Faction Balance Discussion and Feedback

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ErissN6
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Re: Faction Balance Discussion and Feedback

Post by ErissN6 » Wed Dec 11, 2013 4:00 pm

player1 wrote: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.
Because they will be the only faction that will be exploring remaining ruins after aliens get aggressive against anyone else.

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.
It's enough to explore whole world on medium map size. Maybe even on large map.
But after 30 turns, other factions can continue the exploration with thougher scouts, as aliens don't seem to adapt to invading military technology. Alien can then become more aggressive, but just as mosquitoes (not adapting more in some way is a flaw of the game, I think).
TerraS found many free drone alien scouts in ruins, and so discovering more and more, but they are then easily destroyed by rare other aliens and mainly by other units of factions at war. In 5 turns of aggression on Terra, the 15 easy drones drop to only one.

player1
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Re: Faction Balance Discussion and Feedback

Post by player1 » Wed Dec 11, 2013 6:30 pm

After first 30 turns, other factions will turtle and try to use their army at home to defend cities from aliens and eventally to clear nearby hives.

Any remaining scouts left in the wild at that point are lost cause and will almost certinally perish.

After Terra advantage passes at 60 turns they'll probably already explored whole world while other factions will start to get attacked by 8str units. In fact if world is not explored yet Terra can use stonger units and keep exploring since only 2str units wil attack them.

Folket
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Re: Faction Balance Discussion and Feedback

Post by Folket » Thu Dec 12, 2013 2:45 pm

I have played three games.

Economic victory with Solar Dynasty on normal. This factions seems very strong. I guess the extra population growth should enable a good player to outplay all others. In my second and third game they were the strongest AI. production bonus is fine as it require you to get more minerals so it is less strong then it looks. I really felt the pollution penalty.

Military victory with Terra Salvum on hard. Frugal trait gives them an early military advantage as they do not need to spend resources on colonizer and as much infrastructure. Planting forests on hills instead of mines also work very well to remove pollution. On hard I had a constant 5 score in military. how strong the faction is is hard to tell. The traits have influence but it is not as clear as +50% production. Peaceful is a quite strong negative trait.

Research victory with Divine Ascension on very hard. This faction has it all. +2 moral is the strongest economic trait in the game. Cheap extra strong units. Their research penalty is noticeable early game. but later it becomes negligible.

As for the other faction.
Togra University, these look very weak. I was considering them for my third game but with morale penalty I decided the early game would be too weak. Resourcefulness does not look useful. A free ATV could be fun but does not change much. Scientific can give you a nice lead early on.

The Imperium, these look good. Extra strong units are always good. High-Paid penalty is very small penalty. Seems quite good all-around.

Noxium Corporation, to me these guys look terrible weak. Extravagant, will cause pressure to expand early which will cost a lot of resources causing you to fall behind in military. With that they come with weak economic bonuses.

fortydayweekend
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Re: Faction Balance Discussion and Feedback

Post by fortydayweekend » Thu Dec 12, 2013 6:30 pm

Folket wrote:Noxium Corporation, to me these guys look terrible weak. Extravagant, will cause pressure to expand early which will cost a lot of resources causing you to fall behind in military. With that they come with weak economic bonuses.
I think the economic bonuses are better than they look - being able to rush buildings is valuable as you don't have to divert pop into workers, and you get the benefits straight away. They have a slowish start but get very strong as the tax base and morale grows. I won a Research victory with them on VH without invading anyone, by the end I had to lower taxes to zero just to avoid the economic win.

Folket
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Re: Faction Balance Discussion and Feedback

Post by Folket » Thu Dec 12, 2013 8:14 pm

fortydayweekend wrote:
Folket wrote:Noxium Corporation, to me these guys look terrible weak. Extravagant, will cause pressure to expand early which will cost a lot of resources causing you to fall behind in military. With that they come with weak economic bonuses.
I think the economic bonuses are better than they look - being able to rush buildings is valuable as you don't have to divert pop into workers, and you get the benefits straight away. They have a slowish start but get very strong as the tax base and morale grows. I won a Research victory with them on VH without invading anyone, by the end I had to lower taxes to zero just to avoid the economic win.
I think that they are not as big. Try doing the same with any other faction and you will see it works just as well.

