Galactic Empires (MP Sci-fi Scenario)

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Limabean
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Re: Galactic Empires (MP Sci-fi Scenario)

Post by Limabean » October 3rd, 2014, 9:25 pm

Hi Bob,

So I've been thinking a bit about this and I wanted to share some ideas. The main problem I have with GE is that it takes a really long time to play. I think the main reason is the way population works. In that game we started the other day, we played 4 hours and I had filled up maybe 2.5 largish planets. Most of my planets were sitting empty because I didn't have a population for them. If population growth was faster I think it would speed things up considerably. Another advantage is that if workers weren't such a limited resource, I'd have more incentive to get enough soldiers for planetary invasions. As it is, I don't really get soldiers because a worker tends to be far more useful in the long term.

I've been thinking of ways to revamp the population system completely, but take it with a grain of salt since these are just idle musings. What if new workers appeared based on the number of units already present on the planet. For example, say each planet has a base 'growth rate' of .2, and each unit on the planet adds .1 to the growth rate. The growth rate is the chance to produce a new worker the next turn. So .2=20% chance, .8=80% chance, 1.2= 100% for the first worker, and 20% for a second... and so on. You could then use food as a way to keep population in check: each unit consumes 1 food a turn. If you don't have enough food stored, you could have interesting effects like starvation, or maybe rebellion where they take the planet and turn it neutral (the alien side). You'd eventually be forced to make soldiers and shuttle them off to battle just to avoid overpopulation, so I imagine invasions would become pretty common.

I also have some other random ideas, some probably more feasible than others:
-mining asteroids for resources
-terraforming planets
-using soldiers on transports to board and capture enemy ships (similar mechanics to The High Seas)
-planets moving on a set orbit each turn
-planets giving a gold income similar to villages (they don't already do that, do they?)
When a scientist states that something is possible, he is almost certainly right. When he states that something is impossible, he is very probably wrong.
-Arthur C. Clarke-

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iceiceice
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Re: Galactic Empires (MP Sci-fi Scenario)

Post by iceiceice » October 4th, 2014, 12:11 am

Hi,

Just wanted to chime in on this one:
limabean wrote: The main problem I have with GE is that it takes a really long time to play. I think the main reason is the way population works.
So, I agree that it takes a long time to play, but I think actually the reason is that its very tedious to manage the production of every planet, and everyone has to do this for many different planets every turn, and they can't do it when it's not their turn.

I have two suggestions.

1.) Add ui elements to help with this.

For instance, in the unit bar for the HQ could be displayed the total food / gold that the planet will produce this turn, based on where all the workers are. This reduces the amount of arithmetic you have to do. Also, in the upper right when you mouse over a terrain, besides telling you the coordinates and terrain type, it could tell you how much food / gold it's worth (when applicable).

(Actually in my edited version of GE I have some code to do both of these, but there's a bug I didn't fix, and I didn't touch this for a few weeks. Also it uses lua so it's probably a nonstarter.)

2.) Add an "automatic" planet manager.

Basically I'm imagining something like they have in Civ, so you can set the planet to "food mode", "gold mode", "balanced mode" and it will move the workers as appropriate to try to simultaneously optimize time to next worker vs. gold as appropriate. I actually rarely use the manager when I play civ, but for this game I think I probably would use it.

~iceiceice~

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Bob_The_Mighty
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Re: Galactic Empires (MP Sci-fi Scenario)

Post by Bob_The_Mighty » October 4th, 2014, 10:23 am

I agree the length of gameplay is an issue. I'd like to make it quicker, but I think the population system could be tweaked to that effect rather than rewritten completely. (Bear in mind that each HQ's food target increases by 1 every time a unit is produced, which has a similar weighting effect to the idea suggested by Limabean.)

I propose:
- Lowering the initial food target of every HQ to 15.
- Making every HQ generate 2 food per turn as default.
- Lowering all the science targets.

This would mean planets could be populated quicker without changing the basics (also it's a very simple tweak, which can be adjusted if need be.)

iceiceice, i didn't know you could do that sort of stuff. I'd be very happy if you could provide some code that helped the UI, (lua is fine).
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Computer_Player
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Re: Galactic Empires (MP Sci-fi Scenario)

Post by Computer_Player » October 4th, 2014, 1:48 pm

I agree that we should keep the "flavour" of GE, especially since I think it works already. We just need to tweak it a bit more.
Lowering the initial food target would certainly make the match go faster- and I think that's actually all it takes.
Making all HQ generate 2 food at is also a good idea in this direction.

