Brad Wardell's site for talking about the customization of Windows.

Greetings!

So the team is starting work on the next major expansion pack.  But we also want to keep an eye on the base game.

Right now, the recent Steam reviews for GalCiv are pretty awful with most of the people reviewing it doing so because they don't like some of the changes in v2.5.  So if there are changes you would like in 2.7 and beyond, this would be the place to ask.

The Steam review system is something I have and will continue to complain about because frankly, it absolutely destroys games.  When it's less than 70, a game might as well not exist.  So I'll be explicit, if you want us to keep working on GalCiv III, please leave a Steam review.  If not, don't. If you already have, thank you!

As many of you know, I am AI biased. But I know I'm in a minority because there is another space strategy game outselling GalCiv III and, suffice to say, AI is not its focus. 

It is clear that narratives in games matter.  GalCiv has a quest system ala Fallen Enchantress/Sorcerer King.  But we have tried to avoid doing that because we don't want the game to be a series of scripted narratives.  We don't plan to change that position in the base game but we are looking at releasing DLC that will do that if players want it. 

Now, the next major expansion pack focuses on politics and government.  So we'll set all that aside for now.  Otherwise, it's all open. What would you like to see?


Comments (Page 11)
on Oct 08, 2017

lyssailcor

Why not using a simpler system? Like that (surely more than 3N, but the difference between a just colonized planet with one low tech building and a fully settled planet with a lot of high tier buildings may well be 100N in my opinion):

- Every tier 1 building produces 1 point of output flat (factories 1 point of production, research labs 1 point of research, markets 1 point of wealth)

- Specialization occurs through adjacencies. Every building gives 1 point of adjacency bonus. So a single factory gives only 1 point of production. Two clustered together give each other 1 point of adjacency bonus, so total output is 4. Three factories custered together then gives a total output of 9, four give 16, and so on (it's not quadratic after that, since not every factory can give adjacency bonuses to every other, but only to adjacent ones).

- You need 1 population to operate 1 building. If you have less population then all your people have to work too much which decreases overall efficiency (produced output) by a factor of (pop present / pop needed) ^ 2. If you have too much pop then there is unemployment which decreases efficiency also by a factor of (pop needed / pop present) ^2. Other morale effects like rebellion could happen also more easily.

- Research unlocks higher tier buildings which give 2, 3, 4 points of flat output each. Adjacency bonuses stay at 1 point per adjacent building of the correct type. Research may also increase general productivity, giving an overall % bonus to output.

- Higher tier buildings may need more pop to operate effectively.

- Hub buildings may give higher adjacency bonuses.

- Tile bonuses still exist, but only for the tile itself, not for adjacent tiles (since I find it kind of frustrating nearly never to be able to use tile bonuses efficiently because placing buildings because of tile ajdacency bonuses usually throws away building type adjacencies).

- Special buildings may give more than one kind of output (like research + wealth).

- Population is housed in the colony capital and cities. Cities have no adjacency bonuses as such, but if built on a tile with a bonus spreads this exact bonus to all adjacent tiles (example: building a city on a +2 production tile gives all production buildings around the city a +2 production adjacency bonus).

- Special resources like Snuggler Colony and the like are classified according to their adjacency bonus. You mine them by putting a building of the correct type on the tile with the resource, what also produces its normal output. So no tiles are lost due to resources being present on a planet, but you need double pop to operate such a tile effectively (that's 2 pop instead of 1 for a tier 1 building). Higher tier buildings multiply the special resource output by their tier.

- There is no distinction between social and military production buildings. Instead bring back a slider per planet that determines how much of the overall production of a planet goes into social (building things on the planet and paying for projects) and military (building ships in a sponsored shipyard) production. If there is no sponsored shipyard everything goes into social production.

lyssailcor,

I love the simplicity of your suggestion. I would make these changes.

 

First remove the double population requirement for special resources, so every building requires one population.

Then each citizen produces 1 output. If they work in a factory, or labs or whatever, their output powers that building. Then the excess population have excess output. If a planet/colony is working on specific item that output rolls over into taxes, 1 credit per excess pop. If a planet/colony is not working on a specific item then they can work on a special project which converts that output into one or more of the other types. There may be a project that converts all output into research, or production or a equal combination of the three, or influence, or food, or whatever. It would be nice to be able to import food from breadbasket worlds to completely urbanized worlds, like Coruscant from Star Wars for example.