The +25% tax income is 25% early on, 20% after first eco building, 14% after second and 9% after third. the 25% cheaper costs are a constant. It makes it possible to buy more stuff but it is not obvious that it is not better to lower taxes and get more research and production.

fortydayweekend
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Re: Faction Balance Discussion and Feedback

Post by fortydayweekend » Fri Dec 13, 2013 5:49 am

Folket wrote:I think that they are not as big. Try doing the same with any other faction and you will see it works just as well.

The +25% tax income is 25% early on, 20% after first eco building, 14% after second and 9% after third. the 25% cheaper costs are a constant. It makes it possible to buy more stuff but it is not obvious that it is not better to lower taxes and get more research and production.
Hmm, maybe - that's the first research victory I've gone for so perhaps any other faction would be raking in similar amounts of cash. I had beelined and built all the eco and morale buildings and had high tax rates so that probably helped too!

Still, it's hard to quantify the benefits of 25% cheaper rushing, and rushing the right buildings at the right time is usually very powerful in these sort of games, so I think that 25% could be a big advantage if used well.

Apheirox
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Re: Faction Balance Discussion and Feedback

Post by Apheirox » Fri Dec 13, 2013 2:30 pm

When you reach the end-game high tech your income rates will skyrocket with any faction, not just Noxium. Constructing the tier 3 'Credit Forge' in particular brings in absurd amounts of gold. Of course, this also gives Noxium an absolutely gigantic rush-buying potential.

It's interesting that this thread puts Terra Salvum off as a weak faction. I had the same impression at first but that has definitely changed. +1 production from forest & fungus is extremely good as it lets them produce minerals in locations where the other factions can't and often without the use of a former. They even get the pollution reduction from the forest on top. While their habitat bonus isn't that great it is still useful in that it allows them to not expand at all, enabling them to completely focus research on economy-related techs with no need for warfare. They may still want to clear nests but unlike the other factions they can do it at their leisure.

Solar Dynasty is my favourite faction (go Sheng-Ji Yang!!) and I also consider them to be slightly too good. Their main negative bonus is that they produce much more pollution than everybody else but two things make this less of a problem:

1) It's mainly workers that cause the pollution, and the Dynasty also gets +50% production from workers. That means the 50% extra pollution and 50% extra production actually cancel each other out so that they don't produce more pollution per unit of production than the other factions.

2) Pollution control is very easy. For the other factions, the pollution buildings are typically overkill and more than they need. With SD, once you build the Pollution Processor you have completely taken care of their negative trait and can now enjoy +25% higher growth than the other factions with nearly no downside. That's very powerful.

I'm actually questioning if pollution should be more severe across the board for all factions, which would definitely hurt SD more.

fortydayweekend
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Re: Faction Balance Discussion and Feedback

Post by fortydayweekend » Sat Dec 14, 2013 11:16 pm

If we look at how the faction bonuses/maluses affect production over the whole game it's clear that SD is overpowered

Solar Dynasty:
- 25% growth bonus => 25% more workers (eventually) => maybe a 20% increase in resources/taxes/production/tech etc over the long term
- 50% production bonus => frees up 1 out of every 3 workers that can be used for something else. If food/min/prod/sci have equal pop in each, that's 1 free pop out of 12, giving roughly an 8% increase in resources/prod/tech
- pollution malus is basically negligible in the long term because it is easily avoided except for short periods
=> overall about 28% more of everything during the game

Noxium
- -25% rush costs. If 1/4 of all production is rushed, then this free up 1 out of every 32 pop from mining/production (if food/min/prod/tech have the same pop each), a 3% increase in resources/prod/tech. So maybe 3-6% bonus over the game depending on how much production is rushed
- +25% taxes, is basically the same effect as rush costs
- habitat penalty negligible over the long term as it's avoidable
=> overall about 6-12% more of everything during the game

