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

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    Ninja Snarl PNinja Snarl P My helmet is my burden. Ninja Snarl: Gone, but not forgotten.Registered User regular
    Mr Ray wrote: »
    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.

    The whole game could do with something like a 40-60% reduction in the time it takes to play each game. Partly this is due to currently how it takes fucking forever to resolve a single turn and partly because basically everything that needs a resource of some kind is just wildly too expensive. I gave up my first game when the tech I needed to get a moderately-decent interplanetary engine would take another 4-6 hours of tediously micromanagement to get the requisite 5-6 expensive bottleneck techs researched. That would be just the start of decent fleets and this was after I'd already sunk some 20 hours into the game and it was already becoming obvious how barebones the gameplay loop is. To even get the research done, I would need to build a pile of research modules and do a miserable slog of conquering opposing habitats for their resources.

    But it has long been my experience that the kind of people who make stuff like The Long War mod get absolutely maniacally focused on bizarre points they will not budge on but don't even remotely add anything of value to the game. I can't help but think that the game being an absurd slog is gonna be one of those things. It's not like each game needs to be snappy and short and resolve in an hour or less, but there's just not enough actual content here to justify much past about 30 hours. Having hundreds of things to research with every significant tech eventually needing multiple high-cost unlocks is more content, it's just forcing the player to play a tedious world map game while waiting for the important stuff to start to happen.

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    VicVic Registered User regular
    Mr Ray wrote: »
    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.

    The whole game could do with something like a 40-60% reduction in the time it takes to play each game. Partly this is due to currently how it takes fucking forever to resolve a single turn and partly because basically everything that needs a resource of some kind is just wildly too expensive. I gave up my first game when the tech I needed to get a moderately-decent interplanetary engine would take another 4-6 hours of tediously micromanagement to get the requisite 5-6 expensive bottleneck techs researched. That would be just the start of decent fleets and this was after I'd already sunk some 20 hours into the game and it was already becoming obvious how barebones the gameplay loop is. To even get the research done, I would need to build a pile of research modules and do a miserable slog of conquering opposing habitats for their resources.

    But it has long been my experience that the kind of people who make stuff like The Long War mod get absolutely maniacally focused on bizarre points they will not budge on but don't even remotely add anything of value to the game. I can't help but think that the game being an absurd slog is gonna be one of those things. It's not like each game needs to be snappy and short and resolve in an hour or less, but there's just not enough actual content here to justify much past about 30 hours. Having hundreds of things to research with every significant tech eventually needing multiple high-cost unlocks is more content, it's just forcing the player to play a tedious world map game while waiting for the important stuff to start to happen.

    I think this is the core issue. A related problem is how incredibly tedious it is to have to continually defend your territories over dozens of hours of gameplay. Probably the worst offender is the Defend interests mission, though luckily there's a mod that removes it and rebalances missions to simulate it always being up. Yet even then you have to be constantly vigilant as the AI factions will always be increasing unrest and shifting public opinion in your territories. They are terrible at taking and holding territory, but they outnumber you 6 to 1.

    One of the most hilarious behaviors of the AI has been their reaction any time I've gone above the mission control cap. Like clockwork, the next mission phase a bunch of their agents will swarm my near-earth stations, then attempt to take control the next. Their success rate at that point seems hugely inflated regardless of how few points above the cap I am, to the point that I've never seen them fail while I've been above it. The best way to counter this is to just scuttle a few ships, which at one point rewarded me with a full 7 failed takeover mission messages.

    I almost considered using this as a strategy to waste the AI's actions, but it didn't seem worth the effort. I also tried killing every single agent that dared to step into my core territories, but the AI never got the hint.

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    Phoenix-DPhoenix-D Registered User regular
    Previous patch note made me double take..
    0.3.35

    - Fix bad trigger in Energy Crisis that was setting it off way too often (bug introduced in .34)
    - Fix missing adjacency between Honduras and El Salvador

    0.3.34

    Gameplay
    - You can now use DestroyHab if you have marines, and marines are required to use DestroyHab on a base you are landed at.

