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 Post subject: Major game changes coming this week...
PostPosted: Sun Jun 29, 2008 12:49 am 
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As Tarnus has announced we will be resetting the Main Game Tuesday Morning. The game will be reset and all profiles will be updated. We will then move the Main Game to the Beta Server and re-open it so people can continue to play. The Beta Server is where we will be making some radical changes to the combat system and we needed an established game for this to work. We hope some of you will stick around on the Beta Server and continue to play and help us test out the new combat system.

The Main Game will be reset with some new code that should fix the exploits we have seen crop up over the past few months.

Captured Planet Credits

One of the problems we have found are top players giving many credits to smaller players through undefended planets. A player would create a planet and add enough resources to allow them to place large amounts of cash on the planet. The planet would be stripped of energy, fighters and torpedoes. The location given to a smaller player. The smaller player would then go in and take the planet and get all of the cash immediately. This was completely circumventing the IGB and that was wrong.

When you capture a planet you will NOT get access to all of the money on the planet immediately anymore. You might find anywhere from 5%-15% of the credits the planet has on it. Don't worry the credits are still there but your people on the planet will have to find them and that takes time. It could take up to 4 days for you to find every last single credit that was hidden on the planet. The drawback is your SCORE will reflect the hidden credits so you may get bumped into a higher bounty free range and not have access to the extra money for a long time.

You will need to BASE the planet before your people can start looking for the hidden credits. As long as the planet is not based you will find nothing. Once the planet is based your people will slowly start finding the hidden credits and add them to your planets credit balance. Every time you receive more turns in the game your captured planets will find more hidden credits. Over time your people will find even more credits each time as they get better at locating the credits. If you want to speed up the process you can add spies and dignitaries. The more you add the more money will be found. After a certain point your people will have persuaded the planets population to give you all of the hidden credits. If you are watching your planets credit balances you will notice when a planets population returns all of the money because there will be a large jump in credits on the captured planet.

If the people on your captured planet start starving at any time they will STOP looking for the hidden credits. Once they stop starving they will resume looking for them again. So be sure to keep them well fed.

If the player that captured the planet wants to retrieve all of the credits from the planet they will need to defend the planet for up to 4 days. If the planet is attacked and captured BEFORE all of the credits are found they will stay in hiding. Any new credits that were produced by the population will be ADDED to the past hidden credits. If a planet changes hands a number of times there could be vast amounts of credits hidden on a planet just waiting for someone to hold it long enough.

Edit: If you can manage to place spies on a planet before you attack and capture it, they MAY be able to prevent some of the credits from going into hiding. The more spies you place the more credits that might be prevented from being spirited away.

Team Cash

The other problem has been team cash. Teams would let small players join and allow them access to huge amounts of credits on their planets. These smaller players wouldn't have very many planets but with that vast store of credits they could buy HUGE ships they normally couldn't afford. They would then be able to attack players in their bounty range with a ship that none of the people in their bounty range could ever defend against. This also circumvented the IGB and was wrong.

Players on a team can now only transfer cash from a team cash planet ONCE per day. The amount they can transfer is 1/4th the maximum amount they could get from the IGB as a loan. This may go lower as we watch how things turn out. If you take cash from a team planet, leave the team, rejoin, join another team or create your own team you will STILL have to wait 24 hours before you can use the team cash transfer again. Remember, players will only be allowed ONE team cash transfer per day.

Edit: This will also pertain to a player placing cash on another teammates planet. A top ranked player can only place 1/4 of the loan value the owner of the planet could get from the IGB.

Captured Ships

The last big exploit in the game is similar to the planet cash exploit mentioned above. Players would make a planet, base it without defenses, buy a small ship and store a HUGE ship, without EWD, on the planet. They would tell a small player where the ship was located. The player would attack and capture the planet as well as the huge ship since it lacked EWD and probably had low engines.

We have basically added something similar to the planet exploding when you capture it if the planet is worth more than you are worth. If the ship will bump your score up over a certain percentage then it will blow itself up if it can't escape. This will prevent larger players from giving smaller players huge ships they could never have afforded.

We think these changes will fix the problems we have seen but we will still reserve the option of adding planetary support for ships if these changes don't solve the problems.

