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Unread 26 Dec 2005, 23:43   #1
Appocomaster
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Espionage

As this seems to be the biggest issue with any new proposals, I thought I'd start a specific thread.

It basically involves the concept of shifting all intelligence gathering to sending agents. The more difficult the mission, the longer it takes. The more agents you send, the lower your stealth but the quicker the mission.

Why change the system?
Well, for a start "distorter wh0res" force the advantage to alliances with dedicated scanners. As the round goes on, some fair percentage of the playerbase decides to go for distorter whoring, which only some top alliance scanners can scan. I wonder how many of the top alliances actually had scanners with over 100 or 130 amps, or access to one? And how many planets had over 100 distorters? (yes, I admit I should have looked this up BEFORE resetting everyone's constructions).

Covert ops are generally used by mid-top alliance players (admittedly partly because many of the smaller players are free and can't get any decent covert ops). They're almost self justifying - covert ops are used by scanners to steal resources, and more than just scanners use covert ops to destroy amps of scanners and any structures of top enemy planets with low security.
Very few people (I think YoureDoomed was one?) have actually come top 100 using some sort of covert op method. I think that we could make the route as a whole more useful.

Secondly, all this "concept stuff".
Waves is meant to send scans out to count things. If you want to debate realism, I fail to see how waves can do most of the specified scans, and even if they can somehow detect which researches you've done, I don't quite see how amplifiers work properly (even if they were to boost accuracy the more you had). Surely if anything, amplifiers should let you scan yourself, your galaxy, your cluster then your universe? (as an aisde, that'd be a far better way to limit free planets). If anything it makes more sense for a guy to go to the planet and have a look around. While he's there, he might as well attempt to stick plastique on likely targets (although that's slightly more difficult and reflected in the fine details, should we ever get that far in the espionage discussion).

I know a lot of people feel that it's not "broken" and so shouldn't be changed (although some covert ops aren't that great - the ship / asteroid killing ones for example). I think we could at least see what happens.
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Unread 26 Dec 2005, 23:51   #2
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Re: Espionage

Quote:
Originally Posted by Appocomaster
Very few people (I think YoureDoomed was one?) have actually come top 100 using some sort of covert op method. I think that we could make the route as a whole more useful.
No, it was because in one of the first PaX rounds, you got more XP for scanning than for roiding. He was a scanner and basically scanned the entire universe repeatedly. Hence the rule was created that you can't perform any action that will put a lot of stress on the PA servers.
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Unread 26 Dec 2005, 23:52   #3
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Re: Espionage

afaik he did it after the rules were adjusted - I remember a galaxy got in trouble for scanning and abusing the bug, and another galaxy for abusing the gal fund limit bug.
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Unread 27 Dec 2005, 00:02   #4
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Re: Espionage

I thought it was his galaxy which got in trouble for the scanning? And wasn't it Gerbie who could have finished top 100 for cov opping?
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Unread 27 Dec 2005, 00:03   #5
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Re: Espionage

I can't remember. can someone help us out?
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Unread 27 Dec 2005, 00:42   #6
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Re: Espionage

Open community tools ftw

Round 13 #70
Round 14 #63

I have no idea how he did it though. I know he was scanner in atleast one of those rounds. I can imagine him staying tiny for a long time, stealing resources from inactives and filling the fund, then getting it all donated to him in 1 go to produce a fleet and go roid to get into the top100.
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Unread 27 Dec 2005, 02:02   #7
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Re: Espionage

It was the top gal who abused it.

AGAIN ITS SPRITFIRE Posting...

FFS. Hard to remember this when I am home
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Unread 27 Dec 2005, 02:10   #8
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Re: Espionage

I am one of the biggest oponents to the suggested changes, mostly because it removes scans the way it is now. I do think that cov op needs to be done something with. My biggest irritation is that cov op to reduce others security.. I dont know how many have used that one... But putting scans and cov ops into the same "bracket" and as far as I know removing the jpscan and doing radical changes with the scan system is something I am against. In the initial suggestion from Appocomaster one of the suggestion was to remove the ability to jpscan unless you were eta 4 or less from the target planet. This would make it alot harder on alot of people, and also make alliance coordination tougher.

Also, critisising people for going distorter whore is totally and utter shite. It is an option within the rules and if some newb without an alliance isnt able to scan someone, then he should go for more amps.

