to win. I used default ship types the whole time and had a super easy time - didn't even bother to put guns on my civvy fleets. Who needs money when you're trading for millions at a shot?

I know there are all kinds of requests for improvements, and I'm sure they'd all make for a better game (scroll smoothing would be absolutely ducky), but unless the following three items addressed above are corrected (and I don't think they'd be too hard, though I didn't code the thing), all of the charming random bits and detailed minutia won't mean a thing since you don't need an edge to beat an AI that doesn't fight back, or a healthy economy to earn money when the enemies will just give you theirs.

1) Cause the enemy to either trade with each other, or not trade with the player. This is a basic lesson from Civilization. End one-sided tech trading (or monopolized tech brokering, if you prefer).

2) Increase the rate of AI expansion, or penalize players more for colonizing dead worlds. As far as I know, eliminating monopolized tech brokering would fix this by itself. Also, give the AI a realistic way of valuing planets in a contested system. Certainly, a good planet might be worth 1.3 million creds to an enemy player, but why pay that much when ~4,000 for a troop transport and ~8,000 in destroyers could get it for you just as easily (especially when the player selling the planet has a dozen fewer techs than you do and a starter empire).

3) Make the AI take planets. This is by far the most important point, concerning both enemy AI fleets and your own when AI controlled, as tech trading can be seen as an easy to win mini-game. In my mad dash for expansion, I had planets spread all over a 700 planets spiral galaxy. Any local enemy that wanted to could seize my far-flung planets and there was little I could do to stop them as even max-tech fleets don't instant warp. During the course of my longer game, I lost around 30 planets to the AI, most in contested systems. Every single one of these I lost to defection. As far as I know, the enemy AI players never even built Troop Transports. If they did, they were even more useless than mine (my 45 transports captured 2 whole undefended planets in an hour!).

I really like the atmosphere of the game, and I love minutia - especially AI players that will surprise you once in awhile (although I can't think of any game where they come even close to thinking like players - efficieny, many are good at, but how many are willing to risk 80% of their fleet in single blitzkrieg to overwhelm enemy home systems, trusting shock and surprise to protect their own planets since all of the ships are away?). I don't think the game's good for a few more plays, even if I max the size of the enemy empires on max aggression, if they won't ever, EVER attack in earnest, or even raid significantly. This game could be the best thing out there right now for scope and scale. At present, it isn't even a match for GalCiv 2 (where the enemy could and would overwhelm and kill you if you were unlucky or careless enough), let alone Moo2 (where the enemy could and would overwhelm you if you weren't careful and lucky).

Anyway, nice effort. FiX pl0x.
Post #: 1
RE: Distant Worlds is Way Way Way Too Easy - 5/20/2010 7:11:40 AM   
BoredGamer78

 

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Now that I think about this, I should've titled this thread "The World's Best 3x."

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RE: Distant Worlds is Way Way Way Too Easy - 5/20/2010 8:27:03 AM   
BoredGamer78

 

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Since I've gone the the trouble of complaining, I might as well go to the trouble of offering some more specific suggestions for fixes.

For problem 2, in reference to planet valuation, have enemies run a basic equation along the lines of:

AI empire firepower / Player empire firepower = X

If X < .8, then offer player 25% of current value.
If X > .8, then offer player:

Cost of enemy AI firepower / player firepower as embodied by ships = A
Cost of player local firepower (within response distance; say 3,000, to include starbases) = B
Cost of enemy troop power / cost of player troop power = C
Cost of player troops on target planet = D

B/A*1.4 = E
D/C*1.8 = F

Offer player E + F or 25% of current value, whichever's less.

The idea is to factor in practical costs of taking a planet as opposed to buying it outright. Remember that an item doesn't cost what it's worth to a buyer unless the seller's very good at pricing or the buyer's very bad at haggling, but rather a compromise between what it's worth to the buyer and what it costs the seller to produce. What the rough equation's meant to recreate is a player's consideration of, "Well, my empire's stronger than his, and he hasn't got many ships in the area, but I'd still need to send more than he's got defending to be sure of victory, so I'll offer him...." The "If < .8" bit's thrown in to recreate a player's consideratio of, "Well, ok, his empire's stronger, so I'll have to buy it honestly." The 25% bit's thrown in for merchant markup (you never see those cheap bastards in Diablo offer you retail price for a Rare item), and to prevent clever players from outsmarting the system. 25% of 1.3 million's still light years better than 25,000 to overwhelm.

