Faction Balance Discussion and Feedback

4X strategy game from Proxy Studios

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umbralAeronaut
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Faction Balance Discussion and Feedback

Post by umbralAeronaut » Thu Nov 21, 2013 10:36 am

So, since I've seen a lot of incidental mention of the faction bonuses in other threads but no thread directly discussing it, I figured I would make one. I'll start with an overview of what each faction currently does, hit some philosophy about the current faction 'meta', and then go into some suggestions.


Current State (Release 1.0.2)

Solar Dynasty
Fertile +25% Population Growth
Exploitive Free Terra-Former at Start
Industrious +50% Production from Workers
Reckless +50% Pollution

Noxium Corporation
Bargainers -25% Purchase cost (does not reduce Production time)
Wealthy +120 Starting Credits
Economic +25% Credits from Taxation
Extravagant -2 Habitat

Terra Salvum
Frugal +2 Habitat
Sympathetic -50% Alien Aggression
Ecologic +1 Mineral from Forests and Fungus tiles
Peaceful -25% Attacker Penalty

Togra University
Resourceful -25% Refit Cost
Curious Adaptive Dynamics Tech and free Seeker ATV at start
Scientific +50% Research bonus from Scientists
Free-Spirited -2 Morale

The Imperium
Resilient +100% Heal rate
Well-Trained Field Training Tech and 3 Free Field Training Operations
Militaristic +25% Overall Combat Power
High-Paid +50% Unit Upkeep cost

Divine Ascension
Zealous +2 Morale
Aggressive +25% Attacker Power
Fanatic -25% Military Production time (does not reduce Purchase price)
Conservative -33% Research Penalty

General Observations
There is a fairly clear pattern to the racial modfications in 5 of the 6 factions. Generally speaking, everyone gets 1.) A miscellaneous advantage that cuts across game phases, 2.) an Early Game freebie, oftentimes a free unit, 3.) a Late Game "victory leverage" condition, often consisting of a scaling percentage modifier and 4.) one disadvantage.

Percentage bonuses to the basic pillars of the game (Production, Research, Taxation, etc.) are huge advantages that scale up through the end game, and for the factions that get them these are not insignificant numbers at all. As others have pointed out, Togra can be impossible to outrace to the Research victory if they are able to sustain themselves through the midgame. Likewise Noxium with the Economic victory. Notice I'm not saying this is strictly bad, but it is worth identifying clearly to help our discussion.

Free Technology (which comes as a bundle deal with the Imperium and Togra early game freebies) has some variance attached to it in regards to whether or not those techs are a "dead end" in the first level of the Tech tree.

Solar Dynasty's Production Bonus combined with it's Growth bonus make it the king of the late-game Military rush, and the free Former is a considerable early-game boon as it allows them to immediately obtain the coveted Mountain+Mine or Plains+Farm tile combos (ie. 3 Mineral or 3 Food from a single citizen) without causing a hiccup in their early military production or slowing their second city. These three abilities are very solidly synergistic and perhaps most interestingly don't directly dictate a single Win Condition, as their Production bonus can just as easily go towards City Development and the Growth can give you Scientists just as readily as Miners, Farmers, or Workers. The Pollution bonus is a good effort at balancing their tremendous advantages but it's possible that they need another downside of some kind, or at least a tweaking of their numbers.

Togra Uni has a lot going for them, between the Refit bonus which allows them to keep their trops up to date with all of the Weapons and Armor tech they will unlock and ATVs to rapidly react and protect them from early game rushes by Ascension or Imperium. Their Morale penalty feels steep for the advantages they get, but quick access to the Pollution and Holo Theater buildings can be a good remedy. I've seen some comments that Togra can have trouble surviving in the early game but to be fair I think it might be a bit overblown, they certainly demand a different approach however.

Ascension effectively combines the Dynasty's ability to rush production (albeit military units only) with the Imperium's +25% combat modifier (albeit only on the attack). This alone makes them a powerful force, and playing along with their third bonus, a High Morale approach to city development and research can add up gradually to cities that belie their actual population with somewhat oversized resource gathering and production in the mid- and late-game. Their Research penalty is pretty big, and deservedly so. They actually seem to be in a pretty good spot by what I've seen, once you figure out the warning signs of their dangerously aggressive early game bend.