Would also increase relevance of other planets since their tiles get used much earlier.

The problem is one games play longer you're going to see overpopulation very easily. What happens when some of the smaller planets are full? Perhaps there a way to convert food to gold? Like set HQ to gold production (no more population added, however what would have been 1/4 food is added to gold?)

I however, disagree with lowering the science targets. It would remove the decision of "economy" or "science". More importantly, it would reduce the time in which certain "technology is exclusively in play" so to speak, in effect reducing the impact of being "ahead" in science.

On balance notes-

Mudmonster is almost impossible to kill. Perhaps change it to some other monster?

Iildari planetside has too OP resistances. Its very hard to get electric damage (usually requires a leveled up unit). I think their HP needs reduction, or the resistances need reduction, or something. 90% resist to one of the more common attacks (Psychic) is definitely a bit over the top. A drone could kill a level 2 Psymonster just slugging it out against him until he levels.

I think there was a bug, when my unit leveled up with Darkspace, I wasn't able to use it that turn (it worked ok the subsequent turns though). Question: What if the enemy gets Darkspace? Does this mean he cancels out mine?

That's it for now... still need more games to test out sciencelabs (btw, what about the Labs tech that you can research?)

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Re: Galactic Empires (MP Sci-fi Scenario)

Post by Computer_Player » October 8th, 2014, 5:18 am

Followup:

Dwartha transport can attack offensively (should be defense only).

Edit: Scientists still harvest research points even when injured

Edit2: Orbit(Space) tiles don't activate "Cloak" ability.

Is there a way to get theBMC's maps earlier in the thread? I can't seem to find them in the add-on server.

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Re: Galactic Empires (MP Sci-fi Scenario)

Post by Computer_Player » October 17th, 2014, 5:39 am

Ok so I just finished an awesome game with the latest update (2.9). Kudos again. The replay is attached.
Starting: 2 planets, 1 research, aliens and artifacts enabled.

So observations:

Lots of bugs fixed (orbit), dwartha transport, researchers etc..

The new map added a lot of tactical and strategic depth by making choke points which didn't really exist before. Ion Storm tiles work like water tiles in this regard (+3 mv).

Nebula Impassable is working fine, although we had 1 res at start and thus had access to turbo (+1 mv), so it didn't really block me from getting the southern Green planet the same turns as before, though it does limit direct attack options from home planet to enemy green planet. This I think is a good thing.

The new food and hq settings (+2 food in HQ, 15 starting food threshold )sped up the game indeed and I was able to fill up my planets pretty fast. With Food plant, 15 threshold is further reduced to 7). The problem is that you can't spawn more than 1 unit per turn in an HQ. In Green planets (Josoli and Nittle) which have 4 farmland, just working on those tiles for 2 turns guarantees a surplus of food (30-10 ish ratio), making those farmland tiles useless after those 2 turns (not really much of a problem.. but they aren't as useful as before now obviously). A secondary problem is what to do with the overpopulated planets which being easier to accomplish now allows use of the beaming down bug more easily (beaming down on an overpopulated planet overflows the planet and it instead beams down on the nearest "planetside area" in another planet).

The tech tree is I think a few updates obsolete now and needs reworking. A few issues for example:
- Labs (+1 research points) are too high in the tech tree. By the time you get it, you don't have much to research since you probably beeline for Genetics and Nanotech first. I am in favor of putting this around Warpscience 2 (or W1 + B1) or similar research point.
- Academy (+starting xp for planetside units) - I have never seen anyone use it, plus its too high up for its relatively minor effect. Alternatively, perhaps change it to allow recruiting fighters with gold (this would definitely make it easier to invade without backing up economy too much), though even given this, I still think its too high in tech tree (level 4 genetics). This is because overpopulated (or near overpopulated) planets are impossible to invade / invade succesfully. With the new food settings you get up to this point pretty fast. I'd suggest somewhere around B2 or G2?
- Replicator (+1 food worker points) with the new food settings, it is largely useless since you will fill up planets long before you reach this stage. Perhaps change this to a food -> gold transforming building?)

That's it for now.

As for the replay it has a funny ending. Lots of foreshadowing that pays off in the end.

P.S. The tutorial is similarly obsolete as well, though it works fine enough to introduce all the basic mechanics, it still talks about dmg/ strike food counters for example (though lacking info on how to promote Flagship and the new atk types/ resists.). I think putting the new terrains in the tutorial would also help acquaint the beginner so they aren't surprised when it appears in other maps.
Attachments
GE_Beta_Quadrant_(Computer_player_vs_Limabean).gz
High tension game on new Beta Quadrant.
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Computer_Player
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Re: Galactic Empires (MP Sci-fi Scenario)

Post by Computer_Player » October 20th, 2014, 8:35 am

Bug report: flightlab not working (replay attached).

