Say hypothetically...

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Azrael Ultima
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Re: Say hypothetically...

Post by Azrael Ultima » Wed Aug 01, 2018 4:03 pm

fivve wrote:
Wed Aug 01, 2018 8:50 am
Being dictators and darn right sneaky...... How about a black market where you can buy and sell weapons, technology and ships.
Perhaps pirate missions where you can pay pirates to attack another empire.
How about some quest objectives to add to the story.

How about we all just live in peace.
Espionage and letters of marque would be more apt, i think. Quests... don't really fit the genre.

A scenario editor that lets you* easily set up(and share, obviously) scenario maps would probably give quite a bit of life to the game, but would likely require a not inconsiderable amount of dev time as well.
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fivve
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Re: Say hypothetically...

Post by fivve » Wed Aug 01, 2018 7:25 pm

Azrael Ultima wrote:
Wed Aug 01, 2018 4:03 pm
fivve wrote:
Wed Aug 01, 2018 8:50 am
Being dictators and darn right sneaky...... How about a black market where you can buy and sell weapons, technology and ships.
Perhaps pirate missions where you can pay pirates to attack another empire.
How about some quest objectives to add to the story.

How about we all just live in peace.
Espionage and letters of marque would be more apt, i think. Quests... don't really fit the genre.

A scenario editor that lets you* easily set up(and share, obviously) scenario maps would probably give quite a bit of life to the game, but would likely require a not inconsiderable amount of dev time as well.
That was my poor attempt at being sarcastic...... Sorry :lol:

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THIEFs
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Re: Say hypothetically...

Post by THIEFs » Fri Aug 03, 2018 7:54 am

Mecron, any screenshots from SOTS in Unreal 4 engine? :D :insane: :angel: :awesome:

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rytram
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Re: Say hypothetically...

Post by rytram » Fri Aug 03, 2018 10:05 pm

fivve wrote:
Wed Aug 01, 2018 8:50 am
How about we all just live in peace.
PEACE!!! There will be no peace until all life is extenguished. Even the Von Neuman fear my empire. The Peacekeeper Trembles before my presence. The Herald announces MY arrival. I am DEATH. The great clenser. When you see my shadows in your skies, know that Ragnarok has dawned upon you.
Cry havoc, and let slip the dogs of war!

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rytram
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Re: Say hypothetically...

Post by rytram » Fri Aug 03, 2018 10:26 pm

fivve wrote:
Wed Aug 01, 2018 8:50 am
Being dictators and darn right sneaky...... How about a black market where you can buy and sell weapons, technology and ships.
Perhaps pirate missions where you can pay pirates to attack another empire.
i like the idea of improving the piracy concept. it would stand to reason that trade would include current possessed technology. afterall mounts and other forms of tech would need to be shipped to the factories where ships are built. so i say. much like salvaging tech from wreckage. that whenever raid another empires trade system that there is a chance to steal some of their tech. this would be undoubtedly helpful for the Zuul. unless this already exists. sorry but im ive not mastered the zuul yet. but opne thing i would like changed is that once you aquire a tech you failed at. it gives a rebirth chance for the entire line. considering any new tech would be reverse engineered to figure out how it works. it SHOULD give you a new understanding of the methods thus allowing you a chance to aquire the next tier.

I cant say how many games i have scrapped because i failed at point defence, or gamma warheads, or some other important tech. look at it this way. in the ballistic tree, each tier is a size up. where as with lasers, they all fit small mounts. this is terribly unballanced. so when u fail at ultraviolet, you are left with mass drivers, and those are inaccurate and have a shorter range. forget beamers if u are not of a race prone to getting them. in fact. they often fail regardless. how about the particle beam line? it feels more like a 50/50 then anything and i have played A LOT of Liir games. RNGesus is more like RNGsatan. i feel like i need to sacrifice virgins to have a good chance at my favored techs.

HIRE Pirates??? sounds good. but i say it MUST require Zuul Xenotech to do this as they are often the major pirate factor in any game.
Cry havoc, and let slip the dogs of war!

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fivve
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Re: Say hypothetically...

Post by fivve » Fri Aug 03, 2018 10:44 pm

rytram wrote:
Fri Aug 03, 2018 10:05 pm
fivve wrote:
Wed Aug 01, 2018 8:50 am
How about we all just live in peace.
PEACE!!! There will be no peace until all life is extenguished. Even the Von Neuman fear my empire. The Peacekeeper Trembles before my presence. The Herald announces MY arrival. I am DEATH. The great clenser. When you see my shadows in your skies, know that Ragnarok has dawned upon you.

In your stumbling around, try not to wake the dragon.

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rytram
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Re: Say hypothetically...