 

on Oct 08, 2017

trims2u

Quoting lyssailcor,

Why not using a simpler system? Like that (surely more than 3N, but the difference between a just colonized planet with one low tech building and a fully settled planet with a lot of high tier buildings may well be 100N in my opinion):



I'm not OK here. It should be very difficult for an adjacency bonus to give the same amount of bonus as the base building. That leads to severely overpowered improvements quickly, and massive imbalance.  It's really not OK for a triplet factory in that scenario to have 3x the production of 3 lone buildings.  (e.g (3 x 1) + (3 x 2) >> 3 x 1). At best, I'd leave the adjacency bonus to be 0.5/level, and I think closer to 0.33/level would be best (so that the "optimal triplet" gives 60% more production total, 5 vs 3). The base idea is sound, but you really don't want the kind of scaling you're talking about - that leads us back to far too high numbers.  This concept should apply to all base stat buildings - Social/Military Production, Research, and Wealth.  Tourism, Influence, and Approval are different, and should be handled differently (i.e. since there are far fewer of them, adjacency should *really* matter, and I'm all on board for having them get at least a +1/level equivalent or maybe even more).


The exact numbers are subject to balancing. Personally (naturally since I proposed it ) I have no problem with the numbers I described, and if everybody can do that it's not really "unbalanced". But I agree insofar as with my system a planet would very fast move from 1 to, say, 9 production - unless you make pop growth quite slow and cap the pop transport capacity of a base clonization ship to 1 pop. Then even if you could quickly build three factories you would because of pop shortage get only some 10-20% out of the possible production. Also by setting the production cost of a tier 1 factory to, say, 20 and the production output of the colony capital to 1, it would take 20 turns to build the first factory, doubling the production capacity to 2 (provided the colony capital has no adjacency bonuses or the factory cannot be built adjacent to it and there is no tile with bonus production and pop has reached exactly 2 when the factory is ready). So the second factory would still take 10 turns to build and so on. Again, all numbers subject to balancing.

on Oct 08, 2017

killswitch469

lyssailcor,

I love the simplicity of your suggestion. I would make these changes.



First remove the double population requirement for special resources, so every building requires one population.

Then each citizen produces 1 output. If they work in a factory, or labs or whatever, their output powers that building. Then the excess population have excess output. If a planet/colony is working on specific item that output rolls over into taxes, 1 credit per excess pop. If a planet/colony is not working on a specific item then they can work on a special project which converts that output into one or more of the other types. There may be a project that converts all output into research, or production or a equal combination of the three, or influence, or food, or whatever. It would be nice to be able to import food from breadbasket worlds to completely urbanized worlds, like Coruscant from Star Wars for example.

I did not think about the food mechanics yet.

Apart from that, my suggestions are just that, so I'm sure if my suggestions would be the base of a new system everybody would have his or her own preferences what should be altered to fit their desires

on Oct 08, 2017

@trims2u: I appreciate your detailed discussion of my post although you mostly don't agree with my suggestions  - and I mostly don't agree with yours

But anyway I'm sure the discussion brings us forward - if somebody with influence is hearing us

But it's clear whatever will be changed it would be very difficult to generate a system that fits everyone's desires so well that there won't be an outcry of rage

Best would be if you could mod all those aspects of the game to your liking, but that's only partly possible.

on Oct 08, 2017

I think the simplest solution is to have Factories give a flat bonus. No population requirement. It's easy to implement, it doesn't change the system, and it doesn't break the AI.

on Oct 08, 2017

tungchiawah

I think the simplest solution is to have Factories give a flat bonus. No population requirement. It's easy to implement, it doesn't change the system, and it doesn't break the AI.
This.

We haven't even seen to potential of the current system because the numbers are off. In the spirit of keeping with the current system and with frogboys preference of not having commutative addition (I'm not sure this is the right way), I would propose the folowing changes:

- Factories stay as they are
- cities provide 1.5+.25/level pop
- research labs provide 10%+5%/level
- workers, engineers, scientists and entrepeneurs provide 5+.25/level flat bonus instead of 30%+1%/level

This way population is roughly on par with their improvements if you only consider that one output and neglect approval. If you start to consider tech, citizens, asteroids and approval it shifts more in favor of improvement based planets rather than pop based ones.

