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The Good, The Bad, and The Ugly [Feedback]

By on December 29, 2008 10:34:48 AM from Sins of a Solar Empire Forums Sins of a Solar Empire Forums

shfir

Join Date 11/2003
+3

After 22 games and well over a hundred hours in the beta for Entrenchment focusing on different races and playstyles, I feel I've gotten a pretty good look at what the mini-expansion is all about and how things work together. I took a couple more hours to think about what I wanted to say for feedback, and wrote up this ... book practically. If you can hang through my long-winded discussions about the beta, I applaud your temerity and resolve. If not, I understand.

 

I'm going to suggest on four seperate topics : Starbases, Minefields, Bombardment Cruisers, and OTHER, listing each by The Good, The Bad, and The Ugly. I know ... so original.


Starbases :

The Good
I really like the way Starbases are flexible and can be used for different purposes but can't be "fully upgraded", making them a strategic choice instead of a tactical necessity. I thought their initial production costs and construction time in a "friendly" gravity well to be about right. Not a whole lot of adjusting wanted or needed there. The visual looks of the stations is pleasing as well, with the TEC's solid design, Advent's pleasing philosophy, and Vasari's alien angles bringing a unique and appropriate appeal to each structure.


The Bad
The things I think need improvement. In my opinion, the Starbase has far too little tactical use in a defensive role. For players who want to use it as a way to harden their defenses in critical choke points, it is of rather limited utility. When fully loaded with combat upgrades, it is capable of protecting itself against a fleet of moderate size for a while, but it lacks the weapons range and ability range to force engagement if the enemy declines to do battle. It is impossible to force the enemy to come and fight the Starbase, and the Starbase lacks the ability to damage enemies that decide they don't want to mess with it. It doesn't have the range to defend the entirety of a single phase lane, or more than half of a planet. Nearly the only way to force an enemy to come into range is to construct it almost adjacent to a Phase Jump Inhibitor. But if the enemy hits the PJI and leaves or just decides to live with the penalty, then they can still avoid a decisive battle.

Also, the Starbase seems capable of being used in a purely offensive role entirely too well. It's a defensive structure ... not an offensive "Death Star". When phase-jumping the constructor into an enemy gravity well and immediately beginning construction, most early- to mid-game defensive fleets aren't able to destroy it before it and its first defensive upgrade have been completed. A quick succession of defensive upgrades keeps it stable and in the fight despite the fire being poured into it, and it slowly but surely takes out the defenders. This is without a defensive fleet of any kind.

In addition, I find the squadron dynamics to be somewhat unbalanced in Starbases relative to the rest of the game. The Advent Starbase starts with two squadrons (compared to TEC and Vasari who start with none), and has an extra level of upgrades, giving it a total of ten to everyone else's six. While ten seems like a suitable number for a TEC or Vasari Starbase, it seems light for Advent, equal to about three Hangars per faction. Also, the Starbase has no appreciable squadron defense other than building hangars on it and producing nothing but fighters.

I am also constantly vexed when my Vasari Starbase automatically chases a scout to the far end of the gravity well and is sorely out of place when the actual attack comes.


