Tarnus Harten

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 Dec 19, 2008 - 11:39 am

Title: End of game countdown

Looks like this game is winding down in preparation for a new beginning for the new year.  Seems in the final week or so there has been a little more complaining than usual.  Some players that just started have not played for a while and seem to expect things to work just like they used to.

While we know you think we have made changes to punish some of you, this is not the case.  All the changes you have seen over the past few games have been for the betterment and balance of the game.  Here is a list of major ones that have changed over the past few games:

    No more build kills.  Large players were taking advantage of smaller players that were floating in space.  They would build planets around them, then they were giving the opportunity for a quick kill.  While this has been changed it is not completely gone.  You can still do it, but basing the planets isn't the only thing.  You have to have ownership of the majority of the planets in the sector.  Ownership means you have to hold the planets long enough that the production percentages show on the plant.  This can take up to 4 days.  

    Credits were too easily moved to smaller players.  Team or un-teamed.  If someone tries to take a planet that exceeds he net worth limit it will blow up.  If someone tries to capture a planet where there is a ship that is greater than their networth, the ship will Ewarp away, or will explode if its above the players range.   Team mates can only take a percentage of credits from a team cash planet once per day.  

    Bounties are heavily Taxed.  Another way players were trying to move large sums of credits was to put a bounty on someone and then another player would kill the player for a quick credit boost.  Now again its based on your networth.  The fed will tax based on networth.

    Opposing alignment attacks are deactivated.  Too many large players were pummeling smaller players.  This made it too hard for a new player to get moving and they had no easy way to get back to neutral.  

    Independent Planets go indy more often the more plants you have.  50 planets is the max that there will never be indies.   Tagging planets help, but the chances are just lower that they will go indy and as you get more planets the more chance of indy they will be.   While I really don't like this one as much, the primary purpose is to take the load off the database.  The more planets in the game the more database load, in order for others to be able to run our game on any host we have to set some way to limit that.

    Fed Bounties can be very evil.  3 or more fed bounties in less that 4 days gets you attacked by the feds weather they are paid or not.  You get 5 bounties, you lose your ship,6 and it gets real nasty (I'll have to review the forums as I have forgotten what happens next)



Off the top of my head these are the major changes that have happened.   It has really balanced game play without hurting too much.  Many hate the changes, but if you would just try to play the game instead of finding ways around the limits that have been put in place you can still compete real well.

One of the bright spots was the new probes.  I'd like to see even more probe types as they are soooo coool.  And perhaps we will see some newer ones soon.

I get comments at times, why are you punishing us.  We are not.  We are trying to create a game where its very balanced and fair for all.  If you step out of your shoes a little and think about what is good, right and fair you will see much of these have been put in to keep the game balanced.  Other changes are based on server load.  

Where are we headed?
There are many things we are planning for the future.  I am going to throw out some of the ideas we have had so you can see we really don't hate the players.  If we did, why would we put the time and effort into something that is free and actually costs us more than it makes us.  

Note:  These are ideas, they may or may not be implemented in the next game or a few games down the road.

    Fed Auto Declaration of war.  This idea is to replace the alignment stuff that we got rid of.  The original design of the opposing alignment was to give an attacked larger player some recourse.  Obviously it backfires and didnt work.  The plan now is if someone attacks and takes so much of your networth in less than 24 hours the fed will declare that the attacker has declared war and bounties will be removed from the attacker for up to a 24 hour period.  This way the attakee can return the favor and recover some of his lost property and get a little revenge.

    Trading to become more prevalent in the game.  The plan is to have commodities values go up the father you are away from sol.  So the close in sectors have one price and the sectors on the edge have another price.   Going hand in hand with this is trades from planets with autotrades will reap higher trade values than a normal trade.

    Port ownership.  The ability and supply a port and set pricing on the planet commodities.  Careful not to get robbed.  Its gonna be a way that you can off load extra planet commodities and sell them, and will become another profit center if your port is traded at a lot.

    More commodities, this is actually coded in the game but we have not turned it on yet.  I like the idea of obscure higher value commodities.  Can make trading even MORE lucrative.

