Why current 1.5 build is a solid step forward, but needs to be further worked on

By on December 8, 2015 9:22:09 AM from Galactic Civilizations III Forums Galactic Civilizations III Forums

jirkaesch

Join Date 08/2008
+6

Well, current 1.5 build is a nice upgrade, but it feels sort of half-hearthened. Nice features, but the implementation needs more love.

My main thoughts are following:

  • Current "leave my territory" mechanics is just unfinished. So you have a hostile civ that does not like you and parks all his ships near your HW (of course). Ask them to leave? They won´t. Well, what other options do you have? I guess in that case, you should be able to attack their ships in your ZOC without DOW, albeit with big relations penalty.
  • Second, wasn´t there a promise that diplo AI will get some love as well? To make it less exploitive, particularly the minors? Any changes to remove the "your treaty with XY expanded, go and sign all those non-agressions, open borders, economic pacts etc. over and over again" tedium? Aka enabling us to set the length of the treaty?
  • Coming back to the above, is the "AI parking ships near your HQ" problem near solving?
  • I don´t mind the problem with planetary wheel, if it feels cheesy I just don´t use it. I feel like focuses have to be disabled in that case but that´s it. But that one single building added (Labor Bureau) made researching the government tech so much more interesting already! Can we get at least Derek´s GOG mod integrated into the tech tree, so researching gov tech will give us interesting building to play with, instead of bland "+XY% to sthng" bonuses?

That´s it for the first feedback, thanks and looking forward to the next updates!

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December 8, 2015 1:49:00 PM from Galactic Civilizations III Forums Galactic Civilizations III Forums

1.41 made a step in the right direction towards clearly improving this game. However, there's lots more to be done and some can be addressed in 1.5.

I'll not mention diplo as many have.

1.41 made good steps toward getting the AI to better building up their planets but there's still MORE needed.

The AI still seems to have NO idea about properly using the bonus squares on a planet. I'd not think this too hard to fix.

Another issue is that the AI still needs to build ships with more movement per turn.

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December 9, 2015 2:19:21 PM from Galactic Civilizations III Forums Galactic Civilizations III Forums

Quoting neilkaz,

Another issue is that the AI still needs to build ships with more movement per turn.

 

I'd turn that on it's head actually - something needs to be done to discourage the player from stacking really high movement. Whether that's a diminishing return from engines, or an end-move-on-attack mechanic is open to debate. 

 

Oh, and the AI bonus squares thing isn't hard to fix... except that it runs counter to the other bonus detection scheme that's already in use, where it measures adjacency. Besides, the bonus squares are actually fairly meaningless - the very best ones offer +3 levels to an appropriate building built on them, which (in the case of, say, a factory) is +15% industry. This is nothing whatsoever on a planet that can achieve +1000%.

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December 9, 2015 2:44:21 PM from Galactic Civilizations III Forums Galactic Civilizations III Forums

Like the argument to sensors....< leave my stacking engines alone> (looks at Naselus)!

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December 9, 2015 4:12:31 PM from Galactic Civilizations III Forums Galactic Civilizations III Forums

Quoting Larsenex,

Like the argument to sensors....< leave my stacking engines alone> (looks at Naselus)!

 

Hey, I'm not saying 'no stacking' or 'one engine module per ship'. But there's no major downside to stacking huge numbers of engines on big hulls. Nothing should be moving 60+ spaces a turn, because that also means it has 60+ ATTACKS per turn, which means you can wipe out the AI's entire fleet in one turn.

 

I actually like the idea of move-ends-attack more and more for this, but there's a few things which could be done easily to counter it. For example:

 

* A % movement penalty for bigger hulls, so large or huge hulls need more engines to get the same speed.

* Make engines use up % hull rather than flat mass values - say -10% mass limit for every engine. You'd never be able to get more than 10.

* A diminishing return on engine modules, so that it becomes less powerful the more you already have.

 

Just as with the economy, players are able to abuse the current system to produce results that are wildly outside what the mechanics can handle.

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December 9, 2015 5:07:20 PM from Galactic Civilizations III Forums Galactic Civilizations III Forums

In the game I am going to quit and restart I got the bonus movement event 2x in a row. currently ships with just 3 warp drives are moving at 25 hexes and later in game I pilled on 20 stellar folders and my constructors were moving at 198!!!! hexes! 