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RE: Distant Worlds is Way Way Way Too Easy - 5/20/2010 8:45:11 AM   
BoredGamer78

 

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For problem 1, in reference to stopping monopolized tech brokering, I'd recommend:

Have enemy AIs proactively approach each other to tech trade, and not in the very limited fashion that they approach the player. Have each AI approach each other AI they're in contact with and exchange all tech, information and currency that they possible can, to include maps (which are valued quite nicely, btw). Depending on system resource requirements to effect this, they should perform this action each and every time they make any trades with a player. (If this is impractical then they should at least communicate once per year, though that leaves a huge gap for player exploitation following new discoveries, or especially when the new fiscal years begins and AIs are flush with cash).

Instruct AIs to accept less than perfect exchanges from each other to prevent loss of trade from differing costs of discoveries. Have AIs accept anywhere from a 5%-15% loss on deals as necessary in order to see deals go through, varying based on relations with each other. If one partner has very little to offer the other, at least makes sure that very little gets traded, so long as the superior partner has anything to offer within the 5%-15% acceptable loss range. As a player, I'm willing to accept quite a significant trading disparity, especially when exchanging tech I just got essentially for free by trading with another AI player for cash.

Additionally, instruct AIs to maintain minimal cash reserves when it comes to trading (15% of GDP after expenditures, perhaps - have this amount not even show as available for trading to prevent player frustration). This is to leave AIs some cash flow for operations, especially to prevent clever players from draining an AI of cash right before turning on them. (They can still drain most of the cash, after all, so they'll still be rewarded for being clever.)

This single fix would have a HUGE impact on game difficulty, as it's currently possible for a single star nobody to become the dominant tech and economic power in a galaxy full of 50 planet empires. There's a name for this, but it has a racial component so I won't say it.

Not only will this fix correct a game-breaking exploit; it will place a true premium on contact with other civilizations. Pirate information trading might receive slight improvement to reflect the change, though it's not necessary. Hooray for replacing a borked strategy with a legitimate one!

< Message edited by BoredGamer78 -- 5/20/2010 8:48:48 AM >

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RE: Distant Worlds is Way Way Way Too Easy - 5/20/2010 8:47:32 AM   
Keston


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DW is a very complex game and will have loopholes.  Your experience suggests some house rules to use until it is balanced, such as trading tech for political purposes, but small amounts of money or minor tech are OK along with that.

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RE: Distant Worlds is Way Way Way Too Easy - 5/20/2010 8:49:40 AM   
BoredGamer78

 

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You're suggesting house rules with an AI? Oo

Why, the AI hasn't complained even once when I've done any of these things!

You're quite right that we can "go easy" on the AI in response to this, though the "AI never invades" bit does go quite beyond the ability of house rules to fix, but this is how the game becomes balanced, ne? Some clever dick points out abuses, possibly before they've even ruined the fun for the general playing community.

< Message edited by BoredGamer78 -- 5/20/2010 8:51:49 AM >

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RE: Distant Worlds is Way Way Way Too Easy - 5/20/2010 9:01:50 AM   
Nibelung44


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How about adding, as someone said elsewhere and here to, a 'No Tech Brokering Option' ala civ 4 ?? Because, yes, it ruins the game.

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RE: Distant Worlds is Way Way Way Too Easy - 5/20/2010 9:12:40 AM   
BoredGamer78

 

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Besides, it's not in my nature to go easy on anyone, let alone a stupid computer.

To correct problem 3:

There's probably a huge bit of tricky AI work to correct how AI handles fueling (or not - probably just a simple matter of quick checks run on ships individually, and in fleets, before any AI orders are given, though that might be a system hog. Then again, what we've got now's a little piggish in that regard). That being said, how to handle AI aggression in terms of whether or not to invade (as opposed to actually carrying out the invasion) is very simple.

