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Uh... concerned with balance, anyone?

By on March 6, 2012 7:25:50 PM from Sins of a Solar Empire Forums Sins of a Solar Empire Forums

Agent of Kh...

Join Date 02/2008
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Don't get me wrong, I love the devs of this game and all, and I love this game. They are great people, its a great company, its a great game, blah blah. But the game you have now is not balanced correctly. What do you expect to happen to balance after you add all this new stuff to it? This is the overriding issue of why I, personally, will not be spending money on this expansion. But I guess all you guys either don't care, or the newness of the bright shiny cool new toys outweighs balance concerns?
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March 6, 2012 7:34:51 PM from Sins of a Solar Empire Forums Sins of a Solar Empire Forums

The game is in beta for a reason - to provide feedback. It is still far from being a finished product. In time, with enough feedback, the developers will be able to make things a bit more balanced.

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March 6, 2012 7:47:37 PM from Sins of a Solar Empire Forums Sins of a Solar Empire Forums

OP, who better to balance the game then the players who know its ins and outs?  Sure there are some glaring issues(a single path to victory being the biggest), but you have to step back and observe the bigger picture about how this impacts the game long term.  Assume these issues will be fixed and provide your feedback and be the change you want to see in the game. 

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March 6, 2012 8:19:28 PM from Sins of a Solar Empire Forums Sins of a Solar Empire Forums

Indeed.  AoK, you could make a very good argument that the game is already horrifically imbalanced in many ways prior to Rebellion.  With Rebellion, they're adding new -- and hopefully interesting -- features, and giving players the opportunity to provide feedback on them, and help shape -- shape, not dictate! -- the final form of the game, most notably in terms of balance.

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March 6, 2012 8:41:38 PM from Sins of a Solar Empire Forums Sins of a Solar Empire Forums

Ah, perhaps I didn't explain myself very well. Let me try again. The plain game itself (in other words, NOT THE REBELLION EXPANSION) is not balanced. Or, at least it wasn't balanced for the years I played it, so I can't imagine it is currently balanced unless some old-timer like a Cykur-type pops in here and says "Yo Agent, after you left, the devs spent tons of time and resources on the issue so yes, the game itself is finally balanced!" Since the "plain game itself" was never balanced when I played it, and since I presume it wasn't brought into balance after I stopped playing (in other words, I presume it is currently still not balanced), how can there possibly be hope for balance in adding more stuff to the game in an expansion?

unbalanced + adding_more_stuff = even_more_unbalanced

Quick note: I'm using the term "balance" here a little broadly. I'm not implying something like "all things being equal, the vasari are always OP" (that may or may not be the case - certainly there were debacles like this in the past which lasted for eons, with a particular "advent OP" episode regarding scouts, disciples, and carrier caps being quite fresh in my memory). I mean ANYTHING regarding balance:

- Races dominating other races, all other things being equal (historical example - Advent owning everyone else in multiplayer for the longest time, resulting in the situation where most players chose Advent, leading to all Advent vs. Advent games).

- Particular ship types dominating most others, all things being equal (historical example - carrier cruisers being OP at one point, and the lrm-type frigate spam being ubiquitous since day one release, leaving little or no role for generic light frigate type).

- Some capships being well-developed while other capship types were essentially ignored by the devs (historical example - carrier cap spam was seriously en-vogue when I left the game).

Also, note that I am talking multiplayer balance. It seems that single player types will always regard the game as "balanced" in their single player gameplay experience.

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March 6, 2012 8:47:50 PM from Sins of a Solar Empire Forums Sins of a Solar Empire Forums

Quoting RonLugge,
Indeed. AoK, you could make a very good argument that the game is already horrifically imbalanced in many ways prior to Rebellion. With Rebellion, they're adding new -- and hopefully interesting -- features, and giving players the opportunity to provide feedback on them, and help shape -- shape, not dictate! -- the final form of the game, most notably in terms of balance.

