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Exploits in Universe? - 5/3/2014 12:26:27 AM   
Icemania


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Are there any "exploits" that have been given some consideration and improved for Universe?

For example, technology selling has been a topic in this forum for many years and in many threads such as Some Quick Fixes to Improve Game Balance. I understand technology trading can be turned off, but it's a great feature that I'd like to play with in-game. One solution proposed was to further reduce (significantly) the prices i.e. 10 on Extreme but base it on difficulty so maybe on Normal no change for those that want this Exploit like Jeeves. Ideally AI to AI trading is implemented (if it exists I don't notice the impact in-game) but this maybe more difficult. The same concern applies to the prices the AI is prepared to pay with other diplomatic options.

Recovering advanced technology ships that do not even need repair in the early game maybe considering another exploit as it also completely changes the game if you use them (I always retire them). Maybe only small ships should be available? Or given they have been drifting for many years they should require repair with the AI considering it a high priority to repair them?

Another one was Exploiting Shadows Pirates.

I'll leave it to the community to suggest other "exploits", ideally along with implementation solutions that maybe feasible for an Expansion or subsequent Patch.

< Message edited by Icemania -- 5/3/2014 1:31:40 AM >
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RE: Exploits in Universe? - 5/3/2014 8:02:54 AM   
Shark7


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Just in case: I am not being condescending with this reply. So please don't take anything I say the wrong way.

You do realize you can turn off all tech trading in Shadows by not turning the 'Allow Tech Trading' option on? Or do what I do and simply don't take advantage of it.

And I don't retire the advanced tech ships for the simple reason that if an AI empire finds it first, they get to keep and use it, so it really just comes down to who finds it first. I've also had the AI empires manage to steal them from me (they tend to target those for boarding).

As for the Pirate exploits, I'll take your word for it. I honestly never try that hard to use exploits, just seems to be more work than its worth, especially in a SP game.

I guess it really comes down to a point of view as to whether or not anything you can do in the game is really an exploit.

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RE: Exploits in Universe? - 5/3/2014 8:17:29 AM   
Icemania


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Turning a feature off because it's broken is obviously not a fix. Technology trading is a key part of any complete Space 4X and the solution proposed would not be difficult to implement.

Indeed many moons ago you had a good idea with respect to technology trading that I've repeated a few times but unfortunately it has been ignored by the Developers:

quote:

ORIGINAL: Shark7
One suggestion I might make is that the only way you can trade techs, bases, planets, etc is if you have an MDP with the empire you are wanting to trade with. This I think would curb a lot of the problems. Trading your technology should be something you do with only the most trusted of allies.

In fact, here is exactly how I would do it:

Tech trading criteria:

* must have MDP agreement
* for techs 2 levels or lower than current, relations at +75 or higher
* for techs 1 level less than current, relations at +90 or higher
* for equal level or advanced techs, relations at +100 or higher
* for special techs, relations at +125 or higher


Combine what you proposed with reducing the prices and we would have a vast improvement and actually be able to play with technology trading.


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RE: Exploits in Universe? - 5/3/2014 1:29:37 PM   
Osito


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quote:

ORIGINAL: Icemania

Turning a feature off because it's broken is obviously not a fix. Technology trading is a key part of any complete Space 4X and the solution proposed would not be difficult to implement.

Indeed many moons ago you had a good idea with respect to technology trading that I've repeated a few times but unfortunately it has been ignored by the Developers:

quote:

ORIGINAL: Shark7
One suggestion I might make is that the only way you can trade techs, bases, planets, etc is if you have an MDP with the empire you are wanting to trade with. This I think would curb a lot of the problems. Trading your technology should be something you do with only the most trusted of allies.

In fact, here is exactly how I would do it:

Tech trading criteria:

* must have MDP agreement
* for techs 2 levels or lower than current, relations at +75 or higher
* for techs 1 level less than current, relations at +90 or higher
* for equal level or advanced techs, relations at +100 or higher
* for special techs, relations at +125 or higher


Combine what you proposed with reducing the prices and we would have a vast improvement and actually be able to play with technology trading.




That does look like a reasonable fix, actually. I'm not sure whether reducing price is really a fix, because it just makes the techs more easily affordable, but perhaps in tandem with Shark's proposal it would work. I suppose I'd most like to see a system where tech trading is difficult, but possible, and Shark's proposal might achieve that.

I don't personally have a problem with getting tech through ship retirement, but that's probably because I don't explore aggressively enough, which means that I hardly ever find free large ships. Perhaps this will be fixable by modding in Universe.

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RE: Exploits in Universe? - 5/3/2014 2:47:31 PM   
Shark7


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Another thing that would help and make it feel less exploitable would be to remove all relation gains from tech trading. I do think that giving the AI empires a tech they don't have at a bargain basement price is on the line when it comes to exploits. After all, you can 'gift' them a tech by offering it for 100 credits and get a huge relations bonus.

That is why I proposed the fix you reposted here in the first place. By making it so that you have to have excellent relations to trade in the first place completely removes any relations gain exploitability.