If they're at war, they invade. Simple, right?

Fortunately, there's no fog of war (that I could tell) after a system's discovered, so it's not cheating for the AI to have all of the information it requires to make a decision. After the decision to make war's been effected (either by the player or the AI - AI seems to handle this part pretty well, discounting tech trading friendliness, which's correctable with steps listed in this thread), just go through an equation similar to that listed for problem 2 for every enemy planet within reach of the enemy empire, modify by convenience (targets further away would be treated as relatively undesirable, but only by a percentage - say distance / 3,000 for anything over 3,000 away from the nearest AI planet or base to make targets far away less appealing, but not so unappealing that they won't be attacked if they're not defended).

Take the results and have the AI attack the most vulnerable planets, factoring in range, in order until they haven't got anymore ships (counting sufficient troop transports) to carry out the attacks, factoring out a percentage of their overall fleet assigned to protect their own assets (which the AI generally handles well at this point). Have the percentage dedicated to offense modified by individual AI (racial, governmental) personalities and proximity of other AI powers that might step in to take advantage.

When war is actively declared, or when relations begin to sour indicating a possiblity of war, the AI should increase budget dedicated to fighting ships (which it might be doing already). Remember that any military asset that isn't actively required either for defense (requirements based on concentration of assets required for protection an proximity and amount of opposing firepower) or offense (which means ships that will actively, constantly be attacking or resupplying in order to immediately turn around and attack again) is a waste, and for an AI to stand any chance against intelligent players at all as a minimum it has to be efficient.

The moment a war begins, and potentially even before it's declared, an AI should throw anything and everything it can come up with to spare to include the kitchen sink at the closest, most vulnerable enemy target, be it player-held or held by another AI, in an effort to seize assets and flat out kill off opponents, especially on harder or more aggressive settings (you can sandbag a little for newer players at easier levels, but what's in place now is scarcely hard enough for "newbie" designation in terms of enemy aggression).

I'd love to see this fix so that all the rest of the game, all its vast complexity, can come into play and shine. Please correct this as a priority, as it's currently a game killer.

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RE: Distant Worlds is Way Way Way Too Easy - 5/20/2010 9:14:28 AM   
BoredGamer78

 

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Right on for a quick fix, Nibelung. I suppose if the coders don't have time to take care of it properly just yet, that could serve until they do. Still, it's really not that hard to get AIs trading with each other, as I hope I've outlined sufficiently. No reason to kill tech trading when it's an easy fix, ne?

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RE: Distant Worlds is Way Way Way Too Easy - 5/20/2010 12:12:13 PM   
deanco2

 

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Speaking generally about 'way way way too easy':

1. I'm always finding advanced capital ships and cruisers everywhere, basically giving advanced tech and/or power to the player right from the getgo.  Just one of these ships can crush a 'starter ship' fleet, immediately making you top dog of the galaxy.  No sense of accomplishment of finally getting that tech.   If you find the debris field, it's even worse.  So, the 'goodie huts' are unbalancing the game.  Perhaps their 'contents' should scale with the year, or the current tech level you're at.

2. The mere fact of taking over an independent empire with another preferred planet type suddenly, and immediately, allows you to colonize those planets.  No period of adaptation, no need to study it, bam, you suddenly have a ton more planets to colonize.  Once again, no sense of accomplishment.  Perhaps taking over that planet should just provide a tech boost in that particular field, or some other effect that makes it quicker to colonize those planets, instead of having it presented to you on a silver platter.