The system as it is now allready permits the possibilities to do a good round without an alliance. There was alot of people in smaller, or without any alliances in the top 100 the last round so with time and dedication is it fully possible to do good without an ally.
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Unread 27 Dec 2005, 07:50   #9
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Re: Espionage

Quote:
Originally Posted by Appocomaster
I wonder how many of the top alliances actually had scanners with over 100 or 130 amps, or access to one? And how many planets had over 100 distorters? (yes, I admit I should have looked this up BEFORE resetting everyone's constructions).
AFAIK - TGV had 2 scanners with over 130 amps - I'll take a guess that most of the alliances above us had at least 1.....
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Unread 27 Dec 2005, 11:21   #10
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Re: Espionage

I finished the round on 145 amps.. When I was around to use them. (Sorry for that eXi)

In previous rounds when I have played for 'smaller' alliances I nearly always finished on at least 130 amps.
The distorter whore situation can be very annoying for alliances or solo players without access to a large scanner but it is a perfectly valid route to go down. I did this in R13 iirc while playing for F-Crew, the number of attacks on me was reduced by a very large magin and as such i got my highest finish in PA so far, the flip side was that at that time F-Crew didn't have any scanners I consdered big enough to be useful which i found fustrating as their were targets I wanted to hit but couldn't get scans for. This was the risk I took when I massed distorters, consider it a play off, you can stop people scanning you, or you can scan the universe. Both are valid tactics, and both have worked very well for me depending how I wanted to play a round.

That said, I am very intrigued as to how you plan to form espionage. Will they have to travel on some fighter to the planet to perform covert operations, thus having an eta there and back unless they get caught where they would be killed? Will you're jgp intel gatehr travel with the fleet scanning the universe around hime for extra fleets, or will he be at the planet already monitoring their communications? Will the spies be members of that planet already that you have to contact, pay and wait for their responses?
If you can give more information on how espionage will work, travel times / spies etc, please do so.
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Unread 27 Dec 2005, 12:34   #11
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Re: Espionage

Quote:
Originally Posted by Kargool
I dont know how many have used that one... But putting scans and cov ops into the same "bracket" and as far as I know removing the jpscan and doing radical changes with the scan system is something I am against.
I wouldn't remove any scans or covert ops, but if anything add others.

Quote:
In the initial suggestion from Appocomaster one of the suggestion was to remove the ability to jpscan unless you were eta 4 or less from the target planet. This would make it alot harder on alot of people, and also make alliance coordination tougher.
I wasn't a fan of that, and from the "agent basis" anyone can jumpgate anyone, which lifts the restriction. The limits I wanted to impose were different...

Quote:
Also, critisising people for going distorter whore is totally and utter shite. It is an option within the rules and if some newb without an alliance isnt able to scan someone, then he should go for more amps.
I'm not criticising them. It's a very valid route, and one I'd take.
For someone who is apparently starting up a recruiting wing next round, I find your opinion to be extremely interesting.
Why does he have to spend all his time making amplifiers?

Quote:
The system as it is now allready permits the possibilities to do a good round without an alliance.
You mean say by building distorters?

Quote:
There was alot of people in smaller, or without any alliances in the top 100 the last round so with time and dedication is it fully possible to do good without an ally.
Most of the unallied people were well known names or actually in an alliance and misreported.

Quote:
Originally Posted by TheBerk
That said, I am very intrigued as to how you plan to form espionage. Will they have to travel on some fighter to the planet to perform covert operations, thus having an eta there and back unless they get caught where they would be killed? Will you're jgp intel gatehr travel with the fleet scanning the universe around hime for extra fleets, or will he be at the planet already monitoring their communications? Will the spies be members of that planet already that you have to contact, pay and wait for their responses?
If you can give more information on how espionage will work, travel times / spies etc, please do so.
I was eventually going to get to it, but I was first trying to get someone to actually say it was ok

Basically, missions have a hardness associated with them, between say 1 and 10.

The number of ticks it takes to complete the mission is the int((mission_hardness - number_of_agents)/2) (well, to be precise it's the maximum of 0 and that value, otherwise we'd have negative numbers :P)

So, the harder the mission the longer it takes. Scans are considered easier than covert ops, and so the harder scans are generally as hard as the easiest covert ops. This forces people to strike a balance between being discovered by sending more agents to complete the mission (which lowers stealth), and having a time delay for the mission of up to say 4 ticks.

Admittedly it's not *that* much more realistic than even covert ops, but the time delay is interesting.

I think missions should have a fairly low cost, but agents that get caught die (or have some % chance of dying) and are expensive. [not sure on this]

There's a random function so missions are more like covert ops / old scans than current scans. You can be completely immune from all missions (perhaps the covert-op type ones more easily than the scan ones) but this costs in terms of building 40-60 constructions (similar to distorter wh0ring, I guess), and that'd ruin your %s for everything else. Maybe I should increase the number of constructions
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Unread 28 Dec 2005, 02:15   #12
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Re: Espionage

Quote:
Originally Posted by Appocomaster

I think missions should have a fairly low cost, but agents that get caught die (or have some % chance of dying) and are expensive. [not sure on this]
Would this mean we have to buy[read:train] and stockpile agents like old style scans?
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Unread 28 Dec 2005, 02:39   #13
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Re: Espionage

Yes
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Unread 29 Dec 2005, 07:48   #14
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Re: Espionage

erm.. ok let me get this clear.. use timedelayed agents for jpg.. if they get caught they die... due to gettin caught .. u get no jpg....due to timedelay...u cant send new 1es... due to to no jpg u land blind... due to landing blind u suicide ur fleet....

