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[Terra Invicta] 30% off for Gamescom, come and shoot space in the face

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    Mr RayMr Ray Sarcasm sphereRegistered User regular
    edited October 2022
    Vic wrote: »
    Phoenix-D wrote: »
    Like many games of the genre, it really doesn't seem to do much to justify not just being a turn based game.

    Yeah, the time it takes to play could probably be cut in half just by committing to making it fully turn-based. Whatever advantage you might get by being able to stop the turn and build something is extremely negligible, may as well just make it so the player can only act on their turn. And turn off the constant damned agent action notifications; you could literally take the actions of every agent and stick it on one single easy-to-read window at the start of the next turn. Same goes for political changes and actions, just turn those into tiles and queue them up on a separate screen at the start of the next turn. While we're at it, give me some damned numbers as to what has changed and why with the territories I have. Even if the game code needs to process that two weeks to keep from choking, whatever, just let the player use that time to manage outposts and ships and whatnot.

    But right now, holy shit is the game set up to pointlessly grind away a lot of your time without telling you what's going on.

    It would be pretty funny if the game got a really popular mod called "Short War" that streamlines the gameplay.

    I'm really early on in the game but so far I'm enjoying it. I have no idea how I'm doing or what's really happening, but so far that seems rather thematic. I do have a few questions though.

    1. How concerned should I be about my countries' economies? Even with >20% investment in economy and nothing in spoils my poorer countries seem to be at best rubberbanding between growth and shrinkage, and my most developed nation Japan seems to have gone steadily down for as long as I've controlled it despite my best efforts.
    2. Does it seem like a viable strategy to develop the poorer regions of the world? I really like the idea of unifying Africa or SE Asia and turning it into an economical powerhouse, but I don't know how possible that is.
    3. Even the most liberal policies seem to have very little effect on democracy. Are there faster ways to drive it upward? I couped one of own countries for the tutorial hoping that it'd become more democratic, but it only drove its democracy score from 1 to 0 and has only grown to 0.2 in the multiple years following.
    4. How dire do the consequences seem to be for not fulfilling the demands for spoils? Is it mainly expressed as unrest or as hidden modifiers?

    Honestly a "short war" mod would be great, it feels like the Devs of this game went into the project with the goal of making a game that takes a long time to play through without considering whether the gameplay actually justifies any of this. I don't think it would hurt anything much if, for example, you only got one mission phase per month and all of the tech costs were halved. With regards to your questions:
    1. General rule-of-thumb seems to be you want to keep it at around 20% to break-even, but there can still be economic "wobbles" caused by e.g, wars or random events or someone on the other side of the world getting nuked that you can't control. So long as its not going down consistently over a long period, that's fine. As mentioned above there are orgs and mid/late game techs which make the economy priority more effective, and are definitely worth picking up
    2. Ehh, yes and no. Its more of a case-by-case basis. The poorer nations with large populations can be worthwhile investing in, as a large population makes for a great research income if you can boost the democracy and education level up. The thing is, you also have to consider what else they bring to the table and what problems you're going to have to fix to make them worthwhile. I.e, Mexico has a large-ish population and already decent education and economy, but has high unrest, high inequality and poor cohesion, meaning its going to take a long time to stabilize. Indonesia meanwhile has a worse economy and education, but a larger population and is more (but not completely) stable and is already a democracy. Most of the African nations will be worse than either in pretty much all categories. I'm told that you can eventually federate a big chunk of Africa into a fairly powerful nation if you invest in it heavily, but its more of a "for funzies" thing than something that's actually effective. Turning Indonesia into an economic powerhouse is definitely possible, I'm in the process of doing so myself and they're also well positioned on the equator if you want to farm boost. Turning Africa into an economic powerhouse? Ehh, maybe? It would certainly take a long ass time.
    3. Perhaps realistically, Democracy score is hard to increase, and very easy to lower. Raising it is pretty much just a question of putting the "knowledge" priority as high as you can afford and waiting; it took me over twenty years to get China from "Totalitarian" to "Flawed Democracy", but it was worth it because now its research output is absolutely insane. Democracy is lowered ever so slightly by the "Unity" priority, a moderate amount by Spoils, and a lot by coups. Also, something that isn't documented anywhere but really should be; Democracy is also lowered by active wars, which is possibly why every AI controlled state seems to end up a totalitarian hellhole.
    4. So insignificant as to be barely there, to be honest. A large nation will be sufficiently hard to coup in the first place that it won't be an issue, and a small nation will be easy enough to flip back if it ever happens
    HamHamJ wrote: »
    The aliens tried to land an army on Earth only to get blown out of orbit. It's interesting because I've seen the advice to stay under 90 MC and I watched PotatoMcWhiskey's series where he just got wrecked by the aliens after pissing them off to much, but I basically went to total war against the aliens in like the late 20s and have been able to kill everything they try to send to Earth with Cobra missiles. Do my aliens just suck?

    The other shoe is coming, don't worry :smiley:

    In my campaign I had gotten to that point; every station a defensive hedgehog with a garrison fleet that could fight off anything the aliens could throw at them, and then they just sort of... stopped. No attacks for multiple years, even. It turns out what they were doing was consolidating their smaller fleets into bigger ones and then started sending 10k+ fleets at me. So... good luck with that. Also, bear in mind that depending on difficulty level, the alien's AI won't be able to go into its true "total war" state for at least a decade, so they may still be fighting with one tentacle behind their backs.

    Mr Ray on
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    HamHamJHamHamJ Registered User regular
    Well we'll see. I'm just now getting my first offensive fleets dispatched so I'm taking the fight to them... in a couple of years when the damn things actually get there.

    Which brings me to another question, what is supposed to be the advantage of larger ships? Because it honestly seems like spamming lots of smaller ships is just better, except for needing more shipyards.

    While racing light mechs, your Urbanmech comes in second place, but only because it ran out of ammo.
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    Ninja Snarl PNinja Snarl P My helmet is my burden. Ninja Snarl: Gone, but not forgotten.Registered User regular
    Poked around a little more before fully calling it quits and waiting for some significant updates so the play time isn't a massive slog, but only because I was literally one turn away from my first warships finishing construction. I feel entirely justified in waiting until most of the other factions had their ships up and instead focusing on ships that could actually do something. I only have two ships, but they've got eight missiles bays between them and ten times the acceleration of anything local. But holy shit, there are just way too fucking many drives and way too many of them are just useless junk; they feel like an utterly massive newbie trap to me because you could easily spend 10+ hours researching the wrong shit to find out you've unlocked some shitty drives that are either too weak to be worth anything or too inefficient to let you get anyway.