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RE: Distant Worlds is Way Way Way Too Easy - 5/20/2010 12:24:11 PM   
Fishman

 

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quote:

ORIGINAL: deanco2

1. I'm always finding advanced capital ships and cruisers everywhere, basically giving advanced tech and/or power to the player right from the getgo. Just one of these ships can crush a 'starter ship' fleet, immediately making you top dog of the galaxy.
The AI finds them, too. I've shot down dozens of AI precursor battleships. That's just way the galaxy in DW is: Full of previous signs of inhabitation.

quote:

ORIGINAL: deanco2

Perhaps their 'contents' should scale with the year, or the current tech level you're at.
They do! When you find precursor battleships early on, maybe you'll find a lousy one that armed with Maxos SL blasters, maybe 150 firepower. Then later on you might find precursor battleships with 1500 FP armed with Titan Beams. Debris field ships are often fairly low-rent: Even the best barely manage to hit 300 FP, and more likely around 150, as befits their status of "Stuff that exists at the very beginning of the game".

quote:

ORIGINAL: deanco2

2. The mere fact of taking over an independent empire with another preferred planet type suddenly, and immediately, allows you to colonize those planets. No period of adaptation, no need to study it, bam, you suddenly have a ton more planets to colonize.
There's no study or adaptation because they don't NEED to study or adapt: That is their native environment. But the caveat: Only THEY can colonize it. Your own people cannot. If you conquered a very small planet, it can take them a very long time to be able to build colony ships capable of doing this for you.

quote:

ORIGINAL: deanco2

Once again, no sense of accomplishment. Perhaps taking over that planet should just provide a tech boost in that particular field, or some other effect that makes it quicker to colonize those planets, instead of having it presented to you on a silver platter.
They don't give you the magical ability to colonize the planets...unless you use THEM. Because it is their native, racial ability to live on that planet without needing special equipment. As for "sense of accomplishment"...I dunno about you, but I consider getting them in the first place an accomplishment of the "Ooh! Shiny!" variety. The point is that you're expecting a game where the galaxy is a place devoid of anything interesting, and everything interesting in the galaxy is going to be made by you, or another empire. You're expecting a game like, say, Stars, where the galaxy is an utterly desolate wasteland devoid of all life that you or another player didn't put there, with very little in the way of interesting things to find other than planets themselves. That is simply not what DW is, although: DW is a galaxy full of interesting things to be found and exploited. The act of going forth and discovering those things before others do *IS* the achievement! I'm sure the developers can MAKE such a game mode for you, but that's not what DW is out of the box. Exploration would be far less interesting if the only thing to find were planets, and far less important, since it would no longer matter who sees the planet first. You explore to be the first to nab those goodies, not merely to see where you can plop colony ships.

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RE: Distant Worlds is Way Way Way Too Easy - 5/20/2010 12:37:41 PM   
ceyan

 

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I've always wondered why, in relation to the Tech Trading problem, developers don't use a research sharing function, instead of a tech sharing function. Instead of trading Tech X for concessions, you'd sign a diplomatic agreement and then somehow trade research "points". Say you'd get 5% of the Industrial research points, from the AI you made the agreement with, as bonus points and they'd get the same bonus from your pool. The only exploit there is if you're behind in tech and its much easier to balance because you already have to give a weights and measure system for Trade/Peace/Non-Aggression/Alliance agreements. On top of that it helps keep the AI competitive, because you're either going slower than you could if you choose not to form Research pacts or if you're ahead of the AI then the AI gets a greater benefit from your larger point pool.

Edit:
I've long given up trying to figure out why its rarely done, hence why I never suggested it before, but since its fits the thread...

< Message edited by ceyan -- 5/20/2010 12:39:19 PM >

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RE: Distant Worlds is Way Way Way Too Easy - 5/20/2010 12:43:06 PM   
Erik Rutins

 

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Which version are you playing, BoredGamer78? What victory conditions are you using?

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RE: Distant Worlds is Way Way Way Too Easy - 5/20/2010 1:19:50 PM   
deanco2

 

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Thanks for the reply, Fishman.  I understand your points.  It's almost like the tech tree has been relegated to supporting role status, and exploration is the new star.

To tell the truth, I didn't know that only 'they' can colonize those planets, so thanks for that info.  It's certainly not clear for someone who just opens up the Expansion Manager and suddenly sees a ton of new colonies available.

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RE: Distant Worlds is Way Way Way Too Easy - 5/20/2010 1:27:12 PM   
Joram

 

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Interesting post BoredGamer.  Personally I find the game way too easy or way too hard.  It's difficult for me to find a middle ground.  I also find that once you decide to go the war route, it's quite easy to get the whole galaxy to hate you quickly so don't even try till you're ready to take on the whole galaxy!