doesnt really sound appealing tbh, but then again i could be wrong cause i wasnt here durin "old scans"

i know rock had @least 1 scanner with 130+ amps not sure if the #2 scanner made it, and HR recruited a scanner with 100 amps halfway trough the round so hes bound to have ended with @least 130

tbh i never gave much thought to usin cov ops apart from an occasional info blackout cause i think the rest is pretty useless, untill now when i see people around the universe cov oppin eachother to destroy the buildings given by apocco to get room for more amps/dist... buildinglimt ftw
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Unread 29 Dec 2005, 16:00   #15
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Re: Espionage

I think the major change is scans are less certain and certainly not instant. I wrote a whole post with lots of details and formulae I came up with on the private forums, but tbh that wasn't the point. It boils down to the following:
Against a "top security" planet (i.e. spending a one off payment of 15k resources per asteroid you have to make your planet secure), you are waiting 2 ticks with a 66% chance of getting a succesful jumpgate scan back, or 1 tick with a 58% chance of getting a succesful scan back, or a 0% chance at 0 ticks (all would be 100% if the planet only had a 75% security rating).
You can send multiple agents, but I guess the agent-dying thing is a bit harsh for scans.
I actually like the idea more now though - how many agents are you willing to train up and send to make the chance of you getting a scan or covert operation more likely? "Scanners" will need more. Do you send 1 agent with a 66% chance of getting through? 2? 3? 5?

Also, blocked scans would probably show again, giving some indication of if your galaxy will get incoming.

Alliances will always be more organised - people will preorder jumpgates for their targets so they're ready, and unit scans can always be done before time (58% chance to instantly get a sucessful scan, 66% chance to get one done after 1 tick).

Espionage will just be a unification of scans and covert ops to some degree, housing them all together. They'll still be a bit different - I was considering rasing security levels for covert op missions in addition to making them take longer to complete.
scans would now have the randomness again though, and some would have a time delay. It would just generally remove the whole "launch scan recall" nature of the game.
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Unread 30 Dec 2005, 01:00   #16
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Re: Espionage

Quote:
Originally Posted by Appocomaster
I think the major change is scans are less certain and certainly not instant. I wrote a whole post with lots of details and formulae I came up with on the private forums, but tbh that wasn't the point. It boils down to the following:
Against a "top security" planet (i.e. spending a one off payment of 15k resources per asteroid you have to make your planet secure), you are waiting 2 ticks with a 66% chance of getting a succesful jumpgate scan back, or 1 tick with a 58% chance of getting a succesful scan back, or a 0% chance at 0 ticks (all would be 100% if the planet only had a 75% security rating).
You can send multiple agents, but I guess the agent-dying thing is a bit harsh for scans.
I actually like the idea more now though - how many agents are you willing to train up and send to make the chance of you getting a scan or covert operation more likely? "Scanners" will need more. Do you send 1 agent with a 66% chance of getting through? 2? 3? 5?

Also, blocked scans would probably show again, giving some indication of if your galaxy will get incoming.

Alliances will always be more organised - people will preorder jumpgates for their targets so they're ready, and unit scans can always be done before time (58% chance to instantly get a sucessful scan, 66% chance to get one done after 1 tick).

Espionage will just be a unification of scans and covert ops to some degree, housing them all together. They'll still be a bit different - I was considering rasing security levels for covert op missions in addition to making them take longer to complete.
scans would now have the randomness again though, and some would have a time delay. It would just generally remove the whole "launch scan recall" nature of the game.
tbh this is starting to look ridiculus less appealing than the current system. How do you think new players will understand theese rules? and this system? And again, please answer the most rudimental question, when something isnt broke, why fix it?? Scans work perfect as they do atm, and tbh, i only see bad things gonna happen if you decide to change it. Covops needs to be worked on, i agree, but changing the scans isnt the way to fix cov ops. That would be like fixing my arm because my foot was broken in two places.
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Unread 30 Dec 2005, 01:06   #17
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Re: Espionage

Scans pre R10 were "fine". Why were they changed then?

I will try and make the system "clearer", but tbh what is wrong with having chance in scans?
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Unread 30 Dec 2005, 01:15   #18
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Re: Espionage

If i wanted a game of chance, I would have been playing poker or Risk. Strategy games like this is fun because they challenge the strategy of the game. You want some more chance in the game, why not introduce dicerolls for battles.. *sigh*
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Unread 30 Dec 2005, 01:27   #19
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Re: Espionage

Quote:
Originally Posted by Appocomaster
Scans pre R10 were "fine". Why were they changed then?