    Research and build enabled.  This is the biggie.  I really think we need to get some new stuff for this real soon, after all we have had the option on the planets for some time, would be nice if they actually did something   

    This is just a snapshot.  We will have a lot of work ahead of us.  PJ still wants to work over combat a bit.  I have mixed opinions on it, but we will just have to wait and see.

    Everyone, if you have things you would like to see, feel free to make suggestions, while we dont take on all the suggestions, some of the best ideas come from the users.  Note, anything we add needs some balance, it shouldn't give one person too much of an advantage, and there should always be a counter for it of some kind.  

    Been a while since I blogged...  Been a real interesting fall.  Can't wait for the new year and we can get out of this messy fall


 

Posted Blog Comments


[Dec 19, 2008 - 12:01 pm] Lucky Starr: Excellent... I am always happy with the game... and will play the game as presented by the creaters...
[Dec 19, 2008 - 3:00 pm] Valience: As far as my opinions on the things already done, I like change 1, really don't like change 2, think change 3 is silly (no more point in bouties.. but there never was anyway), think change four was probably necessary, am unaffected by change five, and am unaffected by change 6.

You missed a VERY big one.  Attacking doesn't give you money.  Now, I have to practice building type stuff like planet defending in order to get the credits off attacked planets.  I think it's a pain and that it was better before.  This is a real inconvenience, but I guess it's not the end of the world.  I kinda wish you'd change it back, and I think many would agree with me.  And I doubt too many people would disagree.  We should put it to a vote on that one.  And I didn't have a problem with the whole cash transfer thing the way it was before.  I like team cash.  The single solitary problem is that it provides a way around bounties for small players with big teammates.  I really think that could be fixed another way, without neutering team play, which is really what you've done.

Most of the proposed changes are good.  The owned ports makes sense, but I hope it doesn't become an inconvenience in anyway...

The very serious issue I have with the attacking changes is that as it's been explained before, sector scans become entirely pointless.  As they are now, they can be deceiving, but they're never really pointless.  This would force a person to use probes for even the smallest attacks.  Probes can take over an hour to move!!!  I remember the days I could take a hundred planets in an hour.  Now it'd be five planets in an hour.  I wouldn't have time to play the game.  I'd be sitting around all day waiting for probes to move so I could make sure the sector was safe to attack!  Simply awful...

Debris shouldn't warp people into SGs and sealing an SG shouldn't cost trillions!!!  That's way too expensive and is a pointless burden on a builder.  If you aren't out to punish the players, why not make that cheaper?  I don't think anyone would mind.

[Dec 19, 2008 - 6:25 pm] Kwae Zar: Putting the final "T" back into Alien Assault is wonderful.  "Trading" is a fun part of the game for many and certainly should take players much farther along than it does now.

I would also advocate for some kind of balance for build times versus time to be decimated.  Perhaps smarter SD can be tied to research and also automated deploying SD can be tied to research.

If I am willing to throw my hundreds of trillions of credits into one sectors SD and research it should be a defensive mecca to be proud of and one which I can certainly hope will hold up longer than 20 minutes of being beat on by one ship many levels below its own.

[Dec 19, 2008 - 8:42 pm] Valience: Oh, yeah, I support trading too!  I'd love to hunt down the trail of a trader with 380 hulls (lucky )

I think SD is fine as it is though.  Good attack ships cost plenty already, and I don't have time to attack SD all day when I'm trying to take someone out.

[Dec 20, 2008 - 12:01 am] Tarnus Harten: Research and build will create alot of cool stuff... at least that is the plan.   KZ I wish I had seen your SD before it was destroyed.   That way I could have had a closer look to see what went wrong.  There are alot of player with nice SD out there.  And many come at a cost to the attackers.
[Dec 20, 2008 - 12:26 am] Kwae Zar: It wasn't too complicated.
One sector. 5 planet challenge.

One planet was generating engery and had level 340.  All the other had 300.

The point is, that if it has to be more complicated than that then something needs to change.  I spent a month + building up my sector and some guy found me and took out and IGB loan and took it all apart in 30 minutes.  