Divine Ascension
- +2 morale, a 10% boost to everything
- -33% research, means a third extra scientist is needed for every other 2, if food/min/prod/sci have equal pop that's 1 extra out of every 8, about a 12% hit to everything except taxes
- -25% unit build cost, if half of production is units that's a 1/8 saving of minerals & production, freeing up 1/16 pop, a 6% boost, so maybe 3-10% depending on how much production is military
=> overall say about a 5-10% boost to everything, with a 25% attacking bonus

Togra
- +50% science, frees up 1 pop out of 8, a 12% boost excl. taxes
- -2 morale, a 10% hit to everything including taxes
=> overall basically neutral with slightly cheaper refits

Terra Salvum
=> overall neutral, occasional slight savings from habitat, possible boost from extra minerals totally dependent on game

Imperium
=> also no overall boost, bonuses all military and so dependent on game

So I think it's possible to say that Solar Dynasty is definitely overpowered, with DA being 2nd best and Noxium 3rd, at least in terms of boosts that they would get in *any* game. Togra is always weak, and Terra Salvum & Imperium depend on the individual game.

So Togra needs a boost - changing the morale hit to -1 should bring them roughly in line with Noxium.

SD needs a hit - maybe drop the growth bonus to 10%, possibly needs even more.

jamoecw
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Re: Faction Balance Discussion and Feedback

Post by jamoecw » Sun Jan 05, 2014 8:54 am

i would prefer that the other factions get buffed to be at Solar Dynasty level, so that they end up playing very different than each other, instead of nerfing the factions so they have less bonuses.

i think that Terra Salvum should get +1 to food and minerals for forests, and the fungus bonus should be simply to negate the pollution point. keep the -50% alien aggression, but double the slots you get for captured aliens. if that isn't enough maybe make it so that when they research guerrilla warfare they no longer take damage from fungus, also maybe get xeno movement in fungus. those bonuses should get them spreading forests and fungus later in the game (unless they want a dedicated mining town in the mountains, or a farming town on flat grasslands), and overall using less industrious tactics militarily.

the suggestion to boost the refit refund for Togra to -50% seems good, for early game maybe giving some experience to their ATV might help. i'll play around with them to see what other thematic bonuses they could get to bring them in line with SD.

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Re: Faction Balance Discussion and Feedback

Post by boulugre » Mon Jan 06, 2014 4:14 am

jamoecw wrote:i would prefer that the other factions get buffed to be at Solar Dynasty level, so that they end up playing very different than each other, instead of nerfing the factions so they have less bonuses.
Yeah that could be an interesting directions to take, the fix population growth making development very balanced between factions. Stronger bonus would be very hard to calibrate right though.

Another thing that would be awesome to differentiate factions would be a set of unique buildings / re searchable improvements for each factions. they could pop up at the same spot in the tech tree but with unique building / improvement for each faction. That would strongly enhance the difference in gameplay and raise the replayability of the game (which is kind of low at the moment).

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Re: Faction Balance Discussion and Feedback

Post by jamoecw » Tue Jan 07, 2014 3:22 pm

i think the refit refund of 50% is good for the Togra, plus give them +50% vision of the tech tree (instead of seeing the next 2 advances you'd see 3). they seem to able to snowball as well as (or slightly better) than SD, so if they need anything more i'd give them a boost to their headquarters (extra food, minerals, production, research, and maybe also defense, depending on how tough it is to survive military conquest in those first few turns).

the vision would really help with picking techs with long term goals in mind, which i think fits their theme quite well. the bonuses to their HQ would be far better than some experience for their ATV, as either it gains enough experience to sack a city early enough that it can't be countered (on small maps), or the experience doesn't make any real difference. resources offset the morale penalty and then some, which helps quite a bit early on, but falls off as the game progresses (and hopefully isn't needed as much as you should be able to gain and keep a tech advantage).