This is the least intrusive change I can think off.

Also: you want population to cause a different strategical challenge than just being limited by another ressource? Let us kill population by bombing planets from orbit (I allways wanted to be able to do that ). Casualties: .2% of total weapon rating of the attacking fleet. Bombing costs multiple moves per turn, because the fleet has to get into position deeper within the gravity well and has to get out afterwards (and because otherwise it turns into a mindless clicking for the player or is very op).

on Oct 08, 2017

I'm in the camp that would prefer to see Improvements as the main driver of production, not Population.

It feels wrong that you're better off building farms and cities than factories/laboratories/banks etc for production purposes. Why would an "untrained" population be better at research than population at a Research Laboratory? How can your 9.5b population on a colony with only Farms and Cities give more research than your 3.5 population on a colony with a Research Laboratory?

Furthermore, the improvement in Research that you get from building additional Research buildings should be significantly higher than any improvement you get from increased population.

Add me to the camp that thinks that as improvements get better ie from Basic to Xeno etc that the new improvement should give the boost the old improvement gave + a certain %

 

 

on Oct 11, 2017

I should preface this by explaining my relationship to GalCiv: GCII (with the Trek vs. Wars mod) is one of my favorite games of all time. I got the Founder’s Elite Edition of GCIII out of love for the franchise. I tend to play GCIII in bursts, making a large map and playing until I burn out.

So consider these comments from a devoted but casually-minded fan.

TL;DR: I suggest fewer elements for given mechanics and more choices for what you have.

RESOURCES:

I recently came back to GCIII after several months and was overwhelmed. To be honest, I found a lot of the additions came with unnecessary clutter. I prefer games that give me a few toys but many choices.

Resources were the hardest thing for me to adjust to as a casual player. The “minor” resources found on planets are frankly tedious. The UI struggles to list them all and they amount to a lot of busywork. I understand this would be perfect on a smaller map, but that to me suggests an issue of scaling.

I’d suggest consolidating all minor, planetary Resources. Let’s just call this new Resource Dilithium since I’ve got TNG on. Maybe I can run out of Dilithium until I colonize another planet. Now, as a Benevolent player, I’m seriously considering conquest. Also make these choices not completely invalidated by time and scale. This could be done via tech trees with one-use upgrades, which are detailed below 

UPGRADES:

This might be controversial. I apologize in advance. In my current game, I can build Factories, Elevators, Power Plants, and so on. The people quoting formulas might enjoy this, but it’s just a slog. “Okay, get the Factory, the Starport, the Space Elevator…”

Again, consider consolidating and forcing choice. Let’s say for industrial upgrades you just had Factories and One-Per-Player/Galaxy units. When it is time to upgrade a Factory, you turn it into a specialized unit. It can become an Elevator (for a ship bonus), a Bio Factory (for a Food bonus), and so on.

Regarding cities, I found their inclusion confusing. Previously, I assumed there were countless cities. Now it feels like planets are composed of only my upgrades.

Maybe each planet has a tech tree. Instead of building cities, I put points in paths like “Urbanization” or “Preservation”. Focusing on Urbanization eventually transforms the planet into a high-population Coruscant-style world those in this thread have stated they like, but with some clear, tree-specified debuff. “Preservation” turns the planet into a Risa-like paradise. The upgrades I choose make one path easier to pursue. Now I’m thinking about what I need now and what I want this planet to become later.

CITIZENS: 

Not to sound like a broken record, but I would like to see fewer Citizens that do more individually. Give me a handful of broadly defined citizens: A Military Citizen, a Science Citizen, a Social Citizen, and so on. Then give each Citizen a tech tree (I know, I really like trees) that allows them to be focused. Maybe even just start with one of each core Citizen. The Leader Citizen could also just be my Civilization Leader.

If you have fewer Citizens with one-use upgrades via a tech-tree, this could force choice and provide better scaling. Tech trees can be a choke point for these multiple-inputs you’ve been dealing with. For example, in my current game, the “Epiphany” mechanic was overpowered. I know that’s because of the map size, but that’s an issue with scaling, not my map choices. If you had fewer Citizens (or even a fixed number) with rich tech trees, a larger galaxy would mean filling out other abilities. That pushes me out of my comfort zone. I have choice, but not the same ideal option over and over.

