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PhaseDragon

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First, since I have played StarMaster and SuperNova in the past I prefer fast technology and quick contact. I can remember lots of phone calls with "enemies" and lots of attempts at discerning information from other players. There is none of that flavor in this game since it doesn't even matter if everyone knows where you are. They can't get to you. It isn't valuable information. The only valuable information seems to be what to research first and how many research points to save at the beginning of the game. Play by mail games are supposed to be interactive above all else. Even if you get wiped out a year from now it is still way more fun than building for a whole year with no contact at all. There is nothing to talk about on the phone, nobody to threaten, (who would take you serious?), and no real plans for any COMBAT at all.

 

Now for the other side of the fence. If I was a core starting player I would probably resent a change in the game now since I would have already invested a year and a half of time and money into the game. Pete and Russ couldn't just say, "OK, we hear you and are going to make the change. Everyone start a new empire." That would alienate too many people. So how do you make everyone happy? You can't given the current game design. It seems the way people are talking about being bored and "thinking" into the future about dropping that the current game design is not working....Still, how do you fix it to everyone's satisfaction? After all, we are talking about a monetary committment also.

 

Maybe we could all start over and get "Credit" for past turns by saving $2 dollars per turn equal to the turns already submitted by each empire.

 

Maybe we could have the opportunity to turn on a flag for our empire to magically warp closer to other empires.

 

The point is that I am sure that Pete and Russ have been thinking about what to do about the problem. If it were up to a vote I would choose starting over. Of course, I also favor quick contact and lots of interaction.

 

Maybe we could have a vote about what would be the best way to "Fix" the game if it is really broken as has been suggested.

 

Don't get me wrong, I love the game. I would just love it more if I could run into someone and had the threat of someone running in to me. I don't feel scared at all about ANY empire being able to do any real damage to me; even the core empires wouldn't scare me only 4 jumps away with the jump rules the way they are. Bring it on!

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Phasedragon brings up a controversial and difficult issue.

 

Motorcycle analogy of the week:

 

Starmaster/SNII/Victory! is to SNROTE what a Suzuki Hayabusa is to an electric moped in terms of speed.

 

However, SNROTE has more depth, strategy and long-term potential than all three games combined :P

 

Make no mistake: some people choose to stay away from this game solely for the reason that it takes a year before people start to interact within the game.

 

We'll never know how many people dropped or didn't join due to the difference in pace - but I firmly believe that if RTG sees it as a problem from their end, things would change.

 

Things have been added to the game recently that indicate a willingness on their part to reduce orders and pick up the pace (as far as technology through EXPL finds)

 

Just how do players' expectations match up with the current pace of the game? The poll indicates that nearly 66% prefer faster spacing or tech breakthroughs. Spacing and tech are related: faster tech, faster "pace" in terms of moving around, building war capable fleets and finding people.

 

In thinking about all of this - I have come to the following conclusion: the pace exists to accomodate tech balance. If we are placed too close together, some tech lines and balance issues are thrown seriously out of whack.

 

Is there a 'problem' as Phasedragon suggests?

 

There very well could be. It depends how long people are willing to play to stay in the game. Its a catch-22...you've invested time and resources into the game for a year...why drop now when you haven't even started having 'fun'?

 

On the flip side, maybe the depth and scope of this game appeals to a certain market that will make the game and RTG a huge success. The slower pace gives you time to actually build something worth fighting for. How heartbreaking will it be when that first colony convoy route is intercepted and demolished? The slower pace adds tremendous realism as well.

 

I will freely admit that I wish the pace was faster AND that I love the game at its current pace. :P

 

If I had to choose between which of the two games to play (slow SNROTE v. hyper-SNROTE) I would choose: both!

 

The current game gives you this sense of awe...the universe is HUGE and there is a 'galactic' scope to what you do each turn. Decisions on how to expand and research have far-reaching consequences and will ultiamtely affect the future of your species. The slower pace allows you to have a feel for your race in terms of roleplay and gameplay. The slower pace is deceptively addictive.

 

A hyper game would certainly jack up phone bills and get the heart pounding. I'm not sure how deep of a game we'd have at the end of the day but the boards would light up and we'd have more interaction which is always a good thing. Honestly, I'm not so sure the game is ready for a faster pace on the combat end of things. I think once the game is developed, we might see some 'faster' versions of the game.

 

Solutions to the 'problem'?