Pretty sure Alf and others have mentioned something about this in the past.

I had a cool idea though about tying research levels and SD together.  Short story:  Make the SD research not give as much bang for the buck when there are 100 sectors behind the gate.  Make those people have to research higher in order to support the vast network.  Whereas if someone has a RS sector with 0 SG's hanging off then you get more bang for the buck.  This would serve to protect the smaller players more effectively while scaling with research levels for larger players.

[Dec 20, 2008 - 6:55 am] PhirePhly: Sounds like some interesting changes have been taking place! wow!

I still shudder when I sit here reading the forum and hear the words....P.R.O.B.E....EKK!

Probes and LuckyStarr.....*holding head trying to banish the scary vision*

[Dec 20, 2008 - 12:54 pm] Lucky Starr: You can only have ten Probes now and they are hunted down like little mice...... but they are more fun than the old style probe.
[Dec 20, 2008 - 2:36 pm] Tarnus Harten: KZ, how many fighter did you have in the sector?  Did you have it full based on the levels?   Also, I hope we can find a way to include some of your new player training ideas.     SD is still fairly easy to keep players out.  Ive got multiple levels, well I should say our team does.  and they are a bit higher than what you got.   The plan is to have R&B be able to add to the SD among other things.  


[Dec 20, 2008 - 7:57 pm] Alf: I had over 130mill F/M with 330 Sec Def in RS sector, next level was 50mill+

It was taken whilst I was offline and there was nothing that I could do. I was spending credits everyday uping levels and def.
It was taken too easily as far as I'm concerned.

[Dec 20, 2008 - 10:17 pm] Tarnus Harten: Alf was this before the energy change took place?   If it was before, then 130 mill fighters requires 130 X 2.5 units of energy to hold them up.  So thats 325 mill per attack and run so if your energy was low, it was prob drained and penetrated.  But now, the energy drain is based on the ship size.  You still need energy, but its based on the attackers number of fighters they take out.
[Dec 20, 2008 - 10:58 pm] Alf: Planets had in excess of 2+trill energy each.
I can't work out what else I could have done differently to survive.
Right now I feel that the game is not setup for those players that want to just manage a few planets (less than 30) and defend them. I lost all of my ships as well.

Looks like I have a lot of learning to do with this new code. Sadly with dialup Internet access, I can't play at present even though I am on holiday.

[Dec 21, 2008 - 9:16 am] Tarnus Harten: Back a few games I made it a point to play as a defender only.  To see if I could hold attackers out.  During that game we made some SD changes based on my findings.  That is the reason that the SD Level upgrades are cheaper.  I by myself held off a team of 4 that had access to huge funds for quite some time.  Eventually they got in.  But it cost them about 200-300 tril.    Knowing this I had a backup lair just in case with at least another ship when I did lose the other.    Teams cant funnel (or shouldnt be able to) large amount of credits to smaller players.   So even at the current levels you should be able to hold players out.  

Vals SD blog is pretty good, we disagree with how to set up the SD but he has some good info there.  The best def is a single high level SD Weapons, sensors and cloak, and have supporting SD weapon levels on the other planets.   Do not rely strickly on sensors.   Its the high SD Weapon level that does the damage.  My rule of thumb is sensors and weapons need to be min 20 lower than what is out there.   Example if an attacker has 300 engines and you have 300 sensors, its about a 50/50 chance that they will take damage.  In order to not take damage at all on an A&R that player would need level 320 engines.    The SD Weapons determines how hard he is hit.  So even if you were even at 300s and you had a level 330 weapons, that player is gonna take serious damage.

If we change SD to be even cheaper it will unbalance the SD the other direction creating unbreakable lairs when thats pretty much whats there now.  Some players are more willing to risk it all than I am, my calculations may not be perfect but I thought they were pretty close.    

