Impression and Ideas 1.22

4X strategy game from Proxy Studios

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Acheron
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Impression and Ideas 1.22

Post by Acheron » Sun Mar 16, 2014 5:14 pm

Want to share my impressions of the game.
Watched a Youtube Let´s play and decided to buy it.
At first, I had an initializing issue, but w/ 1.22 this was solved.
Thanks for the beta!

Positive feedback comes of course at first!
UI, Sound, Graphic is well done.

I have played several games now and feel how first joy is going down.

What I am missing...
I would like to have Pandora the alien planet more in the center of the game.
A hostile, dangerous and challenging environment, which keeps you going forward and backward.
A lot of the imported technolgies don´t work and you need to find adaptions to the new environment.
The colonization process is slow, expansion is a riskfull business.
The other fraction are struggling as yourself and are more fellow comrades than raising threats.
In my first game the fauna was extinguished in early midgame, leaving the other fractions and run for domination as sole target.
At that stage the idea of environmental struggle was lost and the game is orientated on growth optimization.
Whats left behind are some last fungi fields and some special feature tiles.
Nothing unexpected happens, the behaviour of mankind on earth is copied w/o any reflection.
The AI is seeking war and acts without global overview. Stable coalition was never achieved.
If you grow to slow, you will be overrun, no one threatened by this cares.

Going further into the direction of survival will surely raise issues on the balance.
A set back in the early game phase may take you out of the race for extermination right from the start.
I ask myself, if there is only the choice for one or the other.
For me the beginning of a wild and slow game is now what I play.
AI is risking more and one of the surviving frations kills me usually in 2nd age.
Maybe I will improve w/ toggling on the options or that´s the way how may games will look like.
On the other hand I can skip the boring endgame, where I have lot´s of cities and units w/o end
and spend numerous turns on bringing the remaining fractions down one by one.

To keep the game balanced in multiplayer mode, I think it´s required to have a low degree of randomness.
From this commercial respective it seems likely to avoid too much struggling in the early game phase, so that
every player has fair chances for a quick expansion and early focus on the other fractions.
But is there a need for an additional multiplayer conquer the world game?
There are lot´s of real time games, which might be less time consuming or focus more directly on war.
Isn´t this mainly a single player game?

The game is already quite far developed.
I am not expecting, that the world domination aspect is reviewed, as there seems to be already a community which really like
the game as it is.

My interest is to see, if there are players who share my thoughts.
Please give me your feedback.

-----------
Below you can find some of my unsorted, weird ideas, which come up on the topic of colonization:
-----------

Market:
The trade of resources are depending on the gobal resource situation.
Currently I don´t understand, how the market system works.
Exchanging resources with the other fractions seems not to be benefiting for victory right now.
Transport, pricing and global resource would be nice for crisis management on random events.

Fungi Return:
Flora (and fauna?) could spread again. Cleared areas are overgrown again. This keeps your formers busy.

Eruption, darkening sky:
I could imagine some random global events, which slow down or cause set backs.
They may lead to food shortage, unstable income, leading to stock decreases.
And not only yours...

Super Fungi:
There are areas, where a settlement cannot be made in the early game.
Without proper technology these places are bad lands.
The expansion would be staged and slower.

Weather/Season:
There is a calender. Never put much focus on it as one turn is like the other.
But wouldn´t it be interesting to have times of less food or slowed movement?
Weather and season is surely a hard task to be implemented.
Weather is maybe too far away. Hard rain, storms which hinder movement and spoil harvests.
But seasoning / climatic zones could be realized somehow.

Terra Forming:
Terra forming is currently quick and cheap. Optimization of your realm is completed at some time,
the formers go idle. I like the setting in ALIENs, where atmospheric processing took ages.
Don´t get me wrong - no need to have this in this way.
Played some game on slowest forming level, which was already a better experience.
Formers could be specialized with devices in order to speed up on specific tasks s.a. road building,
mining operation...
More civil techs on the dev. branch.

Beasts:
Beasts are gone quite early.
Playing on max agression is most fun for me.
I would like bigger hives, which cannot be extincted until a far developed state.
Waves should be more solid, alien resources gathered before unleashed.
They are the reason for cooperation and alernative targets.

