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Frustrations with the game - 3/22/2021 11:05:53 AM   
Beorn

 

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I am posting here for two separate reasons. One, hopefully to get answers so as to be able to enjoy the game. But also to communicate the difficulties faced by a newcomer, in the hope that these things can be made more accessible in Distant Worlds 2.

So I have started a fresh game, and I am getting a message that "Construction at Jomos Station is stalled due to shortages of the following resources:Helium, Gold."

1) So I use F10 to open construction yards, and there is no "Jomos Station" listed. There is "Jomos 5 Spaceport" and Jomos 5." Why would the warning message use a different name for the location than the construction yard list uses?

2) I check the building queue for each of the two Jomos locations, and find that there is one item -- a construction ship is waiting to be constructed at Jomos Station. I assume that that is the stalled item?

3) So I go to check the resources needed to build a construction ship. I know of no better place than ship design. Is there a better source for this information, because when I go there, it is all pretty vague. I see components listed, but I see no way to get a list of what resources are needed per component (there is a nice popup when researchers invent a component, but I cannot find a way to access that information later on). And certainly no way to get the totals for the construction ship as currently configured.

4) Worse, in yellow at the top of the the page for building the construction ship, I am warned that my empire has no access to two required resources: Silicon and Helium. WHAT? So has the game changed its mind and I lack Silicon, not Gold? Or is this a hint that I am barking up the wrong tree, and the stalled project is something entirely different? WHY OH WHY WASN'T THAT ORIGINAL WARNING MORE SPECIFIC? It would have saved a ton of frustration if that warning had stated "Construction of A is stalled at location B due to the lack of resources C and D." Especially if the location naming convention had matched the naming in the list of construction sites.

5) Worst of all, by far: I press F3 for the Expansion Planner and find:
* I have 1 source of Gold and a supply of 9.3k, and since I have only one planet at this point, it would seem impossible that construction at that planet would stall due lack of Gold.
* Although I have no source of Helium, I have 5.8K in my empire. Again, it can me no place other than at my home planet, so I am skeptical that this can stall a project.
* Although I have no source of Silicon, I have 14K in my empire. Again, it can me no place other than at my home planet, so I am skeptical that this can stall a project.

I suspect that all these things look trivial to an experienced player of the game. But from a newcomer's perspective, the lack of clarity here is extremely discouraging, and, as a newcomer, it is hard not to become hopelessly discouraged when picturing this confusion multiplying, as an empire expands across a galaxy.

I welcome explanations, so that I can continue. It really looks like a promising game. But even more than that, I hope that the in-game communication of these things will be more clear in Distant Worlds 2.


Post #: 1
RE: Frustrations with the game - 3/22/2021 2:14:12 PM   
Siddham

 

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I wonder are you building a mine or some other station somewhere in that solar system? That may be where construction is stalled.
If that is the case dont worry about it; your private sector will get the required resources to the site shortly.
In this game resources are not abstracted like in many games. Everything is mined at a location; transported to a storage location and then transported to a building site.
All this is managed by your private sector and takes time.

In the design window under the components list there is a button that will show the resources used; also under the design window for the entire design.
The warnings on the design page are just letting you know you dont have mines for those resources. As you expand make sure to get at least one source for each strategic resource.

The game is relatively complex and it takes a while to learn how it works so be patient; most frustrations arise from not understanding how the game works.

(in reply to Beorn)
Post #: 2
RE: Frustrations with the game - 3/22/2021 3:15:51 PM   
Beorn

 

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Thanks, yes, maybe it is a mine construction, in which case this will take care of itself. (I do understand that resources are not abstracted, that they require moving.)

However, this does not really allay my concern about the game, particularly as the dev prepares DW2.

The thing is that, if the game calls for doing a whole lot of things at once, and if it is designed so that players deal with that through automating some of the functions, then warning messages need to be clear and accurate.

If, in fact, this warning message does not really mean to be alarmed, then how about the next warning message? If such messages, in practice, mean "spend lots of time trying to figure out what this is about, but it probably means nothing" does not strike me as a good design. Warning messages only help players (particularly those who have not played the game a lot) if they are clear as to their meaning, and if they involve actual cause for concern. And the combination of "ambiguous in meaning" AND "likely of no concern" is especially problematic.