You will see all of these changes on Tuesday when the game resets. I am hoping I can get the Probes back online for the reset as well. The coding for the above changes is almost complete so that should give me enough time to get the probes back online for the reset.



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 Post subject: Re: Major game changes coming this week...
PostPosted: Sun Jun 29, 2008 1:11 am 
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I like all but the first change, though I understand why it was put into place. Should make for an interesting game next round. No more capturing planets, stripping it of it's money and destroying the planet. So what happens when you scan the planet. Do you see the full amount, or just what you would get if you defeat the planet?


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 Post subject: Re: Major game changes coming this week...
PostPosted: Sun Jun 29, 2008 1:19 am 
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You see the the same as you always would with a scan. The colonists don't hide the money until you capture the planet.

Now if there is already hidden money on the planet you will NOT see that with a scan.



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 Post subject: Re: Major game changes coming this week...
PostPosted: Sun Jun 29, 2008 2:25 am 
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My big question in regards to the change is, what current changes are going to remain in place and if any are being removed? Things like the build kill, and what happens when you get X amount of bounties, I expect will be kept. What about the team bounty?

I will continue to play on the beta server and provide feedback.


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 Post subject: Re: Major game changes coming this week...
PostPosted: Sun Jun 29, 2008 9:05 am 
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MadMArdigan666 wrote:
My big question in regards to the change is, what current changes are going to remain in place and if any are being removed? Things like the build kill, and what happens when you get X amount of bounties, I expect will be kept. What about the team bounty?

I will continue to play on the beta server and provide feedback.



In talking to PJ, the team bounty will go away. The build kill fix will remain. Bounty pricing will drop down, but will still double based on your bounty totals.

The Beta will be for radical changes. PJ has some wild ideas on the combat that having a mature test game in place will be handy,



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 Post subject: Re: Major game changes coming this week...
PostPosted: Sun Jun 29, 2008 6:52 pm 
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Just a question on the hidden credits.

If you capture a planet with hidden credits and drop credits on it yourself, what happens when it hits its max credits? Do they stop searching? Will you transfer credits/consolidate and then on next update find a big jump again? Will it go over max?

I look forward to the fresh start. I've got some new ideas for starting up and I'm looking forward to the chance to try them out.


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 Post subject: Re: Major game changes coming this week...
PostPosted: Sun Jun 29, 2008 7:31 pm 
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If you hit max credits the hidden credits may get lost unless you remove credits from the planet.



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 Post subject: Re: Major game changes coming this week...
PostPosted: Sun Jun 29, 2008 7:38 pm 
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InstinctSage wrote:
Just a question on the hidden credits.

If you capture a planet with hidden credits and drop credits on it yourself, what happens when it hits its max credits? Do they stop searching? Will you transfer credits/consolidate and then on next update find a big jump again? Will it go over max?

I look forward to the fresh start. I've got some new ideas for starting up and I'm looking forward to the chance to try them out.


What I would suggest doing is scanning the planet before you attack or try dropping a spy on the planet (a probe in the sector might help to if they are back... hint hint PK) That way you have an aproximation of what credits a planet may have, then make sure you repair the planet to be able to take advantage of the credits when they come available, make sure you upgrade it far enough to give your self some padding for the natural credits that maybe accumulating normally. Unless PJ has another idea I think this will work the best for you :)



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 Post subject: Re: Major game changes coming this week...
PostPosted: Sun Jun 29, 2008 8:14 pm 
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So you're saying there's no protection against max credits affecting the hidden credit bonus? I'm just curious as to whether or not it's a factor to consider.


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 Post subject: Re: Major game changes coming this week...
PostPosted: Sun Jun 29, 2008 9:22 pm 
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Tarnus wrote:
What I would suggest doing is scanning the planet before you attack or try dropping a spy on the planet (a probe in the sector might help to if they are back... hint hint PK) That way you have an aproximation of what credits a planet may have...


That's the fun thing about HIDDEN credits. Spies and probes can never see them so you have no idea if the planet has any hidden credits. :)



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 Post subject: Re: Major game changes coming this week...
PostPosted: Sun Jun 29, 2008 9:26 pm 
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InstinctSage wrote:
So you're saying there's no protection against max credits affecting the hidden credit bonus? I'm just curious as to whether or not it's a factor to consider.