Earthquakes:
Basically the same as darkened sky. Maybe less global. Again an issue with MP and
balancing. Could be setup as a game option. Maybe used as a story element to generate
an aid mission at the council.

Diseases:
Also a random event. Global or local. The search for cure and aid could bring it
more into the direction of cooperation.

Highscore:
Without the extermination target, a highscore would be nice to display the efforts of survival.
Depending on turns, population amd events so that the player can compare with others.

Missions:
With some kind of planetary council, missions could be issued on request or general motivation.
Rewards could be improvements, technologies, land rights aso.
Help you neighbour, invest research capacity, clear flora, prevent an upcoming event...

Robbery:
The idea would be to have options on an assault without outbreak of a war.
Occupying a tile of the neighbour or demand a small portion for not killing a former...
Some additional features for talking with the AI.
Like the tribute demand in a wider scale.

mrowka
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Re: Impression and Ideas 1.22

Post by mrowka » Sun Mar 16, 2014 7:53 pm

Not sure how you keep up with mineral producion without fungi, they are like your best resource at the mid/end game, my games usulaly looks like a fungi did take over the word :D
Teraforming dunno i did a mod that put it colonization area becouse again at the end game thers no better resource than fungi, even grassland with farm on it produce less than fungi, exept the special features like gia forest ect. so its basicly usless at the transcendec era since you just need to rush to fungus research and your set, and fungus dont provide extra bonuses from terrain.
If you want device to faster building you can actually make mod with it with the current version.

Zak0r
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Re: Impression and Ideas 1.22

Post by Zak0r » Sun Mar 16, 2014 9:09 pm

I think you should try the MP. Imho it is much more fun than the SP and the game seems to be aimed at MP much better. Also the fact that you don't plaster your empire with fungus in the lategame but only remove it seems to show you haven't got very far into the game yet. Ofc you can defeat even very hard AI much earlier in the game if you know their weak spots but in the late game you will be outproduced easily if you don't utilise the fungus, especially in MP. And as far as I know the developers are already working on more alien threats for the lategame.

Acheron
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Re: Impression and Ideas 1.22

Post by Acheron » Sun Mar 16, 2014 9:42 pm

Thanks for both replies.

I agree that fungi farming is a nice option. Having that technology researched gives a turn in terra forming and brings the original landscape back.
Up to now I had not so much trouble in the late game in terms of resources. But then I was quite ahead of the AI and/or they did not charge me up to the max.

MP seems quite time demanding - I will have a look at it. Maybe there is a video somewhere. I think you are right, that the overall experience is quite different in a game with human opponents.

Igorputski
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Re: Impression and Ideas 1.22

Post by Igorputski » Fri Apr 04, 2014 7:53 am

Nope do not share your thoughts. Like the game just as the devs designed it to be. Only thing that ever needs to be improved really is the AI, forever on a quest to make it more aggressive and ruthless.

jdmillard
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Re: Impression and Ideas 1.22

Post by jdmillard » Fri Apr 04, 2014 4:16 pm

Igorputski wrote:Nope do not share your thoughts. Like the game just as the devs designed it to be. Only thing that ever needs to be improved really is the AI, forever on a quest to make it more aggressive and ruthless.
I prefer smarter, not more aggressive. Examples: In these examples - weak, medium, and strong are not referring to specific factions, rather the given state of any faction based on how large it's military is, how much tech it has, and production output.

1) The path to victory for a weak faction is not aggressiveness, rather deceptiveness. I want to see them doing espionage (when it's introduced later, obviously -- it should be easier to do espionage against large/powerful factions because there would be more "general infrastructure" to infiltrate). They should also try to make "friends" in order to catch up and get in a position of better military leverage. I want to see them encouraging skirmishes between the powerful factions because it wears them down (obviously that can backfire too if one faction takes over everything.)

2) The path to victory for a medium-strength faction (that cannot yet contend with the strongest factions) is to do everything in their power to discourage and prevent the strongest factions from swallowing the weak factions (because those invasions are the easiest way for the strong factions to win. it provides a huge population, research, production, and territory advantage). In fact, all factions should look down upon aggressive action against weak factions because of how powerful it makes the victor. Everyone should get very skeptical of aggressive action against weak factions without reason, because they know that those easy invasions will essentially double the faction size the pose a huge threat down the road.