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RE: Distant Worlds is Way Way Way Too Easy - 5/20/2010 2:07:35 PM   
Astax

 

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Yes AI can be gamed quite easily. I know this. But I prefer not to game it too much, it spoils the fun!  Though I would love some sort of a cap on tech trading. Like you can only trade a new tech every so often. That way it wouldn't be so easy to broker, AND it does have some plausibility.  Your scientists may be busy pouring over research you just got from Empire X, they can't immediately pick up research from Empire Y. You only have so many scientists :)  Maybe make the amount of trade you can do scale with your research capacity.  Maybe even have trading put your current research on a slower pace for a while to even the playing field a bit.

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RE: Distant Worlds is Way Way Way Too Easy - 5/20/2010 2:08:48 PM   
Nibelung44


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quote:

ORIGINAL: BoredGamer78

Right on for a quick fix, Nibelung. I suppose if the coders don't have time to take care of it properly just yet, that could serve until they do. Still, it's really not that hard to get AIs trading with each other, as I hope I've outlined sufficiently. No reason to kill tech trading when it's an easy fix, ne?



Well no, for you 'No Tech Brokering' would be a quickfix ... Not for me. I just DON'T WANT to have the possibility (and the AI too) to broker techs. Brokering techs is just ruining the game for me... Because you'll pass around the techs of nation A to B, to buy new ones that you'll pass back to A or perhaps C, etc. It is boring, it is abusable, it is exploitive.

I simply NEVER play with tech brokering in Civ 4. You should only be able to sell a tech you discovered yourself, it make for a more interesting game, really.

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RE: Distant Worlds is Way Way Way Too Easy - 5/20/2010 2:10:24 PM   
Astax

 

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I would say no tech brokering is not always the best. Thou it is a better option than no tech trading.  As with no brokering your teching empires are not crippled :) In fact it might make them a bit too powerful. 

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RE: Distant Worlds is Way Way Way Too Easy - 5/20/2010 2:16:02 PM   
Joram

 

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Thinking about the colonization issue though, i can think of an exploit.  What prevents a player from purposely colonizing enemy systems with the intent of getting a ton of cash out the AI?

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RE: Distant Worlds is Way Way Way Too Easy - 5/20/2010 2:27:00 PM   
Astax

 

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I would think you can scale the value of a planet by it's culture or development level? So newly minted colonies are not worth so much. And by the time they do get up there, the proximity to well established alien worlds would have caused em to flip.

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RE: Distant Worlds is Way Way Way Too Easy - 5/20/2010 10:58:16 PM   
BoredGamer78

 

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Nothing at all stops you, Joram. I'd colonize enemy systems whenever I had the chance just to turn around and sell them - the AI doesn't colonize very quickly, after all.

Erik, I'm playing version 1.04. Victory conditions are default - 33% of worlds owned, economy, or tech maybe? The victory condition could be 100% domination and the only thing that would change is time required to win.

I want to like the game. Is there a plan to make the enemy actually attack you at some point? I've seen the "AI raids but never attacks" concern on quite a few forums, to include a dated (lengthy) 3rd party audio commentary. Tech brokering and AIs never attacking are game breaking, ya know? AIs absolutely have to fight back or you're playing Harvest Moon.

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RE: Distant Worlds is Way Way Way Too Easy - 5/21/2010 12:01:36 AM   
Erik Rutins

 

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quote:

ORIGINAL: BoredGamer78
Erik, I'm playing version 1.04. Victory conditions are default - 33% of worlds owned, economy, or tech maybe? The victory condition could be 100% domination and the only thing that would change is time required to win.


Ok, give 1.0.4.9 a try and change the conditions to 50% kicking in after 20 years. That should help as 1.0.4.9 does make the AI a bit smarter, not just extend things. Make sure you set aggressiveness to Unstable or Chaos.

quote:

I want to like the game. Is there a plan to make the enemy actually attack you at some point? I've seen the "AI raids but never attacks" concern on quite a few forums, to include a dated (lengthy) 3rd party audio commentary. Tech brokering and AIs never attacking are game breaking, ya know? AIs absolutely have to fight back or you're playing Harvest Moon.


