Author Topic: 4.0 First Impressions  (Read 1658 times)

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Offline schroeam

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Re: 4.0 First Impressions
« Reply #15 on: April 05, 2009, 11:25:27 AM »
Quote from: "ShadoCat"
As an old econ guy, I really like this.  

I too like both systems.  However, the leasing could get added later.

You might want to add events here.  Such as them grabbing and transporting stuff you don't want them to.  If a civilian colony has a lot of resources but no mines, they might make off with a load of homeworld mines (or make off with fatories, etc.).

The automatic movement of factories from your homeworld to a mineral wealthy colony that has been neglected in it's economic growth could reflect the private industry's move to find cheaper labor and increase their profits.  Just the fact that one or two factories are shipped when you didn't initiate the change could identify a possible future unrest if the colony is not managed.  

Adam.
 

Offline Steve Walmsley

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Re: 4.0 First Impressions
« Reply #16 on: April 06, 2009, 10:32:19 AM »
Quote from: "sloanjh"
Quote from: "Steve Walmsley"
Thanks for that feedback. How would you feel about a small wealth charge for the civilian delivery of such infrastructure? No management required, it would just be taken out of your wealth stockpile.

There will be significant changes to trade in v4.1 which should result in extra wealth, as well as some really good reasons for pirates and raiders. It's detailed (but no management required) so I will cover it another post. I was planning on some form of contract system for civilian shipping that would require the use of some of that extra wealth but I am concerned about the micromanagement aspect. Therefore I was considering a small wealth charge instead for colony and infrastructure movements. Also, instead of the civilian sector selling ships to the military, I am planning to have the government be able to hire civilian ships for their own requirements. Need some automated mines moved and don't have any government-owned ships available? Then hire a few ships from Lefebure Transport Limited to handle it. The ships would act as government-owned vessels for orders purposes until you hand them back and each 5-day increment there would be a small charge. The civilian shipping line will worry about the fuel. You would even be able to hire friendly foreign shipping under this scenario
I don't think I'd mind a small wealth charge.  OTOH, I'm still advocating that the civies do things within their own economy (like make infrastructure and ship it and colonists to Mars) that I'm decoupled from.
See my post in the Trade Goods thread on this. Civ infrastructure will continue to be free and the civs will manage its distribution by themselves. It should be more realistic in terms of which planets receive the infrastructure and it provides a reason for the deliveries.

Steve
 

Offline sloanjh

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Re: 4.0 First Impressions
« Reply #17 on: April 06, 2009, 08:49:48 PM »
Quote from: "Steve Walmsley"
See my post in the Trade Goods thread on this. Civ infrastructure will continue to be free and the civs will manage its distribution by themselves. It should be more realistic in terms of which planets receive the infrastructure and it provides a reason for the deliveries.

I saw it, and I like it.  It's exactly the sort of thing I pictured as going on in the "hidden/un-modeled" economy in other posts.

Thanks,
John

PS - I'll post any future comments in the Trade Goods thread.
 

Offline Paul M

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Re: 4.0 First Impressions
« Reply #18 on: April 16, 2009, 05:15:26 AM »
((edited to remove double post))
« Last Edit: April 17, 2009, 02:19:54 AM by Paul M »
 

Offline Paul M

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Re: 4.0 First Impressions
« Reply #19 on: April 16, 2009, 05:22:48 AM »
Ok here goes my first impressions.

I have played 2 campaigns so far.  Both of them starting from pre-TN technology, race population 600 million, 600 conventional industry, 2 reaserch stations.  Start date 1370.

The first one ended when an alien race showed up in my home system (from the bearing they found a JP from another system) and before I could react had destroyed the vast bulk of my civillian shipping and this with me having a lvl 5 deepspace sensor system on the planet.  I had 3 previous encounters with these aliens starting about 34+ years into the campaign.  While I was still using Nuclear Thermal Engines they were showing up on my sensors as speed 5333 km/s, had lvl 28 active grav strength and I was hit with dual fusion warheads-torpedos or some such thing.  The shipkillers they launched were doing 7 pts of damage to give you a comparison.  Most of the combats were over with before I had a chance to react or figured out how to even get the weapons working.  The 3rd battle (between 2 2800 Ton DD and 1 2100 DDE on my side and 3 19000 T and 4 12300 T ships on the part of the aliens) worked better as I figured out how to assign fire control at least and my counter missiles and plasma lances at least tried to stop inbounds.

Some general comments.

Starting pre-NT is slow going especially compared to Kurt's and Steve's write ups as the ruins and tech trade plus the huge population/industry base they had.  It takes 2 years (during which you can basically only build financial centres) to get TN tech.  Several years before you are fully converted to TN tech industrial base (assuming you do a number of other things such as shipyards and research centres) and then given the number of technologies to develop upwards of 30 years before you can explore outside your home system.  I could cut that down by starting jump science as my second project and forgoing essencially all other developements outside of propulsion to get unarmed ships out sooner but it is still roughtly 30 years to develop a basic tech base with sensors, armour, engines etc.