I would also like to see is a Minority Citizen. If I am a Carbon-Based, Benevolent species and I am forced to conquer a Yor planet, I should presumably have a Yor minority. This could be represented easily via a permanent “Yor Citizen” who applies a mixture of buffs and debuffs. I now have a chance for riots, a war, and so on. This Yor Citizen could be slowly upgraded through a tech tree, representing how I am assimilating these people. I could spend vast resources on the Yor Citizen to pursue an equal, multicultural society and gradually gain a Research buff (Benevolent), I could pay the Yor to gradually leave (Pragmatic), or I could just enslave or exterminate them (Malevolent).

By the way, do people like Legions? Previously, invading one planet after the next would cause burn-out as you ran out of Population. Now, if you strike upon an alien race with no Legions, you can sweep their worlds. If I have a Military Citizen by default, maybe all worlds get a default percentage of Legions.

NARRATIVE:

I prefer emergent narratives. I’m the guy who names a ship based on what it achieved in-game. The changes I suggested above could give GalCivIII a narrative without an outright Story Mode.

If I only have a handful of Citizens over a long game, I will grow attached to them. A Research Citizen will stop being Joe Smith 7 and become a character I have taken the time to name, level up, and protect.

Increasing the number of Events and tying them to more gameplay elements like Citizens could further this emergent narrative. Say I assign my Military Citizen to a ship. They then win a starship battle, but a “PTSD Event” triggers. I can disable her for a time to heal (Benevolent), reassign her to another role in the game (Pragmatic), or turn her into a berserker who receives and does additional damage. That creates a small story. Give each Citizen a little biography to list these Events as they accumulate.

I always play GCIII while watching Trek. Right now, it’s the one where Barclay turns into a genius. Maybe this happens to a Citizen. I can let him “Burn Out” and gain a short-term bonus while he goes to level one (Malevolent) or I let him contact those who “upgraded” him, keeping my Citizen level but suddenly contacting and exchanging random tech with another Civilization.

If you want, you could even create Hero Units and release them over time. Maybe even as DLC like League of Legends. During creation, I choose Admiral Marcus as my “Military Citizen”. His tech tree has great ship construction bonuses. However, if I do poorly in a war or keep doing things like paying tribute, the Revolt Event triggers. He builds the best possible ship with my tech and starts attacking my rivals. On top of that, my “Military Citizen” is replaced by a level one Carol Marcus. Do I fight him? Will he start a war if I do nothing? Can I declare war and regain him as a unit? Not only does this give me new choices, it is a crisis clearly cause by MY actions. This is a narrative I have input in that is not some on-rails, cut-scene nonsense, but is also not completely under my control.

Maybe this is all too much simplification or too much for an expansion. I’ve tried to focus on things like tech trees because, in my experience listening to game developers, those are easier to implement.

I love this franchise. I love this game. I really want to see it continue to grow.

on Oct 11, 2017

Frogboy, why obsess on what specific features to include and keep beating this horse to death? I played over 1000 hours of GC3 and what kept me coming back and kept my interest is the efforts of the community, Horemvore, Gauntlet, Gen pants etc .. to tweak the game in ways the developers could not due to time/budget constraints. What's missing? A real modding system that is easy for players to implement via Steam workshop as opposed to Nexus. 

I just clocked 400 hours on Stellaris and although in some ways it is an inferior game to GC3, the availability of over 8000 mods is what makes it such an exciting game since you can tweak it to your hearts content. Every possible game mechanic has a mod available for players to use and that makes a huge difference. The devs add a few features here and there but the mod community is where the real heavy lifting is done. You cannot be everything to everyone, mods do that

My recommendation for GC3 is simple, stop tinkering with the game basics, fix the bugs that remain and get mods to work on Steam. Your call for modding tools was an awesome start, how is that going BTW?

That's specific advice for GC3 and get people to play it. You went as far as you can with this one and it looks like you hit the point of diminishing returns. To gain a wider footprint you need to start appealing to a wider market segment. Stellaris has a huge Chinese and Japanese market, how do you get that footprint? Go with GC4, a new name may even be needed so branding does not trip you up and start from scratch. I know reuse is a good business practice but you are in a rabbit hole and you keep digging deeper. Time to get back in front of a blank whiteboard, a couple good old fashioned SWOT and Porters five forces diagrams might be a good place to start.

on Oct 11, 2017

I would love to see a diminishing returns on population, perhaps logarithmic.  This would allow a farm or two to jump production, but the rest, while being allowed, be a waste of tiles.  So in later game, the improvements would become more important.

