Author Topic: Fixed the slowdowns, atleast 70% faster  (Read 1702 times)

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Offline MJOne

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Re: Fixed the slowdowns, atleast 70% faster
« Reply #15 on: January 11, 2019, 06:14:43 PM »
Hi Jorgen_CAB

I agree, thats why I didn’t stated one scenario and talked about another, that is just confusing for everyone.   

Still, I do not have those issue, even with NPRs generated from the beginning.   
But at the same time, I have +1000 of hours of experience playing Aurora 4x. 

I never proclaimed that this would be anything else than a fix for certain particular scenario. 
Just to be clear.   Otherwise I would have stated that. 

Also it depends on your mineral and fuel resources generated in Sol. 

Speed is only ”relevant” if you are weaker than your opponent and have less weapon range.   The main goal is to invade anyways.   So just stay the course and wear it out.   Its rare for me to get armor damage from the ai.   I have spread out the whole flak/gauss umbrella on all the platforms in the fleet(30 ships or more per fleet, 500-1000kt total) other than that, they are very specialized in their role.   And bring many colliers.   Also think of all the different situations you might bump into when designing your fleet so you can handle all types of scenarios.   A huge, well stocked, fighter-bomber group can handle many types of scenarios.   Heavy super fast ASMs can also be to some use against certain enemies.   

Carrier warfare neglects the speed gap, and I am heavy into carrier fleets + boarding. 
Why destroy a ship when you can steal it(tugs can be useful sometimes) and refit/reverse engineer or scrap it?
That saves you resources. 

Never designs something generic, give it a specific purpose. 
In Aurora 4x, patience is KEY.   
And respect the economy.   
Do not ignore the cost of anything. 

Anyways.  .  .  .   yeah I really really really am looking forward to Aurora C#  :)
« Last Edit: January 11, 2019, 06:22:47 PM by MJOne »
 

Offline MarcAFK

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Re: Fixed the slowdowns, atleast 70% faster
« Reply #16 on: January 11, 2019, 08:07:45 PM »
I've done this myself and it eventually was pointless as the NPRs ended up with more than enough ships to bog down turn times. In order to truely take advantage of aurora without having your turn times ruined you need NPRs off (or maybe just keep 1 spoiler on at a time).
Which is fine in a way as at least the old Aurora does still work fine as a campaign tracking software where you run everything yourself.
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Offline Jorgen_CAB

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Re: Fixed the slowdowns, atleast 70% faster
« Reply #17 on: January 12, 2019, 08:11:27 AM »
Hi Jorgen_CAB

I agree, thats why I didn’t stated one scenario and talked about another, that is just confusing for everyone.   

Still, I do not have those issue, even with NPRs generated from the beginning.   
But at the same time, I have +1000 of hours of experience playing Aurora 4x. 

I never proclaimed that this would be anything else than a fix for certain particular scenario. 
Just to be clear.   Otherwise I would have stated that. 

Also it depends on your mineral and fuel resources generated in Sol. 

Speed is only ”relevant” if you are weaker than your opponent and have less weapon range.   The main goal is to invade anyways.   So just stay the course and wear it out.   Its rare for me to get armor damage from the ai.   I have spread out the whole flak/gauss umbrella on all the platforms in the fleet(30 ships or more per fleet, 500-1000kt total) other than that, they are very specialized in their role.   And bring many colliers.   Also think of all the different situations you might bump into when designing your fleet so you can handle all types of scenarios.   A huge, well stocked, fighter-bomber group can handle many types of scenarios.   Heavy super fast ASMs can also be to some use against certain enemies.   

Carrier warfare neglects the speed gap, and I am heavy into carrier fleets + boarding. 
Why destroy a ship when you can steal it(tugs can be useful sometimes) and refit/reverse engineer or scrap it?
That saves you resources. 

Never designs something generic, give it a specific purpose. 
In Aurora 4x, patience is KEY.   
And respect the economy.   
Do not ignore the cost of anything. 

