Construct additional pylons! - Page 5

Construct additional pylons!

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Pxtl
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Re: Construct additional pylons!

Post by Pxtl » 16 Apr 2010, 19:09

@Frog - I agree about encouraging choice... I just think that the current system brings some big problems to the table:
1) The barrier to entry means no overdrive in the early game, so I see a lot of players e-stalling, wasting, or just draining their teammates. Alternately, I see a lot of players going for a noobtrap of pushing out a pylon as their first construction after facplop and mexes.

2) It's fiddly to get your mexes positioned right, make sure the space in between the mexes is clear for the pylon, make sure your E is accessible by transmitters, etc. Again, I see players witching to BA-style porc-and-simbase play in CA now. Spend all their time setting up pylons, transmitters, hooking things up, etc.

In general, these things are distractions from the good part of CA gameplay.

I agree that I don't like moho morph... but unconditional morphing's already on one location-based resource buildijng (the Geo) so bringing it in for mexes really wouldn't be a stretch, in that case. And really, double-clicking a mex to select all and hitting "morph" is pretty simple micro, compared to finding a location for your pylon that touches all the mexes. I don't suggest moho morph because I like the idea, but because I really don't see it as any worse than the current system.

Maybe the transmission thing should be axed? I mean, I like the concept, but I'm just not sure it's right for CA. Just build the pylon building (with longer radius) and be done with it? Oh, and make the comm act as a pylon. Not my favourite solution to the barrier-to-entry problem but it would work.
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Kenku
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Re: Construct additional pylons!

Post by Kenku » 16 Apr 2010, 22:03

To me having the Com as a Pylon bring up issues of its own. For one thing, it would cause players to camp their com back at their base more often, instead of using it to explore at the start, knowing that being risky with it will probably put the player in a bad position. For that matter, coms will probably be "camping the mexes" more often.
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Pxtl
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Re: Construct additional pylons!

Post by Pxtl » 16 Apr 2010, 23:14

Well, I was thinking Pylon Plop last time we discussed the problem, but more plop probably isn't the solution, since too much plop might produce some reclaiming problems, not to mention having that much crap invested in your home base makes a reboudn even harder.
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momfreeek
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Re: Construct additional pylons!

Post by momfreeek » 17 Apr 2010, 10:51

Wow, a cool resource transfer system that does away with lossless, instant resource transfer over any distance?
- no

Unfathomably location sensitive metal makers in a system where resources (for any other purpose) are still losslessly, instantly tranferred over any distance?
- yes

:cry:
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JohannesH
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Re: Construct additional pylons!

Post by JohannesH » 17 Apr 2010, 11:18

If overdrive pylon is hard to place, and too big 1-time investment... Make them cheaper but range to reach only 1 mex?
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Pxtl
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Re: Construct additional pylons!

Post by Pxtl » 17 Apr 2010, 14:16

JohannesH wrote:If overdrive pylon is hard to place, and too big 1-time investment... Make them cheaper but range to reach only 1 mex?
Apparently the reason they're expensive is to make it a tough decision whether to build one or not, which I can see is an important point.
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Google_Frog
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Re: Construct additional pylons!

Post by Google_Frog » 17 Apr 2010, 16:49

1 mex per pylon is less dramatic decision and a lot more clicks.

For now I think everyone should see what they think of 1000 storage and 100 more pylon range. It takes a lot of the work out of placing pylons and the storage is good for early game breathing room.
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Saktoth
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Re: Construct additional pylons!

Post by Saktoth » 18 Apr 2010, 02:41

I agree google, though there will still be some maps where 3-mex OD is a pain, 100 extra range will fix most. I'm not sure about storage though, i miss strategic e-drain. His LLT's keep firing even during a stall. Communism makes this even worse. You can still sometimes take advantage of a stall in a 1v1 but only if he is repairing his HLT and you use that lack of e to attack it.

E-drain also puts a cap on the max amount of llts you can have firing at any one time. Spread out LLT's are better than having them all in one place because you can only power a few at a time. Perhaps we should just increase drains, then. It would make sense, since the 1k storage would offer enough to keep your llts firing and not crap over your economy, but too many llts would quickly drain it. However, this would lead to a lot more e-wastage if you have enough to power the LLT's, without early OD.
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JohannesH
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Re: Construct additional pylons!