Yes it allows the player to wipe out a fleet. Same applies to the ai. today I destroyed 13 fleets of the Snathi because I parked my ONE fleet 10 hexes outside his border. He parked HIS fleets near me which allowed me when i was ready to bam bam bam  wipe him completely out. 


I dont see a problem at all with the way movement is in this game. The fact there are many many things we as players can exploit against the ai is what makes this game so fun at times while equally so boring as well.  Still the one thing about our game is it is open and 64 bit. I hope we can have more diplomacy flavor and more options to exploit the ai there. I'd also like to see a lengthening of the game post Age of Ascension but that's just me. 

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December 9, 2015 5:48:57 PM from Galactic Civilizations III Forums Galactic Civilizations III Forums

Because war like that isn't FUN. It's not entertaining to have 1-turn wars. There's no tension. You wipe the enemy out before he can react, which is fun the first time but ultimately reduces the entire warfare game into a chore. And if the AI did it too, we'd have the joyous experience of our best buddy turning on us and destroying all our ships and shipyards before we have a chance to react (an experience you can already enjoy in multiplayer). That's not fun. It involves basically zero strategy or tactics. And judging by the blueprints that the AI relies on, it didn't seem to occur to the devs that people might strap 20 engines on a ship. They seem to have regarded putting 3 on as an outrageously risque design move.

 

Be honest. What's your win rate in combats? I'd estimate mine, after 500 hours, to be around 99%. I can always pick my battles, and my biggest, baddest fleet can take on 20 other fleets one at a time in a single turn. That was fun the first couple of times, but after that the complete lack of military challenge made every victory a foregone conclusion and felt empty. I can ALWAYS get reinforcements to the front the turn they're built; I can ALWAYS park a fresh, full fleet from the other side of the universe on a damaged one to protect it. It's like the problem that MOO2's turn-base tactical combat always eventually ended up with; the player could just build a mega-fleet that would wipe out any rival before they had a chance to fight back. The result? You never took any casualties ever again, and combat became a chore.

 

Stuff moves too fast, and it's a big problem. There's no logistical planning required, not the logistics stat that is really 'Fleetcap', but actual supply lines and gathering forces is too easy even on vast maps. That kills military strategy stone dead. You never need to plot a cunning flank attack, because you're just flying your fleet in from whatever direction and killing everything in 1-2 turns. The story you're telling about the Snathi fleets should be viewed as a bad thing, bordering on broken, not a great anecdote about this awesome time that I did this - sure, it'd be a cool thing if that wasn't what happened in EVERY SINGLE WAR. It's not unusual. There's nothing cool or awesome or unique about it. If you just got insanely lucky one time and this one fleet that should have been toast somehow survived against the odds, that's great because you know that 9 times out of 10 it wouldn't have turned out that way. But if it's the same every time, then it causes problems; I run my empire on a military shoestring because I know that every 1 of my ships can kill 10, 100, 1000 times as many of the enemy, simply because I can attack 10 times as often per turn. 

 

That's why I'm more or less in favour of end-move-on-attack; it gives the AI the chance to react to a war before it's dead, it punishes the player for excessive engine stacking (without preventing him from doing it - you could still make your 198 move constructor, but the temptation to make warships with 50 moves is seriously reduced when they're not using it) and it would just generally be better for the game than keeping really high movement rate and allowing you to attack many times per turn.

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December 9, 2015 6:27:25 PM from Galactic Civilizations III Forums Galactic Civilizations III Forums

Quoting naselus,

Because war like that isn't FUN. It's not entertaining to have 1-turn wars. There's no tension. You wipe the enemy out before he can react, which is fun the first time but ultimately reduces the entire warfare game into a chore. And if the AI did it too, we'd have the joyous experience of our best buddy turning on us and destroying all our ships and shipyards before we have a chance to react (an experience you can already enjoy in multiplayer). That's not fun. It involves basically zero strategy or tactics. And judging by the blueprints that the AI relies on, it didn't seem to occur to the devs that people might strap 20 engines on a ship. They seem to have regarded putting 3 on as an outrageously risque design move.