    UI
    - Texture Streaming is now an option in the graphic settings menu
    - Project and Part Sorting Update we gotta talk about your patchnotes ben

    Bugfixes
    - Some fixes to events
    - Fix for missing tech descriptions
    - Alien threat monitor tutorial now that it's moved
    - fix for ship desinger role assignment tooltip sorting behind game elements
    - Fix crash in JoinFleet goal initialization
    - Attempt fix rare crash when a councilor is dismissed in the same tick that a mission prompt is pending

    either this patch or the upcoming one, the notes weren't clear, also adds the ability to mark parts as obsolete, which is nice if I ever get as far as launching a ship :P

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    Ninja Snarl PNinja Snarl P My helmet is my burden. Ninja Snarl: Gone, but not forgotten.Registered User regular
    Have they talked about the utter utter stupidity that is chance-based unlocks for tech? Making it completely possible that global unlocks do not open all nodes connected to that tech for everybody?

    Because aside from my other issues with the sheer bloat and whatnot, that feature alone would make the game a hard no for me. It takes too fucking long to research a technology and implement it into ships to be fucking around with maybe getting a major step up in engine tech but also potentially be completely locked out of for no reason other than a bad dice roll. No idea which of them came up with that idea but whoever did it is an awful developer.

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    Mr RayMr Ray Sarcasm sphereRegistered User regular
    There's a couple of comments like this in the patch notes about one particular developer named "Ben" who evidently sometimes has issues with his spelling and grammar, or his patch notes not explaining what it is he's actually done properly. As a developer myself, I can relate. I did a quick search through their past patch notes and here are all the ones mentioning spelling or Ben and a definite pattern begins to emerge:
    • Added the abiltiy to select projects as obsolete which allows them to be hidden. dude you don't get to write loc if you can't spell "ability" correctly
    • New Animated Arrow! maybe next time the patch notes will tell us what it does, ben
    • Updated Mission Buttons with Arrows to Highlight interactablity -- oh is this it, ben? did you do operations UI too?
    • Project and Part Sorting Update we gotta talk about your patchnotes ben
    • fix spelling on a couple of internal variables that no player ever sees because I just can't stand to see it spelled "persuit" Ben, seriously, how are you misspelling things in parts of the game you aren't even working on; no I don't care if it's Tau's code ... fine, if you're leaving I hope it's to go buy a dictionary

    Updates seem to have slowed to a bit of a crawl, which is a shame, because I'm probably not interested in another campaign until they get some QoL fixes in. At some point we're getting the extra scenarios, a "Cold War' one and a "Foothold" scenario where humanity is already in space in 2300 or so. I imagine there will be other changes to the scenarios to make them more than just a starting date adjustment.

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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
    Have they talked about the utter utter stupidity that is chance-based unlocks for tech? Making it completely possible that global unlocks do not open all nodes connected to that tech for everybody?

    Because aside from my other issues with the sheer bloat and whatnot, that feature alone would make the game a hard no for me. It takes too fucking long to research a technology and implement it into ships to be fucking around with maybe getting a major step up in engine tech but also potentially be completely locked out of for no reason other than a bad dice roll. No idea which of them came up with that idea but whoever did it is an awful developer.

    I believe the idea is to encourage more tech theft/trade, since it's reasonably easy to control all the global research slots. Bad implementation of that idea though.

    uH3IcEi.png
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    Ninja Snarl PNinja Snarl P My helmet is my burden. Ninja Snarl: Gone, but not forgotten.Registered User regular
    Monwyn wrote: »
    Have they talked about the utter utter stupidity that is chance-based unlocks for tech? Making it completely possible that global unlocks do not open all nodes connected to that tech for everybody?

    Because aside from my other issues with the sheer bloat and whatnot, that feature alone would make the game a hard no for me. It takes too fucking long to research a technology and implement it into ships to be fucking around with maybe getting a major step up in engine tech but also potentially be completely locked out of for no reason other than a bad dice roll. No idea which of them came up with that idea but whoever did it is an awful developer.

    I believe the idea is to encourage more tech theft/trade, since it's reasonably easy to control all the global research slots. Bad implementation of that idea though.

    I was thinking it was a really really terrible idea for trying to cut down on tech bloat without actually removing anything.

    But regardless, yeah, fuckawful idea. Stealing tech is way too finicky (the enemy almost has to cooperate with you to make anything useful available) and the last thing the game needs is for the the agent stuff to get more focus. And being able to lose game elements because of chance? Game elements that could have a massive impact on how a game plays out? Yeesh, that is some bad game design. Maybe the next step is that the aliens can take control of the agents on my turn and I get to do nothing except watch.

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    Mr RayMr Ray Sarcasm sphereRegistered User regular
    The intention was to make each playthrough a little more unique by having different things unlock at different times. The idea being that then even if one weapon or engine or whatever is "the meta" you're still incentivised to research other alternatives since you can never be certain when the engineering project will actually pop. In reality is it means you still go for whatever is the meta and just wait longer. I did give this feedback during beta and one of the Devs got... defensive... so I guess that was somebody's pet idea.