One thing that I did learn is that you have to refit your starting (16 in my case) ICBM bases into PDC.  I produced 5 PDC typess in my second try.  Bastion PDB with 12 Interceptor lauchers, and Balista MDB with 10 Surface to space launchers and 4 interceptors were the conversions of my ICBM bases (11 Bastions and 5 Balistas).  I then made 3 smaller ones for deployment to colonies Redoubt PDB with 4 interceptros, Onager MDB with 3 STS launchers and Skywatch PDB with sensors.  I doubt this would do much good in an attack but without those defences you are toast the first time an alien race shows up.

Lesson two was on targeting systems I have been trying to sort this out and generally its been trial and error.  My first Bastions had a mix of STS and INT but only one fire control system so when the aliens showed up I could either shoot at them or shoot at the missiles.  Then my torpedo and plasma carronades also require 2 fire control systems (the torpedoes go for pure range while the carronades can be smaller since they don't hit well at long range damage wise).  The 2nd games Balistas had 3 fire control systems (2 Anti-starship and 1 antimissile) and the DD's will be getting a duel fire control system in their refit.

Tankers are absolute necessary to keep your survey ships on deployment and with jump engines they can function to allow colonization (until Steve makes freights too big in the next update).  The Jump tanker works extremely well.

The aliens are the biggest problem, I turned the chance down to 3% and still I have encountered aliens both times within 2 jumps of my home system and in both cases they have been substantially higher technology (active grav sensors lvl 28 in game 1 and lvl 21 in game 2).  I think the game needs to account for pre-TN starts a lot better.

The civillian space fleet works very well the 2nd game I built about 400 infrastructure and moved it to the other semi (x3.4) hability world in my home system and currently the population is 26 million and all of that due to civillian colonization and infrastructure as I moved 400K colonists with that 400 infrastructure.  I also in 1410 or so finally got my first 6 Terraformers there and am adding O2 to the NH4 and CO2 atmosphere it will be 10 years or so till a breathable O2 level is reached.

I found a lot of things very confusing.  Especially with regards to combat, for example I don't know what "independant" is for point defence options means.  I also made some major goofs the first few times I designed a warship (I had 12 points of power on my first DDs).  But other than the fights being one sided slaughters I slowly figured things out...unfortunately not being able to play the fights meant I learned much less in them.

I don't really like the alien AI bit...unless I've just been getting precursors the fact they are always significantly higher tech and hostile doesn't make the game at all fun.  Sorry to be so negative here.  But being on the side of the one sided slaughter is just very unfun.

The ability to give a system the status of "do not enter" would be very good.  I had a civillian survey ship enter the alien races system and that was silly.

The UI is very good.  I've generally been able to find what I want when I want.

I have been agressively retiring officers at age 60 and earlier if their health is poor and this is working out, what I don't understand is why it doesn't assign officers to all ships and ground forces automatically.  I've been going through the list and giving the better officers commands in the civillian fleet.  There should be a loss of crew beings though...say 10% per year retire.  The only thing I have notices is that I am low on senior officers (R3).  I have say R1-240, R2-75, R3-24.  This is a bit harsh when it lists my DD as a R3 command.

Wierdness in ship orders...say I set a ship to pick up x3 mines then all commands after that have x3 infront of them.

From both Kurt's and Steve's stories a couple things pop up.  Though shipyards are orbital construction docks a lot of their workshops and so on would be groundside so towing them about should not be allowed.  The ground side infrastructure is a bit too extensive, and besides it really should not be so easy to do this.  Tractor beams likewise I find a bit tacky, towing stuff about gets out of hand very quickly in my view.  I notice that people take stuff from the aliens and there is another thing that should be verbotten.  Alien facilities should be useless to you, they use left handed threads you use right handed so they would be maintence nightmares instead alien facilities recovered should give you bonuses towards improving your racial tech in that area rather than operational facilities.  Actually stripping them from a conquored planet though should generate a huge unrest bonus or else you are just back into the realms of GFFP by another name.

In my second game I just hit a DUR crisis.  My stockpile hit 0.  This is something to avoid at all costs but as that is the basis of most things industrial I'm a bit unsure what to do...I would basically need to mothball most of my fleet for 2 years and just do tech research and explore to recover from this.  Not sure what I will do.  I have lots of the stuff in my home system and have 2 small mine colonies (12 and 7 autmatic mines) with mass drivers firing it back to my two colonies but making the new automated mines would take 2400 of it which is 2 years production more or less.  In the mean time I can't do much in the way of new construction so I'm not sure what to do.  Even starting up a new colony will be hard.

In terms of surveys...I've been exploring for 4 years or so (1411 current year) and have explored 8 extra solar system fully and have found basically nothing much of interest beyond those pesky über advanced aliens.  Most of the systems are filled with junk and and a few barely habitable worlds.  Worse the easy to reach jump point leads to the aliens while the one that is 40-60 days flight time leads to my main avenue of exploration.

The aliens are a major annoyance as even in SM mode I can't access them.  I thought I had turned them off but apparently I had not.  This may mean starting a campaign 3.

