Any plan to make this game more strat and less constant war?

4X strategy game from Proxy Studios

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Synreal
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Any plan to make this game more strat and less constant war?

Post by Synreal » Mon Nov 18, 2013 4:39 pm

Every game I play ends with me quitting because every opposing race seems to auto-declare-war and the aliens either kill me or take 50 turns to erradicate. Oh, by the way, this is on the easiest difficulty. Also, the tech tree is 90% war tech. Any plan on making the game more of a strategy and less of a tower defense? Thanks.

Barnacle_Bill
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Re: Any plan to make this game more strat and less constant

Post by Barnacle_Bill » Mon Nov 18, 2013 5:19 pm

There are several victory conditions, not all requiring war. I always turn off those sorts of things and play in a sandbox mode where a game allows (most do), so I don't recall all of them but IIRC one of them is a tech victory.

The game is very similar to SMAC, although it does lack the "transend" victory of that game (which I think more or less replaced the spaceship victory from earlier editions of Civ).

As to constant war, I've played 4 partial games (long story) and only been attacked once. Granted, I play a huge archipelego world (again my default in this sort of game) which in Pandora seems to mean several large fairly regular islands with each faction starting on its own plus a couple extra that start empty (as compared to Civ et all where with the same settings you usually get long snakey continents with more than one nation starting on yours, plus hordes of smaller islands all over the place).

Anyway, the one time I was attacked it was fairly early in the game by the holy rollers, before I had explored off my starting continent. They landed and captured one of my newer cities, which I retook the next turn. Then it was a naval war, in which my ships were individually better but generally my surviving but damaged ship would get killed before I could get it away from the "front" to heal. However, despite my naval loses, they never got ashore again and after seemingly a very long war eventually they offered peace. I did feel like I'd fallen behind the uninvolved factions during the war, though, as I was plowing my construction into warships rather than buildings/colonizers/formers. In the darkest days, one or two of the uninvolved factions hit me up for tribute and I feared they'd pile on, but I told them to stick it and they stayed out after all.

As an aside, a decisive naval war is fairly rare in Civ-like games, so that one was actually a lot of fun while it lasted. I just wouldn't have fought one by choice that early in the game - I like to get a solid base in my economy & tech before getting into a shooting match.

The closest thing to agression I got besides that was another game where, rather later (after I had drop pods already), the tree huggers founded a city on the coast of my continent in a gap between two of my cities that just hadn't grown enough to fill it. I declared war on them to eject the squatters. The rest of the time the AI has been fairly content to leave me alone until I start it.

The tech tree seems the way it is because you design your units from components. Any 4X game where you can do that will inevitably have more techs that reveal new components for units than those that do other things.

In general, I don't think the aliens are as hard to deal with as in SMAC, but I will admit that there are a couple of alien types that are really hard to kill with early game units, and you need to build up some serious strength to take on a hive with early game units. However, in 4 starts I never had my capital get wiped out by them. It isn't quite Pyrrus (from Harry Harrison's "Deathworld Trilogy").

Blackadar
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Re: Any plan to make this game more strat and less constant

Post by Blackadar » Mon Nov 18, 2013 6:57 pm

Synreal wrote:Every game I play ends with me quitting because every opposing race seems to auto-declare-war and the aliens either kill me or take 50 turns to erradicate. Oh, by the way, this is on the easiest difficulty. Also, the tech tree is 90% war tech. Any plan on making the game more of a strategy and less of a tower defense? Thanks.
I've posted that I thought certain AI players were too aggressive and that the tech tree is a bit war-heavy (though nowhere near 90%). I think your point could be well taken, but you ruin it with your last sentence since Pandora is nothing like tower defense. In short, try without the hyperbole and your post may get a better response.

One suggestion is to play the game on an island map. If you like to turtle, it helps deflect the beginning AI tank rush since just a couple of boats can sink a fair number of their units coming across the seas.

fortydayweekend
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Re: Any plan to make this game more strat and less constant

Post by fortydayweekend » Mon Nov 18, 2013 7:19 pm

In my first game on Medium (as University) the other factions left me alone for a long time, and I spread out over a continent and spent most of my time developing, but also built what I thought was a lot of high-tech military units and upgraded them to level 8-10.

Then the Acension attacked with nukes and big stacks of low-level strike aircraft, destroyed 2 of my cities and took another within a couple of turns, wiping out about half my army. Then they offered peace, which made no sense at all! :)

The massive losses were my own fault - big stacks of units become a target for nukes, and I hadn't discovered any anti-aircraft weapons which probably would've made short work of his aircraft. Plus there was a fair amount of warning - non-aggression was cancelled, re-signed, then cancelled again before the declaration.

It'd be nice *not* to have to build huge armies just to survive though. In Civ1 you could use a combo of terrain, road/rail, ships, diplomats and poor AI to hold off virtually anything with only a handful of units, which is why I think it's still my favourite of the series - you can play as militarily or peacefully as you like.

The most obvious way to achieve that seems to be a "demand tribute before attacking" mechanism where the player can feed techs and money to the AI to hold off invasions. Or a "threat level" based on how much the player expands - if you stick to a smaller area other factions will be less likely to invade, but if you expand a lot you'll need to build a large military.