 

1) Turn times are halved (once per week)

2) Research times are halved

3) New universe with tighter spacing/faster research

3) New, remote section of existing universe with tighter spacing/faster research

 

My prediction:

 

Spacing and tech will remain the same if RTG is content with business. RTG is content when they have content customers. Therefore, as long as we are content, they are content.

 

So far - it appears we are content. The GMs are going out of their way to make us more content with each patch. The latest patch is a perfect example of this. RTG won't overlook any problems. Their track record proves that and I'm 100% certain they are conscious of pace concerns as Phasedragon suggests.

 

Despite the 'slow' pace, I must say - that the game becomes more addictive and meaningul.

 

My advice to impatient players (from an impatient player :P ):

 

Kisst hose delusions of kicking ass within the first year goodbye and focus on knocking down warp points and building up. Enjoy the process the best you can and have fun planning for the long term. Its nice to know that nobody can wipe you out early on. That gives you time to expand, streamline and build tech and resources. You cna alsoe comepletly mess up a turn or two without much consequence at all (in a faster game, mistakes would be crushing!)

 

Here is another benefit to a slow pace -- if you join within the first year or two, you are able to go toe to toe with every empire due to spacing and the diverse tech tree. Think about it. It might be true that the "core" empire has a smattering of superior tech in a few areas and even 3X as many disposable resources at the outset of a war.....but that superior race will never have 3X of their resources at the location of the new player and have the perfect tech matchup to overwhelm. The "newer" player is as much of a threat as an "older" player if the newer player is in the neighborhood.

 

Lastly - the pace will pick up through tech breakthroughs. This I know for a fact.

 

Conclusion:

 

A year from now, things will get very interesting: more interesting than SNII/Victory/Starmaster or a 'faster' version of SNROTE could ever become. I just hope that we find a lot of players willing to be patient for that first year.

 

Love to hear more comments form everyone, RTG included :D

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As far as content players, I think it is more a matter of how many times do I repeat myself. The many discussions we all had on this board and the EZ board show a large number, maybe not a majority, would like to see Tech advances sped up. It remains to see if the improved EXPL order will really help out or just add colour. If we had some control of what the search teams are looking for, that would be a different story.

 

Spacing isn't an issue to me. I like the room to do my thing and build up and try new stuff that being closer to somebody wouldn't alow.

 

I'm in for the long haul and hope my many friends here are also.

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For me , a restart is an absolute NO. I've spent way too much time on this empire - and that's part of the attraction of this game. We've all put a lot of "sweat equity" into our positions, and many players have really given a "personality" to their races. It'll mean a lot more to us now when we get into combat and have to defend our creations.

 

I think the pace is just right, especially since (as others have said) the pace will definitely pick up once everyone has transwarp drives and beyond. I think players like Phasedragon and Lugal will find that the core players will probably be knocking at the door of their systems faster than they expect. The slow early pace at least gave some players time to "tech up" and stockpile resources for the coming battles (or trade negotiations, for the mercantile races.)

 

I for one like things pretty much the way they are. :thumbsup:

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Ditto as to the restart. If it was restarted, I would not join and would leave. I think overall the pace is fine. If we were all 2 WP's apart, we would all be developing Engines/Shields and Weapons only and blasting each other apart. The rest of the research tree would be insignificant. :nuke:

I believe this game was designed for the long haul, which is why I like it. I'm sure part of the 'spacing' also has to do with people dropping positions. It is my guess (though I have no data to support this) that when someone drops, they are removed from their respective planets if they have not contacted anyone. Thus, some of us may have explored or even colonized a star system that may have been owned by a player in the past.

Think about this, let's say there are 100 empires. Space them out 4-5 WP's apart. Now, drop about 50 of those empires as 'test' or 'second' empires or just plain drops. Now add another 30-50 new empires.... can't put the new ones with the old ones, may have been explored areas, have to put them somewhere new, the universe grows.... :oops:

So, if you were Empire 1 and the empires within 4-5 WP's of you are #2, 3, 4. Empires 2, 3, 4 drop. Now the closest Empires are at least 8-10 WP away, and if they drop...... This is my opinion as to why some empires have found others 5-8 WP's away and others are still waiting. :thumbsup:

 

Chief Astronomer to the Sabeli

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Although I'd like to see a bit quicker pace on the tech (e.g. take some bite out of the diminishing returns formula for multiple RC's), the overall pacing of the game suits my taste quite well. As others have stated, this game will be far different a year from now than it is now. Indeed, you can extrapolate that the difference will be night and day once a majority of empires have transwarp drives and good engines.

