Planetary Annihilation Inc - The Future of PA and Titans

Discussion in 'PA: TITANS: General Discussion' started by panews, August 17, 2018.

  1. wpmarshall

    wpmarshall Planetary Moderator

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    Have you tried my hemispheric maps?
  2. emarkus

    emarkus Active Member

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    yes. they are not flat. :)
  3. lulamae

    lulamae Well-Known Member

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    but only half round... :)
  4. felipec

    felipec Active Member

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    This is something that I was thinking about. What if when you creating a system and you select a planet bigger than 3000 radius, the planet will be round but only a section of it is playable, like half the planet. Then the camera would behave similar to a traditional RTS game.
  5. DeathByDenim

    DeathByDenim Post Master General

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    I still don't quite get this thing for flat maps. I mean, this is Planetary Annihilation. It takes place on planets. It's not a gimmick. It actually changes strategies. PA is simply not a traditional RTS. There is no more hiding in corners (well, less) and playing requires a totally different kind of awareness. I think it may be the latter that is tripping people up?

    Anyway, to get back on topic. I was just reading the Twitter stream and looks like the Linux side of things will get a boost. I approve!

    I'm also hoping craters will make a return. It was just really awesome that a chunk of the playing field could just disappear like that. I think it was removed at the time because it was buggy. But bugs can be fixed! (eventually... with enough time.. and money..) We can dream! :)
    MrTBSC, nateious, stuart98 and 7 others like this.
  6. cdrkf

    cdrkf Post Master General

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    Yeah, also the early beta game play of "rush to recolonise the planet" was great fun after a smash. I would like to see planets remain in play after a small impact (e.g. An asteroid hit) as it makes the game that much more dynamic than just removing both bodies from play (that is what the anihilasor is for)...
    DeathByDenim, tatsujb and icycalm like this.
  7. icycalm

    icycalm Post Master General

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    The craters sound to me like a medium-hanging fruit. I agree they were awesome and should come back, but they might take months of work to fix?

    Two low-hanging fruits are the increase of the gap between T1 and T2 back to Classic level, that Nosebreaker has been desperately begging for since forever, and the return of orbital scouting and the Deep Space Radar that I and a few others have been asking for. These two changes could be implemented overnight, and would add a lot of depth to the game (or add it back). I explain why in detail in this article: http://cosmicwar.net/pages/features/what-is-insomnia-legion-and-why-pa-needs-it

    Two more changes that would add a lot to the depth is a cooldown for the Annihilaser between firings and a nerf to the gas giant, so that these two biomes do not completely dominate the game if they are introduced into a system. Among other negatives, it really sucks playing with randoms with these biomes, because the randoms lack the coordination to prioritize them like they should and contest them properly. But even if all the teams are clans, the war is still dumbed down to "who gets the gas or metal planet first". I don't think that any biome should dominate to this extent. A gas giant should be a good source of resources, but there should be other viable strategies than rushing to it in a system that contains it. The metal planet should be a very potent weapon, but it should not end the game immediately the moment someone builds the Catalysts, even in a 10-planet system ffs.

    The good news is that all four of these changes are moddable, and I've been using them in Insomnia Legion for months. So I don't need Uber to put them in the game for me. However, more depth is more depth, and it's always a good thing, so why not make the base game deeper for everyone by default? One evening of coding could accomplish this, so please consider it, PAINC. And whoever doesn't like them can... mod them out, I guess, just as I've been modding them in for months. But I think the majority would like them, especially once they got to test them thoroughly.
    Last edited: August 24, 2018
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  8. icycalm

    icycalm Post Master General

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    Another medium-hanging fruit, along with the craters, is the reworking of the air layer.

    Basically, the air game in PA -- especially in planets larger than about 800 radius -- is "who gets the bigger air blob". This has consequences both in terms of complexity (it dumbs the game down), and in terms of sim speed (since giant air blobs kill the server). That's why I no longer use planets larger than about 850 radius in my systems, even though I love huge planets.

    Apprently, SupCom has a better air layer than PA, but I am not an expert on this subject, so I simply follow the dudes who seem to be experts on it. Here are two quotes from this forum that explain the issue well, I think:

    https://forums.uberent.com/threads/you-want-better-balance.70988/#post-1121068
    https://forums.uberent.com/threads/you-want-better-balance.70988/#post-1121090


    So, adding all the above together, I give you icy's PA Roadmap to RTS Domination. I will post it on my site soon and keep it updated with whatever suggestions from the community I agree with.