If this warning message had said "Construction of a mining site at X in the Y system is stalled due to a lack of resource Z" it would be possible for a player to investigate the severity of the problem.

(Also, it would help if the glactopedia had a section making it possible to look up resources required for each component. But maybe I am just missing where that is.)

(in reply to Siddham)
Post #: 3
RE: Frustrations with the game - 3/22/2021 6:09:11 PM   
Siddham

 

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I told you in my reply where you can find the exact resource requirements for each component.
The messages are meant to keep you informed about various activities going on in your empire. As you learn how the game works you will see how they fit in and are helpful.
it is also possible to adjust what kinds of messages you will get. In fact I'm pretty sure you can turn all messages off if you would prefer.
There are extensive tools under the hood in the various options and empire management screens that give the player broad control over how the game runs.


(in reply to Beorn)
Post #: 4
RE: Frustrations with the game - 3/22/2021 6:22:50 PM   
Beorn

 

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quote:

ORIGINAL: Siddham

I told you in my reply where you can find the exact resource requirements for each component.

Thank you. I somehow overlooked that. It should be helpful.

quote:

ORIGINAL: Siddham
The messages are meant to keep you informed about various activities going on in your empire. As you learn how the game works you will see how they fit in and are helpful.
it is also possible to adjust what kinds of messages you will get. In fact I'm pretty sure you can turn all messages off if you would prefer.
There are extensive tools under the hood in the various options and empire management screens that give the player broad control over how the game runs.



Oh, I don't doubt that it eventually fits together. It's more a matter of accessibility to newcomers.

I know of another game, where I ran online competition, and to me, it was all obvious, to the point that I could not even comprehend the difficulties of newcomers. Yet a pretty high percentage of newcomers could not make sense of it.

Beyond getting this game figured out for myself, I figure the dev might want fresh eyes as to where this game might befuddle a newcomer. Of course, he is free to use or ignore this viewpoint as he sees fit. :)

Happy gaming!


(in reply to Siddham)
Post #: 5
RE: Frustrations with the game - 3/23/2021 3:57:06 AM   
Siddham

 

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I agree with you that the game does not introduce or explain itself well to new payers
I struggled a lot with it when I first played; bounced off it several times

Dont know if you have seen but there are some DW2 reveal videos which will give you some idea what the new game will be like....
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OR3qxYpdN2s
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OWD5Btwedys

(in reply to Beorn)
Post #: 6
RE: Frustrations with the game - 7/19/2021 9:24:18 AM   
Searcher7

 

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Greetings. New guy with his first post...

I have an almost stalled game "due to shortages". I have, for the first time ever, found the three rare luxury resources in rather quick succession. Of course, they're 90% of the way across a 15x15 sector, 1000 star galaxy and I'm playing a Distant Worlds Universe custom game. I'm trying to build a colony (Loros) or mining bases (Korrabia, Zentabia (sp?))

My basic question is; Will a Construction ship with enough cargo space pick up sufficient resources/components to completely build a base/port?

I've built many a base before in remote areas with no issues. Now, between someone blowing up my stations and bases and the "shortages", I can't even get a fuel base.

Sad Disclaimer: I've never been able to beat this game (except once, by accident, through simple colonization). I need cash and am hoping the super luxuries will help with that.
Any advice on a self-sufficient Construction ship build appreciated. Thx.

(in reply to Siddham)
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RE: Frustrations with the game - 7/19/2021 6:50:10 PM   
SirHoraceHarkness


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The game can stall early if you get too much stuff going at once since stalled projects tend to get pushed to the back of the ai 'to do' queue and it ends up gumming up the works especially on ship construction. The only way I get around that early game is to manually target the key resources I need then building redundant mines and over supplying. This avoids the stalls and makes for a smooth transition to a mid game economy. The ai managers in this game are pretty good but sometimes they hang up on little things which can snowball into larger issues. If you are on vanilla I would also recommend icemania's ai mod which cleans up a few of the automated functions like ai ship design and other items and clears up many of the early game stall issues for both the user and ai players. There is also the baconmod but that is for advanced users as it adds in an incredible amount of control over many aspects of the game and lets you manually do things like divert a shipment of a needed material going to some other destination into a stalled construction or even create one from scratch.

