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Great Game but ruins ruin it for me! - 10/25/2013 12:32:16 PM   
slukenwarrior

 

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Greetings!

First of all I have to say that I absolutley love distant worlds (shadows)! I loved Moo2 and now i finally found this!The only thing that really messes things up for me are ruins, specifically superweapons. Imo they really destroy the balance especially in a setting with high research costs.

Being forced to hunt these things down just to be be massively overpowerd instantly or letting the ai have them really ruins the feeling of careful micromanaging and ship designing to get an edge for me. Is there any way (maybe a mod)to get rid of or to balance these? I tried to delete them with the editor before starting to "really play the game" but there just is no way to relyably find them. Any help on this would be much appreciated!
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RE: Great Game but ruins ruin it for me! - 10/25/2013 1:31:08 PM   
elanaagain


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I agree they are quite powerful. I wish the whole 'ruins' aspect of DW was modified to be more like repairing the ancients' derelict/damaged warships - ie taking time and a commitment of a stream of resources to fully unlock the ruin's secrets. However, the uber weapons are also quite expensive and maintenance heavy. I find, in many games, (early on) I don't bother building these weapons because of this.

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RE: Great Game but ruins ruin it for me! - 10/25/2013 3:21:06 PM   
slukenwarrior

 

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they are quit expensive but math wise they are well wort it. that's why finding the death ray still means instant military victory for me. i figured this out after 3 games and i'm playing on the highest difficulty with 1400 stars and without any story events. these things just seem so weird and misplaced

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RE: Great Game but ruins ruin it for me! - 10/25/2013 5:16:31 PM   
Fenrisfil

 

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Yes it is powerful, but there is a work around for the death ray.

For the player it's obvious, just don't use it. For the AI the key is to edit the design templates and change all instances of:

WeaponSuperBeam ;1

to be

WeaponSuperBeam ;0

Then the AI won't use it even if they do find it. These will likely only be set for medium/large space ports, defensive bases and capital ships. Personally I don't find the AI gaining these weapons to be a big issue as they don't have the cunning to tactically abuse it and you can usually overwhelm a death ray carrying station or ship with bombers, smaller ships or long range missiles.

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RE: Great Game but ruins ruin it for me! - 10/25/2013 6:24:33 PM   
Rising-Sun


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When i play i use resupply ships as long exploring trips. If you set this prototype up right, you can go on without fueling for more than ten years. My last game i manage to find three super weapons or half of the galaxy in twenty years.

*Forgot to mention i was playing on 1400 star systems with 6 factions.

Unfort i dont own or planning on buying Shadow Expansion, just dont think its worth it IMO.

Also you can modify the races under the race folder, but dont think it can be change about them finding/using the super weapons.

< Message edited by RisingSun -- 10/25/2013 7:19:47 PM >


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RE: Great Game but ruins ruin it for me! - 10/26/2013 12:39:16 AM   
slukenwarrior

 

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thanks for the hint fenrisfil, but deliberately not to use something in the given framework of a game is just not for me. I might just play stupidly then -it just doesn't feel right. What i dont understand: if we all agree that super weapons are a nuisance why hasn't a crafty modder or matrix itself found a solution yet? I would give it a try myself but i really suck at modding

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RE: Great Game but ruins ruin it for me! - 10/26/2013 11:08:48 AM   
Fenrisfil

 

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You can't mod out super weapons unfortunately. There is no way to turn off ruins or exclude specific ones as part of a mod (Yet! Perhaps after the next "mod friendly" expansion).

So, if you don't want to do the manual self-nerf thing (along with editing AI design templates) there are only really two other options:

1) Change to edit mode right after starting a game and manually track down every ruin and delete them (you could actually replace them with the generic ruin item, which would keep the ruins while avoiding super weapons and special government types). The downside is it will be a real pain to do and you will see where everything in the galaxy is before you start your game (maybe you could do it, then finish your current game and come back and hope you forgot what you saw).

NOTE: If you do this and are doing a pre-warp start, leave the ruins in empire systems alone or else they'll never get warp tech!

2) Edit the race files of factions that don't have special techs and you don't intend to play. You can then give those factions super weapon knowledge at the start of the game and that will make sure you won't end up the only faction with that technology. You could even replace the racial techs and give every race the death ray from the start. This would be a more balanced game, but it would reduce most of the variety. It is also technically the opposite to what you were really after.

< Message edited by Fenrisfil -- 10/26/2013 11:14:30 AM >

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RE: Great Game but ruins ruin it for me! - 10/27/2013 9:23:15 PM   
slukenwarrior

 

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meh, none of this is an really an option. Thanks for you help though m8! Looks like I have to wait until matrixgames fixes this. bummer...