 

 

on Oct 11, 2017

I actually would like to see one more expansion like you talked about.

Im definately not in the camp of less citizens. 

Im in the camp of improvements being more important than raw production to the point of about 40n. 

 

on Oct 11, 2017

My opinion:

Game architecture is art; not science.  Pleasing everybody is not possible, nor is it even the right approach.  However, there is such a thing as good art and BAD art.  It's completely subjective, but the majority does rule in that regard (it's why America VOTES on American Idol)..  Due to the long-duration game this is, I don't think either the CEO or the COO have the time it takes to really work this piece of art.  The game balance issues are really a matter of just not enough time spent on it.  Spending a weekend, getting feedback on the forums, and fixing balance stuff piecemeal is losing the art aspect of it and is treating it like bug fixes (and debugging is a science).  I'd say either find a modder, or find the biggest young nerd in the office, and pair them with a dev.  The modder nerd (and proud of it) just plays and plays and plays, and if they can't/don't know how to mod something, they get a side build from the dev.  In the end they get some build blessed by QA, and the barbarian masses (that is us) evaluate their performance.  There is pressure there, but actually that's a dream job--because it consists of playing hours and hours of Galciv! 

on Oct 11, 2017

Love the game. Love the debate. Love the fact civ3 is still is receiving a great amount of the devs attention. The opening cinematic will ever get old for me. I won't quote but so much said so far. I struggle to remember who said what and where, if I had the same idea or just taken it on board as something I believe is worthwhile looking at. The are a two major issues that many have identified that I wish to further discuss and explore.

 

 

One main issue is pop and raw production. Improvements and their value tied in closely with this. Always hard to fully flush out but a few things (combinations or all of the below) could be tried to offer more flexibility and variety in gamestyles.

Personally RAW is everything. Only thing that is really worth optimising and focus when playing. A great raw always equates to good manufacturing, research and economy. The bonus pop brings for raw transfers into pop-centric empires. A direct 1 to 1 is just too much and needs a little adjusting so the AI isn't left in the dust. Morale could be a little more dynamic as well. Might try having harsher morale penalties (neg growth?) and/or have so that is is a little harder to attain big morale sustaining a large pop.

Changes could be made to the base pop given or the food needed or each city would could diminish the following cities effectiveness or increase following cities cost. Possibly even link cities to tech/era with when they become available, how many you can support and how effective they are.  Another road could be to reduce adj bonuses so farms/cities just aren't as efficient (extreme measure take all pop adj bonuses away).

Improvements are currently just not competitive. They really need to be a viable option against pure raw. Not sure on how but you might try looking into removing basic buildings like space elevator and comp core etc and giving a base buff to corresponding basic buildings that will upgrade with tech (eg factory will now give +1 to construction on top of previous bonus). Hopefully this might bring back specialised planet builds as a viable option.

 

 

The second main issue for me is the AI. Don't get me wrong, it is much better than other games but still lacks finesse. To put it bluntly, the AI is still making fundamentally bad decisions even at the highest level. It would be great to turn the AI from a sledge hammer into a scalpel. No more buffs, just better general gameplay. I dont even pretend to know how, or if, anything following is possible

First off, the AI just cannot compete colonising (seriously wtf is a trade ship doing approaching my homeworld only 15 turns in?). It needs to have a higher priority/easier for higher AI levels so they aren't hamstrung right from the get go. Might even suggest a slight admin buff (nothing too extreme) or even extreme colonisation as a starting tech.  Same goes for plopping starbases out to claim resources (not as bad but not great either)

The AI does not tech up efficiently. It would benefit to bee-line important techs a bit more (possibly link preference to race) and counter teching to nearby/bad relation races

Optimising ship builds. 2 constructor modules for one ship, tiny ships end of game, support ships not buffing fleet, need I say more...

Optimising planet builds. For gods sake, just build a few farms and cities. Together. Stop half arsing planet specialisation and put a damn comp core on a precursor experimental world and bomb the crap out of it with research centres or whack a space elevator on that wasteland tile with factories crowding around pumping it up. A couple of these and a couple of those leads to a couple of under performing useless planets.

