Some things I would love to be changed/added... (long)
1 - The diplomacy model is too weak. In fact, you can have Brotherly enemies and
Murderous allies. I think the diplomatic system needs a major overhaul.
Browsing through the politics files, I found a very disconcerting fact...
Other races tend to become more angry if allies have planets they covet than enemy races.
This tends to quickly put the vast majorities of races at war with the player. Worse, it is
AFTER being allied that they quickly go to war, because the clause mentioned above starts taking
Another fact I found is that its almost impossible for a player to recover from a previously declared
state of war to a situation of peace.
Another thing it would be interesting to implement on the diplomatic front is the overall punishment
of acts of genocide (to bomb a planet instead of invading it). Players should be diplomaticaly
punished by all races if they start to engage is such activities.
Other things I would like to see implemented is a certain type of "joint victory" where a true alliance
could be forged for the rest of the game between two (or more) races. It would be dificult to achieve this
level of trust, but possible nevertheless. Also important, is that the computer players should recognise
these alliances as powerfull threats and after one of those alliances starts taking effect, they will be more
prone to ally within themselves (or even the player). This kind of alliance could be breaked at the cost of
diplomatic status with the vast majority of players in the game (ok, if a murderous enemy of the race
betrayed improves the relations with the traitor, thats fine). ;-)
2 - I think it would be VERY cool if you
combine the powerfull punch of a fighter attack coupled with a wave of missiles. What for?
To saturate the point defenses of a fleet, the computer should be capable of firing some missiles at the
fleet, and then, on the same turn, attack with the fighters when the point defenses are considerably
weaker. After this attack, the fighters would move to out of range of the fleet's defenses and wait until the
next wave of missiles arrive. This way the computer will spare his fighters using them in a more cautiously
fashion. Also, if the fighters go out of ammo, they should immediately leave the battle area instead of
just hanging out waiting to be destroyed.
The computer should classify the threats it encounters when in tactical combat. It should consider all the
enemy ship classes and produce a list of what are the most dangerous opponents it will face. If it doesnt
have a weapon able to destroy some kind of enemy platform, it should give a wide berth to that type of enemy
(for instance, sometimes the computer dont have any weapon able to fire at my defensive satellites. He
just ignores them, being trashed in the process by those inexpensive defenses).
The enemy should have less in number, but more powerful fleets. Why is the computer sending 2 fleets with 7 units each
attacking a planet of mine being destroyed piecemeal when he could field a powerfull 14 ship fleet much more
dificult to deal with? How about creating a configuration file for the computer fleets, where you can design how
many combat ships there will be on a fleet, plus how many repair ships, transport
ships, supply ships (in percent and not in numbers), etc?
You may argue at the start of the game not all classes will be available but that is not a problem. While there
are not such and such ship classes available, the computer should always be able to build a fleet without
3 - How about making the ship designs used by the computer random? You could have several pairs of files of research
and vehicle construction prepared to be randomly chosen at the start of each game(ok, you could be more perfectionist
and let the game generate the files in a coordinated way... but I am trying not to ask the sky here! ;-)). The races that
have special technologies could have automatic development of that technologies incorporated in the research files as
well as in the vehicle construction ones (you could make general filler techs in the files that would be used only if the
given race was able to research special technologies).
4 - To add more variety to the games, the availability of research areas should be randomized. For instance, the more
refined tech levels of a given technology should be randomly available to the players. This would make the game more challenging as you could not foresee where would end your research in a specific area (of course the level 1 areas should
all be available at start, and some areas should be always left open to research - like ship construction for instance).
In order to not complicate things too much, this would only affect the human players (as the computer have currently a
pre-determined path about which technologies are they pursuing). Of course you could try to be a perfectionist and revise the way the races develop new techs...
5 - Turn off the option to automatically split the research points between technologies at the start of the game. Better yet,
let us save all our preferences that will be loaded in a later game (like the aspect mentioned before, as well as which
ministers to turn on, which Empire Options are selected, which game generation option selected, etc.
6 - When selecting which races I am playing with, there should be an easier way to set them as computer played (right
now, you must change the race and de-select the option that is checked stating who plays that race).
7 - Black Holes are a very nice game feature but have a terrible problem with them: The computer dont know how to deal with them, specially if leading to the Black Hole system there is an abnormal warp point. Maybe a simple way of dealing with Black Holes is to once the computer discovers one, it automaticaly marks it "to avoid". At least there would not be an endless waste of materials and time producing ships that end up swalowed by the black hole...
8 - What about adding the capability of the computer to decide if he wants to utterly
destroy as many enemy ships as possible or if he tries to cripple as many as
possible. What I mean is that I feel the computer always goes
to destroy my ships while many, many times it would be a better decision if
he just skiped past my crippled vessels trying to score some hits on my
undamaged ships. The way it plays, its really sure he will kill some ships
but for the battle results it almost always spells disaster as he is
concentrating his fire on
"sitting ducks" letting my undamaged ships hit him with full power. How
about the algorithm performing a test where the computer tests the
efficiency of the target he is evaluating (how many moves has the enemy
ship? Whats the current firing power of the enemy ship?) and if the tests go
down below a pre-determined treshold the computer will choose another
target. Now, if the computer ship as a multi tracking device, how about
shooting one or two shots to the damaged ships and concentrate the heavy
fire on the undamaged or lightly damaged ones (you can make it a rule of
thumb that 20% of the firepower will be preferentially allocated to the
damaged ships while the remaining 80% will be used against good ships)?
Now, if you reach a point where the battle is near ending (say turn 26) the
computer will try to destroy as many enemy ships as possible to deny the
player the chance of repair them.
9 - Another important thing to consider is for the computer to try to
concentrate his missile fire on the flanking units of the enemy fleet. The
problem is that as it is now, the missile fire will probably be caught by a
very large number of point defences from a very large number of enemy ships.
If the computer fires at flanking units, less point defenses will be
available to intercept.
10 - Now for some notes about kamikaze ships... There must always be some type of
these ships going ahead of the main computer force, moving coordinated with
it. This will have three effects: first, it will pose a tactical challenge
to the human opponent who has to choose firing against the kamikaze ships or
against the main force. Second it can cause serious damage on the human
ships. Last, it can prevent damage to the core units of the computer fleet
in the decisive initial blows as the human starts engaging the Kamikaze
ships before they collide with his vessels. In the begining stages of the
game, Kamikaze ships should be built in the size Frigate with just one
warhead and always 6 engines. Later, when you have dreadnoughts, you can
build Light Cruisers with 3 warheads, 6 engines, two shield generators and 9
armor. This kind of vessel is really very dangerous when it collides with
something and will probably avoid some damage before ramming the human
ships. Of course this poses some problems about the way the game is
currently designed... I dont know if you can make the computer choose a
formation where always at the front will be the kamikaze ships (but you can
easily make a rule where Kamikaze ships always deploy in the front row of
any formation). Another nice use of the Kamikaze ships would be to lurk with
some core ships (nothing large, just secondary fleets) at warpoints in a
defensive position. When the enemy enters the warpoint, the ships start
really close together. That would give the Kamikaze ships a good chance of
doing great damage. Now, to prevent the human player from sending small
ships against the warpoints first, thus managing to neutralise the danger of
the kamikaze ships (they would be wasted in small ships and in later turns
would not be available to the larger ones) you could make the AI calculate
the total firepower of the human fleet, then comparing it to his own without
the Kamikazes (this is where the core ships referred above enter). If the
firepower is below a certain treshold, the kamikazes will run away while the
few core units deal with the small human ships.