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How is it possible for the Terrans to exist?

race balance custom races

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Prrsha #1 Posted 07 July 2016 - 09:05 PM

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Many of the races are currently impossible to create or duplicate on the "custom race" feature of the game.  The vanilla counterparts have FAR too many points.  One of the worse offenders are the Terrans.  Let's have a breakdown on their traits and costs:


 

Militarist: 3 points

Strategists: 8 points

Beam Attack +25%: 4 points

Morale +20%: Not listed in custom races, but let's assume 4 points?

Total: 19 points


 

When creating a custom race you are only given only 10 points.


 

If I were to play against the Khan they would have near double the amount of racial points as I do.  How is that balanced?  They are not the only race too that shares this broken logic.  Is something planned down the pipeline to balance this?  Currently I am facing a major handicap when using a custom race against the AI and that makes things a tad difficult to test.  Could the point values for custom races be taken off temporarily so traits can be tested for balancing races properly?



Vahouth #2 Posted 07 July 2016 - 09:14 PM

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As of now, every custom race is sub-par to the vanilla races points-wise. 

The fact that not all races have the same point's cost, is an indication that the traits are not at all balanced.

 



GeneralDirection #3 Posted 07 July 2016 - 09:52 PM

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View PostVahouth, on 07 July 2016 - 01:14 PM, said:

As of now, every custom race is sub-par to the vanilla races points-wise. 

The fact that not all races have the same point's cost, is an indication that the traits are not at all balanced.

 

 

There are two things at play here:

 

1) Yes, you are correct, not all of the traits are perfectly balanced right now.

 

2) Default races getting "more points" is intentional, as custom races give you the freedom to fully optimize a race with the traits you want, meaning you don't have to take traits you don't want--something you don't really have the option of deciding if you play a default race.



KingJohnVI #4 Posted 07 July 2016 - 11:10 PM

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View PostGeneralDirection, on 07 July 2016 - 09:52 PM, said:

 

There are two things at play here:

 

1) Yes, you are correct, not all of the traits are perfectly balanced right now.

 

2) Default races getting "more points" is intentional, as custom races give you the freedom to fully optimize a race with the traits you want, meaning you don't have to take traits you don't want--something you don't really have the option of deciding if you play a default race.

 

This makes sense to me.  I don't mind that the stock races have a bonus to number of stat points at all.  In fact, I welcome that so you want to try different stock races and (incidentally) different play styles are encouraged.

Edited by KingJohnVI, 07 July 2016 - 11:48 PM.


Prrsha #5 Posted 07 July 2016 - 11:55 PM

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View PostKingJohnVI, on 07 July 2016 - 06:10 PM, said:

 

This makes sense to me.  I don't mind that the stock races have a bonus to number of stat points at all.  In fact, I welcome that so that different stock races and (incidentally) different play styles are encouraged.

 

While I welcome that, what worries me is the currently in a multiplayer match, a custom race may always be fighting an uphill battle vs. stock races.


 

If anything should be learned though out the years in the modding community is that players like choice.  Why deny them of that?  At the very least, add moding support so that players can alter the game for custom matches.  If for example, two people wish to play a 8 player match (2 humans and 6 AI) they should be allowed to be able to change their AI counterparts to at least an AI "custom race" so that all points are balanced.  If you need extra points to make the AI an equal opponent, more focus should be given on AI routine, not free bonus stats.  I understand the spirit of the game is to encourage players to choose the stock races that are in the "spirit" of the game, however some races aren't quite true to the "spirit" of the game yet (as I harp on, Mrrshan are an example).  I'd like to be able to at least be able to simulate them in the old spirit of MOO, however that may not be the case now?


 

Sorry to be so critical, but it is far easier to praise work that is already done, then to point out issues that are counterproductive or harmful to a game and address them.  At the end of the day, if you give players options they wish, they will generally like your product more.  A higher satisfaction rate, results in more sales, higher word of mouth hype, and more monetary gains are made.  This can be critical in alpha access.  All of that you know.


 

What really worries me is the Khan.  Are you designing them to be the "uber" race with so many racial points that the dominate the other races?  Do people who pre-order get a free cheese race (which is not even in original MOO universe) which overpowers the others?  I really hope this is not the case.


 

In a separate issue, it is difficult as testers to test race traits when we cannot alter custom races to match vanilla races at the moment to see what needs balancing?  I'd love to see how I could boost the point impaired Sakara to give them a fighting chance in games.  I'd also like to see how Mrrshan would survive if they had the stats they had in Moo2, but I cannot.  Currently the AI in this MOO tells them to build endless starships when their strength (for some reason) lies in ground combat?  Shouldn't they be building lots of Marine transports and focus on research towards those?  What stats can I add to the Sakkra so they do not sit in a corner and rot due to their slow research speed on slow research setting?  It would be nice if the point system was put on "hold" for a bit so people like Vahouth can experiment a bit with the traits and AI behavior in this MOO.  Sadly our hands are tied.  At times this feels more like a beta then an alpha.