What precedent can you point to that leads you to believe things will work out this way?  Isn't it just hoping against hope?  If things worked this way, wouldn't the game already be balanced by now?

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March 6, 2012 9:02:15 PM from Sins of a Solar Empire Forums Sins of a Solar Empire Forums

Quoting Agent of Kharma,
unbalanced + adding_more_stuff = even_more_unbalanced

As a modder, I can tell you more often than not, balanced + adding more stuff = something just as unbalanced. As long as major features are going to be added its very difficult to keep a game balanced. Its what Stardock does after Rebellion is released that will determine whether this game is ever "balanced" enough for your standards. What they could have done in Diplomacy is mostly irrelevant.

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March 6, 2012 9:56:43 PM from Sins of a Solar Empire Forums Sins of a Solar Empire Forums

okay AoK if you are not buying the game then why did you get the beta? Is it because all you want to do is complain and put down all the hard work the devs put into the game? if so just go away

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March 6, 2012 10:02:06 PM from Sins of a Solar Empire Forums Sins of a Solar Empire Forums

Quoting sporemaster,
okay AoK if you are not buying the game then why did you get the beta? Is it because all you want to do is complain and put down all the hard work the devs put into the game? if so just go away

He didn't get the beta, he hasn't bought Rebellion.

Anyway, such is RTS, Kharma, what is balanced and unbalanced changes like the seasons, when you think you're close, someone out there comes up with something and bam, new unbalanced strategy. I've yet to see a truly balanced RTS.

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March 6, 2012 10:06:13 PM from Sins of a Solar Empire Forums Sins of a Solar Empire Forums

[quote who="Mr. Haze" reply="8" id="3101864"]He didn't get the beta, he hasn't bought Rebellion.[/quote]

Then he REALLY has no room to talk at all. He hasnt even played the game so what is he talking about?

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March 6, 2012 10:08:04 PM from Sins of a Solar Empire Forums Sins of a Solar Empire Forums

Instead of complaining, saying broad terms like 'the game is unbalanced. Fix it or I'm gone,' put in the time to see what is unbalanced and come up with fixes yourself and suggest them to the devs.

Oh wait, what's that? You haven't played in 'eons?' Then you're a troll, blabbing about something you know nothing about. Go away. We don't want your kind here.

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March 6, 2012 10:17:10 PM from Sins of a Solar Empire Forums Sins of a Solar Empire Forums

Quoting sporemaster,
[quote who="Mr. Haze" reply="8" id="3101864"]He didn't get the beta, he hasn't bought Rebellion.


Then he REALLY has no room to talk at all. He hasnt even played the game so what is he talking about?[/quote]

He was voicing concerns about the imbalance in the current game (Diplomacy/Trinity) and how he fears Rebellion is going to make it worse.

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March 6, 2012 10:37:58 PM from Sins of a Solar Empire Forums Sins of a Solar Empire Forums

Trinity balance is different now than the OP remembers and has improved I think. Ironically, Advent are now considered the weakest of the races in MP, but not necessarily by a huge amount - skill still has a greater influence. I quit playing sometime during Entrenchment when carrier spam beat all and the balance when I came back to Trinity did seem improved. Titans have thrown that all out of whack again but, as stated, this is a beta, and I have confidence the devs will tweak it into shape before the beta ends.

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March 6, 2012 10:45:19 PM from Sins of a Solar Empire Forums Sins of a Solar Empire Forums

Its what Stardock does after Rebellion is released that will determine whether this game is ever "balanced" enough for your standards. What they could have done in Diplomacy is mostly irrelevant.


What they could have done in Diplomacy and before (regarding balance) is relevant.  If they didn't see fit to put the resources and time and energy into balancing the game before, I don't see a reason to assume they would do so in an expansion.

He didn't get the beta, he hasn't bought Rebellion.


You got it, Mr. Haze - thanks.

Anyway, such is RTS, Kharma, what is balanced and unbalanced changes like the seasons, when you think you're close, someone out there comes up with something and bam, new unbalanced strategy. I've yet to see a truly balanced RTS.


