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Universe Restart?
#41
(Yesterday, 05:34 PM)tophattingson Wrote: More controversial: Conditional on Hazeron eventually coming to a wider audience on steam, I want to see some division between ownership at a local level and ownership at an empire level. I want a two-tier system where cities are owned by a specific mayor first and owned by an empire second. Wars between empires should change who owns the cities but not change the local government of the cities, inherently. This would allow for an intermediate role of a local governor who runs a domain somewhere on a scale between that of a city and a few systems, and not particularly care what specific empire lords over them. I suspect there's a lot of people who would enjoy a role where they manage their own little corner of space without the constant risk of having their city removed from their hands just because the empire they're a part of can't be assed to defend it. This would also make Empires more like true Empires: It usually leaves local officials in charge of areas it conquers and is decentralised. A further advantage is that it would allow individuals who are part of an Empire to grow their own power base and perhaps split off into their own new empire should the opportune moment arise.

(Has anyone here played CK2? If so, think what happens to counts when the title of King changes hands: They might not like the new king, but generally they get to keep their position)

While the current permission system of empires does sort of allow them to play the game as above, it only would happen if they chose to deliberately do so. I think if would benefit gameplay if those players who govern cities do not have their work at risk of being destroyed immediately upon the owning empire of a city changing, but instead got the opportunity to continue as part of the new empire.

Likely my most controversial suggestion here is general disapproval of how the custom building system works. Custom models for buildings are fine, but being able to customise the functionality of the buildings is just a recipe for abuse. I much preferred it when a farm was just a farm, and a machine shop just a machine shop, for gameplay purposes. You shouldn't need to go into the building designer to put together a decent city.

I highly, HIGHLY, agree with the division part. My biggest complaint with the box was that I was getting wiped out every few days by syndicate until I joined them, and only then could I make my city. At the time all I wanted to do was make a city and see how that all worked, but because it couldn't transfer over that easily I had to keep restarting over and over. I am willing to bet that a lot of players would be of that same mindset, and if there was a very easy "your cities have been seized by Empire B, would you like to defect to Empire B or continue your allegiance to Empire A?" type deal where you can as the city / system owner decide to switch to the empire that claims you would solve a lot of those problems. Players that are happy remaining at lower government levels and don't care who they get taxed by and continue to play. Players that want to expand and be empires don't have to manage all their territory with 600 alts or find lot's of players themselves. They can just have the existing players support their empire. This would even allow more emergent gameplay imo, as a rival empire could bribe and convince local owners to switch or defect to their side. Fractional splitting of an empire could happen if enough people disagreed when a bunch of local owners decided to band together against their current emperor, allowing civil wars to be a thing. It would be a huuuge improvement in the way governance and empires would in hazeron.

Regarding the buildings, I have to agree from a gameplay balance position. I enjoy the custom designs, it's cool to make able to have your own art style, but it's hard to balance when one building can have 1000000000 processes, and another just has 50. The fact that we had to bring back the old mine limits is a bit of an indication of that.

(Yesterday, 06:22 PM)OriginalGangstaStaines Wrote: The Box was 9x9x9 sectors - so the loremasters have foretold.
-> At 300X in the galaxy, that gives us an average stellar density of approximately 23 systems per sector.
-> 9x9x9 sectors, this gives us 729 sectors total.
-> 729 sectors x 23 systems gives us a total of 16,977 systems, approximately. 
-> Syndicate required approximately 650 of these systems to supply full TL-32 
-> So... The Box could have easily supported around 10 Syndicates's, and a hundred minor empires too.
The Box, was, I think, the highest player count we ever had, and it easily accommodated us all. 


There are three ways to do this;
1. Turn "The Box" into the Pizza Box at around 21x21x3 with 20,000 stars within a small section of a 600 sector wide image-generated galaxy - expand as needed. 
2. A small flat, wide disk/ellipse galaxy around 21x21x3 that thins out to 1 star per sector at the edges - create more galaxies as needed.
3. A small flat, wide disk/ellipse galaxy around 21x21x3 - expand X/Y axis by adding more star density and sectors around the edges as needed.

Resets can't be avoided due to development of other critical mechanics right now, but the universe should be designed to expand/contract based on player need.

System Permanence
I'm not sure if it still works this way but, with a smaller universe, there will be fewer star systems that could possibly be cached. For that reason, I'd recommend that when a system is generated, the information for that system is permanently logged by the servers, instead of the system regenerating worlds/qualities. This should create areas that are permanently desirable this has the benefit of creating legendary systems and regions and galactic terrain.