Well, I wasnt the one that made the "change" then. You are the one now. So please enlighten us as to your reasons for making this change instead of dodging the question.
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Unread 30 Dec 2005, 01:37   #20
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Re: Espionage

Quote:
Originally Posted by Kargool
If i wanted a game of chance, I would have been playing poker or Risk. Strategy games like this is fun because they challenge the strategy of the game. You want some more chance in the game, why not introduce dicerolls for battles.. *sigh*
At the moment theres so little chance in the game. Most of it is galaxy choice and exile. At least a bit more chance might make it more exciting

I'll try and justify it more, but not tonight. I need some sleep
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Unread 30 Dec 2005, 01:46   #21
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Re: Espionage

Quote:
Originally Posted by Appocomaster
At the moment theres so little chance in the game. Most of it is galaxy choice and exile. At least a bit more chance might make it more exciting

I'll try and justify it more, but not tonight. I need some sleep
So you think that chance should be a vital part to winning a game that lasts 3 months?
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Unread 30 Dec 2005, 01:57   #22
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Re: Espionage

Quote:
Originally Posted by Kargool
So you think that chance should be a vital part to winning a game that lasts 3 months?
no, but it shouldn't be more predictable than deciding whether or not, for example, a snowball will roll up or down a hill.
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Unread 30 Dec 2005, 02:08   #23
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Re: Espionage

Quote:
Originally Posted by Appocomaster
no, but it shouldn't be more predictable than deciding whether or not, for example, a snowball will roll up or down a hill.
I am hoping this was a joke..
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Unread 30 Dec 2005, 03:57   #24
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Re: Espionage

Quote:
Originally Posted by Appocomaster
no, but it shouldn't be more predictable than deciding whether or not, for example, a snowball will roll up or down a hill.
A snowball rolling up a hill?

/me throws the laws of gravity out of the window & then flies home
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Unread 30 Dec 2005, 04:09   #25
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Re: Espionage

Why not just making different eta for finishing certain construictions? Like +1 eta for building a distorter, and maybe making important cons like factories ones a tick faster. And pls drop that annoying co-op bs.

And please make pa less predictable then deciding if a snowball will roll up or down a hill
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Unread 30 Dec 2005, 06:03   #26
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Re: Espionage

Hasn't the whole purpose of waves/scans system since time immemorial been to give advantage to big organized alliances and to players with (multi) scan planets? Why the sudden change of heart?
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Unread 30 Dec 2005, 06:28   #27
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Re: Espionage

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Originally Posted by Anaram
Hasn't the whole purpose of waves/scans system since time immemorial been to give advantage to big organized alliances and to players with (multi) scan planets? Why the sudden change of heart?
To me, it seems like they have always tried to change it, to make it more fair. But it's not always been successful. Problem is that there's always someone that's trying to find new ways to turn new rules to their advantages, and that it's not easy to stop multies. Tbh, i don't think it helps much, if they are trying to make formulas to make snowball roll up hills
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Unread 30 Dec 2005, 15:15   #28
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Re: Espionage

I have to say I agree with kargool here, i want to be assured of certain information before I land my attack, not have to recall and be pissed off because of some odd espionage system.

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Unread 30 Dec 2005, 19:45   #29
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Re: Espionage

Quote:
Originally Posted by Kargool
tbh this is starting to look ridiculus less appealing than the current system. How do you think new players will understand theese rules? and this system? And again, please answer the most rudimental question, when something isnt broke, why fix it?? Scans work perfect as they do atm, and tbh, i only see bad things gonna happen if you decide to change it. Covops needs to be worked on, i agree, but changing the scans isnt the way to fix cov ops. That would be like fixing my arm because my foot was broken in two places.
i dont like it at all but ive to agree with Kargool. scans are done in a nice way atm, some minor fixes are ok like showing blocked scan-attempts or so but why the hell you guys want to change something good working ???
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Unread 31 Dec 2005, 01:28   #30
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Re: Espionage

Quote:
Originally Posted by Appocomaster
At the moment theres so little chance in the game. Most of it is galaxy choice and exile. At least a bit more chance might make it more exciting
if the chance comes from being outplayed, then yes. if the chance is flip of a coin, then why are people going to pay you 5 for a round when they can get a lot of coins for that?
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Unread 31 Dec 2005, 19:46   #31
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Re: Espionage

Ok.
Firstly on the chance front, I don't see an issue in itself with bringing back chance in scans.
The issue with that seems to be a combination of chance and a time delay, which makes most scans more difficult. I take it there's no complaint about time delays for covert ops, especially if some of them are stronger?

I don't see how new players will suffer, as they'll have one system to learn instead of two.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Anaram
Hasn't the whole purpose of waves/scans system since time immemorial been to give advantage to big organized alliances and to players with (multi) scan planets? Why the sudden change of heart?
Is is right to give an advantage to big organised alliances? I'd prefer to try and level the playing field a bit more. While changing it, I thought it'd be interesting to merge the two as they're quite related. I've given my opinion on how scans aren't that realistic anyway

Quote:
Originally Posted by Pilatus
Why not just making different eta for finishing certain construictions? Like +1 eta for building a distorter, and maybe making important cons like factories ones a tick faster. And pls drop that annoying co-op bs.