Terra Salvum is very much unlike the other factions, and regrettably not in a good way. Their primary 'early game' advantage, Alien Aggression, is a variable that is highly subject to the whim of game settings. At Medium or lower Aggression, this bonus can be all but negligible. I haven't yet tested it at a higher Alien Aggression game setting, but it's not hard to imagine that this ability swings the pendulum from entirely inoffensive to crazy good once Xenos are a real immediate threat to undefended cities from the first few turns onward. The general problem is that right now with the current state of the Xenos (at least on Medium), there isn't any real reason for the other factions to care. For everyone else Hive Clearing offers so many advantages (experience/credits/land) that quickly eliminating the Drones at their source is a no-brainer, and the larger alien lifeforms operate on their own aggro timers anyway so can be safely ignored until Avenger Tanks are researched. +2 Habitat is the weakest of the late-game bonuses and perhaps most damnably can be easily duplicated by any other faction with a single relatively early Colonization era Tech (City Planning I believe). +1 Mineral from Forests and Fungus tiles is likable thematically but still greatly underpowered compared to Mountain+Mines, which is the gold standard for Mineral gain in a game where Production (using those minerals) is the absolute king.

My Suggestions

Reduce Solar Dynasty's Worker Production Bonus to 25%, and give their Headquarters city a flat +1 innate Production
Reduce Togra University's Scientist Research Bonus to 25%, and give their Headquarters city a flat +1 innate Research (-2)
This change "flattens" the curve of the respective bonuses, ensuring that they are still noticeable in both the early and late games but less overpowering in the middle.
Others have suggested that Togra University would be hit probably much too hard by this nerf, which in hindsight I agree with.

Increase Solar Dynasty's Pollution penalty to +66% (+1 / -1)
Maybe it's too harsh, but the sheer irreplaceability of a faction-wide Population Growth advantage combined with their other bonuses seems to call for very drastic measures. That said, I haven't seen late-game Pollution effects so maybe the current penalty works as intended to rein in their other advantages.
Lots of mixed feedback on the increased Pollution penalty idea. Some think it would be far too much, others think it would be too weak. Perhaps some other idea for rebalancing Solar Dynasty is in order...?

Make the Adaptive Dynamics and Field Training techs automatic "dead ends."
They are both absolutely great (almost mandatory) technologies that other factions will likely want to take anyway, so this would offer an added challenging decision for those other factions (when can I fit in these great level 1 techs that lead nowhere else?) while at the same time eliminating the unnecessary free "boost" up the tech tree that they currently grant to Imperium and Togra.

Give Terra Salvum a Tech at the start of the game (replacing -50% Alien Aggression) (+1)
Thematically, Guerrilla Warfare comes immediately to mind (they come from developing countries after all), and this change comes with a few advantages. The first is that Guerrilla Warfare gets moved to the very first level Tech Tree (just like Adaptive and Field Upgrades), which is good because in it's current position (randomized somewhere near the back end of Colonization era), it very often gets overlooked as the game has already progressed into the Avenger Tank rush stage anyway, by which point the boost to Colonial Troopers has become negligible. Guerilla Warfare isn't a huge offset to the native attacker penalty Salvum gets but it would further encourage them to play to type by growing Forests near their cities and gives them a very helpful defensive advantage in the early game vs. the dreaded Ascension rush. Per the previous rule, Guerilla Warfare would also become an automatic "Dead End" technology and so while it would be more skippable, giving it early availability makes a lot more sense then where it currently is.
Positive feedback on this idea, one poster also thinks the Tech bonus shouldn't replace their current abilities (if we're honest Guerilla Warfare in it's current state probably isn't on the same level as either Field Training or Adaptive Dynamics).

Alternatively, Terra Salvum light biological units may move through Forests and Fungus tiles at a move rate of 1 (replacing -50% Alien Aggression)
Just what it says. Depending on how well it works out you might even fold this into the previous suggestion by integrating a movement penalty reduction in the tech itself. Hard to say if this would be a little "too good" but I'm leaning towards not.