 

In another PBM game (Legends, for example), you might have 3-4 months of building up with minimal or no player contact, then you'll have substantial player contact for the rest of the game. But the game might last 1-3 years. In this game, you're looking at 12-24 months of building up (depending on many variables) and 8-9 years of a fast paced game (if you can survive that long). I have no problem with this. Longer build up justifies a longer and more satisfying game in which we will all become more attached to our positions.

 

Incidentally, there are other games (like Middle Earth PBM) where there is NO build up period. You have battles starting on turn 1 or 2 of the game, and any economic build up is done while you're at war, typically in the first 8-10 turns. To me, that game is great fun, and so is this one. It's all a matter of taste. Some people enjoy the build up more and some people enjoy the inter-player conflict more. But the point is in this game we're going to see a huge amount of both, over a much longer time frame.

 

I say no restarts and keep tweaking the current system to make it as enjoyable as possible to as many players as possible.

 

- woolfe

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I certainly hope that dropped positions are not being cleaned from the universe. If I am surrounded by dropped positions then I want the spoils of those positions since I won't be getting any trading partners out of them. I also know of several people that have dropped a position to pick it back up many turns later so at least their positions had not been erased from existence.

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Could we perhaps get some clarification from Pete as to what happens to dropped positions? Do they become Neutrals? Do they enact a defensive production line to avoid them being easy pickings? Can they be diplomatically swayed?

 

Pete?

 

/(Locklyn

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Dropped positions dont go anywhere.

 

They continue manufacturing defenses, in fact.

 

Thus - a dropped position won't be easy pickings and require a ton more DIP points to convert.

 

I'm 99% sure on that one.

 

As for pace:

 

Indeed, you can extrapolate that the difference will be night and day once a majority of empires have transwarp drives and good engines.

 

Well - those drives will help, true.

 

2 points:

 

1) These are NOT easy to research let alone BUILD within the first year (in fact, my estimation is around TWO years under ideal circumstances)

 

2) Warping through several poitns is only part of the equation -- you still have to knock those Warp Points down....thus...add even more research time for Jump Survey Sensors.

 

Therefore, the actual 'pace' of flying around and finding people won't quicken within the first two years by my best estimation. I'm fine with that. But many people are NOT fine with that.

 

The current pace presumes a certain sized/spaced player base.

 

The bottom line for me is this: I'll stay as long as others stay. But if its going to take me forever to find other players because they drop due to impatience or any other factor, there is no point in playing for me at all. I don't want to invest $X amount to beat up neutrals or dropped positions; I can do that in a video game.

 

I hope there are at least 50 active players that joined within the first 15-20 turns. However, only 24 or so people have downloaded the SNTurn Entry Update software....I hope that figure quadruples within the next week.

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However, only 24 or so people have downloaded the SNTurn Entry Update software....I hope that figure quadruples within the next week.

A lot of people like myself haven't downloaded the update since it was emailed to us by RTG. Using that statistic won't give you an good estimate on the # of active players.

 

Matthew Blair

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Hey Guys,

 

SuperNova: Rise of the Empire was designed to be an empire-building game so the pace of the game was intended to be on the slow side. We already had a fast-starting combat game in Victory! The Battle for Europe (where combat can begin on Turn 3 and you can have your hat handed to you by Turn 4...) and didn't want the same thing for this one. Victory has been a great game for us and continues to have a loyal following but the constant fighting isn't for everybody.

 

Our goal with SuperNova was to produce a game that was primarily designed for the other types as well (empire-builders, traders, explorers, etc.) so the pace was intentionally much slower than Victory (or SN II which was more combat than anything else). Combat was, of course, intended to be part of the mix but more as a phase 2 game activity where players start to fight border wars, etc. then leading into the major wars of later stages. This was intended to be a game that you could sink your teeth into for a long time to come :)

 

Granted things have been slower to develop than we had planned ;) but we remain happy with the basic design structure. We have and will continue to improve, tweak and flesh out things as we go but we have no plans for a restart. The game runs well (no major problems) and a lot of folks are having fun with it. No game can be everything and, as with Victory!, we realize that SuperNova isn't for everybody (some won't like the pace, some don't like space, some prefer less detail, some prefer more detail, etc.) and, in many cases, when you compare one game to another it becomes very much like comparing apples and oranges. SuperNova is a unique game with its own pros and cons like anything else.

