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Allow me to Illustrate the Star Lane Debate


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Lucian667 #81 Posted 04 April 2016 - 02:38 PM

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View PostCecilPaladin, on 04 April 2016 - 02:11 PM, said:

I would argue that the majority of space games DOES indeed have star lanes.  From the ones I've played:

 

One of the most compelling objections to stalanes is that they simplify defensive strategy and that's not a good thing in a strategy game. The MOO 4 devs have freely admitted to this as the reason for implementing them. Why on Earth should anyone care if Star Citizen uses starlanes? There's no strategy there to dumb down, its a flight sim! Only 3 of the games you listed could even vaguely be considered games where strategy matters. And Sid Meiers Starships was widely considered a really bad joke. Also even assuming that you're right, why should a majority-rule determine what is appropriate for a MOO sequel? All the successful MOO games were free-travel.

 

View PostMOO2MOD, on 04 April 2016 - 02:16 PM, said:

To repeat: A.I. is not a function of Starlanes or no Starlanes, it is a result of programming skills and effort.

 

Exactly!

 

View PostMOO2MOD, on 04 April 2016 - 02:16 PM, said:

And lastly, since we have progressed 4 pages on yet another Starlane thread, the OP's main point still stands firm:

less movement restrictions = more possible strategies

 

Yes, nothing has been said which even comes close to challenging this quite self-evident point.



CecilPaladin #82 Posted 04 April 2016 - 03:08 PM

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I'm having a tough time understanding the point of view of the 2 folks posting about how star lanes are terrible, but they haven't even played the game yet.  I would highly suggest you pickup the game and play a few rounds to see "how terrible" it really is.  Perhaps you will see what a lot of us see, that's it's not really a big deal.

 

Sometimes we have preconceived notions about things in theory, but once experienced first hand those notions change.  The amount of time spent posting about these "issues", could have been used to experience and enjoy the game itself.  Just my thoughts.



Endsor #83 Posted 04 April 2016 - 03:20 PM

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View PostCecilPaladin, on 04 April 2016 - 03:08 PM, said:

I'm having a tough time understanding the point of view of the 2 folks posting about how star lanes are terrible, but they haven't even played the game yet.  I would highly suggest you pickup the game and play a few rounds to see "how terrible" it really is.  Perhaps you will see what a lot of us see, that's it's not really a big deal.

 

Sometimes we have preconceived notions about things in theory, but once experienced first hand those notions change.  The amount of time spent posting about these "issues", could have been used to experience and enjoy the game itself.  Just my thoughts.

 

Duh, games with star lanes are not new, they have been around for decades and moo4 is no different to any of them, worse in some ways. They probably played Sins or Endless Space or Space Empires or even (gasp!) MOO 3!!  If you played one star lane game you played them all.

MOO2MOD #84 Posted 04 April 2016 - 03:25 PM

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View PostCecilPaladin, on 04 April 2016 - 03:08 PM, said:

I'm having a tough time understanding the point of view of the 2 folks posting about how star lanes are terrible, but they haven't even played the game yet.  I would highly suggest you pickup the game and play a few rounds to see "how terrible" it really is.  Perhaps you will see what a lot of us see, that's it's not really a big deal.

 

What could have really baked your noodle is if i would proclaim that Starlanes are awesome and then hadn't played the game. And why would I travel to the moon if I am thirsty?

 

View PostCecilPaladin, on 04 April 2016 - 03:08 PM, said:

 

Sometimes we have preconceived notions about things in theory, but once experienced first hand those notions change.  The amount of time spent posting about these "issues", could have been used to experience and enjoy the game itself.  Just my thoughts.

My posting has been fairly limited last few months. In fact from when this board started I have been posting quite some idea's & opinions & "artwork" about the game, until it went into EA.


Edited by MOO2MOD, 04 April 2016 - 03:47 PM.


forum_account #85 Posted 04 April 2016 - 03:48 PM

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To those who are critiquing the game and haven't played it.  Maybe you should for your arguments sake and also to contribute to the project of getting us all a game we'd like to play; not to say your input is worthless, but it would help your credibility.