Iildari against Dwartha in Beta Quadrant. Bug apparently gave me a research edge so I got nanomine working first according to FinnMan, though I'm not sure if it wasn't the colonization schema and research direction that Finnman went through instead (right click menu doesn't work on replays). I am also unable to replicate the bug..

At anyrate, although I was losing the major space battle, I was on my way to eliminating his key planets. gg.

Edit: Minor bug- Lit Caves don't display work resource harvest when you mouse over.

On a different note: Vendeeni Sentry needs some rework I think. Why not allow it to go off planet side (after suitable tweaking)? As it is, nobody is recruiting it.
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Re: Galactic Empires (MP Sci-fi Scenario)

Post by Bob_The_Mighty » October 25th, 2014, 7:41 pm

A new update for Galactic Empires: 2.9.2. Here's what has changed since the last post:
- Got the twinkling stars to work!
- Rewrote the planet code: there are now 6 possible landing spots when beaming down
- It also streamlines the scenario code and makes it much simpler to make new maps
- Ships can now move on turn 1, but work and science doesn't occur until turn 2
- Moved lab and academy down the tech tree (and scrapped lvl5 science)
- Updated tutorial

- Included a great patch by iceiceice which shows food/good for each terrain in the top right, and current production stats for each HQ in the sidebar
- HQs now generate 2 gold all every map
- Dwartha wagon's defence laser is now defend only
- Replaced mudcrawlers with a new alien unit: Adamantine
- New 3p map!
- Fixed numerous little bugs
- Added some new terrain types
- Lowered Iildari troop resistances
Let me know if you find anything untoward.
My current projects:
2p Campaign: The Altaz Mariners
3p Survival: Save The Village

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Re: Galactic Empires (MP Sci-fi Scenario)

Post by Bob_The_Mighty » October 25th, 2014, 7:53 pm

A ton of work has been done on this add-on lately, I now consider it stable and polished. Here's some screenshots to help give an overview of what it's all about.
Attachments
GE-screenshot1.jpg
At game start, the Terrans are preparing their economy on their Green Giant homeworld.
GEscreenshot2.jpg
The Terrans have bested the Dwarthans in a scrappy dogfight around the green planet. Nearby a second Dwartha fleet is massing.
GEscreenshotd3.jpg
All is quiet on the Dwartha farm world of Nittle. Meanwhile an assault squad battles with some hostile braineaters on the mining planet of Ulox.
My current projects:
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3p Survival: Save The Village

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Re: Galactic Empires (MP Sci-fi Scenario)

Post by Computer_Player » November 3rd, 2014, 3:11 pm

New update is amazing :)

Since this is more or less the stable version now I thought it was time to post some tips and tricks that I have gathered from multiple games. This I think is one of the strong points of this era compared to the normal wesnoth, a lot of tacitics and strategies that emerge from the new mechanics, providing even more depth to normal wesnoth gameplay.

Start of the Game.

At the start of the game, you are immediately confronted with strategic choices that would inform your gameplay until the end.
You can group this into four choices (not including the settings of the game: starting planets, research setting, and artifacts & aliens which will be covered later on):

1. Number of Transports. - this is how fast you want to colonize other planets. Since you can only colonize other planets during the early stages of the game, you usually want this to be as fast as possible. However too many and the transports won't have battleships to defend them from enemies. Thus you want a healthy ratio, adjusting depending on how aggressive you want to be in the early game. The exact number varies depending on the map, but on 1 v 1 Alpha and Beta, the most popular configurations are 2-3
transports, though 4 transports is not unheard off, but a bit risky.

2. Population Control - in previous versions, after the first turn, you have enough to spawn one unit. Now econoomy is delayed until the 2nd turn, which makes things more complicated, since you want to take into account that you need / want to send units to other planets to develop them. Population control is a broad term concerning what planetside unit you want to pop per HQ. Broadly speaking though, early game you want to pop drones / scientists since they would be reaping resources. The earlier the better as you can afford it.