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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
    Mr Ray wrote: »
    The intention was to make each playthrough a little more unique by having different things unlock at different times. The idea being that then even if one weapon or engine or whatever is "the meta" you're still incentivised to research other alternatives since you can never be certain when the engineering project will actually pop. In reality is it means you still go for whatever is the meta and just wait longer. I did give this feedback during beta and one of the Devs got... defensive... so I guess that was somebody's pet idea.

    Frankly I should have expected this kind of BS from the Long War devs.

    Anyone know how to mod this game? Is it just a matter of editing since plaintext datafiles or do I have to decompile the damn thing? Because with a few changes this would be a game I adore, but as is I just don't have the patience for it.

    uH3IcEi.png
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    Mr RayMr Ray Sarcasm sphereRegistered User regular
    edited December 2022
    Monwyn wrote: »
    Mr Ray wrote: »
    The intention was to make each playthrough a little more unique by having different things unlock at different times. The idea being that then even if one weapon or engine or whatever is "the meta" you're still incentivised to research other alternatives since you can never be certain when the engineering project will actually pop. In reality is it means you still go for whatever is the meta and just wait longer. I did give this feedback during beta and one of the Devs got... defensive... so I guess that was somebody's pet idea.

    Frankly I should have expected this kind of BS from the Long War devs.

    Anyone know how to mod this game? Is it just a matter of editing since plaintext datafiles or do I have to decompile the damn thing? Because with a few changes this would be a game I adore, but as is I just don't have the patience for it.

    Depends on what you want to do specifically, but if you just want to edit the tech trees so that engineering projects pop instantly for example I'm pretty sure that's as simple as editing the right JSON in the "templates" folder.

    I did at one point consider making a "short war" mod; the tech tree would be trimmed, all engineering projects would pop as soon as they were unlocked, and there would only be one mission phase per month. Maybe I'll have to revisit the idea some time.

    Mr Ray on
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    Phoenix-DPhoenix-D Registered User regular
    edited December 2022
    Mr Ray wrote: »
    Monwyn wrote: »
    Mr Ray wrote: »
    The intention was to make each playthrough a little more unique by having different things unlock at different times. The idea being that then even if one weapon or engine or whatever is "the meta" you're still incentivised to research other alternatives since you can never be certain when the engineering project will actually pop. In reality is it means you still go for whatever is the meta and just wait longer. I did give this feedback during beta and one of the Devs got... defensive... so I guess that was somebody's pet idea.

    Frankly I should have expected this kind of BS from the Long War devs.

    Anyone know how to mod this game? Is it just a matter of editing since plaintext datafiles or do I have to decompile the damn thing? Because with a few changes this would be a game I adore, but as is I just don't have the patience for it.

    Depends on what you want to do specifically, but if you just want to edit the tech trees so that engineering projects pop instantly for example I'm pretty sure that's as simple as editing the right JSON in the "templates" folder.

    I did at one point consider making a "short war" mod; the tech tree would be trimmed, all engineering projects would pop as soon as they were unlocked, and there would only be one mission phase per month. Maybe I'll have to revisit the idea some time.

    Also there's already a mod that does the instant project pop on the workshop

    Phoenix-D on
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    Ninja Snarl PNinja Snarl P My helmet is my burden. Ninja Snarl: Gone, but not forgotten.Registered User regular
    edited December 2022
    I would honestly get a ton of vindictive satisfaction from modders-turned-devs using their fame from adding a ton of grind to a game getting their hugely grind-oriented game supplanted by modders looking to cut out the arbitrary time-wasting bullshit.
    Mr Ray wrote: »
    The intention was to make each playthrough a little more unique by having different things unlock at different times. The idea being that then even if one weapon or engine or whatever is "the meta" you're still incentivised to research other alternatives since you can never be certain when the engineering project will actually pop. In reality is it means you still go for whatever is the meta and just wait longer. I did give this feedback during beta and one of the Devs got... defensive... so I guess that was somebody's pet idea.

    Oof, this just sounds worse and worse. I'm not spending 40+ hours on a singleplayer game where not having the right engine unlock pop might add an extra 20 hours on to the game just because I keep having to fucking wait for ships to scoot around. They do get that human beings will be playing the game, right? Not masochistic immortals with diversified investments such that they never have to work or anything else?

