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Distribution of Starting Positions

 
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Distribution of Starting Positions - 5/11/2012 7:44:28 PM   
Cauldyth

 

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Maybe this has already been discussed (or maybe even I already brought this up?), but the one thing that still drives me batty about the galaxy setup in Distant Worlds is the distribution of starting positions. It's a matter of personal taste perhaps, but I always prefer my 4X setups to have uniformly distributed starting positions for all players. This seems to be standard in most games, but I can't seem to figure out how to achieve it in Distant Worlds. Am I missing something obvious?

The setup allows you to specify how far from you the various races start, but not how far from each other. I did an experiment where I just kept restarting the game and then looking in the editor to see the distribution of starting positions. There seems to be huge variability in how close players start to each other. I would guess that close proximity between two AI empires will severely limit both of them.

After doing this experiment repeatedly, I desperately want to sit down and write my own starting position code which simply does the following:

  • Start with a 2D distribution of N stars in which I need to place M players.
  • Do a K-means clustering of the N stars into M clusters.
  • Take the star system representing the centroid of each cluster, transform it into the homeworld for one of the races, and stick the race there.

Sorry, pet peeve of mine.
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RE: Distribution of Starting Positions - 5/13/2012 2:58:31 AM   
jpwrunyan


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I think if two ai empires are limited by being too close together this is a problem. But it should be possible for adjacent empires to thrive via trade and shared research. Now obviously if the empires go to war they will both suffer. I am simply saying that two friendly empires adjacent to each other should actually have advantages offsetting potential colony limitation.

If this isnt happening then I agree that better starting positions would improve the game.

(in reply to Cauldyth)
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RE: Distribution of Starting Positions - 5/13/2012 3:58:05 PM   
Shark7


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Try starting a game with 2 empires in the same system...happened to me before. Hasn't happened in a while though, so hopefully that is fixed.

_____________________________

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'When in doubt...attack!'

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RE: Distribution of Starting Positions - 5/14/2012 7:34:13 AM   
jpwrunyan


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I have tried having two empires in the same system. My own and another. It doesnt work. The other empire is moved to a nearby star.

Unless you mean two other empires, in which case how do you do that?

(in reply to Shark7)
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RE: Distribution of Starting Positions - 5/14/2012 1:11:31 PM   
Cauldyth

 

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I think with some of the new features in Legends, having two AIs start very close to each other will severely limit both of them. Even if they have different native world types, the colony influence mechanic will cause them to constantly get in each other's way. Colonies grabbed by one empire will then block the other empire from expanding because all nearby systems suddenly become off-limits. Combine that with the max colonization range, and you could easily imagine one (or maybe even both) of the empires being unable to continue expanding.

(in reply to jpwrunyan)
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RE: Distribution of Starting Positions - 5/14/2012 4:35:53 PM   
Shark7


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quote:

ORIGINAL: jpwrunyan

I have tried having two empires in the same system. My own and another. It doesnt work. The other empire is moved to a nearby star.

Unless you mean two other empires, in which case how do you do that?


No, in the original game I started with another empire's home planet in my home planet system. It didn't get moved. War ensued.

_____________________________

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'When in doubt...attack!'

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RE: Distribution of Starting Positions - 5/15/2012 4:00:58 AM   
jpwrunyan


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Did you specify to have it there when you set up the game or did it get placed there by chance?
I have started in the same system with another empire by chance but whenever I actually tell the game to start me in the same system with another empire during setup, it does not.

Back to main topic:
If ai empires in the same system started out with mutual mining rights, the conflicting influence spheres would be less an issue. Even if not, the lesser empire should be able to use money it saves from not building nearby mining stations and escorts to buy resources from the other empire. This should encourage both to have a trade agreement which would further benefit them. Colony availability is still an issue of course.

Side note: it would be cool if a bigger empire could engulf a smaller one eventually during the game. Colonies already do this if they are small enough. But if there were a way for a bigger empire to dominate and engulf a smaller empire economically it would make the game far more interesting. Just an idle thought.

(in reply to Shark7)
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RE: Distribution of Starting Positions - 5/15/2012 12:53:16 PM   
tjhkkr


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quote:

ORIGINAL: Shark7
Try starting a game with 2 empires in the same system...happened to me before. Hasn't happened in a while though, so hopefully that is fixed.


That sounds like that could be both fun but at the same time, lead to a very short game, or a game where you start enormously wounded.


_____________________________

Remember that the evil which is now in the world will become yet more powerful, and that it is not evil which conquers evil, but only love -- Olga Romanov.

(in reply to Shark7)
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