    Short term
    Allow custom servers back in the Custom Game lobby (preferably without the red warnings that make them look like cancer -- no other big MP game on Steam has those)
    Reversion to Classic T1-T2 balance
    Return of orbital scouting and Orbital and Deep Space Radar (with the DSR becoming a T2 unit -- and preferably even a Titan -- to allow for proper scouting in the orbital layer as in all other layers)
    Gas giant nerf
    Annihilaser cooldown (5 minutes is a value I've thoroughly tested that is good, so that a 10-planet system will take about an hour to totally vaporize, pretty much like in Star Wars)
    In-game clan creation
    Clan leaderboard
    Whatever small balance changes the Uber players advise (having them vote for them in a thread would be a good idea, and a further motivation for people to try to get into Uber)
    Dynamic alliances in team games (mikey is already working on this, I think)

    Medium term
    New air layer mechanics
    Craters
    Multiplayer Galactic War
    Naval titan (an awesome idea someone mentioned was to have this create a tsunami lol)

    Long term
    T3 and T4
    Second faction
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  9. icycalm

    icycalm Post Master General

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    And of course everything that should be done to make Legion and official expansion, should be done.
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  10. wpmarshall

    wpmarshall Planetary Moderator

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    I'm not sure I agree with Deep Space Radar unless implemented in a different way - I fear that if someone get's an orbital blockade over your planet, they can VERY easily prevent you from building one and thus you've lost by not chasing them into orbit. Perhaps it could be implemented such that you automatically get orbital vision of the planet your commander is on, but need a Deep Space in order to see other planets' orbital layers.

    Agree the Gas Giant either needs a nerf, or more orbital options. Perhaps there could be merely ZONES of a gas giant that are harvestable, e.g. Atmospheric storms?

    As for the Metal Planet being a GO-TO biome, I disagree - this is all up to the map makers to sort out. The biome is fine as it is (except the trenches which I feel need a re-work to make them an interesting terrain feature). Consider a metal planet with little metal on it and is not a starting planet, I don't imagine people will be racing to it. It's up to the map makers to balance how the metal planet plays in a system. Does the metal planet feature in the same orbital system as the starter planets making it quick to get to, or does a unit need to go around the sun first, and so on...

    I must disagree with T1-T2 gap as in classic simply because once you get to T2 we did a lot of testing and it was nigh impossible to beat a t2 player with outnumbering T1. I personally think that all the T1 T2 disparity needs is perhaps a LITTLE widening and some additional units at BOTH tiers.

    As for the Air, generally yes the bigger blob has a HUGE advantage but need I remind you of...(30:45) :D

    A cooldown of 60 seconds tops for the Laser imo, as you should have acted to stop your opponent before the laser is completed - your fault if not; that is what makes it such an interesting feature - we need features in the game to focus attention around.
    stuart98 likes this.
  11. exterminans

    exterminans Post Master General

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    Regarding the air blob issue, would it possibly help to reduce the effectiveness of large air blobs by reducing / penalizing their stacking behavior?

    E.g. force them to perform vertical evasion (if forced into stacking by user control), and enforce a temporary speed debuf after an evasion maneuver was performed.
    Killerkiwijuice likes this.
  12. wpmarshall

    wpmarshall Planetary Moderator

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    Ideally we don't want StarCraft levels of micro :(
  13. lulamae

    lulamae Well-Known Member

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    Yes. The laser is meant to be a game ender. Count me in as someone who is not interested in games that take 2-3 hours to complete. For those that do enjoy those types of games, it is easy enough to host a system without gas/metal planets
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  14. exterminans

    exterminans Post Master General

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    The problem is blobs reaching a critical mass, isn't it?

    StarCraft level micro is prevented by making air level encounters strictly one-hit-KO within the same weight class to discourage rotation of units and ensure guaranteed fatalities on both sides. Allowing a higher degree of freedom in the firing solution in combination with homing projectiles seals mutual destruction.

    The other factor is that you need to limit the density of air, so that you get diminishing effects. I see two options, either prevent blobs and limit flow of reinforcements by limiting movement above a critical density, or destroy blobs e.g. by AoE friendly fire death weapons. (Giving kamikaze maneuvers an edge.)