The approx cost to set up a level 340 SDW, and sensors and seting cloak to 310, and setting the other 4 planets in a 5 planet sector to 300 is: approx 47 tril.   The cost of a ship to be able to break it cleanly: 540 tril  Note I did say cleanly and of course this means the defender has to have good energy and the sector needs to be full of the fighters.    The defender has a better advantage here based on credits spent.  

If I need to take an anonymous defender role again next game I will but I currently don't see that there is an issue anymore.  


[Dec 21, 2008 - 2:20 pm] Alf: Thanks TH.
I had sensors and fighters high for sd on one planet and the others were just below it. I had shields set high for planets as well.
I was so close to just pumping the RS sector and not any of the SG's, maybe if I had then things might have been different.

My biggest problem at present is Internet access as I can't experiment with things. Roll on Jan 12th as that week I should be back up to a decent broadband connection.
One thing with this game that is good is there is no real easy way to play and you still can have choices in your game style / play.

[Dec 21, 2008 - 5:09 pm] Valience: Alf, if you had put the money you put into your second sector into your first, I wouldn't have gotten you.  I barely got in; it was by the skin on my teeth.  Any more SD, and I wouldn't have been able to take it without crippling myself for the rest of the game in the process.  You should have focused on the main sector.

And your planet techs were massive, but that has nothing to do with SD.  As you probably noticed, I didn't even try attacking your planets.  Those planets probably could have podded me single-handedly.  If you had slept on one of those, I wouldn't have been able to pod you either.

[Dec 21, 2008 - 6:20 pm] Alf: Cheers, for the info Val.
That does reassure me. I was so close to just pumping the RS sector, but in the past I had been hit from inside, so I was trying to defend a bit in there as well.
Also I has been sleeping on my main planet, but my internet connection died and I was concerned about just floating in space, so I stayed further down.
Isn't hindsight a wonderful thing.

[Dec 27, 2008 - 9:40 pm] Kwae Zar: Concerning the costs of the SD set up above... you forgot to include for the defender that 1) We have to have a ship too.  2) We have to spend thousands and thousands of boring clicks setting up SD.  {this will be the #1 thing that I hope research will fix} 3) We have no way to instantly IGB ourselves to a win...  4) We can't pick up our planets and move with one click of a button unlike an attacker.

Once found that attacker has weeks and weeks to attack whenever he/she feels like it.  


Attackers are a moving target.  
Builders are not.

Thus the race is really about not how many credits each side has to pump into thier method but rather can one outpace another to make the scales tip.

And currently that scale nearly ALWAYS tips toward the attacker.  


[Dec 27, 2008 - 10:23 pm] Tarnus Harten: I completely disagree.    Sure you have to have a ship.  You need to be a little more well rounded.  Yeah so they found you.  If you take my SD method and layer your defenses.  The cost reward factors plummet.    Val recently got to test a SD, but he paid the price.  It wasn't mine but a team mate that didn't build SD like I do, so Val only had to bust the one layer.  It cost him I would guess near 300 tril to do and if the player had layered rather than focuses on one layer, he wouldn't have been able to get to him.  It cost val dearly.   I will answer each of your points though.

1 - If your a decent builder, you have more than one ship.  You have a building ship and a defending ship.  This really isnt that big of a deal, unless your trying to hide in SOL.  Early in the game I hid in sol while I built my SG, but I was buying a razor, defending, selling it back and headin back to sol.  I could make up the credits from the tradein loss in a couple hours.  

2 - See prev, buy a defense ship....

3 - Sure you can IGB yourself to a win.  When I had someone sniffin at my door, I did this a game or so ago I managed to loan out and bump my SD where it couldn't be hit.  So its a equitable tradeoff.    What had happened in the past was a team could leverage the teammate with cash, but this is a bit more difficult now as they can only take a percentage per day of team cash.

4 - No you  can't but a good builder can easily move and start extra SGs just in case.  Its all about strategy.  

Research and build will add new toys, but remember what ever is added, there will always be a counter for it.  

As far as the scale tipped towards the attacker.  Take a close look at the top 10.  How many of them are attackers?  The top 4 are builders.  The next are attackers turned builders.  So if attackers have such a huge advantage in the game, why is it that the builders tend to finish as the top players?  