Alter the City Capturing Mechanics
I've been out of the game for a long time, so you're going to have to discuss this one yourselves - basically it seems like city capturing mechanics are still pretty bad. Strong defence is mostly based on exploits. Defence should be strategically favourable to the defender so that the strategic situation in the galaxy changes relatively slowly rather than entire empires falling in a day with little recourse. 
It's important to remember that before you only needed Q248+ to have "the best" at the time, which decreases the number of systems needed for a fully successful empire. Now that things are based just on quality, you need the much rarer Q255 to be "perfect". I'll admit, I am not sure if q240 vs q255 makes enough of a difference between them to cause any issues, but it is an important consideration in the size of the galaxy if you want to support more than a few empires.

Of your 3 listed ideas, I prefer the 2nd one the best where the galaxy is already complete. I think "Expanding" a galaxy is a little weird, and it always felt very arbitrary that there was an invisible box that locked me away from stars I could see quite clearly. The idea that the initial galaxy is a fully complete galaxy is very appealing. And if we need more space, we can add more galaxies as time goes on very easily. Let players choose to start in the new galaxy or in the old with the warning that the old is full of existing empires for example. Would need some consideration to prevent the highly successful intergalactic wormhole blockade preventing all travel, but overall I think it's a much more attractive idea than an arbitrary barrier and it is more "immersive" as well.

I've been wishing that systems were static forever. They should have a seed value, so even if the system falls out of memory due to inactivity, when it's generated the system looks the same. I won't pretend to know how feasible or easy this would be given the codebase here, but generally random functions accept a seed value, and if you based that seed value off something that never changes like the system coordinates, it should generate the same system every time. It would also allow special, unique things and fit nicely into the aforementioned idea of regions of space having some different characteristics. Huge +1 for that.

Another huge +1 for pointing out the problems with existing warfare. The fact that an empire can completely destroy your empire in the matter of a few hours while you are asleep is insane. Even a moderate sized empire with a few players can be destroyed in hours. There needs to be some kind of mechanic in place that requires additional time, to allow for the defender to actually mount a defence. An example is how Eve Online handles this type of thing. When players are attempting to destroy a station, once the station reached a certain level of damage a few things would happen. If the station had a certain resource in it, it would enter "reinforcement mode" which would turn off the gameplay boosting parts (modules that manufacture things, repair the station, etc) but prevent further damage for a set amount of time equal to the quantity of those resources. This was essentially a siege now, where the station owners have time to mount a defence to remove the attackers. This idea of allowing the defenders to actually do something about the attack is what we lack currently. It's frustrating to work for weeks on an empire and then wake up the next day and it's all gone in the span of a few hours.
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#42
(Yesterday, 05:34 PM)tophattingson Wrote: I advocate for a pizzabox-shaped galaxy. Similar to "The Box", but flatter and wider. Something like 50x50x5 sectors, instead of 9x9x9. The smaller galaxy should encourage player interaction beyond the hide and grief activity that dominates empire-empire interactions when the players are spread out. This would also mean only one galaxy. The aim should be to have a roughly even mix of inhabited and uninhabited areas, so the pizza box should be expanded should playercount suddenly increase.

As for the shape? Consider the two reasons:
1. For an equal-volume galaxy, you get a greater corner to corner distance.
2. 3d space is confusing. It's easier to understand claimed regions of space when they don't overlap in the z axis.

Slightly more controversial: Defensive positions at chokepoints make for good gameplay. Warp/deadhead does not allow chokepoints - empires can be attacked at any system at any time. The wormhole network should be improved by buffing the number of wormholes per system to make it easier to navigate, and deadhead/warp either removed or reduced to a scouting role. There's a reason wormholes or other strict system to system paths are used in many space strategy games.

More controversial: Conditional on Hazeron eventually coming to a wider audience on steam, I want to see some division between ownership at a...

(Has anyone here played CK2? If so, think what happens to counts when the title of King changes hands: They might not like the new king, but generally they get to keep their position)

While the current permission system of empires does sort of allow them to play the game as above, it only would happen if they chose to deliberately do so. I think if would benefit gameplay if those players who govern cities do not have their work at risk of being destroyed immediately upon the owning empire of a city changing, but instead got the opportunity to continue as part of the new empire.

Likely my most controversial suggestion here is general disapproval of how the custom building system works. Custom models for buildings are fine, but being able to customise the functionality of the buildings is just a recipe for abuse. I much preferred it when a farm was just a farm, and a machine shop just a machine shop, for gameplay purposes. You shouldn't need to go into the building designer to put together a decent city.

Just wanted to say I highly agree with all of this! In terms of the galaxy shape and size, just like what Staines said, I think a flatter, wide and fairly small pizza box galaxy would encourage player interaction and still have more than enough space to accommodate quite a lot of players! Not only that, your slightly controversial idea about wormhole chokepoints and more limited warp/deadheading sounds good too! I have good memories of pre-warp warfare where some empires would place strategic blockades/defensive positions around system entry points and it made some super interesting situations! 