Give Terra Salvum a +15% bonus to Food and Mineral production from Farmers and Miners (replacing +2 Habitat)
While minor, these are still far more tangible bonuses than the +2 Habitat, which is almost never a factor given the way Habitat size is regulated by the Tech tree (the current upgrade is no better then a reason to delay certain Tech advances for a few dozen turns over other factions, which is terrible). A bonus to material gathering would further incentivize Salvum's thematic approach of using the "inefficient" but eco-friendly tiles.

NEW Reduce Togra University's Morale penalty to -1, or possibly replace it with a different faction drawback.
Having what essentially amounts to -10% production/mining/farming/research hampers Togra considerably as many have pointed out. Morale penalties are huge in this game, especially for the human player since the AI already receives Morale bonuses on Medium+ dificulties.

NEW Increase Togra University's Refit price refund to 50%.
I personally like the theme of this particular bonus a lot and feel that it fits their Research bonus nicely. By pushing Togra's ability to keep well-upgraded units (that stick by their cities) a bit further you can enhance a defensive military mindset and possibly allow them to hold their own against the aggressive factions somewhat better.

Suggestions from the Thread

"What.. should be possible is the ability to work with the alien natives. That'd change gameplay completely and give Terra Salvum a very unique play style." (Veneke)

"I also think Terra Salvum should get some sort of bonus to fighting aliens or alien capture in addition to the reduced aggression. I'd imagine the strategy for them would be to mass units with the pherapod ability and farm the hives for units instead of capturing them... You could also replace the [Terra Salvum] habitat bonus for a growth bonus, giving them access to a strategy of taking large swathes of land that would be less productive to the other factions." (Hiho216) These seem like nifty ideas to me.

"Togra University, and the AI in general, would be better balanced if they took a higher priority on finding ruins. When I've played it seems I have no problem taking a majority of the ruins, even around the territory of the other factions. It's worse for Togra, because the only real value of the free seeker ATV is that you get to explore the map faster in the early game." (Hiho216)

Miscellaneous Feedback
fortydayweekend wrote:Just played through as Terra Salvum, and I think their relative strength/weakness is very situational, depending on the terrain and proximity of other factions
jdmillard wrote:I think that the most powerful faction-based advantage is the growth bonus of the Solar Dynasty. I'm not necessarily lobbying to have it changed, but it does feel noticeably more powerful regardless of whether I'm playing them or the AI.
willgamer wrote:Just based on a very limited (failed) attempt with Terra Salvum on medium, it felt like playing a one higher difficulty level. When Ascension came for me, it was all over.....
Veneke wrote:...Terra Salvum are the most difficult of the factions, I think everyone agrees with that. I've started playing on the more aggressive alien aggression levels and, if you work it right, the -50% alien aggression can give you a longer build-up period. The problem here is that, like the Togra, you need the lay of the land to be generally in your favour.
dylancromwell wrote:Morale plays a huge part in the balancing... Togra is at a serious disadvantage in the early game, I find. The other factions' morale increase (on medium) compounds the University's starting handicap and this means that due to lack of initial growth, you can spend the rest of the game being bullied and taxed. Meanwhile the other factions expand and then they soon rival or surpass whatever research advantage you had at the start....
Xytop wrote:There is definitely no need to reduce the 50% bonuses from the factions. They arent as strong as the numbers let you believe.... So lets compare this now with a +2 morale bonus (or the +2 Habitat in late game), which gives you a 10% gain on all ressources (food, minerals, production, science). Those 10% are multiplied with your total amount (again we ignore the flat bonus). In my opinion this would make the morale bonus far more superior to the 50% bonuses. Many people said the Solar Dynasty have one of the best bonuses. I agree that the growth bonus is very powerful but without it, they would just suck. ... I would even say that the increased pollution more then negates the 50% production bonus. So whats left? 25% growth and they need it badly, so that they have at least some kind of advantage like the other factions.
fortydayweekend wrote:Having played 2 games through with Solar Dynasty on Medium, I haven't found the pollution penalty much of a problem - the free former at the start lets you build forests in your early cities, and as long as you don't skip past pollution processors and prioritise forests over ocean, you can keep pollution at zero...
As far as the AI in my (limited) games has gone, Noxium and Terra Salvum always seems to be strong. Divine Ascension and Imperium will usually declare war on someone and so will either become more powerful with conquest or get ground down or eliminated. Togra seems to always be the weakest, and isn't usually ahead in tech. Maybe that Morale penalty really hurts.
Last edited by umbralAeronaut on Tue Dec 03, 2013 4:42 am, edited 8 times in total.

