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5X - The Ultimate Balance Mod

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Partythenwork #21 Posted 19 November 2016 - 11:11 AM

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View PostExoclyps, on 19 November 2016 - 12:19 AM, said:

I really like the -50% consumption trait. It strikes a good balance between MoO:CtS and MoO2 where I used to play Lithovore with heavy housing focus to quickly maximize my population.

 

The problem is that my current build I cannot afford 10 points for Cybernetic and quite frankly, the 10% repair bonus does not fit the idea of my custom race to begin with, hence why I always wanted a 8 point -50% consumption trait. For now I took the easy way out and modified Cybernetic to 8, but it is after all a slight cheating as I kinda give myself the repair trait for free, whereas I don't actually even want it.

 

Actually what I was interested in seeing was an increase in population growth on the poorer planets, while keeping the rich as good. Shouldn't make a huge difference for the player, unless they fanatically spams colony ships to take every single planet... which I suppose isn't completely out of question when you can leave the planets to them self essentially as a lithovore. Just wanted a way to buff the AI that wouldn't effect the player. But then again, Silicoid had like 3 or maybe 4 systems if I recall correctly, they really need more growth on that end.

 

I tend to remove the economic and science victory to make sure that the game ends on my terms, but I suppose I could modify the tech tree for my next game to remove the science victory buildings, and as such I can keep that victory without the worry of the game ending prematurely. The extra intel is always fun as well.

 

science victory without the possibility of winning via the buildings sounds like the best mode to play.  it makes the game boil down to basically an elimination game which is boring unless you enable the ability to build advanced star gates then wiping someone out isn't as long since you can use your space factories to move forward to build star gates

Exoclyps #22 Posted 20 November 2016 - 02:15 AM

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Most of my games back in MoO2 I used to win by either council vote (having over 2/3rd of the population myself) or attacking Antares once I got bored of building up my colonies or toying with the AI.

 

Honestly not sure if you liked the idea of Science Victory without the buildings? All it does though is giving you the extra intel compared to unchecking it.



Exoclyps #23 Posted 20 November 2016 - 03:55 AM

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A small update on my progress and thoughts!

 

Score

Spoiler

 

So Silicoids is in war with Terran and are stealing some of their population. Currently all races looks actually quite balanced. I think if Meklars would colonize slightly less in the start, things would end up being more balanced. No Sakkra in this game though, they might have been racing away even more there xD

 

On Another Note

All that said, there is another "issue" that I'd like to look into.

Spoiler

 

As you can see, 83% of my income is from diplomacy. Whereas 78% of my diplomacy income comes from an OP annual tribue system. With the high relations I can reach I'm making like 50-60% profits on those deals. I currently got 3 times the GDP as Meklar. I don't have a perfect solution, but before your game where I had a lot harder to reach high relations due to harsher "decline" punishment it was more balanced, so perhaps see if it is possible to make the annual tribute deals slightly less profitable to counter that. Not sure that's even possible though.

 

Another money related issue that I had was that I end up ignoring a lot of the flat buildings buildings, especially research, in favor for the non-flat due to the high maintenance cost. So I'm considering reducing the maintenance for flat buildings in my next game to balance that out.

 

The last "issue" with research. As you can see I get 62% of my research from diplomacy. I think this is due to a bad research/production cost balance to be honest and I'll just try using the game setup sliders to adjust that for my next game. Since I'm not able to finish buildings stuffs before my next research is finished, using the diplomacy research bonus... This also does make the +60% research that I picked for my race vastly under-powered compared to +50% production for example.

 

Shame Psilon isn't part of the game so I could have seen how they performed.

 

I'll be back again later!



Spud_Dastardly #24 Posted 20 November 2016 - 04:55 AM

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I think I can change how much the AI values tribute treaties so that they don't agree to such high amounts.  I'll have to do some testing with that. 

 

I could increase the maintenance cost for flat benefit buildings, but that would just lead to an even greater surplus.  I could increase the maintenance on non-flat benefit buildings, or I could increase the benefit from flat buildings, e.g. +4 or 5 for automated factory. 

 

I tried to balance the benefit from research treaties such that you could only get 50% of your research from treaties if you had treaties with everyone.  I could tone it down a little more.


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Exoclyps #25 Posted 20 November 2016 - 05:59 AM

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Yeah,  tributes should probably be tweaked slightly. But do keep in mind that while I do get +2.4k surplus, more than half of it is used to renew treaties, more with the research treaty included, so my actual surplus is noway near this high. And most of the flat buildings I've actually not built due to their high maintenance, so in the end my surplus would be reduced while I get more benefits.