Post by JohannesH » 18 Apr 2010, 03:40

Google_Frog wrote:1 mex per pylon is less dramatic decision and a lot more clicks.
Does it have to be a dramatic decision though? If you chop that in 3 pieces you have 3 timings to figure out instead of just 1, it would make it into more subtle choices, easier but more gradual access to overdraiving. In any case the question should be WHEN to build a pylon and not if you should build one at all, no?

Sure, it takes a bit more time, but to me thats not a bad thing necessarily.
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Pxtl
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Re: Construct additional pylons!

Post by Pxtl » 19 Apr 2010, 04:11

@saktoth - I'm inclined to agree, special energy-costs for actions really need to be 1 of 3 things:

1) None

2) Negligible - you don't notice except that it starts failing when you E-stall

3) Substantial, so it actually affects gameplay in a quick, easy-to-notice way.

Having e-costs in between (2) and (3) seems pointless. You only really feel the drain in rare cases.

That, and CA's LLTs are powerful enough that the E-drain doesn't nerf them into uselessness.
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luckywaldo7
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Re: Construct additional pylons!

Post by luckywaldo7 » 19 Apr 2010, 14:14

JohannesH wrote:
Google_Frog wrote:1 mex per pylon is less dramatic decision and a lot more clicks.
Does it have to be a dramatic decision though? If you chop that in 3 pieces you have 3 timings to figure out instead of just 1, it would make it into more subtle choices, easier but more gradual access to overdraiving. In any case the question should be WHEN to build a pylon and not if you should build one at all, no?

Sure, it takes a bit more time, but to me thats not a bad thing necessarily.
Overdrive is already quite gradual, especially compared to a 2-tier based economy that requires a 2500 metal lab to tier up.

And if it is not dramatic enough, people will simply spam pylons all over the place and just rebuild them constantly when they die. It's too easy to rebuild so there is no reason to defend.

This was the major problem pylons were supposed to address; in the long pre-pylon CA game most of the game involved spamming mexes, losing them, and rebuilding them.
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JohannesH
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Re: Construct additional pylons!

Post by JohannesH » 19 Apr 2010, 15:56

luckywaldo7 wrote:Overdrive is already quite gradual, especially compared to a 2-tier based economy that requires a 2500 metal lab to tier up.
If you absolutely must compare it to BA - 500m pylon as barrier to entry for m->e conversion is not very gradual compared to 1m mm's. When you'd usually need to also rapidly build the e structures right around same time, its still bigger 1-time investment than that.

And cutting the pylon to smaller pieces, I dont know how it'd make them much easier to rebuild. 3 smaller pylons can cost just as much as 1 big pylon doing the same job. Big pylon is nicer target to bomb though
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Pxtl
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Re: Construct additional pylons!

Post by Pxtl » 19 Apr 2010, 17:23

@ luckywaldo7

In any of the more scalable designs (IE morphable mexes or 1-pylon-per-mex or my capped small pylons idea) obviously you can price the pylons such that the equivalent of the 3-mex start costs 500+ - thus the rebuilding cost is the same. The micro is the difference.

Thinking it over, I really would prefer 1 of 3 of my previously-outlined approaches.

1) Get rid of the transmission lines, bring back universal transmission. Keeps the pylon entry cost and the simplicity of building a single building, but without the tedium of laying transmission.

2) Make transmission pylons overdrive 1E/Mex, and Large Pylons overdrive 10E/Mex. This makes the pylon system more spammable and gradual and less precise, since you just lay down pylons like mad, much like wind-gens. Pylons at OD limit glow yellow, and when E-excessing glow red.

3) Moho mines. Morphing is less micro than construction, allows gradual conversion... while it violates the resource equivalency, this behavior is already seen with Geos - another location-limited resource generator. Make the morph cost 200, so a Moho is a worthwhile target to blast.
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CarRepairer
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Re: Construct additional pylons!