3) The path to victory for a strong faction would be to swallow the opponents from smallest to largest. The devs got this one spot on. This is the path of least resistance. This strategy is so powerful (too much so) that (depending on the map size and shape) you often see games whittled down to just a couple of factions fighting at the end. The problem is when this happens too quickly (also, ideally there should be at least 3 factions still "going at it" at the end of Mech Era). If my #1 and #2 above were satisfied, #3 wouldn't be as OP because you'd see a lot of push-back from the global community upon patronizing the little guys. However, if a strong faction were to pick a fight with another strong faction, it could still keep some of their other friends (thus keeping your research and economy pact bonuses). The weaker factions wouldn't care too much if the strong factions wear each other down (bringing less diplomatic repercussion against the aggressor). Then if the weak and medium-strength factions were smart, they'd wait a bit to pick sides (and they would pick the losing side to prevent a takeover).

These protocols would really just bring stability to the game. I know it would likely require a difficult overhaul of the diplomacy code (because you'd need ways to distinguish things like "losing side" during a war and other things)... but that's just my two cents. Currently the "aggressiveness" is a flat number that is predetermined based on the faction ideology. This is all wrong! It needs to be way more dynamic and fluctuate based upon all 3 points above along with relative strength toward each faction and diplomatic determiners (also mentioned above). Right now the diplomacy is an open-loop system. If you want to stabilize it, make it closed-loop. Basic control theory.

boulugre
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Re: Impression and Ideas 1.22

Post by boulugre » Sat Apr 05, 2014 3:57 am

I also think AI should have a 'colonial' period behaviour, during which it should concentrate more on building their cities and clearing off aliens than atacking neighbouring factions. Every single game you will see the religious and imperium faction going to war from the very start of the game (sometime even before the alien aggression triggers) and exhausting their strenght in stupid war, spreading their territory in often opposite side of the map and making them very easy target later on in the game.

I think a main 'war triggering factor' should be the lack of territory to expand and contingent borders + it's not because the religious and imperium faction are aggressive by nature they should systematically declare war on the first faction they encounter...

jdmillard
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Re: Impression and Ideas 1.22

Post by jdmillard » Fri Apr 11, 2014 11:20 pm

boulugre wrote:I also think AI should have a 'colonial' period behaviour, during which it should concentrate more on building their cities and clearing off aliens than atacking neighbouring factions. Every single game you will see the religious and imperium faction going to war from the very start of the game (sometime even before the alien aggression triggers) and exhausting their strenght in stupid war, spreading their territory in often opposite side of the map and making them very easy target later on in the game.

I think a main 'war triggering factor' should be the lack of territory to expand and contingent borders + it's not because the religious and imperium faction are aggressive by nature they should systematically declare war on the first faction they encounter...
Well said, boulugre

stiefelss
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Re: Impression and Ideas 1.22

Post by stiefelss » Sat Apr 12, 2014 10:42 pm

jdmillard wrote: I prefer smarter, not more aggressive. Examples: In these examples - weak, medium, and strong are not referring to specific factions, rather the given state of any faction based on how large it's military is, how much tech it has, and production output.

1) The path to victory for a weak faction is not aggressiveness, rather deceptiveness. I want to see them doing espionage (when it's introduced later, obviously -- it should be easier to do espionage against large/powerful factions because there would be more "general infrastructure" to infiltrate). They should also try to make "friends" in order to catch up and get in a position of better military leverage. I want to see them encouraging skirmishes between the powerful factions because it wears them down (obviously that can backfire too if one faction takes over everything.)

2) The path to victory for a medium-strength faction (that cannot yet contend with the strongest factions) is to do everything in their power to discourage and prevent the strongest factions from swallowing the weak factions (because those invasions are the easiest way for the strong factions to win. it provides a huge population, research, production, and territory advantage). In fact, all factions should look down upon aggressive action against weak factions because of how powerful it makes the victor. Everyone should get very skeptical of aggressive action against weak factions without reason, because they know that those easy invasions will essentially double the faction size the pose a huge threat down the road.