 

I am not completely sold on star lanes, but I see how some things can be done to make them a workable solution using cloaking techs, some outside travel etc. that would add some interesting complexity and solve the biggest problem with 'starlanes' which I think we all agree is piling all your ships on 1 or 2 points.  That said, I would prefer if concepts like unstable space, nebulas, asteroid belts, gravitational anomalies etc. were used instead of or in addition to star lanes to break up the map and minimize the roadmap feel.  I am also a proponent of limiting range of ships, I find it a bit silly that one scout on auto can surf the entire map from turn 1.  

 

less movement restrictions = more possible strategies - This statement is misleading.  I don't think everyone wants unlimited range or wandering around in free space for instance.  Some limits are necessary and are put in to focus the game experience.

 

Addressing the micro aspect, they have stated they are going to add build templates, to me that's problem solved.  I never understood why that wasn't part of moo2 in the first place.  Almost like the devs in that game never played past turn 250...

I was dead set against real-time combat at first, but have found the new system pretty good actually.  Some features were added that make it functional and a few more tweaks will make it better than the previous turn based system IMO.

The devs have been listening and are working to incorporate improvements and design changes/additions which I do appreciate.  So far the game is really coming around and if you haven't put some skin in the game ($50) you aren't helping the devs get the resources needed to make changes.  I could end up being disappointed again, but I don't see another quality 4X game coming out anytime soon and this is pretty much my last hope.  
 



MOO2MOD #86 Posted 04 April 2016 - 04:13 PM

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View Postforum_account, on 04 April 2016 - 03:48 PM, said:

To those who are critiquing the game and haven't played it.  Maybe you should for your arguments sake and also to contribute to the project of getting us all a game we'd like to play; not to say your input is worthless, but it would help your credibility.

 

If you think I am in Incredible, you can just say so.

:D

Otherwise I don't see how me being an owner or not raises my credibility.

 

View Postforum_account, on 04 April 2016 - 03:48 PM, said:

 

The devs have been listening and are working to incorporate improvements and design changes/additions which I do appreciate.  So far the game is really coming around and if you haven't put some skin in the game ($50) you aren't helping the devs get the resources needed to make changes.  I could end up being disappointed again, but I don't see another quality 4X game coming out anytime soon and this is pretty much my last hope.  
 

I have bought both MOO2 and MOO3 in shop, when they were finished products and I don't see why I should change that behaviour now.

(note, not wanting to start a debate about MOO3's finished state, but it did come in a fancy retail box with a booklet that faintly resembled a manual)



Lucian667 #87 Posted 04 April 2016 - 04:23 PM

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The idea that someone absolutely must purchase a particular starlane-based game in order to intelligently discuss starlanes with any credibility is frankly ludicrous. There's no way they could possibly implement forced starlanes that I would find even remotely agreeable. Why? because Its the basic design concept I object to, not any specific implementation. Starlane-based games are a dime a dozen and I've played more than enough over the years to know that they are all pretty much identical in terms of strategy and MOO 4 is certainly no exception.

 

Also any reasonable person examines an argument on its merits, not on whether the person who submitted it is part of a select club, especially when what they are discussing is a general design feature common to many games. If I end up purchasing this game it will most certainly NOT be as an Alpha tester for a rather mediocre looking game. I will be buying a well-reviewed, completely finished product which actually turns out to be worth buying. Hopefully.



Omega_Weapon #88 Posted 04 April 2016 - 05:06 PM

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View PostVahouth, on 03 April 2016 - 07:13 AM, said:

Assuming he must attack Shwing system for some weird reason, he can still do it relatively quickly by attacking first the Uxmai system. That will force the Alkari to reinforce their fleets there by moving or dividing those from Altair, thus opening a window of opportunity for a second fleet orbiting the wormhole to attack from the Altair lane.

 

Maybe, but the premise is that "you cannot get through Altair system". Maybe they don't care about Uxmai, or they never even colonized there. Is it feasible to get to Shwing from the Terran Empire in less than 20 turns? Just trying to point out that choke points are a thing with starlanes and Stelar_7 denying their existence doesn't make a lot of sense to me.

Provinfistoris #89 Posted 04 April 2016 - 05:18 PM

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View PostCecilPaladin, on 04 April 2016 - 02:11 PM, said:

I would argue that the majority of space games DOES indeed have star lanes.  From the ones I've played:

 

1) Star Wars Empire at War

2) Sins of a Solar Empire

3) Mass Effect

4) Sid Meier's Starships

5) Any of the wing commander games

6) FTL (small game)

7) Star Citizen (Chris Roberts' new mega game coming out)

 

to name a few.  The original Moos were an exception to that rule and the majority of new games now all have star lanes.