Just a note.  I have a 4 player team. Ive worked at moving us all up together and defending together.   I have 50 planets, have rarely attacked.  The only attacking I have done has been when I was attacked.  Other than that I have defended like a banshee.  We have at least 8 layers of heavy defense.  I will finish at least in 8th place before the end of the game.  I've not played with any of the other players on my team, I have actually taken on a training role to help teach em to compete at a higher level... I will probably do the same thing next round.  
I'll be lookin for new trainees next round   





[Dec 28, 2008 - 10:21 am] Kwae Zar: And I disagree about the methods used to determine your outlook.   The game is not only about the top 10 players.  The game needs to be about all the people on page 2-10 as well.

Look at those kills wracked up.
Look at all those planet captures.
Look at all those planet losses.

That's all one needs as serious proof that the balance is tipped toward attackers.

If one is lucky enough to get a chance to build 400 planets and remain undiscovered long enough to get to level 390/400 SD then yeah... of course those 5 people are going to be juggernauts.

But, as Alf said, the game is not tuned for people who casually want to play the game and  manage a few planets.  


I hope one day that the game can be both things.  The Fed Homestead idea could help that along.  5 untouchable planets that will allow folks who just want to PvE in peace.

And/Or the newer idea, the Space Hub a home for mid-sized hull traders...  these people could own and supply ports and trade and basically be left alone (unless of course they get caught zipping around when they are online).

It would almost be like creating 4 distinct roles/classes in the game each with benefits and limitiations,  Homesteaders, Traders, Attackers and Builders.

Homesteaders - Only get 1 sector of up to 5 planets in Fed Space.  Hull size is limited to Fed Space rules.

Saftey: 5/5
Score Potential: 1/5

Traders -  Can own ports, can dock at the Space Hub for overnight saftey but the best trades are in open space and thus the riskest.

Saftey: 3/5
Score Potential: 2/5

Attackers - Tradional seek and destroy. Slash and burn.  Owning massive amounts of planets optional but owning a big bad ship is required.

Saftey: 1/5
Score Potential: 4/5

Builders - Build those planets. The more the better.  1 lair isn't enough.  Nah!  You need more than that if you want to be on the top page!

Saftey: 2/5
Score Potential: 5/5

[Dec 28, 2008 - 12:50 pm] Tarnus Harten: KZ, numbers are deceiving.    Don't forget those big builders have to chase indys and they count as planet losses and captures.  So technically, they are not attackers.  They are recovery experts.  

We have to get to a point where we will have to limit planets and this is happening with indys now.  This is due to the load it puts on the database.  As long as we want to make the game so that anyone can host, then there will need to be some limits put in place.  If we want to take away the open source aspect or make it where only people with a VPS or dedicated server can play, we can allow unlimited planets.  

I've kind of enjoyed seeing if I can finish in the top 10 with a 50 planet limit.  Sure my score isnt near as huge as the builders, but I have managed a very defendable position as well as all 50 of my planets.  All the others have to chase their indys.  I've also managed to finish without a single ship loss.  

Here is a review of the players in the top 10 as far as attackers and builders go.

1 - 102,210,760  Vice Admiral Signs
      This is Moon, he is the best builder I have seen.  His lairs are always well defended and he is not afraid to trun into an attacker when he needs to.  But he is very patient.  Having that many planet is insane.  He's really hated the recent change to indys with the planet totals.  He is chasing 30-50 indys after every indy run.

2 - 99,136,323   Vice Admiral ScHunter  
      Schunter has been around for many years.  He started out as an attacker builder but once he moved up the list he has become a serious builder.  I am unsure of his SD as I have not seen it or tried to bust it, but hes a pretty good hider.  

3 - 76,557,078   Rear Admiral (upper half) Chicken Heart
     Chicken Heart is a builder.  And he learns very fast.  I managed to get a probe in and bust in and take him.  But he made me earn every sector as I was trying to get their ships when they went after one of my team mates.  
As an attacker it took me and a team mate 4 hours to get them all.

