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hobknob

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About hobknob

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  1. Perhaps you have not thought about the most efficient strategy. Or perhaps those others have had help that Pete has not seen reason to give credit to. If you would like to spit ball some strategy feel free to contact me off the board.
  2. My understanding is that a number of the positions that have thus fallen are either dropped positions or are positions that are being "absorbed". By absorbing I mean that the owners of both positions is the same person. I know of several players who have traded for connecting empires so that they can absorb them. This means that there is no practical defense except for the starting bastions that Pete hard coded. for just about any other position going down I would think that it would take the combined efforts of multiple empires to do the job. It appears that at least one empire has captured a couple of positions so that one can probably be considered dangerous without help. Other than that I think it all depends on how many enemy neighbors you have that want to gang up on you. Good Luck
  3. Sub Fort initially had a restriction that prevented the scrapping of any forts. Now that it has been removed it seems to be a pretty cheap way to reduce shipyard requirements with little downside.
  4. I think you might want to scrap some designs, but a change should just be a database modification. I cant see any downside to an existing ship going from 2 ap to 2.9 or 3 or even 4 ap.
  5. There is one more part to engines so I will add it now rather than wait. 1) The reasoning for reduced AP was also to make available AP more important and meaningful so you had to choose and not just hit every space or go around, in my words. Also, there was the desire to reduce alliance activities that were 50 AP away. a. This is spot on in my view, however the example was using war fleets of multiple AP, not 50 or 32, but a few. Well, in Draco war fleets are 1 AP, not two or three or 4 they are 1. 8 AP will give the flexibility described and make those AP count when you only have a few movement points left and lots of choices. No choices because the fleet is 1 AP is no fun and not worth it. b. Even with the games absolute best engine, Mk VI total conversion engine your best AP with 16% (estimated based on available data) of mass devoted to engines will barely get you to 2 AP. Again, the 8 AP cap is not the issue it is the engine strengths that are too low. They really need to be amped up to at least double what they are currently are and then need to be coupled with some way to reduce fuel requirements and to increase skimming efficiency. In my view ships should be well designed at 4-6 AP with a reasonable amount of tonnage devoted to engines at mid Antimatter engine levels and 8 AP with reasonable tonnage in the early Gravitic if you should so choose to go to the end of the engines then the reward should be 8 AP at much better than reasonable. c. Again, it is fine to have 8 AP as a cap, I don’t agree with it or like it, but it is ok as long as other things are also balanced so game play is not killed. As it sits, game play is being killed unless ones only goal is to hunt down DMX fleets that only seems to move once a year. d. The final point of limiting alliance activities seems to be a non issue. If you have an alliance then they do what they do. Case in point in Andromeda one of my positions is attacking another position with allied help and I am probably at least 50 hops away. Exactly what this is trying to prevent, however we didn’t start off like this we have ended up like this after 15+ years of playing and expanding. In fact it is one of the few things that keeps me playing after this time. It is not easy, but that is where the targets are found. I can easily see a future for Draco where it is time to give up and call it a day because you really don’t want your war fleet to travel for a year just to get to an opportunity to use it. Low AP sounds good and works ok in the early stages of the game, but works less well to not at all in the mid to later stages. If it doesn’t work, who is going to keep paying to play? It can’t be changed now but putting HW’s close together would also solve this. Fleets travel to targets that they have available, if they are 50 away that is where they go. An alliance moving a long way away will not in itself give the defender any better notice. It’s all about planning and part of that planning is about only letting your enemy see what you want him to see. e. More about alliances hitting from different direction and such. In my experience this is not going to happen. The game combat system does not reward small strikes and you leaves yourself open to defeat in detail. In addition, almost every battle I have had with allies we were all pushing to the enemy from the same direction. Only at the very beginning would you be likely to have allies on opposite sides. Alliances are made with your neighbors who are available for trade and help, much less somebody who is across the universe. This would be different if we knew the map and had coordinates and could be pushing to meet in the middle. Even then, the nature of the combat system is geared heavily towards "biggest force wins". While it may work, I have rarely seen it even tried and less so to be successful except at long distances from the HW or end target. By the time you get to the real defenses you will almost always have joined up with your ally. Good Day
