Videogames IN SPAAAACEEEE

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Retsam

Re: Videogames IN SPAAAACEEEE

Postby Retsam » Thu May 25, 2017 2:24 pm

Steve C wrote:How is retreating handled in ES2? The way the previous game handled retreating was... well... broken. It was impossible to lose ES1 and almost impossible to lose Endless Legend because of it. And ships? Is there a good solid reason to build larger ships in ES2? Cheap crappy ships were all you ever needed in ES1 and were generally superior.


Retreating causes your ships to take a flat 60% damage, so you can retreat once, but if you do it twice in a row your ships will be destroyed. I don't remember how it worked in ES for comparison.

And I definitely don't have much of an idea for how the combat balances, being only a couple hours in. I wouldn't be surprised if throwing a lot of cheap ships at the problem is not still a viable strategy

Andrew wrote:
Retsam wrote:it feels to me like some sort of halfway point between Endless Space 1 and Stellaris.

So if I said to you that I loved Stellaris but always burned out in its (non existent) mid game, would you say that ES 2 is a better option?

I never played ES 1 and I tried to play Endless Legends a while back but in the end I just couldn't be bothered learning the game (I bought it in Steam's summer sale last year) so to date I have about 26 minutes played.


It's worth a look, certainly. I played Stellaris on day 1 and I'm playing this on day 1, and certainly this feels like a more fully-featured game than Stellaris did, but I haven't yet played Stellaris with it's updates yet to see how it compares. A cheaper option might be to pick up ES1 and see how you feel about that, I imagine it's pretty cheap with the sequel out.

I don't know how GalCiv III would compare to ES 2, but I imagine they're fairly similar, I played Gal Civ II back in the day, and I considered Endless Space to largely be a spiritual successor to Gal Civ II. Assuming GCIII is on par with GCII, I don't think you can really go wrong either way.
Steve C

Re: Videogames IN SPAAAACEEEE

Postby Steve C » Thu May 25, 2017 3:20 pm

Don't read the following about Endless Space 1 if you don't want it wrecked by a cheap trick:
The problem was that you could hold a system with a single ship. Enemies would arrive. They'd start a battle against that one ship. You'd send another ship into that system and set up a blockade. You'd resolve the outstanding combat at the end of the turn and the first ship would retreat. The enemy fleet would have used their attack and now be unable to attack again to clear out the new ship. The following turn the original ship would be sent back in. Repeat indefinitely.

The initial result is attacking fleet would never be able to leave. You could keep this as long as you had the production capability to sacrifice one ship per 2 turns (stupid easy to do) at the designed in bottleneck(s). The end result was your *entire empire* was immune to being attacked. Forever. Plus it was even more OP than that because of a hero ability that generated extra resources when your ships died in excess of what it cost to build the cheapest ship.


Before I buy it I really want to know If they are using the same movement+connected systems+combat mechanics that allowed this as the first game. If so, then sadly it's too broken to be fun. It was impossible to lose Endless Space 1. Pity because I really liked the game otherwise.
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Retsam

Re: Videogames IN SPAAAACEEEE

Postby Retsam » Thu May 25, 2017 3:51 pm

Did ES1 not have the ability to travel between systems without star lanes? ES2 allows it (though it's obviously slower), so that makes a single "blockade" system infeasible, I think. (Though I guess I doubt the AI would be smart enough to recognize that they're being cheesed and go around, if there's a shorter route) I'm not sure attacking consumes the attackers turn anymore, either, but I'm not certain, either.

Though, personally, if there's a cheesy strategy that makes a game un-fun, I just don't use it. Sure, if I need a complex set of self-imposed rules to make a game interesting, that's a pretty flawed game. But if it's just "don't do this very specific combination of actions", it's a complete non-issue to me. (For example: "don't abuse Skyrim's enchanting/potion making system loop to make myself +∞ equipment, like Josh does in Spoiler Warning") Different strokes, I guess.
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Daemian Lucifer

Re: Videogames IN SPAAAACEEEE

Postby Daemian Lucifer » Thu May 25, 2017 4:36 pm

See,this is why I hate when turn based strategies have such stupid bottlenecks.One of the reasons moo remake is far inferior to the original two is that you can just blockade your nearest race(s) and then slowly expand while they have one or two systems at max.Its also why I hate what civv and civvi did to movement.And I really dont see a reason why this is still a thing,since that problem has been solved LOOOONG ago.
Steve C

Re: Videogames IN SPAAAACEEEE

Postby Steve C » Thu May 25, 2017 4:44 pm

SPOILERS again for Endless Space...