    Anyway, took my first swing at ship combat and, no surprise, it is almost completely opaque as to how you're supposed to maneuver. The one enemy ship starting out trying some twisty nose-down maneuver and I'm looking at this utterly inexplicable series of direction markers, pressing everything I can think of to get them to go above or below the engagement plane. Nothing. No button that I could see on the interface, no hotkey I could find. I was just screwing around anyway so went "fuck it" and let my ships plow right ahead.

    It was a real short fight. Enemy spat some purple stuff at my ships, armor soaked it up. The enemy managed about a quarter of its first maneuver before getting slammed by about ten warheads and just about instantly exploding. For some dumbass reason, it maneuvered to fly at me sideways? Which was a really terrible idea unless it was trying to die faster because that big broad target was all the easier to hit. I feel like I was running with pretty light armor, but still only took minor damage. Probably could've dodged most of even that damage if the game didn't essentially hide the maneuvering controls; would probably have been pretty easy to push up or down out of the combat plane and the purple stuff would've zipped by.

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    Mr RayMr Ray Sarcasm sphereRegistered User regular
    HamHamJ wrote: »
    Well we'll see. I'm just now getting my first offensive fleets dispatched so I'm taking the fight to them... in a couple of years when the damn things actually get there.

    Which brings me to another question, what is supposed to be the advantage of larger ships? Because it honestly seems like spamming lots of smaller ships is just better, except for needing more shipyards.

    Bigger ships can mount bigger guns, and you're going to want those bigger guns when taking on the alien's big boys. Missile swarms are absolutely king early on when you're fighting solo alien ships or small fleets but they're very much an "all or nothing" weapon; either you have enough to break through their point defence and you win, or you don't and you lose. The biggest alien ships in particular like battleships, dreadnoughts and motherships have absolutely absurd PD. Not to mention their stations.
    Poked around a little more before fully calling it quits and waiting for some significant updates so the play time isn't a massive slog, but only because I was literally one turn away from my first warships finishing construction. I feel entirely justified in waiting until most of the other factions had their ships up and instead focusing on ships that could actually do something. I only have two ships, but they've got eight missiles bays between them and ten times the acceleration of anything local. But holy shit, there are just way too fucking many drives and way too many of them are just useless junk; they feel like an utterly massive newbie trap to me because you could easily spend 10+ hours researching the wrong shit to find out you've unlocked some shitty drives that are either too weak to be worth anything or too inefficient to let you get anyway.

    Anyway, took my first swing at ship combat and, no surprise, it is almost completely opaque as to how you're supposed to maneuver. The one enemy ship starting out trying some twisty nose-down maneuver and I'm looking at this utterly inexplicable series of direction markers, pressing everything I can think of to get them to go above or below the engagement plane. Nothing. No button that I could see on the interface, no hotkey I could find. I was just screwing around anyway so went "fuck it" and let my ships plow right ahead.

    It was a real short fight. Enemy spat some purple stuff at my ships, armor soaked it up. The enemy managed about a quarter of its first maneuver before getting slammed by about ten warheads and just about instantly exploding. For some dumbass reason, it maneuvered to fly at me sideways? Which was a really terrible idea unless it was trying to die faster because that big broad target was all the easier to hit. I feel like I was running with pretty light armor, but still only took minor damage. Probably could've dodged most of even that damage if the game didn't essentially hide the maneuvering controls; would probably have been pretty easy to push up or down out of the combat plane and the purple stuff would've zipped by.

    The space combat is definitely the thing that needs the most work. I think they're aware of most of the issues:

    https://www.pavonisinteractive.com/phpBB3/viewtopic.php?f=26&t=29475

    "AI that works better towards flanks and protects its own flanks better" is on the list. The reason that the aliens often fly at you sideways is they're attempting to juke potential incoming fire, which is a perfectly sound strategy if you're using kinetics, but if you're using missiles or lasers is just a good way to get a bunch of missiles in the side armor.

    The maneuvering controls are indeed horrible, but the good news is, you don't really actually have to do much maneuvering during most space combats, especially early on. Terra Invicta uses a painfully realistic model of what we currently assume space combat would look like, i.e, one fleet sets a course that intercepts the other, then everybody fires all their weapons each other as they pass and hope that they hit before the ships all drift apart again. Your early ships won't have enough thrust or delta/v to do much in the way of maneuvering anyway, so "padlock and float to victory" seems to be the early meta; point your front (where you should be most heavily armored) towards the enemy and fire away. Even if you do try to do some fancy maneuvers, the alien's ships are faster and have more delta/v and they'll fly circles around you anyway, might as well save the fuel and just let them come to you. Most engagements I find are mostly about picking targets and sometimes holding off certain ships from firing missiles until the enemy is a bit closer.

    Also, I just unlocked "shaped nuclear torpedoes". Which is what is sounds like, nuclear torpedoes that use fancy advanced tech to focus the entirety of a nuclear blast into a 20 degree cone. They do 188 million damage.

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    Phoenix-DPhoenix-D Registered User regular
    Why are there two separate notification areas?!

    turns out your "Defend interest" expiring doesn't show on the left side, it shows on the top by the confirm assignments button

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    Last SonLast Son Registered User regular
    Phoenix-D wrote: »
    Why are there two separate notification areas?!

    turns out your "Defend interest" expiring doesn't show on the left side, it shows on the top by the confirm assignments button

    "Important" notifications go at the top while everything else is on the left. We really need a way to customize what appears where though, along with what causes a pop-up.

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    Void SlayerVoid Slayer Very Suspicious Registered User regular
    edited October 2022
    Each control point in larger nations has a specific minor bonus as well. It can be easily lost in the tool tip.

    The tooltip for each area under priorities will show you your bonus way at the bottom of the tool tip.

    Had a few alien invasions set up alien admins but it wasnt a big deal, my US China alliance stomped them three times so far.