    Ninja Snarl P on
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    MorninglordMorninglord I'm tired of being Batman, so today I'll be Owl.Registered User regular
    Man you sure are vindictive about people having different preferences to you huh.

    (PSN: Morninglord) (Steam: Morninglord) (WiiU: Morninglord22) I like to record and toss up a lot of random gaming videos here.
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    Ninja Snarl PNinja Snarl P My helmet is my burden. Ninja Snarl: Gone, but not forgotten.Registered User regular
    Man you sure are vindictive about people having different preferences to you huh.

    Definitely vindictive, mostly to modders that ruin great ideas with weird-ass hangups on really stupid ideas. I think it's from playing a bunch of STALKER mods. For every mod that was moderately good, there were fifteen others doing the same thing... and then also adding on dumbass shit like "ULTRA DARKEST MEGA BLIND" mode because they thought being unable to see at night was realistic. So for a long time, getting a decent collection of STALKER mods was a nightmare because ever modder threw stupid crap in there.

    But I paid my money for Terra Invicta, I have no reservations about griping about stupid design choices that don't improve the experience. All the devs need to do is make good choices and I won't have to gripe.

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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
    Giving this one another spin.

    It's still early, but the ground game at least is improved - Defend Interests is still important and a list defensive measure, but as long as you spend time pumping your public opinion and you invest a modicum of influence into the Crackdown rolls you can pretty easily get 30+% rolls to kick someone out, which is a vast improvement. Controlling global research is also harder; I'm not at the SPAM LABS point yet, but I can really only control one global slot reliably.

    uH3IcEi.png
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    Ninja Snarl PNinja Snarl P My helmet is my burden. Ninja Snarl: Gone, but not forgotten.Registered User regular
    I've been wondering about the direction this game has been taking myself. It was basically unplayable tedium when I stopped, but there's a multitude of good ideas still there and they just need to drop dumb ideas (like randomized tech unlocks) for good ideas (like massively reducing the amount of clicking you have to do to play).

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    Mr RayMr Ray Sarcasm sphereRegistered User regular
    I've been wondering about the direction this game has been taking myself. It was basically unplayable tedium when I stopped, but there's a multitude of good ideas still there and they just need to drop dumb ideas (like randomized tech unlocks) for good ideas (like massively reducing the amount of clicking you have to do to play).

    They've changed the randomized tech system in that, while it is still random, your odds of unlocking a tech now increase each month, with a bonus based on your science output. So basically you're guaranteed to get every tech eventually.

    The main focus of the devs at the moment is AI and UI; getting a strong foundation to build on before adding new features. And it does seem to have paid off; I started an Initiative run a while back and the AI-controlled Resistance and Academy are doing pretty well; both having killed an alien and salvaged a warship by 2030. Project Exodus have the biggest space presence, which of course invoked the wrath of the aliens, so now they're playing the whack-a-mole station game with the aliens that would usually be left to the human player.

    The reason I've put that campaign aside though, apart from the icky feeling I get every time I read the text of one of the Initiative's plot techs, is that its too damn easy. I'm playing on Brutal, but the difficulty level doesn't really impact anything because I have no meaningful enemies; I've avoided pissing off the Servants as much as possible and kept myself juuust under the threat threshold where the aliens will start coming for my space assets, so there's really nothing to do but sit back and tech up until I'm ready to "go loud" and start mass-producing combat ships with all of the space resources I've got saved up. It would be more interesting if the aliens would make more of a play for earth, but so far they've sent a grand total of three landing craft to earth, which was easily mopped up by the U.S military alone.

