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View Full Version : [Balance] A problem, and I suggestion to fix it.


Tuidjy
07-10-2013, 04:36 PM
OK, those who bother reading my posts have probably noticed that there is a common theme to them:

The expansion pack makes things WAY, WAY, TOO EASY.

How easy? Well, one of my ships is level 77, and has gone through two and a half new sectors. It is significantly more powerful than any of my level 100 ships:
- better armed (lasers that fire 50% faster, and do twice the damage)
- better armored (armor that is three to four times stronger)
- more durable (reaper components that heal armor from kills)
- much richer (huge bonuses from reapers and boarders)
- and even with better attack/defense (because all of the above make it possible to dedicate more slots to computers)

I am playing at level 100 (23 levels above ship level), and I am not having much trouble. 4000 shields, 15000 armor, a shockwave that has double DPS than used to be possible, etc...

Now, Shadow's games have one amazing feature that, in my opinion, explains why I have more hours on Din's Curse than on anything except Rome Total War. The ability to tweak the difficulty is awesome.

But IotA is so min-maxable, that even this is not enough to give a proper challenge. Now, I am no fan of nerfing, and I would be a hypocrite to deny that I have really enjoyed the new components and modifiers. MOAR is GOOD!

So, here is what I would do, to fix the problem of running out of challenge:

1. Remove the restriction on generating sectors above 25, 50, and 75 with a ship of lower level. The most boring sectors, even before the expansion, were the ones you had to generate at level 74, because your ship was at level 72-73.

2. Bring the maximum sector level to at least 125, or even 150, without increasing the player level cap, or the caps on component power and modifiers. So, monsters and race ships will be generated at very high levels, but the player will be challenged to optimize and equip his ship to handle them without the benefit of a similarly increased level.

3. Remove the penalty on race ships (currently at 50%) or, at least, give us a way to set it. Right now, I do not feel as if I am mercenary or an éminence grise, I feel like the Master of the Universe kicking peons in line. Hell, on higher levels, the races cannot survive, let alone flourish without my help.

Yes, I know that all of these only matter for the end game, and for min-maxers like me, but if the game ever goes to Steam, word of mouth will be carried exactly by such people.

Cardinal Ape
07-11-2013, 10:50 PM
I agree that the new weapons may be too powerful. Swarm missiles used in conjunction with a tesla leech are sick...

However, I am not sure that increasing the monster starting level will work to effectively up the difficulty, because as a side effect it will also increase the starting loot level.

Perhaps adding in a few difficulty toggles that increase all the monsters stats by a flat percentage would work better?


The repair ability of the new scavenger component is great. Granted I have not see an end game one yet, but they are what the automated repair components should have been... I'm sorry, but trying to repair 5,000 armor at 3 a second is stupid. The old components were so insignificant that I would not even use one at half power cost in a free extra slot on a Dryad ship.

Tuidjy
07-11-2013, 11:05 PM
However, I am not sure that increasing the monster starting level will work to effectively up the difficulty, because as a side effect it will also increase the starting loot level.

I suggested that monsters of level 100+ drop level 100 loot. Sure, you will be getting higher level loot below level 100, but you'll always be able to fight at a level much higher than yours (and than your loot's)

This way, players who prefer an easier time, or players who are playing suboptimal builds can have fun without having to struggle, and players who just want to build the best possible ship and take on enemies way beyond their level can try to survive, at level 100, and with level 100 gear, in sectors full of level 150 monsters.

The old [automated repairs] components were so insignificant that I would not even use one at half power cost in a free extra slot on a Dryad ship.

You should. Not for the repair values, which you are 100% correct about, but for the possible critical/power/thrust bonuses. I was arguing about this in April, but nothing has changed.

Cardinal Ape
07-12-2013, 12:31 AM
Heh, want a truly brutal level of difficulty? Just add another play mode (like poor and unlucky) that automatically unequips components that you don't meet the requirements for.


Quite some time ago I was thinking of suggesting that every component should have a minimum level requirement attached to it so that you can not go too far beyond your level. This was solely influenced by my most powerful ship for its level. What happened on that ship was that I won a sector, received a phone call, then I forgot I had the game still running while I went out to do some yard work. I then came back after a few hours to discover that my game was still running. The only race left in the sector during this time had advanced its tech level to about 30-40 levels beyond me. So I flew around the planets and bought some stuff that turned my game into a cake walk.

Oops... I pretty much only play on hardcore so I forgot about this thing called a 'shared stash.' Which renders my point about getting access to gear 30 levels higher than your own ship a mute point. My bad.

Tuidjy
07-12-2013, 01:16 AM
Actually, I used to get my real challenge by playing Command 0 ships. I have yet to take one to level 100.... the best one made it to level 82.