3. Research Direction - Early game there are only two branches to be concerned with. Nanotech (gold) and Genetics (food). Now the specifics on how you switch around these is personal, but since you need gold to upgrade HQs, getting N1 for mineral processors first is a must IMO. After that it's fair game though personally I go for genetics until food plant. Of the economic techs, nanotech and advanced nanotech is king, though at 30 gold they may take a while to pay for themselves (even in cash planets). Be wary that you don't lose the space battle too bad while buying HQ upgrades.

A crucial note: At 45 gold Labs might look too expensive, but if circumstances allow it (or better yet, MAKE circumstances allow it) its worth it provided you can get around 3-4 and up scienitists on the planet it's in. The earlier you can afford to get this the better. Having all your scientists in one planet also makes that planet very important and thus protect it at all costs (or at least until you get advanced nanotech)..

4. Free Transport/s Direction.
Since the latest update, you can now move your Free Transports (the ones you get depending on how many planets you start with) on first turn. Needless to say, the direction in which to move depends on the map, but no matter what, it would influence how your empire unfolds. Thus it is very helpful to already know the map before hand (IMO planets should be labeled to reduce the advantage against players who don't know the map). Keep in mind what your opponent may do (especially if you're 2nd player).


Tips and Tricks.

Transport Tricks - as your primary method of locomotion between the vastness of space, transports are important assets.

Transport Relay (or what I call Dwagon relay :P)

You can move planetside units from one side of the map to another in one turn! There is only two conditions:
1. have transports stationed beside planets
2. transports must reach another planet in the relay in that one turn.
Effectively you beam up on a transport, beam down on another planet, beam up on the transport stationed on that planet, beam
down on the next planet in the relay etc. This massively increases speed of invasion and defence in planets that are part of the relay. Use turbocharger as needed.

Orbital Drop


Having a transport on standby near the planet of a planetside battle is advantageous. Aside from allowing a quick retreat should the battle become unfavourable, you could use your transport to boost planet side units mobility. Simply beam up to the transport, move the tranport to the appropriate orbit and beam down to the side of the planet you want to instantaneously move. Also if you make a mistake during movements, as long as you have some mv, you can beam up to the tranport and beam down to reset mv to full.

Transport Heal

All transports heal at least 2 HP per turn (Terran transports heal 4 hp!). Make use of this. Sometimes instead of buying hospital, a few turns in a transport is cheaper while accomplishing the same.

Meatshield

Extra tranports can be used as meatshields in space battles, or when you are in a pinch (most effective with dwartha transport which have high resis and 3-2 defensive retal).

Iildari Flightlab

I give this one it's own section because it is pretty unique. This means you can research even when in transit, which gives you a guaranteed headstart in science. Make the most of this this. Iildari can even add scientists to your attack force with a greater margin of safety since they can just keep their scienitists in the transport until you can drop it in for a kill (thereby keeping it relatively safe from harm).

Space Docks - At 40 gold, space docks are a prohibitive planet upgrade that allows you to recruit ships directly around that planet and repair ships around it. Thus be sure that it's worth it.

When to buy:
When you need to enforce reinforcements immediately.
When you could outmaneuver enemy forces by recruiting on a different front
Special tactical circumstances

When not to buy:
When that planet is undefensible / in danger of falling to enemy hands.
When you don't satisfy "when to buy" - the gold probably could be used for something else.

Having a space dock near a battle opens up a few Tricks as well:

Planet Blockade


If a planet is in danger of invasion, you can upgrade spacedock and recruit around it such as enemy transport cannot reach it. You could also use this to put ZoC around planets to mess up enemy formations.

Quick Heal

If it is important to start healing immediately, you can upgrade the nearest planet for that.

"Pit Stop Surprise"

A neat trick is if you have a unit that starts its turn near a planet that you own or, during the course of your attack, is going to move next to such a planet- you can upgrade that planet with spacedock so that you can upgrade the ship/s passing through its airspace with whatever upgrades that you need (or even flagship promotion).

An expensive tactic, but might turn a crucial battle right around with judicious use, especially since enemy might not expect it.

Against Spacedocks - But what if you're fighting a space battle near an opponent Space Dock? How do you counter or mitigate it?

There are four methods, so be on the look out which of these is most applicable or possible to accomplish according to circumstances.

Spacedock vs Spacedock


Simply upgrade a planet of yours with similar distance to the battle. This means what he can do, you can do too (all other things being equal).

Planet destruction

Destroy the enemy planet. Simple, crude but effective. This would likely take a few turns.

Reverse Planet Blockade

Spacedocks can only recruit on "space" tiles. If you manage to put units around all of the space tiles around a spacedock, it won't be able to recruit anymore.

However to stop upgrading / promoting, you would have to block all passable tiles around a planet.