The Ugly
The "Ugly" is where I give my suggestions. It's the wart-covered, pimply, mangey-haired abomination that I would make if I were to have input into game development. First ... making the Starbase more effective in the defensive role. I want to see a Starbase that is capable of forcing an enemy to engage it even if they really, really don't want to. I want to see a Starbase that is capable of reaching and causing significant losses on enemies that plan to stay outside it's primary weapons envelope. There are a couple equally useful and satisfactory ways to do this. Increasing the basic range of the weapons envelopes is one that's very popular among people putting in input, but increasing basic range only gives you a larger area to damage enemies that don't come to you. If the enemy wants to stay away, it only allows you to do marginal damage for a little bit longer. Also useful is some sort of Phase-Jump Inhibitor that prevents the enemy from jumping into gravity wells controlled by your empire, but this seems like a strange arbitrary rule unless you also need to build an equivalent structure in the other gravity wells that the enemy is being rendered unable to jump into. Without some sort of "web" that they are unable to penetrate, it doesn't seem to make sense to me. Now, if it was integrated into the final tier of a Starbase's upgrades (or added as a new layer) as a "web" and non-allied ships can't follow the "web lines", then it seems to make sense and be functional. Another idea is to include some sort of ability in Starbases that forces the enemy to engage by other means, such as a Tractor Beam capable of pulling and holding ships into engagement range for the TEC, a Force Battle ability for the Advent that forces the enemy to engage the Starbase (similar to their Battleship's ability), and an ability for the Vasari to manipulate phase lanes so that incoming enemies come out of phase space in range of the Starbase (of course, the Vasari Starbase moves in the first place, so it can come to the enemy if the enemy doesn't want to come to it). Again, this uses an upgrade slot unless it's included into the final layer of an existing upgrade, ideally offensive weapons (or preferably added as a new layer). This allows the Starbase to force at least some of the enemy to do battle, at least until its antimatter runs out and isn't able to use its Tractor Beam / Aggression ability / Phase Funnel.

Next, about the so-called "attack Starbase". I find the construction of a Starbase in an enemy-controlled gravity well to be entirely too fast. I'd like to see it take longer, making it possible only if there is some sort of defensive fleet to keep enemies from eliminating it before it is complete. My suggestion is to double or quadruple the basic construction time, but include a construction speed bonus in a friendly well. I also advocate making damage to an incomplete Starbase damage the hull directly and not the shield, as the shield shouldn't be online yet, and/or damage (of any kind) also increases the construction time (so that damage equal to 50% of the baseline hull [or hull+shields if the shields activate immediately upon beginning construction] makes the construction take an addional 50% longer).

For squadrons, I'd like to see at least a couple added to the basic Starbase before upgrades, perhaps two for TEC and Vasari and two more (four total) for Advent, and increase the number of squadrons added per upgrade to three. The Advent retain their numerical superiorty, but the total number is greater for all factions. I'd also like to see flak cannons (and the equivalent for all factions) added to Starbases, probably through their defensive upgrade tree. But if Starbases get more starting and upgraded squadrons, then this is less of an issue. What I am trying to prevent is the use of carrier cruisers with bomber squadrons acting as better bombardment cruisers. I'm going to talk about Bombardment Cruisers seperately, but for most factions it's a far better tactic to build an equivalent weight in carrier cruisers with bombers and use that to attack Starbases instead of Bombardment Cruisers. Just some way to wear down attacking squadrons and degrade their usefulness in that role will help balancing.

There are a couple other things I'd like to see incorporated into Starbases that don't fall under the banner of "fixing issues". I'd like to see the upgrading system adjusted slightly, with later upgrades made more expensive and longer than the initial upgrade, and some upgrades being more expensive than others. For example, the final tier of offensive upgrades adds "a powerful long-range attack" while the initial trade upgrade allows a paltry .8 cr/sec and costs the same amount. I'd also like to see enough "offensive" upgrades to make it impossible for someone to make "the Ultimate Combat Starbase". I'd like to see it possible to have a weapon-heavy Starbase, a fighter-heavy Starbase, and a defense/ability-heavy Starbase as all unique and different in their own ways. Also ... top-tier research to allow one or two additional upgrades? Sounds like fun.

I also think the restriction to one Starbase per gravity well is prohibitive. In a star's gravity well the effective range of a Starbase is incredibly tiny compared to the total size of the gravity well no matter what abilities you give it. but if a starbase has an area around it that makes it impossible to build another one nearby it, you would be able to cover more of the gravity well effectively. For the Vasari, it would need to be an ability that also repels other Starbases, or reduces the max speed of other Starbases within its range to stay ... 10% of normal, making it possible to spam completed Starbases in a small area, but very time-intensive. It would also be good to see some sort of ability for Starbases to host tactical structures in any kind of uncolonizable gravity well, such as gas giants and space junk.

I'm also going to take a moment to say that I find the idea of a phase-jumping Starbase rediculous. In my honest opinion it's the most horrible idea I've seen regarding Starbases yet, and I find it to be a game-breaker in the waiting.