(in reply to Searcher7)
Post #: 8
RE: Frustrations with the game - 7/19/2021 7:05:54 PM   
Siddham

 

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Temporary shortages are normal...but if they are widespread and persistent then you are probably not mining enough of what you need.
Check the expansion planner and see what you are short of. Make sure you have at least 1 source of every strategic resource.
Dont worry about luxuries at the start or until all your strategics are well covered.
Keep taxes low on your starting colony until its population is maxed out.

(in reply to SirHoraceHarkness)
Post #: 9
RE: Frustrations with the game - 7/20/2021 5:00:13 AM   
Searcher7

 

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SirHorace: Yes, its a vanilla game. I'm experimenting with RTS games, from more of a turned-based experience. I got the impression from some YT vids that "shortage" warnings were caused by a lack of mining bases on those resources. I've got multiple mines providing the resources and the under-construction stations/bases are reporting different resources as the problem. I understand how a colony might be short of resources while building, but a Constructor knows what it needs and they always "load up" from a port before going to build something. Just confused on how a Construction ship can be short of resources at the construction site. I actually have the Icemania mod, but removed it as I have such a hard time with the game and thought the mod might have been for more experienced players. I'll chuck it back in next game.

Siddham: Yeah. I guess I'm just confused about what the Construction ships are loading when they stop at the starports before going to the job site. It SEEMS they try to get all they need cause sometimes they build a mining base without problems. Other times, they're short of something. I thought my ship design might not have enough cargo room for everything they need. I'd rather get a message when the Constructor stops to load up, rather than have it get to the build site without enough supplies.

Thanks guys. If its not a cargo space issue on the Constructor, I guess I need to check the resources and components where the Constructor loads up to make sure they can build a mine before they go. I was SOOOO excited to have finally found all the super luxuries (the AI usually finds them) after a mega-micro Explorer rush, so it was quite a let down when no mining or star base would build after the long trip across the galaxy.

(in reply to Siddham)
Post #: 10
RE: Frustrations with the game - 7/20/2021 3:11:37 PM   
Siddham

 

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I would not myself bother with a luxury over the other side of the galaxy; even a super-lux.
Apart from issues to do with distance there & back for freighters... are you going to be able to defend it?
I leave luxuries until I've everything else locked down; they are icing on the cake; but you have to get the cake right first.
If you are struggling with money or resources it means you are not getting the basics right; especially if you are playing on normal difficulty.
Of course I dont know what level of automation you are using. I've always played fully manual so I dont know how well the AI handles resources etc if they are left to it.
It's a tricky game; it took me a while to get the hang of it.

(in reply to Searcher7)
Post #: 11
RE: Frustrations with the game - 7/21/2021 7:22:26 AM   
Searcher7

 

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There is something about this game that is impossible for me; I'm literally 1 and 99 playing DWU. It could simply be the Real Time Strategy part, as I'm more a turn-based guy. I can't quit playing it, though; there IS something with the real-time changes that is appealing, and I can't believe I'm this bad at a strategy game. Not only do I play on Normal difficulty, I have to turn off most of the story lines. In general, I play the custom game (with no Shakturi!) in a 15 x 15 sector, 700 or 1000 star galaxy, on completely manual control.

I found the super-luxuries last game while doing an explorer rush start with the Quameno. I was looking for generic bonuses and independent colonies, but just happened to find all three luxuries close together and tried to capitalize on it. I was able to keep the Loros colony, but the Ackdarians and a pirate faction (snuggled up to the Ackdarians) eventually got the other two.