 

Be honest. What's your win rate in combats? I'd estimate mine, after 500 hours, to be around 99%. I can always pick my battles, and my biggest, baddest fleet can take on 20 other fleets one at a time in a single turn. That was fun the first couple of times, but after that the complete lack of military challenge made every victory a foregone conclusion and felt empty. I can ALWAYS get reinforcements to the front the turn they're built; I can ALWAYS park a fresh, full fleet from the other side of the universe on a damaged one to protect it. It's like the problem that MOO2's turn-base tactical combat always eventually ended up with; the player could just build a mega-fleet that would wipe out any rival before they had a chance to fight back. The result? You never took any casualties ever again, and combat became a chore.

 

Stuff moves too fast, and it's a big problem. There's no logistical planning required, not the logistics stat that is really 'Fleetcap', but actual supply lines and gathering forces is too easy even on vast maps. That kills military strategy stone dead. You never need to plot a cunning flank attack, because you're just flying your fleet in from whatever direction and killing everything in 1-2 turns. The story you're telling about the Snathi fleets should be viewed as a bad thing, bordering on broken, not a great anecdote about this awesome time that I did this - sure, it'd be a cool thing if that wasn't what happened in EVERY SINGLE WAR. It's not unusual. There's nothing cool or awesome or unique about it. If you just got insanely lucky one time and this one fleet that should have been toast somehow survived against the odds, that's great because you know that 9 times out of 10 it wouldn't have turned out that way. But if it's the same every time, then it causes problems; I run my empire on a military shoestring because I know that every 1 of my ships can kill 10, 100, 1000 times as many of the enemy, simply because I can attack 10 times as often per turn. 

 

That's why I'm more or less in favour of end-move-on-attack; it gives the AI the chance to react to a war before it's dead, it punishes the player for excessive engine stacking (without preventing him from doing it - you could still make your 198 move constructor, but the temptation to make warships with 50 moves is seriously reduced when they're not using it) and it would just generally be better for the game than keeping really high movement rate and allowing you to attack many times per turn.

 

Wow, great write-up.  I had no idea that this mechanic was that broken - and this type of thing must be the reason that I have yet to try MP...

Refresh my memory, was end-move-on-attack the way the mechanic worked in GC2?

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December 9, 2015 7:19:28 PM from Galactic Civilizations III Forums Galactic Civilizations III Forums

Quoting tid242,

Refresh my memory, was end-move-on-attack the way the mechanic worked in GC2?

No, but insanely high movement rates weren't quite as much of an issue in GC2, either, as the size of the drive components was greater on larger hulls than on smaller ones, and the effective bonus you could get to hull capacity was much more limited (maximum hull capacity bonus was +125% if I'm not mistaken, and there were no component size reductions available). If I recall correctly, a fast endgame warship in GC2 would have had no more than 20-30 actions per turn if it was to remain reasonably useful. That isn't the case in GC3; 20 actions per turn is more like the speed of an average warship in the midgame or so, and map sizes have not grown to the point that the increase in ship speeds is really justified.

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December 9, 2015 7:27:21 PM from Galactic Civilizations III Forums Galactic Civilizations III Forums

Quoting naselus,

Because war like that isn't FUN. It's not entertaining to have 1-turn wars. There's no tension. You wipe the enemy out before he can react, which is fun the first time but ultimately reduces the entire warfare game into a chore. And if the AI did it too, we'd have the joyous experience of our best buddy turning on us and destroying all our ships and shipyards before we have a chance to react (an experience you can already enjoy in multiplayer). That's not fun. It involves basically zero strategy or tactics. And judging by the blueprints that the AI relies on, it didn't seem to occur to the devs that people might strap 20 engines on a ship. They seem to have regarded putting 3 on as an outrageously risque design move.

 

Be honest. What's your win rate in combats? I'd estimate mine, after 500 hours, to be around 99%. I can always pick my battles, and my biggest, baddest fleet can take on 20 other fleets one at a time in a single turn. That was fun the first couple of times, but after that the complete lack of military challenge made every victory a foregone conclusion and felt empty. I can ALWAYS get reinforcements to the front the turn they're built; I can ALWAYS park a fresh, full fleet from the other side of the universe on a damaged one to protect it. It's like the problem that MOO2's turn-base tactical combat always eventually ended up with; the player could just build a mega-fleet that would wipe out any rival before they had a chance to fight back. The result? You never took any casualties ever again, and combat became a chore.