 

Despite a slower than planned start, SuperNova is now getting into that area where every turn cycle brings more contact and thus all the interaction that the game has to offer. I think the future for SuperNova is going to be a fun one for a lot of folks :D

 

Russ

:(

 

Regarding some of the other topics...

 

Empires that lose their guiding player do not disappear. They continue to function on auto-pilot and will take steps to defend themselves (they'll probably be tougher on the defense than an average player but they don't initiate offensive counters so...). If you have such an empire on one of your borders, you've lost a potential trading partner and diplomatic contact but you also have an area of space that will be a little easier to expand into. There are cases where empires are reactivated as well (players coming back after leaving for personal reasons) so an inactive border may not always remain so.

 

Keep in mind that there are quite a few folks that do not frequent the forums and, of those that do, some register but rarely post and some visit just as guests to look around. Some folks are solitary by nature, some have a circle of friends in the game that they work with, some are gathering information while plotting your ultimate destruction :o , etc. Public forums only carry part of the story and there is usually quite a lot going on behind the scenes as well.

 

Program updates are often distributed by other means in addition to these forums so any download counts shown here are inaccurate indicators. We can always use more folks but SN has a good playerbase and shows a small but steady growth in the number of active positions.

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And Eternus .. lets not forget that to get multiple AP ships you need advanced engines.

 

So lets see .. you need advanced engines to get LOTS of thrust to get to higher AP (if you can't build a 4 AP ship without using huge numbers of engines, does TWarp really provide any economic benefit?), you the research the advances needed to open up the research for transwarp drives. Advanced Jump Survey Sensors are needed for the Warp Nexus (simple colonies + JSS I will do for locations with planets), so there are more required techs. Plus you need to research the improved and advanced materials / items needed to actually build all this stuff. It's a big list!

 

If someone starting a NEW empire knew the exact path to all of these items, and got one item per turn using saved SRP, I think someone showed you could get everything in under a years time .. but only if you knew everything and concentrated only on these needed items.

 

Which all points to the root of the whole problem. Things are developing slower than RTG anticipated because ... research is to damn slow. The whole penalty for multiple RC's on a tech is a real killer because the penalty is so high. What is the benefit when for 2RC's and I lose at least 1/2 the RC from the 2nd one? Or 3RC's and now I lose around 2/3 of the 2 extra RC's? That's not a penalty .. it's a punishment, an excessive punishment, for attempting to research an item faster. I can understand the desire to balance research in the game to avoid it running out of control. But those multiple RC penalties are .. beyond anything I can state in a public forum.

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And Eternus .. lets not forget that to get multiple AP ships you need advanced engines.

 

So lets see .. you need advanced engines to get LOTS of thrust to get to higher AP (if you can't build a 4 AP ship without using huge numbers of engines, does TWarp really provide any economic benefit?), you the research the advances needed to open up the research for transwarp drives. Advanced Jump Survey Sensors are needed for the Warp Nexus (simple colonies + JSS I will do for locations with planets), so there are more required techs. Plus you need to research the improved and advanced materials / items needed to actually build all this stuff. It's a big list!

 

If someone starting a NEW empire knew the exact path to all of these items, and got one item per turn using saved SRP, I think someone showed you could get everything in under a years time .. but only if you knew everything and concentrated only on these needed items.

 

Which all points to the root of the whole problem. Things are developing slower than RTG anticipated because ... research is to damn slow. The whole penalty for multiple RC's on a tech is a real killer because the penalty is so high. What is the benefit when for 2RC's and I lose at least 1/2 the RC from the 2nd one? Or 3RC's and now I lose around 2/3 of the 2 extra RC's? That's not a penalty .. it's a punishment, an excessive punishment, for attempting to research an item faster. I can understand the desire to balance research in the game to avoid it running out of control. But those multiple RC penalties are .. beyond anything I can state in a public forum.

You think that in order to get 1) decent engines, 2) high levvel JSS, and 3) transwarp drives, you need about a year (25 turns) with SRP's if you know the paths from the beginning? Unless you youself know all the paths, you can't really make that assumption. If you don't know the paths, you could be grossly under or over-estimating the time required.

 

Also, it's worth mentioning that the JSS's are helpful, but somewhat optional. With MK II JSS and some other bonuses, you can tackle a D warpoint.

 

- woolfe

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