Post by rytram » Mon Aug 06, 2018 4:24 am

[/quote]
In your stumbling around, try not to wake the dragon.
[/quote]
ya i was really trying not to rip off too much from that scene.
Cry havoc, and let slip the dogs of war!

ZedF
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Re: Say hypothetically...

Post by ZedF » Thu Aug 09, 2018 7:19 am

...insight into what was so hard about SotS2 trade is really what I am looking for as I remember the TON of people mystified by it.

Ok. It's been a while since I played SotS2, but I did a bit of refamiliarization and reflection. This is a bit of a wall of text but I hope it’s valuable. I have some thoughts about why people used to SotS1 might find SotS2 trade confusing:

1) In SotS1, when you build a freighter, you are assumed to have docking capability for it. Whether this is part of abstracted general purpose orbital infrastructure or the cost of the dock is abstracted into the freighter cost doesn't matter; you can't have a freighter without a dock. In SotS2, you have to build freighters and docks separately; moreover you have to build them on different screens. So it's quite possible to build a freighter and set your I/O slider up a notch to generate a trade good, but still not generate income because you're missing the dock. Moreover, needing to build these separately increases the micromanagement required for trade, so that might have been a turn-off for some.

2) Related to (1) above, in SotS1 you don't have to go to the trade screen to get a useful result from building freighters. You can see in the main view when you select a planet that it has a certain number of ticks corresponding to the number of routes to fill, all you have to do is build freighters, and set your I/O to the tick mark you want. In SotS2, however, the trade overlay is much more central to trading than the trade screen in SotS1. Your tick marks on the main screen don't tell you how many routes you have to fill, they tell you how many trade goods you can produce, and you have to look elsewhere (the trade overlay) to find out how many you actually benefit from producing. Some people couldn't find the trade overlay immediately, or wanted to wait to explore it until they were more familiar with the basics, and got confused as a result.

3) In SotS1, trade is its own thing and is just another way to make money via vertical development. You can largely ignore piracy if you want and just replace freighters when they occasionally get killed. Trade doesn't have a lot of interactions with other things. In SotS2, trade is tied into a lot of other systems -- not just piracy, but planetary economic development and government type. In SotS2, you can actively get punished for trying to build up trade if you don't do it "right", via rotting goods or morale effects or being pushed into a government you didn't want. But you have to be paying pretty detailed attention to various non-trade parts of the UI, and/or be reading things in the game files or on the forums, to figure out that these interactions exist, never mind how they work. This can be a big source of confusion and a turn-off to unsophisticated players who just want to make the revenue numbers go up.

4) The underlying principles of SotS2 trade are not very complicated conceptually, but because of 1-3 above, it winds up being more complicated to actually manage than SotS1 trade. However, the game doesn't really stage that management complexity increase for someone used to a less involved trade system. You just get all of it, as soon as you research FTL economics and start building freighters or trying to encourage the game to build them for you via stimulus.


So if I were doing a post-mortem on SotS2 trade, with the aim of having fewer confused players, among my take-aways might for example be the following:

A) The game shouldn't require the player to go into any trade/station screen or overlay to get a basic, positive result from investing in trade. Freighters the player builds shouldn't require separately constructed docks to function at all, but a trade station might give better docks than default abstracted ones. Key information like the number of routes that are available to be filled, and hence the number of freighters required, should be on the main screen; the trade screen or overlay should be for more details or optimization, e.g. moving freighters between possible routes.

B) The game should strive to avoid reducing positive revenue generation as a result of the player investing in trade suboptimally. The cost of doing things suboptimally should primarily be the opportunity cost of not having invested those resources better. If the game needs to make there be a consequence to doing something suboptimally beyond opportunity cost, consider treating it as an extra expense rather than a reduction in income.

C) If there are things in the game (like trade stations) that improve the range of options available for freighters, or that cause trade to interact with other game systems, consider tying those improvements or interactions to a separate tech, so that the player can opt into/out of them and so that the added complexity can be staged to an appropriate tech era.

Hopefully at least some of that is helpful. :)
Zed's TARs (sample):
Fractious Allies -- Hiver vs. Hiver, with allies
Who Let The Bugs Out -- Hiver vs. Tarka and Zuul
Tarka Ascendant -- Tarka vs. Hiver and Zuul

Strategy & Tactics Forum Archive -- More posts on strategy, tactics, and TARs

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willdieh
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Re: Say hypothetically...

Post by willdieh » Thu Aug 09, 2018 2:39 pm

Fantastic post, and spot on. For Sots2, as you alluded, all the extra details related to economic status and development just weren't revealed in the UI. I love all the extra details in Sots2 but in the end it's always the UI the just makes me give up playing it.

I particularly agree with you on the added complexity being buy-in. In fact, that's almost exactly what trade IS in sots1, optional extra complexity with extra reward if you want it (or have to do it to keep competitive because you can't expand to match your enemies).

