Version 0.9.2 Released

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SephiRok
Proxy Studios
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Version 0.9.2 Released

Post by SephiRok » Sun Feb 17, 2013 1:19 am

Version 0.9.2 wrote:
  • Added Headquarters building.
  • Added empire frontier penalties (reduced credits and growth with increased distance from Headquarters).
  • Added growth production.
  • Improved stability.
  • Increased territory bonus resources.
  • Increased sell/disband value from 20 % to 25 %.
  • Increased trading goods from 1 credits to 2 credits per production.
  • Pollution threshold is now influenced by global pollution.
  • Changed tier 0 buildings to give +25 % instead of +4.
  • Production is now separate for each item.
  • Tweaked faction modifiers.
  • Tweaked research tree.
  • Tweaked unit terrain power modifiers.
  • Reduced population limits.
  • Halved technology research costs.
  • Halved all unit powers except for Bug (power 1), Sciter (power 2) and Galeth (power 4); Colonial Trooper is power 1, Former and Colonizer are power 0.
  • Doubled Bug production cost.
  • Fixed event crashes.
  • Fixed alt-tab crash.
  • Fixed issues when alt-tabbing as resources are being loaded.
  • Fixed backspace not repeating.
  • Fixed print screen key not taking a screen shot.
  • Fixed city screen not refreshing on tax changes.
  • Removed intrinsic city resource gains.
NOTE: Your old save games will no longer work -- they will crash or exhibit artifacts.

Cheers,
Rok
Rok Breulj
Designer and Programmer
Proxy Studios

whaleberg
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Re: Version 0.9.2 Released

Post by whaleberg » Sun Feb 17, 2013 6:16 am

Yay.

whaleberg
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Re: Version 0.9.2 Released

Post by whaleberg » Mon Feb 18, 2013 8:44 pm

So, I finally got a chance to play 9.2, I want to finish my play through before I write everything, but here are a few obvious bugs that I've noticed.

1. Moving your headquarters is broken. It doesn't remove the old headquarters, so you can potentially have one in every city. It does recalculate the frontier penalty, but not in any sensible way, probably because there are now multiple headquarters on the map. I built a third one, and it slightly reduced the frontier penalty in the city I build it in, but not to 0. It raised the frontier penalty in a city with a previously built headquarters which had been at 0. There is no way to remove the old headquarters manually either.

2. Aliens attacking cities has strange behavior. If the city is unattended, they will sometimes just enter the city and city there. You can subsequently build units in that city that will stack with the aliens and they will peacefully coexist. To attack them you have to move a unit out of the city and then back into it. I'm not sure there was any population loss, but the alien had a fractional health, so I don't know what is supposed to happen then....

3. Workers in the population assignment screen are now all purple instead of color coded to match their jobs.

4. I don't know if this was intended or not, but transports now are only listed as "Transport" instead of "Unit X Transport". This includes your own transports, which qualifies as a bug to me.

I'll write up my thoughts on the other changes in a little while.

whaleberg
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Re: Version 0.9.2 Released

Post by whaleberg » Mon Feb 18, 2013 10:56 pm

Another minor bug. Trying to build a cloning center instead starts building growth.

whaleberg
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Re: Version 0.9.2 Released

Post by whaleberg » Tue Feb 19, 2013 10:52 pm

So, I got a chance to play through a game. I dragged it out into a research victory because I wanted to get down the tech tree and see what's going on there. I think that the changes in from the last version, bugs aside, were a major improvement.

I played as the researchy faction. So, as I see it, the changes to the early production buildings, were tremendous nerfs to your early resource production. And they are hugely beneficial to the early game. The addition of penalties to cash production (and growth, and therefore cash production) from every city other than your capital also worked to greatly reduce the available cash on hand which further reduces building power. Currently rush building still account for a very large percentage of my construction, but significantly less than before.

The early game now forces you to make some decisions about expansion. Since aliens are now twice as powerful as well, it forces more resources to be devoted to defense. Now constructing a colonizer is a slightly more arduous task, and doesn't have an immediate payoff of minerals and food. Food is now actually kind of limited in the early game as well, which makes highly-farmable tiles more valuable. Nerfing the tier 0 buildings does make them much less useful now. A city needs a minimum base production to make them useful, (although even 1 mineral IS worth the per turn building cost in the long run.) It does leave me with the problem of often not having anything meaningful to construct in my cities (previously this was at least delayed until I finished the initial 2 buildings...). Build colonizers until your space is full, intermix with defensive units and formers. That's pretty much what most of the game comes down to. The 2 wars I fought were trivially easy, the AI seems to be having more trouble expanding then before, disproportionally to the slow down I saw.