Anyways.  .  .  .   yeah I really really really am looking forward to Aurora C#  :)

If you play in, say, a conventional start and you spend the majority of the research on exploration and explore as much as possible you will quite often meet some nasty aliens long before you are ready to deal with them. At least if you play such campaigns with no previous hindsight that there are precursors or other potential aliens out there that might be hostile. I usually end up facing hostile aliens with very rudimentary patrol ships to guard Earth and colonies as a result. This is not bad play, it is intentional...   ;)

In multi-faction campaigns you don't have time to make ship designs perfect or homogeneously designed... you always need ships yesterday and it's better to have a decent fleet now than an optimized fleet tomorrow, the same goes for conventional starts where you explore allot and meet aliens before you are ready for them. Also... from a math perspective it is better to disperse regular beams around a fleet even it it means you have a few fewer beams overall, the reason is that you can't be focused fired and you have way more HP where it counts. There are also a good case to be made regarding ASM and AMM missile ships, having both systems on a ship means you have greater flexibility of overloading in one or the other direction for an overall slightly lower ability in any one balanced load out.

In almost all of my multi-faction games (6+ earth factions) no faction can ever have a fleet that is not in some state of flux, mixed with many different technology levels and age of the ships and ships in different experience and training levels etc... generalist ships is often mandatory in such environments to some degree since it is usually the fastest and more easy way to get a decent fleet out the door to make the opponent think twice of attacking you.

The problem I have had with many single earth starts is that I had no real external pressures and could practically make my economy perfect and keep a minimal fleet in comparison to the economy. I could practically dictate when I needed to do what and engage a potential enemy with little to no real thought. I usually abandoned those campaign rather quickly because they just felt it was me playing alone with no real challenge, this was why I pretty much have abandoned playing single earth faction games entirely in the last few years.

Guzzling engines is important so you can have more mission tonnage per ship and still maintain a speed advantage or at least on par with the opposition... in tight games this is sort of an engine power race even at roughly the same tech levels. If you can pump up enough fuel to support it then having faster and/or more mission tonnage per ship it is worth it.

Also... if you don't feel enough pressure from NPRs just crank up their difficulty to three, four or even five times so they always have more technologies than you when you meet them.

One benefit with using no or in some cases only one NPR is that the game will take longer to slow down to a crawl... most of my recent campaigns have only had some precursors in them other than my own factions. That certainly speed things up...

I don't want to tell anybody how they should play their games but... in "my opinion"... if there are no real pressure I would get bored building up an economy in pretty much isolation. This is one reason I think C# will be more interesting. The AI in C# seem to be allot more capable and so a real option even in multi-faction games as additional external pressures. The change to maintenance, sensors and missile ranges will also have a great impact on ship design and deployment in a way that will force fleets to become more dispersed and less reliant on one speed setting, you can't now place an unlimited number of 6000t ships at an outpost anymore. You will want smaller scout ships and escorts to be faster than capital ships to avoid them if you encounter them and this will make the dynamic of ship design more interesting. The fact that bigger ships now just will be more efficient than smaller ships is great as well and will make ship designs so much more engaging and difficult, it will be much harder to know what an "optimized" design actually is.

 

Offline Michael Sandy

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Re: Fixed the slowdowns, atleast 70% faster
« Reply #18 on: January 12, 2019, 05:26:44 PM »
The challenge comes more from self-defined challenges than the enemy, for me.  I try to beat calendar milestones.  I pretend that there is huge political pressure to open the frontier as quickly as possible.  But I consider multi-nations so incredibly unstable, and all too often you have guns over butter to the point that the system uses up all its resources on basically dominance games, which is depressing.

I don't want a promising game derailed because somebody fired PDCs point blank at the planet, with no chance of interception.  I don't mind reading the AARs of campaigns like that, but it isn't something I want to play.
 

Offline Steve Walmsley

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Re: Fixed the slowdowns, atleast 70% faster
« Reply #19 on: January 13, 2019, 07:03:37 AM »
Interesting discussion.

The best strategy to 'win' the game is start with no NPRs, turtle in Sol and build a balanced fleet, which I never do :)

I either start with multiple races so that each one has to race into space to compete, or I give a single player race a reason to get out of Sol (such as some form of disaster). I find the best games are the one in which you face a significant challenge with forces that are in no way ready to face it :)
 

Offline Father Tim

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Re: Fixed the slowdowns, atleast 70% faster
« Reply #20 on: January 13, 2019, 08:38:20 AM »
No, the best strategy to 'win' Aurora is to play a methane-breathing race and turtle on your homeworld in a nebula, so enemy ships (even spoilers) are drastically slowed by their thin armour, and their missiles are useless.  Also, your ideal worlds are deadly to the vast majority of your enemies, and colder than they like.  Terraforming their worlds to your ideals can be quick-and-easy genocide (for both fun and profit)!

