View Revisions: Issue #24367

Summary 0024367: Potentially excessive scourge buildup
Revision Jan 27, 2021 7:29 am by ArnaudB
Description I recently played through the "Twisted Foe" Quickstart featuring a difficulty 7 AI and Scourge 5 on the honeycomb map. This is supposed to be the introduction to the Scourge. I did the scenario multiple times, on the beta, while the Praetorian and Warden had absurdly low caps.

It proved excessively difficult, even more so when played with default setup (not changing starting fleet, battlestation or anything in the lobby), just quickstarting.

I see two problems. First, it's a lot harder to reach the scourge because pushing through the AI planets are harder nowadays. The AI is also smarter and the scourge feels like it build faster. I remember Scourge being a death sentence within 3 hours if you don't kill the Spawner on the AI Homeworld by then, but otherwise survivable 5h into the game. Currently you can be doomed within 2 hours. Since I did my playthroughs while the Warden and Praetorian were... incapacitated, this means newcomers will be absolutely crushed by this scenario. The first problem is thus getting to the scourge buildings and killing them, which is very difficult because they have a lot of health.

The second is that the scourge build up fast, and that even while killing hundreds of scourge and wiping out multiple armories and spawners, the growth was still increasing at a pace that even I couldn't keep up with. I could only win by beating the clock. Killing builders and destroying scourge buildings felt like it didn't meaningfully impact the scourge ability to build up. This is worsened by the "stealth" builders that will reach blockaded off parts of the galaxy, which is good in term of the enemy being smart, but currently it's impossible for players to stall or meaningfully slow the Scourge growing power.

Now there are a few reasons as to why the quickstart is so hard. It's very possible that with the AIP rework, scourge get more income than they used to because AIP is in higher from the start onward (due to absolute floor). The honeycomb map is also a very hard map to play on because it takes time to travel through it, plus there is a lot of connectivity that makes blockading the scourge hard. I didn't use beacons to throw minor factions into that fight, since I considered using them should not be a must-have in this quickstart.

I believe the current scourge 5 is more akin to what it should be at 7 or 8. It's just nasty and require RNG not to screw you plus the player to make "knowledgeable" choices that they cannot have, since this is the introduction to scourge.

My suggestion would be a slight nerf to the scourge income, to account for the AIP being higher in general nowadays, plus making killing the buildings and builders more meaningful for the player. One possibility is to make builders appears at Mark I all the time rather than at Mark VII when created by a Mark VII spawner. This is what StarKelp use for his Neinzul enclave mod, where killing high marks hives (<=> spawners equivalent) only let them rebuild a Mark I in its place.

This isn't a pressing issue. Another possibility is to create a new quickstart with an intensity 3 scourge.

If you have questions, just ping me on discord.
Revision Jan 27, 2021 5:52 am by ArnaudB
Description I recently played through the "Twisted Foe" Quickstart featuring a difficulty 8 AI and Scourge 5 on the honeycomb map. This is supposed to be the introduction to the Scourge. I did the scenario multiple times, on the beta, while the Praetorian and Warden had absurdly low caps.

It proved excessively difficult, even more so when played with default setup (not changing starting fleet, battlestation or anything in the lobby), just quickstarting.

I see two problems. First, it's a lot harder to reach the scourge because pushing through the AI planets are harder nowadays. The AI is also smarter and the scourge feels like it build faster. I remember Scourge being a death sentence within 3 hours if you don't kill the Spawner on the AI Homeworld by then, but otherwise survivable 5h into the game. Currently you can be doomed within 2 hours. Since I did my playthroughs while the Warden and Praetorian were... incapacitated, this means newcomers will be absolutely crushed by this scenario. The first problem is thus getting to the scourge buildings and killing them, which is very difficult because they have a lot of health.

