Astro Galaxy - a realistic space exploration game
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Author Topic: PVP Balance and New Server  (Read 2164 times)
JamJulLison
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« Reply #15 on: October 15, 2014, 06:08:06 PM »

This would never work for the whole game though. There is a lot in the game that is broken itself. Including the unlimited power of a player. Even if timers were dramatically reduced, it is still going to be about who has the biggest and most powerful ship.  Most of the optimizations will still remain useless. There will still be no need for strategy in battles at all.  The only way to truly allow for real strategy in battles and bring balance is for there to be a limit to the combat techs. Of course this would put more pressure on SirEmi to keep coming up with new weapon, shield and armor techs.  I had another idea that a 2nd server would be perfect for. It would be the perfect test to establish a real economy.

I was talking to Harachte and he told me the main reason he quit was because of the lack of no real economy.  Well here is another idea for the new server. It would actually slow growth and we won't meet the max tech levels for our ships right away.  Eliminate the the buying of resources from Sol. Or rather make it so miners can sell their resources at a market on Sol itself.  This could create a real economy in the game.  Obviously we can't just up and do this on the current server. Those that are further ahead already will forever remain ahead without a chance for the lesser players to catch up. They could easily dominate any resource.  Even once Novas are brought in this would likely be an issue. Also to me it seems fair that if there was such a system added in that everyone starts off at the very beginning from equal ground.  I admit it would make the game a lot harder. But it would also encourage us to interact more with one another and possible to work together.

SirEmi has added a lot of good things to the game. But there is problems that have been around for ages that he just hasn't fixed. Economy and Combat being 2 major problems. Even adding in optimizations did nothing because all it did was make clear just how messed up pvp actually is.  Before it was obvious titan was best. But when an attempt for strategy was added in because of the flaws of the system it made most of those things useless.
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Fenix
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« Reply #16 on: December 28, 2014, 09:09:42 PM »

PvP definitely needs some work, and it has for quite some time, but I have some other thoughts you might be interested in. First of all I'm not a fan of adding a 2nd server to adhere to player desires or for testing purposes, mainly because I've seen that before in games and I've been a part of it and generally it doesn't go well for both the game itself or the player base. Secondly I'm not a big fan of stat caps, it's always been my stance that if you have to cap levels and stats in order to keep a combat system balanced then it's garbage that should be scrapped or redone in the first place. Those are just my opinions though.

I like Raptors idea about how to lower the combat timers. Certainly Jam the combat isn't very strategic or in depth but at least lowering the timers would mean PvP would be something that actually is viable rather than waiting around for a week just to fight somebody. What I would propose is that the timer be reduced based on the weakest ship in an attack or defending fleet. The reason for that is that you wouldn't want to have it so that a ship with 20 mil power gets like a 5x reduction in it's combat timer even though it's attacking some noob with say 200k power right? Basing it on the weakest ship involved would still allow for the little guys to get away most of the time.

I also don't see much point in combat the way things stand now, mainly because there isn't a great deal of consequence even if you do lose a battle. I understand the whole emergency jump system being designed to make it so noobs don't just instantly get wrecked and then quit the game in frustation but at the same time it vastly limits the possibilities in combat as well. I would like to see it where there is a slim chance that the emergency jump system fails (let's face it, in every space exploration sci-fi show/movie you will inevitably have some kind of safety mechanism fail and face certain death) and your ship gets blown up creating a debris field that could contain resources and modules. It would take a certain amount of time to search the field and organize everything to be taken aboard so give it a small timer (say 1/10th of the original combat timer or something) to do that which would allow for a brief window to counter attack with another ship. Of course that would mean you would have to risk another of your ships against a strong opponent but you could possibly get back everything you lost (minus the ship itself) and more should you defeat the opponent and drive them out or even blow up their ship.