    Building surface to orbit weapons really quick just in case.

    Void Slayer on
    He's a shy overambitious dog-catcher on the wrong side of the law. She's an orphaned psychic mercenary with the power to bend men's minds. They fight crime!
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    tbloxhamtbloxham Registered User regular
    Urg, the sabotage project mission by the AI is REALLY annoying. The tech already takes so long to get, and now I'm dealing with random loss of 5000 progress. No fun.

    I think enemy counselors who attack yours should always show up, at least as the grey triangles, so you have a chance to do something about it.

    "That is cool" - Abraham Lincoln
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    GarthorGarthor Registered User regular
    tbloxham wrote: »
    Urg, the sabotage project mission by the AI is REALLY annoying. The tech already takes so long to get, and now I'm dealing with random loss of 5000 progress. No fun.

    I think enemy counselors who attack yours should always show up, at least as the grey triangles, so you have a chance to do something about it.

    There's no actual real way to interact with them, given the turn-based nature of counselor tasks. Your only actual defensive play is to have counselors go to ground when detected... which happens all the goddamned time and is one of the "minor" notifications that shows up on the left (and at random times).

    The actual solution is to just murder your way through enemy counselors and steal all their useful corporations so that they can't threaten you in any way.

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    Phoenix-DPhoenix-D Registered User regular
    Garthor wrote: »
    tbloxham wrote: »
    Urg, the sabotage project mission by the AI is REALLY annoying. The tech already takes so long to get, and now I'm dealing with random loss of 5000 progress. No fun.

    I think enemy counselors who attack yours should always show up, at least as the grey triangles, so you have a chance to do something about it.

    There's no actual real way to interact with them, given the turn-based nature of counselor tasks. Your only actual defensive play is to have counselors go to ground when detected... which happens all the goddamned time and is one of the "minor" notifications that shows up on the left (and at random times).

    The actual solution is to just murder your way through enemy counselors and steal all their useful corporations so that they can't threaten you in any way.

    The counselers also have icons on their portraits showing who has detected them

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    VicVic Registered User regular
    This game has become a bit of a problem for me. A couple of days ago I decided to play just an hour before bed and ended up playing six. "Just one more turn" indeed.

    I have since abandoned my longest campaign thus far. I'd played the Servants into the mid 30's, building a solid power base in europe and strong industry in space. I was one of the last to reach the moon but the first to Mars, allowing me to get a solid lead in space resources. The story around the Servants was really cool, they were more nuanced and clever than I'd given them credit for.

    The problems only really started after I created the Alien nation in Iran and Turkey. I was unwilling to hand over the EU, figuring that I could build a new power base for them while I maintained control over my old domain. In hindsight I believe that was the correct decision, the problem was the timing. Creating the Alien nation seemed to (unsurprisingly) put the other factions into overdrive. The US declared war on them almost immediately, forcing me to drag the EU into the conflict while I scrambled to take more territory for the aliens. That turned out to be slow going, especially due to how many actions it takes to properly hand over a territory to them outside of unification. I didn't exactly lose that war, but I certainly didn't win it.

    Things only went downhill from there. Every nation I took control over after that point was either snagged back or declared war on and I saw no way to challenge the other factions' control over their core territories. I couldn't afford to pull the aliens and EU into every new conflict, making expansion almost impossible. Meanwhile my space assets were picked apart, more stations and ships being stolen from me almost every month. I was nowhere near losing when I abandoned the game, just exhausted and overwhelmed. I did end up handing over the EU to the aliens, hoping that they might be able to use it to win the war where I couldn't, but that only made the situation worse.

    Some notes:

    It's probably unwise to form the alien nation without being prepared for an immediate world war. If the alien nation gets any combat buffs they're either too small to matter or come in gradually over time. They're basically just a nation with claims on the whole world that can't be infiltrated and that everybody hates.
    The other factions do eventually start to murder your dudes.
    It's possible to peel medium-sized nations like Germany and Italy away from the other factions with the right agents. Doing so with China or the US is also probably possible but seems to either require god-tier agents or tools I'm not aware of yet.
    War is probably inevitable. If you're going to piss off the other factions you'll need a plan for when the US or China comes knocking. I'm still not sure what that plan is, though.

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    Last SonLast Son Registered User regular
    tbloxham wrote: »
    Urg, the sabotage project mission by the AI is REALLY annoying. The tech already takes so long to get, and now I'm dealing with random loss of 5000 progress. No fun.

    I think enemy counselors who attack yours should always show up, at least as the grey triangles, so you have a chance to do something about it.

    Sabotage can't target councilors without an engineering organization so the main defense against this is to stack all your engineering orgs on one person, give that person has a high espionage so they're hard to detect, a high security so they're hard to do missions against, and to have them go to ground when a faction you're at war does detect them. Sabotage can also target habs though if they have a skunkworks so never ever build a skunkworks in Earth/Luna orbit. Councilors can go to any station around Earth/Luna by simply using the orbit action but to get to other planets they have to board a ship and then have the ship actually fly there so its much more rare for the AI to do(since it makes the councilor useless during the flight).

    Alternatively you murder any enemy agents with a decent espionage, most of the annoying enemy actions use espionage as their base stat.

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    tbloxhamtbloxham Registered User regular
    Last Son wrote: »
    tbloxham wrote: »
    Urg, the sabotage project mission by the AI is REALLY annoying. The tech already takes so long to get, and now I'm dealing with random loss of 5000 progress. No fun.

    I think enemy counselors who attack yours should always show up, at least as the grey triangles, so you have a chance to do something about it.

    Sabotage can't target councilors without an engineering organization so the main defense against this is to stack all your engineering orgs on one person, give that person has a high espionage so they're hard to detect, a high security so they're hard to do missions against, and to have them go to ground when a faction you're at war does detect them. Sabotage can also target habs though if they have a skunkworks so never ever build a skunkworks in Earth/Luna orbit. Councilors can go to any station around Earth/Luna by simply using the orbit action but to get to other planets they have to board a ship and then have the ship actually fly there so its much more rare for the AI to do(since it makes the councilor useless during the flight).

    Alternatively you murder any enemy agents with a decent espionage, most of the annoying enemy actions use espionage as their base stat.