AkiZetaPrime
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Re: Faction Balance Discussion

Post by AkiZetaPrime » Fri Nov 22, 2013 11:07 am

From my perspective , i think it's a bit early to conclude in such changes for the factions . I feel that i need to play all factions a lot in different planet settings and sizes . from my first playthrough Divine Ascension and Imperium dominated together a pangaia world ( i played Terra Salvum and i lost ) . I am playing now Solar Dynasty in island continent map , i just overcame a serious pollution crisis ( and i think a 66% polution penalty that you suggest will make this faction unplayble ) , of course the ultra population is giving me an extra boost and probably i ll win but ... there are so many factors ( Imperium in this game was erradicated early by Ascension which is in a constant war with all other factions. ). I enjoy the diversity of factions as they are now maybe after a lot playthroughs i ll have a more solid opinion.

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Re: Faction Balance Discussion

Post by Dragoon. » Fri Nov 22, 2013 12:47 pm

You could mod the game with your changes, test them and then post an AAR with your results.

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Re: Faction Balance Discussion

Post by jdmillard » Fri Nov 22, 2013 5:15 pm

I think that the most powerful faction-based advantage is the growth bonus of the Solar Dynasty. I'm not necessarily lobbying to have it changed, but it does feel noticeably more powerful regardless of whether I'm playing them or the AI.

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Re: Faction Balance Discussion

Post by willgamer » Fri Nov 22, 2013 7:30 pm

Just based on a very limited (failed) attempt with Terra Salvum on medium, it felt like playing a one higher difficulty level. When Ascension came for me, it was all over.....

umbralAeronaut
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Re: Faction Balance Discussion

Post by umbralAeronaut » Fri Nov 22, 2013 10:56 pm

AkiZetaPrime wrote:From my perspective , i think it's a bit early to conclude in such changes for the factions ... maybe after a lot playthroughs i ll have a more solid opinion.
That's a fairly valid critique. More experience with the game can certainly only help. But, I based my observations using what I felt was fairly simple and sound analysis of the game's (fortunately pretty transparent) systems. It doesn't take a lot of experience to recognize what Growth and Production are doing for you in the game for example, the UI tooltips are pretty instructive right away. Once you recognize the goals of the game and the systems that exist within it I believe that you should be able to come to informed opinions about the relative power level of the faction abilities without necessarily having hours spent on every possible permutation of difficulty, map setting, and faction proximity.
jdmillard wrote:I think that the most powerful faction-based advantage is the growth bonus of the Solar Dynasty. I'm not necessarily lobbying to have it changed, but it does feel noticeably more powerful regardless of whether I'm playing them or the AI.
I agree that the Growth bonus is very, very good, and combined with Production makes Solar very scary if they're allowed to develop to the point those two percentage bonuses start to warp the net city output of their cities to obscene levels. In my suggestions I instead addressed the Production bonus mostly because the novelty of having a faction with a different growth rate then the others feels like something that should be preserved. As some have pointed out it's rather nice that Pandora: First Contact's factions are strongly differentiated from each other in those ways, and allowed to be powerful in areas where a lot of 4X games choose to water down their racial/factional bonuses.

Personally I feel that overall I would rather lift the other factions up to Solar Dynasties' level then drag it down to them.
willgamer wrote:Just based on a very limited (failed) attempt with Terra Salvum on medium, it felt like playing a one higher difficulty level. When Ascension came for me, it was all over.....
That will happen to you a lot if you keep playing Terra, I have found (medium difficulty, various planet sizes). You can't ignore military production otherwise one of the aggressive factions will decide that rolling right over you is the path of least resistance towards acquiring new cities... trying to appease them has mixed results if your military rating is lower then everyone else's.
Dragoon wrote:You could mod the game with your changes, test them and then post an AAR with your results.
That's a great idea. The XML files don't seem all that tough to decipher. Unfortunately I'm having a very hard time finding the “/Users/<user>/Library/Application Support/Proxy Studios/Pandora/” file directory that the PDF manual says should have been created for me (Mac, OSX 10.8.5). There doesn't seem to be a folder titled "Proxy Studios" anywhere on my machine.