I have some thoughts on balancing the combat and making it more strategic and tactical but I should probably put it all down on a piece of paper (or several) so that I'm not just going back and forth between thoughts randomly. I'll try to post it before I go to bed.
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« Reply #17 on: December 28, 2014, 10:32:02 PM »

First things first, some mechanics I would love to see put into the game would be energy for ships, more shield options, more combat tactics, as well as fleet formations. It would make sense to me that energy is required to fire weapons like lasers as well as power things like shields and engines. You can argue that each of those modules has it's own self contained power device but I think having energy be part of the game would add more diversity to the game. I know I've brought that up before on here somewhere but it makes sense to me that it would be a crucial tactic to try and take out an enemy ships power source to immobilize them in combat. So having a module that produces power for the rest of the ships systems just seems natural to me. I can post some specific examples of what I have in mind should anyone be curious, I don't want to take up too much space in this post. (Though I likely will)

Secondly I would like to see more control options for shields. A feature where I could take the total amount of shielding on my ship and say "I want x% of my shields to go towards defending my engines, y% amount to go towards defending my weapon systems and z% amount to go towards defending my power module." This would allow any number of ships that might have the exact same modules on them to perfom differently in combat. It would also mean that even though you might beat someone in combat once, the next battle could be completely different depending on how both combatants change their shield systems to counter act what the other is doing.

That ties into the next part I would really like to see in the game, more combat tactics. Specifically I would like the ability to set my weapons to attack specific parts of enemy ships before others. The way it works now is weapons fire and take down the enemy shields/armor bit by bit and then the damage starts going towards the personel and eventually the ship reaches critical damage and jumps. I would like to see it where I could target say my enemies weapons systems, if I manage to do enough damage to take down the shields protecting their weapons then my next attacks would wipe of the personel manning those weapons and possibly avoid having those weapons fired at me at all in the next rounds of combat. For example my opponent has 20 laser modules of varying levels, I take out the shields protecting them after only 6 of them have fired and then my next attack takes out all of the personel manning those weapons, it would effectively neutralize and stop the other 14 lasers from hitting me during that battle.

That would allow many types of tactics, perhaps you could go all out with massively powerful weapons and try to just take out the enemies weapons before they ever get to fire on you (a very risky tactic but potentially very rewarding). Or maybe you could use a small "kamikaze" ship to wipe out enemy personel manning their power modules and essentially cripple the ship and allow another of your ships to possibly defeat it even though it was originally weaker than the enemy. If you consider my next idea as well then you could create one ship entirely composed of shields to draw enemy fire and then use another to essentially flank the enemy and do massive damage.

One of the things Jam said is something that bothers me in a lot of other games, this game is all about who can build the ship with the most power. I would like to see fleet formations become an important feature in this game, by that I mean a small group of ships working together to perform some kind of strategy that could not be done by a single ship alone. For example I would like to be able to send a fleet of 3 ships into battle, the first and second ship could be a normal mixed ship of shields, weapons and marines, and then have the third ship be a flanking ship with nothing but weapons equiped on it. Basically the first two ships would exchange fire with the enemy like normal and hopefully destroy or force an enemy ship to jump, then if my fleet still has 3 ships and the enemy only has one or two my third ship would basically be able to "flank" an enemy ship that is still recovering from a round of combat with my other ships and basically be able to fire without taking any return fire and do massive amounts of damage.

This would allow tactics for a number of smaller less powerful ships to be able to take down much bigger ships(especially ones that aren't in a fleet). I would keep the limit on these fleets to something small like 3 or 4 ships that way you can't create large fleets of "dummy" ships to protect one large main ship from being flanked. When you start throwing in things like corp members being able to defend other corp members and even other allied corp members (something I know has been talked about on here before) then you could create some formidable defenses without being one of the top 5 players in the game as far as power goes. It would really create a sense of teamwork over coming single powerful opponents you otherwise would have no chance against, not to mention change how we all approach creating a ship for both COM's and PvP. I have more ideas and examples of how/what to change to make this all work but this is getting rather long, I don't want peoples eyes to bleed from reading my walls of text (not too much anyway =p).