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RE: Great Game but ruins ruin it for me! - 10/28/2013 12:06:17 PM   
Icemania


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quote:

ORIGINAL: slukenwarrior
The only thing that really messes things up for me are ruins, specifically superweapons. Imo they really destroy the balance especially in a setting with high research costs.

Being forced to hunt these things down just to be be massively overpowerd instantly or letting the ai have them really ruins the feeling of careful micromanaging and ship designing to get an edge for me.

I really like the idea of a galaxy filled with ruins that could have a material effect on the game.

In my view the real issue is the AI. The AI is weak in exploring the galaxy so even on the highest difficulty (assuming an otherwise equal start) it's possible to routinely find the vast majority of "super" ruins. As others have already said the AI is also not competent enough to use such weapons effectively.

Now imagine if there was a stronger AI where there was a rush to get the best ruins combined with specific AI routines designed to take advantage of what is found. There really is potential here for some interesting gameplay challenges and variability.

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RE: Great Game but ruins ruin it for me! - 10/28/2013 12:24:49 PM   
Rising-Sun


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quote:

ORIGINAL: Icemania

quote:

ORIGINAL: slukenwarrior
The only thing that really messes things up for me are ruins, specifically superweapons. Imo they really destroy the balance especially in a setting with high research costs.

Being forced to hunt these things down just to be be massively overpowerd instantly or letting the ai have them really ruins the feeling of careful micromanaging and ship designing to get an edge for me.

I really like the idea of a galaxy filled with ruins that could have a material effect on the game.

In my view the real issue is the AI. The AI is weak in exploring the galaxy so even on the highest difficulty (assuming an otherwise equal start) it's possible to routinely find the vast majority of "super" ruins. As others have already said the AI is also not competent enough to use such weapons effectively.

Now imagine if there was a stronger AI where there was a rush to get the best ruins combined with specific AI routines designed to take advantage of what is found. There really is potential here for some interesting gameplay challenges and variability.



I have seen AIs expand and explore like crazy, guess it depending on some situations. Not having enough resources and/or in conflicts with nearby species. Only way i can put it, its vary in different games.

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RE: Great Game but ruins ruin it for me! - 10/28/2013 12:44:05 PM   
Icemania


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I've never seen the AI explore effectively in Distant Worlds i.e. as compared to the approach that I provided a link to, using a large fleet of Explorers (i.e. 50+ on 1400 stars). Could you post an example?


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RE: Great Game but ruins ruin it for me! - 10/28/2013 3:51:02 PM   
Shark7


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quote:

ORIGINAL: Fenrisfil

Yes it is powerful, but there is a work around for the death ray.

For the player it's obvious, just don't use it. For the AI the key is to edit the design templates and change all instances of:

WeaponSuperBeam ;1

to be

WeaponSuperBeam ;0

Then the AI won't use it even if they do find it. These will likely only be set for medium/large space ports, defensive bases and capital ships. Personally I don't find the AI gaining these weapons to be a big issue as they don't have the cunning to tactically abuse it and you can usually overwhelm a death ray carrying station or ship with bombers, smaller ships or long range missiles.



Superbeams aren't really overpowered anyway. They are slow to recharge, and miss a lot. I don't really worry about it. The dangerous weapon is the super area weapon, but it has the drawback of being just as dangerous to allied ships as enemy ships.

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RE: Great Game but ruins ruin it for me! - 10/28/2013 4:18:27 PM   
Fenrisfil

 

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quote:

ORIGINAL: Icemania

I really like the idea of a galaxy filled with ruins that could have a material effect on the game.

In my view the real issue is the AI. The AI is weak in exploring the galaxy so even on the highest difficulty (assuming an otherwise equal start) it's possible to routinely find the vast majority of "super" ruins. As others have already said the AI is also not competent enough to use such weapons effectively.

Now imagine if there was a stronger AI where there was a rush to get the best ruins combined with specific AI routines designed to take advantage of what is found. There really is potential here for some interesting gameplay challenges and variability.



I would agree on exploration to some extent. I play a custom mod and there are a couple of factions that have both very high priority on explore and exploration win conditions. Those factions explore pretty well (one of which, with the hardest exploration win condition managed to keep out ahead of me for exploration % for a good part of the game too). The rest of the races though don't really explore enough at the moment. I am considering upping the exploration priority universally to see if that makes a difference.

Having said that out of the four big discoveries (Super beam, Super area, Way of Ancients and Way of Darkness) I usually find 3/4 of these myself and relatively early on. I also usually get to at least two and often three of super rare resource locations relatively early and that is with 20+ empires in the game. I have had the odd game where I've only found one super weapon and special resource but these are rare.