Suicidal diplomacy (looking at you Drengin) The AI seems way too focused on military strength (see below). Period. There seems to be very little consideration for important aspects like distance and RAW and tech level. Couple that with unwillingness to treaty and all too often a godlike opponent is shown the exit door.

Lastly trading. OH MY GOD. Everything is available. Everything is cheap (nearly). Constructors, starbases, high level techs, resources, planets, wars on other civs etc. The AI should place a higher value on these, trade like for like and even have no interest or not appearing in trade screen for others (that said if raw/pop is reduced ergo less income then inherent value is auto increased). On the other end of the scale is the resource hard cap and ship value. I understand the AI needs to have some protection but the AI will not take an outrageously great deal if you break that 1/4 barrier and conversely well over estimates the value of its pitiful fleets that best used for cannon fodder.

 

 

I'll finish up with a few random ideas/tweaks/observations I have jotted down on scraps of paper while playing. Not saying anything is good here but has crossed my mind

 

 

Ship movement. First click show path, second click move. Even a shading to highlight travel range for turn/more. A waypoint system because the auto-explore mode is terrible. Just a few of the options for tinkering

Starbases. For an admin point they are way too easy to drop (a single ship to can all too easily strangle the AI for range and resources) . Military definitely need a buff for range extension tied into map size (plus one range per level size). Also AI needs to build more economic for planetary boost. 

On map size, influence needs a major buff on larger sized maps. Ludicrous map I have 50% of planets and 260 starbases and 350 turns in and still only 1%. I know my initial settings bu c'mon. At least give me 2%...

Another button for trading ie << and >> outside the usual < and > for a larger quantities eg 5/10 resource or 100/1000 credits.

Carryover. For research manufacturing and ship production. Seems any surplus is fully transferred to next project. Many turns storing surplus can just be pumped into an instant <insert project wanted>. Can happen a fair bit after early game, most notably shipyards just doing constant missions and later with planets. Maybe only 50% can be carried onto the next turn. Could even apply to when you cancel current project (and not just put on hold).

Manual toggle to turn on repeat projects, like missions in shipyards  and recruiting on planets (personally I hate the auto repeat on a planet). And auto govern on acquiring a planet, don't even get me started

Buildings that give civ wide a bonus might have production cost tied to the number of planets you own. Makes sense if you get more out of it you are willing to pay more for it

After researching one of the cap techs might it be possible to a single branch tech that has a (for lack of a better word) "sister" tech already discovered. One for one only

Economic starbases are still overpowered. A reduction in range techs (only one not two range per tech/module) and increase cost (double credits) would mitigate that somewhat. A balance for just in case for a slight misplacement could be a drive module for each major drive tech that allows one movement but is burnt out after said single tile is moved. And wouldn't hurt to pay a little more credits for all economic modules. Lets face it, they are more than worth it

Orbital institute and interstellar collectors. Why so expensive? Cheaper (and more beneficial) to just recruit citizens (orbital) or do a few missions for more constructors (interstellar)

On missions, constructors and survey ships pop up quite often. Designed quirk so admins aren't capped or just oversight?

Also with orbital institute costing 25 promethion, it might just be the way I play but even with an abundance of promethion, it disappears faster than a cheesy poof in front of Eric Cartman. Elerium is not much better. Resources on the whole are well balanced and it adds another dimension forcing me to prioritise which is fine and I dont mind but was that intended?

Citizens should cost way more. Only 2.5k production is just too cheap. And spies costing 1 snuggler is a bit high (not too bad though).

Also slower citizen accumulation/production.  Arbitrary 10 turns is a bit off (bit quick for slower/larger maps IMHO). Might link in with map size or game speed or era. Even boost with techs if massively slowed. Could help against colonisation rush at start of game

Survey ships can survey planets. A quick glance of the layout might be nice every now and then

Colony Capital can often be in a downright nasty spot. Would love a one shot move. High price (production and resources) and maybe linked to a mid/late tech (like gal governance for example). Might even cost ideology points (colonising gives 10 points and use 10 points to shift)

Just me or ideology points are slow to generate? Will take forever to get that achievement. Design? or might buildings get a little buff? Not to worry, I'll eventually get there...

Back to missions, seems to be a few I use constantly (see above) and others that are just a waste of time. Seriously pilgrims? But might just be me...

