Collected feedback from our MP group

Moderator: Vic

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Saros
Posts: 454
Joined: Sat Dec 18, 2010 6:18 am

Collected feedback from our MP group

Post by Saros »

Hi Vic,

I have spent a fair bit of time going through the players in our MP group, soliciting feedback and collating it into one spot.

Multiplayer - is there a reason for the 4 player limit? It's perfectly possible to have large enough planets for more players and right now if one player swallows another they usually become too powerful for the remainning two to beat.

Also for MP right now the stats tab only displays your own stats, it would be nice if it would display other majors you have intel on. For some reason I have enough spies to see a report on all my neighbours troops and their types but nobody in the staff can put it on a graph for me?

AI
The AI needs to be able to build cities - not having those key strategic locations to fight over makes wars less interesting, as does being able to eliminate any faction by taking their one city; it also gives the player an enormous and unfair advantage over the AI, because the player can always produce more industrial output and population than they can in the same amount of territory.

It also needs better force composittion. I think this is another artifact of teh OOB system as right now the AI largely just uses infantry waves without meaningful armored or artillery support.

Combat

Combined arms bonus or lone tanks malus. With the exception of mountains and forests infantry starts to feel very useless once decent (light) tanks begin hitting the field in numbers. Attacking with both tanks and infantry tends to give you the same combat result except with more dead infantry on your side. Would like to see tanks be less effective when operating alone, giving infantry a role other than being speedbumps and broadening the front.


OOB System desperately needs a revamp

Current system is a outrageous BP sink compared to any other part of the game and very inflexible. One simple fix would be to allow more flexibility of the allowed unit types within an OOB. Instead of having one for light tanks, medium tanks, heavy tanks, make it one for tanks (and walkers). Walkers desperately need a OOB of their own or to be able to replace tanks in OOB's (with related nato counters). Maybe handle it like quad machine guns: Walkers are an option for medium tanks in OOBs, heavy walkers a replacement for heavy tanks.

A more involved fix (and our preferred option) would be to have one OOB for each unit type researchable. Once researched you can “improve” it by selecting a new unit type to add, and repeat as necessary at increasing BP cost, similar to making new unit designs.

Example: You have an infantry Division OOB, with 10 infantry each unit. You select it and then select machine guns; 100 BP later you get Infantry Division II with 8 infantry and 2 MG. Select it again and pick RPGs, pay 200 BP, and get Infantry Division III with 6 Infantry, 2 MG, and 2 RPGs. Etc.


Mid-late game technology is very unbalanced.

1)Laser small arms. They are so much better than any other small arm option it renders all forms of gauss worthless. I get the cost is supposed to be using Rares and energy but rares are not rare and energy has no weight so it actually simplifies your logistics. Maybe make them cost machines or bump laser rifles a tech level, it would make senjse to have them higher than laser guns as making stuff man-portable is hard.

1b)Gauss of all types also needs a firepower buff and likely a caliber increase.

2) Gas powered small arms are beyond worthless, they need to be at least as good as high speed MG/auto-rifles in firepower to be even worth considering.
2b) Might be interesting to put gas powered arms in an extremely low logistics niche. Where they don’t actually use any ammunition or energy to fight with. (already use .1 ammo)
2c) or alternatively make gas powered a side branch where your empire starts with either gas or regular small arms and each have their upsides and downsides.

3) Liquid armor is supposed to hard counter lasers but it's too far down the tech tree and too expensive to be worth using.

4) Anti-tank guns could use a laser version to keep them viable later in the game. Anti tank guns also need a towed gun unit or integration into some infantry OOB's.
Make anti-tank guns alternatives for RPGs in OOBs.
AT guns currently feel very expensive for how effective they are, often better to just build more tanks instead.


Unit balance feedback

The effects of developing a model through field testing are so large that in practice by the time you can field medium tanks your lights are usually straight up better in every way. Feels like medium and heavy chassis should bring a better unique selling point to the table or tone down the speed or overall impact of field testing on unit stats.

Trucks recruits cost should be way lower, at the moment it’s more convenient to have mechanized forces than trucks, since 100 recruits per truck its very expensive and mobility is not so good when you have to be expanding your logistics, also in most games you have to be careful with your manpower.
There is currently no reason to build different trucks except for the basic model (maybe at some point the fuel efficiency helps, but by that point fuel usually isn’t a problem). Instead of requiring one unit of trucks to move one unit of infantry/artillery it should be done by weight. Thereby having better trucks will directly translate into more efficient use of manpower.

Missiles and Rockets do too much damage to assets. The no.1 strategy right now is to get within 7 hexes of your opponents cities/logistical assets and just blow them up and the only counter seems to be shield generators which are wayyy down the tech tree.
Maybe an earlier but less effective anti-missile option, like flak guns or something - or, instead, a defensive structure like bomb shelters
Suggestion would be to make the damage (maybe only against assets) scale with range, so that while missiles could hit the city from 7 hexes away, they will not do enough damage (except in large enough numbers) to quickly destroy everything in the city. If they can get closer (which is easier to stop), then their damage could increase so that they can start destroying assets more easily.

