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Topic Title: SkyLords Updates June 2024 - Round 221 (Announcement Topic)

Topic starter: Iiridayn Donator

Topic started: 15:39:46 1st May 2024

Posts: 14 Last post: 04:27:09 27th May 2024 by Iiridayn Donator

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Iiridayn Donator Posted: 15:39:46 1st May 2024

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I finally fixed the longstanding bug where buildings continue to produce even after the required defense is removed from the planet. This might mean that we should adjust defense minimums. Instead, production buildings now produce only to the level of the defense currently on the planet (instead of turning off entirely). Also, buildings now continue to produce even if other buildings don't meet requirements, instead of being all-or-nothing, and I've fixed the gathering code flow to produce before consuming to maximize resources acquired (for example, V is always produced before T deducts from it). This effectively brings production planets down from 45x to 20x or so, while allowing homeworld planets to continue to produce at up to 25x with up to a 30x shield as intended. Cajin suggested another balancing factor of limiting the total number of buildings to limit how many super homeworlds a player can have, which seems very reasonable and I'll probably work on that once the cleanup process hits the building code (which makes me want to run screaming at present due to the ridiculous amount of clone-and-modify going on, but I've bit the bullet on the forums already which has similar issues).

I also fixed the JavaScript on the planet gathering page to correctly reflect T changes in V, and to finally calculate interest income as that was bothering me while I was testing these changes.

This took me three days distracted from work :S. Not a huge fan of the resource gathering code - 4 systems are implicated: market, interest, buildings, and production. I've made improvements to disentangle those systems somewhat as well. Outstanding bugs: the warp and shield generator continue to function without E (though a longstanding kludge is that the shield generator starts to eat T instead until total defense hits 0). We'll get there.

Cajin asked that hold off on these until I could change interest - though he's not a fan of the direction of the change. I'm lowering the maximum amount of resources which gain interest from 1,000,000 to 125,000. This should make it easier to empty a captured production system (just barely fits in a 2.5 m transport), while still having some resources in jeopardy. Payback timeframes remain the same. This also brings production planets down from a cap of 35.6x to 21.8x which helps to balance income disparity between veteran players and new players. Conversation with players pointed out that the resources subject to interest were not very valuable anyway (Silicon was highlighted), so this shouldn't change game balance significantly, just reduce the flood of undesirable resources somewhat.

I'm open to constructive feedback: "you changed it now it sucks" should be reframed as "these are the goals that I feel your change impedes, and here are some suggestions for how to achieve the original goals without interfering negatively with these other goals I'd like you to keep in mind". I've been doing some analysis of the game design and realized that a substantial and long-running bug with buildings ("I'll fix it later...", 15+ years ago) was causing some serious resource production issues, and I had never bothered to analyse interest in depth. Now that these systems have been brought somewhat to heel, we have more flexibility in adding alternative resource acquisition methods.

Edit: These were live the first few days of the round but there were parts of the UI not fully updated to reflect the change which was causing confusion. Instead we've undone these changes and will plan to roll these changes out at the start of round 221.




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Iiridayn Donator Posted: 12:41:45 3rd May 2024

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Bumping interest up to 135k as it still barely fits a max transport, and it's much closer to a breakpoint.




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Iiridayn Donator Posted: 15:11:01 3rd May 2024

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Update: We'll roll these out next round, round 221, June 2024, as the UI needs some updates to be less confusing.




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Iiridayn Donator Posted: 16:55:09 3rd May 2024

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Other things that are in the pipeline/coming soon:
- Market transaction/listing fee - either credits or in-kind. I'd like to couple this with generating pirateable transports in space if possible. I'm familiar with a game which uses a 5% listing and 10% transfer fee - that might be too high/low/complicated.
- Some kind of ship probe. Balance discussions welcome. Resource cans in space need some risk.

I'll post topics for each of these.

Possibly upcoming:
- Buildings stay on planet capture (except turrets, shield, and stable warp, possibly some random damage too). This might motivate fighting to keep a previously owned planet. If it doesn't, it will at least have no impact on game balance.
- Related: Spy ships report building levels, including turrets
- Assault training building to reduce training misclicks. Remains somewhat controversial.




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Cajin Von Sian V Posted: 10:07:34 8th May 2024

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As Iiri mentioned, I am opposed to the changes, so I figured I'd make it known here.