There will be no protection against max credits affecting the hidden credits. It will be up to the person who took the planet to manage things if they want to reap the benefit of those hidden credits in the future.

If you want to be able to take the hidden credits you will have to remove credits off the planet as it gets close to the max. Sure you may not make as much from the colonists but there is a good possibility that the hidden credits being found will offset that by a much greater factor. On newly captured planets it might be best to keep them down around the 50% of max as you wait for the BIG haul to come in when the people on the planet finally trust you enough to give it all back.



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 Post subject: Re: Major game changes coming this week...
PostPosted: Mon Jun 30, 2008 12:59 pm 
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Though I am not a big fan of this change, I guess it prevents a problem.
My take is though, it kind of hurts attackers in general. I am find with the wait 4 days. My problem is you find someone's bank planet, and hit it:
1. you can no longer hit an run. You must now defend this planet from someone probably bigger than you to milk it for all its worth.
This prevents big swings in score, and hurting fellow attackers. This helps maintain the status quo instead of allowing a shake up in the scores.
2. If you don't know how much is hidden, you can't be sure not to lose it. I really don't like this. It is one thing to prevent access, quite another to force people to lose money due to ignorance. I would prefer to show what the "hidden' credits are and just know you can't get to them.
Sort of like they stole all the money, but the bank kept records. You have to wait to access them. That way you don't have people jump in score and lose it all because they didn't know they needed to repair the planet or whatever.
3. indy planets. Though they don't hold much money normally, what about your planets that go indy? Now your own money is inacessible to you for 4 days.


[quote="Panama Jack"][quote="InstinctSage"]So you're saying there's no protection against max credits affecting the hidden credit bonus? I'm just curious as to whether or not it's a factor to consider.[/quote]

There will be no protection against max credits affecting the hidden credits. It will be up to the person who took the planet to manage things if they want to reap the benefit of those hidden credits in the future.

If you want to be able to take the hidden credits you will have to remove credits off the planet as it gets close to the max. Sure you may not make as much from the colonists but there is a good possibility that the hidden credits being found will offset that by a much greater factor. On newly captured planets it might be best to keep them down around the 50% of max as you wait for the BIG haul to come in when the people on the planet finally trust you enough to give it all back.[/quote]


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 Post subject: Re: Major game changes coming this week...
PostPosted: Mon Jun 30, 2008 2:17 pm 
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Ash wrote:
Though I am not a big fan of this change, I guess it prevents a problem.
My take is though, it kind of hurts attackers in general. I am find with the wait 4 days. My problem is you find someone's bank planet, and hit it:
1. you can no longer hit an run. You must now defend this planet from someone probably bigger than you to milk it for all its worth.
This prevents big swings in score, and hurting fellow attackers. This helps maintain the status quo instead of allowing a shake up in the scores.

We bounced many of idea off each other and really this was the best course of action. Not to mention it really makes sense. The alternative to this was MUCH worse. You can still attack and burn like you did in the past, you just wont reap the benefits of blowing the planets up. It creates a new strategy. Note: its up to 4 days, it can be quicker based on dignitaries, spies and luck.

Well if you were attacking a player that was bounty, unless they have a team mate to take it, they really wont get it back. If there is energy to support it, just bump the shields, then hopefully the old owners wont blow it up. What you may want to do is take all the money to start, then keep consolidating off of it as time passes. :)

Oh you can still see a shake up in scores as the planet will reflect that, if you just blow it up, the cash and your score boost is gone.

Quote:
2. If you don't know how much is hidden, you can't be sure not to lose it. I really don't like this. It is one thing to prevent access, quite another to force people to lose money due to ignorance. I would prefer to show what the "hidden' credits are and just know you can't get to them.
Sort of like they stole all the money, but the bank kept records. You have to wait to access them. That way you don't have people jump in score and lose it all because they didn't know they needed to repair the planet or whatever.


Ya know, I kind of aggree with you here. A new user won't have a clue where the money went. If there is a total, that the user knows they are hunting for they can better plan to defend and upgrade the planet.


Quote:
3. indy planets. Though they don't hold much money normally, what about your planets that go indy? Now your own money is inacessible to you for 4 days.