And please make pa less predictable then deciding if a snowball will roll up or down a hill
I think covert ops has a part. I don't see what relevance having constructions different construction times has?
Covert ops isn't that bad. I think it could be good with modifications.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Kargool
I am hoping this was a joke..
No, actually it wasn't. Snowballs generally roll downhill. Some of the game is chance, but not loads of it.

Quote:
Originally Posted by mist
if the chance comes from being outplayed, then yes. if the chance is flip of a coin, then why are people going to pay you 5 for a round when they can get a lot of coins for that?
500 coins, unless you start converting currency. I don't want it total chance, but I've seen a new player leave the game at the end of the first round because he got bored of attacking and recalling.
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Unread 31 Dec 2005, 20:18   #32
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Re: Espionage

Quote:
Originally Posted by Appocomaster

500 coins, unless you start converting currency. I don't want it total chance, but I've seen a new player leave the game at the end of the first round because he got bored of attacking and recalling.
I've seen players leave because of the invoking of the defence rules, I've seen players leave because of not upholding the defence rule. I've seen players leave because of the game developers have lost their contact with the players, and stuff, we have all seen players leave the game.. Ur argument about one guy leaving isnt valid tbh...


And you still havent answered the question I asked : Why the change??
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Unread 31 Dec 2005, 22:11   #33
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Re: Espionage

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Originally Posted by Wandows
Open community tools ftw

Round 13 #70
Round 14 #63

I have no idea how he did it though. I know he was scanner in atleast one of those rounds. I can imagine him staying tiny for a long time, stealing resources from inactives and filling the fund, then getting it all donated to him in 1 go to produce a fleet and go roid to get into the top100.

Knowing YoureDoomed quite well i can actually clear this up.

He took part in the majority of the alliance roiding missions but often taking the unappealing targets that needed covering. He was mainly a scanner in both of these rounds and thus focused his res/con on scans. To the best of my recollection he didnt actually start in a decent galaxy and subsequently spent quite a lot of money on exiling.
Once he had found himself a decent galaxy he then carried on scanning and attacking bad targets until the universe had sorted itself out (ie there was a side with a clear advantage) he then set about roiding a lot of roid fat targets in team up raids with friends from various alliances until he had himself enough xp and size to be able to build a big enough fleet to attack these targets on his own and thus get into the t100.
As for why he wasnt attacked and brought down a peg or 2 i cant say but i do recall him getting roided a fair few times and actually losing a lot of roids but by that time his xp was so high it didnt matter especially when coupled with the fact that he did his big attacking late in the round when a lot of people were starting to lose dedication and therefore he didnt pose too much of a threat and people were busy attempting to take down the number 1 alliance.

But he did start both of those rounds as a scanner but as a scanner with a plan. One which eventually came to fruition and proved to be a good one.
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Unread 31 Dec 2005, 23:53   #34
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Re: Espionage

first of all the whole agents thing sucks really it means u even land less then now!!! jpg scans are powerfull but not the best scan by far. also the cov ops are useless the only ones u use are hacking: res transfers and the dist amp killer. all others are rediculous and u can't get far by using them. maybe give xp? (and i mean reasonable been said in beta when i was cov op whore) but in short words cov ops suck atm nobody does them as a main as there's nothing to gain. maybe make some sort of jpg cov op?
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Unread 31 Dec 2005, 23:55   #35
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Re: Espionage

also on the time delay don't u just kill any speed that was left in the game!
and if that aint all u are exspecting to have 24/7 scanners and ac's as they need even more time with a time delay and they allready need alot of time setting up something decent
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Unread 1 Jan 2006, 00:48   #36
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Re: Espionage

I fail to see a connection between Cov ops (espionage) and waves, unless you are going to implement a new type of Cov-op that completely blocks any sort of scan on a planet for a given numbe rof ticks, but at a significant cost?

For example destrucion of 5 (of your own) asteroids using a Cov-op Nuke to deploy an emp barrier for a given number of ticks (4) perhaps, but perhaps only useable once every 48 ticks ?

The result would be completely bocked scans in and out for the given period.
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Unread 1 Jan 2006, 13:56   #37
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Re: Espionage

i agree judge that it might be a good idea to play waves versus cov ops making cov op way better then they are now as atm they suck
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Unread 1 Jan 2006, 14:37   #38
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Re: Espionage

Personally I think there should be more uncertainty in the game in the sense that people shouldn;t have to relly on scans - scans should be a useful addition, but people should be able to plan an attack in such a way that chances are they will be able to land and roid - the onus should be on taking risks, becuase taking risks is fun - predictability is not. I for one could see myself landing an attack without a scan to tell me if there is defence or not.
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Unread 1 Jan 2006, 15:52   #39
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Re: Espionage

mid round... you'll do it once, then your fleet is dead
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Unread 1 Jan 2006, 16:01   #40
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Re: Espionage

If you're going to be landing attacks without scans, then you need the defenders to not be able to kill your entire attack fleet. If they do, then you're screwed for a good couple of weeks or more.

Defence is sent to stop you from getting any roids. Since most attack fleets are one class only, then to do so you must kill the entire fleet.