I think increasing priority of exploration will help but it is a very blunt weapon as it is basically just throwing more exploration ships at the AI, who will still use them poorly. At the moment a human controlled exploration will always beat an AI led one that seems to just follow the pattern of "go to the nearest unexplored object". To be fair you could say similar things with a lot of the AI's tactics.

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RE: Great Game but ruins ruin it for me! - 10/29/2013 11:14:34 AM   
Icemania


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Let us know how you go with increasing exploration priority universally. However, I expect you will still find the vast majority of big discoveries first. I would define "explore pretty well" as games where the spoils are routinely shared amongst many empires.

As we have both stated (I assume you read the post linked previously) we need an AI exploration algorithm upgrade to realise the gameplay potential that ruins could provide. For example, combine this with smarter AI technology trading. I'd love a game where suddenly I'm facing a coalition of bugs trying to exterminate me all armed with super weapons ...

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RE: Great Game but ruins ruin it for me! - 10/29/2013 12:21:44 PM   
Darkspire


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quote:

ORIGINAL: Darkspire

A possible idea.

When the map is generated each system has everything needing exploring within it given a point, be it ruins, planets, 'roids etc that would then give an overall score for that system, a default value as it were. Each time an explorer on auto is choosing a new destination it reads that value if it is less than the default value or equal to but greater than zero than go explore the system. Every time an explorer uncovers something in that system reduce the point value till it reaches zero, once zero is reached the system would be fully explored and then could be ignored when scanning for the next destination. If a creature is there then add a counter so that when scanning for a destination it would check the 'explore score' and the creature counter, if it does retreat from the system after finding a creature then the 'explore score' would cause another explorer to continue there if the creature counter is showing clear, if the creature(s) is wiped out then the creature counter would be cleared.

Darkspire



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RE: Great Game but ruins ruin it for me! - 10/29/2013 12:52:42 PM   
Icemania


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It is an interesting idea Darkspire, I certainly agree with a system that enables the AI to prioritise. That is, so long as the AI only has access to the same information the player has. Also I consider exploration to be split into three waves and in each wave those priorities change drastically.

In the first wave the focus is getting strategic resource supplies to enable explore, expand, exterminate. Those locations should be as close as possible to your homeworld and preferably in only a few systems rather than scattered so they are as defensible as possible. As a result I would fully explore systems at this point. Typically I find 1-1.5 sectors around my homeworld is enough depending on settings. This also reveals the first group of Pirate bases to attack and independents to invade.

In the second wave my priority changes completely. I'm only really interested in ruins, debris fields and planets that could potentially have super luxuries. The bonuses are huge compared to finding resources that I don't need or finding colonisable planets that I don't intend to colonise just yet.

The third wave is exploring everything else.


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RE: Great Game but ruins ruin it for me! - 10/29/2013 1:08:51 PM   
Darkspire


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quote:

ORIGINAL: Icemania

It is an interesting idea Darkspire, I certainly agree with a system that enables the AI to prioritise. That is, so long as the AI only has access to the same information the player has. Also I consider exploration to be split into three waves and in each wave those priorities change drastically.

In the first wave the focus is getting strategic resource supplies to enable explore, expand, exterminate. Those locations should be as close as possible to your homeworld and preferably in only a few systems rather than scattered so they are as defensible as possible. As a result I would fully explore systems at this point. Typically I find 1-1.5 sectors around my homeworld is enough depending on settings. This also reveals the first group of Pirate bases to attack and independents to invade.

In the second wave my priority changes completely. I'm only really interested in ruins, debris fields and planets that could potentially have super luxuries. The bonuses are huge compared to finding resources that I don't need or finding colonisable planets that I don't intend to colonise just yet.

The third wave is exploring everything else.



It would be great to incorporate those suggestions as routines for the AI but it would slow the processing down to a crawl with everything else going on. A simple routine along the lines of what I posted would not be to much extra on the run time routines, the initial values for systems would be set up before the game has even started, once the game is under way it is but a simple check for the values for the explorers, I should imagine not that much different from what processing is already used for the explore routines, maybe less.

Darkspire

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RE: Great Game but ruins ruin it for me! - 10/29/2013 1:35:50 PM   
Icemania


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The first wave and third wave could use your proposal.

In the first wave, it would focus solely on nearby targets.

The second wave would be entered when all systems within ~1 sector have been explored. This check would only involve a handful of calculations and would not need to be frequent. When exploring a system, the AI commands the explorer to progressively move to each target. All I'm just suggesting is to significantly limit those targets (i.e. priorities would be set to 0 except for anything interesting).

The third wave would be entered what all those interesting targets have been found. Again, this check would only involve a handful of calculations and would not need to be frequent.

In short, I don't see how this changes computational complexity. I'm not proposing they solve the Travelling Salesmen Problem.