I'm not sure what to say here except that the AIs are attacking in my tests and not just raiding, but I'm sure that with the variety of playstyles and settings available, there are also situations where they are not attacking at all. The aggressiveness of the AI race/government combo also plays a big role here. In my last test game, the first AI that went to war with me took three of my systems almost immediately with a big fleet complete with fully loaded troop transports and proceeded to severely damage two other systems. It chewed up two of my three fleets trying to slow it down and took my third fleet to finally defeat its primary fleet and give me some breathing room.

With that said, yes we are going to be working further on the AI but I think that the current AI experience does vary quite a bit based on settings and playstyle.

Regards,

- Erik

_____________________________

Erik Rutins
CEO, Matrix Games LLC




For official support, please use our Help Desk: http://www.matrixgames.com/helpdesk/

Freedom is not Free.

(in reply to BoredGamer78)
Post #: 22
RE: Distant Worlds is Way Way Way Too Easy - 5/21/2010 12:25:37 AM   
taltamir

 

Posts: 1290
Joined: 4/2/2010
Status: offline
Personally, I don't use victory conditions. I can tell when I won/lost.

The biggest problem that the AI has right now, I think, is that it doesn't colonize enough.
The AI does do a brisk amount of trading to each other... If you discover some nice derelict ships or a really nice world and trade your maps to one other empire you would find colonizers and construction ships pouring in, from all races. in minutes... Likewise, technology spreads all around... you suddenly notice that half the AIs have death-rays from trading it to each other.

Colonization is a big weak point for the AI, which is a huge advantage because colony ships also create colonists out of thin air when constructed.

In regards to setting the agression status, I found little difference between peaceful and chaos. peaceful they are unlike to attack you, but they are also not embroiled in other wars, so they can dedicate more of their fleet to you, and they might even actually have allies. chaos they AI are all at war with everyone... they have less money (no trade agreement), no friends to come helping, and they are too busy fighting each other to send their fleets to attack you more often then not.
Oddly enough it balances out...

the places where difficulty REALLY comes in are:
1. your home planet quality (harsh means you start out losing money on private and state... your economy is in total collapse and you need to act fast or you are screwed... even if you do everything right AND get lucky (you need some luck) you would take a while to get up to speed, at which point the AI has expanded quite a lot.
2. galactic society expansion level (not the actual name... I don't really remember what its called), set the tech level of colony amount of other races... set it high enough and they start with massive empires.
3. your empire size, 1 planet, or a thriving empire?
4. your empire starting tech level.
5. tech research rate (if it is set to very low and the AI started with high tech level and you started with low... you are handicapped)

You can, however, abuse the heck out of trade...

oh, and the AI prefers lasers on its designs, which are much weaker. But v1.05 would rebalance weapons.

_____________________________

I do not have a superman complex; for I am God, not Superman.

(in reply to Erik Rutins)
Post #: 23
RE: Distant Worlds is Way Way Way Too Easy - 5/21/2010 12:30:37 AM   
Shark7


Posts: 7937
Joined: 7/24/2007
From: The Big Nowhere
Status: offline

quote:

ORIGINAL: taltamir

Personally, I don't use victory conditions. I can tell when I won/lost.

The biggest problem that the AI has right now, I think, is that it doesn't colonize enough.
The AI does do a brisk amount of trading to each other... If you discover some nice derelict ships or a really nice world and trade your maps to one other empire you would find colonizers and construction ships pouring in, from all races. in minutes... Likewise, technology spreads all around... you suddenly notice that half the AIs have death-rays from trading it to each other.

Colonization is a big weak point for the AI, which is a huge advantage because colony ships also create colonists out of thin air when constructed.

