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EXTREMELY Annoying Flaws in the Space Combat Summary Screen

March 6 2003 at 12:13 AM
Sirian  (no login)
from IP address

Response to RBMoo List of Bugs and Suggestions

OK, this one has come to grate on me. After every choice made on the space combat queue (cede, watch, control), the game resets you to the top of the list. Hey, no problem when you've only got a few battles to fight. When you get yourself into a pickle in the late game, with everyone cancelling their treaties, you can end up with a TON of encounters to deal with, turn in and turn out.

To have to scroll all the way down that list, over and over and over and over again, after each choice made for how to handle the encounters (half of which are ENDLESS streams of colony ships sent to their deaths without pause) is maddening. Maddening!

What's worse, I CANNOT trust the "cede all" button because the game auto-bombards and auto-allocates troops in some instances, on worlds where I want to keep the infrastructure intact or not use up all of my available ground forces.

So that's actually a second bug: when you cede control in space combat, it sometimes (always?) also cedes control of the pursuant orbital encounter. This FORCES me to ignore the useless/broken "cede all" option, because the automation auto-maxes use of orbital bombing and troop deployment.

Also, the order in which the game presents the space combat encounters could stand to be improved. I'd like to see it sorted by encounter size, or some other method that would leave all those "yes, kill their 245th-in-a-row colony ship" encounters at the bottom of the list, so I could cede control of the whole batch.

Also, I can't pick and choose from the list, I HAVE TO take the encounters in the order listed or the automation just takes over on its own and plays out the ones "above" the one I chose.

Basically, there are a lot of little things wrong with this interface, that prevent me from trusting the automation here. I will happily cede any combat I recognize as "another colony ship" or another trickle TF that has no hope of winning, but I still have to go through and decide which these are.

Basically, this whole interface DEMANDS micromanagement and as I get into the late game, having to kill colony ships turn in and turn out at half a dozen locations, along with other repeat encounters... it really sucks the fun out of the late game.

I never thought I'd say this, but the late game tedium here is actually WORSE THAN in Civ3, because the automation is broken in a few specific areas.

I would like to see an option whereby the automation will not use its judgement, but simply repeat whatever was my last selection for each system. That is, if I chose to assault a planet at a certain system last turn, the automation should default to planet assault again this turn. That, and change it so that orbital bombardment is untied from ceding control of space combat, and I could TRUST and USE the "cede all" option a lot more, relieving me of MOUNTAINS of tedium.

My promised macromanagement turns into an endless repeating cycle of running through the space combat queue each turn and having to manage it personally. That is not fun, nor is it fun ceding control to an AI who completely ignores all my choices and preferences.

I can't even "cede all" if I wanted to, since if I did, the AI would never attack any planets. It defaults to "defend" or "hold position" over and over. That's GOOD, in general, but very bad when it comes the automation's inability to adapt, inability to remember what happened the last twenty turns in a row, and sucks up my time with minutiae. On top of all that remains the "back to top of list" flaw, after each micromanagement execution, and I just want to scream or punch something.

OK, done ranting. I feel a little better now.

- Sirian

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