Some interesting results after heavy tweaking

a place to discuss it

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Kosh2
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Postby Kosh2 » Wed Apr 21, 2010 1:20 am

Thanks Eightball Maniac. Downloading!

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Eightball Maniac
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Postby Eightball Maniac » Wed Apr 21, 2010 10:51 pm

Just note that this version isn't fully tested (or complete), so there may be some strange things happening (like my forgetting to add rebels to several planets in this version of the map!). Shouldn't be anything game breaking, though.

Let me know what you think of it!

LeperColony
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Postby LeperColony » Thu Apr 22, 2010 12:25 am

Thanks EM. Are you still working on it at all?

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Eightball Maniac
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Postby Eightball Maniac » Thu Apr 22, 2010 1:15 am

I haven't touched it for about a year, but I intend to resume work whenever I'm next in the mood for EFS, possibly later this summer or in the fall. I tend to mod different games in phases rather than constantly, which helps prevent possible burnout.

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Postby Kellen » Fri Apr 23, 2010 5:08 pm

First impression, after only 30-40 turns or so (took my laptop with me when I was on call the other day and loaded up your tweaks): man, rebels with dire wolves and assault units kind of suck if you're not expecting them. Heheh.

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Eightball Maniac
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Postby Eightball Maniac » Sun Apr 25, 2010 12:34 am

Rebels aren't such a pushover now! Their presence on the home worlds is limited, but they can surprise you if you aren't aware of them. Each house has sufficient starting forces to deal with the rebel threat, though. This isn't the Rebellion scenario! :)

Which house are you playing as?

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Postby Kellen » Sun Apr 25, 2010 8:10 pm

Initially started out as hazat. Given the amount of starting units I actually made the mistake of weeding my forces a bit, disbanding some of the excess infantry units in order to try and reduce food requirements. And... well, turns out I could have used those to soak up some of the rebels on my home planet alone.
Given the high starting unit count, I was pretty much forced into a rapid attempt to grab as many rebel held farms on both starting planets in order to meet food requirements. Which was when I realized you'd significantly beefed up the rebel forces. I was leap-frogging, using assault shuttles for initial attacks and slower transport for what I thought were sufficient garrison forces. Needless to say, I was slightly surprised after about 5 turns when outlaying cities started falling fast to stacks of 14-17 high tier units. Had a heck of a time consolidating my hold on my homeworld alone.

I would suggest, though, given the forces each home started out with, significantly increasing starting food stocks. I checked, and all the houses start with about 2 turns of food, and per-turn production that is roughly 1/2 to 1/3 of requirements. Admittedly, as I found out, there will be significant reductions in your maintenance requirements through attrition rather early on. But, I think starting with enough stocks at the beginning of the game would be helpful (nothing excessive though)

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Eightball Maniac
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Postby Eightball Maniac » Mon Apr 26, 2010 1:05 am

Yeah, disbanding starting units will probably kick you in the face when the rebels show up. I think I wanted the houses to have a serious struggle early on, dealing with the rebels and desperately seeking additional food sources, but it looks like I took it a little too far!

I'll add maybe an extra farm to each planet and a stockpile of food to help ease the first decade at least. Remember to buy food from the Agoras if you're really hurting, as the League is much better at keeping it stocked than in the vanilla game.

Regarding the starting forces, I think Hazat has it the most difficult in the fight against the rebels. On other worlds the rebel forces are usually a moderate distance away, giving the house units time to prepare. But on Aragon, the rebels only need a few turns to reach Hazat holdings. The rebel forces are also a little too uniform, mostly having only 1-2 types of units per stack. I guess I just plopped some forces down and moved on! I'll adjust the stacks and maybe spread units out more so it isn't always huge stacks storming the cities.

I'm also considering the reduction of advanced starting units in favor of lower tech. On the one hand, having more advanced units at start gives the houses a boost for taking nearby worlds and such. If those units are destroyed, they cannot be replaced until the required technology is available. Valuable relics from the time of the Second Republic, if you will.

On the other hand, there are a lot of advanced units. Possibly too many. They aren't quite so valuable when certain factions start with large stacks of them.

Thoughts?

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Postby Kellen » Wed Apr 28, 2010 2:37 am

The need for resources adding a time crunch factor, effectively forcing early aggressive expansion or drastic reduction in house forces after a rapid consolidation on your home planet is a good thing. And the beefed up rebels make it that much more challenging.
I'm not sure that adding a farm is needed, really. I did a quick check, and each house starts out with around 200-300 units of food/yr maintenance. I would just set their starting stockpiles to allow for 5-8 turns worth of activity. Given that they typically are producing around 100-150/turn, that should give you a good decade or so. So, say, food stocks around 1-1.2k or so.
The point about buying food is true, though, again, each house starts out with about 4-5k firebirds (it's adjusted based on starting difficulty, with the 4-5 on beginner, I think). Which, realistically is really only enough to buy 1-2 turns worth of food. And, at the same time, there is a fairly large income to unit pay discrepancy too. So the current starting cash serves as an extra reason to expand (in order to increase taxes and pay for your units). Provided, of course, that you don't have to use it all to buy starting food stocks.

One other point to consider, if you want to force conquest, I rather liked the way the reality mod restricted engineers (only buildable in factories, and taking 10 turns). It forced you to go out and fight for unclaimed worlds in order to get that extra ceramsteel or chem plant. Now, the build time was a bit much, but restricting it forced the decision between increasing your industrial base and expanding your cities while the build time made it a harder choice. In light of starting with a finite pool of advanced house units, forcing the choice between engineers and troops (at least mechanized troops) makes those initial units that much more valuable and increases the need to husband them as you expand. And, incidentally, it seemed to cut down on AI building tons of random/useless buildings all over.