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    Mr RayMr Ray Sarcasm sphereRegistered User regular
    Terra Invicta is currently 30% off on Steam for Gamescom and there have been a whole bunch of UI, AI and QoL fixes, so now is a great time to jump in if you were previously on the fence. Too many changes for me to list them all, but what I would consider the "headline" features since the start of early access are:
    • Can now select multiple ships in space combat and assign them to groups with CTRL+<num> and issue orders to just that group rather than just one ship or the whole fleet. Can also maneuver in groups
    • New maneuvers; match velocity, intercept course, evasive maneuvers, missile volley. All things you would have previously had to do manually by fiddling around with waypoints and weapon fire modes, now done for you at the click of a button!
    • Can now set fleet formation in the actual battle interface so that you can actually see what your fleet's formation is going to look like rather than having to guess from the description
    • Ship-to-ship refueling; no longer are your ships that run out of fuel stranded forever!
    • Notification settings; can now decide which events you don't want to be bothered about anymore, no longer do you need to keep having your turn interrupted by the game telling you about your double-agent councilor doing a public campaign for their faction in bumfuckistan
    • Can now mark techs and ship components as "obsolete" and show/hide them to reduce late-game clutter
    • AI improvements: many of. The human AI factions are a lot smarter, and will expand much more quickly into space. They pick sensible techs, build sensible ship designs and sometimes even hold their own against the aliens in space. Piss them off and they will attack your habs with their own fleets, or bomb your armies from orbit. As a result, its now a lot more viable to go hard against the aliens earlier, as their attention will be divided between you and the other human factions
    • New campaign customization sliders; set tech rate, nation development rate, space mining resources and alien progression rate with handy-dandy sliders. Comes with a "Quick game" preset which would be more accurately named "less slow"; its still going to take a long-ass time to finish a game even on "Quick" but at least you'll be done before the heat death of the universe. Also @Ninja Snarl P's pet peeve, randomized tech unlocks, is now a thing that you can toggle on or off.
    • A "launch all probes" button so that you can just auto-probe everything that's now in range when a new "Mission to -" tech is unlocked instead of having to click every one individually
    • Many new tooltips to explain what things actually do
    • UI scaling for those who are allergic to tiny text
    • Bunch of new events and artwork

    I've played the shit out of this game to the point that I'm doing silly meme runs. For example, I'm currently doing an "Africa Only" run as project Exodus, where my self-imposed rule was that I cannot take any nation outside of Africa until I control everything inside of it. Unsurprisingly, this meant a lot of fighting fires to maintain control early on, but the secret superpower of Africa is that the entire continent can (eventually) be unified into a mega-nation with a population greater than China.
    6pa76nmnedj5.jpg

    Rather than doing that, however, I've chosen to keep it as two big nations rather than one gigantic one. So my base of power is the West African Federation (aka, "Big Nigeria") which hosts my earth-based launch facilities, which mostly support the Space Hilton:
    b5dm1u2skhaf.jpg

    The Space Hilton in turn bankrolls the rest of my operations, accounting for fully half of my total income at the cost of a ridiculous amount of boost to shuttle the tourists to and fro. At this point I can probably turtle my way to victory, since Project Exodus doesn't actually have any requirement to fight the aliens, just to defend their stuff until they can launch their colony ship.

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    Ninja Snarl PNinja Snarl P My helmet is my burden. Ninja Snarl: Gone, but not forgotten.Registered User regular
    Hey, I had more than one pet peeve!

    But randomized tech definitely pets my peeves.

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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
    I'd like this game more if the tech tree was less byzantine.

    uH3IcEi.png
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    Ninja Snarl PNinja Snarl P My helmet is my burden. Ninja Snarl: Gone, but not forgotten.Registered User regular
    Monwyn wrote: »
    I'd like this game more if the tech tree was less byzantine.

    I'd go as far as to say it's the core problem with the game. Game speed can be adjusted in a number of ways, even in ways that let the player customize the speed to something more enjoyable.

    But that research tree is a damned research forest, and a dark forest at that. There is dead-end tech, mediocre tech, and clearly-superior tech and absolutely fucking nobody enjoys spending six real-time hours performing research only to find out they went down the wrong node and unlocked shit inferior to what they already have. Or sunk a bunch of effort into something that unlocks one tech of limited usefulness... and nothing else. Even just knowing the better techs to unlock is a massive chore because you have to manually check each node to see what they unlock and the nodes are spread over a HUGE virtual area.

    Case in point, all of the very very very specific country-oriented research nodes. Take those several dozen items, strip out the utterly useless specificity, and turn it into research that lets you do X, Y, and Z with things like unification and nation-making. I absolutely do not give a fuck if there's no historical connection between a handful of nations I now have in a clump, just give me a tech node that says "you can combine any number of nations under this total GDP limit into one nation". Do not force this shit where I have to go conquer 18 more surrounding nations to get the right nations to join each of those original handful to another nation before I can take that cluster of nations and turn them into a bigger nation. It's not a fun bit of granularity, it's tedious nonsense. And just this one change would remove dozens of nodes to give an almost straight-line upgrade path, with clear-cut benefits, applications, and co-requisites.

    Take the tech tree and collapse it to like... one-third of what it currently is. And even then, it's still probably going to be overly complex, but at least it will approach comprehensible and controllable. As this stand, it's fuckload of redundant nonsense to unlock different-colored engines or lasers or guns with different stats.

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