What are the remaining core (not balance) issues with the game?

Posted on Tuesday, April 21, 2015

As the game is theoretically leaving beta soon, its probably the last chance to address any core issues with the game (its maybe past time but no time like the present)

When I say core, I don't mean bugs, and I don't mean balance issues. For example, I think influence is too strong on small maps right now. That's a balance issue, easily addressed with some number tweaks.

Core issues to me are areas where the game is "going in the wrong direction". The gameplay itself is something we don't like.


So with that in mind, I encourage people to post their feelings on core issues. Here are mine:


1) Ideology System. Right now the core of ideology is stemmed on expansion, which is simply a bad way to balance things. It scales horribly with map size and number of planets, and forces players into wide styles to take advantage of it. I feel that the ideology system needs to change into something the player has more direct control over without expansion.

2) Constructor Spam. There is a very good thread on this topic already, but to reiterate. Constructor Spam is a problem, and honestly not a UI one imo. I think that requiring a player to spend a good portion of their micro time and energy building and tending to constructors is simply not fun. The shipyard system was a great direction to reduce micromangement of ship building, and I feel similar treatment should occur for constructors.

Starbases are one of my favorite parts about the GalCiv series, yet constructor spam is one of my most hated parts.

3) Combat System.

Gal Civ's RPS system is fine by me. But a lot has been added, range, weapon speed, tactical speed, evasion. Endless Space had similar mechanics, and ultimately fell apart imo for 2 reasons:

a) It was terribly obscure to the player. There were so many numbers, and very little info on exactly what they did.

b ) The illusion of choice. For all the choices you were offered, in reality the differences were so minor (or some choices so bad) that there were actually very few choices in the game.

I feel like Gal Civ 3 is going in the same direction with its combat system currently. That could be because of the lack of concrete combat details, but the UI doesn't help me currently (I have a 16 missile ship vs a 8 kinetic with 40% tactical speed bonus...except I didn't know about the speed bonus).

Let me provide an example to illustrate the point. So I can add a tactical speed bonus to me ship. Gets me in quicker, lets me evade better. Great. much does that speed really help me? Would it have been better just to put on another weapon module? Is the evasion that good, worth giving up a defense module? it so good I will always get the boost instead of weapons and defense?

Balancing this many pieces can be difficult, and ultimately is it worth the added complexity? Is the combat system really that much richer for having these options...or is this the illusion of choice concealed by difficult to understand mechanics?

4) Tech Tree. A big portion of the tech tree can be summed up as: Make numbers better.

That is fine and good for a portion of the tree, most 4x players like seeing the big numbers. But I don't think there is enough that spices up the gameplay. Starbase range +2 changes the gameplay, carriers change gameplay, support modules change gameplay. I think there needs to be more of these types of techs, and less of the +X to Y techs.