Make RPGs stronger and available from the very start, since right now they are only useful against vehicles with metal armor, as soon as they get polymer the RPGs become completely useless, when IRL HEAT rounds make sure that even composite armor has its weak spots.

Mechanized artillery needs a boost. Their damage is too low in comparison to towed artillery. In addition, mechanized formations should require mechanized artillery. Potentially also restrict largest sizes of arty tube to mech arty.


Assets and cities balance

Currently in multiplayer if a player has a metal deposit available close to starting location they are insanely far ahead compared to everyone who does not. Either a way to guarantee all starts a metal deposit of similar size and level (without having to set the difficulty to easy which makes AI/wildlife a walkover).

Rare metals are insufficiently rare, this has knock on effects on the value of solar panels, polymer armor, and laser weapons.

Demetalisation should only give rads on the higher levels and overall lover volumes of rares. Potentially higher metal returns too as they are almost 10 turns + construction time to even repay their building costs.
As above recycle plants should give more metal and a lot less of rare metals.

Rebalance energy production, most assets are very expensive in resources/manpower per energy ratio and the meta usually is spam solar panels or nuclear plants.

Munitions factories, please.

A way to control danger would be nice. Unrest can be reduced through cards/fear/troops. Danger is time based only.


Profiles and cards balance

Overall the profiles are not balanced between each other and some are much much easier to raise than others (looking at you democracy) because of the events related to them.
Heart has garbage for combat postures. Hold at All Costs is good, but it makes Retreat and Forced March basically worthless. Haven’t made it up to Economize and Fortress to properly critique them.
Fist has ok bonuses but its combat postures are… at the early days detrimental as their result is your troops will spontaneously combust attacking your enemies and break.
Autocracy is almost completely worthless in all respects. The cards, unit feats and bonuses are all very very bad.
Meritocracy is much too hard to raise. The merit/democracy city event rolls are all balanced to be almost impossible for the metirocracy to actually work so if you want to raise it you have to take huge unrest hits.

Call to power and similar cards are… utterly worthless for the price, either needs to be (much) cheaper or more powerful. I have used it in more than one mp and… my opponent didn’t even notice the rebels because they appear in the middle of the other troops present and evaporate. It would also be nice to be informed about what the base card cost and the modifiers currently affecting it are.

It would be great if the player could have some influence over strategy card generation. Like say when Im preparing for an offensive I care about different posture cards than when im defending. Or when ive already established relations with all majors id really prefer that tech sharing card over yet another open contacts. Having this be fully RNG doesnt feel so great.

Prospecting cards are much too expensive.

All the relocation of free folk cards that kill them are so bad that I doubt they've ever been used. Population is the most precious resource in the game and anything which kills it off is a big no-no.


Leaders

Corps commanders should have more job prestige than brigade commanders; army commanders should have more job prestige than corps commanders.


Diplomacy

There needs to be a way to move through the territory of allied and vassal regimes.
Some sort of way to provide resources or unit reinforcements to another player i.e. lend lease would be great and add a lot of depth to the game.

Hope this helps Vic, let us know if you would like people to expand on any of the points.
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Malevolence
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RE: Collected feedback from our MP group

Post by Malevolence »

Interesting. Thanks.
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DTurtle
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RE: Collected feedback from our MP group

Post by DTurtle »

To add to the laser rifles thing:
For normal infantry the jump is from automatic rifles (100 firepower) to laser rifles (300 firepower). Gauss rifles are at the same tier as laser rifles with 125 fire power.

There is almost never a reason to go with gauss rifles.

In addition, automatic rifles are a basic tech (tier 2), while laser/gauss rifles are tier 5. So there is a huge amount of time where infantry stays basically the same until it suddenly makes a huge jump.

Machine guns are a tiny bit better, as there are high speed machine guns (300 fire power) at tier 3. But again, gauss machine guns have 400 fire power, while laser rifles have 1000 fire power.

Compounding this difference even more is the fact that laser rifles count as 30mm for calibre modification, while gauss and charged gauss rifles count as 20mm. Which makes gauss rifles fare even worse in any comparison, because everybody is running around with at least combat armor (40mm) or at least 25mm of armor.

Bumping up the fire power a bit and the penetration a lot for gauss weapons would maybe justify their place in the tech tree.

The less said about charged gauss weapons (which are tier 6 and have half the fire power of laser weapons), the better.
mroyer
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RE: Collected feedback from our MP group

Post by mroyer »


Great post - thanks for putting the thought and effort into that.
-Mark R.
aguvenli
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RE: Collected feedback from our MP group

Post by aguvenli »

Bumping this because a lot of good points have been raised, with balancing the infantry weapons being the most important one.
macroman247
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Joined: Thu Mar 22, 2012 1:32 am

RE: Collected feedback from our MP group

Post by macroman247 »