 

Overall on that end I'd like to see slightly less income from diplomacy with the counter that flat buildings are slightly cheaper to run. I rarely build Moon Laboratory or Deep-Sea Cooling due to the high maintenance compared to the other research buildings. So reducing those as well as the starting buildings (Research Lab, Automatic Factory as well as Hydroponic Farm) by 1 each would go a long way in terms of balancing things I think.

 

Also I don't think research from treaties are too strong. I'm on good terms with all 8 alien species and got treaties with them, so getting quite a bit there is fine imo. The problem is that I got like only a fraction of my own people researching. Which is due to the fact that I can't keep up in construction. Which is something I'll try tweak with sliders my next game.



Exoclyps #26 Posted 20 November 2016 - 08:01 AM

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So I started to check into tweaking the few things that bothered me and I just realized that the base income vs maintenance layout is actually mostly good, compared to MoO2. The problem is elsewhere.

 

As the base income is 3bc per population a 3 times the income compared to MoO2 numbers like 2 maintenance for the starting buildings (Research Lab, Automatic Factory and Hydroponic Farm) seems fair. I still do feel that reducing both Moon Laboratory and Deep-Sea Cooling by 1 each would hit the sweet spot.

 

The biggest problem I just realized is due to Trade Goods and Tax. In MoO2 you could increase tax by using production, which you essentially can now as well, but the problem is that in MoO2 morale also increased tax by default.

I used Trade Goods to cover my negative income back in MoO2, which is sadly not an option here as you've got two problems.

1) Things cost more in MoO:CtS, in general twice as much.

2) You got a lot less production in MoO:CtS.

So one cell put on Trade Goods in MoO:CtS generates a fraction of "gross profit" compared to MoO2.

 

Also there is the issue with the +money buildings that you improved upon when you buffed Space Port. In MoO2 with everything built up I get 4.3 times the base income. In MoO:CtS I get 2.5 (or 3.5 on the planet with Stock Exchange) times the income not counting increased tax. Okay, so not thaat far off I suppose since you can safely increase tax by 33% with the Virtual Reality Network.

 

Before I realized that you're making quite decently in the current setup I kinda wanted to change the money buildings to give an increasing bonus:
Colonial Revenue: +1 per pop
Space Port: +2 per pop (had thoughts about giving it +100% to trade goods as well, but this would make it an insanely rewarding building)

Planetary Stock Exchange: +3 per pop

 

But I realized this would probably make income a bit too good? My main beef is that I want more "in house" income compared to diplomatic income.

Perhaps the problem is part from the uselessness of Trade Goods.

 

To make Trade Goods work, you need 2 things.

1) Good Production to Money conversion rate.

2) Planets who can actually spare the "production slot" to Trade Goods.

 

To solve #1 you could add a +% Trade Goods bonus on the current financial buildings (the +100% to spaceport), or outright increase the output on trade goods. In MoO2 the production from a good planet is like 10 times the production of a good planet on MoO:CtS... so yeah. Even if 50% of production is turned into Money back in MoO2, with 10 times the production you're making 5 times the money, in a game where base income is a 3rd. So essentially you're pushing out 15 times the base income. But then again, perhaps trade goods in MoO2 was too good, a balance is important here.

 

To solve #2 you need to rebalance the who production/research costs so people actually got planets that can produce trade goods. I'm personally gonna try a Very Fast Production vs Very Slow setup next game to see how that feels.

 

In terms of the money from diplomacy. I honestly want that heavily reduced. Currently I feel restricted from causing bad relationships due to the fact that 70% of my net income is from diplomacy (and that's taking the cost of generating the deals into consideration. Not doing so currently 82% is from diplomacy). Ideally I'd like to see the Tribute heavily reduced in favor of Trade Goods made viable. If tribute is put into the range of "I'll make the cash I give you to invest into these treaties back", then things would be better I think.

 

 

TL;DR:
Nerf Tribute. Buff Trade Goods. xD


Edited by Exoclyps, 20 November 2016 - 08:12 AM.


jasonwclark #27 Posted 20 November 2016 - 08:18 AM

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Just out of curiosity, which difficulty setting do you guys like to use? Is everyone rocking impossible?

 

I'm currently playing a 5X game as the Bulrathi on Impossible, and it's been pretty damn satisfying. Started with Pre-Warp in a known galaxy, medium Circle, with economic and tech victory off, unchecked balanced start.

 

I saved the game when I hit turn 200, just before launching my first major war against the Klackons, and had to scrub reload 6 times from that save before I was actually able to defeat them! This is a definite first since I started playing MOO. Before 5X, even after a major setback on Extreme, I was generally able to recover after 50 turns. But in this one, the Hive was knocking down the doors and doing homeworld invasion type shit. Forcing me back to the drawing board each time. It's been glorious!