4 - 67,106,442   Rear Admiral (upper half) Atos
      Atos is an attacker turned builder.  Most of the game he held his own till the Devil showed up and worked them over.  In the end Atos was the winner.   But now its a building race to hold their positions and they are all workin their tails off.

5 - 58,357,668   Rear Admiral (upper half) Anarchy
     Anarchy IS an attacker.  But he has turned builder and defender.  Its not the position he likes.  His downfall is he doesnt like to attack friends.  So what happens is he is forced into a position where he cant attack anyone.  Not to mention their team has made so may alliances they have no choice but to build.  

6 - 49,135,948   Rear Admiral (upper half) Underdog  
    Underdog is a well rounded player.  Hes a builder and attacker.  He's a little weak on the defending, due to he builds everywhere so its hard to defend.  When attacked he will come after the players.  In time he will get them, but hes taken his share of losses.
7 -   46,412,335   Rear Admiral (lower half) Barbarella Guide
      He has one of the most unusual playing styles there is.  He is a trader, a probe king, a builder.  Doesnt do well as an attacker, but he tries.  You will never get his ship as he likes to sleep in sol with one of the largest super cargos out there.   His ship is so big he can drain a port, fill a planet in a very short amount of time, so losing a few planets isnt that big of a deal to him.  He builds everywhere as well.

Well that as far down the list as I will go for now, but all of these guys are forced to be builders.  Many are allied or on the same team, so really the top 10 is forced to be builders.  None of them are willing to risk their fortunes to attack the other.  WOuld love to see two monolithic teams actually do battle.

I am unsure how having player classes in the game can help or hinder.    Someone mentioned alien classes in the past.  I really thing R&B will create more interesting matchups.  I am hoping we can get some of the trading stuff and the declaration of war stuff put into the next game.  Would love to see more PVE stuff as you suggested I am just unsure how quickly it will make it.  Poor PJ is the main programmer.... I unfortunately have too much work to help him  so we will just have to be patient.





[Dec 28, 2008 - 4:56 pm] Alf: Just a heads up, my main issue at present is my Internet access. This happened just before I was attacked. There is nothing I can do as it is sooo patchy that I can't risk trying to rebuild. It will be mid jan before I can get a better connection (hopefully).
It sucks at present because I would love to be able to put time into the game while on holiday.
I will sign up at the restart, but expect low activity until I get my Internet connection sorted.

[Dec 28, 2008 - 6:47 pm] Kwae Zar: Just wanted to point out one thing again...

You talk about the top of the game and how they get there and then you go on to mention that you would love to see two monster teams battle it out....

And I agree.  I think that AAT certainly needs that.  

My ideas have very little to do with the big boys (the top 20%) on page one.  But rather they bring a sense of "fun" to the players on the other non-page 1 score table.

I understand needing to pick a focus for a build phase and then working at it.  I will just continue to throw ideas out for when the it is time to code for the other 80% of the player base.


Please don't interpret my constant idea flinging as impatiance or irritation.  
=)

[Dec 28, 2008 - 7:21 pm] Valience: Just thought I'd correct TH's post a while back.

"It cost him I would guess near 300 tril to do and if the player had layered rather than focuses on one layer, he wouldn't have been able to get to him."

That's entirely incorrect.  If he had layered his SD, it would have been FAR easier for me to get him.  Each layer would have been weaker, and I wouldn't have had much trouble busting it.

[Dec 28, 2008 - 9:49 pm] Tarnus Harten: But val, even YOU told me had he had another layer, you wouldnt have been able to afford to take him.  You were beat down to nothing.   A second layer and him landed on a planet would have prevented you from getting him.  

KZ, I always like your ideas and we battle back and forth all the time.  Don't take that to mean I don't like ya or like your ideas.  

The 80% of the other player base wants to be in the top.  If we as top players do our part and quit putting together mega teams filled with the best players, then we can start teaching the other 80% how to be in the top 20%.  

