Author Topic: Strategy?  (Read 6946 times)

wogan

  • Guest
Strategy?
« on: February 16, 2009, 04:44:58 AM »
I know it's still very early in the development cycle, but I've hit something of a dead end in the game. The best strategy, as it turns out, is very one-dimensional:

  • Populate asteroid
  • Max out trees
  • Move on

Ultimately, the types of seedlings you grow aren't of any concern to you - the numbers become large enough, and the asteroids varied enough, that you end up creating a single, well-balanced attack force simply by seeding every asteroid you come across. And then proceed to capture every asteroid in the belt.

I suppose the only reason for this is the fact that there are no limitations. For instance, C&C's games have no limits on the amount of units you're allowed to produce, so every game is effectively "Resource -> Build -> Attack", and it does get monotonous after a while.

However, Starcraft has survived as a game for so long because the RBA pattern fails spectacularly if you're up against skilled players. You can't simply rush in with a horde of units and automatically expect to win - every race has spellcasting units which would render mass strikes useless. Winning a Starcraft game generally requires you to harness the unique abilities, strengths and weaknesses of every single one of your units.

But most of all - there's a limitation of 200 Supply/Control/Psi. And some units cost way more than 1.

This means you're forced to spend your resources (Crystals/Gas) much more wisely, in order to craft a battle group unique to the situation you find yourself in - something that changes on every game. It also eliminates the one-dimensionality that so often plagues RTS games.

I don't know what your current plans are, but somewhere in Dyson, we have to come up against a limitation. Either on the max amount of seedlings, the maximum that can be rallied to one asteroid at any time, or a maximum amount of Dyson Trees that can be planted (forcing you to only seed asteroids with the best Speed/Energy/Strength mixes).

Rudolf

  • Administrator
  • Old Oak
  • *****
  • Thank You
  • -Given: 5
  • -Receive: 13
  • Posts: 669
  • Eufloria: Yes
Re: Strategy?
« Reply #1 on: February 16, 2009, 06:44:58 PM »
Yes this is our biggest topic of discussion. Alex and myself are keenly aware of the fact that in the end evvery level can be  beaten by exploting the fact that seedlings are an endless resource. This is not neccessarily a problem if that part of the game is fun and fast, but it causes irritation at the moment becasue you know how everything will pan out fairly early, and after that it becomes a matter of just patiently building and building. which is much less fun.

There are two solution areas:

1: Introduce limits and or attrition.
2: Improve the gameplay possible within the context of this ruleset.

1 is being worked on, especially in the area of attrition. Currently it is almost mundane to stomp around the galaxy annd prettyy much using your seedlings as a cheap resource. This will become much less so. Several things are on their way that make a serious choice to send out a group of seedlings. It will become much more dangerous in various ways, and the worth of seedlings will therfore go up. Additionally certain gameplay aspects will get introduced that mean that seedlings become a resource that can't just get squandered. Hard limits on what can be produced is as yet undecided. If we DO go that way we have a numbert of ideas that we can try out, but we will not do this untill all the factors that cause attrition, and therefore limitation, of seedling numbers are in place.

2 is also being workled on. There are many areas where this will get better. AI strategies will improve, seedling diversity will start to matter much much more (To the point of them feeling like different unit types), level goals will become much much more diverse (army building is useless if that strategy won't let you beat the level)

As has been pointed out, tehre are plenty of games where unit generation is endless, but they have gameplay limits or mechanics that render this less of a problem. I am confident we will can do likewise :-)

spetsnaz

  • Guest
Re: Strategy?
« Reply #2 on: February 20, 2009, 02:18:35 AM »
i was thinking the same.  the cause of the problem is not the fact seeds are produced in a sort of flow, the problem is that there is no variation between planets. 

you see the seeds should be thought of as a flow like in total annihilation, not as discreet like in CnC.  the idea of a flow fits better anyway because the trees are organic and a flow is more organic too. 

to resolve the problem of the lack of strategy you must allow more variation in planets. 