Oh, and exterminate those vermin "civilians" whenever and wherever you see them.  Their inevitable bloat and mass will eventually kill your game so keep them under control as long as possible.
 

Offline sloanjh

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Re: Fixed the slowdowns, atleast 70% faster
« Reply #21 on: January 13, 2019, 09:01:00 AM »
Interesting discussion.

The best strategy to 'win' the game is start with no NPRs, turtle in Sol and build a balanced fleet, which I never do :)

I either start with multiple races so that each one has to race into space to compete, or I give a single player race a reason to get out of Sol (such as some form of disaster). I find the best games are the one in which you face a significant challenge with forces that are in no way ready to face it :)

Do you think this (the ability to turtle in peace) is likely to change with the new NPR AI?  In the past, it's seemed like most of the AI threats (other than Invaders) haven't been very good/aggressive at going after your home system.  I've seen some instances of "about to be overwhelmed by an alien horde" in the "what's going on in your empire" thread, but my personal experience has been that pretty much only having to deal with annoying jump gate construction spam (other than Invaders).

Or are you saying that turtling is a better strategy simply because it activates fewer NPR (that by definition will be in contact with your empire) and so it delays the point at which you need to deal with aliens, and so that you'll end up with fewer aliens?

I can see both good and bad aspects to having quicker risk to Sol.  On the one hand it adds the element of challenge (and fear :) ) that you mention, which I like.  In this respect, it would be very similar to adding the AI in the first place - the sense of not knowing what's going to jump out and bite you at any moment.  On the other hand, it runs the risk of making the game too difficult - I personally would be frustrated if 80% of the time I had superior alien civs invading Sol and killing off my civilization, especially since I almost always do a conventional start.  This is one reason I (and I think everyone else) almost always turn off Invaders - they're too powerful for early game.

A few thoughts on game mechanics to address the above (assuming the AI NPR will be better able to build a multi-system empire):

1)  I think (maybe not for 1.0) improved diplomacy is VERY important.  In particular, the potential for aliens to be (useful) allies instead of enemies.  On the one hand, we don't want to end up in the SM2r4 situation where most of the aliens you meet will be your friends and allies, and so the game becomes a case of simply trying to find the most friendly aliens you can (and/or the GFFP situation where it's too easy to exploit the resources of conquered aliens, so that it's cheaper to conquer than to ally).  On the other hand, having all the NPRs against you (and presumably each other) encourages the turtling strategy, so that you activate fewer NPRs.  So whatever happens, I think a way to make turtling sub-optimal is to figure out how to make activating NPRs a good thing on average.

  If you go down this road, I see the game ending up with multi-race coalitions, and the player would need to navigate which coalitions to work with and which to avoid.  I think a reputation system in diplomacy would be really important in that case (shades of Crusader Kings here):  If you wipe out race C, then races A & B with whom you have contact will have a lower opinion of you.  In addition, allied races should be much more likely to help/support you in an offensive war than in a defensive one.  Unfortunately, that's probably a difficult AI system to write and make good and balanced.  OTOH, it sounds like your new AI might have the framework (in terms of competing needs and drives) to support it.  OTGH, I can't think of another point - I just wanted to say On the Gripping Hand :)

2)  It will also require attention to (early game) balance and ability to wipe out other races/worlds.  I think you're already going down this road, but it should be VERY difficult to knock off a home system (not just home world), so that if the aliens do find you early in the game they can't just roll over you.  I think this is what you've tried to do all along with ground combat.  This also comes back to diplomacy - if other NPR (e.g. E & F) that an invader D is in contact with notices D has concentrated forces, then maybe that raises the probability that they attack (although the noticing part hard to rationalize given that the communication model is such that races will only have knowledge of things going on in systems with which they have physical contact). 