The game has a lot of "just one more 5 day update" potential and I am having fun with the technology and ship design.  So in terms of that I think it hits the spot.
 

Offline SteveAlt

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Re: 4.0 First Impressions
« Reply #20 on: April 16, 2009, 10:12:11 AM »
Quote from: "Paul M"
Ok here goes my first impressions.

I have played 2 campaigns so far.  Both of them starting from pre-TN technology, race population 600 million, 600 conventional industry, 2 reaserch stations.  Start date 1370.

The first one ended when an alien race showed up in my home system (from the bearing they found a JP from another system) and before I could react had destroyed the vast bulk of my civillian shipping and this with me having a lvl 5 deepspace sensor system on the planet.  I had 3 previous encounters with these aliens starting about 34+ years into the campaign.  While I was still using Nuclear Thermal Engines they were showing up on my sensors as speed 5333 km/s, had lvl 28 active grav strength and I was hit with dual fusion warheads-torpedos or some such thing.  The shipkillers they launched were doing 7 pts of damage to give you a comparison.  Most of the combats were over with before I had a chance to react or figured out how to even get the weapons working.  The 3rd battle (between 2 2800 Ton DD and 1 2100 DDE on my side and 3 19000 T and 4 12300 T ships on the part of the aliens) worked better as I figured out how to assign fire control at least and my counter missiles and plasma lances at least tried to stop inbounds.

Some general comments.

Starting pre-NT is slow going especially compared to Kurt's and Steve's write ups as the ruins and tech trade plus the huge population/industry base they had.  It takes 2 years (during which you can basically only build financial centres) to get TN tech.  Several years before you are fully converted to TN tech industrial base (assuming you do a number of other things such as shipyards and research centres) and then given the number of technologies to develop upwards of 30 years before you can explore outside your home system.  I could cut that down by starting jump science as my second project and forgoing essencially all other developements outside of propulsion to get unarmed ships out sooner but it is still roughtly 30 years to develop a basic tech base with sensors, armour, engines etc.
Starting with pre-TNT is really for occasional interest or near-future Earth starts than for regular use. You will probably have more fun starting with a basic TN race.

Quote
One thing that I did learn is that you have to refit your starting (16 in my case) ICBM bases into PDC.  I produced 5 PDC types in my second try.  Bastion PDB with 12 Interceptor lauchers, and Balista MDB with 10 Surface to space launchers and 4 interceptors were the conversions of my ICBM bases (11 refit to Bastion, 5 refit to Balista).  I then made 3 smaller ones for deployment to colonies Redoubt PDB with 4 interceptros, Onager MDB with 3 STS launchers and Skywatch PDB with sensors.  I doubt this would do much good in an attack but without those defences you are toast the first time an alien race shows up.
You shouldn't really be able to refit ICBM bases as they are pre-TNT tech (i'll fix that for v4.1) and can lead to one or two problems later if any pre-TNT tech remains.

Quote
Lesson two was on targeting systems I have been trying to sort this out and generally its been trial and error.  My first Bastions had a mix of STS and INT but only one fire control system so when the aliens showed up I could either shoot at them or shoot at the missiles.  Then my torpedo and plasma carronades also require 2 fire control systems (the torpedoes go for pure range while the carronades can be smaller since they don't hit well at long range damage wise).  The 2nd games Balistas had 3 fire control systems (2 Anti-starship and 1 antimissile) and the DD's will be getting a duel fire control system in their refit.
Reading some of the fiction is a good guide to the type of systems you need, particularly the Trans-newtonian campaign as I wrote that with new players in mind. You will need entirely different types of fire control to shoot at ships and missiles as the former requires long range and reasonable resolution. The latter needs resolution zero and at least 1m range for anti-missiles

Quote
Tankers are absolute necessary to keep your survey ships on deployment and with jump engines they can function to allow colonization (until Steve makes freights too big in the next update).  The Jump tanker works extremely well.
Don't forget you can add extra fuel to your survey ships. I usually aim for two years travel. Jump Tankers do work very well. I usually have jump ships with lots of fuel and maintenance and the best available sensors.

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The aliens are the biggest problem, I turned the chance down to 3% and still I have encountered aliens both times within 2 jumps of my home system and in both cases they have been substantially higher technology (active grav sensors lvl 28 in game 1 and lvl 21 in game 2).  I think the game needs to account for pre-TN starts a lot better.
The game doesn't really account for pre-TNT starts at all and probably never will. Precursors can't be made low-tech or they defeat the whole object of Precursors. Any TNT race is going to smash any PreTNT race. For pre-TNT starts I suggest turning off precursors and NPRs or staying home until you have better technology. Games with AI players really need to be TN games from the start.

Quote
The civillian space fleet works very well the 2nd game I built about 400 infrastructure and moved it to the other semi (x3.4) hability world in my home system and currently the population is 26 million and all of that due to civillian colonization and infrastructure.  I also in 1410 or so finally got my first 6 Terraformers there and am adding O2 to the NH4 and CO2 atmosphere it will be 10 years or so till a breathable O2 level is reached.