Belanos
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Re: Faction Balance Discussion and Feedback

Post by Belanos » Sat Feb 08, 2014 4:14 am

I left a post in the Beta forum regarding my thoughts about Terra Salvum, since I never noticed this thread until now. So I'll repeat what I mentioned there. I played them with Low Alien aggression, and I was able to create 7 cities and win an Economic victory before the alien aggression phase was even over. And not once did any alien ever attack one of my cities. A Seeker I had out exploring took a bit of damage, and that was it. It wasn't even destroyed, I was able to move it away and heal it. In addition, if the faction is being handled by the AI, I can always count on it being one of the few surviving factions after the alien onslaught has run it's course, even with alien aggression at Medium. That indicates to me that the -50% aggression bonus is far too powerful. My proposal would be to give the faction both the Xenology tech and Accomplishment at the start of the game. That would put them on an even footing with the other factions regarding the aliens, but give them an early game advantage as they wouldn't have to take care of those things, and could instead focus on military techs and units in order to defend itself. It would give them a good head start in the game without making them overpowered as I believe they are now.

In addition, they need to have a separate routine when it comes to their auto-Formers. I've noticed that they clear cut and mine all their Hills just like the other factions. That makes their Mineral bonus completely useless in the later game. It also means that the player can't use auto-Formers if they wish to retain that bonus when playing that faction, they would have to do everything manually. Which can get rather tedious. The auto-Formers should instead be planting Forests on any tile that normally produces Minerals. It makes absolutely no sense that they would remove a Forest from a Savannah/Desert/Tundra Hill, that gives them 1 Food and 2 Minerals, to end up with a Mine that still just gives them 2 Minerals but deprives them of that 1 Food. Even Grassland Hills provide a benefit for them if it has a Forest on it since it reduces their Pollution level, without them suffering any sort of loss to the ultimate output of the tile.

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Re: Faction Balance Discussion and Feedback

Post by Belanos » Sun Feb 09, 2014 6:52 pm

No, Terra Salvan is definitely overpowered, with any sort of alien aggression bonus. I just played them again, this time modding their bonus down to -25, using Medium alien aggression settings, and even being somewhat aggressive on nearby aliens. I killed any aliens that came within range of my offensive troops and took out one nearby Hive. After creating just 3 cities with a few minor attacks from the aliens, I won a Military victory. They definitely need a reworking of their bonuses. My idea of the free Xenology tech and Accomplishment seems more like the way to go to me. Too bad I can't figure out how to mod that myself, but I'm not finding the XML files to be all that user-friendly.

PS: Well I sort of got my idea to work. I figured out how to give them the tech, but I can't figure out how to add the Advancement build. I'm not even sure if it's possible. If anyone can shed some light I'd appreciate it.

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Re: Faction Balance Discussion and Feedback

Post by jdmillard » Mon Feb 10, 2014 5:02 am

If you take aliens out of the equation, Solar Dynasty is the most powerful faction.

I've been playing since the beta and the way aliens work has been tweaked here and there. Right now, the aliens are a big wildcard because the AI simply is not very good at handling them. I've noticed the AI do exceptionally poorly against aliens on Pangea maps (because all of the hives have a land route to the humans they are attacking). Due to this fact, Terra Salvum appears OP to the new players. Don't get me wrong: TS is good, but we would be wrong to blame game imbalance on them. Now, if the devs want to swap out the current system to use your idea of granting TS a free tech, I'm okay with that, but it won't address the problems.

-The aliens vs. AI needs to be addressed without nerfing the aliens.
-Buff Togra to bring them up to par with the rest.
-Buff Noxium to bring them up to par with the rest.
Last edited by jdmillard on Mon Feb 10, 2014 5:19 am, edited 2 times in total.

Belanos
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Re: Faction Balance Discussion and Feedback

Post by Belanos » Mon Feb 10, 2014 5:08 am

jdmillard wrote: Right now, the aliens are a big wildcard because the AI simply is not very good at handling them. I've noticed the AI do exceptionally poorly against aliens


I agree. In every game I play, at least 3 of them get wiped out. If they can't be programmed to do better against them, they should at least get some sort of bonus when being attacked. It kind of sucks that when the dust settles, there's just a few factions left on a mostly empty world.