This segues me to thinking about communications.  It would be VERY interesting if non-Newtonian physics introduced an instantaneous communication system that spanned the entire galaxy (analogous to radio in modern warfare).  That would you to be in touch with other races with whom you don't have physical contact.  There would probably need to be some technobabble about why this only works for races whom you've meet - maybe there's some weird quantum race code/entanglement that means you have to have been in the same system with the other race before it worked, otherwise you'd be able to hear all the undiscovered races out there and be able to eavesdrop on their comms and maybe discover huge tech from highly advances races and ....  The "entanglement" technobabble (which wouldn't quite be entanglement, since it would need to be contagious in the sense that one entangled device could pass that ability on to another device) could lead to another aspect of diplomacy analogous to Civilization's "I'll sell you contact with Empire X that you haven't met yet" trade interaction.  This would give a lot more power to infiltration/diplomacy/spying functions - if you have the code for another race, they can tell you they're being invaded and scream for help even if you're not adjacent.  Similarly, if you can insert a scout ship into another empire, the scout ship (or embassy) can report back even without courier ships.

3)  So the way I see it playing out is that the game mechanics are lined up so that:
A) Exploration is good - it gives you new planets to colonize and the opportunity to activate NPR that are likely to be friendly
B) On average, aliens should be friendly, but every now and then you should run into something nasty (like the bugs)
C) The bigger your alliance structure, the less likely other races should be to join it (or any other big NPR coalition).  Note that this should be measured in total strength, not just ally count.
D) Global communication technobabble lets the various races have a much better understanding of the galactopolitical situation (how big empires are, who's getting invaded, ....).  For example, one aspect of alliance should be that races in the alliance will automatically share com codes for newly discovered races with each other (at risk of a malus if violation is found out), so that the new race can judge alliance size.  The technobabble should also (maybe) support knowledge of how many systems colonies are located in, to be able to judge the size of an empire.
E) The incentives to war would be either being meeting bad guys who encroach on your territory, or deciding you're penned in and need to go to war with someone to re-open lines of expansion.

I strongly suspect all of this would be really difficult to set up and balance, especially for C# 1.0, but it's nice to think about....

John
 

Offline Zincat

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Re: Fixed the slowdowns, atleast 70% faster
« Reply #22 on: January 13, 2019, 09:19:27 AM »
I'm one of the people that really pump up the NPRs, so I'm looking forward to anything that makes the game harder. And I really dislike turtling until I have optimized fleets. It's just too easy to defend Sol right now, if you are not aggressive in expanding.

On the other hand, it runs the risk of making the game too difficult - I personally would be frustrated if 80% of the time I had superior alien civs invading Sol and killing off my civilization, especially since I almost always do a conventional start.  This is one reason I (and I think everyone else) almost always turn off Invaders - they're too powerful for early game.

I also always play conventional starts. And always leave invaders on. Guess what my number one cause of death is? Except from turn time death, that is...
« Last Edit: January 13, 2019, 09:22:15 AM by Zincat »
 

Offline sloanjh

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Re: Fixed the slowdowns, atleast 70% faster
« Reply #23 on: January 13, 2019, 10:26:51 AM »
On the other hand, it runs the risk of making the game too difficult - I personally would be frustrated if 80% of the time I had superior alien civs invading Sol and killing off my civilization, especially since I almost always do a conventional start.  This is one reason I (and I think everyone else) almost always turn off Invaders - they're too powerful for early game.

I also always play conventional starts. And always leave invaders on. Guess what my number one cause of death is? Except from turn time death, that is...

Drat - didn't hedge quite enough.  Should have said "almost everyone else" :)