With the current system as it is, there is the simple potential for the creation/consumption of all resources for a player...
E: fighters/shield production/defense
V: troop production
G: troops production/probing
S: buildings/fighter training
I: ship production
U/H: energy production
T: planet capturing

It is also possible for a starting player to get to greater levels of production quickly- as can be witnessed on my current account. It is possible for a player with a great deal of activity to consume the resources that they acquire through captures, and it is possible for a player that is not quite as active to tailor their consumption to their production capacity.

With the current system, my main advocacy would be to make it so you can build all buildings without any defense requirement, thus reducing the disparity between a new player and a vet. Along with keeping interest as it is.

Some might argue that with this system has no incentive to build a defended HW then, rather to do as I typically have and have 49 planets with 1M+ of each non-def and questionable defense. Though the only reason my planets at times held questionable defense was because the energy had not yet accrued on them to HW style levels, which takes time. But as that energy accrues and higher level buildings are completed, it makes sense to work to defend them. And even if you do not work to defend them, you still have planets that someone is more incentivized to capture than the numerous HWs that have less than 5% return (2.5 Billion of defense on planets like that, which means 25 Million points to gain 37M in non-def [I made more in non-def capturing SPs last round than that])

But I digress- the system of interest and buildings has a production/consumption capability- with this change, if you are a vet with a large number of strong HWs then it primarily becomes a system of consumption- and if you are a newer player then the buildings are mostly unusable and interest is not worth your time.




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Cajin Von Sian V Posted: 12:12:42 8th May 2024

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Location: Angola



If an overhaul to the system was done, then I would advocate for
1- the requirement of defense for a building to be active, with a change to the defense requirements to 0 def for lvl 1 then 15M for each level after that-

2- an increase to the buildings production of original levels so each level would add that number of production points (1 pp for lvl 1, +2 pp for lvl 2 so 3 total then, +3 for lvl 3, etc) so a mine building could add 15pp

3- a limit of 80 levels of each type of building- so you could build a lvl 5 mine on 16 planets (providing similar production to 50 current ones) or you could have 30 lvl 2 and 20 lvl 1 on your 50 planets

4- a change to interest so that you can receive interest equal to: =(#of mines/(#of mines+#of millions of non-def))*.005 where #of mines = number of V,G,S,I,U levels there are




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Iiridayn Donator Posted: 17:52:16 9th May 2024

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Combining 2 and 3 result in effectively the same production gap - 1200 production points instead of 1250 as a theoretical maximum, but makes it far easier for a vet to afford and defend. The production gap is a part of what needs to be fixed, so while I'm open to the idea of limiting buildings to avoid making every planet a homeworld, I do not think the exact numbers suggested in 2 or 3 are a good fit.

I am a bit confused regarding 4. From what I can tell, at 25 mines you'd get roughly full current interest for < 1m, and 4x total current interest at 16 m of each, and less interest with less mines. This seems counterproductive when one goal is to decrease the income gap between the new player and the veteran.

Regarding 1 - this remains a problem as it gives every planet effectively 5 free production points, but might be an option if we increase the cost of the first level of buildings significantly so there is some risk. We'd also have to re-balance the levels after to rework the defense limits, possibly moving to 25 m per level to cap out closer to a full HW. I'll have to do some math regarding shield points vs production at different amounts of defensive resources to see where those breakpoints should be - open to input as well which aligns with the goals.

I would like to note again that part of the goal here is to decrease the rate at which resources enter the universe. Some of that flow may be directed later to other purposes.




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Cajin Von Sian V Posted: 18:51:09 9th May 2024

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Topics: 9

Location: Angola



So, we want to decrease the amount of resources coming in- thus decreasing the speed at which we remove the inactive HWs across the universe and the number of points possible-

and also decrease the amount of activity that is required, based on the other post-

So just a bad time to decide that I'm going to restart and try to make my way back to 1st place.




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Iiridayn Donator Posted: 23:49:31 9th May 2024

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Yes, we need to reduce the flow of resources to fix income inequality between vets and new players. We could increase the flow to new players (give everybody 60x planets without buildings or interest for example), but that runs into problems with maximum planet sizes, which are a fairly hard limit at present (we'd have to fix all the code before we can even begin to look into changing those). Yes, the increased income does mean that many of the past rounds and scores are rather inflated compared to previous rounds, and that I expect subsequent rounds to have somewhat lower maximum scores - though I would also like to introduce additional ways to make points which might make that swing positive again.

I recognize that it is difficult to have familiar game systems change, and I apologize for the frustration. As I mentioned in the first post in this thread, I welcome feedback framed along the lines of "these are the goals that I feel your change impedes, and here are some suggestions for how to achieve the original goals without interfering negatively with these other goals I'd like you to keep in mind". Please give me feedback of this nature if you feel I am wrong.