I found a lot of things very confusing.  Especially with regards to combat, for example I don't know what "independant" is for point defence options means.  I also made some major goofs the first few times I designed a warship (I had 12 points of power on my first DDs).  But other than the fights being one sided slaughters I slowly figured things out...unfortunately not being able to play the fights meant I learned much less in them.
Independent point defence means it will not engage any salvo being engaged by another point defence system. However, the automated anti-missile code is much better in v4.0 so you can safely ignore the independent modes and just decide how many missiles you want to target on each incoming missile. To try the game out, you could create two TN races, leave the NPRs switched off and handle both sides yourself.

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I don't really like the alien AI bit...unless I've just been getting precursors the fact they are always significantly higher tech and hostile doesn't make the game at all fun.  Sorry to be so negative here.  But being on the side of the one sided slaughter is just very unfun.
The first thing that comes to mind is to turn them off if they are a problem :)

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The ability to give a system the status of "do not enter" would be very good.  I had a civillian survey ship enter the alien races system and that was silly.
Systems have a Security Status that reflects any combat that has taken place. If one of your ships is damaged, the civilians will avoid the system for a while. You can see the danger rating on the galactic map view (F11). The option is on the Map Display sidebar under the Other options

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The UI is very good.  I've generally been able to find what I want when I want.
That's good to hear.

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I have been agressively retiring officers at age 60 and earlier if their health is poor and this is working out, what I don't understand is why it doesn't assign officers to all ships and ground forces automatically.  I've been going through the list and giving the better officers commands in the civillian fleet.  There should be a loss of crew beings though...say 10% per year retire.  The only thing I have notices is that I am low on senior officers (R3).  I have say R1-240, R2-75, R3-24.  This is a bit harsh when it lists my DD as a R3 command.
I agree about the attrition of older officers. That is on my list at the moment. You can change the command level required for each class. Perhaps making your DD class R2 or R1. The option is on the DAC / Rank / Information tab of the Class window.

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Wierdness in ship orders...say I set a ship to pick up x3 mines then all commands after that have x3 infront of them.
A UI issue. The order desciption picks up the x3 to display from the number of mines. If you don't change it back to zero it picks it up for all other orders. I should change that so the code know that only applies to certain orders.

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From both Kurt's and Steve's stories a couple things pop up.  Though shipyards are orbital construction docks a lot of their workshops and so on would be groundside so towing them about should not be allowed.  The ground side infrastructure is a bit too extensive, and besides it really should not be so easy to do this.  Tractor beams likewise I find a bit tacky, towing stuff about gets out of hand very quickly in my view.  
Towing ships and bases seems reasonable. After all we have plenty of tugboats in the world and damaged warships get towed all the time. Towing shipyards is stretching it a little more but once they became orbital installations in v4.0 (because the consensus was that was more fun and science-fictiony), towing became an obvious extension. Of course within your own game if you think it fails the giggle test, the simplest solution is not to allow tractor beams.

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I notice that people take stuff from the aliens and there is another thing that should be verbotten.  Alien facilities should be useless to you, they use left handed threads you use right handed so they would be maintence nightmares instead alien facilities recovered should give you bonuses towards improving your racial tech in that area rather than operational facilities.  Actually stripping them from a conquored planet though should generate a huge unrest bonus or else you are just back into the realms of GFFP by another name.
It is far too easy compared to reality but this is one of those areas where gameplay and fun has overriden reality. I could have some type of conversion cost and it has been discussed in the past. However, if I had to keep track of the racial origin of every installation in the game (including presumably in those Empires comprising multiple species), it would become a micromanagement nightmare. So I decided to allow any species to use any installation. As to stripping industry from the planet causing unrest, I agree its likely but that is pretty much what the allies and the Soviet Union did to Germany after WW2 and there wasn't a great deal Germany could do about it. The average Bug in the street is probably more worried about the freezing temperature and the background radiation :). There will be unrest anyway if a sufficient occupation force is not installed so I think can be assumed that said occupation force will handle the grumpy civilians.

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In my second game I just hit a DUR crisis.  My stockpile hit 0.  This is something to avoid at all costs but as that is the basis of most things industrial I'm a bit unsure what to do...I would basically need to mothball most of my fleet for 2 years and just do tech research and explore to recover from this.  Not sure what I will do.  I have lots of the stuff in my home system and have 2 small mine colonies (12 and 7 autmatic mines) with mass drivers firing it back to my two colonies but making the new automated mines would take 2400 of it which is 2 years production more or less.  In the mean time I can't do much in the way of new construction so I'm not sure what to do.  Even starting up a new colony will be hard.
Aurora is very different than many 4x strategy games in that you have to manage your economy or it will crash. There is no guaranteed rich-get-richer situation. However, many players have run into similar problems in the early games and it just a matter of experience in terms of avoiding it. The main thing is too watch your Recent Stockpile column on the Mining/Maintenance tab. If that is negative and your stockpile is getting low, you will need to pause or cancel some of your construction and shipbuilding tasks. Another thing to ensure is that you have plenty of mines - usually more than the number of construction factories. I am not sure in this case  if you just have a zero stockpile or the planet has run out of Duranium. The former is easier to solve because you probably have reasonable annual mining production and you can halt production on existing tasks. The latter is far more serious if you don't have any automated mines. Aurora is all about shortages through - be it minerals, fuel, wealth or just shipbuilding space. Managing them and planning ahead are vital.