John
 

Offline Father Tim

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Re: Fixed the slowdowns, atleast 70% faster
« Reply #24 on: January 13, 2019, 12:18:39 PM »
3)  So the way I see it playing out is that the game mechanics are lined up so that:
A) Exploration is good - it gives you new planets to colonize and the opportunity to activate NPR that are likely to be friendly
Absolutely.  The first 'X' is eXplore, after all.  And the next two are eXploit and eXpand.
B) On average, aliens should be friendly, but every now and then you should run into something nasty (like the bugs)
I disagree.  On average, aliens should be hostile.  About one in five (or four) should be friendly, weighted by their strength relative to the player's.  Smaller, weaker, less advanced races should be most likely to want to be friends, whereas higher-tech races should tend to aggression.
C) The bigger your alliance structure, the less likely other races should be to join it (or any other big NPR coalition).  Note that this should be measured in total strength, not just ally count.
Yes, for the same reasons as (B) above.  Peacefully incorporating all the (remaining) intelligent species of the galaxy probably makes for pretty boring game.
D) Global communication technobabble lets the various races have a much better understanding of the galactopolitical situation (how big empires are, who's getting invaded, ....).  For example, one aspect of alliance should be that races in the alliance will automatically share com codes for newly discovered races with each other (at risk of a malus if violation is found out), so that the new race can judge alliance size.  The technobabble should also (maybe) support knowledge of how many systems colonies are located in, to be able to judge the size of an empire.
There already is instant galactic communication with every race one has ever met.  It would be nice if there was a direct Diplomacy-screen way to ask for info on all species someone else has met, and even to pass messages to them.

Even though most Aurora players roleplay some sort of comm lag (speed-of-light, or jump-point limited, or whatever) doesn't mean Aurora should hard-code such a thing.
E) The incentives to war would be either being meeting bad guys who encroach on your territory, or deciding you're penned in and need to go to war with someone to re-open lines of expansion.
So long as we avoid Starfire's 'inevitably-suicidal NPRs' behaviour, I'm fine with that.
 

Offline Tree

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Re: Fixed the slowdowns, atleast 70% faster
« Reply #25 on: January 13, 2019, 12:54:58 PM »
I disagree.  On average, aliens should be hostile.  About one in five (or four) should be friendly, weighted by their strength relative to the player's.  Smaller, weaker, less advanced races should be most likely to want to be friends, whereas higher-tech races should tend to aggression.
Differences in strength and tech as calculated by the game taking everything into account, or based on what intel is available to the alien race ?
 

Offline sloanjh

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Re: Fixed the slowdowns, atleast 70% faster
« Reply #26 on: January 13, 2019, 02:23:28 PM »
B) On average, aliens should be friendly, but every now and then you should run into something nasty (like the bugs)
I disagree.  On average, aliens should be hostile.  About one in five (or four) should be friendly, weighted by their strength relative to the player's.  Smaller, weaker, less advanced races should be most likely to want to be friends, whereas higher-tech races should tend to aggression.
Agreed that the higher the power ratio, the more "insistent" the race should be.  OTOH, I strongly suspect that (social system) evolutionary pressure would lead to races that start wars with pretty much everyone they meet (even if they exclude races that are significantly more powerful) would fare more poorly than races that tend to cooperate.  Perhaps a better way to phrase what I was going for was "most races should be neither overly friendly nor overly hostile".  In that case I think it makes sense for the outliers to skew in the direction of hostile.  So maybe 80% (4/5) neutral-ish, 16% (4/5 of outliers) hostile, and 4% friendly.

There already is instant galactic communication with every race one has ever met.  It would be nice if there was a direct Diplomacy-screen way to ask for info on all species someone else has met, and even to pass messages to them.

Even though most Aurora players roleplay some sort of comm lag (speed-of-light, or jump-point limited, or whatever) doesn't mean Aurora should hard-code such a thing.

I don't remember the details of the diplomacy screen, but if Steve has it set up so you can change your diplomatic treaty status with a race that you're cut off from, I suspect it's just because it would be too much of a pain to code up the alternative.

But the point I was trying to make was that in order to gauge the aggressiveness of other races, "you" (in which I include NPR) need to be able to talk to races that they're in contact with and that you've never met, or that you're cut off from.  Or (see below) isolationist empires who don't let your non-military shipping roam around through their empire need to be viewed as highly aggressive in the AI logic ("so what do they have to hide").  I realize that it knocks out a lot of fog of war, but I'm having trouble seeing from a practical game play point of view how the AI (and the player) is going to make judgments without it.  OTOH, those judgments might be "they might be really big, I think I'll not poke them" which takes us back to the 80% neutral thing - only reckless races would attack someone they don't have a lot of knowledge about because they can't roam in their empire.