 

1) Somewhat the same Genre but a completely different focus. More an RTS than a 4X

2) Another RTS, with 4X qualities.

3) An FPS. Not even Strategy involved here at all.

4) Basically TBS, but if you call that a 4X I can't take you seriously AT ALL. 

5) A flight sim. Not a strategy game.

6) A roguelike. Requires strategy to play, but not a strategy game. 

7) Not a 4X.

 

How are these even remotely useful to argue in a thread about starlanes in a 4X game. We're talking about the effect starlanes have on employable strategies. 1, and 2? Sure. 4 I guess, though Starships is so incredibly simple, it's not worth mentioning.  It has literally no effect on Mass Effect, Wing Commmander, or FTL.

 

I can't comment on Star citizen having not played or really looked into it, but if my understanding is correct, it won't be a major consideration of your gameplay. 

 

Did you just pick a bunch of games that have starlanes and go see! look! Starlanes work!



Vahouth #90 Posted 04 April 2016 - 05:38 PM

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View PostOmega_Weapon, on 04 April 2016 - 07:06 PM, said:

 

Maybe, but the premise is that "you cannot get through Altair system". Maybe they don't care about Uxmai, or they never even colonized there. Is it feasible to get to Shwing from the Terran Empire in less than 20 turns? Just trying to point out that choke points are a thing with starlanes and Stelar_7 denying their existence doesn't make a lot of sense to me.

But there are choke points and serve their purpose, that is to force border control and contrary to popular belief, also force the decetralization of fleets especially on large empires where there are huge distances from chokepoint to chokepoint. In your example, I cannot see why this far into the mid-game, he would have any trouble breaking the Altair blockade, especially since by the looks of it, the Alkari fleet is not a giant deathball but instead dispersed into 3 systems.

View PostProvinfistoris, on 04 April 2016 - 07:18 PM, said:

 

1) Somewhat the same Genre but a completely different focus. More an RTS than a 4X

2) Another RTS, with 4X qualities.

3) An FPS. Not even Strategy involved here at all.

4) Basically TBS, but if you call that a 4X I can't take you seriously AT ALL. 

5) A flight sim. Not a strategy game.

6) A roguelike. Requires strategy to play, but not a strategy game. 

7) Not a 4X.

 

How are these even remotely useful to argue in a thread about starlanes in a 4X game. We're talking about the effect starlanes have on employable strategies. 1, and 2? Sure. 4 I guess, though Starships is so incredibly simple, it's not worth mentioning.  It has literally no effect on Mass Effect, Wing Commmander, or FTL.

 

I can't comment on Star citizen having not played or really looked into it, but if my understanding is correct, it won't be a major consideration of your gameplay. 

 

Did you just pick a bunch of games that have starlanes and go see! look! Starlanes work!

Yeah, with the exception of SWEaW, those are mostly not 4X.

Still, the vast majority of 4X games about to be released this year, have starlanes in one form or another.


Edited by Vahouth, 04 April 2016 - 05:39 PM.


Omega_Weapon #91 Posted 04 April 2016 - 05:45 PM

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View Postforum_account, on 04 April 2016 - 10:48 AM, said:

To those who are critiquing the game and haven't played it.  Maybe you should for your arguments sake and also to contribute to the project of getting us all a game we'd like to play; not to say your input is worthless, but it would help your credibility.

 

I am not completely sold on star lanes, but I see how some things can be done to make them a workable solution using cloaking techs, some outside travel etc. that would add some interesting complexity and solve the biggest problem with 'starlanes' which I think we all agree is piling all your ships on 1 or 2 points.  That said, I would prefer if concepts like unstable space, nebulas, asteroid belts, gravitational anomalies etc. were used instead of or in addition to star lanes to break up the map and minimize the roadmap feel.  I am also a proponent of limiting range of ships, I find it a bit silly that one scout on auto can surf the entire map from turn 1.  

 

less movement restrictions = more possible strategies - This statement is misleading.  I don't think everyone wants unlimited range or wandering around in free space for instance.  Some limits are necessary and are put in to focus the game experience.