You are correct in that ES1 did have the ability to travel between systems without star lanes. It didn't avoid the problem though. In fact it made it worse because the enemy would be so much slower. A fleet would be stuck traveling for many turns. By using the space lanes you'd be able to beat the attackers to their destination with time to spare. The problem is *not* that a fleet cannot make it deep into your territory. (Something they will never attempt anyway.) The problem is that enemy fleets can never do anything useful once they arrive. Wherever they arrive. What matters is that you are there first. Because then they have to clear you out in order to leave.

This is different than a video game duplication exploit or an edge-case-infinity-loop kind of exploit. This is "I'm being attacked in battles I cannot win so I'm going to slow the enemy as much as possible." It's not a video game exploit. It is using a Fabian strategy. It's the natural thing to do if you are weak and attempting to slow the enemy as much as possible. If you have build a character in a very specific way to perform an exploit, then ya. It's easy to avoid breaking the game for yourself. Still didn't help with the retreating thing. It's a core part of the game.

There's a point with an exploit that it's a true exploit. You are doing something weird the game isn't counting on. I can be aware of those and shut my eyes and not do it. But something like "Don't take this ability because it is too good," then that isn't shutting my eyes to an exploit. At that point I'm purposely choosing a different style or playing badly. I tried that with the OP hero ability which was as complex as "Take this hero ability. Done." I took a race that couldn't use heroes. That's trying a different style. Trying a rogue instead of an OP mage. It's grating as it severely limits replayability but I can still enjoy a playthrough like that. If instead I'm playing a race that does have access to that ability and I choose not to take it then I'm purposely choosing to play badly. That's different.

Another way of describing strategy is "Use cheap ships. Period." Which isn't an exploit. It's just playing the game. I cannot enjoy myself if I'm purposely playing badly. So the choice for me is between (1) never lose any territory ever (making winning a foregone conclusion) or (2) play badly. It is the difference between an exploit and a solved game*.

*Hey neat. I solved Connect Four in the mid 1980s. According to that wikipedia page I did it before anyone else.
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Retsam

Re: Videogames IN SPAAAACEEEE

Postby Retsam » Thu May 25, 2017 5:29 pm

I disagree that "send a single ship to occupy the enemy's entire turn due to a nuance of the game's mechanics" counts as "Fabian tactics". Retreating from a battle you can't win, is one thing. Sending a single ship in order to deliberately create a battle that you can't win so that you can retreat from that battle and stall the opponent, is entirely another, in my book. It's an entirely artificial strategy that only makes sense in light of the exploit; it's not something you would do unless you were aware that it breaks the game.

So, yeah, I totally would call that "something weird the game isn't counting on", making it a "true exploit" by your definition. (And ES is definitely not a "solved game", since that implies that both players are playing perfectly, which the AI certainly isn't.)

But, hey, like I said, different strokes. If that breaks the game for you, I guess I'm not going to be much help because I just don't see things the way you do.
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Daemian Lucifer

Re: Videogames IN SPAAAACEEEE

Postby Daemian Lucifer » Thu May 25, 2017 6:05 pm

Retsam wrote:I disagree that "send a single ship to occupy the enemy's entire turn due to a nuance of the game's mechanics" counts as "Fabian tactics". Retreating from a battle you can't win, is one thing. Sending a single ship in order to deliberately create a battle that you can't win so that you can retreat from that battle and stall the opponent, is entirely another, in my book. It's an entirely artificial strategy that only makes sense in light of the exploit; it's not something you would do unless you were aware that it breaks the game.


Stalling the enemy with a weak unit while you strengthen a strong one IS one of the prominent strategies in tbs games.But it usually buys you just a turn or two,at most,and you still have to spend that unit because retreating isnt cheap.What breaks the game here is that you can indefinitely cycle two ships doing that to completely halt the enemy.
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Sudanna

Re: Videogames IN SPAAAACEEEE

Postby Sudanna » Thu May 25, 2017 8:31 pm

Or, for your consideration: you could choose to not do that. Unless you're playing against opponents that would use it, that solves the problem of not liking that exploit.
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Andrew

Re: Videogames IN SPAAAACEEEE

Postby Andrew » Fri May 26, 2017 7:20 am

Thanks for the discussion!! It has really helped.