1)allow bigger planets to grow more trees and smaller planets less

2)allow the planets' stats to have more influence.  right now there is a difference between the seeds coming from different planets but it makes almost no real difference by the end of the game

3)have more types of trees.  some which would be heavier with more armour thus better defenders, and others which are quicker, thus better for attacking (this does allow for a tech-tree element, but that would not be advisable to have it, it will make the game too complex and take away from its simplicity and its main charm

4)have seeds move at different speeds around different planets.  bigger planets (if my suggestions are followed, will allow more trees and thus will be juicer conquests) should also be slower to move around on the account of gravity.  this will make the player think more when choosing which way to send the seeds

5)maps should be generated with bottlenecks and natural barriers (think dust clouds etc) which will allow for more of a strategy. 

6)allow players to set up a network of traffic.  by this i mean so that every seed produced is sent to a target planet.  this avoids the annoying grind of having to manually moved seeds from the back of one's empire to the front line

7)different types of planet.  some which have thicker soils so is harder to colonise.  some with massive ranges but which can only support 1 tree

8)allow scouting.  this is very important, right now when i attack a planet i have no idea if that planet has enemy or not.  i cant think about strategy because i have no idea where the enemy has his forces or which planets are more developed than others

all of these features need to be implemented seamlessly to avoid clutter and keep the game what it is, extremely accessible and fun 4X game

Abc1

  • Guest
Re: Strategy?
« Reply #3 on: February 23, 2009, 10:16:27 PM »
I agree with the population thing. But there's also 1 thing that's annoying, is that it takes a long time to actually do something early on. I actually have to switch windows to do something before i have enough seedlings to move on and stand a chance.

Anyway, the limitations are nice, aslong as they don't limitate gameplay. A suggestion i have is to have a really simple friend-hate relationship. Mostly just an alliance. The AI does need to be smart to see whether you're doing it to exploit him, or tackle a common foe.

I find placing defense trees a bit of a random chance. As to though you have no idea if the planet will be attacked or not. And it also takes up a tree location. Is there any way to make defense trees more usefull, but not overpowered?
« Last Edit: February 23, 2009, 10:19:20 PM by Abc1 »

Rudolf

  • Administrator
  • Old Oak
  • *****
  • Thank You
  • -Given: 5
  • -Receive: 13
  • Posts: 669
  • Eufloria: Yes
Re: Strategy?
« Reply #4 on: February 24, 2009, 04:47:18 PM »
I find placing defense trees a bit of a random chance. As to though you have no idea if the planet will be attacked or not. And it also takes up a tree location. Is there any way to make defense trees more usefull, but not overpowered?

Definitely, that whole aspect of the game, not just the trees but defensive gameplay in general, is being beefed up and made more fun and interesting. :-)

cem

  • Guest
Re: Strategy?
« Reply #5 on: March 24, 2009, 01:13:35 AM »
I agree with the population thing. But there's also 1 thing that's annoying, is that it takes a long time to actually do something early on. I actually have to switch windows to do something before i have enough seedlings to move on and stand a chance.

I know exactly what you mean, however, at the lvl 6 where you have 50 seedlings instead of the ~30 it was much faster. Then again, maybe it was just because of the high SPEED value of the planet..

kittehz

  • Guest
Re: Strategy?
« Reply #6 on: March 25, 2009, 09:09:44 AM »
The best ways to make strategymore fun would be to 1) advance AI and 2) force AI to follow the rules.
First, if the AI knew to move seedlings to the "front lines" and avoid letting planets get 32 seedlings, all the aforementioned problems would be solved.
Second, the AI does not always follow the rules.  Sometimes they will fly through huge gaps in space, and then "bounce" off of the players planets until they get to the home planet, which is incredibly far from their closest planet.
My favorite part of strategy is when securing a defense on one side of a large circle and fighting forward on another.  I've found that holding a huge force on the front keeps anyone from getting past, and then sending ~100 seeds forward on an attack and retreat cycle works best. Then I slowly move forward.  It is most fun when they breach the lines and begin take undefended planets and must be stopped.

tomcurl01

  • Guest
Re: Strategy?
« Reply #7 on: August 31, 2009, 06:19:27 AM »
there shuld also be natrual bottle necks in the planets so when
you attack that planet it has 4/5 defence trees and 50+ enemies to kill  ;D