I'd have a little more sympathy for this viewpoint if there was ever a serious attempt by the devs to balance the game.  Thing is, I never saw one.  They didn't seem to view it as a serious concern and a long-term process they had to put resources and energy into.  They just took a few haphazard whacks at it and figured that's all they needed to do.

The situation you describe of a developer doing "due diligence" in trying to balance an RTS only to have some guy come up with a strat that proves the need for further balancing doesn't seem to apply here.  There were serious issues that everyone knew about that went on and on for eons without any adjustment by the devs.  Even now, years and years into the game, I'm guessing (you can correct me if I am wrong) that long-range frigate spam is as dominant as it ever was.  If so, don't you think that could have been fixed eons ago by someone who was even casually committed to some form of balance?

Instead of complaining, saying broad terms like 'the game is unbalanced. Fix it or I'm gone,' put in the time to see what is unbalanced and come up with fixes yourself and suggest them to the devs.


First off, I didn't say anything like "fix it or I'm gone."  Secondly, you really aren't familiar with this game's history, are you?  My guess is, you weren't around when I and many others in fact DID come up with tons of fixes ourselves, and suggest them to the devs.  Bottom line, at least know what you are talking about and get your facts straight before opening your mouth.

Oh wait, what's that? You haven't played in 'eons?' Then you're a troll, blabbing about something you know nothing about. Go away. We don't want your kind here.


I'm not going anywhere.  My guess is, I was here way before you darkened the doorstep.  And if anything, it seems as if you are the one blabbing of things he knows nothing about, not me.  If you don't like my posts, you can choose not to read them.  In fact, I'm guessing there might even be an "ignore" function here somewhere.  If so, may I suggest you avail yourself of it?

He was voicing concerns about the imbalance in the current game (Diplomacy/Trinity) and how he fears Rebellion is going to make it worse.


Right as always, Mr. Haze.  Always nice to meet a respectful, thoughtful, mature person on any online forum.  Alas, it's so rare.

Thanks, and regards.

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March 6, 2012 11:10:41 PM from Sins of a Solar Empire Forums Sins of a Solar Empire Forums

I've actually been playing the game faithfully since it first came out in '08. I believe you came after me, good Sir.

You're still a troll who offers nothing to the forum except complaints. I don't like that, therefore, I don't like you.

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March 7, 2012 3:52:02 AM from Sins of a Solar Empire Forums Sins of a Solar Empire Forums

Forums are for player feedback, and if some of these are complaints then they are well justified.  Lucky for them gaming companies design decisions don't kill people like a flawed toyota part would, but the real user feedback is still critical to ensuring good QA practices. 

To be fair, if a flawed toyota part killed a family member of mine, i'd hunt the designer down and skin them alive(assuming in my obsessive search for the truth they ended up being the culprit). 

As a developer, I'd take complaining over the above any day.   

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March 7, 2012 7:21:58 AM from Sins of a Solar Empire Forums Sins of a Solar Empire Forums

Quoting Agent of Kharma,

Even now, years and years into the game, I'm guessing (you can correct me if I am wrong) that long-range frigate spam is as dominant as it ever was.

Eh, for 2/3 races, yeah. Advent early game (if they can survive it) I believe tends to be Seeker, Disciple and Defense Vessels. No more Illuminators with 3 weapon banks all firing at full damage while you micro them through some guy's fleet like I remember from when I last played.


The amusing thing right now is that in this beta LRMs are nonexistent against Titan firepower.

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March 7, 2012 8:00:57 AM from Sins of a Solar Empire Forums Sins of a Solar Empire Forums

The amusing thing right now is that in this beta LRMs are nonexistent against Titan firepower.


Speaking from experience in Entrenchment and Diplomacy betas, I'm almost certain that the Titans will be brought into "rough balance" within short order, and I don't consider that so much of an issue.  But chances are, they will never be fine-balanced for multiplayer play (nor any of the other additions), and it will simply be adding imbalance on top of imbalance.