I think I have concluded that I want to play them both.

I'm going to go with ES2 first though because GalCiv 3 is probably due for another sale, most likely when Steam's summer sale starts so that's something I can wait for. With ES2 just coming out I can't see any sales on the horizon so I figure I may as well just go for it.
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Daemian Lucifer

Re: Videogames IN SPAAAACEEEE

Postby Daemian Lucifer » Fri May 26, 2017 12:32 pm

Andrew wrote: GalCiv 3 is probably due for another sale


Thats practically a given,seeing how its a stardock game.And they are already selling the whole bundle(base game,plus 2 expansions,plus some cosmetics) for just 60 moneys.
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Andrew

Re: Videogames IN SPAAAACEEEE

Postby Andrew » Sun May 28, 2017 1:29 am

So I picked up Endless Space 2 yesterday and played it for about 2 hours and I have realised 3 things.

The first is that this game appears to be much better than Stellaris in terms of options and general things to do. I haven't really fleshed out diplomacy or heroes (or anything) that much but there just seems to be a lot more going on in general. So there's that.

The second is that this feels like the perfect game for me and 10 years ago I would have been all over it.

The third is that I don't know if I have it in my to learn new games anymore. I mean, this game isn't as complicated to learn as, say, Crusader Kings 2, but it is up there in the sheer amount of information they throw at you. There are some screens (the tech screen, for example) where it's just a bunch of words vomited onto the screen and while I am sure there is some form of order behind it's organisation, I just can't quite see it yet. So now I don't know if I can be bothered putting in the hours it will take for me to learn this game or if I should just cut my losses and get a refund while I still can. If this game turns out to be any of the Civ games to me then it's a fair investment because each one has represented 100's of hours of gameplay. If it turns out to be like Stellaris (currently 20 hours played where 5 or 6 is spent learning the basics) then it's just not a worthwhile investment... especially not at 40USD.

So I'll sleep on it and see how we go. I know that I like the setting and I want to love the game... I just don't know if I can!
Steve C

Re: Videogames IN SPAAAACEEEE

Postby Steve C » Mon May 29, 2017 2:15 am

So Endless Space 2... It's rather disappointing. I've tried it and gotten nowhere slow in it. I purposely avoided the game while it was in early access. I rather wait to avoid all the rough edges in any game and doubly so in a 4x like this. That's what ES2 is though; lots of rough edges. My initial reaction is that Endless Space 1 is straight up a better game.

For example the best thing your fleet can do at the start is scan anomalies. Which often gets you luxury goods. I know luxury goods and how they worked in the first game. Here they appear to do nothing. And that's all they do in ES2- nothing. At least until you unlock level 3 of the tech tree. And then use that tech to upgrade a star system to allow you to use them. This isn't well explained. Which would be fine if these things were handed out later and not first thing you get as a reward. The whole game is like that. Where the game entices you do X. So you decide you should do X. Then it trips over itself and makes X needlessly confusing. Which hero type you want? Let's make a complete game mechanic around which types of heroes appear. And then not bother to give any way to view or compare hero stats and abilities. So which of these 3 heroes do you want from your quest? Hell if I know. I'm certain I'd be happier if I hadn't been given an option.

Then there's combat. Endless Space 1 had bad bad combat. It prioritized cinematics over everything else. I saw the combat tactical map for Endless Space 2 while it was being developed and immediately thought it was an improvement. No. No. They didn't improve it. It's is even less interactive, more confusing and provides less info than it did in ES1. That's saying something. On top of that it is less cinematic too! I don't know how they managed to drop the ball here and actually make it worse than before. The only way they had to go was up. I could talk about invasions too but ground combat is just stupid while being both convoluted and thin.

For me personally, the death knell for the game has to be the pseudo-random events. If you scan a curiosity (aka anomaly/loot/event) then something happens. If you scan it on turn 17 then X will always happen. If you scan it on turn 18 then Y will always happen. This is awful for someone like me. I'm constantly left wondering if what I got was a good reward or not. I want it (preferably) determined and set at the start of the game, or completely random. If it creates a permanent penalty on that planet then I've got a incredibly strong incentive to reload and delay it a turn and try again. I probably will reload. I hate that.

The biggest complaint on Steam is game ending bugs. I haven't hit any of those. Even if they manage to fix them, I don't think they are going to fix the fundamental problems I see.