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In terms of surveys...I've been exploring for 4 years or so (1411 current year) and have explored 8 extra solar system fully and have found basically nothing much of interest beyond those pesky über advanced aliens.  Most of the systems are filled with junk and and a few barely habitable worlds.  Worse the easy to reach jump point leads to the aliens while the one that is 40-60 days flight time leads to my main avenue of exploration.
The number of immediately habitable planets in Aurora is very limited. It varies but is probably 1 in every 25-50 systems. There are quite a few more that can be terraformed and building a decent terraforming fleet is always a good idea. Better engines and faster ships will also make distances shrink considerably

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The aliens are a major annoyance as even in SM mode I can't access them.  I thought I had turned them off but apparently I had not.  This may mean starting a campaign 3.
You can turn them on/off in the Game window (Ctrl-I from the main menu). Remember to press Save when you are happy with the settings.

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The game has a lot of "just one more 5 day update" potential and I am having fun with the technology and ship design.  So in terms of that I think it hits the spot.
Good! There is a lot to learn and no rulebook so I am always amazed how well new players manage to find their way. There will be some frustrations at things that are not easily understood but there will always be someone on the forum who can answer your questions. Thanks for taking the time to post your impressions.

Steve
 

Offline Paul M

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Re: 4.0 First Impressions
« Reply #21 on: April 17, 2009, 05:09:16 AM »
Quote from: "SteveAlt"
Starting with pre-TNT is really for occasional interest or near-future Earth starts than for regular use. You will probably have more fun starting with a basic TN race.

Hey what can I say its fun.  It gives that nice touch for playing a race to start them from scratch. In a multiplayer game, which I hope to get going if 4.1 reintroduces diplomacy, I'd do a normal TN start.

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You shouldn't really be able to refit ICBM bases as they are pre-TNT tech (i'll fix that for v4.1) and can lead to one or two problems later if any pre-TNT tech remains.

Oh well it does generate an error message but no nothing outside the bridge and lifesupport remains.  In the first game I left in 1 ICBM silo but in the second game they were ground down total refits.
In the game when they were being refit there was a 3102 error in daofield or something like that every update.  When the refit finished there was a series of 3 errors and then the problem went away.

PDCs seem to take an aweful long time to build unless that build time is based on a particular amount of construction ability and not specific to the world.  Also there is no way to tell how much build time a particular project will take.

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Reading some of the fiction is a good guide to the type of systems you need, particularly the Trans-newtonian campaign as I wrote that with new players in mind. You will need entirely different types of fire control to shoot at ships and missiles as the former requires long range and reasonable resolution. The latter needs resolution zero and at least 1m range for anti-missiles

Yes I worked that out, what I didn't realize is that I need to design an active search system for missile detection.  Though admittedly my systems have worked so far well enough in detecting the missiles but I'll make one up regardless.

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Don't forget you can add extra fuel to your survey ships. I usually aim for two years travel. Jump Tankers do work very well. I usually have jump ships with lots of fuel and maintenance and the best available sensors.
The Diskoverrhee's have 100K-l fuel, but given the numbers that lost their jump engine I will develope and add extra  maintenance.  The survey fleets had 3.5 years of time on their clocks when they came back for maintenance.  I usually limit them to passive sensors but I'm considering looking into this a bit more.

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The game doesn't really account for pre-TNT starts at all and probably never will. Precursors can't be made low-tech or they defeat the whole object of Precursors. Any TNT race is going to smash any PreTNT race. For pre-TNT starts I suggest turning off precursors and NPRs or staying home until you have better technology. Games with AI players really need to be TN games from the start.

If the Tech and development level of the NPR is tied to the player race that finds them then it will do so automatically.  I'm still not sure exactly how that works in terms of the SM...do they get some notification of an alien race so they can do the set up or what?


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The first thing that comes to mind is to turn them off if they are a problem :)

By the time I get around to leaving the system I am not a Pre-TNT race though.  I am just a starting TNT race so your statement basically also applies to any starting player or am I misunderstanding something?  My ships were equiped with 1st generation systems much like a new player race would have.  In the second game I had just started development of 2nd generation systems...I accidentally deleted the campaign though so its toast.

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I agree about the attrition of older officers. That is on my list at the moment. You can change the command level required for each class. Perhaps making your DD class R2 or R1. The option is on the DAC / Rank / Information tab of the Class window.

At the time the DD's were the largest non-survey, non-jump tanker, non-merchant ship in my fleet.  So the R3 designation makes sense.  One thing I did notice in the automatic assignment is that if there is a vacancy and an unasigned officer doesn't have crew training then they won't be assigned to that ship.  It means I manually have to go in and do officer assignments which is about 30-60 min of work to get all my ships (including the civillian ships) assigned commanders.  My biggest complain is that the possible commands window scrolls back to the top, a "show only available commands" tick box would do wonders I use the show eligable all the time.