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Re: Faction Balance Discussion

Post by SephiRok » Sat Nov 23, 2013 2:49 am

I think Finder might be hiding the Library or Application Support directory by default.
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Veneke
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Re: Faction Balance Discussion

Post by Veneke » Sat Nov 23, 2013 2:59 am

Excellent analysis and I, generally, agree with you.

However, I'd be very cautious in suggesting that the Solar Dynasty and Togra % bonus should be reduced. Right now Togra are only really viable if they can obtain a reasonable tech lead and, with the bonus they currently have, they're actually a viable contender even in the hands of the AI. Things have to roll their way certainly and if they do they can be tough to beat but if that bonus is going to be reduced then they should be compensated in some other manner. Right now though, that +50% is the only thing going for them. As for the Solar Dynsaty boost, I'd sooner severely up their pollution output and have that become a factor in diplomatic relations (and an increased effect on the environment, particular the local environment) than adjust the production boost.

Terra Salvum are the most difficult of the factions, I think everyone agrees with that. I've started playing on the more aggressive alien aggression levels and, if you work it right, the -50% alien aggression can give you a longer build-up period. The problem here is that, like the Togra, you need the lay of the land to be generally in your favour. It's only if it isn't that the -50% alien aggression becomes more of a burden.

The +2 Habitat bonus is a little weak, although it's worth noting that Terra Salvum will always be able to accommodate 2 more people (assuming tech parity), in each city, before they start taking a morale penalty compared to other factions.

My biggest issue with your analysis though is how you've completely ignored Terra Salvum's key bonus. +1 Minerals from forests/fungus. They have access to one of the best tile outputs in the whole game, only late game fungus and, arguably, mountain/mine can really beat it - and mountain/mine is very situational. If you could terraform a tile into a mountain I think you'd have more of a point. As it is though mountain/mine is an exception whereas Terra Salvum can reasonably have forests everywhere. +1 Minerals from a forest essentially lets your plaster forests everywhere and have a 1 food, 2 minerals and -1 pollution from every single tile. Every other faction has to make do with subpar tiles by comparison. A hill/mine for instance is only 2 minerals and only works on a hill. Terra Salvum can, effectively, get a hill/mine on every tile in addition to pollution reduction. The pollution modifier is important too, especially in the late game, as it'll allow you to better deal with the morale penalty a city with high production can generate.

I do, however, like your suggestion to give Terra Salvum Guerrilla Warfare. That fits nicely thematically and would give them a nice boost. I'd give it in addition to what they already have though, not instead of some other bonus. Of course, what I really think should be possible is the ability to work with the alien natives. That'd change gameplay completely and give Terra Salvum a very unique play style.

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Re: Faction Balance Discussion

Post by Xytop » Sat Nov 23, 2013 6:59 am

There is definitely no need to reduce the 50% bonuses from the factions. They arent as strong as the numbers let you believe. It's a nice starting bonus but their advantages start to dwindle as the game progresses . The 50% bonuses are additive with all other improvements like production buildings or the 50% special tile. If you have the first 2 upgrades from the buildings, they will add a 75% bonus to your workers (125% with a faction bonus). That leaves you with an advantage of ~28% over the other factions during mid-game (a lot less during end-game). If you add the flat bonuses from the buildings, it diminishes even further.

So lets compare this now with a +2 morale bonus (or the +2 Habitat in late game), which gives you a 10% gain on all ressources (food, minerals, production, science). Those 10% are multiplied with your total amount (again we ignore the flat bonus). In my opinion this would make the morale bonus far more superior to the 50% bonuses.