In regards to setting the agression status, I found little difference between peaceful and chaos. peaceful they are unlike to attack you, but they are also not embroiled in other wars, so they can dedicate more of their fleet to you, and they might even actually have allies. chaos they AI are all at war with everyone... they have less money (no trade agreement), no friends to come helping, and they are too busy fighting each other to send their fleets to attack you more often then not.
Oddly enough it balances out...

the places where difficulty REALLY comes in are:
1. your home planet quality (harsh means you start out losing money on private and state... your economy is in total collapse and you need to act fast or you are screwed... even if you do everything right AND get lucky (you need some luck) you would take a while to get up to speed, at which point the AI has expanded quite a lot.
2. galactic society expansion level (not the actual name... I don't really remember what its called), set the tech level of colony amount of other races... set it high enough and they start with massive empires.
3. your empire size, 1 planet, or a thriving empire?
4. your empire starting tech level.
5. tech research rate (if it is set to very low and the AI started with high tech level and you started with low... you are handicapped)

You can, however, abuse the heck out of trade...

oh, and the AI prefers lasers on its designs, which are much weaker. But v1.05 would rebalance weapons.


Agree, generally when the AI has completely over-run my empire and all my planets are gone, I can say with some certainty that I have lost.

_____________________________

Distant Worlds Fan

'When in doubt...attack!'

(in reply to taltamir)
Post #: 24
RE: Distant Worlds is Way Way Way Too Easy - 5/21/2010 12:34:44 AM   
taltamir

 

Posts: 1290
Joined: 4/2/2010
Status: offline
quote:

ORIGINAL: Shark7


quote:

ORIGINAL: taltamir

Personally, I don't use victory conditions. I can tell when I won/lost.

The biggest problem that the AI has right now, I think, is that it doesn't colonize enough.
The AI does do a brisk amount of trading to each other... If you discover some nice derelict ships or a really nice world and trade your maps to one other empire you would find colonizers and construction ships pouring in, from all races. in minutes... Likewise, technology spreads all around... you suddenly notice that half the AIs have death-rays from trading it to each other.

Colonization is a big weak point for the AI, which is a huge advantage because colony ships also create colonists out of thin air when constructed.

In regards to setting the agression status, I found little difference between peaceful and chaos. peaceful they are unlike to attack you, but they are also not embroiled in other wars, so they can dedicate more of their fleet to you, and they might even actually have allies. chaos they AI are all at war with everyone... they have less money (no trade agreement), no friends to come helping, and they are too busy fighting each other to send their fleets to attack you more often then not.
Oddly enough it balances out...

the places where difficulty REALLY comes in are:
1. your home planet quality (harsh means you start out losing money on private and state... your economy is in total collapse and you need to act fast or you are screwed... even if you do everything right AND get lucky (you need some luck) you would take a while to get up to speed, at which point the AI has expanded quite a lot.
2. galactic society expansion level (not the actual name... I don't really remember what its called), set the tech level of colony amount of other races... set it high enough and they start with massive empires.
3. your empire size, 1 planet, or a thriving empire?
4. your empire starting tech level.
5. tech research rate (if it is set to very low and the AI started with high tech level and you started with low... you are handicapped)

You can, however, abuse the heck out of trade...

oh, and the AI prefers lasers on its designs, which are much weaker. But v1.05 would rebalance weapons.


Agree, generally when the AI has completely over-run my empire and all my planets are gone, I can say with some certainty that I have lost.


And if the AI has 30% of the galaxy while I only have 1%... well that doesn't mean I lost, it means I have a challange!
In some of those games I "lose" as soon as the game starts, or as soon as the the prerequisite amount of time passes... I still end up winning (read, conquer EVERYTHING and EVERYONE).
It is certainly different to have to actually subjugate to another empire to avoid death...

Actually, that is a point where its too easy... its too easy to become subjugated to avoid destruction. You piss off the 800lbs gorilla, it brings armada to your home planet... invasion is imminent!.
welp, time to subjugate myself to him... they have no interest in accepting that, they should instead conquer me.

< Message edited by taltamir -- 5/21/2010 12:40:39 AM >


_____________________________

I do not have a superman complex; for I am God, not Superman.

(in reply to Shark7)
Post #: 25
RE: Distant Worlds is Way Way Way Too Easy - 5/21/2010 12:51:52 AM   
BoredGamer78

 

Posts: 11
Joined: 5/20/2010
Status: offline
Seriously? They've invaded you? Are they scared to death to attack me when my fleet's twice as big as theirs? Should that really matter when I'm attacking 7 of them? I played through again and didn't see troop transport 1. Do you have to try to lose?

