Auto-Outposts are Completely BrokenMarch 7 2003 at 1:44 AM
|Sirian (no login)|
from IP address 220.127.116.11
Response to RBMoo List of Bugs and Suggestions
OK, this is ridiculous. My third single player game, I'm trying the Raas, large 2-arm on medium with many/medium lanes. I did not start in the senate, but two different senate-member neighbors settled in a system next to my home system, which had four worlds all red/yellow to me. These new colonies had no defenses, so I built some troops very early, invaded and took over these two colonies. In fact, I only meant to invade the one, but I clicked the wrong planet the first time and just stuck with it.
There was one magnate in my region, which I also settled. That gave me three races not my own in my empire. The FIRST turn after taking control of each of these three races, the alien race created a new outpost on some hostile world of their own accord. Every few turns, each race establishes yet another new outpost, with just a trickle of people, and if I go in and turn migration on, these each become a full colony within ten to fifteen turns, or so.
I settled a second magnate race, near my one true enemy, giving me a fourth subject race besides my own. Then I invaded and conquered a third planet, belonging to my main enemy, and on that world was a TINY FRACTION of population from a THIRD SENATE RACE, apparently left over from their original "free" outpost on this world, that was overtaken by my enemy's colony ship.
And what happens? Out of this tiny fraction, on the next turn, you guessed it: they established a free outpost in my empire's name.
I have a ridiculous number of worlds. Other than a troopship, a few 10-packs of cheap troops, and a couple of warships to blockade and fight off lightweight enemy fleets, I have spent the whole time building colony ships. I have built my own outposts, too, to fill in additional worlds in systems I've already colonized. (A system outpost ship is quite cheap). However, having settled maybe 16 worlds on my own, I have about another 10 that have come from these free alien outposts and many more of those on the way. I'm probably more than double the size of the next largest empire, and I'm not even playing an insect race.
This whole concept is broken. Each new race who comes under your empire's control -- magnates or rivals -- starts establishing these "free" outposts, which migration can turn into free colonies fairly quickly.
Although the player could avoid magnates to avoid this effect, you can't avoid conquering your neighbors completely, because part of the game is to get involved in brush wars along contested borders, to see who will emerge in control of lands wanted by more than one empire.
What's worse, I've noticed that the AI Empires in fact also do this. Take a close look, they will have outposts popping up VERY early in the game. This is in fact at least a major aspect of AI growth curve: the worlds they get in this fashion for themselves, with
"free" outposts popping up on their own, then filling in over time to become colonies.
Question: is this by design? Is this the ONLY WAY to prop up a broken AI, by giving them free outposts? And the player just happens to tap into this aspect if they conquer worlds inhabited by other races?
Someone pointed out that MOO3 is supposed to have an AI that "doesn't cheat", but competes by the same rules as the player. Clearly, when it comes to these outposts, that's not the case. The AI's are not governed by the same rules. They get outposts for free on a regular basis, without having to build ships. Although the players can actually get ahead of the game by deliberately gathering small populations of as many races as possible as quickly as possible, and actually get more benefit out of these free outposts than the AI empires do.
This whole aspect needs a major refit. It "looked cool" as a nice feature when Magnates seemed to pull in a free world or two, but this was with me not taking control of any magnate races or invading rival empire colonies until the middle and late game. If you get a magnate early, the effect on your growth curve is sickeningly strong. Same for conquering some helpless new AI colonies settled too close to your core. I am VERY much reminded of Civ3's release version and the ability to run out with a couple archers and take over all the AI's new cities, especially on Deity, and just run over the game. It rendered the whole game a joke. You grew faster that way than you possibly could with your own settlers.
Well this is similar. You grow faster with one or two batches of troops sent in to undefended new AI border colonies (to acquire races who will build you free outposts until the end of time) than you do to concentrate on your own population.
This is ESPECIALLY broken in light of multiplayer, where the early rush to grab a magnate or take one world away from each neigbbor (AI or human player) will be the winning "strategy", because it's so much stronger than self-growth alone.
Since the AI's rely on this mechanism to grow, I don't know what the solution is. I'd be willing to let them continue to have their "free" outposts -- the game is already too easy without taking that away from them -- but the option has got to be denied to the human player, preferably completely. Disable it! Please.
- Overactive migration - Jaxom on Mar 7, 3:14 AM
- Free outposts - Zed on Mar 7, 5:07 AM
- We did? - Drasca on Mar 7, 8:52 AM
- There is an option to disable it. - Drasca on Mar 7, 8:59 AM
- FLUs don't stop magnates colonizing - Jaffa Tamarin on Mar 7, 9:33 AM
- Right - Sirian on Mar 7, 10:46 AM
- RBMoo1C - Zed on Mar 7, 12:17 PM
- In addition - Brackard on Mar 7, 12:42 PM
- Was migration active on any of your worlds? - Jaxom on Mar 7, 2:14 PM
- More info about migration - Jaxom on Mar 8, 6:41 PM
- Free outposts of your own race - Zed on Mar 9, 1:39 PM