 

Addressing the micro aspect, they have stated they are going to add build templates, to me that's problem solved.  I never understood why that wasn't part of moo2 in the first place.  Almost like the devs in that game never played past turn 250...

I was dead set against real-time combat at first, but have found the new system pretty good actually.  Some features were added that make it functional and a few more tweaks will make it better than the previous turn based system IMO.

The devs have been listening and are working to incorporate improvements and design changes/additions which I do appreciate.  So far the game is really coming around and if you haven't put some skin in the game ($50) you aren't helping the devs get the resources needed to make changes.  I could end up being disappointed again, but I don't see another quality 4X game coming out anytime soon and this is pretty much my last hope.  
 

 

I bought the early access and I've played the game. My previous opinions have not changed since they were already logical and well thought out. I want this game to work though so I invested in the hopes of better contributing to feedback and fixing what desperately needs to be fixed.

CecilPaladin #92 Posted 04 April 2016 - 05:47 PM

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The list wasn't a list of 4X games, but simply a list of games which do incorporate star lanes.  This is not a new concept that magically showed up with MOO4.  I would argue that this "de facto standard" has been around for most of the recent titles that have been released.

 

Lucian also mentioned that games with star lanes didn't particularly have good AI, but I thought the AI in Sins of a Solar Empire was pretty good.  Probably not a full 4X but you essentially build your empire production up and build your fleet.  You move your fleet around star systems (via star lanes) and engage in fleet to fleet space battles in real time.  Instead of stand alone space battles, they could all occur at the same moment in real time.  The maps even resemble MOO4's with the inner system circle representing traveling from planet to planet etc.

 

The concept of Star Lanes has been out there.  It's different for each game.  Again, I'd suggest you actually try out MOO 4 before you pass judgement.  There are some that even once you've played the game, and somewhat are ok with star lanes, would still refuse to acknowledge them because they don't want to me wrong.  You really can't do or say anything to change those people's minds.  I personally don't mind either way, I think both has their own merits.  



Omega_Weapon #93 Posted 04 April 2016 - 05:57 PM

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View PostVahouth, on 04 April 2016 - 12:38 PM, said:

But there are choke points and serve their purpose, that is to force border control and contrary to popular belief, also force the decetralization of fleets especially on large empires where there are huge distances from chokepoint to chokepoint. In your example, I cannot see why this far into the mid-game, he would have any trouble breaking the Altair blockade, especially since by the looks of it, the Alkari fleet is not a giant deathball but instead dispersed into 3 systems.

 

Yes but choke points mean little when you already have the power to bulldoze through them. When your fleet is of similar strength or even inferior to the enemy, choke points are absolute. I like having strategic options to hit back even when my enemy is stronger. I was able to turn around so many games in MOO 2 and defeat stronger empires by using good tactics. In this MOO starlanes decide my strategy and if my fleet math does not trump the enemy fleet math I do not win.

Edited by Omega_Weapon, 04 April 2016 - 05:59 PM.


Lucian667 #94 Posted 04 April 2016 - 06:05 PM

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View PostVahouth, on 04 April 2016 - 05:38 PM, said:

Still, the vast majority of 4X games about to be released this year, have starlanes in one form or another.

 

Once again, just because a particular design feature is popular or in vogue doesn't make it a good fit for a MOO sequel. MOO is famous for its free movement (in both successful games) and they really shouldn't be imposing such a fundamental design change in a sequel. It would be like making the next version of Command and Conquer turn-based or making Gal Civ 4 with detailed hands-on tactical combat. Changes to such franchise-defining features would piss a lot of fans off and rightly so.

 

View PostCecilPaladin, on 04 April 2016 - 05:47 PM, said:

Lucian also mentioned that games with star lanes didn't particularly have good AI, but I thought the AI in Sins of a Solar Empire was pretty good.  Probably not a full 4X but you essentially build your empire production up and build your fleet.

 

I kind of agree with you here, SOASE probably had the least woeful of the starlane AI's, I'd still call it pretty mediocre, although probably no worse than many other free moment games. One thing I certainly wouldn't call it though is superior because of starlanes. Not even close. Also as you pointed out its more of an RTS than a 4x and I dont know how that affects AI programming. I strongly suspect that a more fully featured 4x AI would be much tougher to make.

