Advanced Terraforming: Astro-balancing

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Event Horizon
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Advanced Terraforming: Astro-balancing

Postby Event Horizon » Sat 22 Sep, 2018 03:22

Astro Balancing
An upgrade to Terraforming - Gas, Crystal, Metal conversion (2:1 ratio)

Instead of adding area, players would have the option to use a level of terraform to convert Gas, Crystal or Metal on the astro to one another at a 2:1 ratio. This can be done more than once and can combine single unit of two different stats to get the third (eg. 1 gas and 1 crystal to get +1 metal). This would allow players to truly terraform their astros but at the cost of losing 5 area for their base.

New Technology: Advanced Terraforming
A new technology would be required to unlock this ability. Advanced Terraforming seems like an obvious choice for a name. I think making it unlock at the same time as bioshpere modification would make sense (Energy 24, Computer 24) and fits with the fact that terraform, the structure, also uses Energy and Computer techs to unlock. Players could reassign an existing level of terraform (provided they had at least 5 free area) or build a new level of terraform and assign a conversion when adding it to the construction queue. In either case the time to reassign a terraform would be equal to building that level of terraform on the base.

This would address the long standing request to do something about making astros other than Rockies (and other 3 metal astros) useful/competitive and give players some options strategically in how to build up their accounts. Some astros (glacials, oceanic) would still remain largely useless. I was also toying with the idea of being able to convert fertility as well but that would mess with the role of biosphere modifications so I think that idea is non-starter.

The maximum metal any astro would be able to get would be 4 under this proposal, except for one rare and extreme exception.

Max 5 metal: 4th or 5th position metallics and craters (3 gas, 1 crystal to convert) and 4th/5th position asteroids (2 gas, 2 crystal to convert) but these astros are quite rare and would have significantly higher energy costs (no gas after conversion and no solar). Combined with only 4 fertility and biosphere modifications with the high cost of energy would be very expensive. Sacrificing 2 terraforms to do the conversions would cost 10 area as well so the highest metal would come at an extreme cost.

Max 4 metal: Rocky, Craters, Metallic, Magma, Volcanic, Toxic, Crystalline and Asteroids
Max 3 metal: Arid, Earthly, Gaia, Radioactive, Tundra
Max 2 metal: Glacial, Oceanic

Rocky astros would still retain their superior position in terms of production because they start with the optimum metal, area and fertility combination and even with conversion would still have a better combination of area and fertility than the other potential 4 metal astros.

Crystallines could become even bigger economic powerhouses by converting their gas to crystal (4 crystal) or by converting gas to metal to get decent production and high econ at the same time.

The difference between 3 and 4 metal is significantly smaller than that between 2 and 3 metal so many astros would be worth converting to 3 metal and using for research (Arid, Earthly, Gaia and Tundra especially).

Higher construction caps would be balanced out by the loss of base area but some structures like jumpgates and orbital structures that don't use base area could potentially grow faster and max out one level higher.

Anyway, I haven't ever seen anyone propose anything quite like this. Interested to hear people's thoughts (at least some people's thoughts) on this.

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Philosopher Cody
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Re: Advanced Terraforming: Astro-balancing

Postby Philosopher Cody » Sat 22 Sep, 2018 16:46

I have a lot of position 5 asteroids. Metal 5 sounds good to me. Losing solar and gas is nothing. I have hardly any of those power plants. At energy level 41 tech and level 42 is easily possible, a player only needs fusion, antimatter and the other power plant to get all of their energy. Solar and gas power plants are things of the past like the payphone and fax machine.

Now the biggest problem with this is that balancing Astros takes away the point of having different Astros. If they all can become more or less the same then why have different ones?

Currently the game is focused on production being the best and most important value. Crystals are okay for economy, and gas is a joke and worthless resource. Rarely see an astro with gas 5.

Now if we made gas tied into jumpgate performance or something else it might make those positions more appealing.

But in the end the change has to add more depth to the game, not reduce it by making everything the same.

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Re: Advanced Terraforming: Astro-balancing

Postby Event Horizon » Sat 22 Sep, 2018 20:41

Philosopher Cody wrote:I have a lot of position 5 asteroids. Metal 5 sounds good to me. Losing solar and gas is nothing. I have hardly any of those power plants. At energy level 41 tech and level 42 is easily possible, a player only needs fusion, antimatter and the other power plant to get all of their energy. Solar and gas power plants are things of the past like the payphone and fax machine.

Now the biggest problem with this is that balancing Astros takes away the point of having different Astros. If they all can become more or less the same then why have different ones?

Currently the game is focused on production being the best and most important value. Crystals are okay for economy, and gas is a joke and worthless resource. Rarely see an astro with gas 5.

Now if we made gas tied into jumpgate performance or something else it might make those positions more appealing.

But in the end the change has to add more depth to the game, not reduce it by making everything the same.


