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There Isn't Enough Life On This Ice Cube To Fill A Space Cruiser


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#1 Phoenix Rising

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Posted 17 March 2010 - 09:45 AM

I don't know about anyone else, but to me, planets in EaW never really felt like the bustling oases of civilization that they are. You chase off a few pirates, plant your flag on a world, and start building bases. That, in addition to the given advantage, was the extent of life from the strategic view. The galaxy outside of the conflict did not seem to exist.

Since Ghostrider joined as campaign designer, we've come a long way towards reanimating a dead galaxy. We've attained the most diverse and detailed starting forces of any mod, each individualized by planet and timeline. Now it's my turn to correct planetary advantages.

The concept of the advantage is a great one for strategy; the idea being that certain worlds perform better than others in certain roles. Unfortunately vanilla advantages tended to be either overly mechanical - inexplicable outside of the context of gameplay - or dependent on future circumstances that may or may not occur in a given campaign. Endor's reflective armor bonus is a dual example: it was never a producer of vehicle armor, but could've been so associated because AT-ST were historically stationed there in 4 ABY. On top of that, advantages were one-dimensional, such as to imply a planet could have but a singular focus.

When I originally started adding new planets to PR, I didn't put much thought into formulating a comprehensive scheme for their advantages; it just occurred piecemeal. Each planet got at least one advantage and that was it. About midway through the development on v1.1, I began to see the flaws in this approach - there was no uniformity in the design and every bonus stacked - but it wasn't until recently that it became crippling. There was a point after hero leadership was put into place where you could combine bonuses to cut unit costs by 90% or ignore the majority of combat damage. Thus began the overhaul.

First of all, virtually none of the advantages you're familiar with from the present release remain unchanged. The revamped lot has been extensively researched and rebuilt from scratch. Borrowing a page from SoaSE, planetary advantages, those with a local effect, are now mostly standardized. These include:

  • Academy (Branch) - Production Bonus (Infantry): Cost 25%, Time 25%; Production Bonus (Non-Infantry): Cost 10%, Time 10%
  • Agriculture 1-3 - Population Capacity: +10/level
  • Archives 1-3 - Production Bonus (Research): Cost 5%/level
  • Automation (Land/Space) - Production Bonus (Structure): Cost -50%; Production Bonus (Non-Infantry): Cost 25%
  • Cloning - Production Bonus (Infantry): Cost 100%, Time -100%
  • Corporation (Corporation) - Production Bonus (Corporation): Cost 25%, Time 25%; Global Production Bonus (Corporation): Cost 10%
  • Factories (Class) - Production Bonus (Infantry): Time 10%; Production Bonus (Non-Infantry): Time 25%
  • Force Nexus (Alignment)
  • Mining 1-5 - Income (Mining): 100 * 2 ^ (level - 1)
  • Research 1-3 - Production Bonus (Research): Cost 5%/level, Time 5%/level
  • Shipyards (Class) - Production Bonus (Class): Time 25%
  • Spynet
  • Stealth (Land/Space)
  • Underworld - Income (Planetary): +0-100%
  • University 1-3 - Production Bonus (Infantry): Time 10%/level; Production Bonus (Research): Time 5%/level
Should two similar advantages be located on the same planet, such as an army academy and a university, they never stack with each other; only the highest of the bonuses is taken. The only exception to this is for combined personnel and materiel production: if a planet is lucky enough to have both a navy academy and a civilian starship shipyard, the time bonus can reach 32.5% (0.9 * 0.75). This is on top of any bonus from building multiple military shipyards and hero motivation, so a planet can become very specialized. I should point out that most bonuses, including cost, are actually additive for the purposes of stacking.

If you read the bullet about the mining advantage and got confused, you probably should be. This is a radically different approach to the concept of mining. Mining facility income used to scale with a world economy, with the old mining colony advantage imposing a simple bonus multiplier. That meant, all else the same, Coruscant had the best mines. It made no sense to us. Instead, we created five fixed-income facilities that increasingly double in value depending on the type of ore being mined. Now, every facility you build on Gromas 16 to collect phrikite is worth an impressive 1600, while the miners that eat Coruscant's duracrete rate a lousy 100. Also, in case it's not clear, every planet is automatically afforded Mining 1 and Agriculture 1, so those won't show up in their advantages.

Planetary advantages are useful for making infrastructure decisions, but they're relatively minor compared to galactic advantages. These are the coveted combat bonuses that affect your entire war effort. They operate like - and in addition to - hero leadership bonuses, but on a global scale. Of all the various galactic advantages in v1.1, I was able to narrow everything down to three stacking categories: materials, technology, and knowledge.

In a nod to Civ, a materials bonus comes from access to a resource. This includes everything from strategic metals to exceptional food, drink, spice, and recreation. Remember that mining facility on Gromas? It's now doubly important because it also improves your droid armor.

A technology bonus represents having the best product for the job, commonly in association with controlling a corporation that expertly produces said product. These are the unequivocal finest goods on the market - Mandalorian armor, Kuati walkers, Corellian engines - and they're more difficult to come by than resources.