Finally, I'd like to see Starbases be limited in number instead of possible to spam in every system, probably through a "capital ship crew"-like system. This makes the choice of grav wells to host Starbases in more strategic, increasing the strategy level even more. I realize this almost goes against the idea of it being possible to build more than one in a grav well, but a Starbase-heavy grav well in one location makes everything else even more vulnerable.




Minefields :

The Good
I like the TEC minefields. I really, really do. Their cost seems to be well-tuned and their semi-random scatter allows you to make an unpredictable minefield that will make it difficult for an unprepared enemy to advance without taking any kind of damage. The damage done by minefields all around seems well-balanced, and well executed.


The Bad
The Advent and Vasari have the ability to make unlimited minefields anywhere at no charge. The Vasari mine-laying ship in particular is immensely more useful when leaving autocast off until battle is joined, then turning autocast on and watching it lay mines right in the middle of the enemy fleet. The Advent mine squadrons require micromanagement to move them to the location you want, wait for the last of the mineships to catch up to the first, and then manually activate. If you let them autocast they tend to make very dense minefields right at the hangars when an enemy scout drops in, and nothing anywhere else. Essentially, the TEC minefield is well-balanced and effective, but the Advent and Vasari minefields are nothing of the sort.

Also, there seems to be some sort of bug or glitch with the minefield's "cloaking" ability. Even when scouts are within their ability range of mines, they tend to blink in and out of invulnerability, making it extremely difficult to sweep them. They also take much longer than seems right to destroy.


The Ugly

First, the Vasari minelayer. Right now laying mines with the Ruiner is an iffy proposition at best, very difficult to control in detail without intense micro-management. My suggestion is to give it a "lay minefield" ability that is functionally identical to the TEC minefield, producing ten or so mines randomly in a small area. The fact that their mines are free also is an unbalancer, so I would like to see their mines cost the same "per field" as the TEC. We've seen in their Migrators that they can cost resources to produce structures, so it should not be a big hassle to program it so that laying mines costs resources. Either run the cost per mine, or run it "per field".

Next, the Advent minefield. Their mine squadrons seem very unbalanced and difficult to use. Instead, I'd like to see some sort of single-use minelaying ship (similar to the Starbase-constructing cruisers) that you move into place and then activate and begins constructing the mines over time. Or barring that, at least have some sort of cost or other measure to make it slightly prohibitive for players to spam minefields all over a gravity well.

For all minefields, I'd like to see the invulnerability glitch removed. Make them non-glitchy and able to be targetted quickly. Also decrease the hit points of mines so they clear faster ... a mine is a small bomb with sensors that may or may not have an engine equipped to zoom at nearby targets. They're really the size of fighters or smaller and filled with explosives, and should have an amount of hit points that reflects that.

I'd also like to see better mine-field clearing ships. Either add more mineclearing abilities to scouts, or add mineclearing functionality to antifighter frigates. I'd really, really like to see mineclearing added to antifighter frigates.



Bombardment Cruisers :

The Good
TEC Bombardment Cruisers do strong damage against enemy structures at long-range, making them effective at taking down Starbases and other structures. The idea is sound.


The Bad
The idea is sound, but the execution is imperfect. TEC Bombardment cruisers tend to drift around the gravity well into enemy range and they are tricky to make attack a particular structure. Advent Bombardment cruisers have no range, making them do plenty of damage against many targets ... as long as they survive. They particularly fail to stand up against Starbases, which I thought was the whole idea behind them in the first place.

The Vasari do not have a Bombardment Cruiser. This is something I'd like to see implemented.


The Ugly
I suggest adding a weapon to the Bombardment cruisers that has equal range to their anti-structure damage ability, but with neglible damage similar to the scout and colony frigates. It would then autocast the ability at the targetted structure, making it simple to direct the ships at their intended targets. Also adding a longer range to Advent Bombardment cruisers so they can engage a Starbase beyond its range.

And add a Vasari Bombardment cruiser.