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Towing ships and bases seems reasonable. After all we have plenty of tugboats in the world and damaged warships get towed all the time. Towing shipyards is stretching it a little more but once they became orbital installations in v4.0 (because the consensus was that was more fun and science-fictiony), towing became an obvious extension. Of course within your own game if you think it fails the giggle test, the simplest solution is not to allow tractor beams.

I don't have a problem with towing ships and to a lesser extent bases (especially since there seems no way to otherwise get bases onto a jump point) but allowing the movement of shipyards ... no that just doesn't sit well for me.  From the perspective of multiplayer I think it takes away from strategic choice value.  Also if you can't move the yards then it realy makes them something you are going to put a lot more thought into where you put them.  It is a personal thing I guess but it makes a "Galoway's World" primary yard system that much more valuable.


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It is far too easy compared to reality but this is one of those areas where gameplay and fun has overriden reality. I could have some type of conversion cost and it has been discussed in the past. However, if I had to keep track of the racial origin of every installation in the game (including presumably in those Empires comprising multiple species), it would become a micromanagement nightmare. So I decided to allow any species to use any installation. As to stripping industry from the planet causing unrest, I agree its likely but that is pretty much what the allies and the Soviet Union did to Germany after WW2 and there wasn't a great deal Germany could do about it. The average Bug in the street is probably more worried about the freezing temperature and the background radiation :). There will be unrest anyway if a sufficient occupation force is not installed so I think can be assumed that said occupation force will handle the grumpy civilians.

From again the perspective of multiplayer I don't think it is good for either fun or game play.  As far as the soviets and allies go, no they didn't take the factories they took the people and the knowledge.  I've never heard of them looting factories (though my knowledge of WW2 history is more focused on the war then the period just after it), and besides they are the same race so this is more like a civil war aspect in the game.  It is a horse of a different color to alien technology.  And the average bug on the street who is out of work and starving has nothing to loose by trying to take out one of the thieving aliens now so the unrest (and hence the required number of occupation troops) should increase.  Personally, I would simply just not allow it but I can understand why others would look at it differently.  To me it is just another form of GFFP and things which promote such gameplay I don't think are good.  Not that I have anything personally against Dan for inventing GFFP but I don't think encouraging it or its derivatives is worthy.

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Aurora is very different than many 4x strategy games in that you have to manage your economy or it will crash. There is no guaranteed rich-get-richer situation. However, many players have run into similar problems in the early games and it just a matter of experience in terms of avoiding it. The main thing is too watch your Recent Stockpile column on the Mining/Maintenance tab. If that is negative and your stockpile is getting low, you will need to pause or cancel some of your construction and shipbuilding tasks. Another thing to ensure is that you have plenty of mines - usually more than the number of construction factories. I am not sure in this case  if you just have a zero stockpile or the planet has run out of Duranium. The former is easier to solve because you probably have reasonable annual mining production and you can halt production on existing tasks. The latter is far more serious if you don't have any automated mines. Aurora is all about shortages through - be it minerals, fuel, wealth or just shipbuilding space. Managing them and planning ahead are vital.

You should look at Squadron Strike by Ad Astra.  They have an interesting economy model where it basically randomly grows and contracts so you don't get the economic nightmare that killed Starfire games...namely that the rich get richer faster and faster.  Martin did his best in 4th edition but since basically no economic activity in Starfire didn't result in more money (the rate of return was the only variable) your economy was only going to ever grow.  In SF4 Martin pushed the time it takes for that to happen further outwards by cutting money and increasing maintenance/construction costs but eventually the growth would hit the point where it would expand as it did in SF3R.  We stress tested this locally and there was no doubt that the growth was hideous.  Fleet bloat got us bad.

Back to the Duranium.  I had Construction Fac: 265, Mines: 230 and Duranium reserves left but my anual production was below my use.  To solve the issue I needed to do nothing for a couple of years and let the stockpile build and then build a mine or automatic mine (as the availablity on the moon was 0.8 compared to 0.48 on the homeworld) everyonce and a while during this period.  I could also have shipped the mines to another moon with availabity 1 Duranium.

I think this is a factor of the pre-TNT start since you need to build a LOT more infrastructure in your home system and a lot of it is very expensive in terms of Duranium.  I was also unlucky in that the other settled world had Duranium reserves of 17M but availablity of 0.1.

I will say that so far the economy looks ok.  It gives your reason to expand and explore and adds a lot of strategic choices.

What I don't understand was when I paused all construction and then looked at my projected use I saw 750 per year (annual production was 1200) but when I looked at the maintenance list I should have been only using 250 per year.  There seemed to be an additional use of duranium that wasn't accounted for by maintenance.

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The number of immediately habitable planets in Aurora is very limited. It varies but is probably 1 in every 25-50 systems. There are quite a few more that can be terraformed and building a decent terraforming fleet is always a good idea. Better engines and faster ships will also make distances shrink considerably

I don't mind requiring infrastructure based colonies.  I just had not even found things remotely interesting x4 or x5 was the best I had spotted.  Survey luck is always fun.