 



forum_account #95 Posted 04 April 2016 - 06:21 PM

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View PostMOO2MOD, on 04 April 2016 - 04:13 PM, said:

If you think I am in Incredible, you can just say so.

:D

Otherwise I don't see how me being an owner or not raises my credibility.

 

I have bought both MOO2 and MOO3 in shop, when they were finished products and I don't see why I should change that behaviour now.

(note, not wanting to start a debate about MOO3's finished state, but it did come in a fancy retail box with a booklet that faintly resembled a manual)

 

You are clearly incredible.  8)

 

As far as credibility it was more from the stand point of people being vested and offering constructive feedback to get something we want before release.  If you are not interested in the beta process I can understand that.  Hopefully you get a shiny box with an actual manual and a good game that isn't MOO3.

 

View PostLucian667, on 04 April 2016 - 04:23 PM, said:

The idea that someone absolutely must purchase a particular starlane-based game in order to intelligently discuss starlanes with any credibility is frankly ludicrous. There's no way they could possibly implement forced starlanes that I would find even remotely agreeable. Why? because Its the basic design concept I object to, not any specific implementation. Starlane-based games are a dime a dozen and I've played more than enough over the years to know that they are all pretty much identical in terms of strategy and MOO 4 is certainly no exception.

 

Also any reasonable person examines an argument on its merits, not on whether the person who submitted it is part of a select club, especially when what they are discussing is a general design feature common to many games. If I end up purchasing this game it will most certainly NOT be as an Alpha tester for a rather mediocre looking game. I will be buying a well-reviewed, completely finished product which actually turns out to be worth buying. Hopefully.

 

As far as I can tell your 'intelligent discussions' regarding star lanes consist of the same rant and generally down talking anyone who disagrees.  The game will have star lanes in some fashion, as you say you want no part of it.  So why are you are still here? 

Your endless trolling is tired...really, really tired...ZZZZzzZzzzz  

 



Vahouth #96 Posted 04 April 2016 - 06:37 PM

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View PostLucian667, on 04 April 2016 - 08:05 PM, said:

 

Once again, just because a particular design feature is in popular or in vogue doesn't make it a good fit for a MOO sequel. MOO is famous for its free movement (in both successful games) and they really shouldn't be imposing such a fundamental design change in a sequel. It would be like making the next version of Command and Conquer turn-based or making Gal Civ 4 with detailed hands-on tactical combat. It would piss a lot of fans off and rightly so.

 

Not debating that, was merely making an observation.

For some starlanes are not a good fit for a MoO sequel, for some are, and there are some who just give 0 fvcks. :) 



Andruski #97 Posted 04 April 2016 - 06:40 PM

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No one is saying star lanes are new, the question is "do they make Moo4 better?". We all want Moo4 to be better after all.

 

Before the entire point of this thread was tossed out the window via:

 

View PostStelar_7, on 03 April 2016 - 05:49 AM, said:

Enough with the Risk maps,

 

We were able to approach the subject of 'do they make the game better?' using neutral ground that most people on both sides have experience with and can relate to. If we don't intend to try this approach, then this entire thread is redundant and only serves as an opportunity for mud slinging. I, for one, believe the similarities between movement in Moo and Risk are valid, and help everyone be on the same page. 

 

The nice thing about classic Risk as an example is not only that the map can be similar to a moo game (as I have illustrated) is that its core strategy is generally well established and understood by everyone on these forums. You protect your territory by holding the choke points (Australia being the extreme example, though I have since tried to use other continents in my discussion so people don't get bogged down in: 'the game doesn't have Australia's!' ...it happened anyway).

 

If people have played any amount of risk, they understand holding those choke points are key to success, and whether they admit it or not, the way to hold those chokes is simply by amassing as many units you can afford onto the bottleneck(s) ...and then just have them passively sit there. True, the larger the empire, the more possible bottlenecks (Africa vs Australia) but the core strategy is exactly the same: get the choke, hold it with as big a blob you can muster.

 

Is this terrible gameplay? No. If it were, no one would play Risk. 

Is it the best gameplay? No. If it were, then no one would prefer our custom Risk. 