OTHER :

The Good
On the whole, I like the expansion. It opens up new possibilities, new strategies, new opportunities all around. It feels like a new game, it has given it a lot more replay value so I'm enjoying it all over again. Adding a host of additional upgrades to tactical structures in the Defense technology tree has been fun, increasing their utility.

The Bad
Still feels a little unbalanced, and I'd like to see Starbases rendered more useful. AI still tries to snipe the pirates on you, and that's frustrating. And fix the in-game Achievements ... I've gone to the extensive trouble to earn the tech achievments a couple different times, and the game still hasn't given them to me. Very frustrating.

The Ugly
Adjust the AI so ships don't run into minefields uncaring of their existence. They're dangerous ... ships should be scared. I'd like to see a countdown timer for the pirate raids. Right now it's tricky to figure out exactly when they're going to launch once they're in their two minute little countdown window - give us some way to tell when they're in that last fifteen seconds or so to help make sure the AI doesn't snipe us literally at the last possible second. With humans of course, it's par for the course. I'd also love to see capital ships added to the pirates. A couple hanging around their home base, and one or two at the top one or two levels of pirate threat. If they're going to be dangerous ... let's make them dangerous.

I also want a space pony.

 

 

That's it, folks! My sincerest congratulations if you managed to make it all the way through that without pausing for an Intermission in the middle. I hate to bribe, but I'll +karma responses posted here where people add their own thoughts and opinions. Test and enjoy!

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December 29, 2008 10:49:44 AM from Sins of a Solar Empire Forums Sins of a Solar Empire Forums

I also want a space pony.

Don't we all?

Thoughts and opinions not added, so no need to karma. 

For what it's worth, though, I am as opposed to having more than one starbase per gravity well as you are opposed to them phase jumping (which I am also opposed to).  Assuming the other problems with starbases can be fixed (namely range, and more to the point the ease with which enemy fleets can currently avoid them), having more than one of them per gravity well would no longer be necessary.

I like the idea of the pirates getting capital ships, but I have no idea why.

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December 29, 2008 11:01:05 AM from Sins of a Solar Empire Forums Sins of a Solar Empire Forums

You're very entitled to disagree. It's the whole point of feedback from multiple people ... it's not a game for me, it's a game for everyone. And if the other problems with Starbases were fixed, there wouldn't be any need for additional Starbases. Out side of camping stars, at least.

 

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December 29, 2008 11:28:01 AM from Sins of a Solar Empire Forums Sins of a Solar Empire Forums

Everything has been pretty much mentioned before except the Vasari Phase Lane manipulation idea. How about they manipulate the outgoing phase lane into a circle so it brings you right back to the same grav well, hehe. All incoming ships appearing right next to the base (possibly on the far side of the grav well in the middle of planetary defenses) would work wonders though.

And Starbases definitely need to be equipped with Flak guns.

I can pretty much sign the post above, many good points.

edit: but no caps for pirates, thank you.

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December 29, 2008 12:34:32 PM from Sins of a Solar Empire Forums Sins of a Solar Empire Forums

Heh heh, and some of 'em were mentioned by me!

 

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December 29, 2008 3:37:35 PM from Sins of a Solar Empire Forums Sins of a Solar Empire Forums

It's still only one starbase per grav well *per player*, so in, say, a 4v4 game you could have 8 starbases in the same gravity well (unlikely, but entertaining).

Besides that, lots of things I already agree with.

I would add:  I wish that there was a mineclearing ability for scouts - instead of a "vulnerability aura" passive skill, an autocastable "safely disarm 1 targeted mine" ability - and that scouts would smartly use that ability if included in a fleet.

Picture this:  You jump into a hostile grav well that is heavily mined.  Your fleet includes 8 scouts with minesweeping set to autocast.  4 of the scouts immediately fan out to disarm the closest mines that threaten the fleet.  You order your fleet to attack the planet, and the other 4 scouts "notice" that there are large minefields blocking the quickest path; they leave formation to disarm the mines.  Your fleet "knows" that it should wait for them to finish before closing the distance, and doesn't suicide into the minefields when there is an alternative.  All of the scouts leave formation to clear mines while the fleet bombs the planet, since they have nothing better to do until bombing finishes.