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Good! There is a lot to learn and no rulebook so I am always amazed how well new players manage to find their way. There will be some frustrations at things that are not easily understood but there will always be someone on the forum who can answer your questions. Thanks for taking the time to post your impressions.
Steve

I am hoping that we can replace our defunct Starfire campaign (based on SFA) with Aurora especially now that Alex is off in the boonies.  Because I am familier with SFA and have been wargaming for well I hate to think how long most things make sense.  Often what isn't clear is where the interconnections are, or if you need technology x to use weapon y effectively.  As I am trying out plasma carronades and torpedos and use missiles only for planetary defence and counter missile work I had a bit of fun with things like reactors, capacitors, tracking speed etc.  What a command does is also not very clear in all cases, for example:

Enter orbit: Do I need to specify a distance?  Do I need to do this if I am going to refuel, resupply, load or unload, maintain?

One thing I also noted was moving research labs was a bit of a pain as you can't say pick up 0.1 reseach lab components but it will automatically pick up a full load.  This meant needing to go in with SM active and manually adjust the labs if I want to move only 1 lab to the other world in 3 trips of 0.36 each.

Truthfully I don't see a lot of things to complain about at the moment.  The UI works, the game system itself looks very good.  I like the harpoon-esq ship design.  I find that things keep busy once you have fleet moving about etc.
 

Offline sloanjh

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Re: 4.0 First Impressions
« Reply #22 on: April 17, 2009, 09:11:45 AM »
Quote from: "Paul M"
Quote from: "SteveAlt"
Starting with pre-TNT is really for occasional interest or near-future Earth starts than for regular use. You will probably have more fun starting with a basic TN race.
Hey what can I say its fun.  It gives that nice touch for playing a race to start them from scratch. In a multiplayer game, which I hope to get going if 4.1 reintroduces diplomacy, I'd do a normal TN start.
I agree with Paul - I really like doing the "uplift" campaigns, and I find it leads me to different tech development mixes that the standard set-up.  I've not been clobbered so far by hi-tech bad guys, but I have a very paranoid survey protocol and was lucky enough not to have an NPR show up next door. It looks like my strategy is actually going to end up being "Passively spy on Precursors until I get a high active sensor tech, build a whopping big active sensor, then play dodge-em with the Precursors while spying on them with said active sensor to get my weapons tech up".  I'm about 1/2 way through this (building the active spy-ship).
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Don't forget you can add extra fuel to your survey ships. I usually aim for two years travel. Jump Tankers do work very well. I usually have jump ships with lots of fuel and maintenance and the best available sensors.
The Diskoverrhee's have 100K-l fuel, but given the numbers that lost their jump engine I will develope and add extra  maintenance.  The survey fleets had 3.5 years of time on their clocks when they came back for maintenance.  I usually limit them to passive sensors but I'm considering looking into this a bit more.
I tend to pull ships back for overhaul once their clocks reach ~2 - 2.5 years.  After that, the failures start to occur pretty frequently.
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The game doesn't really account for pre-TNT starts at all and probably never will. Precursors can't be made low-tech or they defeat the whole object of Precursors. Any TNT race is going to smash any PreTNT race. For pre-TNT starts I suggest turning off precursors and NPRs or staying home until you have better technology. Games with AI players really need to be TN games from the start.

If the Tech and development level of the NPR is tied to the player race that finds them then it will do so automatically.  I'm still not sure exactly how that works in terms of the SM...do they get some notification of an alien race so they can do the set up or what?

If you run in "SM view" (from the pull-down) in the events (ctrl-F3) screen, then you'll see such events "entered system with 1 or more alien fleets" "entered system with 1 or more alien colonies".  And yes, before AI NPR at that point you'd have to make a new race and bind it to the population, after which you ran the race just like a player race.

So far, I'm doing ok with pre-TNT and aliens.  Of course they're all a lot higher tech than I am, but it's a nice change to be playing a mouse :-)

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Aurora is very different than many 4x strategy games in that you have to manage your economy or it will crash. There is no guaranteed rich-get-richer situation. However, many players have run into similar problems in the early games and it just a matter of experience in terms of avoiding it. The main thing is too watch your Recent Stockpile column on the Mining/Maintenance tab. If that is negative and your stockpile is getting low, you will need to pause or cancel some of your construction and shipbuilding tasks. Another thing to ensure is that you have plenty of mines - usually more than the number of construction factories. I am not sure in this case  if you just have a zero stockpile or the planet has run out of Duranium. The former is easier to solve because you probably have reasonable annual mining production and you can halt production on existing tasks. The latter is far more serious if you don't have any automated mines. Aurora is all about shortages through - be it minerals, fuel, wealth or just shipbuilding space. Managing them and planning ahead are vital.