  6. This next one will probably be a bit more controversial and has multiple parts to be considered. Engines and movement cap 1) The first, and to veterans, the most obvious change is the AP cap of 8 movement points. In short this was to prevent really high AP ships conducting lots of moves in the database and to prevent somebody moving fleets around the universe quickly. I believe there are two issues here, the first being the intent to slow things down and the second how it has been done. The second will be addressed below. a. As I see it, the intent to prevent fleets just moving around to different WP’s and thus avoiding defenses has succeeded and failed. Now instead of running around each other quickly if one is willing to spend the orders to do it, fleets can largely miss each other as war fleets are typically 1 AP. The defender has no ability to see a fleet and pounce on it then return to its station. What I have actually seen are many fleets just slipping by each other because a defensive perimeter cannot be set up. This last bit is a function of a 3-d universe that is mostly unknown. In addition, should you not guess correctly with your 1 AP fleet you will never be able to catch and overtake an enemy. b. From my own experience I would say that I have more individual fleets and ships that are far less capable. A lot of resources are tied up in a fleet that can move once a turn. c. The good side of this change is most likely in the savings to the core database running the game. I am sure turns process much faster with less movement to process. d. Another unintended consequence to me personally is that I have no spare AP to tempt me into more orders/turns. I simply run out and have nothing left to do. e. It was stated that high AP fleets were avoiding fuel requirements by using Gates, which I think was supposed to be wormholes. Nevertheless neither gates nor wormholes are present in Draco so higher AP fleets are still subject to all normal fuel costs. All together the proper sequence of wormholes does incredible things in Andromeda. They are also very time consuming and a real pain to set up in the first place and then have to be defended or risk capture or destruction. They also tend to run out of Caldaran crystals to run them. Their main advantage is with super large fleets and those are not likely to ever appear in Draco due to other changes. 2) The second part of the change was the method and that has been to reduce the strength of engines. Starting engines have a strength of 450 and seem to go up very little. In Andromeda engine strengths double at each level until you got to the really top end which had a single engine with power of 300,000k+. Engines in Draco seem to increase in increments of 50 or 100. A hard cap has also been used to prevent designs going past 8 AP. There has also been a reduction in engine research cost as well, according to Pete. a. I really have nothing positive to say about this change. The top speed of 8 AP was really not too bad, all things considered. Even in Andromeda it was pretty rare for ships not in a long convoy route to use more than 10-12 AP even when they had 50-100 or more. However, reducing engine performance this drastically has many draconian consequences that are sucking the fun out of it for me. i. >30-40% of mass being required to get to 2 AP is too much ii. Engine mass should never need to be above 20% for multiple AP in my book and should just go down with better tech. iii. In my view, the normal player should be able to get to 4 AP with <20% of mass and the higher end systems should get you to 8 AP at 25% of mass with the top tier engines getting you well below 20%. Best engine in the game seems to get you to 8AP at >60% of mass in engines. iv. The other part about this is that low AP ships can’t skim effectively for fuel. One of the main reasons to have high AP fleets in Andromeda was to be able to refuel on the road. In Draco a war fleet will be 1 AP and will have almost no capability to skim for fuel unless large numbers of fuel skimmers are used. b. In a nutshell, the AP cap is livable; the poor performance of every known and every estimated engine is a game breaker. The fix is simple, increase engine performance across the board. c. Another part of the problem is skimming. Every aspect of movement was left the same after the engines were killed. Something needs to change, warp point fuel costs, make fuel shuttles smaller, increase their performance, provide “improved versions” and “advanced” versions, get rid of fuel requirements all together with total conversion engines or with TWD engines or perhaps some other tech that converts standard fuel to “X-fuel” on board thus reducing the amount of fuel required to move. Something, anything needs to be done as this part of equation is broken. As an afterthought, I have been playing multiple positions in Draco for 3 years now and the movement changes have not grown on me. I could embrace the 8 AP cap if the engines could actually get you to 8 AP, but they can't . They are way out of balance to the rate of increase of everything else in the universe.