When you've finished bombing the planet and taking it over, you detach 2 scouts from your fleet.  They stay in the gravity well, slowly but automatically clearing the remainder of the hostile mines.  The other 6 scouts stay with the fleet to clear mines from the next gravity well.  Just like siege frigates automatically bomb and antifighter frigates automatically shoot at squadrons, you can put minesweeper scouts in your fleet to automatically deal with mines - and as long as you have enough, and adequately protect them from enemy defenses, things work out.  The ability takes time and has a cooldown, so 1 scout can't deal with a zillion mines, especially if it's also getting shot at by defenders.  But if you control a gravity well, you can cheaply clear it of mines by assigning a minewseeper task force to do the busywork.

Doesn't that sound much better than the current "manually move the scout 3 inches, manually move another ship 3 inches to shoot more mines" method of clearing minefields? 

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December 29, 2008 4:16:07 PM from Sins of a Solar Empire Forums Sins of a Solar Empire Forums

I really like the suggested idea to give anti-strike craft frigs some mine clearing abilities, alongside making the scout more effective at detecting them.  I also agree with making the ruiner work more like TEC mines.

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December 29, 2008 4:44:05 PM from Sins of a Solar Empire Forums Sins of a Solar Empire Forums

I playtested the SB engagement thing in my head for days now; although I do really want longer SB weapon range, it just won't work to make a SB useful or worth the money (for the second half of the game anyway, at first, they'd be perfect to take out scouts and Seige ships or small raiding fleets).  Preventing the enemy from using "friendly" jump lanes with a SB is the only way I can think of to ensure engagement, otherwise, they enemy fleet will always just go around it, or take their lumps going around it (if ranged is increased). 

If SB weapon range is increased (even to reach the entire gravity well) and PJI used too, this might make the "lumps" an enemy fleet takes to avoid the base a bit more lumpy, but that's a really low lump to money ratio even under the best of situations. 

Make it a high level Defence Tech to research and expencive to build, maybe even make it use antimater, it's still the only way I can conceive to make them do their job and worth the time/money.   Call it a Jump Inhibitor, Tractor Beam, Jump Lane Barrier, whatever you like, you want to get through, you got'a take out the SB.

Oh, and as for building SB in enemy occupied wells, it really leaves a bad taste in my mouth (we are talking brussle sprout-like taste here), but if you guys just got'a have it, ya, increase the build time four-fold at least (it's too fast in friendly wells now if you ask me).

And minesweapers would be great, scouts and/or flak ships (com'on guys, give the Flak at least a second thing they are barley needed for ) but slowing the movement of the fleet, by, I don't know, 1/4rth speed while sweeping would make it realistic and strategic (sweep or damn the torpedoes, full speed ahead!).

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December 29, 2008 11:26:12 PM from Sins of a Solar Empire Forums Sins of a Solar Empire Forums

I haven't seen everything there is to see in Entrenchment, but here's what I think about it:

 

Star Bases:

More range on their weapons seems like a good thing. Also, built-in flak cannons.

I haven't had much experience fighting against fully upgraded starbases, but lesser ones fall to 20 frigates or so (plus capital ship support) with no casualties. I don't know how others feel, but Starbase durability is something I am unsure about.

Their different abilities look awesome, so thumbs up there.

Starbases should be limited to one per system, except perhaps in systems that don't have planets. Two seems like a decent choice here. Or failing that, allowing systems without planets to build some tactical structures near their starbase.

 

Mines:

I have seen all three types of mines, and came to the following conclusion.

The Vasari mine-spam is ridiculous; however, it seemed to be the only way to make mines useful. The Advent mines was far too time-intensive to really mine a system, and the Tech minefields, while good, aren't dense enough to really do anything without expending far too many resources. Many times I watched the AI simply fly through my low-density fields unscathed.

My opinion is that the Vasari shoud lay a field like TEC or Advent, and that all the races fields should be larger and denser, then you can simply limit the number of minefields per system. Also, making the Advent and Vasari mines cost something seems like a good course to take.