Invasion

If you can manage to slip a transport next to it, you could beam down and invade the planet, hoping to destroy the HQ and gain control of it. Should you manage to successfully accomplish this, not only will you have eliminated the enemy spacedock as a threat, you would have it as your own asset. It is thus the best kind of counter to space docks. Watch out for spacedocks with weak planetside defenses, they might well be susceptible to this kind of attack.

Teleport

Can be found a bit later at the tech tree, teleport is the only other alternative to transports when moving planetside units from one planet to another.

Needless to say, to use it, you have to have teleport upgraded on both HQs that you wish to teleport between.

Teleport Rush


You can only teleport one unit per planet per turn. However, if you manage to install teleport to enough planets, and spread out your military between them, you can do a one time overwhelming rush to any other planet connected in the teleport network. This is useful for defense and offense (though you have to destroy the enemy HQ first and upgrade it to do this).

Miscellaneous

Critter Trap

When critters/ aliens destroy a player HQ, they gain their own HQ (and any upgrades on the HQ or planet). However instead of workers, these HQs spawn Brain eaters. You can colonize a planet, upgrade it with food upgrades and Hospital / Auto-repair, and then leave. This would ensure that planet would be very hard to colonize/ use by any player later on.

Cloak Assassination

You can upgrade your anti-matter ships with cloak and slowly make your way to enemy key planets / Homeworld. When the time is ripe, strike! Be wary of using this though, since if it fails, most likely you've been setback by how much you invested in it (and given the enemy xp).

That's mostly it for now. You guys know any others?

Bug Report: When you level up a sentry, any other units you have on that planet would lose its ability to beam up on transports. Permanently. I think this is the last major bug gameplay wise. This can be seen in my replay with FinnMan attached to this post.
Attachments
GE_Beta_Quadrant_replay_(Computer_player_vs_FinnMan).gz
Sentry bug around when I level it.
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Andrettin
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Re: Galactic Empires (MP Sci-fi Scenario)

Post by Andrettin » November 3rd, 2014, 8:46 pm

The Dwartha Mothership doesn't seem to be used at all. Will that change in the future? Also, will the "mech-like" Dwartha units for which graphics are included in the add-on become playable units in the future?

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Bob_The_Mighty
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Re: Galactic Empires (MP Sci-fi Scenario)

Post by Bob_The_Mighty » November 5th, 2014, 12:00 am

I enjoyed reading these tips, Computer_player. Good stuff. I'm glad you're getting so much out of it. Sounds like there's no major balance issues left over. The idea of giving players a choice of multiple strategies was the intention, and for me, the fun.

Andrettin, there's plenty of units and images I've gathered in the folder that didn't make it into the game so far. The multi-hex Mothership unit would be a fun ship in a GE survival (I plan to make one at some point) or campaign (I don't, but feel free). As it stands, I couldn't think of a way to include a ship so different to any of the others. Having said that, the whole dwartha faction was left redundant in the image folders before I got round to turning them into a faction.
My current projects:
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ichbinsehselber
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Noob needs help

Post by ichbinsehselber » November 18th, 2014, 8:34 pm

Hi, I am new to your mod / scenario.

I just downloaded the addon Galactic Empires Version: 2.9.2 from http://addons.wesnoth.org/1.10/
extracted it under Wesnoth 1.10.7 and tried to play the tutorial.
But there were several problems:
- did not see a floating brown number (as the tutorial said)
- could not select what my population growth should be
- population growth did not happen

So basically I was not able to play the tutorial.

Do you have an idea what is wrong?

Computer_Player
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Re: Galactic Empires (MP Sci-fi Scenario)

Post by Computer_Player » November 19th, 2014, 5:33 am

Check Preferences if Haloes / floating labels are turned on.

As for the population, I don't know, though there were no workers on food tiles?

ichbinsehselber
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Re: Galactic Empires (MP Sci-fi Scenario)

Post by ichbinsehselber » November 19th, 2014, 11:15 am

Thanks for your quick reply Computer_Player.
In my display preferences the show haloing effects is turned on (checked)

Right clicking on my hq should supposedly allow population control - does not work. The worker is not created as it should. I have only the HQ and the planet.

Tried to play a different scenario. Here I get an error
Lua error game error creating unit with an emptry type field
it is in wml-tags.lua:292: in function ... wml-tags.lua:256

I also tried to download in wesnoth using the add on manager and turning on and off full screen mode.
Last edited by ichbinsehselber on November 19th, 2014, 3:59 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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