A button to re-find my friggin fleet. So often I would love to just click on say the fleet image (or anything) to re-centre the screen on the fleet I have selected

Ships in my borders. I just want to kill. Seriously, get out, go away. If no relations set (like ally or friend), ship is non-trade and within your coloured influence, can't we just pop them at the cost of a bit (or a lot) of diplomacy?

On the diplomacy screen, is it at all possible to see all of something (eg all current wars) at once not just a single civs everything. Just makes looking at galactic politics before GC meetings a little easier

On the GC, more options would be nice. Might I suggest diplo consequences for unfavorable resolutions and maybe even a lobbying period to win votes (not they are really needed due to AI not having any pop ie voting power). More thulium is not what I need...

Is there something along the lines of a Notification journal that has eluded me? The board is a little"bare" and I would like to see what events are active not just when they finish etc so a more in depth journal of sorts to go into would be nice and get a full rundown of current galactic affairs

100% decay is set to 1 for shipyards 0.1 for asteroids. We all use this whether its by accident or not. Might be more reasonable if it set to 0

Anomalies are far too abusable. Capsules giving 15% tech, artifacts giving 10% treasury and the powerful precursor anomalies poorly defended. Capsules need to change (maybe 100 research per era level) so they cant just blow through a huge tech early (huge hull v med hull AI). Artifact could be capped at a lower value (5K to match citizen). And precursor should have a little more def than my admiral's exhaust fumes (bump up every era to give a little challenge). And to top it off, the AI doesn't seem to be interested in anomalies at all. And also are they slowly spawning? Don't mind events making them but I think they should be a finite resource

The tech eras go way too fast. Research a handful, move up and repeat. Next thing you have huge hulls while it seems the AI is still struggling with the concept of the wheel. More points per level is needed, possibly even a fourth era (4 eras - one for each X of 4X maybe)

Commanders and admirals etc so very much in need of upgrading components. Being they are restricted by hull size, can they just simply auto upgrade and be at least useful eg you reduce life support mass, so now there is space for another or hull capacity is increased so lets use it and gain another drive module. Also an admiral and commander per fleet (singular, different ranks so ok in my mind). It was possible (fixed maybe? anyone?) for as many commanders as you want in my last game (my fleets dont need more superiority)

Also the military score ranking you against the computer needs a bit of an overhaul. I am regularly outpointed/outranked yet the AI fleets are softer than microwaved butter. At the games end, when I actually decide to build my final assault fleets I have totally outrageous mil score pumping my overall to obscene levels. Needs a big wind back. Might help ground lofty/ambitious AI and ultimately prevent suicide.

I haven't found too many problems with mercs so far as they stand. AI seems to only have a fleeting interest and needs to recognise the opportunities here. Only overpowered merc is really the Praxis and its malevolent point generating ability. The rest seem not too bad but it wouldnt hurt if they cost more resources.

And I'll finish with a couple a small bugs. Two (of the three) benevolent point generating buildings don't match description (think may have been mentioned before. Hate the fog not clearing when movement is offscreen (clears on save/load) and why oh why oh why is it my overall civ morale seems stuck 99% yet I have every planet running 110-140% morale ie well over 100% (very annoying).

 

 

Probably missed plenty but others here will surely fill those gaps. All of this is just from my personal ingame experience so guaranteed is not true for all but I hope you find something that might be useful. Also should be noted I was playing an earlier 2.6 build so some things may have already been addressed and if so I am sorry for including them. Bit long for my first post and I hope it is coherent enough but wanted to have my 2 cents

 

 

To the devs, great job so far and I hope you keep going.  Just remember, the empty can rattles the most. Remember those who play at a lower level on a casual basis. For us here that try to find challenge can cause others heartbreak. There has been so much put forward in this debate from everyone it will be difficult to foresee all consequences for any/all tweaks and balances. Moderation will be key. Either way I will adapt and optimise and push the limits.

on Oct 12, 2017

implodinggoat


 5:  Espionage could use some work.

I'm not really thrilled with the way spies are deployed to planets.   Disabling an enemy building seems like a weak way to spend a citizen and having to use spies to remove enemy spies from your buildings is an annoyance to the player.   I'd prefer some sort of mission based system where I can send my spies to steal credits or tech, lower morale, or blow things up (buildings, ships, maybe even starbases) which takes time and has a variable risk of the spy being caught depending on the difficulty of the mission and the spy's skill; but doesn't expend the spy unless they get caught.