Cardinal Ape
07-12-2013, 07:25 PM
That does sound severely challenging. What affect did it have on your fun factor?

The toughest ships I have played are also the most boring. These are the ships I use to try to unlock the 200 base stat achievements (aside from the command one.) I get most of my enjoyment from this game by mixing and matching different components, so less components equals less fun for me. The one mistake I can't seem to stop making is putting too much into command too early.

Tuidjy
07-12-2013, 08:21 PM
That does sound severely challenging. What affect did it have on your fun factor?.

Playing them is fun! :D Losing them is not. :mad:

But the great part is that they play completely different. Because you do not have to raise command, you can focus on other stats, so a Fringe plays like my standard ships (laser and shockwaves), a Shadow goes for insane criticals and quick kills, while a Human becomes the ultimate butt torper. The Cortex had just gotten its Big Bang, but did not live to really use it.

My next scheduled Command 0 is going to be a Scavenger, and I will try to go armor/AoE only.

That said, I really hate losing them, and it's been a while since I've started a Command 0 right after I have lost one. Before the expansion pack, you simply could not take on Ironfist, Aurora, etc... One of those guys hit me for 7900 once. Even with the expansion pack, this would be more than most Command 0 ships can take.

The one mistake I can't seem to stop making is putting too much into command too early.

There is no such thing. With my current ship, I am going for Command 460. It's currently at level 84, and is by far the toughest ship I've ever had. But some of the credit for this goes to the expansion pack.

Tuidjy
07-15-2013, 03:16 PM
When I say that races are too week, here is what I mean:

00:06:33 - The colony on Fipla (Hive) in Hydromedant has been destroyed by Greater Legion Lord.
00:06:34 - The colony on Ardia (Drakk) in Hydromedant has been destroyed by Superior Doom.
00:07:06 - Hive stole Unknown Technology from Shium (Drakk)!
00:07:17 - Pain is attacking Mul (Hive) in the Pron system
00:07:23 - The planet Mul (Hive) in the Pron system needs protection!
00:07:23 - The colony on Mul (Hive) in Pron has been destroyed by Female Demise Quake.
00:07:53 - Accepted Kill Scorpion (Hive) quest
00:07:54 - The colony on Askielluriu (Fringe) in Hydromedant has been destroyed by Female Grim Quake.
00:07:55 - Accepted Galactic Flu on Kali (Hive) quest
00:07:58 - Rumored position of Scorpion waypoint added to Hydromedant map
00:08:12 - The colony on Podinori (Drakk) in Pron has been destroyed by Female Demise Quake.
00:08:39 - Our crew member Gistar (Drakk) has leveled up, +1 Helm, +1.0 happiness!
00:08:49 - Hydromedant Gate activated!
00:09:16 - The colony on Phius (Drakk) in Tyl has been destroyed by Lesser Legion Lord.
00:09:19 - Discovered Bio Armor III Tech (lvl 88)
00:09:39 - Solved Zombie Outbreak on Kon (Dryad) quest
00:10:06 - Valkyrie is attacking Bahus (Fringe) in the Minis system
00:10:58 - The colony on Qui (Dryad) in Tyl has been destroyed by Lesser Legion Lord.
00:11:00 - The colony on Kon (Dryad) in Hydromedant has been destroyed by Female Grim Quake.
00:11:02 - Solved Kill Scorpion (Hive) quest
00:11:03 - Hive and Drox Operatives have signed a Non-aggression Pact
00:11:06 - Unknown Technology has been stolen from Sar (Fringe)!
00:11:12 - The colony on Kak (Fringe) in Librabani has been destroyed by Greater Venom.
00:11:12 - The colony on Bahus (Fringe) in Minis has been destroyed by Valkyrie.
00:11:34 - Greater Legion Lord that destroyed Diplomat Ship (Fringe) is now an Expert.
00:12:01 - The colony on Abban (Drakk) in Hydromedant has been destroyed by Female Grim Quake.
00:12:07 - Our crew member Kezilaw (Fringe) the Engineer has leveled up, +2 Engineering, +0.9 happiness!

In less than six minutes, eleven colonies get wiped out by monsters, while no races are at war with each other that I can tell. The sector is tiny, the only sector modifier is Legion, and the pace is normal. The development is random, but it clearly rolled "Established".

I went to check on the dead planets, and collect the xpt from the monsters that destroyed them, and I noticed that in many cases, the planet guardians were still hanging around. What this tells me is that the races simply CANNOT deal with the monsters on their own. Quite a few of the new monsters deal AoE damage, and planets are pitifully easy to destroy even when guarded.

Please Shadow, beef up the race warships! If a planet is building ships with 30 slots, have those ships be at least vaguely reminiscent of a player's 30 slot ship, and less of a paper air plane made of Kleenex.