Of course idk if any of this is possible with the way SirEmi has created the current combat system. The current problems with it make it clear that SirEmi didn't design it with long term player development in mind so I doubt it's all that flexible right now. I wouldn't be surprised at all if the whole combat system would need to be re-done from scratch to get these things implemented. Those are some of my ideas for the combat system, I've posted some of them before either in a different way or as an incomplete thought, but that is largely what I would like to see the combat in this game become.
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Antilak
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« Reply #18 on: December 15, 2015, 02:38:47 PM »

Hey Fenix what you describe there reminds me somewhat of Master of Orion 2. But that's an entirely different game. Its combat wasn't always tactical, as oftentimes you were faced with an opponent far superior or weaker. But sometimes it WAS tactical. The combat system we have is not like that. But it definitely needs to be more tactical than it's to be interesting. Most combat, as it's, is just a linear numbers game where you gauge the weapon power and shield/armor power of your enemy and counter it with your own by powering down or powering up. That's about all there is. It's mainly a spreadsheet sim. The combat in this game reflects the rest of the game, being that it's a spreadsheet farming sim.

I agree this game's PvP is meh. I basically play it single player and take a hit from PvP once in a blue moon. The problem is players can be so immensely powerful. This creates a problem when they defeat opponents who present NO threat. How do you protect the inferior player from the far superior player? This is by far the most important thing in PvP MMO open world. Usually there're safe zones (with no PvP) and mechanics which discourage griefing in the PvP zones. Other things too I'm sure. Bottom line, few people enjoy to be zerged by a superior force or killed when they're weak or focused on something else.

More and more I find myself not liking the immense differences between high level players and low level players in different MMO's I've played. But neither do I like FPS skirmish matches. There's just no immersion in FPS games. While htey can be tactical and stimulating, they have no permanence. You pop in and out and there's no sense of world or place or character. It's just action. Like sex without the buildup. A heroic warrior without a soul. An environment without substance.

I play in Wurm Online for example, on Chaos. it's open world PvP without any restrictions on who can attack who. This means a high skill player can kill a new player out the door. It's not that which bothers me so much. What bothers me is how much more capable high skill players (or players who spend lots of $$$$) are than inferior players. Sometimes I think the big gap between the low end and the high end just causes problems. It'd be better to shrink its absolute difference while maintaining everything else. For example, skills would increase just as slowly. The main difference is spending lots of $$$ or playing 24/7 will only gain you a small advantage in hard stats. This would encourage new players to work with the veterans. It'd put priority on knowledge, not stats. Stats would still be there for progression, but they'd be less tangibly important. Taken to hte extreme, they'd be little more htan "/played". They'd ONLY exist to show you how long you've played and what skills you've focused on. Other players could view these stats and so get a feel for what you know and what you don't. They'd act like a class designation.

But ultimately even doing that won't remove the fact players who play the longest and hardest will have a bigger bunker and potentially be that much more difficult to defeat. In the end, the game has to somehow figure out how to limit that. One way is to have periodic server resets, while preserving some bank space or something. Or restricting how much a player can build and how many players can build together. This would be a hard (or soft) cap on the size of their bunker.

But too many server resets or too many restrictions and it's full circle and back to being an FPS game. The world needs some permanence. Players need some freedom to buildup their bunker. You want something inbetween.

What of players who just know more about the game, so play better and obliterate inexperienced players? This is similar to the problem posed by the big bunker or the big stats. You can't erase what a person knows. They know all the tactics and this allows htem to defeat an inexperienced opponent rapidly. YOu should strive to keep the standards of excellence high enough so experienced players are still rewarded. This might mean keeping an active watch on things. Whenever a new tactic surfaces, you have to account for it. You want yoru game to be challenging, but not so much the 1% rule. Maybe you could tier the server so more experienced players end up mostly playing with other experienced players.

Of course if your game is single player or has lots of safe zones, these concerns have less import. Also many MMO's use instanced PvP which is largely stat driven and with heavy restrictions on who can attack who.
« Last Edit: December 15, 2015, 03:59:31 PM by Antilak » Report to moderator   Logged

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