As GoaFan77 stated above, this may simply result in the same level of imbalance as exists now.  This is not actually correct, as the level of imbalance does increase, but I know what he's trying to say.  What tends to happen in these circumstances is, the newer imbalances that are added dominate the older existing imbalances; that is to say, they are more efficient to exploit, and are more powerful, thus players gravitate to using newer imbalances exclusively over older imbalances which become obsolete.  The newer imbalances thus serve to mask older imbalances.

Said another way, right now lrm may dominate everything else, but if titans are added which dominate lrm + everything else, people will just use those and the lrm imbalance will seem to disappear.  It doesn't disappoear though, it is just masked.

But either way, I guess you folks either don't mind that lrms and other aspects are still imbalanced this many years into the game, or you don't mind enough to give you pause on shelling out for this expansion?

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March 8, 2012 1:44:45 PM from Sins of a Solar Empire Forums Sins of a Solar Empire Forums

Hello AOK, I thought you disappeared into abyss (well, I was also disappeared into abyss until Rebellion beta came out.)

 

I highly doubt that this game, which has so many complex, deep techs and amount of ships and stuffs, will be ever roughly balanced.

 

But again, even games like SC2 also has glaring imbalance and it is really fate for all RTS. Players always beat game developers/balancers and it is not new idea.

 

I say, buy the game and enjoy it. At least new TEC capital ship (boarding ship) is very fresh and unique. Gamedesign-wise they are going into right direction.

 

 

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March 9, 2012 2:18:06 AM from Sins of a Solar Empire Forums Sins of a Solar Empire Forums

Hello AOK, I thought you disappeared into abyss...


Hi there.  Yup, I disappeared into the abyss for quite a while

I highly doubt that this game, which has so many complex, deep techs and amount of ships and stuffs, will be ever roughly balanced.


Some of the most glaring and obvious balance issues which have been present from day one don't seem to be a product of game complexity, rather just laziness or a non-caring attitude by the devs (or, perhaps just ignorance that the problems exist).

Example:  lrm.  What's so hard about toning that down?  Hell, even if it ended up being hard in practice, was the attempt ever made?  Show me a concerted effort where the devs even tried to tone it down.

But again, even games like SC2 also has glaring imbalance and it is really fate for all RTS.


I agree SC2 has glaring imbalances.  The balance team there is just plain stupid (they really are).  I don't think Sins guys are stupid, they just never tried.

I refuse to accept that imbalance is an inevitable fate for all RTS.  There are RTS games which ended up being balanced - SC1 being an example.  SC2 balancers are just stupid, and Sins balancers don't care about balance.  My guess is that Sins devs are focused on SP and don't care about MP, but MP is where balance is more critical.

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March 9, 2012 4:16:49 AM from Sins of a Solar Empire Forums Sins of a Solar Empire Forums

SOASE has never been spreadsheet balanced and probably for a reason.  Putting 3 factions in and running armor/hull/shields/antimatter/dps vs credit/metal/crystal/fleetcost is involved and tendious.  Just getting the base stats in and figuring out a dps/fleetcost ratio to see what their effectiveness is is a pain, but possible. 

Seriously, who in their right mind would put something like this together to balance factions.

Okay, so I'm nutz and you too if you took a good look at that and it doesn't even have the formulas displayed.  Muahahahaha!

MP is the primary concern of StarClad.  If they gave a damn for SP there would be a campaign, deathmatch type options for accelerated game and limiting tech, more options on a map like respawning militias, militias that roam, more use of the planetownerismilita instead of noowner and many other options asked for by yours truly and others like 3 years ago only to get flamed and trolled that 4x games don't do that.

Play SP and deal with an AI too stupid to put the numbers 0 to 9 together in the correct order, do research like a player might (even if they had an IQ of 80), upgrade their starbases fully, and fight battles without running back to their homeworld.

