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Taking enemy homeworlds way too easy? - 12/29/2010 9:04:26 PM   
caerr

 

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I present to you as the primary case the Mechanoid Empire. While they have quite powerful defences you only need to get one transport to reach their planet, and then it's game over. Instant surrender, all their stuff belong to me now. The same goes for other empires more or less, since without their homeworld they're unlikely to have enough income to field large fleets and armies.

The problem is that base defences, even if formidable, share their firepower between enemy ships, and if you have large enough fleet the defences become totally incapable of stopping troop transports, which should be their top priority. I can think of a few solutions.

1) Focus fire
Reprogram the targetting AI so that it knows to prioritize on troop ships on invade missions.

2) Area weapons
Add lots, and I mean lots of area damage weapons to the homeworld starbase design. The only way to reliably stop incoming troop ships atm.

3) Improved planetary shields
Give the planetary shield ability to block troop invasions until certain conditions are met. Say, give the shield some hitpoints and you need to bombard it until troops can pass.

4) Slow-mo field
A new planetary facility or starbase component, that would greatly slow down incoming enemy ships, giving defenders more time to deal with the threat.

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RE: Taking enemy homeworlds way too easy? - 12/29/2010 9:25:43 PM   
Sithuk

 

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Absolutely agree with caerr. I was on the cusp on posting something very similar.

I've been playing RoTS intensely over the hols. Once I get a task force together and take the first HW, I just keep steam rollering over the rest one by one. Troop transports must no longer be able to simply walk past starbases.

What about a massive bonus being given to defenders from units left in orbit? I like the idea of having to take down starbases before any invasion is possible.

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RE: Taking enemy homeworlds way too easy? - 12/29/2010 10:21:01 PM   
BigWolf


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Another problem is, the AI simply don't defend well
Even if you don't have the desire to land troops, you can decimate a AI home system with 2 or 3 fleets

Some form of automatic planetary defence is needed
Far example, for every 200M Population, the planet will generate a surface weapons platform with a single laser based on the latest laser technology (all automatic... or even give the player to choose which weapon a planet uses)
The priority for these would be transports and any ships actually bombarding the planet, only after those it attacks other ships

Also, it would make sense that for each XM population, militia automatically forms up whenever an invasion is taking place (don't know if this mechanic is already present or not)
The above two together means it would talk a hell of a force to take out a homeworld, while small colonies will still remain pretty easy depending on defensive bases and ships


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RE: Taking enemy homeworlds way too easy? - 12/29/2010 10:23:56 PM   
diablo1

 

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So the ai sucks more or less? Well you won't find that in X3 Universe as the Xenon come at you with destroyers very early in the game. I've lost everything in systems bordering them. I'm glad some of you are honest and really tell what this game is like. I was fixing to buy it but I think I shall wait much longer now until they create a challenging ai like X3:Terran universe.

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RE: Taking enemy homeworlds way too easy? - 12/29/2010 10:25:56 PM   
ASHBERY76


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I make it a house rule to take an A.I's homeworld last.To be fair it does try to build defences and troops.

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RE: Taking enemy homeworlds way too easy? - 12/29/2010 10:29:57 PM   
forsaken1111

 

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quote:

ORIGINAL: diablo1

So the ai sucks more or less? Well you won't find that in X3 Universe as the Xenon come at you with destroyers very early in the game. I've lost everything in systems bordering them. I'm glad some of you are honest and really tell what this game is like. I was fixing to buy it but I think I shall wait much longer now until they create a challenging ai like X3:Terran universe.

Seriously, please stop trying to promote your crappy game on our forum.

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RE: Taking enemy homeworlds way too easy? - 12/29/2010 10:41:39 PM   
caerr

 

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I think the one militia per 1000 million pop is already in the game, but I'm not sure how it works. They don't all show up at invasion time, that's for sure. They're either more of a ghost army or they trickle in as the invasion progresses. I like the automatic defences thing, trying to take a homeworld should be a risky affair. One that you tackle after all other resistance has fallen.

Well in X3, I managed to destroy a capital ship with a fighter, how's that for AI.

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RE: Taking enemy homeworlds way too easy? - 12/29/2010 10:50:11 PM   
diablo1

 

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quote:

Well in X3, I managed to destroy a capital ship with a fighter, how's that for AI


Sure you did sure you did.

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RE: Taking enemy homeworlds way too easy? - 12/29/2010 10:59:22 PM   
caerr

 

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Or should I mention the numerous times my ship autopilot has crash landed me on an asteroid. Or perhaps my brand new capital ship exploding while trying to undock from a shipyard. Not to mention the AI totally stops responding if there's too much stuff on the screen. I still love it though, just like I love DW!