 

The fact is, for the custom Risk game; with 20 years under its belt and hundreds, if not thousands, of die-hard Risk fans having played on it (my dad works at a college), No one walks away thinking classic Risk is the better game. 

 



Lucian667 #98 Posted 04 April 2016 - 06:43 PM

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View Postforum_account, on 04 April 2016 - 05:47 PM, said:

As far as I can tell your 'intelligent discussions' regarding star lanes consist of the same rant and generally down talking anyone who disagrees.  The game will have star lanes in some fashion, as you say you want no part of it.  So why are you are still here? 

 

Actually they might not. You probably haven't been around long enough with your 7 whole posts to read that thanks to fan feedback, the devs are now seriously experimenting with off-road travel so there's some chance - however remote - that forced starlanes might be greatly relaxed or even made optional. It would certainly influence my purchasing behavior if they were. And that should really answer your question, I'm still here because it costs me nothing and the voices of many MOO fans who share my opinion seem to be making a difference to the quality of the game.

 

View Postforum_account, on 04 April 2016 - 05:47 PM, said:

Your endless trolling is tired...really, really tired...ZZZZzzZzzzz 

 

Lol, well that was entirely predictable although I didn't think it would take such a short time for you to completely run dry of ideas and resort to the inevitable frivolous troll accusations. Nothing to see here. Obviously.

 

View PostAndruski, on 04 April 2016 - 05:47 PM, said:

I for one believe the similarities between movement in Moo and Risk are valid, and help everyone be on the same page.

 

I totally agree and I suspect that the reason he wanted to dispense with the Risk maps is that they illustrated your point with way too much clarity.



forum_account #99 Posted 04 April 2016 - 10:48 PM

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View PostLucian667, on 04 April 2016 - 06:43 PM, said:

 

Actually they might not. You probably haven't been around long enough with your 7 whole posts to read that thanks to fan feedback, the devs are now seriously experimenting with off-road travel so there's some chance - however remote - that forced starlanes might be greatly relaxed or even made optional. It would certainly influence my purchasing behavior if they were. And that should really answer your question, I'm still here because it costs me nothing and the voices of many MOO fans who share my opinion seem to be making a difference to the quality of the game.

 

 

Lol, well that was entirely predictable although I didn't think it would take such a short time for you to completely run dry of ideas and resort to the inevitable frivolous troll accusations. Nothing to see here. Obviously.

 

 

I totally agree and I suspect that the reason he wanted to dispense with the Risk maps is that they illustrated your point with way too much clarity.

More posts in the forum relate to what I've read how?

Thanks for proving my point so clearly.  



Stelar_7 #100 Posted 04 April 2016 - 10:52 PM

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A couple quick notes, Omega I'll still get to your longer post when I can take the time it needs, and possible create visual aids, tonight.

 

@Andruski, One reason I provided an actual game map and not your risk map is that the specific examples in your range circle illustration depended on multiple territories with no bordering paths, for which your boats bypass a problem. However the main reason was I wanted to dispel the myth that an empire can hide behind a single choke point with all of it's fleet and be successful. The map I show, has several surviving empires. All of them have multiple choke points to defend, and many avenues of attack to watch, but they also can manage rear areas. It was a rich tactical map.

 

In any case, my point stands that Risk, is star lane movement, not free movement. Your really awesome version of Risk just has more lanes to use and more territories to conquer. It looks like a lot of fun. We are both in favor of more options. I just don't think the case for unlimited movement has been well supported. It really boils down to the balance of power between attack and defense. Given how weak AI defense currently is, I'm not in favor of anything else which weakens it. Especially with the Devs saying that their AI will be worse without the lanes.

 

@Omega, I never claimed there are no choke points. What I said was that there are no choke points which can not be bypassed and are relevant. A powerful empire will always be vulnerable to multiple lines of attack. You can see that on the map, and you should realize the Schwing system is an extreme example. You want to get to it, why? What could it possibly have that the Alkari don't have elsewhere? If they are backed up to those systems than they won't be maintaining a sizable fleet for long.

 

Really that is where my point on choke points rests. If the empire is big enough to have a serious fleet, it needs to be big enough to have to spread that fleet out. If it's small enough to have a single choke point to defend, than it's foes will be able to walk over any defense it can muster with the greater resources available to them.






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