[Dec 28, 2008 - 11:43 pm] Valience: Yeah, if there had been a second layer after that first layer as it was, I wouldn't have been able to take it.  But considering he had a finite amount of cash, he wouldn't have been able to put up a second layer AND keep the first as strong as it was.  He'd actually be weaker.  A second layer after the first as strong as it was would have stopped me, but he wouldn't have been able to afford it.  It would have been cheaper to put up more reserve fighters in the first sector, and it still would have kept me out.  Both would work, and the single sector would be cheaper.
[Dec 29, 2008 - 8:23 am] Tarnus Harten: Heh, well Val, as you well know I layer, and make you pay at every level.  As I told you in the message, had he been in our SG, he wouldn't have lost that ship, especially in an SG with teamed sector defenses.  Its my job to make your job even harder


[Dec 29, 2008 - 9:06 pm] Kwae Zar: But - if you fail to get through the first wall of defense the lair is compromised and thus unusable.

Pretty serious krimp in the builders tail.

[Dec 29, 2008 - 11:34 pm] Tarnus Harten: Nope its usable again.  You make the SD planet high level, you don't put any credits on it and they have to nova it to take it, 95% of the time they wont waste the time or credits to kill it.  Then after they fail you just refill with fighters.   Val beat himself to death on the front door so he couldn't afford to take another run at it.    Man, its all about strategy.  Every level I have is just like that, its not worth the time or turns to take the SD planet, usually an attackers goal is to get your ship. 9 times out of 10 if you want to go un-noticed, you bust all the SD out and do not take a single planet till you have the SD cleared to where the good stuff is.   Man, KZ you may have to join as my pupil so I can show you a SD done right




[Dec 30, 2008 - 5:17 pm] Kwae Zar: As Alf and I mentioned before we have no desire to build vast networks of lairs and planets.  Thus I did the 5 planet challenge.  One sector.
Not much to that SD.

I have played in the past where I had 3-5 sets of "door" sectors.  And while people wouldn't get in the first time it didn't take long for the word to get out where my front door was and then soon everyone was knocking on it all the time.  Once people get through the first set of gates and onto the second set its time to pack it up.

But, mostly now adays... I can't physically tolerate doing SD.  AAT is one of the few games that litterally (I am not joking here) cause my an RSI (repetitive stress injury).  After a few days of clicking a million times to depoly SD I am popping pills and rubbing on joint creame.  Seriously.

While I enjoy AAT I don't enjoy it enough to go through that physical pain.  So I am VERY much looking forward to research that will allow auto-deployable SD.

I know PJ has been against this for a very very long time but there really needs to be a better way than hundreds of thousands of clicks to deploy SD.

[Jan 1, 2009 - 11:22 pm] Lucky Starr: I dont use SD until the last phaze of the game and I do just fine without it...
[Jan 9, 2009 - 12:20 am] Max Griswald: "If we as top players do our part and quit putting together mega teams filled with the best players, then we can start teaching the other 80% how to be in the top 20%.  "


Well, I actually have done that many times in the past, and I have been known to pick up new players and help them actually become good (Nexus, Valience, Lioness, etc) and some that don't do so good (Duffbrown).  I've taken a ton of local friends and helped turn them into good players also.  The problem comes from the fact that most of the time we don't know who to trust.  Some players aren't worth the effort due to the fact that we can't trust them.  And as top players, we risk a lot more when we take a step of faith than when a non-top player does the same.  Sure, two average players will learn less being teammed than one average player teammed with a good player, but that is where things such as learning servers and such should come into place.  Or, give us a tournament fairly often, and we can use the main game to help newbies, and use the tourney to put together our good teams.  Either way, we are top players because we want to win.  If we didn't have a desire to win, and be willing to strive for it, then we wouldn't be a top player.  Because of that, we inherently distrust people who can hinder our ability to compete.  Think about it in real life.  Does Bill Gates or Steve Jobs or T. Boone Pickens or any other multi-billionaire just hang out with regular average people?  No.  They flock to other wealthy people.  Who you hang out with influences who you are, thats the first principle of wealth-building, right?  Don't hang out with the negative people and the people with a poverty mindset?  Well, it equates to the game to.