In terms of your more controversial suggestion, I also fully agree with this! Being able to manage your cities and work on them regardless of which empire you're part of would make it far less annoying than losing the city because of said empire ownership switch. I personally love the sound of being able to run my own corner of space with the option to defect to an empire that claims it as I wouldn't really mind who I'm being taxed by, as long as I get to continue playing. In fact, the current government system might allow something similar to this, but it does take quite a lot of configuration and I'm not sure if it would work as well as your suggestion.

Finally, I also agree with the building point. Custom models are cool, but the functionality just gets really confusing, and even the blueprint exchange is really hard to use and determine which building does what.

(Yesterday, 06:22 PM)OriginalGangstaStaines Wrote: System Permanence
I'm not sure if it still works this way but, with a smaller universe, there will be fewer star systems that could possibly be cached. For that reason, I'd recommend that when a system is generated, the information for that system is permanently logged by the servers, instead of the system regenerating worlds/qualities. This should create areas that are permanently desirable this has the benefit of creating legendary systems and regions and galactic terrain.

I also wanted to say I highly agree with this! Because systems can completely decay and regenerate with completely different worlds and resources, it makes systems not really that valuable or worth fighting over, whereas if a system was permanently set, it could create areas of space that have really desirable qualities and planets, especially in rare situations like binary/trinary ringworld systems!
What even
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#43
(Yesterday, 10:27 PM)Celarious Wrote:
(Yesterday, 06:22 PM)OriginalGangstaStaines Wrote: System Permanence
I'm not sure if it still works this way but, with a smaller universe, there will be fewer star systems that could possibly be cached. For that reason, I'd recommend that when a system is generated, the information for that system is permanently logged by the servers, instead of the system regenerating worlds/qualities. This should create areas that are permanently desirable this has the benefit of creating legendary systems and regions and galactic terrain.

I also wanted to say I highly agree with this! Because systems can completely decay and regenerate with completely different worlds and resources, it makes systems not really that valuable or worth fighting over, whereas if a system was permanently set, it could create areas of space that have really desirable qualities and planets, especially in rare situations like binary/trinary ringworld systems!

Totally agree. And it us also my reason for normally being again universe resets. We need to be able to find the awesome solar system we saw or read about years later.

System seeds are based on the system's galactic coordinates I believe. So this shouldn't be an issue anymore.

There is however one majorly annoying exception to this rule. New player spawning will still override a system's seed. Granted the system will have had to decay before it can be picked by the new player spawning routine, but it can still happen.

One way to mitigate this would be to only allow new players to spawn in "frontier". Which in some cases might be better anyway as it gives a little breathing room between existing and starting empires.
Alternatively totally change the new player spawning routine to locate suitable systems instead of forcing a seed change. This however might not be realistically possible as it would require generating systems at random until one was good enough.
Shores of Hazeron Wiki Moderator
hazeron.com/wiki/ User: Deantwo
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#44
Well, here's a suggestion for dealing with permanence and new players.
Create a separate galaxy for new players that generates a perfect system that's easy for new players.

The system has - no wormholes and deadheading ships will be darkmattered.
Have a questline that states the new player is inside a dying galaxy and their system will eventually be destroyed.
Somewhere in the system have a single wormhole gate structure that leads, one way, to the main galaxy and spits the player out at a random location in the main galaxy.
Activating this wormhole can be done as a quest, and is similar to activating a ringworld gate.
The system is destroyed in a supernova one Earth month after activating the wormhole gate.
This gives players a perfect tutorial zone, and time to create a refugee fleet.


Or heck, just spawn a NEW system that has a limited lifespawn, like a month or something long enough for most players to spread to a new system.



Also, it would be cool to have stellar cycles.

Give each system a lifespan before it dies and is reborn.
This lifespan timer could be as high as 5+ years, but start all the clocks at different times when the universe is generated, and vary the timers.
That way the galaxy changes relatively slowly over time from a player perspective.
With 20,000 stars and 5 year timers, that's an average of 4000 star regeneration a year.
To make it really interesting you could increase the timer to 7+ years but give systems a young, mid and old stage where they start as dust belts and end as blackholes, white dwarves, neutron stars and such.  With 20,000 stars, that's 8 dying a day, so you could even form new blackhole links when twins blakcholes are formed on the same day.



Why? It means resets don't need to be a thing, we can just alter the timers a bit and gradually increase/decrease the number of starts and recycle old content.
Plus it means endless exploration. I could easily visit 20,000 stars in less than a year, but if there are a couple of thousand new stars a year, there's always something to explore, and galactic terrain subtly shifts over time and great new areas can be discovered and be recycled over the years.
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