Good stuff!

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fivve
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Re: Say hypothetically...

Post by fivve » Thu Aug 09, 2018 3:45 pm

Perhaps its just me but I found trade in SotS2 quite easy to understand and implement. Build a Civilian Station, build a dock and build a freighter and then forget about it unless the freighter is destroyed by pirates, then you have to build another one.

I read the post by Zedf but perhaps I'm use to empire build games with lots more micromanagement. I found SotS1 lack depth, there just wasn't much to do.

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Re: Say hypothetically...

Post by ZedF » Thu Aug 09, 2018 6:33 pm

I personally didn’t have too much trouble figuring out trade, but I am one of those people who is willing to read forums and look into game files to figure out how things interact. However, Mec remembers lots of complaints about not understanding trade in SotS2, I believe correctly. So if the question is ‘why?’ then I think, as I alluded in my post, it largely boils down to a combination of UI issues and unexpected interactions with non-trade systems.

SotS1 did not have a lot to do economically, but this was deliberate; the game is meant to be about operational strategy and combat, not about spending a lot of time on busywork. SotS2 tried to add a bit more to do economically & logistically via station management, but ask different people whether this qualified as ‘empire building’ or ‘painful micromanagement’ and you will get different answers.

For SotS1 HD I would expect the focus to be closer to SotS1, whereas for a full sequel (SotS3) I would expect more complexity, akin to SotS2.
Zed's TARs (sample):
Fractious Allies -- Hiver vs. Hiver, with allies
Who Let The Bugs Out -- Hiver vs. Tarka and Zuul
Tarka Ascendant -- Tarka vs. Hiver and Zuul

Strategy & Tactics Forum Archive -- More posts on strategy, tactics, and TARs

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willdieh
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Re: Say hypothetically...

Post by willdieh » Fri Aug 10, 2018 12:14 am

SOTS1 had more going on with trade than meets the eye ;) (I say this as an avid Morrigi fan)

For example, I believe it affects neighbor relations when you're trading with them, helping maintain diplomatic relationships.
You can also research addiction to introduce contraband into an enemy race. This seems to affect surrender probabilities when you show up at their planets with a big fleet and sufficient xenotech research to demand surrender. Optionally, the enemy must research temperance (and the resulting reduction in production) to reverse the effects.

(The above is based on an excellent reddit on SOTS1 politics that I have found helpful, so I'm not 100% sure it's all true)
https://www.reddit.com/r/sots/comments/ ... _diplomacy

Some of the stuff like the difference in population vs trade income for Morrigi vs the rest of the races is kind of hidden from the player (which I hate, stuff like this should be obvious) and reminds me of the SOTS2 approach to things (figure it out somehow or hope someone posts it to the wiki). Things like that are handled well in Endless Space, where racial bonuses, etc are shown in the Gui for production info.

Anyway, for a SOTS1 remake, I just hope they avoid the whole mandatory stations + port maintenance/building idea from SOTS2. All the points you made ZedF are so on-point. Plus it's so much unnecessary micro (unless, as you said, it becomes optional - for "extra" profit, like building Trade Stations in SOTS1 is now).

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Cpt. Awesome
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Re: Say hypothetically...

Post by Cpt. Awesome » Fri Aug 10, 2018 1:13 am

willdieh wrote:
Fri Aug 10, 2018 12:14 am
SOTS1 had more going on with trade than meets the eye ;) ...
I think this raises a good point to watch out for. There was a TON of stuff that was slightly obfuscated, especially in the early days of SOTS prime. Like researching techs that unlock UI elements or minimal tooltips.

Luckily it lead me to this board and through it I discovered so much about the mechanics and lore that I would have missed out on. I think it took at least 100hrs before I've seen most of the content and the updates/expansions kept things fresh.

For the remake I am increasingly convinced that outside of the obvious graphical improvements, UI streamlining and providing some more explicit information on mechanics would improve accessibility.

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fivve
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Re: Say hypothetically...

Post by fivve » Sat Aug 11, 2018 7:10 am

I get what you mean ZedF, people want a simple, simple trade system where you build a freighter from System A, go to trade screen and connect System A to System B, with no trade station required or building a trade station will grant you extra trade routes and or extra income.

I guess for a SotS3 you could have only 1 space station per system and although it gives a small bonus to all areas, for example a level 1 station gives 2% increase to research, 1 additional trade route and 1% increase to trade income, 2% increase to influence in diplomacy or 1% increase to ship building and allows for 1 extra CR in the system fleet only. a level 3 would be 3 times as much allowing an extra DN. Obviously these would be an expensive asset like in SotS2.

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Mecron
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Re: Say hypothetically...

Post by Mecron » Sat Aug 11, 2018 4:10 pm

How Civ survives this kind of scrutiny on trade is beyond me :lol:

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