Well if your under 50 planets you will never have an indy unless its an unbased planet. After that just keep em tagged, I had/have about 120 planets in the main and managed to tag them and not lost a single one to indy.
Just makes the megga builders plan better :)



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 Post subject: Re: Major game changes coming this week...
PostPosted: Mon Jun 30, 2008 3:27 pm 
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Ash wrote:
1. you can no longer hit an run. You must now defend this planet from someone probably bigger than you to milk it for all its worth.
This prevents big swings in score, and hurting fellow attackers. This helps maintain the status quo instead of allowing a shake up in the scores.


Actually the big score swings will still be there. The person losing the planet will see their score drop. The person taking the planet will see their score rise. This is exactly the same as before. The only difference is the player will not be able to remove all of the credits off the planet immediately. Even though there are hidden credits on a planet THOSE HIDDEN CREDITS COUNT FOR SCORE. Even though you can't remove the credits from the planet those credits will still affect your score as they are counted just like anything else.

Ash wrote:
2. If you don't know how much is hidden, you can't be sure not to lose it. I really don't like this. It is one thing to prevent access, quite another to force people to lose money due to ignorance. I would prefer to show what the "hidden' credits are and just know you can't get to them.
Sort of like they stole all the money, but the bank kept records. You have to wait to access them. That way you don't have people jump in score and lose it all because they didn't know they needed to repair the planet or whatever.


If you scan a planet you will have an idea what might be hidden if you take it but you will not have any idea if there is still previously hidden credits on the planet. And why should you know how much is hidden? They are HIDDEN so you DON'T know exactly what is there. That's the whole point of them being hidden.

And if anyone is going to hide money they will be destroying all records of the money so it CAN'T be easily traced.

If a player takes a planet and they have a huge jump in score they can tell if there are hidden credits from experience. You rule out tech levels, viewable credits and commodities and what is left? Hidden credits.

Ash wrote:
3. indy planets. Though they don't hold much money normally, what about your planets that go indy? Now your own money is inacessible to you for 4 days.


The only people who have to worry about that happening are those that have an empire of over 50 planets. If you have less than 50 planets you NEVER have to worry about based planets going indy. The only people who have to worry are those HUGE planet collectors and builders with many planets. They won't do much different than they did before other than continuing to visit their most productive planets.

You see we thought out many angles on these changes.

Admittedly it does blur the lines a bit between attackers and builders and that is a good thing. If you are an attacker you need to have to skills of a builder to keep what you have taken long enough for you to remove the spoils of capture.



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 Post subject: Re: Major game changes coming this week...
PostPosted: Tue Jul 01, 2008 2:31 am 
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Quote:
Admittedly it does blur the lines a bit between attackers and builders and that is a good thing. If you are an attacker you need to have to skills of a builder to keep what you have taken long enough for you to remove the spoils of capture.


And if you are a builder? How so will this force you into the offensive strategy realm? I'd just like to see that if Attackers are forced to gain new skill sets to play the way they like, that Builders be forced to gain new skill sets as well. As far as I can tell builders are already capable of tagging many planets and defending their sectors well... what new skills will they need to learn to adapt to this change?


As for the hidden aspect, I'd like to see your colonists stop producing credits when the planetary max has been reached (visible + invisible = max). For example, a planet has 1,000,000,000 max credit limit and 400,000,000 hidden credits, the population would stop producing credits at 600,000,000 to leave room for the hidden amount. This would still require a vigilant eye as the player would need to know exactly when the planet stopped producing credits... difficult enough with just one planet, let alone many planets, if you took over a base. It also wouldn't be something you could immediatly tell, since the planet wouldn't have maxed visible credits when you obtained it. This allows players to recognize potential in a planet rather than throwing them into a guessing game. I'd rather base my gameplay on strategy than base my strategy on a coin toss.

The only issue i see there is that players could transfer -> credits -> To planet/All... This would immediatly reveal to them the ammount of hidden credits on the planet. However this would also put them at risk of taking a spy onto their ship if they haven't already scanned for spies. Something that can be easily done considering the price, so I suggest raising the fee to scan a planet for spies. Not a whole lot, just enough that a planet may not start with enough credits to do multiple scans. Then a player would have to wait for the planet to gain creds, then scan, then transfer just to tell if it's worth his while to CONTINUE to defend the planet.

That's my ideal system, at least.



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