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RE: Taking enemy homeworlds way too easy? - 12/29/2010 11:00:55 PM   
forsaken1111

 

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quote:

ORIGINAL: caerr

Or should I mention the numerous times my ship autopilot has crash landed me on an asteroid. Or perhaps my brand new capital ship exploding while trying to undock from a shipyard. Not to mention the AI totally stops responding if there's too much stuff on the screen. I still love it though, just like I love DW!

You forgot visiting a system before you're supposed to, thus breaking the campaign script and causing the whole storyline to cease.

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RE: Taking enemy homeworlds way too easy? - 12/29/2010 11:02:09 PM   
lordxorn


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Yeah let's put this X3 to bed, it is a great game with a sorry excuse for a campaign. (Still not even close to the classic in that genre which is Freelancer)

Distant Worlds is a great 4x, that still needs work and just had a patch 4 days ago. (Is considered by many to be as good as the classic in this genre which is MOO 1+2)





< Message edited by lordxorn -- 12/29/2010 11:03:06 PM >


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RE: Taking enemy homeworlds way too easy? - 12/29/2010 11:20:40 PM   
PDiFolco

 

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quote:

ORIGINAL: caerr

I think the one militia per 1000 million pop is already in the game, but I'm not sure how it works. They don't all show up at invasion time, that's for sure. They're either more of a ghost army or they trickle in as the invasion progresses. I like the automatic defences thing, trying to take a homeworld should be a risky affair. One that you tackle after all other resistance has fallen.

Well in X3, I managed to destroy a capital ship with a fighter, how's that for AI.

1 troop for 1000 million pop (!!) is a joke, given a basic transport can hold 8 of them...We need like 50 times more!

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RE: Taking enemy homeworlds way too easy? - 12/29/2010 11:26:42 PM   
WoodMan


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I'm sure if we get the message through Elliot will improve it.  Is this using the latest beta patch?  One of the changes was the Mechanoids better defend their homeworld with more troops, if you don't think its good enough, post over in that thread.  Its a beta patch, if one of the changes isn't working to your satisfaction mention it, hopefully then it will be fixed before the official release of the patch.

Also, it may be worth mentioning your own troop defense strategies, if you want the AI to play like you and defend as well as you do, its probably best to actually mention what it is that you do that is better than the AI, how many troops you use etc. Remember depending on the start conditions though your strategies may be different to others who play on harsher starting conditions (less money).

< Message edited by WoodMan -- 12/29/2010 11:30:14 PM >


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RE: Taking enemy homeworlds way too easy? - 12/29/2010 11:37:56 PM   
nammafia

 

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Like most players, I also agree that it is too easy to take over home planet and planets with star base and defend stations.  Star bases and stations must have destroying troop transports and troop carrying ships as its highest priority. 

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RE: Taking enemy homeworlds way too easy? - 12/30/2010 12:41:14 AM   
caerr

 

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quote:

ORIGINAL: WoodMan
I'm sure if we get the message through Elliot will improve it.  Is this using the latest beta patch?  One of the changes was the Mechanoids better defend their homeworld with more troops, if you don't think its good enough, post over in that thread.  Its a beta patch, if one of the changes isn't working to your satisfaction mention it, hopefully then it will be fixed before the official release of the patch.

Also, it may be worth mentioning your own troop defense strategies, if you want the AI to play like you and defend as well as you do, its probably best to actually mention what it is that you do that is better than the AI, how many troops you use etc. Remember depending on the start conditions though your strategies may be different to others who play on harsher starting conditions (less money).


Yes, this is the beta patch. This is how it went.


  • I warp in my fleet and make sure the transport ship is lagging behind my attack ships, which is no problem because it's naturally slower than the rest of the fleet.
  • I get harassed by the defending fleet, none of them pay any attention to the transport ship.
  • Once I reach the planetary defences I start to suffer major losses, however the transport ships slowly creeps its way, past the defences which neglect the ship entirely, to the planet.
  • My fleet gets entirely wiped out and moments later the troops hoist my flag on the planet.


Even under the current game mechanics, the enemy had ample opporturnity to foil my invasion but did not take it.

I don't think increasing the number of defending troops is solely the answer, the problem is that transport ships are too easily able to land on even well defended planets.

As to troop strategies, the troop management AI doesn't cut it. Especially for the weaker races you need a large surplus of troops, since they will be dying a lot until you can get some decent cloning going on.

As a defender I practice what I preach. ;) I control the battle manually and focus fire on the transport ships. Of course I can't be there all the time, so sometimes a transport slips through and I lose a planet. A best way to win an invasion is to prevent it from happening in the first place.