Barbariandude
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Re: Any plan to make this game more strat and less constant

Post by Barbariandude » Mon Nov 18, 2013 7:56 pm

Funny thing is, I'm having pretty much the opposite problem: I feel like when playing for a tech victory, other nations are too easy to appease. 1 basic colonial with a flamethrower per city to keep the bugs and such away, 1 mineral city, 1-2 food cities, and 3-4 tech cities. Whenever they drop to "Polite", I throw money and praises at them until they go back up to "Generous", and I'm guaranteed to win the game. I also auto-pay any tribute they ask for, because what the hell do I need money for?

Economic victory, on the other hand, seems cripplingly hard. You don't have the option of bribing them or paying tribute because it's proportional to your bank amount ("Please give me 512,483,195" wut), you can't really have an army because it delays your win with their upkeep costs (atleast not an army that could in any way match a tech/military nation). The closest I've gotten was about 75-80% of the money needed before the scientific victory happened (this was after having my account zeroed twice with forced peace settlement money. Damn that scaling...)

Best way of fixing both the tech and economic victories simultaneously, in my opinion, is make the amount to be given with gifts and tributes scale off of the current duration of the game, not your current bank balance. If you don't have enough to pay, tough luck, better save more next time. It would also make an interesting guessing game of the enemy's current balance based on their economy rating, if you're forcing tribute out of them on a military playthrough.

I've not tried a military win yet, but I assume it'd be the best balanced of the 3 due to the balanced nature of warfare in this game.

To clarify a little on where I'm coming from, I play with everything on medium except planet size (large).

EDIT: Oh! almost forgot to mention: Alliances are currently broken. They do not cause allies to go to war with nations that go to war with you, or cause you to get dragged into their wars.

EDIT2: After reading Blackadar's comments here: viewtopic.php?f=173&t=46417 maybe my opinion of "Tech win too easy" is because I've been playing the University faction when I want to play for a tech win...

Dragoon.
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Re: Any plan to make this game more strat and less constant

Post by Dragoon. » Mon Nov 18, 2013 9:57 pm

I'm playing on the highest alien aggressiveness level. I love this brutal frontier experience. This fight for survival with bugs crawling all over your face. It's like Aliens meet World War Z. You tend to learn a lot more about game mechanics and tactics from all this dying than from an easy win. Plus it's relaxing to play if your goal is to survive an other day instead to win.

jdmillard
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Re: Any plan to make this game more strat and less constant

Post by jdmillard » Mon Nov 18, 2013 10:24 pm

Dragoon wrote:I'm playing on the highest alien aggressiveness level. I love this brutal frontier experience. This fight for survival with bugs crawling all over your face. It's like Aliens meet World War Z. You tend to learn a lot more about game mechanics and tactics from all this dying than from an easy win. Plus it's relaxing to play if your goal is to survive an other day instead to win.
This does make for a fun game. I find that it makes you appreciate those first few cities more because you had to fight tooth and nail in order to get them. Then you're forced to play more realistically by protecting your cities all the time instead of just waiting to militarize until someone declares war on you.

MizzouRah
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Re: Any plan to make this game more strat and less constant

Post by MizzouRah » Mon Nov 18, 2013 11:27 pm

Dragoon wrote:I'm playing on the highest alien aggressiveness level. I love this brutal frontier experience. This fight for survival with bugs crawling all over your face. It's like Aliens meet World War Z. You tend to learn a lot more about game mechanics and tactics from all this dying than from an easy win. Plus it's relaxing to play if your goal is to survive an other day instead to win.
This will be my next game for sure. :)

Dragoon.
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Re: Any plan to make this game more strat and less constant

Post by Dragoon. » Tue Nov 19, 2013 12:10 am

First few turns were very hard. On turn two I ran with my starting trooper into one of these giant beetles with strength 8. Luckily it didn't follow immediately.
I beeline for the flamethrower tech and started build a former first. Then I shifted my worker around and adjusted the tax rate so research and building completion finished on the same turn. Cranked out 3 flame troopers and surround my city with fortresses. Luckily my capital is located on a peninsular, so a line of two fortress was enough to lock down land access. Darn flyers by the way!
Though on occasion when a large aliens force supplemented with the big bugs approaches I had to abandon the fortifications and retreat to the city. Took me 2 armor upgrades and some tanks before I could break out and start establishing colonies that I can also hold.
Do not underestimate snipers. Though they seem to be weak, and they are on defense, they work wonders to weak the bigger aliens before you send in your early inferior forces.
A nice side effect from this alien menace is I have now an highly experienced force with maxed out rank which gives you 100% unit power. Like in this Nietzsche saying; "What doesn't kill you makes you stronger." :)

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Re: Any plan to make this game more strat and less constant

Post by AlfyB » Tue Nov 19, 2013 4:08 am

The little experience I have does not make the game look like "war, all the time", but yeah, the game seems more slanted towards conflict than most CIV games out there. However, I really don't think it's a bad thing. It's a bit different, it's refreshing, and it's not just one more clone. As long as the AI can handle both the tactics and the strategy, I too feel happy with the "survival on the frontier" feel to Pandora.

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