Maybe for DW2?

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RE: Exploits in Universe? - 5/3/2014 3:26:59 PM   
ASHBERY76


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My solution is to get rid of tech trading and replace it with the CIV5 style research treaty.The A.I does not understand strategic thinking.

The big exploit with this game economy is selling techs for cash to quickly get you out of trouble.The diplomacy system is pretty terrible in this game.Selling mining stations and getting into war for cash is sooo easily exploitable when you can get peace 5 mins later with no consequence.At this stage we might as well forget about DW1 ever being a 4x solid game in the diplomatic side of the game.

< Message edited by ASHBERY76 -- 5/3/2014 4:27:51 PM >


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RE: Exploits in Universe? - 5/3/2014 4:11:00 PM   
Fishers of Men


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I agree, ASHBERY76. I don't believe there are any diplomatic improvements for Universe because we are at the end of DW's life cycle after this expansion. I am hoping a maximum effort will be put into a complex diplomatic system that really works, in the release of Distant Worlds 2. In my opinion, it is the weakest part of DW, and has gotten this least amount of attention through out all expansions.

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RE: Exploits in Universe? - 5/4/2014 2:59:00 AM   
Icemania


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quote:

ORIGINAL: Osito
That does look like a reasonable fix, actually. I'm not sure whether reducing price is really a fix, because it just makes the techs more easily affordable, but perhaps in tandem with Shark's proposal it would work.

The idea was to reduce only the prices that I would see as the human player when selling technology (at least for higher difficulties). When the human player is buying technology, the prices could stay as they are i.e. expensive. Whilst not ideal, it would be relatively simple to implement. It could be extended to the selling of mining bases, research stations and so on easily enough as well.

Shark's idea is also an extension based on existing mechanics, rather than a redesign i.e. add conditions for when technology trading is allowed.

The fundamental changes in mechanics suggested by others would need to wait for Distant Worlds 2.

Maybe I'll have to do an AAR to show how these exploits can be used to consistently win on settings where it really should be impossible to win (if you survive the first 5 minutes that is).




< Message edited by Icemania -- 5/4/2014 3:59:31 AM >

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RE: Exploits in Universe? - 5/4/2014 9:07:05 AM   
Osito


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quote:

ORIGINAL: Icemania

The idea was to reduce only the prices that I would see as the human player when selling technology (at least for higher difficulties). When the human player is buying technology, the prices could stay as they are i.e. expensive.



Ok, I see, I hadn't appreciated it would be asymmetrical.

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RE: Exploits in Universe? - 6/15/2014 5:11:50 PM   
BlueTemplar


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quote:

ORIGINAL: Icemania

Turning a feature off because it's broken is obviously not a fix. Technology trading is a key part of any complete Space 4X... [and the solution proposed would not be difficult to implement.]

... and it breaks game balance in every single of them that I've played. It's just too powerful : several players pooling their research efforts together generally run away with the game.

That's probably why Sword of the Stars 1 doesn't have it : you can instead create a Science Mission to teach the other player the link to a tech that played failed to roll (the tech tree is randomized for most techs). But you have to pay about the tech cost to do it, the process is slow and cannot be speeded up, and that player then needs to research that tech himself. And if you are of a different race, you need to go quite high in the Xenotech Tree of his race to be able to do that Science Mission in the first place.

So, this is more than an AI issue... of course AI stupidity compounds the problem when it doesn't realize the real worth that these techs actually have.

Endless Space fares rather well there, as the AI in my experience will only accept deals that are overall pretty unfavorable to the player. Though playing tech broker makes even these unfavorable deals quite lucrative, when you can buy a tech from one Ai empire, then resell it to 3-6 other empires.

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RE: Exploits in Universe? - 6/15/2014 5:40:34 PM   
Shark7


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quote:

ORIGINAL: BlueTemplar

quote:

ORIGINAL: Icemania

Turning a feature off because it's broken is obviously not a fix. Technology trading is a key part of any complete Space 4X... [and the solution proposed would not be difficult to implement.]

... and it breaks game balance in every single of them that I've played. It's just too powerful : several players pooling their research efforts together generally run away with the game.

That's probably why Sword of the Stars 1 doesn't have it : you can instead create a Science Mission to teach the other player the link to a tech that played failed to roll (the tech tree is randomized for most techs). But you have to pay about the tech cost to do it, the process is slow and cannot be speeded up, and that player then needs to research that tech himself. And if you are of a different race, you need to go quite high in the Xenotech Tree of his race to be able to do that Science Mission in the first place.

So, this is more than an AI issue... of course AI stupidity compounds the problem when it doesn't realize the real worth that these techs actually have.

Endless Space fares rather well there, as the AI in my experience will only accept deals that are overall pretty unfavorable to the player. Though playing tech broker makes even these unfavorable deals quite lucrative, when you can buy a tech from one Ai empire, then resell it to 3-6 other empires.