Since there is no way to fast forward your own research to catch up with opponents ahead of you, once you are behind, you are probably behind for good.

whaleberg
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Re: Version 0.9.2 Released

Post by whaleberg » Tue Feb 19, 2013 11:00 pm

The changes to pollution didn't seem to affect it one way or another for me. It seems like it reduced the absolute amount of pollution that cities generate, but it's hard to tell. The countdown to next pollution timer seems to be buggy too. It shows values that don't seem to correspond to anything, and when there is no pollution is shows 10E-something. Not a major problem, but just minor interface glitchyness. There's no notification when pollution is generated anyway, so it's really difficult to even notice when pollution is happening. As it is, I just don't think that pollution adds anything to the game. If I'm trying to carefully manage my resources it does force me to manually re-allocate my empires population every time there is pollution though, which is frustrating in a bad way.

whaleberg
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Re: Version 0.9.2 Released

Post by whaleberg » Tue Feb 19, 2013 11:36 pm

The tech tree needs a MAJOR overhaul. Reducing research requirements was good, but doesn't fix the overall boringness of it. There are a ton of different weapons and unit classes, but they're mostly minor stat changes between them. Calling something a pulse laser doesn't make it anymore interesting than a gun if it works the exact same way tactically. It's especially frustrating since there is no way to update units from one weapon to the next or from one class to the next. Research is basically a treadmill to get a +% modifier over you're enemies without any major changes to your capabilities. If you moved nukes and nano-repair into the starting era, you could lop off the entire rest of the tree with no real losses. The restrictions of what types of unit can be fitted with what weapons is also fairly arbitrary seeming. Why can't I build a flame tank? I think it actually mentions flame tanks in one of the descriptions, but doesn't let you construct one. Why is there no way to make fast moving artillery? The way things are set up now, I'd be happier to have set unit classes rather than designing my own. It just adds micromanagement without adding any real choices. I guess the trade off of of upkeep cost vs power is kind of interesting, but it mostly just deters me from wanting to build big, cool, units. Why build a mech in peace time if the cost of having it sit still for 20 turns or so is the cost of just buying one when war starts.

I'm not sure exactly how to improve the tech tree, but here are some of my thoughts.

1. Reduce it in size. Choosing research priorities every 2 turns and not being able to queue them is annoying. I didn't actually care about the results of almost all of the techs either, which makes having too many of them a particular chore. Most of them involved some level of micromanagement to utilize, without forcing me to make any interesting choices or fundamentally changing the way I was playing. When I get a major upgrade option and my first thought is "ugh, now I have to upgrade everything and reshuffle population," that's not a great sign.

2. Reduce the need to manually upgrade everything. Techs like guerrilla warfare and telepathy gave me passive bonuses, which was nice because it made things better without forcing me to do much. Guerrilla warfare was more interesting, because it actually changed the behavior of my units and added tactical depth. Telepathy was much less interesting because it didn't. Space Marine type 2 (can't remember than actual name...) tech is actually quite a major upgrade to your empire, but since it behaves exactly like space marine type 1, it just isn't very interesting. If there was a way to upgrade automatically, either for free, or for some cost, then it would make it more fun.

3. Combine techs together. It's ok to have one technology improve multiple related things.

4. Continue growing your empires tactical abilities over time. Adding nukes in the end game doesn't really count, and higher resource multipliers don't either.

5. Make techs make sense. I know it's a scifi-game, so there's bound to be positronic gobbledygook, but lets have some relationship between coolness of tech name and effect of tech. I mean, telepathy, giving a +10% combat bonus? Seriously? No major social changes, no ability to figure out why my longtime friends are declaring war on me, just a negligible change to combat?

5a. I'm also really unclear on a WHY some of these things are techs at all. How did we end up coming to this planet without having working plans for a vehicle? Or a nuke for that matter... It's not like we crash landed and had to rebuild from scratch. This was apparently a well funded, well planned, mission that should have had a pretty good grasp of where it was headed. Also, where are our factions in all of this? Shouldn't we be seeing periodic visits from earth? What's the explanation for our lack of satellite coverage of the whole of pandora? The intro shows some pretty serious colony ships coming down, no one thought to leave up a map sat?

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