 

Stuff moves too fast, and it's a big problem. There's no logistical planning required, not the logistics stat that is really 'Fleetcap', but actual supply lines and gathering forces is too easy even on vast maps. That kills military strategy stone dead. You never need to plot a cunning flank attack, because you're just flying your fleet in from whatever direction and killing everything in 1-2 turns. The story you're telling about the Snathi fleets should be viewed as a bad thing, bordering on broken, not a great anecdote about this awesome time that I did this - sure, it'd be a cool thing if that wasn't what happened in EVERY SINGLE WAR. It's not unusual. There's nothing cool or awesome or unique about it. If you just got insanely lucky one time and this one fleet that should have been toast somehow survived against the odds, that's great because you know that 9 times out of 10 it wouldn't have turned out that way. But if it's the same every time, then it causes problems; I run my empire on a military shoestring because I know that every 1 of my ships can kill 10, 100, 1000 times as many of the enemy, simply because I can attack 10 times as often per turn. 

 

That's why I'm more or less in favour of end-move-on-attack; it gives the AI the chance to react to a war before it's dead, it punishes the player for excessive engine stacking (without preventing him from doing it - you could still make your 198 move constructor, but the temptation to make warships with 50 moves is seriously reduced when they're not using it) and it would just generally be better for the game than keeping really high movement rate and allowing you to attack many times per turn.

 

Agree with most of this. But be aware that 'Combat ends movement' can backfire and people can defend critical spots with groups of single ships turning large conflicts into micro-management-fests of breaking apart stacks and attacks broken stacks.

Clearly movement should be scaled down because the ability to just dance around a fleet that is stationed next to a world from 20 hexes out is completely absurd. If movement is to stay where it is, then some sort of severe ZOC mechanic needs to be implemented to prevent that. Either that, or an auto-intercept mechanic is somesuch would be necessary (reaction zone or something).

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December 9, 2015 9:37:06 PM from Galactic Civilizations III Forums Galactic Civilizations III Forums

This is a really great thread, I hope that it could be addressed by the dev stream this Friday, or by the devs in general in future patches...

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December 9, 2015 9:49:28 PM from Galactic Civilizations III Forums Galactic Civilizations III Forums

Quoting ,

    • Current "leave my territory" mechanics is just unfinished. So you have a hostile civ that does not like you and parks all his ships near your HW (of course). Ask them to leave? They won´t. Well, what other options do you have? I guess in that case, you should be able to attack their ships in your ZOC without DOW, albeit with big relations penalty.

 

So... I realize that this thread got a little bit side-tracked by the ship movement issue, but I agree with the implied proposal to make war less 'all or none'.  I've been under the assumption that a lot of this will get rounded out in the espionage expansion.  I would like some sort of a 'defend zoc but not be at war' mechanic in general.  I would also like (in the future) along a similar vein more interesting use of bribing 3rd parties (ie pirates or space monsters or whatnot) to run raids against enemy ships in your zoc, running false flag attacks (which would be easier if it's enemy ships in your zoc far from their homeworlds), or causing their craft to defect (via espionage)...

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December 9, 2015 10:31:49 PM from Galactic Civilizations III Forums Galactic Civilizations III Forums

Cold War separating Peace and War. One of the things Endless Space/Legend actually have over GalCiv. You can kill anything that invades your ZoC, and so can the enemy, destroying relations, but attacking cities or attacking in enemy ZoC requires a full declaration.

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December 11, 2015 10:44:09 PM from Galactic Civilizations III Forums Galactic Civilizations III Forums

The problem is with the additive nature of components in general.  Strapping 20 engines on shouldn't be 20x as effective.  There should be some exponential decrease for each new component.

For example, if the first engine gives you speed 1, then the second gives you 1.5.  A third would give you 1.75.

A better engine might give you 2.  And then a second better engine would give you 3.

This would solve the problem for engines AND sensors in one swoop.  It would encourage the building of defenses and sensors on ships vs giant gun platforms.

 

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December 12, 2015 8:20:59 AM from Galactic Civilizations III Forums Galactic Civilizations III Forums

Quoting Simplicity123,

The problem is with the additive nature of components in general.  Strapping 20 engines on shouldn't be 20x as effective.  There should be some exponential decrease for each new component.