So Kal - either defence is impossible, or you're talking complete crap.
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Unread 1 Jan 2006, 17:23   #41
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Re: Espionage

or we make it easy to rebuild.

in pax i lost my fleet mid round and ended with a high rank
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Unread 1 Jan 2006, 17:40   #42
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Re: Espionage

PaX was a mess though. And how do you make it easy to rebuild? - salvage?


Oh dear, I just had visions of Round 4 again.
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Unread 1 Jan 2006, 17:55   #43
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Re: Espionage

Predictability may not be fun, but neither is getting your entire fleet twatted for absolutely no gain. Weather we like it or not people have come to rely on scans, no one would choose to land blind if given the choice.
If you want a bit of variety, try doing fakes.
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Unread 1 Jan 2006, 18:36   #44
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Re: Espionage

Quote:
Originally Posted by Kargool
I've seen players leave because of the invoking of the defence rules, I've seen players leave because of not upholding the defence rule.
I've seen players leave because of the game developers have lost their contact with the players, and stuff, we have all seen players leave the game..
And you tell me off for not being specific! I can't comment on the support planet cases like that, but the rule was introduced to stop support planets, not to stop people defending their friends two times in a round. If people are going to get upset because players have friends outside their alliance that have sent defence before, then I'm not sure there's much we can do.
I've seen players leave the game, but the most common reason is generally RL issues.
You're welcome to throw rocks at me especially for "game development" and "loosing contact with the game" if you wish, as it's my department. I can't see how you can get upset with us for not changing the game and trying to change the game. Most people are very willing to see the game "improve", yet neglect to mention how to improve it, or mention general ideas like "get more players". The remaining ideas are generally, if anything, more unrealistic than most of my ideas, or are only minor clarifications and improvements on the existing game (e.g. timestamping jumpgate probes). Most of you are here and like playing the game because you're used to it. At most there's one or two changes and ship stats changes in each round, and people can cope with that more than majorly changing the game. While we're sitting on a couple of ideas that have been big discussion topics, there's not much support for specific suggestions in improving the game.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Kargool
And you still havent answered the question I asked : Why the change??
I've tried to explain; perhaps you've not read what I've written.
Quote:
Originally Posted by Appocomaster
I don't see how new players will suffer, as they'll have one system to learn instead of two.
"Makes two systems into one. Benefit to new players as less to learn"
Quote:
Originally Posted by Appocomaster
Is is right to give an advantage to big organised alliances? I'd prefer to try and level the playing field a bit more. While changing it, I thought it'd be interesting to merge the two as they're quite related. I've given my opinion on how scans aren't that realistic anyway
This literally negates the idea of "wave amplifier wh0res". It means that it's more up to the target planet to stop the scan than the planet who's scanning to have a good scanning ability.
Probably more contraversal

Quote:
Originally Posted by Appocomaster
Secondly, all this "concept stuff".
Waves is meant to send scans out to count things. If you want to debate realism, I fail to see how waves can do most of the specified scans, and even if they can somehow detect which researches you've done, I don't quite see how amplifiers work properly (even if they were to boost accuracy the more you had). Surely if anything, amplifiers should let you scan yourself, your galaxy, your cluster then your universe? (as an aisde, that'd be a far better way to limit free planets). If anything it makes more sense for a guy to go to the planet and have a look around. While he's there, he might as well attempt to stick plastique on likely targets (although that's slightly more difficult and reflected in the fine details, should we ever get that far in the espionage discussion).
"Probably more realistic"

The scan and covert ops branches are related by them both being operations on a hostile planet, currently performed instantaneously. I think Covert Ops could be made stronger in terms of what they can do and in some cases the general damage (if people destroy one of my roids I usually laugh more than anything else; same with ships). A time delay might be more helpful though.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Kargool
Ur argument about one guy leaving isnt valid tbh...
Why not? It's an example to show that people stay here for the community more than anything else. If we had new features or things that progressed over the round it might make it more interesting.



What about if there were no time delay for scans, only covert ops? Basically the only difference would be that amplifiers wouldn't be necessary, and in general scans would be slightly easier to do (especially at the beginning of the round), but random
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Unread 1 Jan 2006, 19:24   #45
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Thumbs down Re: Espionage

About the time delay.

I played round 2-5. I then quit as I didn't have time as I started at Uni. Just started again this round (15).

If time delay comes into play I know that I for one will not have the time to play any more. As I understand I would then have to log on, order a scan, log of, log on 1-4 hours later get the results, order the attack. Then log on in a couple of hours order a scan, wait a few hours check the scan result and pull or land.

With a wife and child I can't see how I will be able to manage that. PA as it is still a game that favors players that can be online a lot. This will not help.
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Unread 2 Jan 2006, 02:29   #46
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Re: Espionage

Quote:
Originally Posted by Appocomaster
Lots of rubbish




First of all, the "realism" in the game. We are talking about ships that teleport fracking asteroids from one planet to another. We are talking about ships that only targets certain types of shipshulls. We are talking about ships that is only capable of destroying structures on the surface on planets...