    Yeah, my team has been staging an ongoing organization stealing/imprison/assassinate drive against the factions most opposed to me, but, that takes a lot of time. Also going to ground to hide from sabotage meetings is very frustrating. I haven't actually seen a capable enemy agent in years

    Though, maybe if I mix in a few more go to ground missions then the AI might not be so eager to fire their agents as soon as I imprison them, or hide from me while I investigate them. Maybe the lost missions will pay for themselves.

    Still, the sabotage mission is an enormous shitty feeling. And the steal project mission seems to be so weak by comparison. I think it lowers the project cost when I do it, but it just seems so meh by comparison.

    "That is cool" - Abraham Lincoln
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    HamHamJHamHamJ Registered User regular
    I feel like the AI should not be so quick to go scorched earth and nuke it's own country to kill some armies. Like, even if you lose a war you can retake it via coup or purging eventually, but if you start nuking it fucks you as much as everyone else. I could see Humanity First and the Servants being more extreme and nuke happy.

    While racing light mechs, your Urbanmech comes in second place, but only because it ran out of ammo.
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    tbloxhamtbloxham Registered User regular
    HamHamJ wrote: »
    I feel like the AI should not be so quick to go scorched earth and nuke it's own country to kill some armies. Like, even if you lose a war you can retake it via coup or purging eventually, but if you start nuking it fucks you as much as everyone else. I could see Humanity First and the Servants being more extreme and nuke happy.

    For a very low value of eventually too, other than huge countries you can usually grab things back in a year. Quicker than rebuilding the nuke you used!

    For huge countries like India, China, fully unified EU etc the value of a single region vs the complexities for retaking it are more balanced, but for a place like Japan or the UK, if you really want it you can get it.

    I've been enjoying the last 10 or so hours of game play, working towards DNA repairs for my counselors gives me an interesting personal narrative of these dedicated resistance members feeling that noone in the younger generation can be trusted to take over (which is true, my original council are all pretty epically powerful now)

    I feel that personal narrative is what the game is lacking to give more spice to the counselor missions. It should be more explicit that you are the council. You should get more and better suggestions from them. They should have more personal wants and needs. They should want vacations, and have places they like going. They should have families and friends.

    "That is cool" - Abraham Lincoln
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    tbloxhamtbloxham Registered User regular
    I feel either I’m doing a very good job of keeping the servants out of control points they need to progress their missions, or something is bugged in my game. It’s 2037 and while the aliens have active agents on earth, have blown up one or two fleets, lots of ships of increasing size in earth orbit they haven’t really done anything about invading us. I’ve blown up an alien structure, and the servants are having an awful time of it because they have no large nation and I go and swiftly coup any medium nation they take. But, I feel the aliens should have invaded by now to help them.

    "That is cool" - Abraham Lincoln
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    Void SlayerVoid Slayer Very Suspicious Registered User regular
    The servants have a specific tech lines to benefit from the aliens and start the invasion. If you have been keeping them away from high science control points and grounded you have probably stymied thier research.

    You can also sabotage the tech. The name is fairly obvious.

    I am totally lost in ship design. Need to find a good tutorial. Right now its biggest gun lots of armor and point defense.

    He's a shy overambitious dog-catcher on the wrong side of the law. She's an orphaned psychic mercenary with the power to bend men's minds. They fight crime!
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    MonwynMonwyn Apathy's a tragedy, and boredom is a crime. A little bit of everything, all of the time.Registered User regular
    The servants have a specific tech lines to benefit from the aliens and start the invasion. If you have been keeping them away from high science control points and grounded you have probably stymied thier research.

    You can also sabotage the tech. The name is fairly obvious.

    I am totally lost in ship design. Need to find a good tutorial. Right now its biggest gun lots of armor and point defense.

    Until you have engines that seriously go zoom and adamantine/exotic armor, lots of armor is apparently kind of a trap as it's heavy as hell

    At lower techs it seems like you want dedicated PD escorts for your big boats, transitioning to onboard PD once you've capped laser tech

    uH3IcEi.png
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    SiliconStewSiliconStew Registered User regular
    Monwyn wrote: »
    The servants have a specific tech lines to benefit from the aliens and start the invasion. If you have been keeping them away from high science control points and grounded you have probably stymied thier research.

    You can also sabotage the tech. The name is fairly obvious.

    I am totally lost in ship design. Need to find a good tutorial. Right now its biggest gun lots of armor and point defense.

    Until you have engines that seriously go zoom and adamantine/exotic armor, lots of armor is apparently kind of a trap as it's heavy as hell

    At lower techs it seems like you want dedicated PD escorts for your big boats, transitioning to onboard PD once you've capped laser tech

    Early game it was low earth orbit shipyard, chemical engines (good combat thrust, bad for travel), dedicated point defense screeners and dedicated missile boats. LEO shipyard let's you build and resupply in the same orbit the small alien scouts are arriving at so the chem engines' lack of travel doesn't matter. Though LEO opens you to easy enemy takeover missions. I agree that I wouldn't worry too much about armor coverage early either. I feel the alien weapons do enough damage to make it moot unless you use an excessive amount. I just expected a kill from any hit. Being lighter and faster without, they can somewhat make up for it with evasive maneuvers. Basic strat is enough volume of missile fire to overwhelm enemy PD and expect to lose most of your ships each time.

    Later, enemy plasma weapons (and lasers obviously) cannot be intercepted by PD at all, so not much point to spending the slots on it late game. Enemy PD will also become ubiquitous on ships and stations making missile and projectile weapons mostly ineffective past mid game. Only real use of projectiles is their ability to bombard planetary outposts. I'd focus research into laser/phaser weapons. UV is best. Honestly, there's an annoying lack of viable build variety later in the game.

    All of the high ISP/low thrust electric engines are a trap. They are all a waste of research and a waste of resources to build. They take a uselessly long time to get anywhere and make your ships virtually immobile, easy targets in combat. On the very top end, also avoid antimatter engines as the production rate is far too low to fuel your ships in a practical sense. Fusion torches that use more abundant water for fuel seems like the best end goal.

    Survey ships, orbital/colony builders, and marine transports don't need any weapons, armor, or heatsinks as they should not ever be in combat. Stations have to have all their weapons disabled by your combat ships before they can be boarded, so no point having marine transports with combat ability.