For example, if the first engine gives you speed 1, then the second gives you 1.5.  A third would give you 1.75.

A better engine might give you 2.  And then a second better engine would give you 3.

This would solve the problem for engines AND sensors in one swoop.  It would encourage the building of defenses and sensors on ships vs giant gun platforms.

 

 

Such diminishing returns work well for sensors, but not so much for engines; Bigger ships can still fit more engines on than smaller ships and so end up faster and with more attacks, making smaller ships even more obsolete than they are already. There's better approaches.

 

But let's make a separate thread for discussing the engine issue, rather than hijacking this one.

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December 14, 2015 12:06:35 PM from Galactic Civilizations III Forums Galactic Civilizations III Forums

Balance issues for this game are insanely hard...    in a small map stellar folders are silly fast..   but on the bigger maps it still takes FOREVER to get anywhere.

 

a few thoughts.

1 Balance ship speed to map size.   this is simple.  Each engine component has a speed that is a base % of the radius of the map.   Thus if the hyper drive moves 1% of the map  then what might be one tile on a small map becomes perhaps 5 or 10 tiles on the larger maps.   this continues on through the faster engine styles.   make it so there is a 50% reduction in bonus per additional engine...  so stacking crazy numbers of engines makes no sense

 



2.   Seperate attacks from movement.    this can be done a few ways...    A.   have each drive type have a set number of attacks for tech level.  So HD = 1  Ion =2  Warp = 3  etc etc etc...     Or  B. have each weapon have a recharge time...    this way we can have prototypes that have high damage but only one battle per turn....  or low damage but lots of battles per turn...      or you could do research specifically for this.

And lastly...  I think the UP needs to have a treaty that kicks fleets out of your area of influence when war is declared like there was in GCII

 

 

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December 14, 2015 1:45:55 PM from Galactic Civilizations III Forums Galactic Civilizations III Forums

Quoting Taslios,

Balance issues for this game are insanely hard...    in a small map stellar folders are silly fast..   but on the bigger maps it still takes FOREVER to get anywhere.

 

That is kind of the point of a big map though, no? If you want to play a game where you can get ships everywhere in the space of 2-3 turns, play a smaller map size...

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December 14, 2015 2:19:28 PM from Galactic Civilizations III Forums Galactic Civilizations III Forums

Quoting naselus,


Quoting Taslios,

Balance issues for this game are insanely hard...    in a small map stellar folders are silly fast..   but on the bigger maps it still takes FOREVER to get anywhere.



 

That is kind of the point of a big map though, no? If you want to play a game where you can get ships everywhere in the space of 2-3 turns, play a smaller map size...



you missed my point.    I like huge maps.   But I understand why the developers have allowed the stacking and other "exploits"   it lets players overcome some of the time/distance issues that pop up when playing huge maps.

they need to make fixes scale with map size...     something that is balanced for an insane map... is usually not balanced for a small map.

 

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December 14, 2015 7:32:14 PM from Galactic Civilizations III Forums Galactic Civilizations III Forums

Quoting Taslios,


you missed my point.    I like huge maps.   But I understand why the developers have allowed the stacking and other "exploits"   it lets players overcome some of the time/distance issues that pop up when playing huge maps.

they need to make fixes scale with map size...     something that is balanced for an insane map... is usually not balanced for a small map.

 

 

But it should play differently on small maps.  It should take forever to get across oversized maps.  It should play differently with each of the parameters you can adjust.  And "balanced" is a fairly subjective term.  The more I see of this question and the more I play with the various settings, the less I am convinced it is actually a problem.

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December 14, 2015 9:25:49 PM from Galactic Civilizations III Forums Galactic Civilizations III Forums

Space itself should be a huge obstacle on large maps. It's "Insane" for a reason. Otherwise it would be called "Just like Tiny, but with lots more planets".

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December 15, 2015 4:46:01 AM from Galactic Civilizations III Forums Galactic Civilizations III Forums

Quoting leiavoia,

Space itself should be a huge obstacle on large maps. It's "Insane" for a reason. Otherwise it would be called "Just like Tiny, but with lots more planets".