And because I posted it in the wrong thread, I'll post it here again:
BTW I found out Endless Space 2 fixed the problem. Blockading a system now results in enemy ships being delayed for a turn. Enemies don't have to clear the blockade to leave.
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Retsam

Re: Videogames IN SPAAAACEEEE

Postby Retsam » Fri Nov 03, 2017 6:36 pm

The most recent Stellaris Dev Diary announced that the Cherryh update is going to remove both Warp and Wormhole FTL and leave hyperlanes as the only method of FTL.

It's a bit controversial, but I think it's a smart change. It sounds like it'll go a long way to make strategic warfare in Stellaris much more interesting (or possible, really), as you can actually set up defenses if you know that your opponents won't be able to just warp around them.
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4th Dimension

Re: Videogames IN SPAAAACEEEE

Postby 4th Dimension » Mon Nov 06, 2017 8:24 am

Yeah, I can see how it is not going to go well over with some players that prefer other ways of travel. Although I'm also not certain how much of gating there will be given that early game, if connections are plentifull, the enemy can just go around you through unexplored systems. Frankly I think it would be interesting to make it so that the player DOESN'T have the perfect hyper lane knowledge at the start and one of the jobs of the science vessel would be to chart the existence of lanes and where they lead in any new system. Hell I would go as far as saying that you shouldn't even know of the stars until the science vessel gets on the other end of the hyper lane. IMO this would make the early game feel even more like exploration.
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Daemian Lucifer

Re: Videogames IN SPAAAACEEEE

Postby Daemian Lucifer » Mon Nov 06, 2017 10:13 am

I dont get this:The whole point of space is that it is empty.Having choke points in a space strategy is weird to me.You definitely SHOULD be able to go around your enemy,and the defense in a space strategy should require you to have mobile fleets and lots of vision.If you can just fortify a choke point,then it becomes lame.Lamer than even practically all terrestrial strategies.
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Sudanna

Re: Videogames IN SPAAAACEEEE

Postby Sudanna » Mon Nov 06, 2017 1:55 pm

Especially since there are already options in game creation to limit warp methods. Anyone who wants this can already have it. No need to remove things for others.
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Retsam

Re: Videogames IN SPAAAACEEEE

Postby Retsam » Mon Nov 06, 2017 4:12 pm

Sudanna wrote:Especially since there are already options in game creation to limit warp methods. Anyone who wants this can already have it. No need to remove things for others.


The issue, on the developer side, is that there's a lot of features or balance changes that they'd like to make, but can't make as long as there's (potentially) three different types of FTL. Static defenses are the major one, but they outline a number of other changes in the post:

  • Unified distance, sensor and border systems that make sense for everyone (for example, cost of claiming a system not being based on euclidean distance but rather the actual distance for ships to travel there)
  • Galactic 'geography', systems that are strategically and tactically important due to location and 'terrain' (more on this below) rather than just resources
    More possibilities for galaxy generation and exploration (for example, entire regions of space accessible only through a wormhole or a single guarded hyperlane, containing special locations and events to discover)
  • Better performance through caching and unified code (Wormhole FTL in particular is a massive resource hog in the late game)
  • Warfare with a distinct sense of 'theatres', advancing/retreating fronts and border skirmishes (more on this in future dev diaries)


This also makes jump drive more interesting: before it was basically just a better warp drive (which made it an improvement in quality, but not an improvement in kind), but now it's a distinctly different way of moving around the galaxy: it'll let you skip past static defenses, at the cost of leaving your fleet immobile for a time afterwards.


Daemian Lucifer wrote:I dont get this:The whole point of space is that it is empty.Having choke points in a space strategy is weird to me.You definitely SHOULD be able to go around your enemy,and the defense in a space strategy should require you to have mobile fleets and lots of vision.If you can just fortify a choke point,then it becomes lame.Lamer than even practically all terrestrial strategies.

Actually, I have it on good authority that the whole point of space is to have giant lasers that go "PEW!PEW!".

In seriousness, the "mobile fleets plus vision" might make a good space game in theory (and arguably a more realistic one)... but I can say that I really don't think it currently works in Stellaris. Currently warfare isn't particularly fun, or interesting, and the AI is really awful at it, I think a more "traditional" style where static defenses are an option, and where galactic "geography" matters will improve all three, personally.
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4th Dimension

Re: Videogames IN SPAAAACEEEE

Postby 4th Dimension » Mon Nov 06, 2017 9:09 pm

Daemian Lucifer wrote:I dont get this:The whole point of space is that it is empty.Having choke points in a space strategy is weird to me.You definitely SHOULD be able to go around your enemy,and the defense in a space strategy should require you to have mobile fleets and lots of vision.If you can just fortify a choke point,then it becomes lame.Lamer than even practically all terrestrial strategies.