Post by CarRepairer » 19 Apr 2010, 23:46

Pxtl wrote:3) Moho mines. Morphing is less micro than construction, allows gradual conversion... while it violates the resource equivalency, this behavior is already seen with Geos - another location-limited resource generator. Make the morph cost 200, so a Moho is a worthwhile target to blast.
+1, this one is so simple. So very very simple. Pylons are too difficult for me to use, much less explain to newbies.
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Google_Frog
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Re: Construct additional pylons!

Post by Google_Frog » 20 Apr 2010, 02:47

1) Get rid of the transmission lines, bring back universal transmission. Keeps the pylon entry cost and the simplicity of building a single building, but without the tedium of laying transmission.
Maybe though I like the transmission lines. On average it only requires 1 more building placement and can serve as another point of failure. Have you tried 400->500 range pylons? The transmission placement is a lot easier with 500 range.
2) Make transmission pylons overdrive 1E/Mex, and Large Pylons overdrive 10E/Mex. This makes the pylon system more spammable and gradual and less precise, since you just lay down pylons like mad, much like wind-gens. Pylons at OD limit glow yellow, and when E-excessing glow red.
That sounds like a lot more micro than the current system. For increasing energy income you've got to make more pylons and ensure they are spread reasonably evenly around your safe mexes. Also the largest % increase would come from a few pylons which could make outlier pylons too rebuildable.
3) Moho mines. Morphing is less micro than construction, allows gradual conversion... while it violates the resource equivalency, this behavior is already seen with Geos - another location-limited resource generator. Make the morph cost 200, so a Moho is a worthwhile target to blast.
Moho with OD? Moho that enables OD? 3 morphs sounds like more micro than 1 pylon and removes the nifty logistical element.
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Pxtl
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Re: Construct additional pylons!

Post by Pxtl » 20 Apr 2010, 03:37

My big problem with the OD pylon is that it forces you to *plan* your base layout. If you put a mex in the wrong spot, or place something in the sweet-spot where you need to put the pylon, then you have to do some reclaiming to reorient. It's base feng shui. If that were a major point of emphasis of CA, I'd be all for it.

More I think about it... as much as I think the concept is dull and almost *beneath* CA's high-aspiring creativity, I'm leaning most towards the OD-mex morph. Mohos that enable OD and otherwise produce no additional metal - so you still need to invest in energy to reap the late-game resources. And while individually the morphs are more actions, they require less complicated base-planning. No considering of where, exactly, you're going to place that pylon. When you decide you want to start overdriving a mex, you just morph it and it's overdriving. When you decide you want to overdrive all your home-based mexes, just double-click one (thus selecting all of them) and click the OD morph and *boom* you've got it.

Don't get me wrong, I *like* the pylon system. I think it's brilliant. But I think it'd be far better suited to a slower-paced game with a heavier emphasis on base-planning. Something like Gundam. But CA is a very fast game, and overdrive is already hard to wrap your head around - particularly if you try to reach out to non-TA players who are learning the whole metal/energy/continuous-expenditure economy too. Understanding not only overdrive, but the complicated system of hooking up energy-sources needed to capitalize on it, just seems like too much to ask of the players.

Mexes are a special unit, and thus would make perfect sense to live in the exclusive category of BP-free morphing like the Comm and the Geos.

Either way, though, I'm just spitballing as a CA player. It's your game, and I enjoy the Pylon system enough that I'll keep on playing regardless.
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Google_Frog
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Re: Construct additional pylons!

Post by Google_Frog » 20 Apr 2010, 04:30

Pxtl I agree with your point about fiddly base layout often requiring reclaim, that is why the radius was increased by 100. I've played a few games with this range and the base planning is dramatically easier.

Think about it. All bases which required mexes placed on the edge of the spots and even then only had 1 spot that a pylon could be placed now have an area with a radius of 100 which pylons can be placed in, this is easily enough room.

Mohos are an ok solution but don't inhibit far out OD as much as pylons. They don't require cons to move there, they don't have vulnerable and costly transmission.