 

My impression is that you can do a lot of expansion early on, limited only by your ability to spam transports. In the colonizing phase, it's fairly simple to pick an enemy and sweep their systems right out the gate. (In my case I knocked off the Silicoids like this, in short order.) But the situation changes dramatically as soon as your rivals start putting up missile bases. 

 

Once that happens, you go from sweeping multiple systems or even a whole enemy empire, down to bloody fights over individual planets. The required number of warships to wage an effective war goes up considerably, and this situation is maintained even after you unlock battleships and titans, owing to enemy orbital batteries, upgrades to star fortresses etc.

 

This is the sort of game I've been waiting to play! I'm loving the balance right now. Instead of toying with my rivals, and playing favorites, it's like a legit battle for survival!

 

I've heard others express some disappointment with the vanilla AI post patch. Particularly with the colony spam. I think that might be due in part to a general preference among players to game on Huge galaxies, since that necessarily extends the colonization phase and makes the AI easier to exploit. But playing on a Medium galaxy, once the colonization phase is over, and the AI shifts to defense, I find that it is kicking ass all over the place. The second rival is much harder to defeat than the first. I love it!

It would be hard to overstate what a difference the strong empire defense tweaks have made to my enjoyment of the game.

 

I'm half tempted to dial it back from Impossible, because right now the new difficulty setting seems to have done the trick. I'm fighting just to tread water at the half way point haha. Genius!

 

Everyone who's been frustrated with the vanilla AI needs to get this mod, and see how the AI performs under the beefed up defense conditions. It's a major improvement.

 

 

 

 



Laegad #28 Posted 20 November 2016 - 01:52 PM

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Some return about last version and/or this mod.

 

I don't played with lastest version without this mod yet, so for some points i don't know if it is a mod problem or a "original" game problem.

I put some tag :

[MOD]=mod problem i thing

[GAME]=perhaps this problem is from the game, and not the mod ?

[???]= I don't know

 

Game parameter:

Human, Galaxy circle / large / average / Planet density normal / Starting age pre-warp / Difficulty extreme / 8 opponents / Classic

All the rest by default but no random event because supernova on new colony is not compatible with a good game.

 

- [MOD] Pollution system : I like it. It is not a problem but we should take into account this, and micromanage. I hope that AI can deal with (this will surprise me).

- [GAME] Silicoid always build foor production building. this was reported several time before the release... IA build according to a generic way. For lot of race the effect is not important, but for the silicoid it is catastrophic.

- [???]: AI seem not to build marine barrack (or very few), so when you invade you have no resistance.

- [MOD]: Astro University is tagged "System unique" in the text, but it is not.

- [MOD]: As a human a can chain trade and research treaties... perhaps this mod grealty upgrade this race ?

 

[???] - [GAME ?] And the worst :

AI is too passive. During pre-release i remember game where AI was more agressive, coming to my system with ship stack, early, and during all the game.

Today i play on extrem and all AI i attack... its cut like butter... i don't know yet if it is a mod problem or a game problem. To see this i will test a game without the mod.

 

[Edit]: Just begin a game without this mod.. AI silicoid with 12 frigates at turn 50 on pre-warp.... This is ok :D ... So, something with this mod "nerf / break" the AI...

@ Spud : There are lot of good thing on this mod (like the colonial base). Perhaps you should split this mod on several littles one ?


Edited by Laegad, 20 November 2016 - 02:32 PM.


Spud_Dastardly #29 Posted 20 November 2016 - 03:53 PM

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Thanks for the feedback everyone.  

Exoclyps - I'm planning on buffing trade goods output to 2 BC per production and reducing the benefit from trade treaties further as you suggest.  I'll reduce the maintenance by 1 on those buildings as well.  However, I don't think it's wise to increase the money generation from those buildings any further.  I think if I make trade goods worth building, then people will be able to satisfy any money needs they have.  

 

Jasonwclark - I'm glad you're enjoying Impossible.  Hopefully they'll tone down the colony spam in the next patch.

 

Laegad - There's nothing I can do about the Silicoid building food buildings of course.  I think AI changes in the recent patch cause them to not be inclined to build marine barracks.  Thanks for reporting the Astro University issue; it will be fixed in the next update which will be released after the DLC update.  As for the humans, they don't really have a lot else going for them.  Right now they are a diplomacy/income/research race.  The AI seems to do alright with the build, though I haven't tried playing them myself.  