Resources, per se, aren't a problem (I get several sources of each), but money usually is, relative to the AI. I'll be in the black, with some small fleets, but the AI will have ten times the ships I have with a half or third of the planets. Pirates and protection fees are a whole nuther game. And, the AI seem to do diplomacy much better than I; getting into a conflict with one AI usually means I'm into it with one or five of their friends, as well, while no one seems to have an interest in my empire at all, gifts and one-sided technology trades notwithstanding. Way of the Ancients is really what I'm looking for during an explorer rush, to boost my economy.

I've read AARs, watched vids, read game guides, used the game editor to spy on (not edit) other empires, tried economic, technological, and militaristic strategies, turtled, expanded, and otherwise have tried my best to replicate other's results in the game, to no avail. I still have no clue what I'm doing wrong. I even registered in the forums of a ten year-old game for advice.

I'm not complaining; I find this to be a somewhat enjoyable challenge, though the repetitive nature of game starts is starting to wear a little thin. I'm looking forward to DW2, in fact.

I'll ask more questions as I become completely stumped, or until DW2 comes out.

(in reply to Siddham)
Post #: 12
RE: Frustrations with the game - 7/24/2021 4:12:17 PM   
Searcher7

 

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Thinking out loud here... After watching some constructors build things (still vanilla game), they do try to load exactly what's needed to build the desired base/station and they will end up with no cargo at all after a successful build. But they always go to the port closest to the job site to load up. I then sent three constructors to build three gas mines in the same system. All three loaded from the same port and depleted certain resources there. The constructor continues on, whether it has enough to build or not, and then complains about different resource shortages as they're building the mines while they await freighters to supply the missing resources/components. At the same time, there were two or three other construction projects also complaining about shortages around the galaxy.

I noticed a couple "oddities" at that point:

1. I had a total of 37 freighters and mining ships just sitting around ports with a mission of "none", even though some shortages had been going on for a considerable time.
2. Freighters would deliver resources that were not in short supply to the construction sites. (Some minimal resource amount distribution requirement?)
3. The port next to the one I purposely depleted had massive amounts of needed resources, with freighters and mining ships just sitting around doing nothing.
4. Commonly used resources (fuel, steel, etc) were not distributed around ports, but were concentrated in seemingly random places (Hard to reconcile with #2).
5. I had a major misunderstanding of what "Automated" meant concerning Construction ships. I though "Automated" meant they waited for projects I queued up from the detail pane ("Queue a construction ship to build a mine/gas mine/resort/... at this location") That's totally on me; a major, fairly stupid oversight and it explains a lot of my building issues.

So, I stockpiled some construction ships loaded at well-provided ports (tell it to build a mine/gas mine in-system, let it load up, then STOP. I used those ships to build some distant mines and, voila!, no more shortages. All this time I had been building massive numbers of mining bases (maintenance costs!!!) to minimize "shortages", but its really a distribution problem, not an Empire resource availability problem. Now I'm building construction ships with mining capability to retire at stations which experience shortages during ship building. And, its a problem with constructors WHEN the warning shows up; it should occur at loading time, not at the job site, IMHO.

I looked around again and it does seem that resource allocation amongst ports is an issue, but much advice for DW is pretty old. My question(s) now (finally) are:

Does the Icemania AI mod, or any other, help with this? That is, keep the freighters and mining ships active (when needed) and distribute resources more efficiently?
Does the size or build activity of a starport impact the resources it maintains?

But, I'm doing better than ever in a new game now, at least knowing about the issues really helps.

Any comments welcome. I've barely tested all this in a single game and may not have the general picture.





(in reply to Searcher7)
Post #: 13
RE: Frustrations with the game - 7/26/2021 3:55:31 PM   
Siddham

 

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Interesting observations Searcher7
I hope you will continue to think out loud!

So far as I know Icemania's mod does not alter the AI code
It alters text based design & research parameters and other factors to assist the AI empires build better infrastructure & fleets etc
There is a mod which I think does change the code base to some extent (not sure how much) called the Bacon Mod
And I think it gives the player some control of the private sector ships
I haven't used it so I dont know for sure; just going off memory of posts I read about it
The Youtuber Das Tactic has some good videos about the Bacon Mod and his own compilation mod combining it with the RetreatEU mod
Maybe have a look?


(in reply to Searcher7)
Post #: 14
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