Excellent points, it is if I wrote some of those concerns myself. One thing worth mentioning though is trying to balance a game like this for MP. Huge studios can spend years trying to balance a game for MP and is just never ends (Think Overwatch). Vic, as a one man studio, is never going to be able to accomplish this. Would really need to prioritize how long something takes to balance versus the impact it will have. OOB needs a revamp, but the amount of work involved would be prohibitive versus something like tweaking the values on gauss/laser etc.
zgrssd
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RE: Collected feedback from our MP group

Post by zgrssd »

OOB needs a revamp, but the amount of work involved would be prohibitive versus something like tweaking the values on gauss/laser etc.
By my knowledge the current OOB system is a giant waste of time to maintain. So much, some automation would go a long way:
https://www.matrixgames.com/forums/tm.asp?m=4838731
DW2 Poll:
"Should the Civil and non-Combat Ships loose all or most of their weapon slots?"
https://www.matrixgames.com/forums/view ... 1&t=382690
macroman247
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RE: Collected feedback from our MP group

Post by macroman247 »

ORIGINAL: zgrssd
OOB needs a revamp, but the amount of work involved would be prohibitive versus something like tweaking the values on gauss/laser etc.
By my knowledge the current OOB system is a giant waste of time to maintain. So much, some automation would go a long way:
https://www.matrixgames.com/forums/tm.asp?m=4838731

I'm not a developer so I'm only guessing really. If it works out better to revamp, great, cause I think the entire OOB research/usage stuff is my least favorite part of Shadow Empire.
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Vic
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RE: Collected feedback from our MP group

Post by Vic »

Thanks for the feedback. I read it again and will be taking it along for the next fine tuning patch.

best wishes,
Vic
Visit www.vrdesigns.net for the latest news, polls, screenshots and blogs on Shadow Empire, Decisive Campaigns and Advanced Tactics
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BlueTemplar
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RE: Collected feedback from our MP group

Post by BlueTemplar »

It would be great if the player could have some influence over strategy card generation. Like say when Im preparing for an offensive I care about different posture cards than when im defending. Or when ive already established relations with all majors id really prefer that tech sharing card over yet another open contacts. Having this be fully RNG doesnt feel so great.
From my understanding, there's already a weighting factor there : the more you have of a specific stratagem, the less likely you are to roll another one. Am I wrong ?
One thing worth mentioning though is trying to balance a game like this for MP. Huge studios can spend years trying to balance a game for MP and is just never ends (Think Overwatch). Vic, as a one man studio, is never going to be able to accomplish this. Would really need to prioritize how long something takes to balance versus the impact it will have. OOB needs a revamp, but the amount of work involved would be prohibitive versus something like tweaking the values on gauss/laser etc.
The answer to that is often mods :
http://www.captainkwok.net/balancemod.php
(Space Empires 5 is another very complex "one-man" game, and the vanilla game is infamously poorly balanced.)
redrum68
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RE: Collected feedback from our MP group

Post by redrum68 »

One thing I would add to this original list is around logistics and that level 1 truck stations are too cheap and quick to build compared to higher level truck stations. This leads to it being more effective to just spam level 1 truck stations everywhere and inject the logistics points into the network than to upgrade truck stations. Therefore, they should be made more expensive in terms of population and/or resource requirements so that higher tier truck stations are more efficient and worth building.
zgrssd
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RE: Collected feedback from our MP group

Post by zgrssd »

ORIGINAL: redrum68

One thing I would add to this original list is around logistics and that level 1 truck stations are too cheap and quick to build compared to higher level truck stations. This leads to it being more effective to just spam level 1 truck stations everywhere and inject the logistics points into the network than to upgrade truck stations. Therefore, they should be made more expensive in terms of population and/or resource requirements so that higher tier truck stations are more efficient and worth building.
It would be a issue if the first tier becomes much more expensive, as it means we can not build it in a city that needs any logistics asset.

I would say it is easier to lower the later ones to be more in line with the T1 one.
DW2 Poll:
"Should the Civil and non-Combat Ships loose all or most of their weapon slots?"
https://www.matrixgames.com/forums/view ... 1&t=382690
zgrssd
Posts: 4204
Joined: Tue Jun 09, 2020 1:02 pm

RE: Collected feedback from our MP group

Post by zgrssd »

ORIGINAL: zgrssd

ORIGINAL: redrum68

One thing I would add to this original list is around logistics and that level 1 truck stations are too cheap and quick to build compared to higher level truck stations. This leads to it being more effective to just spam level 1 truck stations everywhere and inject the logistics points into the network than to upgrade truck stations. Therefore, they should be made more expensive in terms of population and/or resource requirements so that higher tier truck stations are more efficient and worth building.
It would be a issue if the first tier becomes much more expensive, as it means we can not build it in a city that needs any logistics asset.

I would say it is easier to lower the later ones to be more in line with the T1 one.
Okay, I did some math and it appears the Fuel (and possibly worker Efficiency) is dropping with upgrades on all Logistics assets.
Usually step 1->2 is "double output, quadruple Production cost".

I made a bug report about it:
https://www.matrixgames.com/forums/tm.asp?m=4972371
DW2 Poll:
"Should the Civil and non-Combat Ships loose all or most of their weapon slots?"
https://www.matrixgames.com/forums/view ... 1&t=382690
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