    When in doubt, I clearly prefer preventing the formation of blobs in the first place:
    • Maintain a visually sane presentation of the army size
    • Limit peak unit loss rate (also applies to a whole blob getting shredded by a single Storm)
    • Encourage use of platoons over main strike force

    Ground units also more or less have these mechanics already. You can't stack Infernos, and if you try to push forward with too many units, physics block your advance.
  15. xankar

    xankar Post Master General

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    Dang, I love features too.

    I also loved
    - Commander Transporting (I still advocate that we need an orbital and T2 heavy multi-unit transport)
    - Gas Giant Nuking
    - Orbital Reclaim
    - T1 Units

    I also liked Orbital radar, but that could certainly use some tweaks (i.e. unit visibility only on the planet it was built on and only radar blips on planets where it's not present on.)
    NikolaMX likes this.
  16. tatsujb

    tatsujb Post Master General

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    same here. I haven't been back on windows in decades so I really hope devs worldwide are finally taking the linux platform seriously, but even if they're not it's great to have PA there to lead with an example.
  17. tatsujb

    tatsujb Post Master General

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    starcraft meta ...and even gameplay as a whole is an utter joke.

    there's no fun in the actual play the only fun is derived from crushing your opponent to which end you're forced to play the game like an utter machine.

    and whoever plays the game most like a machine wins.

    I expect DeepMind to beat StarCraft players anyday soon and while that doesn't mean much as inevitably Ai wil beat man at all games I make a distinction between those games Ai will have to hit the singularity to be able to beat humans at.

    And that's what I'm driving at : gaps in time

    chess was beat in 1996, checkers was beat (as I recall) in 2007, while go was in 2016 and chess and poker in 2017
    (we notice a pattern of acceleration going on).

    Starcraft should happen in 2019.

    but I wager for Supreme Commander Forged Alliance, neural networks and machine learning won't cut it as there's too great a complexity curve and no real counter-less strategy.

    that being said I can see it happening right before the singularity, I just see the singularity as something that happens in 2050 if humanity survives 'till then.

    And all that leaves me with is that clicking to commit to the imposed meta-ed tactic rather than dictating your all-new well pondered strategy is inferior.

    and much less fun.

    and less something we should shy away from rather than something to strive towards.
    NikolaMX likes this.
  18. davostheblack

    davostheblack Well-Known Member

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    OOh, excellent news


    .... are you going to migrate the forums to somewhere more representative of the new company?

    pa.forums.com or similar?
  19. Quitch

    Quitch Post Master General

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    The problem with air is simply that it's too fast, meaning there's no reason to ever split it up.
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  20. ledarsi

    ledarsi Post Master General

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    One thousand percent agreed. Honestly this air layer problem I had been predicting years before PA launched. It was a very predictable consequence of TA style air units.

    By far the best solution to the air blob problem is to tie air units to the ground game. If they have unlimited mobility, combined with their high speed, they become a deathblob in the skies that stacks up massively against one spot at a time.

    My proposed solution is air bases, where aircraft have to re-arm weapons. Fuel as well would be a good idea but is not essential. A bomber needs to fly out, drop its bombs, and head home to get more bombs. A fighter needs to sortie, use its missiles, and head home to get more missiles. This has a huge effect on the use of aircraft; most importantly there is a limit to how much firepower they can unload at a time, and they can't fly too deep either because they will have to get out, likely flying through enemy AA.

    Aircraft should be designed such that a small number of them is more than enough firepower for most missions, rather than having them just do chipping damage. A small amount of consistent damage is just an excuse to make a thousand of them so it adds up to an enormous total. A single one-hit-kill missile, on the other hand, there's no need to fire a thousand, in fact that is incredibly wasteful.

    Air bases would require construction, you would have to control the ground in which they are built, and if you want to deny enemy air operations you can destroy their air fields, or carriers.

    Just as a concept to test the idea; a ground structure which has a similar functionality to the ship aircraft carrier launching drones. How about start with an interceptor launch, which dispatches small, disposable flying drones to attack nearby enemy aircraft. Just make that unit and give it a try. If it plays well you might visit the idea of bomber bases instead of perma-airborne crow-swarm-bombers.

    Having more planes that require staging gives you more uptime and not just a larger single swarm. You can send out sorties of a few planes at a time more often; there's no need to have every single plane you possess attacking one target.

    I too wish for enormous planets, but without some adjustments to air and to space units it is probably never going to work.
    aidanofvt and towerbabbel like this.

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