< Message edited by caerr -- 12/30/2010 12:42:52 AM >

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RE: Taking enemy homeworlds way too easy? - 12/30/2010 12:44:49 AM   
forsaken1111

 

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Of course if they simply make everything target troop transports first then I can design a decoy 'troop transport' with massive shields and armor and they'll all shoot at it while my fleet shreds them.

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RE: Taking enemy homeworlds way too easy? - 12/30/2010 12:50:18 AM   
caerr

 

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I did think that, but luckily the game has ship scanner component now, and the AI could deduct that there are no troops on board and ignore it.

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RE: Taking enemy homeworlds way too easy? - 12/30/2010 12:58:24 AM   
Erik Rutins

 

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Hi everyone,

Elliot will have to chime in too, but I expect that improving the AI's defense of its home worlds will not be a problem. It does try to defend its homeworld, but if you time it right there are certainly moments where its defense is weaker than it should be due to fleets being absent and/or troops being recruited while others were loaded and sent out on ships.

I think the AI in ROTS does do a better job overall than the original Distant Worlds AI, but there's always room for improvement.

Diablo1, this forum is for discussion of Distant Worlds. The general discussion forum is for other games. Your posts come very close to the definition of trolling, consider yourself warned.

Everyone else, please keep your posts and responses civil.

Regards,

- Erik

< Message edited by Erik Rutins -- 12/30/2010 1:00:07 AM >


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RE: Taking enemy homeworlds way too easy? - 12/30/2010 1:21:21 AM   
feygan

 

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I don't think too often it's just a case of the ai not bothering to have enough troops for just the homeworld but an overall shortage. It will recruit troops to go off on an invasion but not leave enough in researve to defend. I often take homeworlds with a decoy, I will invade a weaker world of little importance, the ai then gets lots of troops ready to retake the planet, as soon as I see the ships getting close I then send off my invasion force and find their homeworld with hardly any troops left on there.

For me this is the biggest issue in that the ai is too frugal with the amount of troops it recruits. I do realise that large amounts of troops do cost alot to maintain, but there should be a margin of error involved rather than what it seems to be is "ok troops cost lots so I don't want them hogging my money sitting about drinking, I need 6 for that invasion so I will just build 6"

In my own empires I tend to always have at least 10 on my homeworld then 5 on specific well developed worlds with 3 on new ones on the empire edge, this costs alot to upkeep but does mean i don't get caught off guard. I', not suggesting that should be how many the ai builds but just that it should think in a similar way.

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RE: Taking enemy homeworlds way too easy? - 12/30/2010 1:22:48 AM   
EisenHammer


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I think Number 3 would fixed the problem.

3) Improved planetary shields
Give the planetary shield ability to block troop invasions until certain conditions are met. Say, give the shield some hitpoints and you need to bombard it until troops can pass.

And also maybe adding fighters and missile bases to planets.

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RE: Taking enemy homeworlds way too easy? - 12/30/2010 1:25:35 AM   
hewwo

 

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I was just thinking about this issue...

I think my preferred solution would be to have defence platforms, space ports, etc. prioritise incoming troop transports. This gives building space structures an added strategic aspect over just having a lot of fleets to act as mobile planet defences. Partially solves the problem AND adds an interesting gameplay mechanic!

Also, 1 troop per 1 billion people is probably to little. But don't make it much more... and the contribution of militia should somehow be seen in the planet window. For instance, have a different icon or the same icon with a different colour.

< Message edited by hewwo -- 12/30/2010 1:28:30 AM >

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RE: Taking enemy homeworlds way too easy? - 12/30/2010 1:36:18 AM   
hal9000


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the planetary shield could prevent troop transports from landing, so you would have to deplete it first. or there could be a planetary flak network which has a 50% chance of killing incoming troops, so you could either mass aussault and accept heavy losses or take your time and destroy the flaks but suffer your losses in space.
the orbital stations could also stay in the defenders hands for e.g. 30sek after the successful invasion.

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RE: Taking enemy homeworlds way too easy? - 12/30/2010 1:47:12 AM   
hewwo

 

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quote:

ORIGINAL: hal9000

the planetary shield could prevent troop transports from landing, so you would have to deplete it first.



Nice idea, but it would be cool if it was something you could research and build instead of having it as default. On the other hand, if you have to build it that kind of defeats the purpose of what were discussing here...