    I'm also not sure exotic-based tech is worth it. It's got the best stats, but as your only source is destroyed enemy ships I think demand would outstrip any supply.

    Just remember that half the people you meet are below average intelligence.
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    HamHamJHamHamJ Registered User regular
    20 or 30 armor can actually stand up to hits and 40 can tank for a surprisingly long time against most alien ships.

    While racing light mechs, your Urbanmech comes in second place, but only because it ran out of ammo.
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    tbloxhamtbloxham Registered User regular
    I truly despise the sabotage project outcome in this game and how it smashes your tech progress. I'm always playing the game looking forward to my next tech choice, and that takes it away from me. Very annoying.

    "That is cool" - Abraham Lincoln
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    VicVic Registered User regular
    tbloxham wrote: »
    I truly despise the sabotage project outcome in this game and how it smashes your tech progress. I'm always playing the game looking forward to my next tech choice, and that takes it away from me. Very annoying.

    I've gotten pretty paranoid about hiding my Councilors so I have yet to experience this, though I can certainly sympathise. I'm not above savescumming away a murder or two but try to keep as low a profile as I can.

    I won my first campaign this weekend as the Servants, though it was a close-run thing. I'd gotten the mistaken impression that the Alien Administration is basically immune to all forms of influence, but it turns out that it can certainly experience revolts. I somehow managed to snag both the US and Europe for my alien masters only to watch a truly epic collapse soon after as they lost 95% of their territory and all of their armies within a couple of months. Unfortunately for humanity those armies stayed gone when I began to rebuild the Administration in China, though it took almost all of my Councilors desperately reducing unrest to prevent it from collapsing as its second expansion got going in earnest.

    My new playthrough as Project Exodus has reached the mid 30's and the aliens have begun their invasion. I've managed to repel their first landing of three ships with only moderate losses and won a few minor battles in space, though I have no chance of defeating the fleet they put into orbit in response. Fortunately they have yet to destroy my stations in earth orbit, but I assume it's only a matter of time.

    I think I'm in a pretty good place in regards to technology level and space assets, but I have yet to figure out how to properly transition into what I assume will be a more space-focused late game. I have a base on Mercury and am currently considering filling all of its base slots with operations-focused bases as I'm having trouble increasing my comms (ops?) cap, though I don't know if my economy will be able to support it. I'm also going through a pretty serious fuel crisis. It is largely caused by all of my ships using water as fuel, but considering the amounts they guzzle I'm worried that the volatiles will run out pretty soon if I switch.

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    HamHamJHamHamJ Registered User regular
    I already modded out the space asset missions, I could see doing the same for the sabotage ones.

    While racing light mechs, your Urbanmech comes in second place, but only because it ran out of ammo.
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    tbloxhamtbloxham Registered User regular
    HamHamJ wrote: »
    I already modded out the space asset missions, I could see doing the same for the sabotage ones.

    I think what they should do is say "The saboteur will gain 30% of all research points you invest here for 6 months"

    Slows you down, without the perception of loss.

    "That is cool" - Abraham Lincoln
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    VicVic Registered User regular
    I'm really not liking the ship design part of the game so far. As far as I can tell the only real indication I have of the ship's effectiveness is the swords icon (combat score?), but I don't know how it's calculated. All I know is that it's bonkers.

    Adding a Nemesis nuclear torpedo that I researched in 2028 to my ship increases the combat score by 62 points and uses 1 slot. Adding a Large UV coil laser battery that I discovered in 2040 increases the combat score by 19 points and uses 4 slots. Adding laser engines gives no improvement to the combat score, and in fact lowers it due to the added weight.

    Sure, it's possible that my ship just doesn't have the generator/battery capacity to properly use the laser, but there has to be some better way of conveying that to the player. Using the autodesigner produces a ship that is almost identical in performance to the ones I build literally 10 years earler despite unlocking at least two full new tiers of generators, engines and weapon systems.

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    m!ttensm!ttens he/himRegistered User regular
    Vic wrote: »
    I'm really not liking the ship design part of the game so far. As far as I can tell the only real indication I have of the ship's effectiveness is the swords icon (combat score?), but I don't know how it's calculated. All I know is that it's bonkers.

    Adding a Nemesis nuclear torpedo that I researched in 2028 to my ship increases the combat score by 62 points and uses 1 slot. Adding a Large UV coil laser battery that I discovered in 2040 increases the combat score by 19 points and uses 4 slots. Adding laser engines gives no improvement to the combat score, and in fact lowers it due to the added weight.

    Sure, it's possible that my ship just doesn't have the generator/battery capacity to properly use the laser, but there has to be some better way of conveying that to the player. Using the autodesigner produces a ship that is almost identical in performance to the ones I build literally 10 years earler despite unlocking at least two full new tiers of generators, engines and weapon systems.

    The combat score is a combination of damage potential (which is why nukes are rated so highly, despite being very difficult to actually score a hit) and delta-v available for maneuvers. So a ship with a big engine and torpedoes is going to have a possibly over-inflated combat rating, whereas a slower, heavier-armored laser boat (with lasers doing double duty as PD and attack) is going to be more survivable and potentially deal more damage. It also means that boats that have lower combat score are more likely to engage with aliens so you can actually get into a fight you know you'll win but the aliens won't.

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    Ninja Snarl PNinja Snarl P My helmet is my burden. Ninja Snarl: Gone, but not forgotten.Registered User regular
    Many of the issues with ships is directly linked to the research hellscape being entirely too overcomplicated and terribly, terribly organized. There are, what, fifty different engines? Sixty? It's fucking horrible from game design because so many of them are useless or redundant but you can't know that without a) a chart or b) wasting an immense amount of fucking time finding out. Unless the player wants to waste huge amounts of research, they really only should be shooting to develop something like 4-6 engines, so that immense pile of engine tech is just an enormous unfun timesuck.

    The game needs only a handful of basic engine types based on fuel: water, volatiles, a mixture of both, and antimatter (but only as relatively fancy end-gamish tech). Let the player tune an engine for thrust, efficiency, or a middleground. So basically three main engine types, then let the player focus on tech that improves a) thrust or b) efficiency. The flavor text may say what the fuck ever for the engine type, but the important part will be engine stats saying "+X% to current thrust tech" or "+X% to current efficiency tech" for each step. Then you can never do research wrong because every step in engine research gives you a benefit. Then make the "important" engine tech be big improvements in thrust/efficiency, and ditch this shit where a decent engine is bottlenecked behind 10 different obnoxious pieces of research.