Reducing mandatory activity is a goal with a much longer timeframe. This change will not impact that. I've a few thoughts on the matter, but nothing that I feel is quite where I'd like it to be. For example, making iflight times more flexible and attempting to align them within player provided availability windows - which could have impacts on the HW assault meta if done poorly. Any suggestions there would also be appreciated. I do not want to be responsible for hosting "digital crack", like "World of Warcrack" or "Evercrack" back in the day. There are plenty of game developers who tread that path (Zygna is one of the most successful, last I checked), but I do not feel that is a path which makes the world a better place. I do not want to be responsible for encouraging compulsive behavior.

I am willing to be reasoned with. Help me to see your perspective. Spend as long on your replies as I do on mine. I've spent around 50 minutes on this one.




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EL Posted: 10:52:40 10th May 2024

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"So, we want to decrease the amount of resources coming in- thus decreasing the speed at which we remove the inactive HWs across the universe and the number of points possible-

and also decrease the amount of activity that is required, based on the other post-

So just a bad time to decide that I'm going to restart and try to make my way back to 1st place."

@Cajin - Same here, although I do wonder why we aren't going in the other direction.


""these are the goals that I feel your change impedes, and here are some suggestions for how to achieve the original goals without interfering negatively"

@Iiri - The one and only main feature I'd like to see implemented, would be higher planet limit. I can suggest ways to balance / offset this but honestly I dont feel there would be support.

Increased planet limit or a form of colonies with reduced production rates, say fixed at 9x without building capability and cannot be obliterated or left.. there's alot than be tweaked with this idea.

Could have it tied to SPC and activity capturing & moral > reach thershold of captures and activity for the round, gain 1 additional planet slot.

More player planets = more interactions of players running into each other rather than just SPCs.. or void space once SPCs go back to below 5k in number.

More production = more hw attacks - more resources being deleted from the game.


Cajin Von Sian V Posted: 11:16:55 10th May 2024

Posts: 13

Topics: 9

Location: Angola



I understand taking 50 minutes to write it up, my last one was fairly short, but I probably spent 20 minutes thinking about it, and numerous hours on my original two, as well as a couple on this one.

As it stands, a veteran with what I consider optimized buildings will have 35.6 PP- your number matches- of those 35, the number that matters is troop production which is 15pp.

A new player with 9x planets has 5pp- of which 4 is troops. Is that trash compared to a vet? Yes. This is a problem of the new player system, not the vet system. One plus is, that a new player in the current system, come into real arena and without too much trouble, pick up 20x planets doubling their production. And with proper playing, like me, I was at 30.6pp with 12pp on T on my planets after 1 month.

The new system will change it so that a vet, with once again what I see as optimized production will have 20.1pp- a little under your calculation, but close enough- the problem is of these pp, only 9 are troop with 10 being in S/I, so a new player with a 20x planet will have better troop production than a vet with a 75M defense HW.

This means that you are producing silicon, which can't be used because you can't use up your energy to build fighters since you have to maintain your defense. And you are building more than twice as much iron as your troop production can handle for assault creation.

The proposal means that there is no reason to make a HW, and you are in fact being penalized by having one.

Under my proposed system, you are correct, with 16M non-def you are gathering 3 times as much interest, but you are limited to only having that on 16 planets, which means it is equitable to 49 planets with 1M non-def and lvl 1 buildings. The buildings production could be discussed, I do not recall what I was calculating for production, but it creates an incentive to work up towards defended planets, while not penalizing smaller players that can't afford a bunch of HWs and it does not sacrifice troop production.

One aspect that is missing in this conversation is the presence of pp value of activity. This, in my opinion, is where the biggest disparity is between a new player and a vet. As can be witnessed in my videos, a new player is severely hampered in their potential for activity due to initial troop production and even when you get 49 20x planets, you are still curtailed. Compared to a veteran that has an accrual of troops and can run constant activity. With my current level of capturing, 300/day, that provides 93pp of value on each of 50 planets. A new player with 24 20x planets could start out capturing 46 planets a day (avg 15x) and once get exp on an assault could be towards 100 planets a day, far less than a vet.

So a highly active vet will definitely be able to outproduce a new player, but a highly active new player (especially with troop infusions from selling assaults) can easily outproduce a veteran that is not very active, and if we look at the activity level, guess what, there are not that many active vets.

So another suggestion would be to keep the planet count rather outrageously high as it is now in order to provide opportunities for new players to be highly active if they wish and to also have the potential of finding 20x planets, since as the planet count drops, so does the 20x potential. But that is another discussion.




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