  7. In my experience the priority of build does something. I have had a large ship being built take a number of turns when higher priority ships get slipped in front. However, for the most part if there is a question I just build more shipyards or slips so it all gets built in the turn.
  8. I never thought planet cracking would be contentious... Anyway, here is the next one... 1) Reduction in shield strength a. This looks to be a pretty decent reduction and I think it is great. I have lost billions of tons of shipping to fleets for a number of reasons without doing any significant damage since the shields would be back to full the next order. Draco will be much more about attrition and being able to wear down the enemy force, even if the only way to do it is with suicide wave attacks.
  9. A few thoughts. In the beginning the only way to get a jump on industrial requirements is to colonize. You can do the math to see what the ROI is, but it is not that far off so for many empires that is the way to go. I don't find it of much value to mine low yield planets so I don't, but others do. What is low yield is not fixed but based on many factors. The primary of these is if the planet is in the home system, how defensible is the home system, are there good yields of some other desirable material on the planet and how can I defend the colony. On the HW just about anything is fair game since it is handed to you. For most folks iron will be needed most so I will base this on iron. If you have a planet with yield of 1000 for iron you could colonize with 4000 pop give or take the support installations. At this point you will mine 2.4M iron a turn. To get the same result out of stripmines and the industries needed to convert RAW to iron will require 120,000 pop or a 30:1 ratio. If you sit home and rely on stripmines you will use 90+% of your industrial power to convert RAW to iron. It gets better as you get better tech and once you get to advanced industries and advanced stripmines the number would drop to just under 15k and this does not consider Industrial Bonus nor power costs. If instead of 1000 for the yield you found a planet of yield 1500 then the same amount of pop would net you 4.4M iron. If you can find planets with yields that high it will always be better to mine them, however most yields that are considered to be good are in the 400-600 range. At those numbers the gap is much narrower. Using a yield of 500 with 2000 mines it would take 30,000 pop to do the same thing with RAW and industries. or a 15:1 ratio. As you can see stripmines become more viable as yields go down. From my experience you colonize a lot in the beginning since tech is low and enemies are far away. In a few years tech is better, you may have gotten improved industries/stripmines and would rather expend effort on building up a defensible HW so this makes the use of Deep Core Surveyors desirable. At the same time the low yield mining colonies that were better than nothing are now a liability so return migration starts to happen. Better to bring them home than to let an enemy capture them. A few high yield colonies can be defended to a certain extent, but not all. So, the empire shrinks back to the Home system and the use of stripmines which will reduce overall production by up to 90% as opposed to being able to mine for resources. A starting HW has an industrial output of about 110,000,000, for 450k insustry The same HW converted to Improved with no industrial bonus and only 400k improved industry will be 300M. An advanced world is close to 900M and by the time you get there you should have industrial bonuses so actual production could be closer to 2B That sounds pretty good, however, the amount of iron, lumber etc. mined does not change and with DCS's being limited in scope to barely minimal improvements all this extra industrial power will only be fed by stripmines. You can pretty much figure that the amounts mined will be paultry compared to required and can be left out of the calculations all together without too much problem. So once you get to advanced with bonus the balance point will be something like 1.86 to 1. So for each 2 industries you add you will need 1 Advanced stripmine. All of this coupled with distances traveled, slow ships, poor engines even at the highest levels and the scarcity of mining colonies empires will find it challenging to feed them selves. This says nothing about an empire that is growing by several 1000 a turn so could have twice the industrial capacity but no more deposits to mine. Planet Cracking would not change the long term need for materials but if the yields were not reduced from andromeda then they could be quite useful in the mid term. What would also be nice is improved and advanced mines that mine better and what about those mining shuttles the DMX use? I would never choose to keep using stripmines of any variety, but if that is the design of the universe....