KingJohnVI #6 Posted 08 July 2016 - 03:31 AM

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View PostPrrsha, on 07 July 2016 - 11:55 PM, said:

 

While I welcome that, what worries me is the currently in a multiplayer match, a custom race may always be fighting an uphill battle vs. stock races.


 

If anything should be learned though out the years in the modding community is that players like choice.  Why deny them of that?  At the very least, add moding support so that players can alter the game for custom matches.  If for example, two people wish to play a 8 player match (2 humans and 6 AI) they should be allowed to be able to change their AI counterparts to at least an AI "custom race" so that all points are balanced.  If you need extra points to make the AI an equal opponent, more focus should be given on AI routine, not free bonus stats.  I understand the spirit of the game is to encourage players to choose the stock races that are in the "spirit" of the game, however some races aren't quite true to the "spirit" of the game yet (as I harp on, Mrrshan are an example).  I'd like to be able to at least be able to simulate them in the old spirit of MOO, however that may not be the case now?

...

 

I think this is a very fair point.  On some level, I just expected these items to come later in development rather than right away, but I am absolutely all for more player choice; that is nearly always I can get behind.  With respect to Modding support, including the ability to create or change races, this is definitely a plus, and would also serve to increase the longevity of the game.  Games like Birth of the Federation and Civilization 2, the Space Empires games and so many others continue to be played because of the modding community. 

 

As a last point, and just as a slight defense of the Devs at this stage, I would presume that balancing of the main races will come further toward the very end of development, because they first have to balance the traits themselves.  And before that, they have to make them all.  The very last patch added a whole bunch of new traits that weren't there before.  Balancing the standard races right now could result in wasted time and effort until those other things are completed.  Not to say it isn't worthwhile to bring up the issue, but I suspect the balance issues that you bring up will be addressed a little while down the road when the game gets a bit closer to release.



Prrsha #7 Posted 08 July 2016 - 04:21 AM

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View PostKingJohnVI, on 07 July 2016 - 10:31 PM, said:

 

I think this is a very fair point.  On some level, I just expected these items to come later in development rather than right away, but I am absolutely all for more player choice; that is nearly always I can get behind.  With respect to Modding support, including the ability to create or change races, this is definitely a plus, and would also serve to increase the longevity of the game.  Games like Birth of the Federation and Civilization 2, the Space Empires games and so many others continue to be played because of the modding community.

 

As a last point, and just as a slight defense of the Devs at this stage, I would presume that balancing of the main races will come further toward the very end of development, because they first have to balance the traits themselves.  And before that, they have to make them all.  The very last patch added a whole bunch of new traits that weren't there before.  Balancing the standard races right now could result in wasted time and effort until those other things are completed.  Not to say it isn't worthwhile to bring up the issue, but I suspect the balance issues that you bring up will be addressed a little while down the road when the game gets a bit closer to release.

 

I hope so.  The earlier we as testers bring things to attention, the quicker the developers can bring their resources to deal with bugs, balance, support and the like.  I also hope that things can be discussed with the community at large as well so mistakes of the past (MOO3) aren't revisited.  If the game is truly in alpha stage then there is a lot of leeway with what can change and what will not.  If this is just a beta that is being called an early access alpha, I think things like race concepts aren't likely to change (which means the Mrrshan will be the new ground troopers but inferior still to Bulrathi... and yet somehow better at Terraforming... due to their Grassland tech... then the Bulrathi?)  To be honest I am still have no idea what lore concepts the Khan will play in this and why they seem to be headed down the road the old Mrrshan used to tread.  TBH, they really don't have much of a role now that stands apart from the other races.


 

Correct me if I am wrong... and I please hope someone does... but I sort of see the following in the races compared to their old versions in Moo1 and 2.


 

Alkari: Still the best at beam defense and maneuverability.


 

Bulrathi:  Still the king of ground combat... but somehow they have some Sakkra traits now (e.g. love for terraforming and lack of pollution)  It's a tiny bit like they have a Planetology research fetish instead of Construction like in Moo1.


 

Humans:  Same ol' diplomats


 

Sakkra: Still great at population growth, however somehow they suffer at research now.  I know in Moo2 they had a slower research rate due to a Feudalism government, however it gave them a bonus to ship construction time.  I don't see this here.


 

Mrrshan:  In past Moos, they were the most skilled in space combat.  They has in all Moos, a +50% beam attack.  2nd best at initiative checks (Alkari held the #1 slot).  Their old warlord ability, not to be confused with the current one, granted them an elite space combat crew due to an experience boost.  Since there is no experience system in this Moo, this ability only applies to garrison capacity.  In this current Moo they serve a ground troop specialized race but with less ground strength to assault then the Bulrathi.  Sort of a Bulrathi wanna be.


 

Darlock:  Same sneaky race but without the diplomatic penalty?


 

Psilons: Research masters like in previous games, however their low-G ability is a bonus and not a penalty.  G environment races in this game, have no bearing on the outcome of ground combat.  In Moo2, High-G gave you an extra hit point per combat unit.  Low-G gave you a combat negative.