The second is that the scourge build up fast, and that even while killing hundreds of scourge and wiping out multiple armories and spawners, the growth was still increasing at a pace that even I couldn't keep up with. I could only win by beating the clock. Killing builders and destroying scourge buildings felt like it didn't meaningfully impact the scourge ability to build up. This is worsened by the "stealth" builders that will reach blockaded off parts of the galaxy, which is good in term of the enemy being smart, but currently it's impossible for players to stall or meaningfully slow the Scourge growing power.

Now there are a few reasons as to why the quickstart is so hard. It's very possible that with the AIP rework, scourge get more income than they used to because AIP is in higher from the start onward (due to absolute floor). The honeycomb map is also a very hard map to play on because it takes time to travel through it, plus there is a lot of connectivity that makes blockading the scourge hard. I didn't use beacons to throw minor factions into that fight, since I considered using them should not be a must-have in this quickstart.

I believe the current scourge 5 is more akin to what it should be at 7 or 8. It's just nasty and require RNG not to screw you plus the player to make "knowledgeable" choices that they cannot have, since this is the introduction to scourge.

My suggestion would be a slight nerf to the scourge income, to account for the AIP being higher in general nowadays, plus making killing the buildings and builders more meaningful for the player. One possibility is to make builders appears at Mark I all the time rather than at Mark VII when created by a Mark VII spawner. This is what StarKelp use for his Neinzul enclave mod, where killing high marks hives (<=> spawners equivalent) only let them rebuild a Mark I in its place.

This isn't a pressing issue. Another possibility is to create a new quickstart with an intensity 3 scourge.

If you have questions, just ping me on discord.
Revision Jan 27, 2021 5:48 am by ArnaudB
Description I recently played through the "Twisted Foe" Quickstart featuring a difficulty 8 AI and Scourge 5 on the honeycomb map. This is supposed to be the introduction to the Scourge. I did the scenario multiple times, on the beta, while the Praetorian and Warden had absurdly low caps.

It proved excessively difficult, even more so when played with default setup (not changing start fleet, battlestation or anything in the lobby), just quickstarting.

I see two problems. First it's a lot harder to reach the scourge because pushing through the AI planets are harder nowadays, the AI is also smarter and the scourge feels like it build faster. I remember Scourge being a death sentence within 3 hours if you don't kill the Spawner on the AI Homeworld by then. Currently you can be doomed within 2 hours. Since I did my playthroughs while the Warden and Praetorian were... incapacited, this means newcomers will be absolutely crushed by this scenario. The first problem is thus getting to the scourge buildings and killing them, which is very difficult because they have a lot of health.

The second is that the scourge build up fast, and that even while killing hundreds of scourge and wiping out multiple armories and spawner, the growth was still increasing at a pace that even I couldn't keep up with. I could only win by beating the Clock. Killing builders and destroying buildings feel like it doesn't meaningfully impact the scourge ability to build up. This is worsened by the "stealth" builders that will reach blockaded off parts of the galaxy, which is good in term of the enemy being smart, but currently it's impossible for the players to stall or meaningfully slow the Scourge growing power.

Now there are a few reasons as to why the quickstart is so hard. First, it's very possible that with the AIP rework, scourge get more income than they used to because AIP is in higher from the start onward (due to absolute floor). The honeycomb map is also a very hard map because it takes time to travel through it, yet there is a lot of connectivity that makes blockading the scourge hard. I also didn't use beacons to throw minor factions into that fight, since I didn't considered using them should be a must in this quickstart.

I believe the current scourge 5 is more akin to what it should be at 7 or 8. It's just nasty and require RNG not to screw you plus the player to make "knowledgeable" choices that they cannot have, since this is the introduction to scourge.

My suggestion would be a slight nerf to the scourge income, to account for the AIP being higher in general nowadays, plus making killing the buildings and builders more meaningful for the player. One possibility is to make builders appears at Mark I all the time rather than at Mark VII when created by a Mark VII spawner. This is what StarKelp use for his Neinzul enclave mod, where killing high marks hives (<=> spawners equivalent) only let them rebuild a Mark I in its place.

This isn't a pressing issue. Another possibility is to create a new quickstart with a intensity 3 scourge.

If you have questions, just ping me on discord.