Play MP and deal with all that comes with MP: checksum errors, mesh differ (was that EVER FIXED?), players leaving, flaming, smurfing, going afk, trolling, etc...

perhaps having priority 1 mean that the item will get researched will help, but AI loves just researching the ships and getting little else researched.  You have to mod the damn game so dummy ships that can't be build are attached to strings of research just so they will research up.  Just so much AI stuff that needs improving.

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March 9, 2012 11:25:01 AM from Sins of a Solar Empire Forums Sins of a Solar Empire Forums

I understand everything you said, and if you are an SP guy, I feel for you.  Still, there is no way MP is the primary concern of the devs.  It never has been, it never will be.  If you are telling me they don't care about SP either, well, I guess it's a sadder situation than I thought.

I do agree about players leaving, smurfing, trolling, going afk, etc. in MP.  Actually, this game had the worst MP community I ever saw by far.  I have no idea if it improved after I left.  It used to be very cliquish, and only certain people would be allowed in games to play.  There was also this very annoying idea that the "gold standard" for MP play was 5v5.  I mean, who else in their right mind anywhere else in the entire gaming universe believes that 5v5 is the gold standard?  In Starcraft, anything above a 1v1 is already looked down on.  3v3 is laugh material and will seriously get you called a newb.

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March 11, 2012 8:41:31 PM from Sins of a Solar Empire Forums Sins of a Solar Empire Forums

They indeed tried to fix the lrm problems by making the carriers strong, and then here comes flak, light frigates, etc...

 

I think at this point, other than defenses too strong and certain capital ships too weak, the game itself is pretty balanced if we consider the complex elements of the game. It is no doubt that developers took so much time fixing balance issues (I almost believe something was going on IC.), but they were eventually fixed, at least roughly.

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March 12, 2012 1:48:35 AM from Sins of a Solar Empire Forums Sins of a Solar Empire Forums

They indeed tried to fix the lrm problems by making the carriers strong, and then here comes flak, light frigates, etc...

If you are referring to buffing carrier cruisers or carrier caps, AFAIK neither was an attempt to fix lrm problems. In both cases it was simply an attempt to buff underpowered, underused units.

The right way to solve lrm problems, off the top of my head (I'm going based on my recollection of the game when I played actively) is simply to reduce their damage output, and/or make them not hard-counter units like lf so strongly. But whatever the solution is, it could have been solved a long time ago if the devs were in any way concerned with balance. The problem isn't complicated or hard to solve for a balance guy who is dedicated and who spends the appropriate time and energy. This game is not more complicated to balance than any other game in its class out there.

Either way, I don't think you can cite one haphazard, failed attempt at fixing lrm (assuming that's what buffing carriers was) as proof that the devs have tried to balance the game. BALANCE IS AN ONGOING PROCESS. Look at Starcraft. Look at Starcraft2. Sure, in the case of SC2 it still isn't balanced, but there is a dedicated "team" (*cough* - of one or two people) working on it, presumably full-time. The point being, at least they can claim to be trying, and at least they can claim to take balance seriously. At least they can say "it's an ongoing process." Sorry, but a couple of haphazard swipes at balance issues just don't cut it, not here, not anywhere.

I think at this point, other than defenses too strong and certain capital ships too weak, the game itself is pretty balanced if we consider the complex elements of the game.

AFAIK, there was no major attempt at balance after I left. I am aware of one balance patch that occurred, and there may have been a couple of minor tweaks after that included in various game updates, but that's all. Sorry, but that just isn't going to cut it. Period.

I think you can just admit "yeah, I love this game, and I respect the company and the devs, but they just weren't concerned with balance to any appreciable degree."

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March 12, 2012 2:15:30 AM from Sins of a Solar Empire Forums Sins of a Solar Empire Forums

Ima preety sure the devs ignore threads like this one.

 

you guysgotta be alot more sneakies about this I think.

 

 

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March 12, 2012 9:56:19 AM from Sins of a Solar Empire Forums Sins of a Solar Empire Forums

*slaps Pbhead*

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