Many people said the Solar Dynasty have one of the best bonuses. I agree that the growth bonus is very powerful but without it, they would just suck. If you want to use the 50% producton bonus, you will also need 50% more minerals, which means you need at least 50% more miners. To get them you have to reduce your workers. In the end it reduces your bonus more or less by half (I know its a little bit less because some of the minerals come from tiles with 3 minerals and production output of the workers are always 2). Now you also have the 50% increased pollution to deal with, which decreases your overall output of ALL ressources again. Even if its only 1 pollution on average for each city (I would even say its more than just 1 but this is only an assumption), thats -5% morale. I would even say that the increased pollution more then negates the 50% production bonus. So whats left? 25% growth and they need it badly, so that they have at least some kind of advantage like the other factions.

Feel free to correct me if you find some faults in my argumentation.

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Re: Faction Balance Discussion

Post by fortydayweekend » Sun Nov 24, 2013 3:58 am

Having played 2 games through with Solar Dynasty on Medium, I haven't found the pollution penalty much of a problem - the free former at the start lets you build forests in your early cities, and as long as you don't skip past pollution processors and prioritise forests over ocean, you can keep pollution at zero. Not sure how it goes with mega-cities though (I've finished both games just after entering Transcendence Era with size 16 cities).

I'd also rather have strong factional advantages, as long as they're balanced.

As far as the AI in my (limited) games has gone, Noxium and Terra Salvum always seems to be strong. Divine Ascension and Imperium will usually declare war on someone and so will either become more powerful with conquest or get ground down or eliminated. Togra seems to always be the weakest, and isn't usually ahead in tech. Maybe that Morale penalty really hurts.

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Re: Faction Balance Discussion

Post by fortydayweekend » Mon Nov 25, 2013 1:01 am

Just played through as Terra Salvum, and I think their relative strength/weakness is very situational, depending on the terrain and proximity of other factions.

The +1 minerals bonus for forests and fungus is a huge advantage if there aren't many mountains/bonus resources around. It means you don't need to expand as much to get a lot of minerals, and don't need to ever work a 1-mineral tile. Every other faction has to expand to get mountains & hills and I seem to often end up working 1-mineral tiles especially as Solar Dynasty. Working a lot of 3-mineral fungus would make TS very strong in production.

On the other hand, if there's enough mountains & special resources around, that bonus isn't really important (it just cuts down a bit of pollution from having forest on hills instead of mines).

Similarly the attack penalty is huge if you start near a powerful faction sitting on land you want. If you have enough space to expand and can keep everyone onside, it's meaningless.

All the other factions have bonuses/penalties that work similarly regardless of the starting position, but with TS it varies a lot.

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Re: Faction Balance Discussion

Post by dylancromwell » Wed Nov 27, 2013 5:22 pm

Some good points made here. (Awesome game).

Morale plays a huge part in the balancing.

Togra is at a serious disadvantage in the early game, I find. The other factions' morale increase (on medium) compounds the University's starting handicap and this means that due to lack of initial growth, you can spend the rest of the game being bullied and taxed. Meanwhile the other factions expand and then they soon rival or surpass whatever research advantage you had at the start.

I found the only way to win on the harder levels with Togra, was to get a handful of Avengers together right at the start and then locate and wipe out one or both of the playground bullies (Ascendancy and Imperium) before they build more than four bases each.

So my point is that the Morale handicap seems to force a militant play-style, which doesn't feel entirely true to the University's profile.

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Re: Faction Balance Discussion

Post by NightReaper » Wed Nov 27, 2013 7:38 pm

+1 on that...morale is a major factor and one that makes me lean toward Divine Ascendancy as a good choice to play as a starting faction if you haven't played the game before. Of course, if you don't take advantage of that initial advantage it makes for a long game.

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Re: Faction Balance Discussion

Post by fortydayweekend » Thu Nov 28, 2013 5:30 am

It's possible to roughly compare Solar Dynasty and Togra - the 50% bonus to workers/scientists is basically the same advantage, at least at the beginning. (Togra could have 2 scientists with the output of 3, and use the "spare" scientist to lift workers from 2 to 3, a 50% increase, and vice versa). This holds as long as workers & scientists are roughly equal in number, and there's no building modifiers to confuse things.

So then SD has a 25% growth increase vs. Togra's 25% cheaper refits. It's obvious that SD is the clear winner here! And the free former vs. free ATV & tech could go either way depending on the terrain.

