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Messari thoughts

Posted: Sun Jun 22, 2014 4:10 am
by Rossthegreat
Ok now since it's been several weeks after the first Messari attack..

I decided to open this thread to act as general discussion on messari if anyone cares..

I think that Messari just simply shows up too early. Turn 190-210 is too early, most people will be just about to unlock Gauss armor/guns for their colonial troopers.

It really limits your options and forces you to build in specific order and hope map is favorable enough.
If you start in snow/arctic/desert, just restart for you will be wiped out by messari.
If Hard Human AI factions decide to murder each other or you then just restart because messari will kill everyone.
If you are a newbie, messari will murder you every single time and force you to learn how to play. :p
Medium Human AI factions will flop around and die horribly to messari and leaving you all alone and forced to fight on all fronts.

If you're isolated and have plenty of peninsulas with good production, food, science, minerals. Play on for if you know how to play you will unlock demolisher tanks quickly enough to save your lands.

If you have seven portals next to your cities and there's only two of them next to AI cities, the AIs will lose to the messari even when 90% of the messari is picking a fight with you and losing badly.
I seriously had three Messari Mechs attacking my cities every turn and I survived. I just spammed colonial Troopers with lance/steel armor/forcefield and each trooper made mech lose 5 strength on each attack.

I think I started about 20 games and only two of the games survived the messari invasion relatively intact. Biggest reason of the restarts is poor map/ incompetent human Ai factions murdering each other even when messari is killing them off.

Would delaying the appearance of Messari by 50-100 turns help alot? Or would it trivialize messari too much?

I once had Divine ascension go completely berserk on me and sent her whole army /navy/air to my lands which I killed while messari razed her cities to the ground. Never before I hated divine ascension so much but I do now. But after wiping the divine ascension's armies out in my land, I was in extremely poor shape to handle the messari invasion which went for me next and so I restarted. And it was one of the maps where I managed to field gauss colonial troopers before messari arrived as imperium bleh.

Re: Messari thoughts

Posted: Sun Jun 22, 2014 7:55 am
by Zak0r
I'm mostly playing with high speed but I can see why turn 190-210 can be too early for non-veteran players. The devs are already working on an option for the game start menu to let the invasion start earlier or later. For now you can change the turn in the invasion.xml in data/world. It works and can be real fun. I played a "survival game" with some friends some time ago. We set the invasion to turn ~60 on high speed and high aggression and then simply tried to survive. :D

I personally think the Messari could be stronger or their specific unit strength should scale with the available tech on the planet. But that game menu option will probably fix most of the concerns (maybe they even let you turn off the invasion).

Re: Messari thoughts

Posted: Mon Jun 23, 2014 2:19 am
by Rossthegreat
Whoops I forgot to mention that I've been playing with messari with aliens aggression set to Very High.
The survival ratio is astoundingly low when set to very high when messari shows up on turn 190-210.

I think when there was that one time I tested High aggression instead of very high I saw that there was still waves of xenomorphs breaking their backs on my capital city named "Sparta" >.> And then Messari joined in the fun.. Two xenite flowers in capital zone didn't matter much. Stuff is going to get pillaged whether you like it or not :P

About that xml option I still haven't messed with it, because i think I'm insane. But, uh I think i want to try it now xD

And I do admit there was some kind of cruel humor in watching Hard ai human factions getting wiped out by the messari after the upset period has passed. Now that I think of it, the AI in strategy game tend to have trouble against enemies that is always "at war" like barbarians, xenomorphs and messaris because it could strike them at any time and they tend to not be prepared or grossly underestimate the potential threat.

Re: Messari thoughts

Posted: Mon Jun 23, 2014 4:38 pm
by dmantione
I don't get why people have so much trouble with the Messari. A mech with laser and good armor wins against most messari units. These technologies are available in the kolonisation era. Just make sure you research these techs in time (should be absolutely no big deal with the way the tech tree works), build 3 mechs or so, and stop worrying about this invasion.

Re: Messari thoughts

Posted: Tue Jun 24, 2014 12:07 am
by Rossthegreat
dmantione wrote:I don't get why people have so much trouble with the Messari. A mech with laser and good armor wins against most messari units. These technologies are available in the kolonisation era. Just make sure you research these techs in time (should be absolutely no big deal with the way the tech tree works), build 3 mechs or so, and stop worrying about this invasion.

Well, Aggression level of the aliens play a huge role in level of toughness for Messari.

Aggression level on medium = pushovers.
Aggression level on very high = Five messari Infantry, three Messari tanks, and bunch of messari arty plus random messari fighters that wanders by, and messari mechs assaulting plus a mothership or two if you're unlucky :3
Combined with ion storm spam to prevent you from healing or forcing you off the cities/forts if you wanna heal.

Re: Messari thoughts

Posted: Tue Jun 24, 2014 7:01 am
by Zak0r
The invasion strength is also determined by the overall army strength on the planet. So if you're playing with harder AI also the invasion will be stronger because the AI will most likely have more units.

Re: Messari thoughts

Posted: Tue Jun 24, 2014 8:53 am
by Rossthegreat
Alright, and I decided to give modifying the invasion ETA a try. Pushed it from 190-210 to 250-260.