That largely depends on the FTL method in use in universe, and hyperlane meta is in use in many SF franchises.
But as for the warp in Stellaris, while that is how it's supposed to be, in practice it just turns into a giant whack a mole with your and the enemy fleet playing chasey chasey kissy kissy arround space not doing anything, which isn't really riveting game play.
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Supahewok

Re: Videogames IN SPAAAACEEEE

Postby Supahewok » Mon Nov 06, 2017 10:45 pm

4th Dimension wrote:
Daemian Lucifer wrote:I dont get this:The whole point of space is that it is empty.Having choke points in a space strategy is weird to me.You definitely SHOULD be able to go around your enemy,and the defense in a space strategy should require you to have mobile fleets and lots of vision.If you can just fortify a choke point,then it becomes lame.Lamer than even practically all terrestrial strategies.

That largely depends on the FTL method in use in universe, and hyperlane meta is in use in many SF franchises.
But as for the warp in Stellaris, while that is how it's supposed to be, in practice it just turns into a giant whack a mole with your and the enemy fleet playing chasey chasey kissy kissy arround space not doing anything, which isn't really riveting game play.

In (hypothetical) real life, you'd force a confrontation by attacking someplace that the enemy is compelled to defend. That's one of Sun Tzu's maxims. Naturally, the AI in a strategy game isn't up to snuff for that. If the game doesn't have multiplayer, then making a more interesting/less tedious single player experience is to most everybody's benefit.
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Daemian Lucifer

Re: Videogames IN SPAAAACEEEE

Postby Daemian Lucifer » Tue Nov 07, 2017 12:41 am

4th Dimension wrote:That largely depends on the FTL method in use in universe, and hyperlane meta is in use in many SF franchises.


Sure,in many,but not in best.
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John

Re: Videogames IN SPAAAACEEEE

Postby John » Tue Nov 07, 2017 12:48 am

Daemian Lucifer wrote:
4th Dimension wrote:That largely depends on the FTL method in use in universe, and hyperlane meta is in use in many SF franchises.


Sure,in many,but not in best.

Aren't you a big Master of Orion 2 fan? And isn't the map for that game covered in lines between star systems? Or have I gone mad?
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Supahewok

Re: Videogames IN SPAAAACEEEE

Postby Supahewok » Tue Nov 07, 2017 1:12 am

I don't remember hyperlanes in MoO, 1 or 2. Or wormholes, or gateways, or nothing. Just standard 4x movement.
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Daemian Lucifer

Re: Videogames IN SPAAAACEEEE

Postby Daemian Lucifer » Tue Nov 07, 2017 3:07 am

John wrote:
Daemian Lucifer wrote:
4th Dimension wrote:That largely depends on the FTL method in use in universe, and hyperlane meta is in use in many SF franchises.


Sure,in many,but not in best.

Aren't you a big Master of Orion 2 fan? And isn't the map for that game covered in lines between star systems? Or have I gone mad?


Its the recent remake that has hyperlanes(which is one of the reasons its a much weaker strategy).In moo2,you just fly to wherever you wish(if you have range).There are sometimes instant travel wormholes between two stars.
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Humanoid

Re: Videogames IN SPAAAACEEEE

Postby Humanoid » Tue Nov 07, 2017 4:59 am

I'd have liked to try an experimental version of Stellaris where you get to use all three FTL methods at the same time. I picture it like how roads are restricted in later Civ games to only be usable by the faction controlling the region. Hyperlanes would be a significant tactical advantage to a defending fleet, but a large enough invasion force could just plow right through with warp if so desired.
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4th Dimension

Re: Videogames IN SPAAAACEEEE

Postby 4th Dimension » Tue Nov 07, 2017 7:15 am

You mean, you want to make fleets of ships that have all three methods on board or make specific fleets have specific FTL capability. Coz both are probably moddable. The later is probably easier because it likely just involves giving all, or just the player all three starting FTL techs. The former would likely require you to rejigger things with the way the ships are laid out... hmmm, it might be that the game simply doesn't support you choosing which FTL method to use at a particular time... that might make the former impossible in practice.

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