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Eightball Maniac
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Postby Eightball Maniac » Wed Apr 28, 2010 6:25 am

Some good points. I personally enjoy the present struggle for food, but then I also know where all the rebels are holed up, which removes some of the challenge! :x

I usually do a lot of food buying from the League, which obviously drains my funds pretty quickly. I tend to counteract this by selling other stuff to them. After all, gems and trace aren't all that useful until you get the tech to make use of them!

I'll add some moderate stockpiles of food to both the home world and the colony for each House. The colonies don't presently have any House owned farms or stockpiles, though they do have Agoras. Units on Byzantium II already have a stockpile and a farm, so I don't plan on ever increasing this. I like the idea of the player having to ship in additional food to Byzantium II if it's needed, assuming they play with universal warehouse off.

In regards to the engineers, I've tried a few different methods, including the Reality one. It works pretty well, but the AI usually suffers from it; I was forced to switch back to building the engineers anywhere. Ideally I'd like to have engineers buildable in factories, forts, and possibly starports, but the game doesn't allow this. It's either one specific building or all of them, sadly (though if anyone knows a way to change this, I'd love to hear how to do so!).

So to balance the engineers anywhere issue, they take four turns to build and need 100 credits, 100 food, and 100 metal to build. The food in particular is a painful sacrifice in the early game!

I'll leave the starting units as they are for now, though I might move them around a bit and tweak the rebel forces somewhat. Thanks for the feedback!

Edit: I decided to make a quick update to the galaxy map regarding the adjustments mentioned above, so here it isn't! Dead link removed, yo. And yes, I'll look into a less irritating file host at some point down the line, but this works fine for now.

Edit 2: I also thought of a possible workaround for the Engineers. If it works, they'll only be buildable in the factories, forts, and starports. I'll look into it.

Edit 3: The updated galaxy map had some problems with nonexistent units in the downloadable data files, preventing the map from loading! I've redone the galaxy changes without such discord and reuploaded it.
Last edited by Eightball Maniac on Sun Oct 07, 2012 11:05 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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Postby Eightball Maniac » Mon May 03, 2010 9:00 am

I'm back in the EFS mood sooner than I expected, so I'm working on the next update. Current planned inclusions are as follows:

1. Serious map update. Though I released an updated map in the post above, it was a quick fix at best. The next version will see modified unit selections across the Known Worlds and some minor adjustments to resources. Stigmata has been reworked to better resemble the general troop deployments of the Fading Suns universe.

2. Engineers have been adjusted; they are now only buildable at Forts, Factories, and Starports. Need to test how the AI handles this.

3. Submarines will be fixed so they are no longer invincible bastions against the AI. They will either be disabled entirely or adjusted to mimic other naval units.

I'll update this list as I think of new changes.

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Postby Kellen » Mon May 10, 2010 3:24 am

I missed your edit with the new galaxy file. I'll DL it now and give it a whirl in the next few days.

theonlystd
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Postby theonlystd » Wed Jun 02, 2010 10:53 pm

Hey downloaded the mod to give it a go.. Im not sure how up to date that link is. so you might have fixed it.


But the start is pretty harsh.. Not even enough farms and engineers on my planet to keep it from starving.. Then of course all the troops mean i have no money so i cant even buy food..I could disband them but as said the Rebels are very nasty ...


So get stuck in quite the Rut at the start.


But other than that looks pretty interesting.. Cant wait to see what else you do or if you have a new version get it posted ;)

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Eightball Maniac
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Postby Eightball Maniac » Thu Jun 03, 2010 4:41 am

The link is the latest version of the mod, but you might have missed the edit that gave the link to an updated galaxy map, which you can find in the full download now. Check first post.

If you already have the updated map, I plan on releasing another one in the near future. The new one includes a larger stockpile of food at start to help ease the first decade or so of the game.

But in the mean time, the start is intended to be rough; a player needs to simultaneously secure their homeworld and their colony from the rebels while juggling money problems and food shortages. To help solve this, sell off any excess resources you can at the Agoras. Exotica, gems, ceramsteel, etc. are all resources that you don't really need until you research some techs that use them. Gems in particular are highly valuable, and even a small supply will get you enough firebirds to buy some food. Another way to ease problems is to simply battle the rebels. Battles against the larger stacks will almost certainly kill some of your units, lowering your food and firebird upkeep somewhat.

It's not easy, but once you overcome the starting difficulties you'll have an easier time (unless you're near the Symbiots!).

If you're still having trouble, which house are you playing as? Some have an easier time than others.
Last edited by Eightball Maniac on Sun Oct 07, 2012 11:11 pm, edited 1 time in total.

theonlystd
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Postby theonlystd » Wed Jun 09, 2010 9:40 am

We gave it another go.. Was better the second time with the selling of resources and such. Tho we had universal warehouse on so that pretty much broke the game when you got named to one of the positions..Not to mention there are some balance issues with the map still.. Pretty emepty planets.. Hazat home worlds ruins have big ships and such in each of em ect ect...


So we started another game this time using the default galaxy..

Now we are pondering on how to beef up the Ai... Looking like we'll go into the editor and industralize there homeworlds and give them colonys on nearby ons.More Landers and military units...

Question in your first post you have a picture of stigmata .. How did you do that? Id like to be able to peak at what the Ai has did so can decide on what to give em...


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