Can we STOP trying to use "realism" as an argument for bringing in something someone wants to change?? Its utter moronic. For example when we use this "jumpgate" technology I understand is somehow adapted from Babylon 5, please watch the original series as they are able to pick up fleet movements far away from the jumpgate at B5 and along time before they jump into the gate at B5.. Therefore I think scans are possible "realisticly" the way I interpret the universe in Planetarion. If we had full realism, noone would have had ships capable of leaving their own galaxy..

Secondly, the game changes I dont have a problem with. But now you want to do this total new shape of PA, that causes PA to halt for over a month before we get a real round, then there will be several months (my guess) before we will get the PaN round. Are you guys not afraid that all the waiting time will make people loose interest of the game??

And, I am working on some extended changesuggestions based on the thread i had earlier about some changes I saw as possible outcomes. (orignal thread here: http://pirate.planetarion.com/showthread.php?t=187824) But my main pri will always lie with the alliance im helping "running"

And last, why is it so difficult to clab together this "freeround" in 2-3 weeks and start the game allready?
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Unread 2 Jan 2006, 11:50   #47
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Re: Espionage

Quote:
Originally Posted by Kargool
First of all, the "realism" in the game. We are talking about ships that teleport fracking asteroids from one planet to another. We are talking about ships that only targets certain types of shipshulls. We are talking about ships that is only capable of destroying structures on the surface on planets...

Can we STOP trying to use "realism" as an argument for bringing in something someone wants to change?? Its utter moronic. For example when we use this "jumpgate" technology I understand is somehow adapted from Babylon 5, please watch the original series as they are able to pick up fleet movements far away from the jumpgate at B5 and along time before they jump into the gate at B5.. Therefore I think scans are possible "realisticly" the way I interpret the universe in Planetarion. If we had full realism, noone would have had ships capable of leaving their own galaxy..
That wasn't the only reason. Maybe if you stopped finding one thing you had a problem with and ranting about it for two paragraphs and commented on other things as well we might get a conclusion in the next few pages


Quote:
Secondly, the game changes I dont have a problem with. But now you want to do this total new shape of PA, that causes PA to halt for over a month before we get a real round, then there will be several months (my guess) before we will get the PaN round. Are you guys not afraid that all the waiting time will make people loose interest of the game??
Have you not read the schedule? we have speedgames, an alliance competition (as suggested on PD by someone), and a free round, and then PAN. Is this not enough to keep people occupied?

Quote:
And, I am working on some extended changesuggestions based on the thread i had earlier about some changes I saw as possible outcomes. (orignal thread here: http://pirate.planetarion.com/showthread.php?t=187824) But my main pri will always lie with the alliance im helping "running"
I look forward to you trying to fix problems to the first suggestion and giving a more practical input and examples of the second solution.

Quote:
And last, why is it so difficult to clab together this "freeround" in 2-3 weeks and start the game allready?
What do you mean? again, reference to www.planetarion.com/news.php
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Unread 3 Jan 2006, 09:49   #48
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Re: Espionage

(Sorry for not reading the entire page... )

I think cov ops should be made better. They are too bad at this point and for most players hardly worth researching. Top players have so many security centres and security at priority 1. At the moment it's almost impossible for a mediocre player to cov op him. Something should be changed here if cov ops will be used as jumpgate "scans".

Say chance of succeeding is 66%. You are unlucky and you fail. Then you have to retry with lower stealth and have a reduced chance of succesfully getting a jpg "scan". I think that's quite a problem.

- Do you mean to completely remove scans from the game?
- What do you want to do with the fleet analysis scan? (Send spies to your own planet?)
- I believe you said something about realism... A spy at an enemies' planet cannot see a fleet that is going elsewhere, so fleet analysis wouldn't fit in. I can imagine Unit scans work when the target has a fleet out (it goes the same way with scans), but I really don't see how a spy on the opponents planet could know what fleet is heading for your planet.
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Unread 3 Jan 2006, 13:52   #49
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Re: Espionage

As a matter of intrest, will we be able to jgp ourselves by sending spies in with a 100% chance of success? (DarkLink got this thought ticking)
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Unread 3 Jan 2006, 15:18   #50
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Re: Espionage

A lot of issues have been raised and I'm trying to sort out if some of them are mindset on the old wave /amp issue or otherwise.
Agents dying has to go, especially for scans. "scans" can be instantaneous; you just run the risk of having less chance of getting a succesful scan.
Your stealth rate is always dependant on the number of agents you send; there's no base stealth rate at your planet.
To change the stealth rate of someone else's planet, you have to send in agents to take out their agents. To change the alert rate, you kill their security guards. I had a random factor (it changed 100 to 90-120) but that's looking a bit big, so it might have to be adjusted.