At the very least, can you address tech brokering? That's a Civilization 1 lesson.

(in reply to taltamir)
Post #: 26
RE: Distant Worlds is Way Way Way Too Easy - 5/21/2010 1:11:11 AM   
taltamir

 

Posts: 1290
Joined: 4/2/2010
Status: offline
quote:

ORIGINAL: BoredGamer78

Seriously? They've invaded you? Are they scared to death to attack me when my fleet's twice as big as theirs? Should that really matter when I'm attacking 7 of them? I played through again and didn't see troop transport 1. Do you have to try to lose?

At the very least, can you address tech brokering? That's a Civilization 1 lesson.


I am talking about max difficulty here... where I start the game with 1 desert planet, losing thousands on private and state, and the bulk of the galaxy has already been settled, they have massive fleets, and high tech...
when you have 1 or 2 planets and you get into a war with a 50 planet empire and then send a 30 ship fleet to your home planet and blow up your space port your options are slim.

As for tech brokering. It is indeed an issue... ALL brokering is.
the best way to address it I have seen is charge each race a cost to transfer the tech...
so if you give a tech worth 100,000 to another race, it costs you 50k to "get them up to speed"; that money doesn't go to the other player, it is destroyed... they then have to somehow make it worth your while... if they offer their own tech, then they also pay a sizable chunk.

< Message edited by taltamir -- 5/21/2010 1:13:35 AM >


_____________________________

I do not have a superman complex; for I am God, not Superman.

(in reply to BoredGamer78)
Post #: 27
RE: Distant Worlds is Way Way Way Too Easy - 5/21/2010 1:54:53 AM   
Erik Rutins

 

Posts: 37160
Joined: 3/28/2000
From: Vermont, USA
Status: online
Regarding AI colonization, we are looking at that and improvements for how the AI colonizes should be on the menu for 1.0.5 with any luck. I think the improvements we made with 1.0.4.9 already help it but we are aiming to revisit each area, with further work on diplomacy being a big one in terms of AI effectiveness. The initial focus is on the areas that also impact player automation. We will also have another look at how the AI evaluates attack targets. Note that the AI is now less likely to go to war with a superior empire than it was previous to 1.0.4, but we do want to make it smarter about winning a war once it's in it.

_____________________________

Erik Rutins
CEO, Matrix Games LLC




For official support, please use our Help Desk: http://www.matrixgames.com/helpdesk/

Freedom is not Free.

(in reply to taltamir)
Post #: 28
RE: Distant Worlds is Way Way Way Too Easy - 5/21/2010 8:49:39 AM   
Bartje

 

Posts: 308
Joined: 4/27/2010
From: Netherlands
Status: offline
I really like that idea on "bringing them up too speed" Taltamir!


Its very plausible and would certainly make the brokering slower and more strategic.


One suggestion here is that the cost of "educating" another empire to use the traded tech should depend on the tech level they have themselves as well as the tech you are giving them.

That way; trading an outdated tech to a backwards empire is still rather cheap but giving them deathrays or uber-torpedoes becomes an expensive proposition!



< Message edited by Bartje -- 5/21/2010 9:12:33 AM >

(in reply to Erik Rutins)
Post #: 29
RE: Distant Worlds is Way Way Way Too Easy - 5/21/2010 9:03:29 AM   
Keston


Posts: 300
Joined: 5/7/2010
Status: offline

quote:

ORIGINAL: taltamir

As for tech brokering. It is indeed an issue... ALL brokering is.
the best way to address it I have seen is charge each race a cost to transfer the tech...
so if you give a tech worth 100,000 to another race, it costs you 50k to "get them up to speed"; that money doesn't go to the other player, it is destroyed... they then have to somehow make it worth your while... if they offer their own tech, then they also pay a sizable chunk.


Yes, tech transfer cost is a good idea - it should be more or less depending on how backward they are in that tech line.

It costs both giver and receiver to tech up the receiver.


(in reply to taltamir)
Post #: 30
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