 

It's not exactly clear how it works, but the spy doesn't just shut down the building, it decreases its level which can go into the negatives and subtract from what the building produces. I think. I can't look at exactly the AI's colony stats, just the end numbers but it seems to go down much more than just shutting down the improvement would do. If the AI ever used a spy on my planet I could see if if it actually works that way.

on Oct 14, 2017

-maintenance: Civ 4's maintenance system should be considered a gold standard. In addition to paying maintenance for ships and buildings, each planet itself should have a ramping maintenance cost, so the marginal cost increases as you add more planets to the empire. That would make a hard colony rush more expensive to pull off, as the player would need to build more markets to cover the costs of expansion. As it is right now, a hard REX (rapid early expansion) is basically always the best strategy in GC 3, which is boring. 

-citizens: I like the fact that leaders are in the game, their strength is flexibility, but they should pay for that by offering a reduced benefit from the other citizens. For example, scientists, workers, engineers, etc, could boost their stat by 5% empire wide and leaders boost it by 4%. The leaders offer a slightly less powerful boost in exchange for the fact that they can be swapped to other areas when priorities change. Also, citizens on planets should level up more quickly. Finally - forcing citizens to travel in undefended transports was a dumb design decision, imo. You can't even properly protect these transports because you can't add them to fleets, you need to watch them every single turn and they can be destroyed by a wandering pirate sniper - stupid and unnecessary. Just have citizens take 2 turns to transfer to a planet and do it behind the scenes. 

-carriers/ship sizes: I don't know why weapons destroy defenses in battle now. This needs to be rebalanced because carrier launched fighters are just far too powerful. Conceptually there are many ways to do this, such as making high defensive values take very little damage from many instances of low attack power weapons, but I haven't looked into the coding of GC3 to see exactly how it is calculated. So I'm not going to recommend a mathematical solution to this problem, just a conceptual one - there should either be a defensive technology that drastically reduces incoming damage from small fighters, or an offensive technology that allows for some kind of splash damage (has that ever existed in GC?), or both. 

-Ground combat: Why would anyone bother building expensive legions or hiring generals just to need to build station garrisons and defend a planet on the ground? The attacker can just use invasion technologies and nullify any defender bonuses. You're better off just building ships and blocking enemy transports, and if your planet does get captured, use your own transport and take it back. Defending a planet is always a losing proposition. 

       This wasn't always the case in GC2. If you had good soldiering and a high population planet, it might have proven too difficult to capture, and that population served a purpose, so you could defend your planets passively with larger populations. 

        Requiring a planet to build a legion, and then build a "station garrison" on top of that to defend itself is nonsensical. One should be able to build garrisons without using up their supply of legions. Garrisons and legions should be separate. A garrison is permanently stuck on a planet and cannot ever leave, but for the purposes of ground combat is equivalent to a legion, and much cheaper. In that case, there might be a reason to build them, although it would still always be a better option to just fight your battles in space. 

    -the Iconians/Xenophobic trait: When I read the description of this trait I thought it was a joke. What were you guys thinking??? Can you imagine such a trait in Civilization? It's totally broken. The AI doesn't appear to understand how to exploit it, so I haven't noticed the Iconians totally dominating my games, although they do manage to stay ahead in research for the first 2/3 of the game when no one attacks them. In the hands of the player it's just ridiculous. If you get attacked early, you're in big trouble. If people leave you alone, you win the game in a complete snoozefest cakewalk. 

  I don't even like the concept of this trait, but if it's going to remain in the game, it needs to be changed to something more reasonable like +40% research/social production and -25% ship production. 

 

 While these are my gripes, I want to add that you have made a great game, overall, and I applaud your efforts. It is precisely because I like this game so much that I hope to see some tweaks and improvements. 

 -Cities/population: rebalance this but NOT with a square root formula. Make raw production = 50% of population, increase city food/durantium cost, increase the build cost of cities. I'm not sure what to do about synthetic civs... you opened a can of worms with that one.

 

-Ideology: as others have suggested, Do NOT make ideology all about conquering planets. Once again, this leads the player to focus on colony rushing above all else. The ideology buildings (like the missionary building) should be more important in producing ideology points, and planetary events should be far less important.

 

-Reduce starting cash

 Anyway, that's my two credits' worth. 

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