  10. Warning - Opinion Ahead!!! Having planet crackers would do little to make Draco like Andro. They are a singular method to reduce planets to asteroids and a real pain in the neck to actually use so you have to be dedicated. Of course I have my own opinions, which these are. I am looking at long term viability of a position. In this case there should be a way for a veteran empire that has spent the research to get the tech to be able to improve a position in ways that are not easily replicated by others and provide an advantage just like a better weapon does. With strict limits to the usefulness of DCS's there is no other known method to increase yields of a planet. It could be that the idea here is to have every empire reliant for 95% of their industrial materials coming from stripmines. I would hope not as that would really suck, but it is a possibility. Otherwise you would need to have lots of tiny colonies. This is possible as well, but with strict AP limits, no gates, engines nerfed to being pretty useless, it is not a good solution. It may be the only solution, but again, I hope not. If we are eventually just needing RAW since other sources will not keep up at all, then even more energy could be saved by converting all production costs to pure RAW numbers and saving the need for any sort of individual item. This would sort of take us back to the first supernova with IOP and MCR. Having a tech that all can research is the definition of an "even playing field". Being reliant on random planet yield generation is completely random and is not even. I have seen the set ups for lots of positions, scores by now, and some are great while others are complete dogs and certainly not even with the neighbors. There is no such thing as an even playing field with random setups. Your opinion may vary, but please have one that is more than " I don't like it". It's hard to have discussion otherwise. edit - The planet cracking tech does does use Planet Cracker MDD's but is not a Bomb that you drop. There are other requirements and then Pete has to work his magic manually. I suspect this is the real reason to remove them as they had not been automated.
  11. Next... 1) Rankings in various categories appear from time to time. a. These are great when we get them. However if you aren’t one of the oldest positions it does not seem likely that you get them. Also, if you aren’t on the list you don’t even know there is a list to be on. This will only get worse as time goes, positions get older and bigger and more new positions are started. b. I love them. However, I think some of the information should be made public. We need bragging rights and we need to get some info on our neighbors. This could be one of the ways to get some additional info. None of the details are actionable, but knowing someone colonizes a lot or shoots at every DMX will mean something to a neighbor. In addition, I think it would be nice to list the top 50 or so of each category so that you know on turn X you are ranked 45th and on turn x+5 you are ranked 43rd and now know that you have risen on the scale. This seems like it would be much better than just a statement that “your empire attacks the DMX at every opportunity”. c. I also like the idea that you get something for being top in any category, similar to the original supernova where you got planet scan or something if you were a top worshipper of "Yamal the Lawgiver". In this case it could be something like a research bump, mining bump, boost to LC chances etc. etc.
  12. Next... 1) NWTX Planet Cracker removed a. So many things are being removed that help an empire feed itself and grow. This one is quite complicated and should be reinstated. There is little way to abuse the system with this and all you get out of it is an asteroid field with yields in the 5000 range (Andromeda numbers here) and even then a good number of them wind up with high radiation and harder to colonize afterward. I would push for this coming back, but if all MDD’s go with the BOMB order then it might need a new tech path. Can’t think of any reason it was removed except to limit empire growth. Three years in and I have to say that is not a good reason from my view.
  13. Time for another one. 1) Start with Robotic Shipyards a. This is great but is a two edge sword. Ships cost more in Draco due to many factors so bigger ships cost more. Building the minimum sized ship to picket a wp and be a target wastes a tremendous amount of resources. I would rather be losing 12k ton pathfinders to DMX forces rather than 25k ships. On the other hand it is one less thing to research and it reduces the number of really small targets by some amount, possibly large. Along with this I would like to have seen the ship categories adjusted so that a Corvette was up to say 125k and everything else bumped up a lot. A BB should be 10M or more in my view. This is just an aesthetic thing and has no real game impact but would be nicer to see IMHO. b. Also while I am here I have noticed that too many designs default to Auxiliary due to % of mass devoted to engines or some component. This isn’t awesome or useful in my view. I like to play with different ship classes but by the time you get to a ship big enough to have a few weapons and a bit of armor and still go 2 AP you are up to 300-400k tons and have passed a large number of ship classifications. Again, this has no impact on playability and is primarily a gripe after years of everything being a Nova Dreadnaught in Andromeda. I think the size classes need some real inflation so when you show up with a BB it is something to be impressed by.
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