Others may have had different experiences, but I really don't like the idea of micro-managing shipd and drones to make a mine-field dense enough to matter.

That said, unlimited mines = bad, and from what I've read mine clearing is a pain. I like the idea of giving flak frigates an anti-mine upgrade. Also, mines should have less hit points. Seriously, 100 hit points is too much for a mine. Try 10 or 20. Now a few scouts can actually do something to them.

 

Bombardment Cruisers:

I really like the concept, although I've only used the TEC version. They performed quite well, even if the did occassionally run up to point-blank range because they have no weapon to engage with and interpreted my crazed clicking as a move order.

I think the Vasari should have one, I was quite surprised to learn they didn't. And as someone suggested, a small scout laser to allow the ship to not run up into the enemies face when told to attack would be nice.

 

 

Overall I've like to new material. Generally I play Sins in small, fast, and aggressive games. But deep in my heart I know that I am a defensive player, and these additions make me want to play some actual large games.

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December 30, 2008 12:10:40 AM from Sins of a Solar Empire Forums Sins of a Solar Empire Forums

Mines need a limit per grav-well.

Starbases need to outrange everything except each other and they should have upgrades with different prices.

 

 

The Vasari do not have a Bombardment Cruiser. This is something I'd like to see implemented.

The Vasari starbase is their anto-starbase unit by design.

about the so-called "attack Starbase". I find the construction of a Starbase in an enemy-controlled gravity well to be entirely too fast.

For Vasari it needs to be built quickly in enemy grav-wells, so that it can attack enemy starbases.

 

 

My suggestion is to give it a "lay minefield" ability that is functionally identical to the TEC minefield, producing ten or so mines randomly in a small area

Vasari mines are fine except that they need a limit per grav-well, nothing more. Vasari mine-laying is not micro-intensive. You simply need to hold shift and tell it to go back and forth. Works for me.

 

Starbases should be in end-game statistics and there should be starbase related acheivements.

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December 30, 2008 10:00:29 AM from Sins of a Solar Empire Forums Sins of a Solar Empire Forums

I still can't picture a Starbase, even Vasari, being built under hostile conditions. Bombers from a single Hangar Bay would completely destroy everything faster than you could possibly build.

This has to be represented by a really long build time and a targettable constructor frigate.

Even the Superweapons take much longer to build than a Starbase, the biggest most powerful thing there is. Weird I say.

If the Vasari absolutely must have the ability to build Starbases in hostile gravity wells they had better research a massive Phase Cloak to build it in Phase Space.

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December 30, 2008 4:05:04 PM from Sins of a Solar Empire Forums Sins of a Solar Empire Forums

For Vasari it needs to be built quickly in enemy grav-wells, so that it can attack enemy starbases.

If it was treated as a structure, we wouldn't be having this discussion.  Vasari have a tech that they can get -80% structure build time on.  Sure, it's a tier 6 civilian tech, but still.

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December 30, 2008 10:07:45 PM from Sins of a Solar Empire Forums Sins of a Solar Empire Forums

Allowing the ability to build SB in enemy occupied wells is going to domino the game into a flasid (yes, I did just write that) exercise; let the other guy clear out pirates, colonize the planet, even spend tons of money/reaseach/time improving it, then all you have to do is build a "defencive" SB in his well, and bam, it's all waisted.  No one is going to want to expand after the first half of the game, just gather a gaggle of SB contructors and wait to unleash them on the enemy.

I"ve built 5 SB "constructors" last game, then moved them all into a different enemy well at the same time, THEN I just upgrade the ones that I see the enemy come for.  Easy & Cheasey.  And if they beef up SB more (and they will), that's even a more deadly trick.

I'm telling you, SB will become the weapon of choice in attacking if they are allowed to be built in enemy occupied territories; especially for the Varasi. . .

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December 30, 2008 10:51:12 PM from Sins of a Solar Empire Forums Sins of a Solar Empire Forums

And this is why I want to see Starbase construction times nerfed in hostile gravity wells. It's just too powerful a tactic in the offense. Starbases are for defense. I don't understand why people don't get that.

