| Thursday, January 01, 2004 - 02:36 pm |
I want to go on record with some thoughts about recent and upcoming changes to the game. While Jozi and the game designers have in the past often been very responsive to my email and even implemented some suggestions, I have not recently sent any private messages to the game designers as some may think, but have posted my ideas only in this public forum. Some players will object strenuously to some of my thoughts, though they are not necessarily to my own advantage.
I think that the game is at a dangerous moment. If limits on attacking numbers are removed or if they are raised significantly, the game risks turning into one of those bang-bang space empire games where player teams cooperate to build huge fleets that rove around bashing people. In SC, federations will assign different unit types to specific fed members, e.g. Country A will build millions of drones, Country B will build jeeps, Country C huge fleets, etc. Some of the larger individual empires can do so as well. Smaller players and moderate feds will not be able to do so, and will not be able to defend against such concentrations of power under any circumstances. Even larger feds and empires will find it hard to defend against this. I agree with the many players that war is an essential element - let me stress that - essential element of the game. But I think that there are other ways to loosen up the war-fighting part of the game without SC devolving into another numb bashing contest.
My notions follow in this thread...
(Also, Jozi, I object strenuously to the recent trend of so-called musicians taking great songs and remaking them in cheesy karaoke versions with computer generated rythm backup, Celine Dion mutilating Roy Orbison in particular. I know you can't do anything about that, but since I'm on a rant...)
| Thursday, January 01, 2004 - 02:54 pm |
Any elimination or significant lifting of attack limits should be balanced by closer attention to effective weapon range. Ranges should be examined closely so that they track better with weapon cost and manpower requirements. Cheap weapons should have significantly shorter ranges than more expensive weapons. Much shorter.
If this requires that countries wishing to make war must first fight a series of peripheral wars to move closer to enemies to gain an attack base, then that's good. That is more realistic and more challenging. It means that wars are not a winner-take-all crap shoot or numb-skull bashing unless someone makes a horrendous mistake or is asleep at the switch. Instead it requires significant campaigning and planning, attacking and counter-attacking over disputed territory.
Additionally, if weapon quality and effectiveness is ever instituted, then range should definitely be part of the equation. Weapons should have less effectiveness at greater ranges. Quality of weapons might increase effective range. This will make the game far more interesting and realistic.
| Thursday, January 01, 2004 - 02:59 pm |
Base requirements for weapons should accompany elimination or significant lifting of attack limits. In other words, more weapons systems require more bases. For example, 500,000 attack drones should require more than a single offensive air base. All bases should have limits on numbers of weapons stationed at them, perhaps based on manpower requirements for the weapons. Bases should require significantly more manpower than at present.
This should apply above all to fleets. It is just plain wierd to have tens of thousands of naval air flying out of a single fleet. Will this make fleets more vulnerable to attack? Yes. And that's a good thing. Unless fleets stay in home waters under the fed air defenses then they should be vulnerable to concerted attack. At the same time, naval air should contribute to the defense of nearby fleets (if not country defenses).
| Thursday, January 01, 2004 - 03:04 pm |
As a compensation for the above base requirements, perhaps the number of bases in a country could have an effect on the rate and damage of rebellions...
| Thursday, January 01, 2004 - 03:10 pm |
The economic impact of maintaining large militaries is under-stressed. Again, I would like to suggest that militaries use commodities on a regular basis and moreso in war and/or when actually used.
Further, the game should not intervene to fill in when there are gross shortages of military gear in relation to buy orders. That should be just tough nuts. It's bad enough for the game to intervene when there are shortages of coal against buy orders, but it is a pure invitation for either abuse or unrealistically fast military buildup when done for military purchases. Goodness knows, I use it now but know it should not be possible.
| Thursday, January 01, 2004 - 03:20 pm |
Military casualties, both on attack and defense, should have more effect. Losses should be real.
When units are lost in combat, some percentage of the "workers" should be lost as well. The percentage need not be very high, and it might vary among general unit categories. No, not something hugely complicated, but perhaps something like loss rates of 20% for defensive ground and missiles, 25% for defensive air and all naval defense, 25% for attack ground, 30% for attack air and all naval attack. Not sure how to figure attack missiles and strategic in any realistic way, without getting complicated. Heck, maybe just a universal 25% for units lost in attacking and 20% for units lost in defending.
| Thursday, January 01, 2004 - 04:04 pm |
Single weapon attacks should be penalized; combined-arms attacks should be rewarded. Combined attacks of various ground units together, or various air units together should do better than single weapon attacks with the same numbers. Combined-arms attacks with weapons from different categories (ground/air/missile) should be rewarded. This is just a plain fact in real life and should be included in war fighting in SC at least in a general way.
One way to do this is to measure the number of weapon systems in an attack and penalize attacks which contain more than say 50% of a single weapon type. Thus, at attack with 100% drones would be penalized, but an attack with 50% drones and 50% mixed other units would be at par. Further, attacks with less than 50% in a general category might be rewarded with increased effectiveness. Thus, 49% air plus 51% mixed ground and missiles would get a positive bump. Play with the numbers to increase or decrease the effect, but combined arms should do better and single-weapon and single-category attacks should do less well.
| Thursday, January 01, 2004 - 07:24 pm |
We now have evidence that war is quite literally impossible against large federations. You have no evidence whatsoever that this game is in any danger of becoming a "bang-bang space empire game". Once you do, please come again. =]
| Thursday, January 01, 2004 - 07:29 pm |
At the same time, federation defense ought to be adjusted to make it more consistent with other war game changes and perhaps a bit less overwhelming.
Fed defense should conform to effective unit ranges. If offensive unit ranges are decreased (or adjusted upwards in a few cases) as I suggest above, then equivalent defensive weapons should be adjusted in a consistent manner. Range for fed defense should be individual for specific weapon types and not based on a generalized figure.
Consideration should be given adding a factor modifying fed air defense response rates. That factor might correspond to the military situation of the country sending fed air defenses. The factor could result from damage to the fed country received that month, with countries damaged that month sending less defense in some proportion. It could also be based on the number of damaging attacks on that country that month. In other words, if a country is attacked x number of times in a month it will reduce fed contributions of air defense by y percent. Attacks that do not cross a certain threshold would not count, but any moderate attacks would reduce fed defense contributions. This is realistic and would represent spoiling attacks, feints, and distractions as done in the real world (or "soak-off" attacks for those who remember paper and dice war games).