 

Klackons: Same as before.


 

Meklar: Ok, this one is a tough one.  Currently they are overpowered by how the cybernetic ability is being implemented.  In Moo2, Meklar needed 1/2 production point and 1/2 food to feed one colonist.  In this Moo, a mistake was made by giving them half the food consumption rate, but neglecting the fact that they should require 1/2 production point in order to feed their race.  So in essence, they have sort of dethroned the Sakkra in their growth department, by eating less and producing more then most races.


 

Silicoids: They seem to be a work in progress.  They are headed in the direction of Moo2 but are still having issues.


 

Khan (Terran):  Ok, they are not a Master of Orion race in the past, so there is nothing to compare them to.  They seem to have a tad of the old Mrrshan's beam attack (it is only +25% and not +50% but it is still the best beam attack in the game so far).  They gain some traits that the Sakkra had, lower ship costs, but with NO penalty (if you remember Feudalism gave a bonus to ship construction but slowed down your research rate... I see no slow down here).  Tossed into that for some odd reason is a +20 morale rate?  That is something that seems to be borrowed from the Klackon.  Why are they so happy?  Are the daily floggings improving morale?  They seem to have no drawback whatsoever and seem to steal a little thunder from many of the races but with no penalty.


 



Vahouth #8 Posted 08 July 2016 - 02:55 PM

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View PostGeneralDirection, on 07 July 2016 - 11:52 PM, said:

 

 

2) Default races getting "more points" is intentional, as custom races give you the freedom to fully optimize a race with the traits you want, meaning you don't have to take traits you don't want--something you don't really have the option of deciding if you play a default race.

But that's just it, not all races are getting more points than the custom ones. Sakkra for example stand at 7 points while they are still considered among the strong races, even with the uncreative trait.

I found in general that growth, food production and food consumption are all under-costed when viewed in comparison with other similarly costed traits.



GeneralDirection #9 Posted 08 July 2016 - 09:43 PM

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Modding support is planned for post release. The main reason we haven't enabled modding support yet is because we need to get the base game balanced first, and if it was possible to use mods, then it could muddle that feedback and invalidate it at times. Like for example, what happens if a mod that alters the tech tree unintentionally makes the tech victory way easier than it should be? We then have to figure out which feedback is being given based on the stock game and which feedback is based on the modified game.

 

That's nearly impossible to do since mods are client side and we have no real visibility on individual mods being installed; we can only confirm a mod is installed. This is primarily due to privacy laws.



Prrsha #10 Posted 09 July 2016 - 12:38 AM

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View PostGeneralDirection, on 08 July 2016 - 04:43 PM, said:

Modding support is planned for post release. The main reason we haven't enabled modding support yet is because we need to get the base game balanced first, and if it was possible to use mods, then it could muddle that feedback and invalidate it at times. Like for example, what happens if a mod that alters the tech tree unintentionally makes the tech victory way easier than it should be? We then have to figure out which feedback is being given based on the stock game and which feedback is based on the modified game.

 

That's nearly impossible to do since mods are client side and we have no real visibility on individual mods being installed; we can only confirm a mod is installed. This is primarily due to privacy laws.

 

I thank you so much for your response.  I am sure people would be overjoyed to hear that you do plan to add modding support.  A personal thank you, as I am sure this will ensure that the game ensures and perhaps becomes a classic for years to come.


 

An aside though, if points were removed for custom races in this phase of development, it would help testers see what traits are overpowered compared to others.  It would help us also see what combinations should and shouldn't be allowed because combined, they are unbalanced.  Right now so few points are given (10) to test this.  I would assume however that points would be reduced back to normal as the game reaches beta.



Prrsha #11 Posted 09 July 2016 - 12:40 AM

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View PostVahouth, on 08 July 2016 - 09:55 AM, said:

But that's just it, not all races are getting more points than the custom ones. Sakkra for example stand at 7 points while they are still considered among the strong races, even with the uncreative trait.

I found in general that growth, food production and food consumption are all under-costed when viewed in comparison with other similarly costed traits.

 

Yeah, I noticed that as well.  Both in points and their overall strength in game, they are always lacking behind.  Melkars growth eclipses Sakkra in some cases which negates any bonus the Sakkra have, plus they get slapped with a negative to research (something that is vital in any 4x game).

Prrsha #12 Posted 10 July 2016 - 12:45 AM

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View PostEmP64213, on 09 July 2016 - 10:50 AM, said:

 


 

 

Finally your project is not yet mature enough for serious number balancing. You'll have to nail down game mechanics (formulas and algorithms which use those numbers) first.

 

Which is why I would love them to temporarily (until they polish the game mechanics) to do away with the points on the custom race screen (for now) so it is easier to test each ability and how they interact with each other.  Currently it is near impossible to see what effects each ability really has with a 10 point cap on.  To the developers: this would really help us test certain bugs in AI routine and just abilities in general and how they work in a somewhat balanced environment.  This would only help your project as (as far as I am told by you as devs) this game is in Alpha stage, but for some reason it is treated more like a beta which worries me.





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