 

As for the AI being too passive, this is probably both the fault of my mod and the most recent patch.  The most recent patch has the AI colony spamming and not building fleets until later.  On the other hand, since my mod boosts empire defenses, the AI is probably less likely to start wars since it's harder to conquer races now.  I will tweak their AI settings to have them build more ships and be more aggressive, but I need to see what changes are made to the AI in the next patch first so my work doesn't become totally unbalanced again by the devs' changes.  The Silicoids currently have the highest inclination among the races to build a fleet.

 

As for splitting the mod up, that is something I'd rather avoid.  I look at the epic MoO2 mods out there, of which there are just a handful such as VDC and ICE, and I want to make a big overhaul to the game like that.  On the other hand if you look at the Steam workshop, it's a smattering of minor mods, some that don't work, and some that do the same thing as other mods like all of those "cheap race perks" or "200 custom race points" mods.  There are benefits to combining my five original mods together; for example combining my tech tree mod and strong empire defense mod allowed for the implementation of upgrades to the missile base and orbital defense. Of course, everyone is free to get my modded yaml files on NexusMods and make any small changes they want.  Someone has already uploaded a mod that just has the volcanic cooling tech added, for example.


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Exoclyps #30 Posted 21 November 2016 - 02:36 AM

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Just as a heads up. I noticed that I had accidentally reverted the output reward to vanilla for Trade Treaties when I reverted the length to 20 (all other deals are still 20 so found it annoying to separate). Also, what I wanted nerfed was the Tributes not Trade Treaties. Being able to get 100 BC a turn for a 1200-1300 BC lump sum is way to rewarding.

 

On another note, you might want to look into the anomalies. Feels like 2/3rd of the things I find is just space factories, which is kinda boring.

 

Also, just had to mention! I upped the resources to 5 on my game to test that out, and I've been really enjoying it. Now finding planets with resources are exciting.


Edited by Exoclyps, 21 November 2016 - 03:12 AM.


Spud_Dastardly #31 Posted 21 November 2016 - 04:08 AM

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Ah yes, I meant tribute treaties.  

 

As for anomalies, there are four rounds of anomaly spawns that have a possibility of a space factory find: turns 30, 50, 75, and 105.  The probability of finding a ship is 35% for the first two rounds and 40% for the second two.  The space factory is one of three possible ships you can find.  Thus your chance of finding a space factory for the each of the first two rounds is 11.66...% and 13.33...% for the next two rounds.  Each round spawns one anomaly for each player in the game, so you are expected to get one anomaly for each round.  Thus the probability of you getting one or zero space factories given one anomaly find in each round should be (1-.1166)^2(1-.1333)^2+2(.1166)(1-.1166)(1-.1333)^2+2(1-.1166)^2(1-.1333)(.1333)=92%, and thus your chance of finding more than one space factory should be 8%.  Either you're really unlucky, or anomaly probabilities work a little differently than I thought.


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Exoclyps #32 Posted 21 November 2016 - 04:55 AM

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Had the same occurrence in two games so far actually. A lot of space factories, where the latest one gave me I think 3 space factories, 1 cruiser and 1 destroyer so far. I must have been unlucky I suppose.

Spud_Dastardly #33 Posted 23 November 2016 - 06:38 AM

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So I'm looking at boosting the benefit from planetary specials, but I don't want to just make them all 5.  Here's what I'm thinking

Gold: +5 BC

Gem: +10 BC (matches MoO2)

Artifacts: +5 Research

Dark Quartz: +5 Production

Seagrass: +4 food

Red fungus: +2 food

 

Seagrass only appears on Terrans and Oceans while red fungus only appears on radiated, toxic, and volcanic. I think a +5 food benefit for those is too much, especially for a radiated, toxic, or volcanic world.  It seems like Seagrass should be better than red fungus.  Thoughts?

 

Also I'll remove space factories from two of the anomaly rounds so you get half as many.  Also I can't find the AI settings for tribute treaties.  Any idea where that is?


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Partythenwork #34 Posted 23 November 2016 - 08:20 AM

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View PostSpud_Dastardly, on 23 November 2016 - 06:38 AM, said:

So I'm looking at boosting the benefit from planetary specials, but I don't want to just make them all 5.  Here's what I'm thinking

Gold: +5 BC

Gem: +10 BC (matches MoO2)

Artifacts: +5 Research

Dark Quartz: +5 Production

Seagrass: +4 food

Red fungus: +2 food

 

Seagrass only appears on Terrans and Oceans while red fungus only appears on radiated, toxic, and volcanic. I think a +5 food benefit for those is too much, especially for a radiated, toxic, or volcanic world.  It seems like Seagrass should be better than red fungus.  Thoughts?