Surprisingly that made all the difference in the world. I actually got to survive it for once.

Because I was able to raise armies, and have my new cities reach decent size instead of being tiny and generate the credit needed to upgrade units while reaching positive with mineral generation for like, first time ever after the great nerf of resource structures.

More than ten portals spawned on very high aggression alien setting.
Most of them spawned near me instead of the Human AI factions again.

But unfortunately for the messari, about half of their portals forced them to cross the water..
Lance barrcudas held the water for awhile until I could refit them into gauss barrcudas to strengthen my hold onto the water with occasional support from gauss armed strike aircrafts. I had to suck up the occasional kills from messari aircraft from time to time but I would rather suffer losses like that than lose control of water and open up my worker cities to pillaging and attacks xD

Then one of my food cities was frequently targeted by messari aircrafts but it had like 10+ sniper colonial troopers.. so those snipers would open fire on them then the bantham tank will sally out from city to finish it off.

And I was able to field at least one Bantham antiair tank in each city. So I could suicide them onto messari aircrafts and have the colonial trooper finish it off.

I built roughly ten goliath mechs due to first time positive mineral flow.

I was mostly on the defensive due to mech slowness until I unlocked Fusion lasers and Demolisher tanks.. then got a bunch built and started to push hard for portals although I did manage to swat three portals early on but Messari immediately respawned it each time then I gave up due to my armies attacking that area getting run down by attrition and retreated them. So uh basically meant there was roughly like 15+ portals throughout the game.

Then when I advanced onto the majority of the messari portals north of me across the water channel.... I realized that I am using combined arms to the fullest effect.
Had Fusion demolishers and Goliath mechs taking up the front rows with Serenity tanks/longtom arty tanks taking up the second row with a bunch of barracudas covering the water for the force and had my strike aircrafts cover my flanks xD Too bad strike aircraft don't give flanking bonuses anymore.

If something was too tough for my frontliners, orbital bombardments and longtoms shelled it until my frontliners could take it out or had my serenity tanks attack it instead due to numerous messari units and after it dies I just moved my fusion tanks and goliath mechs up forward and occupy the formerly occupied by messari hex.

And then throughout the advance I had one lucky moment, I obliterated an four or was it six unit stack mostly composed of messari tanks as it was attempting to cross the channel with a lucky well timed patrol. Orbital bombardment took care of that stack for me xD Because if they crossed it undetected, they would've torn up my longtom arties completely.

And more, by being able to advance onto messari portals you force their hand by dropping ion storms onto ur forces on field instead of your cities. I occasionally had my whole battlefield covered by ion storms and I was forced to spend several turns repositioning before advancing again.

I lost a goliath mech to some lucky 1% chance to Messari's version of Rngesus.
Buncha units died and hexes around my newest cities was mostly pillaged.
But didn't lose a single city.

Seems like 250-260 is too late for messari so next time I try.. it will be 220-230.

I wanna try Charges for the portals if I can .. xD
Is it currently disabled or removed?

Re: Messari thoughts

Posted: Fri Jun 27, 2014 3:52 pm
by stiefelss
I think the Messari invasion is a pointless addition -- dare I say, a gimmick -- that took up effort that should've been spent on diversifying the military and creating more depth in diplomacy.

Re: Messari thoughts

Posted: Mon Jul 07, 2014 4:14 pm
by ErissN6
Present native aliens and how they react to us had to be improved, instead of adding a deus ex machina.
But I however feel it is better than nothing.

Re: Messari thoughts

Posted: Thu Jul 10, 2014 8:37 am
by Xilmi
Had the First Game where the Messari had some impact on me. On all games before they only spawned at places, where they did not bother me.

I was quite surprised that their movement looked rather random. Had they really tried to cause as much damage as they could, I would have lost 3 cities, not only one.

This might be tied to Alien-Aggression, though. Mine was on Medium.

Re: Messari thoughts

Posted: Fri Jul 11, 2014 3:15 pm
by Zak0r
Their aggression depends also on your strength. Maybe they didn't raze your cities because some other faction was much stronger than you and they turned elsewhere because of your weakness.

Re: Messari thoughts

Posted: Fri Jul 11, 2014 9:22 pm
by Xilmi
They did not really turn eslewhere. They where wandering around and destroying tile-improvements but they spared the cities themselves.

Re: Messari thoughts

Posted: Sat Jul 12, 2014 1:24 pm
by Zak0r
That's normal then. The native aliens do that too. But once all improvements are pillaged they will attack your city.

Re: Messari thoughts

Posted: Wed Aug 27, 2014 3:07 pm
by stiefelss
Is there any way to disable Messari? It's pointless and contrived and kills immersion and is generally crap.

Re: Messari thoughts

Posted: Wed Aug 27, 2014 4:46 pm
by Xilmi
In the file Pandora\Data\World\Invasion.xml you can set the values durationToImpactMin and durationToImpactMax to something ridiculously high, like 5,000,000 it should be late enough to happen during your game. (unless you play for 5,000,000 turns that is).