 

Also ... the Vasari Starbase should not be their Starbase killer. That's just silliness. Does this mean they have to build a Starbase to attack enemy Starbases? Sure seems that way to me, now.

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December 30, 2008 11:45:41 PM from Sins of a Solar Empire Forums Sins of a Solar Empire Forums

Hey, I agree with alot of what you are saying. I also have a consideration for mine fields. With what you said aside, i also think that there is no real way to clear a mine field. 

It could be done with some scipting. If there are no enemy ships around and there are scouts present the fleet should go hunting for mines, or it shoudl be a tactical option to select. The problem I have with mines now is that there is no way to have your ships attack them without micromanagement. 

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December 31, 2008 12:41:04 AM from Sins of a Solar Empire Forums Sins of a Solar Empire Forums

Good: Mines definitely are something this game needed, akin to "walls" in other RTSs, that encourage more strategic movement of fleets. They are a cheep way to effectively slow the onslaught of attacking forces.

The Bad/Ugly/Suggestions:

Mines as they are right now require /way/ too much micromanaging. Period, between laying and sweeping. If I'm currently on campaign, managing my fleet, "pwning noobs," I'd rather not have to go back and check my more strategic planets' defenses every 5 minutes to place maybe 10 more mines.

Did anyone here ever play the RTS Submarine Titians? It was an older game from around 2000, but the way in which mines in that game were employed seem like they could be a possible solution here. You build defensive turrets, each capable of maintaining a complement of about 10 mines (this could be increased in the case of Sins) as well as replenishing those mines that had been destroyed, until the structure itself was destroyed.

In sins, this means that there could be a tactical structure, requiring tactical slots (and thus limiting their ubiquity), that automatically deployed mines to a specified region until a certain building-specified cap was reached, then it'd quit outputting until those mines were used.

 

As far as mine clearing, I've got nothing better than what else I've read here in the forums. The OP seemed to cover pretty much everything I've been reading in here (jolly good read! ) , I'm looking forward to see what the developers decide to do, and when they'll let us know of their secret plans...

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December 31, 2008 7:30:21 PM from Sins of a Solar Empire Forums Sins of a Solar Empire Forums

I find the range on all of the defense structures seriously lacking.  A starbase is a significant investment yet it has the same weak range as the orginal defense platform(which is also way too short).  Why build a starbase for defense when you need a ring of them around a planet to truely defend it without a defense fleet.  A starbase can not even guard a phase lane.  The 'long range' weapon upgrade for the TEC cannon platform is hardly 'long range'. 

A starbase placed right next to a planet should at a minimum be able to attack any ship within bombardment range of the planet from any angle.

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December 31, 2008 8:22:19 PM from Sins of a Solar Empire Forums Sins of a Solar Empire Forums

I agree Bennett:  "Mr. President, we have finally finished construction of the 17 Billion dollar Star Base above the north pole to defend Earth .  Unfotunetly, the enemy siege ships are attacking from the South pole region, so we've given everyone living on that side of the planet unbrellas. . ."

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December 31, 2008 8:36:22 PM from Sins of a Solar Empire Forums Sins of a Solar Empire Forums

That was a very enjoyable read. Thank you! I hope you get at least some of your wishes granted, but I hold little hope for the space pony. I wanted one myself but Stardock hasn't obliged.

I was going to suggest that the Hoshiko Robotics Cruiser be given some "Ordinance Disposal" bots to help clear minefields. They're waay too time consuming to clear out.

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January 1, 2009 7:02:16 PM from Sins of a Solar Empire Forums Sins of a Solar Empire Forums

I was thinking some more, I think the real problem is that when you have scouts the identify mine range is not large enough and the fleet does not know to go and blow them up. It works fine when you move the fleet close to them and have the scout there. 

Also, you could have the scouts have an ability to attack mines. It seems like I can not make them do that. It would make sense if they could. Comments?