All fair points and I tend to support the same thing, more variety in Astro use, not less. I have always supported the idea of using gas for boosting jumpgates. In fact I think I may have proposed it at some point myself. I do think though that the gap between 2 and 3 metal is just too big. Either MRs need to get nerfed so that they only give a flat 2 production and the metal value of the astro only effects construction caps, or there needs to be a way to make metal 1 and 2 astros useable by making it possible to increase their metal or production caps by some other means. I remember when players still used Arids, Earthly and Gaia for research bases but you rarely see that anymore. It rapidly disappeared as more and more players realized that the loss of production cap just wasn't worth it. I think having flexibility to adapt astros, especially at different stages as a server ages (eg. when a stronghold is finally secured for a guild and "better" astros open up), would be nice, instead of having to disband rebuild from scratch. This could work quite well with giving a jg bonus to higher gas astros because you can also convert crystal/metal to gas as well.

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Re: Advanced Terraforming: Astro-balancing

Postby Philosopher Cody » Mon 24 Sep, 2018 16:42

There could be unique structures for each astro type. Crystalline Planets I still utilize because of the economy that they provide with the high crystal rates. They have a specific use which rockies cannot fulfill. Now Gaia, Arids, and Earthly are vastly unused. I know of an Arid base that is still in use to this day. Here are some off the cuff ideas:
Earthly could have a 25% discount on Terraforms it is basically an ideal planet for life.
Arids could have a 50% discount on the price of Solar Panels.
Gaia...
etc...

Or you could revamp fertility. Usually the lower metal astros have higher fertility.
Each point of fertility reduces production times by 5%. Now having a lower metal amount might be worth it for a higher fertility value.

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Re: Advanced Terraforming: Astro-balancing

Postby Event Horizon » Mon 24 Sep, 2018 19:29

Yeah, there have been a lot of idea long those lines over the years. The problem with a lot of them is they kind of leave players on older servers in the lurch after having focused years of effort on buildling up specific astro types. I was trying to aim for something that wouldn't undermine rockies and other 3 metal astros and at the same time allow players to use structures they already have built on their bases to adapt their bases over time. Terraforming is supposed to be about transforming planets and moons to make them livable or useful for a specific purpose. I don't think just adding area really reflects most people's understanding of that. The basic idea with this proposal is that you have to sacrifice something to get something. You lose area, but you get to focus the use of your astro for a specific purpose and in doing so you gain something but you also lose something (eg. you lose gas but gain metal or crystals).

Other astro specific bonuses that I think could work:

25% reduced cost for combat technologies and 10% reduced production times on Arids and Tundras
25% bonus to energy structures and 10% speed bonus on Magma and Volcanic
25% reduced cost for support technologies and 10% reduced cost for all structures on Earthly and Gaia
100% bonus to commanders, +1 Base Commander and 50% reduced commander training costs on Oceanic and Glacial
50% defensive bonus (fleet and base) and 10% faster revolt on Toxic and Radioactive
50% trade bonus and +1 trade on asteroids and crystallines

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Re: Advanced Terraforming: Astro-balancing

Postby swearengen » Mon 24 Sep, 2018 21:30

Changes that Wizard makes should only take effect in future.

This way it doesnt screw up people that have spent countless hours playing the game

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Re: Advanced Terraforming: Astro-balancing

Postby Philosopher Cody » Tue 25 Sep, 2018 14:11

swearengen wrote:Changes that Wizard makes should only take effect in future.

This way it doesnt screw up people that have spent countless hours playing the game


That is one way to look at it. But on the other hand things change. Times change. Look at real life. You do not use the same cellphone that people were using 10 years ago. You do not live your life the same way as you did 10 years ago. Businesses operate differently than they did 10 years ago. Times change. People remodel homes because of this and live differently.

Do not be afraid of changes. They effect everyone equally.

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Re: Advanced Terraforming: Astro-balancing

Postby swearengen » Wed 26 Sep, 2018 00:33

Not worried about changes at all.
By having the changes take effect from newest server onwards.
It doesnt screw up the players whi have put time and money into their accounts they might be playing on older servers.
More bout being as fair as possible

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Re: Advanced Terraforming: Astro-balancing

Postby Event Horizon » Wed 26 Sep, 2018 07:14

swearengen wrote:Not worried about changes at all.
By having the changes take effect from newest server onwards.
It doesnt screw up the players whi have put time and money into their accounts they might be playing on older servers.
More bout being as fair as possible


I support that. I'm just not sure that Wizard will ever implement changes that don't apply to all servers. 11 years on and it hasn't happened even once. Hence the constant effort to make FRs applicable to all servers.

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Re: Advanced Terraforming: Astro-balancing

Postby swearengen » Wed 26 Sep, 2018 07:55

Event Horizon wrote:
swearengen wrote:Not worried about changes at all.
By having the changes take effect from newest server onwards.
It doesnt screw up the players whi have put time and money into their accounts they might be playing on older servers.
More bout being as fair as possible


I support that. I'm just not sure that Wizard will ever implement changes that don't apply to all servers. 11 years on and it hasn't happened even once. Hence the constant effort to make FRs applicable to all servers.

I agree with ya
Hell it took him this long to make a few changes in the fame. Thou it took the player base going into the toilet.

Maybe next time he makes some decent changes will be when the toliet is flushed.

He got too much of an ego to be a gam owner. Lol


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