 

Also I'll remove space factories from two of the anomaly rounds so you get half as many.  Also I can't find the AI settings for tribute treaties.  Any idea where that is?

 

why not give multibonuses instead of just a single bonus.  for instance dark quartz could give both a production bonus and a science bonus.  anyhow just a thought

Exoclyps #35 Posted 23 November 2016 - 08:45 AM

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I'm with you spud on not making all the specials just +5. So my last two games I had them at +5 so I got slight experience with them at that level.

 

Gold/Gem: I did feel that having both at +5 was slightly dull so I like your approach of making gems +10 and I think it hits the sweet spot there.

 

Artifacts/Dark Quarts: I think a +5 bonus on these hit it right on. I'm unsure about your idea Partythenwork about giving Dark Quarts both production and research. I could see a 3rd special giving both, but since we don't have that I rather see them just giving +5 on their specific bonus.

 

Seagrass/Red Fungus: I kinda get your point of not wanting to give Red Fungus a +5 bonus, as it would equal 1 population farming on a gaia planet. I still quite enjoyed the strategic value the extra bonus gave though. However, I do agree that seagrass is a better source of food than fungus and such should give a better reward.

 


Hopefully reducing the rounds for space factory will help on that end.

 

I couldn't find any setting either to change the tributes. The best I was able to locate was some globals that gave you a discount after you do the trade/research treaties. Reducing that would reduce the tribute. It'd reduce all other stuffs as well though.


Edited by Exoclyps, 23 November 2016 - 08:46 AM.


Spud_Dastardly #36 Posted 23 November 2016 - 11:18 AM

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View PostPartythenwork, on 23 November 2016 - 04:20 PM, said:

 

why not give multibonuses instead of just a single bonus.  for instance dark quartz could give both a production bonus and a science bonus.  anyhow just a thought

 

Interesting idea.  I would rather keep the existing specials as is, but I can create entirely new specials as well.  There are 6 possible combinations for dual-specials.  Here's some ideas I came up off the top of my head for names and effects:

  • "Rare metals" for +2 production, +5 BC  (rare metals are valuable and used for building advanced technologies).  
  • "Prolific wildlife" for +2 food, +5 BC  (extra wildlife gives more food and allows for the export of delicacies you won't find anywhere else in the galaxy)
  • "Natives" for +2 food, +2 production (from MoO2.  They farm and work but only take up a negligible amount of space on the planet.)
  • "Ancient android workers" +2 production, +2 research (throwback to MoO2.  Built by an advanced civilization that died out long ago, they are willing to work for you, and your scientists can study them)
  • "Ancient android farmers" +2 food, +2 research (similar)
  • "Space-time anomalies" +2 research, +5 BC (This planet is home to a number of persistent and fascinating space-time anomalies that your scientists do not fully understand.  They are a source of constant study for your physicists. They are mostly harmless, and they attract a large amount of tourists to the planet hoping to see these rare wonders of the universe).

If you've got better ideas for names and descriptions, please share your ideas.  A couple of those above are a bit of a stretch I admit ;).  Anyway, it would certainly add more flavor to the galaxy.  Currently, 3 of the biomes have a 50% chance of having some special, and the other 8 biomes have a 40% chance.  I would rearrange it so that they all have a 50% chance.  Maybe I could give these dual-specials a slightly lower chance than the rest.  


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jasonwclark #37 Posted 23 November 2016 - 01:21 PM

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Sounds pretty cool to me!

 

A Pharmacopia special might be fun, for the Dune angle. Where a planet is host to some rare mind altering or medicinal substance, always in high demand. 

 

I like the multi bonus idea. Would certainly add a bit more variety for the colony dash.

 



Exoclyps #38 Posted 23 November 2016 - 01:34 PM

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Out of the ones you suggested I like the native one the most. Not sure how to deal with icons though.

Spud_Dastardly #39 Posted 23 November 2016 - 04:24 PM

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I would have to use the assets they have available, but I need not restrict to the resources assets as long as I use the same resolution.  For example, I could use assets\espionage\icon_infiltrate_trade_unions.png for the natives.

 

Random thought:  suppose I wanted to make the Orion techs you get for defeating the Guardian available as starting techs.  How many points should it cost?  10?  20?  I mean, it would be pretty broken to start the game with them.  In theory there exists a number of points necessary to counter that benefit.  


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Exoclyps #40 Posted 23 November 2016 - 05:06 PM

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Not perfect, but would work. Best option I've seen so far though.

 

And on the orion tech. Not sure, even if you take all the negatives it'd even it out. Just get a few ships up with the tech and you'd be immortal pretty much.


Edited by Exoclyps, 23 November 2016 - 05:26 PM.






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