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RE: Taking enemy homeworlds way too easy? - 12/30/2010 1:55:48 AM   
hal9000


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quote:

ORIGINAL: hewwo

Nice idea, but it would be cool if it was something you could research and build instead of having it as default. On the other hand, if you have to build it that kind of defeats the purpose of what were discussing here...


could be early in the tech tree, so you can build it before the first invasions happen and could be expensive enough that you just want to afford it one your main worlds

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RE: Taking enemy homeworlds way too easy? - 12/30/2010 2:03:59 AM   
BigWolf


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Perhaps preventing troops landing while a space port is present may help?
Of course space ports are too easy to take down as well...

I think this issue is going to one of those that's a complete bitch to balance right lol


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RE: Taking enemy homeworlds way too easy? - 12/30/2010 2:08:24 AM   
BigWolf


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quote:

ORIGINAL: hal9000

the planetary shield could prevent troop transports from landing, so you would have to deplete it first. or there could be a planetary flak network which has a 50% chance of killing incoming troops, so you could either mass aussault and accept heavy losses or take your time and destroy the flaks but suffer your losses in space.
the orbital stations could also stay in the defenders hands for e.g. 30sek after the successful invasion.


Spotted this after posting, but I do like this idea
Expand it, for that the higher the local population (and bases) the higher the change
So a lightly populated planet with no bases would have basically zero chance of killing incoming troops
Whereas a heavily populated one with a few bases would have a 80% change of killing each troop before landing
Probably needs more thought for better balance, but it could be worth looking into

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RE: Taking enemy homeworlds way too easy? - 12/30/2010 2:25:39 AM   
hal9000


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quote:

ORIGINAL: BigWolf

Spotted this after posting, but I do like this idea
Expand it, for that the higher the local population (and bases) the higher the change
So a lightly populated planet with no bases would have basically zero chance of killing incoming troops
Whereas a heavily populated one with a few bases would have a 80% change of killing each troop before landing
Probably needs more thought for better balance, but it could be worth looking into


just make it moddable, so everyone can balance it like he wishes :)

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RE: Taking enemy homeworlds way too easy? - 12/30/2010 4:00:58 AM   
Shark7


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quote:

ORIGINAL: Erik Rutins

Hi everyone,

Elliot will have to chime in too, but I expect that improving the AI's defense of its home worlds will not be a problem. It does try to defend its homeworld, but if you time it right there are certainly moments where its defense is weaker than it should be due to fleets being absent and/or troops being recruited while others were loaded and sent out on ships.

I think the AI in ROTS does do a better job overall than the original Distant Worlds AI, but there's always room for improvement.

Diablo1, this forum is for discussion of Distant Worlds. The general discussion forum is for other games. Your posts come very close to the definition of trolling, consider yourself warned.

Everyone else, please keep your posts and responses civil.

Regards,

- Erik


Erik, perhaps it would be best to have the AI assign a fleet of no fewer than X ships to always be on station at the home planet. Or you could even code it to use 10% of empire fleet firepower (for example), assigned to defend the home planet.

I realize that 'he who defends everything defends nothing.' However, he who attacks everything defends nothing just the same.

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RE: Taking enemy homeworlds way too easy? - 12/30/2010 5:00:13 AM   
kenata

 

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Wow there are a lot of good suggestions in this thread. Honestly, as far as simply taking any world is concerned, I think that a sneaky troop transport should never be a good option unless a colony is small and completely defenseless. As for large population worlds, like a former independent colony or a home world, I think that these hurtles will only delay a player and does nothing to curtail the overwhelming advantage gained from their capture. In most games, I have played I usually bum rush my closest neighbors home world with all the might I can muster, since taking this world will usually mean that my opponent will instantly become subjugated and I will get at least a 33-50% bonus to my income. Since taking the world has few, if any, negatives either for my worlds or the capture world (after the war is over at least) , I can build a small medical/recreational starbase and start cranking up the taxation. This kind of incentive makes any hurtles to getting the world almost meaningless. I think that it might be interesting if conquered worlds had a happiness penalty based on size for being captured, and depending on your race, your own worlds got a happiness penalty based on the conquered populations. This would help balance out the benefits of conquest. This could also incentivize bombarding planets to manage the size of conquered populations. Right now, there is just no good reason to bombard a planet since it basically wrecks the planet so I can't just rape it of its resources and people.

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RE: Taking enemy homeworlds way too easy? - 12/30/2010 6:43:06 AM   
Nibelung44


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Simple rules are the best, as the AI can cope with them...

- no invasion if a base is present on a planet
- militias generated, for AI only, is one per 200 millions not one per billion or whatever (make the militias cost free). Also the variable should be available to modders, we are in 2010, not 2000.

Ideally, the planetary shield should have hit points and prevent landing too.

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