It depends on how game is supposed to be played by majority. Where is a difference between:" we added insane galaxies for marketing reasons and to satisfy that 1% of hardcore players and tried to balance it a little bit" and "our game is next gen of 4X! You are supposed to play huge maps and the whole game is balanced around it". Anyway, it's impossible to balance every galaxy size equally, but right now where is almost no balance at all - some feature simply have no use on larger maps, and others, like stacking, murder gameplay on smaller sizes. 

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December 15, 2015 11:27:09 AM from Galactic Civilizations III Forums Galactic Civilizations III Forums

It should be balanced dynamically so that things turn out reasonably in most setups.

One problem is the technological speed. This shouldn't even be available for the player but be strictly tight to the number of habitable planets - because this number has the greatest impact on your research-strength. Thus, under a tiny mapsetup getting expensive endtier techs wouldn't be worthwhile.

Another approach could be to simply cut the techtrees in accordance with the size of the map, so that overpowered/unneeded stuff doesn't become available in the first place. The missing research points could be distributed among the remaining techs, which would take care that the tree isn't finished off too early. 

Perhaps initiating a battle could cost more movement points, like -5 per battle, which he game should ignore if the result becomes negative. That is, a slow moving fleet could still travel a few parsecs and have a battle at the end of its way, while a superfast fleet that tries to have multiple battles alongside its path would suffer dramatic loss. (it could still travel a long path and hit a faraway target if it just shuns from battles alongside its path...)

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December 15, 2015 11:49:04 AM from Galactic Civilizations III Forums Galactic Civilizations III Forums

2 points:

  1. Limit the number of attacks by engine type.
    1. I really like the idea that Taslios proposed of have an attack limit based on the engine type, rather than the amount of movement left.
    2. Don't stack in any way for attacks; if you have level 0 engines you get 1 attack; if you have one each of levels 0-4, you still only get 5 attacks
    3. Nice way to encourage research on the movement tree, even if the new engine tech doesn't give a direct speed boost
  2. Add penalties to both tactical speed and hit probabilities for any ship with "excess" engines
    1. Think Star Destroyer vs a Star Fury (which can spin on a dime)
    2. One way to introduce a few more tactical decision opportunities
    3. Would give even more weight to carriers, who bring the mass of small, maneuverable escorts and interceptors to a fight, rather than ponderous, behemoths that turn like a barn and are about as hard to hit as one.
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December 15, 2015 12:07:13 PM from Galactic Civilizations III Forums Galactic Civilizations III Forums

In GalCiv II, the components had a fixed and a % space cost.  This ensured you couldn't put on 50 engines and 80 sensors because an engine would always use 5% of the hull space +5.  

I think this needs to be brought back.

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December 15, 2015 1:25:08 PM from Galactic Civilizations III Forums Galactic Civilizations III Forums

Quoting Frogboy,

In GalCiv II, the components had a fixed and a % space cost.  This ensured you couldn't put on 50 engines and 80 sensors because an engine would always use 5% of the hull space +5.  

I think this needs to be brought back.

 

Last I knew, you were as guilty of building sensor boats as the worst of us.  

I hope you don't nerf stacking too badly, I am having fun with a combined survey/sensor boat (with escorts) for dual anomaly claiming and border exploration.  It's not an extreme sensor stack compared to how some folk do it, but it makes me feel clever.    I have had fun with engine stacking after getting a couple of double-your-speed events, one of which I bankrupted myself badly to get.  I had a special transport with a 70 move factor.  I finally could keep my transports out of range of the enemy!!  To me, these occasional extremes, if they can be kept occasional, are the true heart of enjoying GalCiv.  "Hey!  Look what I did!"

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December 15, 2015 2:04:06 PM from Galactic Civilizations III Forums Galactic Civilizations III Forums

In galactic civilizations 2 components scaled for hull sizes I think that needs to be brought back. Changing engines to a percent rather than points also makes sense. Limiting the number of battles a warship can do per turn would work. The biggest unrealistic issue relating to this I can see is life support. Because there is no fuel in galactic civilizations two there is only range penalties. If there were no range penalties, but a requirement of refueling then this issue of 100 moves per turn wouldn't work, because you would exhaust your fuel. This would cause a micro management issue. It would bring a new modification to engines,  and open new technologies on fuel types, and tanks. Also give you new ideas for resources.  Capping the move limit also work. 

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