Similarly SD's pollution penalty *may* decrease morale, but would have to be 4 "normal" pollution increased to 6 to have the same penalty as Togra has in *every* city. Again SD is much better off.

So if my logic is right (no guarantees!), SD is much easier than Togra.

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Re: Faction Balance Discussion

Post by Hiho216 » Thu Nov 28, 2013 9:53 am

I think Togra, and the AI in general, would be better balanced if they took a higher priority on finding ruins. When I've played it seems I have no problem taking a majority of the ruins, even around the territory of the other factions. It's worse for Togra, because the only real value of the free seeker ATV is that you get to explore the map faster in the early game.

I also think Terra Salvum should also get some sort of bonus to fighting aliens or alien capture in addition to the reduced aggression. I'd imagine the strategy for them would be to mass units with the pherapod ability and farm the hives for units instead of capturing them. Since the extra unit is free and gets a bonus in fungus, Terra Salvum could replace many of their forests with fungus to provide some extra defense for their cities. You could also replace the habitat bonus for a growth bonus, giving them access to a strategy of taking large swathes of land that would be less productive to the other factions.

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Re: Faction Balance Discussion and Feedback

Post by umbralAeronaut » Mon Dec 02, 2013 2:22 pm

Thanks for the replies and discussion so far everybody. I went ahead and collated some replies and feedback into the Original post, hope I succeeded at mostly giving credit where it was due. Keep the ideas coming!

EDIT: In light of the broad agreement that Togra needs some help, I've added a couple new suggestions to the list in the OP.

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Re: Faction Balance Discussion and Feedback

Post by Evrett » Wed Dec 04, 2013 7:52 pm

I play the green faction primarily. I find them fairly weak due to forests being a weak "averaging" improvement, when title specialization is king. I would suggest forest for the green faction give 2 food(hunting/foraging)2 resource (larger, healthier trees) and a science because they likely display Pandroa and Earth species co-mingling. Perhaps also the green faction should get bonus when using special tiles since they are going to take the best care of and appreciate those special bioms.

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Re: Faction Balance Discussion and Feedback

Post by ChuckGyver » Fri Dec 06, 2013 10:15 pm

with 1.1.2. my favorite is terra salvum. ( changed habitat size +25% )
With Terra it's possible to have bigger cities than the other, while still with high morale and zero pollution, cause of the trees. And in late game they get 5 mineralz instead of 4 on fungus. Their only real disadvantage is in the first era, before big city effiency comes to count.
In the first era solar dynasty is really strong, but their high pollution doesnt allow productive mega cities.
All other fractions are imho weaker ( except first era, there it's terra salvum )

fortydayweekend
Senior Corporal - Destroyer
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Re: Faction Balance Discussion and Feedback

Post by fortydayweekend » Sat Dec 07, 2013 10:38 am

Noxium are my new favourite over Solar Dynasty - average at the beginning but very strong in the late game.

Basically you can rush lots and lots of production with 50-100% tax rates. This means you don't need any workers at all in most cities, they can specialise entirely on tech or resources. And you get the building the turn after you discover it, instead of having to wait. Once the morale and tax buildings kick in your economy takes off and after credit forges you really have too much money and can buy as many Liberator Tanks as you want. I had to drop tax to 0% just to prevent an economic win before the research win I was going for.

The -25% habitat doesn't really hurt as long as you beeline the right techs when needed, and then just buy the apartments.

player1
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Re: Faction Balance Discussion and Feedback

Post by player1 » Tue Dec 10, 2013 10:48 pm

One thing not mentioned regarding Terra Salvum is that the bigger the map or the higher is alien aggression level is, the better the faction is.

Why?

Because they will be the only faction that will be exploring remaining ruins after aliens get aggressive against anyone else.

In fact, here are some numbers.
On high agression level, it takes around 30 turns to get aggressive aliens (first tier) for other factions. And at least twice as much for Terra Salvum. I say at least, since at higher alien aggression levels, other factions have no chance to discover Xenology, before first tier of aggression prevents further exploration.

So lets say on high aggression, other factions have 30 turns to explore ruins, while Terra Salvum around 40 turns more.

That's a lot! It's enough to explore whole world on medium map size. Maybe even on large map.

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