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January 2, 2009 3:22:12 AM from Sins of a Solar Empire Forums Sins of a Solar Empire Forums

Much longer SB contruction (especially in enemy wells) is needed, yes, and would help, yes, but, I can still pull the "Starbase Weeds" trick regaurdless.  Make a bunch of SB constructors, send them each to a seperat enemy well at the same time, and even though it would take longer, the enemy still can't be everywhere at once.

Two solutions:  Increase Fleet Cap of SB constructors to about 20-50 each; that stops the SB weeds right there.  And/or, make it so the a SB constructor does NOT disapear when the SB starts being built (just like all other orbital structures are already built); it stays there, a vulnerable fish in a barrel, until the entire base is finished.  Problem solved.

I still don't like the entire idea of being able to do SB in enemy wells anyway; it's not only that it's so unrealistic, and so anti "defencive structure", but I have taken multiple AI planets by building a SB while attacking with my fleet (a couple times even without a fleet), EVEN when there was already an enemy SB in the system; I was just able to upgrade my SB faster than he did, and boom!

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January 2, 2009 1:08:59 PM from Sins of a Solar Empire Forums Sins of a Solar Empire Forums

Quoting PurplePaladin,
Two solutions:  Increase Fleet Cap of SB constructors; 20-50 each about; that stops the SB weeding right there.  And/or, make is so the a SB constructor does NOT disapear when the SB starts being built; it stays there, a vulnerable fish in a barrel until the entire base is finished.  Problem solved.

I like both of these solutions, in tandem even.  The first prevents SB weeding, whereas the second prevents constructing a starbase while under fire (to a large degree).  As it stands, you need approximately 160-300 DPS to kill off a starbase before it 1) completes the second upgrade or 2) finishes being constructed, respectively.

I also think the starbase constructors should only be buildable from the capital ship factory.

I still think starbases shouldn't have shield mitigation while they are being constructed, though.

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January 2, 2009 6:27:26 PM from Sins of a Solar Empire Forums Sins of a Solar Empire Forums

OH!  Building them from Cap Ship Factories is even better!  That would help even more in making them more "special" than spammable.  It did seem a bit odd that something so huge that also turns into a starbase does not have to worry about the "Maximum Clearance" warnings. . .

"This is the Starbase Constructor captain calling any Cobolt frigate in range; we are having engine problems and need to be tied to your roof for transport to enemy well. . . "

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January 6, 2009 10:32:45 PM from Sins of a Solar Empire Forums Sins of a Solar Empire Forums

Another great thread guys. We are just getting back to it and I'm finding all the best ideas. We agree with much of the OP's problems and some of the solutions. Thanks for the help and support! Now I have to get busy making the changes

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January 7, 2009 12:38:10 AM from Sins of a Solar Empire Forums Sins of a Solar Empire Forums

Quoting Ragmash,
You build defensive turrets, each capable of maintaining a complement of about 10 mines (this could be increased in the case of Sins) as well as replenishing those mines that had been destroyed, until the structure itself was destroyed.

In sins, this means that there could be a tactical structure, requiring tactical slots (and thus limiting their ubiquity), that automatically deployed mines to a specified region until a certain building-specified cap was reached, then it'd quit outputting until those mines were used..

I like this idea very much. The Mine Depot would support a minefield that sparsely covers an area about the size of a cannon's range; it might be more balanced/tactically interesting if mines themselves are constructed by LEVs/Drones as TEC mines are done now.

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January 7, 2009 2:36:59 AM from Sins of a Solar Empire Forums Sins of a Solar Empire Forums

Another thing that has not been brought up: If starbases move, then the range supremacy that Missle Cruisers enjoy is pretty much lost.  Most people have said "I never build missile ships", but how many have had a self destruct take out most their fleet?  Having half you fleet taken out by a SD, then having to put your flaming tale between your legs and run when the enemy fleet jumps back in to vacume up your crew is a startling stratagey splash in the face; Missle Cruisers can stop this, but I'm not sure their AI could keep up with a moving SB not to mention the tons of micro needed to keep them out of range.

As for the mine depot above, that could be a Def Tech reasearchable that can be added to a turret and/or hanger and/or starbase.

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