I disagree.  On average, aliens should be hostile.  About one in five (or four) should be friendly, weighted by their strength relative to the player's.  Smaller, weaker, less advanced races should be most likely to want to be friends, whereas higher-tech races should tend to aggression.
Differences in strength and tech as calculated by the game taking everything into account, or based on what intel is available to the alien race ?
This was my point about instant communication.  The AI should have a mechanism for gauging (roughly) the strength/size of your empire and your aggressiveness.  Since you can only get information from empires you border (and can only observe border systems with other races) this is difficult.  An alternative would be to enhance diplomacy to take "open borders" into account.  If you're able to send scouts throughout the other empire you'll be able to see any wars they're having; if they prevent you from doing so (or you prevent them) it should be viewed as a highly aggressive act.  In this case there would have to be logic that gave a diplomatic penalty to races that transit your empire to get to an empty system and then colonize it.  And maybe not have "open borders" be all or nothing - maybe have a "number of transits" depth that you permit your neighbor to penetrate. 

To swing back to a previous theme, if the civvies had a mind of their own (going out and exploring without you), this might give the needed mechanics.  If your civvies have access to trade/travel in the other empire, they'll be able to give you intel on what's going on (including rumors of war picked up in interspecies bars).  And if all the civvies got expelled that would count as a hostile act (or if civvies got blown up when entering alien systems, or if civvies from a neighbor system kept trying to enter your empire after you told them no).  Again, this would center around a more nuanced diplomacy model. 

It also occurs to me that misbehaving civvies could be a way to prevent turtling - you'd have to physically blockade the jump points to prevent civvie transits; it's hard to believe that turtling without any exploration would be politically sustainable.

Given the above, I think that the magic instant communication technobabble can be put aside if the diplomacy (and possibly/probably civvies) is upgraded to be much more nuanced in terms of being able to run around in other races' star systems, enough to make judgments about their strength, size and aggressiveness.  My recollection is that Steve is already moving in this direction.  I think what would be really interesting would be to fold this in with civvie exploration that would create diplomatic "challenges" and remove the possibility of turtling.

John
 

Offline Father Tim

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Re: Fixed the slowdowns, atleast 70% faster
« Reply #27 on: January 13, 2019, 04:51:56 PM »
I think what would be really interesting would be to fold this in with civvie exploration that would create diplomatic "challenges" and remove the possibility of turtling.

I think that would be terrible.  I think any change to Aurora that "removes the possibility of X" would be terrible, because sometimes I want to do X.

I'm already dealing with the bug that my shipyards can be destroyed without ground bombardment.

I'm already dealing with the bug that civilians will steal my minerals if I don't 'Colony-claim' every somewhat-exploitable rock in inhabited systems.

I sometimes deal with the bug of civilians freezing (or, almost) my game with lost ships, uncompletable orders, or sensor wonkiness.  Now that they design their own ships instead of copying mine, they're also crap at dealing with nebulae.

With C# Aurora, I'm going to have to deal with the bug of needing cargo shuttles to unload my ships, and almost certainly with the bug of them being shot at after they've landed on the planet.

Thankfully mass drivers and missiles can be safely ignored, and the Meson changes come with an undo button so I can revert them to old behaviour if I prefer.  Civilians should have an 'Only move trade goods and luxury passengers' button (that also prevents CMC generation).
 

Offline Zincat

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Re: Fixed the slowdowns, atleast 70% faster
« Reply #28 on: January 13, 2019, 05:33:19 PM »
I have to agree with the fact that I would be against civilians creating diplomatic challenges. Because the only solution for me would be to remove civilians completely. As in: murder them. There is a limit to what I am willing to tolerate regarding civilians

I already completely hate both CMC and civilian sorium harvesters.
Who gave civilians the right to steal strategic resources?

I'm being serious here. No nation, no matter what its government (except maybs megacorp nation, but that's another story) would let civilians hog strategic, extremely limited resources. We are not talking of semi-rare stuff here. We're talking of extremely limited resources of military and strategic significance. No nation would let a random Joe mine and sell these resource to the highest bidder.
 

Offline Tree

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Re: Fixed the slowdowns, atleast 70% faster
« Reply #29 on: January 13, 2019, 05:36:24 PM »
They're not limited, there's millions tonnes of those minerals of them all over the galaxy.
It's just like civilian iron mining.
 

 

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