You should look at Squadron Strike by Ad Astra.  They have an interesting economy model where it basically randomly grows and contracts so you don't get the economic nightmare that killed Starfire games...namely that the rich get richer faster and faster.  Martin did his best in 4th edition but since basically no economic activity in Starfire didn't result in more money (the rate of return was the only variable) your economy was only going to ever grow.  In SF4 Martin pushed the time it takes for that to happen further outwards by cutting money and increasing maintenance/construction costs but eventually the growth would hit the point where it would expand as it did in SF3R.  We stress tested this locally and there was no doubt that the growth was hideous.  Fleet bloat got us bad.

Back to the Duranium.  I had Construction Fac: 265, Mines: 230 and Duranium reserves left but my anual production was below my use.  To solve the issue I needed to do nothing for a couple of years and let the stockpile build and then build a mine or automatic mine (as the availablity on the moon was 0.8 compared to 0.48 on the homeworld) everyonce and a while during this period.  I could also have shipped the mines to another moon with availabity 1 Duranium.

I think this is a factor of the pre-TNT start since you need to build a LOT more infrastructure in your home system and a lot of it is very expensive in terms of Duranium.  I was also unlucky in that the other settled world had Duranium reserves of 17M but availablity of 0.1.

I will say that so far the economy looks ok.  It gives your reason to expand and explore and adds a lot of strategic choices.

What I don't understand was when I paused all construction and then looked at my projected use I saw 750 per year (annual production was 1200) but when I looked at the maintenance list I should have been only using 250 per year.  There seemed to be an additional use of duranium that wasn't accounted for by maintenance.
In my experience (using 1billion pop starts), you will ALWAYS encounter a duranium mining crisis - my start usually only has 10-20 years duranium at the start.  The same thing can happen with e.g. sorium, but it always hits duranium.  In addition, unless you're VERY lucky and find huge reserves of duranium on a colonizable planet next door, this means that the duranium crisis is an auto-mining crisis - you have to convert (essentially) your entire economy from regular mining to auto-mining and/or move your entire mining infrastructure to a planet that's several months travel-time away.  This is a huge cost - I find that the first phase of the game (which I rarely get out of) is sucked up with the "get your converted and off Earth before the duranium runs out" process.  This might be an artifact of doing "big starts" (high tech and 1billion pop), since my pre-TNT campaign is getting less hard than previous ones, but the problem with small starts is that it takes a LONG time to get anything done (building research labs, research tech, ....).

John
 

Offline Paul M

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Re: 4.0 First Impressions
« Reply #23 on: April 20, 2009, 03:05:05 AM »
Well I am in campagian 3 and things are going better.  I started with 600 million, 6 research, 600 conv. industry and 1 outpost ruin (6 "crypts" which had 1 a-mine, mine and construction facility or some such).  It is is currently 1402 (start was 1370) and I have 2 insystem populated colonies (x16.5 mining colony and x4.4 colony with no resources).  I just got a terraformer module running on the x4.4 colony.  I have 2 more pure mining colonies (a-mine) with massdrivers.  I am closing in on finishing my first 6 DSSV survey ships (3900 Tonne ships take a while to build).  14 research stations at the moment with lvl 1 research developed, and 4 shipyards but 1 more in the queue and I have to add at least one more to that.   I'm in the slow Terraforming module and Troop Transport Bay state.  I have my initial 18 warships and am waiting on a yard to finish adding 1000 Tonnes to the cacity of its yards to build 6 Long Term Deployment Resupply vessels (Tankers for short).  Research is currently the problem I think, I need to get another 8-10 research stations up and running.  My biggest issue currently is senior officers, I am a bit short staffed in the upper levels of my fleet (R4+) due to my pruneing of R1&R2 at 45, R3 at 50, R4 at 55.  But I do have much younger senior officers then I had seen when not doing this however my ranking officer is R6.

I have the NPR chance set to 3% and precursers turned off for the moment.
 

Offline Andrew

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Re: 4.0 First Impressions
« Reply #24 on: April 20, 2009, 02:36:50 PM »
I consider the minimum number of research stations to be 20 , and try for more. But I have no patience
 

Offline Paul M

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Re: 4.0 First Impressions
« Reply #25 on: April 21, 2009, 01:56:07 AM »
I tend to agree with the 20 number.  But the game currently gives you 2 for a pre-TNT start, and starting from 2 is a veritable nightmare.  Even 2 per 100 million population would not necessarily be unbalanced.
 

Offline Father Tim

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Re: 4.0 First Impressions
« Reply #26 on: April 21, 2009, 03:53:41 PM »
Odd, 4.0beta gives me 1 Research Lab per 200 million pop for a pre-TNT start.
 

Offline Paul M

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Re: 4.0 First Impressions
« Reply #27 on: April 22, 2009, 02:42:27 AM »
Very odd...or maybe my memory is off...hmmm...actually yes that would be correct.  I started campaign 2 with 3 labs and 600 million people.  This one I modified and started with 6.  I still think that 1 per 100 million is better.  It cut down a lot of the early slog but didn't change the fact that it takes a fair amount of time to develop things.  I am currently at 14 with 4 more in the queue.  My current govenor doesn't have any research bonus (my first one had +30% propulsion which was a huge boost) and I have the first level of research (240 per year).  My research queue is absolutely full though.  A colony world where I can start up a small research community will come in handy.
 

 

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