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Old 05-14-2014, 04:20 PM
Tuidjy's Avatar
Tuidjy Tuidjy is offline
Join Date: Jun 2012
Location: La La Land (California)
Posts: 847
Default [Balance] Is this how it's supposed to be?

I've finally managed to get my wife to try Drox, so I have had a chance to look at Drox through some non-jaded eyes. She's an experienced Action RPG player, and a bit less of a strategy nerd than I am.

As soon as she reached the 50-70 levels, she hit a wall, strategy-wise. Basically, T/O/L are overpowered to the point that it's simply ridiculous.

A few facts:
- A single Talon ship can fight five equal-level Cortex ships for 7 minutes, and remain at full structure. Then it kills the first enemy. Two of the other the Cortex ships were at death door by then.
- Talon can fight a four to one war against Zombie, Drakk, Cortex, and Brunt, and steadily expand, while its enemies are losing planets, mostly to quest problems. With literally hundreds (in a small sector) of these, the player can hardly make a dent.
- Against a player ship that claims 95% to-hit rate, and 15% to-be-hit, a Talon ship with three virus debuffs, three botnet debuffs, and one EM debuff of the appropriate level hits every time, and dodges quite often. The debuffs add to about 5500 defense and attack. Yes, with -5500 to attack, a Talon ship hits about 95% against a 4000 defense ship of the same level.

This was my wife's experience, with a ship that I would expect to be better than average for its level.

So I took my best ship (one that is comfortable at level 200) and rolled level 100 sectors (small, established) until I got Talon and three other races. I started questing exclusively for one of the other races (Telepath, as it happens) and turning in quests.

Twenty minutes of this, and of course, everyone ganged up on the Telepaths. At this point, everyone but the Telepaths was completely swamped by problems.

Once the fighting started, I played by very simple rules:

(1) I cleared everyone else from every sector with a Telepath presence.
(2) If I saw a Telepath planet being attacked, I went in that sector and cleared it of everything but Telepath ships. (With that ship, it was trivial. Everyone that comes in EMP range dies instantly, and 20K hp planets melt under two seconds under its beams)
(3) If the Telepaths were not under attack, I would quest, prioritizing to the best of my knowledge: bosses that create problems, crowds that create problems, devices, etc... while pausing constantly, and doing all the fedex and plague clearing quests that were local to whatever I was doing.

So, I had an insanely good ship, and was trying to help the Telepaths to the best of my ability EXCEPT FOR ACTUALLY GOING OUTSIDE THEIR BORDERS AND KILLING EVERYONE.

Within thirty minutes, the Telepaths were down to one sector, and Talon had three times as many planets as they had at the time I finished evicting them from Telepath's sectors.

What happened?

Well, when the player is near a sector, all problems worsen at much higher rate. Despite having an extremely good ship, I could physically protect only the planets of the sector I was in. The planets in the neighboring sectors were simply dying, because five problems were occurring for every one I cleared. (And I cleared 148, in less than an hour, with a lot of pausing and thinking)

When the player is far from a sector, the problems worsen, but the planets do not die unless something extra happens. The Talon invading was that extra. The races that I was not helping could not stand against the Talon, because their planets were slowly dying, and once the Talon showed up, the defenders could do little.

Note that despite all this, the race that was worst off was still the one race that I was helping, and by helping I mean that I stopped every attack dead as quickly as it took me to go through a gate and double boost (auxiliary and consumable) to the planet being attacked.

This is IMMENSELY frustrating to any player.

I have been around for a while, and I understand the mechanics of what is happening. I do not allow things to get out of control in my normal games. I always have wars started and lines drawn before I allow myself to turn quests in and to align with a race, which upsets everyone else unless you have planned for it.

But to a new player, this is extremely discouraging. You appear to be doing everything right, and the people you are helping are getting wiped out. You help someone, and immediately, everyone hates them.

I know that Soldak is working on a new game, and I doubt much will be done. But just in case someone has the time and desire to address the problem, I wanted it out here.
No good deed goes unpunished...

Last edited by Tuidjy : 05-14-2014 at 04:23 PM.
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