Probably the most elusive bonus, however, is the knowledge bonus. To rate this bonus, a planet must know how to do something exceptionally better than the rest of the galaxy - a rare feat in the age of HoloNet. Stormtrooper training, Duros piloting, and Ssi-ruuk entechment are all examples of this type. There is usually no more than one per discipline.

If you can acquire an advantage from all three categories, it will generally combine to produce the effect of a five-star hero bonus, materials being worth one star and the others worth two. The two differences are reveal and recharge advantages, which can only be half as good as leadership, at best. There are also a few partial advantages that are weighted less than the cap. Even without a full bonus, galactic advantages are powerful enough to plan your entire long-term strategy around should you connect several complementary ones, including which lines you pay to upgrade.

With the depth and variety that's been added with advantages, we've effectively reinvented the galactic level of the game. Between this and heroes, research is no longer the certain trump that it was; it is now viable to pursue alternatives. Innumerable strategies await in PR v1.2.

#2 Tropical Bob

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Posted 17 March 2010 - 03:23 PM

This is really going to make getting specific planets that much more important.

I am wholeheartedly looking forward to the release of v1.2. Garsh.

#3 McDman

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Posted 17 March 2010 - 03:56 PM

This is really going to make getting specific planets that much more important.

I am wholeheartedly looking forward to the release of v1.2. Garsh.



Tropical Bob hit it right in the exhaust port. Way to be awesome developer team! :shiftee2:

#4 P.O._210877

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Posted 17 March 2010 - 04:05 PM

Impressive...Most impressive :shiftee2:

If it's hard then it's worth doing.

 


- Alcor, Alcor pardonne-moi mais je ne veux pas que tu meurs. Je ne veux
pas que la planète bleue soit mise à feu et à sang par ces monstres. Je
me battrai pour les empêcher de détruire ce qui est devenue ma Terre.
Goldorak m'aidera. Au besoin, j'irai jusqu'au camp de la Lune Noire
puisque c'est là que Véga et ses monstres ont établi leur base. Et je la
détruirai.

 

Actarus


#5 evilbobthebob

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Posted 17 March 2010 - 08:54 PM

Great ideas there PR. Should create some interesting strategies in galactic play.

Phoenix Rising, head of mapping. Thanks to everyone who got us to the position below!
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#6 BansheeMalthus

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Posted 17 March 2010 - 08:55 PM

Nice!!!!!

#7 Kage Acheron

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Posted 18 March 2010 - 12:14 AM

Very, very, nice.

ARGH! This is going to make the wait for PR 1.2 even harder!

#8 Kitkun

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Posted 18 March 2010 - 05:01 AM

Awesome.

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#9 Guest_Bane_*

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Posted 19 March 2010 - 10:34 PM

Very quickly this is ceasing to be a mod and beginning to be its own game. o.o

You need to apply for a job as a game designer. When PR is done, of course xD

#10 Phoenix Rising

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Posted 20 March 2010 - 04:59 AM

I'm not sure the extent of the advantages necessarily came across in the article, so here are a few examples. As you can see, prominent worlds are now able to singlehandedly challenge entire backwater sectors:

Corellia
  • Combat Bonus (Starship): Speed 20% [Technology]. Starships are able to move faster due to the advanced engine designs of Corellian Engineering Corporation.
  • Combat Bonus (Starfighter): Health 20% [Technology]. Starfighters are able to withstand more damage due to the advanced hull designs of Corellian Engineering Corporation.
  • Combat Bonus (Station): Defense 10% [Technology]. Stations take less damage due to the advanced armor designs of Golan Arms.
  • Corporation (CEC): CEC production times are lower on Corellia and costs are lower across the galaxy due to the presence of Corellian Engineering Corporation.
  • Corporation (GA): GA production times are lower on Corellia and costs are lower across the galaxy due to the presence of Golan Arms.
  • Shipyards (All): Space unit production times are lower at Corellia due to Corellian Engineering Corporation facilities.
  • Reward (Pirate): Bounty 12.5%. Additional combat income provided by bounties posted by the Corellian Security Force.
  • Combat Bonus (Infantry): Defense 5% [Materials]. Infantry take less damage with access to Corellian ale and whiskey.
  • Agriculture 2: Additional population capacity provided by agriculture.
Coruscant
  • Combat Bonus (All): Recharge 10% [Knowledge]. All forces are able to perform their abilities more frequently with knowledge of your faction controlling the Imperial Palace.
  • Combat Bonus (Building): Health 20% [Technology]. Buildings are able to withstand more damage due to Coruscanti architecture.
  • Production Bonus (All): Cost 10%. All production costs are lower across the galaxy due to the influence of the Galactic Senate.
  • Archives 3: Research production costs are lower on Coruscant due to the Library of the Republic.
  • Force Nexus (Light): Light side Force-sensitives are more powerful while on Coruscant due to the Jedi Temple.
  • Corporation (REC): REC production times are lower on Coruscant and costs are lower across the galaxy due to the presence of Republic Engineering Corporation.
  • Factories (Droid): Droid production times are lower on Coruscant due to Arakyd and Servo-O-Droid facilities.
Geonosis
  • Combat Bonus (Infantry): Damage 10% [Technology]. Infantry are able to deal more damage due to Geonosian sonic weapon technology.
  • Combat Bonus (Walker): Damage 10% [Technology]. Walkers are able to deal more damage due to the advanced weapon designs of Baktoid Combat Automata.
  • Corporation (BI): BI production times are lower on Geonosis and costs are lower across the galaxy due to the presence of Baktoid Industries and subsidiaries.
  • Factories (Droid): Droid production times are lower on Geonosis due to Geonosis droid foundries.
  • Stealth (All): All forces are undetectable due to planetary rings, camouflaged architecture, and subterranean caverns.
Rhinnal
  • Combat Bonus (Infantry): Speed 20% [Technology]. Infantry are able to move faster due to physical cybernetics.
  • Combat Bonus (Infantry): Health 10% [Technology]. Infantry are able to withstand more damage due to pharmaceuticals.
  • Combat Bonus (Infantry): Health 20% [Knowledge]. Infantry are able to withstand more damage with knowledge of a State Medical Academy education.
Sullust
  • Combat Bonus (Soldier): Damage 10% [Technology]. Soldiers are able to deal more damage due to the advanced weapon designs of SoroSuub Corporation.
  • Corporation (SSC): SSC production times are lower on Sullust and costs are lower across the galaxy due to the presence of SoroSuub Corporation.
  • Shipyards (Class 1/2): Utility, fighter, bomber, transport, freighter, and corvette production times are lower at Sullust due to SSC facilities.
  • Factories (All): Land unit production times are lower on Sullust due to SSC facilities.
  • Combat Bonus (All): Recharge 2.5% [Materials]. All forces are able to perform their abilities more frequently with access to the tourist attractions of Sullust.
  • Mining 2: Additional mining income provided by minerals.
  • Stealth (Land): Land forces are undetectable due to subterranean cities.


#11 Tropical Bob

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Posted 20 March 2010 - 07:10 AM

A thought on the Coruscant Force Nexus: In Enemy Lines II: Rebel Stand, the rogue Irek Ismaren broke through the base of the Jedi Temple to unleash an enormous store of the Force, boosting all Force-wielders around. Should the Force Nexus bonus then go to both Light and Dark Jedi? Or do you consider the Force 'wellspring' to be somewhat ambiguous?

#12 Kitkun

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Posted 20 March 2010 - 07:58 AM

You need to apply for a job as a game designer. When PR is done, of course xD

Nah, he needs to win the lottery and start his own company. ^_^

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#13 Phoenix Rising

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Posted 20 March 2010 - 05:22 PM

A thought on the Coruscant Force Nexus: In Enemy Lines II: Rebel Stand, the rogue Irek Ismaren broke through the base of the Jedi Temple to unleash an enormous store of the Force, boosting all Force-wielders around. Should the Force Nexus bonus then go to both Light and Dark Jedi? Or do you consider the Force 'wellspring' to be somewhat ambiguous?

That's a tough call really. I don't think the wellspring is ambiguous - well, at least not any more so than the Force itself. No, I see it more as a circumstantial bonus. Unless Coruscant is slagged and the plug is removed (okay, the plug is ambiguous), there is no such nexus as was in ELII. It's like the dark nexus at Endor, that wouldn't exist unless Palpatine (and presumably much of the DSII personnel) had died there. The reason Coruscant is light-only stems from the thousands of years the Jedi occupied the building and not from this well. It's a confusing conclusion to come to, but it's the only one I can think of to explain why Irek's nexus never seems to come into effect in any other source.

#14 Tropical Bob

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Posted 21 March 2010 - 05:12 AM

I figured the Jedi Temple and all the Jedi that occupied it were the reason for the Light Nexus. I just didn't think of causality in relation to how the campaigns differ from canonical history.

Sounds good to me. :p

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Posted 21 March 2010 - 02:44 PM

Wow.. looks really awesome. When do you think v1.2 will be ready for release?

#16 Phoenix Rising

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Posted 21 March 2010 - 05:32 PM

Hopefully within a few months. We decided to add something big that we weren't planning on, so it kind of got pushed back as a result.

#17 SpardaSon21

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Posted 22 March 2010 - 12:08 AM

Hopefully within a few months. We decided to add something big that we weren't planning on, so it kind of got pushed back as a result.

What big thing are you adding? Will we see a news release about it soon?

#18 Phoenix Rising

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Posted 22 March 2010 - 05:38 AM

News release? Yeah. Soon? Depends on your definition of "soon"... it's far too early to post about right now.

#19 SpardaSon21

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Posted 22 March 2010 - 08:13 AM

I'm going to assume you are using the Valve Time definition of soon in that statement.

#20 Phoenix Rising

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Posted 22 March 2010 - 05:34 PM

Er, no. It'll happen before the release, since the changes are in v1.2.



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