Would it not be better to trade the 'data' of an item, but the empire that buys it still has to do the research themselves? That way, even the race specific tech could be traded, but you don't just magically get working components.

Besides RP'ing just a bit, you'd need to adapt alien technology to work with your systems anyway, requiring a bit of reverse engineering (research) to get it working properly on your ships.

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RE: Exploits in Universe? - 6/16/2014 12:29:06 AM   
ldog

 

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I don't see why everyone thinks it is such a huge exploit. Sure you can make an assload of money off it. On the other hand you are giving away tech advantage.
Yes, even that "useless" tech you sell them helps them since it may still be on the road to better or it might be something they still would have wasted their own research on so now they might actually research something useful.

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RE: Exploits in Universe? - 6/16/2014 1:23:03 AM   
Tcby


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You use that money to build mega fleets, crash research, win. The AI no longer has that mega money, and so cannot do the same. It means you can have a very unbalanced economy because you don't need to be making money yourself.

If I was given the option of being 1 tech behind, but $200,000 ahead, I would choose the money.

< Message edited by Tcby -- 6/16/2014 4:26:27 AM >

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RE: Exploits in Universe? - 6/16/2014 3:18:32 AM   
MartialDoctor


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It's not only the tech trading that is exploitable. Basically, anything in the diplomacy area is ridiculously overpriced. I rarely go into the diplomacy window since it is useless to even try to negotiate anything.

You can sell disputable mining bases for around the price of 1,000,000 or more. Remember that these bases only cost a few thousand credits to build. Also, they will never bring back even close to 1,000,000 credits in resources.

I've seen races willing to give me more than 3,000,000 to enter into a war they were in. Credit wise, think about how many ships you can buy with that! If it's in the beginning of the game, you could create massive fleets and completely wipe the other AI out with it.

Techs themselves are highly overpriced, just in general.

It goes the other way as well. Trying to negotiate a peace treaty is useless. In my last game, the AI wanted me to give them more than 1,000,000 to stop a war at the very beginning of the game. If I had 1,000,000 credits, I could have taken over his entire empire

As has been stated, the diplomacy area in this game is one which really could use massive changes. In my opinion, everything is overpriced about 5x - 10x what they should be.

< Message edited by MartialDoctor -- 6/16/2014 4:20:25 AM >

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RE: Exploits in Universe? - 6/16/2014 3:35:01 AM   
Wanabe


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Got a couple of these I'll copy and paste from my "wishlist". I agree with MartialDoctor in that most of the diplomacy options are valued far far too highly.

"When someone declares war on your ally and they ask for help, you can avoid having to make a choice by going to the diplomacy screen and having a conversation with any other race.

If you offer the same amount of money from both sides in the diplo screen (IE I give you 100K, you give me 100K) and click accept you can gain reputation for it. (Our past dealings have been good)

AI currently overvalues trade sanctions and it can be quite abusable for tech/money etc. I believe it also overvalues "Disputed bases" by a large margin, these bases are usually worth millions to the AI and they're not neccessarily on any particularly super awesome resource. Disputed Base value should lower signifigantly if its shields isn't at 100% or it has damaged components (prevents trading bases about to be destroyed being traded for quick cash)"

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RE: Exploits in Universe? - 6/16/2014 12:17:40 PM   
Icemania


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Glad to see this thread continuing!

Diplomacy exploits are even worse than the 0% tax exploit that has recently been fixed. At least with the 0% tax exploit it took a while before you could dominate ... but if you exploit Diplomacy the game is over in a few years ... and that applies on almost any setting. There is no strategic choice ... because the player can fund everything in parallel.

I partly did the AAR below to show how unbalanced it was ... and I only use technology selling i.e. without exploiting trade sanctions etc.

Extreme Difficulty Universe After Action Report

< Message edited by Icemania -- 6/16/2014 1:21:31 PM >

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RE: Exploits in Universe? - 6/16/2014 7:00:40 PM   
jRides

 

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I like the fact there is tech trading, also that you can become a tech broker, but agree that because the player is the only one that really does it its more of an exploit than a useful tool.

Shark7s pre-requisites for tech deals is good but i would take it a step further and maybe something along the lines of HoI - instead of buying/selling the tech would it not be better to buy/sell 'blueprints' and what they do is basically give the tech a crash flag, so while you would still need to research the tech yourself your buying/selling the crash research (3x speed) for specific techs - which you can do anyway, but at lower techs the price is nowhere near the costs involved when you get to endgame techs, brokering deals to save yourself or allies some costs involved there would still be beneficial but nowhere near as powerful as it is now.

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RE: Exploits in Universe? - 6/16/2014 7:15:51 PM   
Tehlongone


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I agree with jRides's suggestion. Doesn't the AI sell an occasional tech though? I usually leave it on and then never ever sell a tech, assuming the AI might benefit from the option.

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RE: Exploits in Universe? - 6/16/2014 7:50:49 PM   
Bingeling

 

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Since the AI offers to sell tech when you got cash, I guess they do some transactions between them.

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