< Message edited by Icemania -- 10/29/2013 1:38:57 PM >

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RE: Great Game but ruins ruin it for me! - 10/29/2013 1:48:31 PM   
Darkspire


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quote:

ORIGINAL: Icemania

The first wave and third wave could use your proposal.

In the first wave, it would focus solely on nearby targets.

The second wave would be entered when all systems within ~1 sector have been explored. This check would only involve a handful of calculations and would not need to be frequent. When exploring a system, the AI commands the explorer to progressively move to each target. All I'm just suggesting is to significantly limit those targets (i.e. priorities would be set to 0 except for anything interesting).

The third wave would be entered what all those interesting targets have been found. Again, this check would only involve a handful of calculations and would not need to be frequent.

In short, I don't see how this changes computational complexity. I'm not proposing they solve the Travelling Salesmen Problem.



I was pointing out that at each one of your suggestions would require a separate routine, even if processed on a casual basis, the more routines that need accessing means more processing for the program, mine was just a 'one size fits all' routine that I should imagine is not much different from the current, just checking a value.
I never bother with exploration, going back to our old discussion (the one where you kept cutting the legs off your horse), I leave that as an added layer of chance, If I am lucky or not in finding anything useful, would be good if the AI did a better job but it works for me.
If you were going to fix it, use your suggestions as the premier mix and mine for the economy version

Darkspire

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RE: Great Game but ruins ruin it for me! - 10/29/2013 2:30:01 PM   
Icemania


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Yeah in the end I decided to stop cutting the legs off the horse and see how many laps I could win the race by.

Let's hope the GalCiv 3 AI or Distant Worlds 2 AI takes it to another level.

< Message edited by Icemania -- 10/29/2013 2:31:03 PM >

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RE: Great Game but ruins ruin it for me! - 10/29/2013 4:11:28 PM   
Rising-Sun


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My last game around 20+ years, this species manage to travel/explore three or four clicks away from their home world. That pretty good for my point of views, it also depending on how the universe is setup. For example if i set rare earth like or colonizable planets lower than default or the lowest one, would make a different. We all know the AIs is not very bright, i hated how the private sectors planning on their trips.

So i had to get around that problems by building my own resupply ships as explorers and construction ships for resources need in forward areas. You can also mine resources on your State Ships, but need a orbital base above the planet to collect them. The game is tricky and you will have to start over til you get a hang of it.

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RE: Great Game but ruins ruin it for me! - 10/29/2013 4:39:42 PM   
Icemania


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It is possible to find almost all of the key ruins first, every game, on almost any setting (unless you start with other empires more advanced or mature). This is not "pretty good" AI performance.

Can you say more about settings and your approach to exploration? I tend to play 10x10 1400 star maps on expensive research, pre-warp start, extreme difficulty, and find everything of interest by about the 12-15 year mark.

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RE: Great Game but ruins ruin it for me! - 10/29/2013 5:46:40 PM   
Rising-Sun


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I had my research on maxed or very expensive, believe 15x15 is the highest on 1400 maps and i think i had mine on normal difficulty. The difficulty, the higher the easy for AIs to cheat, so you been warned. Yes it is possible to beat hardest difficulty, wont be easy. Make too many mistakes, you ended up in cat litter box.

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RE: Great Game but ruins ruin it for me! - 10/30/2013 11:57:13 AM   
Icemania


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There is nothing remotely challenging about extreme difficulty, but we digress.

If you are going to postulate that the AI is "pretty good" at exploring, some evidence should be presented.


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RE: Great Game but ruins ruin it for me! - 10/30/2013 12:16:12 PM   
Darkspire


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quote:

ORIGINAL: Icemania

There is nothing remotely challenging about extreme difficulty, but we digress.

If you are going to postulate that the AI is "pretty good" at exploring, some evidence should be presented.



You have read way to many of Kayoz's posts, either that or he has a new Padawan

Darkspire

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RE: Great Game but ruins ruin it for me! - 10/30/2013 12:44:54 PM   
Icemania


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quote:

ORIGINAL: Darkspire
You have read way to many of Kayoz's posts, either that or he has a new Padawan



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RE: Great Game but ruins ruin it for me! - 10/30/2013 12:52:01 PM   
Icemania


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Been waiting days for that opportunity!

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RE: Great Game but ruins ruin it for me! - 10/30/2013 2:55:35 PM   
Rising-Sun


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Seem that you take this game too seriously lol.

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RE: Great Game but ruins ruin it for me! - 10/31/2013 10:21:13 AM   
Icemania


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quote:

ORIGINAL: RisingSun

Seem that you take this game too seriously lol.



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RE: Great Game but ruins ruin it for me! - 10/31/2013 10:22:41 AM   
Icemania


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LOL

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