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Re: Faction Balance Discussion and Feedback

Post by jdmillard » Mon Feb 10, 2014 5:16 am

Belanos wrote:
jdmillard wrote: Right now, the aliens are a big wildcard because the AI simply is not very good at handling them. I've noticed the AI do exceptionally poorly against aliens


I agree. In every game I play, at least 3 of them get wiped out. If they can't be programmed to do better against them, they should at least get some sort of bonus when being attacked. It kind of sucks that when the dust settles, there's just a few factions left on a mostly empty world.


Try 4 or 5 full games on non-Pangea maps if you want to get a solid idea of the strength of the factions. In your quote, you cut off my sentence half-way. The point of that sentence wasn't that the AI do poorly, though that is true; the point was that they do exceptionally poorly on Pangea maps. There is a very real effect that the shape of the map has on the aliens' ability to access and attack the factions. With Pangea, there is also a huge advantage to being on the coast because you only have hives on one side of you. In my current game (Huge Pangea), the faction that spawned in the middle only survived because I sent a considerable part of my army over there to protect him (he literally had zero units and only 1 city left when I arrived. And no, I wasn't playing TS, I was Noxium).

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Re: Faction Balance Discussion and Feedback

Post by Sabratha » Sat Feb 15, 2014 10:11 am

I betatested this game, and its something I noticed even back then:
Terra Salvum is certainly the most underperforming faction. Only on high alien agressiveness settings it becomes relatively more playable, but even then its still imho not entirely on the same footing as the rest.

Solar Empire was a bit overpowered, especialy on larger maps.

Belanos
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Re: Faction Balance Discussion and Feedback

Post by Belanos » Sun Feb 16, 2014 12:01 am

Sabratha wrote: Terra Salvum is certainly the most underperforming faction.
That's certainly not been my experience. Until I adjusted their alien aggression values, there were several games that they were the only ones to survive the alien onslaught. They were guaranteed to be at least one of the survivors. And while playing them, I won an economic victory after establishing 7 cities, with absolutely no alien attacks, and a Military victory with only 3 cities established, and minimal alien attacks. I have yet to win the game with any other faction. In fact the Terra Salvum once beat me to a Science victory. So I really don't see how you can say they're the most under performing. They've been just the opposite in any game I've played. At least until I eliminated their alien aggression bonus.

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Re: Faction Balance Discussion and Feedback

Post by mainebears » Thu Feb 27, 2014 12:21 am

Yeh even on standard Medium Alien Aggression on Pangea maps the alien attacks are merciless. I ran huge Pangea map over weekend - there are maybe 4 fractions living - Terra Salvum has like 3 large size 24 cities and orbital scans show them almost without any troops in them. The new Xenopiles fraction has a few more size 23-26 cities.

I like the challenge of the alien attacks on Pangea maps but the AI fractions don't seem to be playing smart (was playing on Medium difficulty) about dealing with the Alien attacks. I use my new cities to retreat troops back into for the 2x healing multiplier.

Was playing Togra University and using the hive conquest money to upgrade cities (add bunkers to new cities especially) and upgrade my rank 10 troops when I can (lvl 4 tank or mech armor upgrades are very expensive even with -25 % discount). But a rank 10 Mech with tier 1 gun - tier 4 Z armor and defensive mod can solo hives with some healing between hives.

I haven't bothered to completely scan the Red Army fraction but it seems off on a corner on other side of continent and the Navy is out somewhere I haven't bothered to look for them - they have treaties with Terra Salvum. Merc Pharmaceuticals got wiped out early like 50 or so turns into game (50% increase in troop costs and -15% for green troops probably a factor).

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Re: Faction Balance Discussion and Feedback

Post by Belanos » Fri Feb 28, 2014 12:21 am

mainebears wrote:Merc Pharmaceuticals got wiped out early like 50 or so turns into game (50% increase in troop costs and -15% for green troops probably a factor).
There's no such faction in the default game.

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