So to sum up my standing:
  • Don't change anything until people try extra range pylons.
  • I prefer the single high value target of a pylon and the logistics of OD on far out mexes
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Licho
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Re: Construct additional pylons!

Post by Licho » 20 Apr 2010, 12:21

What I want to achieve:
- minimal micromanagement (pylons violate this)
- still some economic choice (invest/not invest to eco)
- economic growth is linear not exponential
- midgame losing some mexes in the middle wont hurt your economy significantly (classic OD violates this)
- encourage deep strike raiding (classic OD does not encourage this)
- relatively easy to understand and present to player (OD is too invisible, pylons confusing to new players)

I would like to test this system:
- mexes automatically upgrade to 2 levels of higher mex extraction rate (level 2 = 2x, level 3 = 3x extraction)
- there is still automated overdrive, with slightly adjusted curve (less efficient especially at beginning)
- every 2 minutes 1 mex upgrades to level2 - up to 50% level 2 mexes
- every 2 minutes 1 level2 mex upgrades to level3 - up to 25% level 3 mexes
- mex that upgrades is preselected and indicated (can morph flash) for
those 2 minutes - if you kill it, new one is picked for upgrade
- oldest surviving mexes are selected for upgrades
- if you lose l1 mex you don't lose already upgraded l2/l3 mex to keep within 50% and 25% limits
- if you lose l2 it takes 2 minutes to replace it (if you still have room - less than 50% l2 mexes)

Consequences:
- you have "1 extra" mex after 2 minutes and "2 extra after" 4 minutes into game - as long as you have land
- initially territor (number of l1 mexes) does not matter that much because growth is slow and l2 mex count is not limited by counts but time
- if you have less territory you can easily achieve similar output using overdrive - overdrive is not significantly weaker initially for people with less mexes, because both party pump most energy to l2/l3 mexes
- if both players go OD eco, player with most land eventually gets significant advantage
- it pays off to raid deep strikes to kill upgraded mexes, because they replace slowly

Problems:
- mex count is too arbitrary - you could put 2 mexes on one spot to force upgraded proper mex back at home leading to silly tactics
* possible fix1 - use easy metal (forced mex locations)
* possible fix2 - tie to TOTAL number of mexes on map divided by player count - that means you would be helping enemy

- late game player with more land gets significantly higher income
* possible fix - tie TOTAL number of mexes on map divided by player count

- gameplay could be highly map specific/mex count dependent

Variant with limits set from total mex count/player count:
- all players have same maximum number of l2 and l3 mexes - does not depend on number of their l1 mexes
- delays point when player with more mexes gets high advantage even further (with normal mode it takes 0.5*mex counts * 2 minute for weaker player to stop getting l2 upgrades - with this mode it takes longer - if mex counts are not significantly different both sides will have same number of l2/l3 mexes and all difference will be caused by less significant l1 counts..
- could be a bit more confusing for players
- could discourage midgame expansion for economizing players
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Google_Frog
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Re: Construct additional pylons!

Post by Google_Frog » 20 Apr 2010, 15:18

New system simplified from Licho's:
- There are 2 levels of mexes. Level 1 and level 2. Level 2 has double the income of level 1 and both are overdriven.
- Each allyTeam has a constant X level 1 mexes upgrading to level 2 mexes, the upgrade takes a set amount of time. Income is not lost during the upgrade.
- X is based on the metal income available on the map.
- The oldest mex is upgraded first. There is also an optional priority setting for mexes which upgrades the oldest of priority mexes first.
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luckywaldo7
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Re: Construct additional pylons!

Post by luckywaldo7 » 20 Apr 2010, 15:39

JohannesH wrote:If you absolutely must compare it to BA - 500m pylon as barrier to entry for m->e conversion is not very gradual compared to 1m mm's. When you'd usually need to also rapidly build the e structures right around same time, its still bigger 1-time investment than that.
Oops hadn't seen this or I would have replied sooner, that is an excellent point, and I agree completely that the expensive pylon is bad as a barrier for energy to metal conversion, which is why I was suggesting things like giving the commander pylon ability at start.

Although pylons may be gone entirely again, I need to read through Licho's post still.
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