    So then you would have engine tech that you can tailor to your preferred fuel source and what gets placed in the solar system, the timesuck is gone because there is no wasted research, and the player doesn't need an accountant to figure out how to unlock engine tech to go from Earth to Mars in less than two years. Oh, and the game can still use all those stupid different engine icons and everything. And the refit system would have a worthwhile purpose because the player would constantly be using newer engines on newer ships instead of having hours and hours where they have one or two worthwhile engines, so old ships would get rotated out for refit with new engines.

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    tbloxhamtbloxham Registered User regular
    Many of the issues with ships is directly linked to the research hellscape being entirely too overcomplicated and terribly, terribly organized. There are, what, fifty different engines? Sixty? It's fucking horrible from game design because so many of them are useless or redundant but you can't know that without a) a chart or b) wasting an immense amount of fucking time finding out. Unless the player wants to waste huge amounts of research, they really only should be shooting to develop something like 4-6 engines, so that immense pile of engine tech is just an enormous unfun timesuck.

    The game needs only a handful of basic engine types based on fuel: water, volatiles, a mixture of both, and antimatter (but only as relatively fancy end-gamish tech). Let the player tune an engine for thrust, efficiency, or a middleground. So basically three main engine types, then let the player focus on tech that improves a) thrust or b) efficiency. The flavor text may say what the fuck ever for the engine type, but the important part will be engine stats saying "+X% to current thrust tech" or "+X% to current efficiency tech" for each step. Then you can never do research wrong because every step in engine research gives you a benefit. Then make the "important" engine tech be big improvements in thrust/efficiency, and ditch this shit where a decent engine is bottlenecked behind 10 different obnoxious pieces of research.

    So then you would have engine tech that you can tailor to your preferred fuel source and what gets placed in the solar system, the timesuck is gone because there is no wasted research, and the player doesn't need an accountant to figure out how to unlock engine tech to go from Earth to Mars in less than two years. Oh, and the game can still use all those stupid different engine icons and everything. And the refit system would have a worthwhile purpose because the player would constantly be using newer engines on newer ships instead of having hours and hours where they have one or two worthwhile engines, so old ships would get rotated out for refit with new engines.

    What they should actually do is cut the tech costs for a lot of programs but have lots of them just not work. A certain barebones tree is there and possible, but in every game like 60% of the technologies are duds. You try to invent z pinch fusion, and instead you find it's impossible and get a 10% bonus to all fusion research going forward.

    The aliens the same, neither side always gets the same toys to play with. You make the core inclusions enough to win with, but you're going to have to use your extra stuff to really bring it home.

    "That is cool" - Abraham Lincoln
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    Void SlayerVoid Slayer Very Suspicious Registered User regular
    Laser engines really are not worth it. Like 0.5% boost to damage.

    The orion engines are actually not bad if you have radioactives to spare and just need a planetary defense fleet. I need to fight now with the ships I have so going with orion + alien exotic hybrid armor long range uv lasers and pd.

    I tried a missile strat with 1 nuke amids dozens of other missiles to try and sneak one through but the alien pd is way too strong.

    He's a shy overambitious dog-catcher on the wrong side of the law. She's an orphaned psychic mercenary with the power to bend men's minds. They fight crime!
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    Ninja Snarl PNinja Snarl P My helmet is my burden. Ninja Snarl: Gone, but not forgotten.Registered User regular
    Yeah, PD seems to nullify missiles way too fast way too early in the game for missiles to be effective. I've had two ships with four launchers each all ripping off salvos and the one single low-powered alien ship picked off all the missiles easily.

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    AxenAxen My avatar is Excalibur. Yes, the sword.Registered User regular
    When you have several hours to calculate an intercept solution for objects that are extremely bright against the darkness of space it probably shouldn’t be a surprise they don’t perform well.

    A Capellan's favorite sheath for any blade is your back.
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    Ninja Snarl PNinja Snarl P My helmet is my burden. Ninja Snarl: Gone, but not forgotten.Registered User regular
    The issue is far more that why even bother having missile weaponry if it's nearly effortless for the enemy to neutralize the weapons? You just have another unnecessary pile of newbie trap research.

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    HamHamJHamHamJ Registered User regular
    Yeah, PD seems to nullify missiles way too fast way too early in the game for missiles to be effective. I've had two ships with four launchers each all ripping off salvos and the one single low-powered alien ship picked off all the missiles easily.

    I have found the opposite personally. Missiles have easily brought down everything from destroyers to motherships for me. It is very much all or nothing. If you can overwhelm their PD you can blow them away while taking no losses. If you can't you just don't do anything. I would generally aim to have a 4 to 1 advantage. As I've tried to include more mixed compositions I think it has actually generally been weaker than pure missle spam.

    Orions are great for planetary defense. For long range I have been using Grid drives generally.

    While racing light mechs, your Urbanmech comes in second place, but only because it ran out of ammo.
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    VicVic Registered User regular
    I recently discovered that there's a skirmish mode accessible from the menu that lets you import ship designs from save games and try them out against enemy ships. It's a bit of a chore, but does allow you to check ship combat performance before you spend months building them.

    On another topic, I would strongly recommend against playing as Project Exodus. I think I've done a pretty good job this campaign; I've managed to destroy most of the alien ships in orbit and taken out basically all of the armies that they've landed on earth. As in my previous campaigns the other human factions have done fuckall, Humanity First has controlled the US for the better part of a decade yet has done nothing to stop the Alien Administration. I've been running on fume for the last dozen hours or so, just doing my best to beeline to the late game tech so I can build the colony ship.

    It wasn't until I finally unlocked it that I realized my issue. Constructing the Interstellar Launch Facility costs a bunch of boosters, 2.5k water, 5k volatiles, 10.8k base metals and 6.3k noble metals, all of which I can afford...

    And 25 million credits.