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"As far as the scale tipped towards the attacker.  Take a close look at the top 10.  How many of them are attackers?  The top 4 are builders.  The next are attackers turned builders.  So if attackers have such a huge advantage in the game, why is it that the builders tend to finish as the top players? "

First off, its simple.  NAPs.  People turn builder when they don't have anyone they can attack.  This usually happens when the top players realize that there is a cold war-style buildup, and regardless of who hits first, everyone is going to lose.  So people form NAPs with other top players, and since they can no longer attack to compete, they build.  Shessh doesn't like building, but he had to do it last round, because he knew that in a free-for-all, everyone on his team would lose also, even if they did take the other team out.  The number one rule in the game is that EVERYTHING is breakable, it just depends on how bad you want it.  If the two top teams started a war, their SGs would not be safe.  The only ones who would be safe are ones who had SGs that were undiscovered.  Don't believe me?  How come when joining a new game, the fastest, easiest way to move up is attacking?  I don't sit there and build a bunch of planets to move up, I take planets other people spent time building up.  And I can make the top20 pretty fast/easy.

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"3) We have no way to instantly IGB ourselves to a win..."

I disagree, KZ.  If you understand the IGB, with normal settings, you can get such an advantage, whether a builder or an attacker.  And yes, a loan to upgrade your SD, especially if it is while you are being attacked, can almost guarantee you a win.  Imagine, for instance, someone is attacking you, you have 340 SD Weapons and SD Sensors.  You login, pull a loan, and upgrade to 360 SD Weapons.  The attacker loses his ship 9 out of 10 times, because he wouldn't expect the upgrade, and is going to continue attacking, only this time, he actually dies.

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"But now, the energy drain is based on the ship size.  You still need energy, but its based on the attackers number of fighters they take out."

I'll file this under the "I told you so" headline.  I mentioned the abuse for this eons ago, and nothing was really done.  Kudos on finally making the right change.

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"No more build kills.  Large players were taking advantage of smaller players that were floating in space.  They would build planets around them, then they were giving the opportunity for a quick kill.  While this has been changed it is not completely gone.  You can still do it, but basing the planets isn't the only thing.  You have to have ownership of the majority of the planets in the sector.  Ownership means you have to hold the planets long enough that the production percentages show on the plant.  This can take up to 4 days."

As it stands right now, this is a BS change.  There needs to be a way to make ti work that way for normal things, but if I am attacking an SG and the owner drops below my range while he is just sitting there in the sector, there should be a way to not make my ENTIRE time wasted.  As it stands, you want me to have to hold planets for four days in order to get credits off them (Yeah, and your excuse about limitting planets to 50 due to database strain?  Thats bullshit, because all of the attackers would be blowing their planets as soon as they took them, if they could actually gain something.  Now we have to HOLD planets to get credits off, them, which turns us into builders (And you wonder why builders finish first?  Because all of the good attackers have to become builders.)) So now, unless I already have the funds to HOLD an SG for four days, I can't actually get any money for attacking, AND unless I hold it for four days, I can't even get a kill out of it.  That is ridiculous.

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"Independent Planets go indy more often the more plants you have.  50 planets is the max that there will never be indies.   Tagging planets help, but the chances are just lower that they will go indy and as you get more planets the more chance of indy they will be.   While I really don't like this one as much, the primary purpose is to take the load off the database.  The more planets in the game the more database load, in order for others to be able to run our game on any host we have to set some way to limit that."

First off, I think thats BS, like I said, allow attackers to get the credits off a planet immediately and your server strain goes down.  But, regardless, I saw a comment by another player about having varying degrees of safety in real space, and thought what would happen if those safety levels actually would determine how many planets, or SG sectors you could have off of a real space sector?  Like, say level 10 security (Maximum, Fed-space) you could have 0 SGs and up to 5 planets.  With say, level 5 security, you could have up to 50 planets and a maximum of 10 SG sectors.  With level 0 security, the amount of sectors/planets is only limitted by your patience and wallet.  Keep the same code for indy status as current, but remove the 30% indy bonus over 350 planets.