3) The path to victory for a strong faction would be to swallow the opponents from smallest to largest. The devs got this one spot on. This is the path of least resistance. This strategy is so powerful (too much so) that (depending on the map size and shape) you often see games whittled down to just a couple of factions fighting at the end. The problem is when this happens too quickly (also, ideally there should be at least 3 factions still "going at it" at the end of Mech Era). If my #1 and #2 above were satisfied, #3 wouldn't be as OP because you'd see a lot of push-back from the global community upon patronizing the little guys. However, if a strong faction were to pick a fight with another strong faction, it could still keep some of their other friends (thus keeping your research and economy pact bonuses). The weaker factions wouldn't care too much if the strong factions wear each other down (bringing less diplomatic repercussion against the aggressor). Then if the weak and medium-strength factions were smart, they'd wait a bit to pick sides (and they would pick the losing side to prevent a takeover).

These protocols would really just bring stability to the game. I know it would likely require a difficult overhaul of the diplomacy code (because you'd need ways to distinguish things like "losing side" during a war and other things)... but that's just my two cents. Currently the "aggressiveness" is a flat number that is predetermined based on the faction ideology. This is all wrong! It needs to be way more dynamic and fluctuate based upon all 3 points above along with relative strength toward each faction and diplomatic determiners (also mentioned above). Right now the diplomacy is an open-loop system. If you want to stabilize it, make it closed-loop. Basic control theory.
This would work better with more than six factions. Maybe something like ten or twelve would be better. I like lots of factions, personally (it's not like the current ones have much character to begin with). With just six, there aren't enough small and medium factions to counter the two or three superpowers that would inevitably pop up. With the advent of nukes and black holes, we should see something like the Cold War with the superpowers vying for power through smaller client states.

Ah, another thing that would really improve diplomacy. Client/puppet states. Again, it would work better with more factions, but it would still be an improvement.

mrowka
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Re: Impression and Ideas 1.22

Post by mrowka » Sun Apr 13, 2014 12:45 am

There is alredy a mod that adds like 6 factions, as much the game get diffrent, diplomacy is still irrelevant

jdmillard
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Re: Impression and Ideas 1.22

Post by jdmillard » Sun Apr 13, 2014 3:37 am

The devs made a post months ago listing some features they have planned. One of them was more factions, but they said that it likely wouldn't come in a simple patch (aka- they hinted at an expansion).

I actually have an ongoing list of ideas for new factions. I wanted to post it a few months back but I knew it would get ignored because the devs had their hands full with a lot of other stuff. I'm wondering when would be the ideal time to post it and maybe give Proxy Studios some free ideas. I actually think it would be cool if there was a sticky thread where we can all add ideas and input for new factions. I think there are some really cool ideas out there.

stiefelss
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Re: Impression and Ideas 1.22

Post by stiefelss » Sun Apr 13, 2014 4:02 am

jdmillard wrote:The devs made a post months ago listing some features they have planned. One of them was more factions, but they said that it likely wouldn't come in a simple patch (aka- they hinted at an expansion).

I actually have an ongoing list of ideas for new factions. I wanted to post it a few months back but I knew it would get ignored because the devs had their hands full with a lot of other stuff. I'm wondering when would be the ideal time to post it and maybe give Proxy Studios some free ideas. I actually think it would be cool if there was a sticky thread where we can all add ideas and input for new factions. I think there are some really cool ideas out there.
A mod needs to sticky this thread pronto.

jdmillard
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Re: Impression and Ideas 1.22

Post by jdmillard » Sun Apr 13, 2014 4:20 am

Well, the topics in this thread are kinda "all over the place," so it would be a tad random to sticky it. But I do think that it would be good for the game altogether if there was a sticky thread dedicated to ideas for new factions. A lot of people would want to give their input. I think it would liven things up a bit. People would be excited to potentially have their ideas implemented in the game.

I remember once or twice when my suggestions here in the forums were implemented into the game. I cannot even remember what they were, but it it kept me involved more in the game ... i don't know. It's hard to explain. Even when my ideas aren't used, it's always fun to help brainstorm and hear thoughts from the devs.

Lebb
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Re: Impression and Ideas 1.22

Post by Lebb » Sun Apr 13, 2014 7:47 am

Well the "what's next" sticky says we can expect a big announcement sometime soon!

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