    It is possible that I've played the game entirely wrong, but that is an utterly ludicrous sum to me. I have spent most of the game at a negative credit income in order to keep growing my space empire, staying afloat by selling minerals. Even if I sold all of my mineral assets, which would involve over a thousand clicks as the sell menu only allows you to sell in increments of 100, I'd still be short by a factor of ten. My current annual income is 13k. I'm sure I could increase that alot by optimizing my space assets, maybe by a factor of 10 or even 20, but then I would still have to wait another fucking decade to get the cash.

    Instead, I think I'll let this game rest for a while. I've enjoyed my time with it, but god damn does it need some polish and/or mods.

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    SiliconStewSiliconStew Registered User regular
    Vic wrote: »
    I recently discovered that there's a skirmish mode accessible from the menu that lets you import ship designs from save games and try them out against enemy ships. It's a bit of a chore, but does allow you to check ship combat performance before you spend months building them.

    And that's also a bizarre design decision since you can't even test anything you haven't already researched. So again, the game is doing all it can to keep information from you to get you to fall into its useless technology traps.

    Just remember that half the people you meet are below average intelligence.
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    TerrendosTerrendos Decorative Monocle Registered User regular
    Vic wrote: »
    I recently discovered that there's a skirmish mode accessible from the menu that lets you import ship designs from save games and try them out against enemy ships. It's a bit of a chore, but does allow you to check ship combat performance before you spend months building them.

    On another topic, I would strongly recommend against playing as Project Exodus. I think I've done a pretty good job this campaign; I've managed to destroy most of the alien ships in orbit and taken out basically all of the armies that they've landed on earth. As in my previous campaigns the other human factions have done fuckall, Humanity First has controlled the US for the better part of a decade yet has done nothing to stop the Alien Administration. I've been running on fume for the last dozen hours or so, just doing my best to beeline to the late game tech so I can build the colony ship.

    It wasn't until I finally unlocked it that I realized my issue. Constructing the Interstellar Launch Facility costs a bunch of boosters, 2.5k water, 5k volatiles, 10.8k base metals and 6.3k noble metals, all of which I can afford...

    And 25 million credits.

    It is possible that I've played the game entirely wrong, but that is an utterly ludicrous sum to me. I have spent most of the game at a negative credit income in order to keep growing my space empire, staying afloat by selling minerals. Even if I sold all of my mineral assets, which would involve over a thousand clicks as the sell menu only allows you to sell in increments of 100, I'd still be short by a factor of ten. My current annual income is 13k. I'm sure I could increase that alot by optimizing my space assets, maybe by a factor of 10 or even 20, but then I would still have to wait another fucking decade to get the cash.

    Instead, I think I'll let this game rest for a while. I've enjoyed my time with it, but god damn does it need some polish and/or mods.

    Watching Perun's videos, he was able to sell some of the late-game resources like Exotics and Antimatter for truly absurd sums of money. He basically turned his entire late-game economy into farming antimatter and selling it. Maybe that's how you're supposed to do it?

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    VicVic Registered User regular
    Terrendos wrote: »
    Vic wrote: »
    I recently discovered that there's a skirmish mode accessible from the menu that lets you import ship designs from save games and try them out against enemy ships. It's a bit of a chore, but does allow you to check ship combat performance before you spend months building them.

    On another topic, I would strongly recommend against playing as Project Exodus. I think I've done a pretty good job this campaign; I've managed to destroy most of the alien ships in orbit and taken out basically all of the armies that they've landed on earth. As in my previous campaigns the other human factions have done fuckall, Humanity First has controlled the US for the better part of a decade yet has done nothing to stop the Alien Administration. I've been running on fume for the last dozen hours or so, just doing my best to beeline to the late game tech so I can build the colony ship.

    It wasn't until I finally unlocked it that I realized my issue. Constructing the Interstellar Launch Facility costs a bunch of boosters, 2.5k water, 5k volatiles, 10.8k base metals and 6.3k noble metals, all of which I can afford...

    And 25 million credits.

    It is possible that I've played the game entirely wrong, but that is an utterly ludicrous sum to me. I have spent most of the game at a negative credit income in order to keep growing my space empire, staying afloat by selling minerals. Even if I sold all of my mineral assets, which would involve over a thousand clicks as the sell menu only allows you to sell in increments of 100, I'd still be short by a factor of ten. My current annual income is 13k. I'm sure I could increase that alot by optimizing my space assets, maybe by a factor of 10 or even 20, but then I would still have to wait another fucking decade to get the cash.

    Instead, I think I'll let this game rest for a while. I've enjoyed my time with it, but god damn does it need some polish and/or mods.

    Watching Perun's videos, he was able to sell some of the late-game resources like Exotics and Antimatter for truly absurd sums of money. He basically turned his entire late-game economy into farming antimatter and selling it. Maybe that's how you're supposed to do it?

    That makes sense. I did the math on exotics and I'd need around 1400 to afford the ship, so far I've gathered about 20. That's largely because the aliens just refuse to send fleets at me though, to the point that I'm almost beginning to wonder if the AI is bugged. Antimatter may be more promising, but I'd also note that from the little I've seen from Perun's videos, he seems to be playing the game on an entirely different level compared to me.

    I don't doubt that it's possible, it's just so far beyond my current capabilities that it made all of my empire building feel pointless.

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    Mr RayMr Ray Sarcasm sphereRegistered User regular
    edited October 2022
    There are also techs to increase the amount that space resources sell for which, when stacked, by the end I was able to sell 50 exotics for 250,000 credits.
    Vic wrote: »
    I recently discovered that there's a skirmish mode accessible from the menu that lets you import ship designs from save games and try them out against enemy ships. It's a bit of a chore, but does allow you to check ship combat performance before you spend months building them.

    On another topic, I would strongly recommend against playing as Project Exodus. I think I've done a pretty good job this campaign; I've managed to destroy most of the alien ships in orbit and taken out basically all of the armies that they've landed on earth. As in my previous campaigns the other human factions have done fuckall, Humanity First has controlled the US for the better part of a decade yet has done nothing to stop the Alien Administration. I've been running on fume for the last dozen hours or so, just doing my best to beeline to the late game tech so I can build the colony ship.

    It wasn't until I finally unlocked it that I realized my issue. Constructing the Interstellar Launch Facility costs a bunch of boosters, 2.5k water, 5k volatiles, 10.8k base metals and 6.3k noble metals, all of which I can afford...

    And 25 million credits.

    It is possible that I've played the game entirely wrong, but that is an utterly ludicrous sum to me. I have spent most of the game at a negative credit income in order to keep growing my space empire, staying afloat by selling minerals. Even if I sold all of my mineral assets, which would involve over a thousand clicks as the sell menu only allows you to sell in increments of 100, I'd still be short by a factor of ten. My current annual income is 13k. I'm sure I could increase that alot by optimizing my space assets, maybe by a factor of 10 or even 20, but then I would still have to wait another fucking decade to get the cash.

    Instead, I think I'll let this game rest for a while. I've enjoyed my time with it, but god damn does it need some polish and/or mods.

    I think all of the victory conditions need to be toned down, to be honest. They just lengthen the game for the sake of lengthening it, which should probably be somewhat expected from the team that developed two mods literally named "Long War", but it does get a bit silly. With regards to Project Exodus, I believe even after you've built the launch facility, you then need to build the ship itself, which IIRC requires a ridiculous amount of Exotics. So you're basically forced to prosecute a war full-scale war against the aliens anyway just to get enough resources for your escape ship, by which point what are you even running from?

    On the Resistance / Humanity First side it gets even more silly, since for either to achieve their goals they have to reduce the combined alien and pro-alien fleet strength to a certain percentage of the total fleet strength across all factions in space. Except realistically, if I'm at the point where I'm able to reduce the aliens to even 50% of the total fleet strength, I've already won. They're not likely to recover and beat me if they've fallen that far, and at that point its just mopping up. For hours and hours and hours. Which is where my current game is at; my ships are better than theirs one-for-one, I can kill their fleets, stations and ground bases, but due to MC limit I can only really get enough fleet strength together to do this slowly one at a time, which becomes tedious rather than fun.

    I watched Rimmy finally finish his HF campaign on stream this weekend, and towards the end he started doing what a lot of players who get to that point do; cheesing the fleet strength mechanics. A monitor full of nuclear torpedoes and magazines with a shitload of armor isn't all that effective, but can come out at 1000+ fleet strength on paper. The dumbest part is at the end:

    Humanity First ending spoilers, obviously:
    The final lore text after the ending cinematic suggests that it was a daring raid through enemy lines to deploy the Shiva virus under heavy fire, with the escorts giving their lives so that the assault team could make it through... except that was all bullshit, because Rimmy had beaten the alien's main fleet and secured the wormhole with marines years ago. Which you would probably have to do in order to get their fleet strength down to the required 20%.

    So yeah, I think either the victory requirements need adjusting downwards significantly, or something needs to be added to the end-game to justify its length and stop the final dozen hours from being a victory lap. Because that's pretty much where my Resistance campaign is at; I know I've won, and all that's left at this point is cleaning up.

    There's actually an achievement for winning as the Resistance after the Servants have already won... I can't even imagine the ridiculous number of hours that would take to accomplish.

    Mr Ray on
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    m!ttensm!ttens he/himRegistered User regular
    I think I'm about to abandon my Resistance game relatively early, just annoyed at the poor draw on orgs (I've found two admin orgs and managed to buy one from another faction) and my hodgepodge team of councilors. Somehow I ended up with 2 guys with high persuade, one of whom can't do anything with that skill except raise public opinion, nobody has any decent command to speak of, and my one sneaky guy spends most of his time as an inspire bot with a very rare foray into assassination. He can also hostile takeover orgs and I've dumped all my admin orgs onto him to raise his chance but it seems all the good orgs are hidden away because I never spot enemy councilors with anything worth rolling for. I did manage to grab USA very early though some good roll chances (from the two persuade guys I guess I managed to brute force it), but my CP cap is practically filled with just that; I have NZ, 2 CPs in Taiwan and North Korea. Those last two I grabbed to 1) denuclearize NK and 2) slow down the acquisition of the Protectorate getting all the little nations adjacent to China. The AI also went very weird with techs, like picking Mission to Mars before the moon, and going after some crappy social science and military techs that don't do much.

    I think now that I have a better grasp on the game and what I need to do I think the next start will go a lot more smoothly.

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    HamHamJHamHamJ Registered User regular
    edited October 2022
    Vic wrote: »
    I recently discovered that there's a skirmish mode accessible from the menu that lets you import ship designs from save games and try them out against enemy ships. It's a bit of a chore, but does allow you to check ship combat performance before you spend months building them.

    On another topic, I would strongly recommend against playing as Project Exodus. I think I've done a pretty good job this campaign; I've managed to destroy most of the alien ships in orbit and taken out basically all of the armies that they've landed on earth. As in my previous campaigns the other human factions have done fuckall, Humanity First has controlled the US for the better part of a decade yet has done nothing to stop the Alien Administration. I've been running on fume for the last dozen hours or so, just doing my best to beeline to the late game tech so I can build the colony ship.

    It wasn't until I finally unlocked it that I realized my issue. Constructing the Interstellar Launch Facility costs a bunch of boosters, 2.5k water, 5k volatiles, 10.8k base metals and 6.3k noble metals, all of which I can afford...

    And 25 million credits.

    It is possible that I've played the game entirely wrong, but that is an utterly ludicrous sum to me. I have spent most of the game at a negative credit income in order to keep growing my space empire, staying afloat by selling minerals. Even if I sold all of my mineral assets, which would involve over a thousand clicks as the sell menu only allows you to sell in increments of 100, I'd still be short by a factor of ten. My current annual income is 13k. I'm sure I could increase that alot by optimizing my space assets, maybe by a factor of 10 or even 20, but then I would still have to wait another fucking decade to get the cash.

    Instead, I think I'll let this game rest for a while. I've enjoyed my time with it, but god damn does it need some polish and/or mods.

    Just put all your nations on 100% spoils. You're getting the fuck out so who cares if Earth burns down into anarchy behind you? I have like negative monthly income in the thousands IIRC and still making money off of having a couple third world nations doing nothing but Spoils. Saudi Arabia was a good cash cow in particular for a while until I lost control of it.

    HamHamJ on
    While racing light mechs, your Urbanmech comes in second place, but only because it ran out of ammo.
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