I'm not sure I can ditch the time delay - I know it's unpopular, and after speaking to pople it's obviously unhappy as they want a "guarenteed" scan, but it's possible to think of it as scanning a few ticks in advanced as the equilivent of having more "amps".
It's the only way I can think of to create a difference in scanning levels (the random factor aside) without amps. I know that people have issues with this:

They're amps and distorters and waves, they work fine. The PA Team are obviously out of touch and trying to fix something that isn't broken!

No. Firstly it'll make distorter whoring harder but still possible, and a more balanced tactic - it'll cost you more in terms of loosing production/research/production times, and more resources. In general, scanning will become easier for everyone, but time will still need to be spent researching and gathering agents, and some won't want to spend resources on scans.
It will be possible to be (practically) "immune" from covert ops without spending any time building constructions, but immunity from scans will be harder.

The formulae
Security rating (Alert):
# of security agents/number of roids * 100 (capped at 100)
vs "scans"
(# of security agents *1.15)/number of roids * 100 (capped at 115)
vs "covert ops"


Stealth
Stealth for a mission:
Base stealth (dependant on number of agents): 100 - integer(x^3 /4),
where x is the number of agents.
Stealth on a mission: int [ rand (90,120) / 100 * base stealth ]
^^ probably needs to be modified slightly.

Security Guards will take 4 ticks and 3k of each resource to train.
Agents will take 8 ticks and 15k of each resource to train.
(you can get discounts depending on your personality)

I had a tech tree that had three forks (something like this), and even tried to allocate figures in terms of difficulty and time to research (difficulty = X) as shown below:

Primary Intelligence Gathering
Takes: 10-12 ticks
Prerequisits: none
Gives: Nothing (combined with Primary Espionage gives ability to train more agents and security guards)

Basic Observation
Takes: 15-16 (?) ticks
Prerequists: Primary Intelligence Gathering
Gives: "Planet Summary" (X=1) :=
Planetname Rulername Race
Metal Resources Crystal Resources Eonium Resources
Metal Roids Crystal Roids Eonium Roids
Total completed researches Total completed constructions Total units.

Primary Explosives
Takes: 10-12 ticks
Prerequisits: none
Gives: Nothing (combined with Primary Espionage gives ability to train more agents and security guards)

Basic Plastique Usage
Takes: 15-16 ticks
Prerequisit: Primary explosives
Gives:"Basic asteroid destruction" (X = 3)


Advanced Planet Stealth I
Takes: 20-24 ticks (?)
Prerequisits: Basic Plastique Usage, Basic Observation
Gives: "Complete Research Discovery" X = 3

APS II
Takes: 30 ticks (?)
Prerequisits: APS I
Gives: "Complete Construction Discovery" X = 3

APS III
Takes: 35-36 ticks (?)
Prerequisits: APS II
Gives: "Current Construction/Research Progress" X = 4

APS IV
Takes: 45 ticks (?)
Prerequisits: APS III
Gives: "Delay Construction/Research Progress" X = 6

APS V
Takes: 55 ticks (?)
Prerequisits: APS V
Gives: Resource stealing X = 6
APS VI

Takes: 60 ticks (?)
Prerequisits: APS V
Gives: "Destroy a construction" X = 8

APS VII
Takes: 70-72 ticks (?)
Prerequisits: APS VI
Gives: "Destroy a research" X = 8


========================================
Advanced Atmospheric Exploration I
Takes: 20-24 ticks (?)
Prerequisits: Basic Plastique Usage, Basic Observation
Gives: "Unit Scan" X = 3

AAE II
Takes: 30 ticks (?)
Prerequisits: AAE I
Gives: "Advanced Asteroid Destruction" X = 4

AAE III
Takes: 35-36 ticks (?)
Prerequisits: AAE II
Gives: "News Scan" X = 3

AAE IV
Takes: 45-48 ticks (?)
Prerequisits: AAE III
Gives: "Production Scan" X = 4

AAE V
Takes: 55-60 ticks (?)
Prerequisits: AAE IV
Gives: "Destroy units at base" X = 6

AAE VI
Takes: 70-72 ticks (?)
Prerequisits: AAE V
Gives: "Destroy ships in production" X = 8
AAE VI
Takes: 70-72 ticks (?)
Prerequisits: AAE VI
Gives: "Wipe Planet News" X = 10
==============================================
Advanced Outerspace Techniques I
Takes: 20-24 ticks (?)
Prerequisits: Basic Plastique Usage, Basic Observation
Gives: "Scan ships out of base" X = 4

AOT II
Takes: 30 ticks (?)
Prerequisits: AOT I
Gives: "Scan to find launching time of fleets" X = 5

AOT III
Takes: 35-36 ticks (?)
Prerequisits: AOT II
Gives: "Jumpgate Scan " X = 5

AOT IV
Takes: 45-48 ticks (?)
Prerequisits: AOT III
Gives: "Destroy ships in flight (less effective than ships at base)" X = 6

AOT V
Takes: 55-60 ticks (?)
Prerequisits: AOT IV
Gives: "Fleet scan (as of last few rounds)" X = 8

AOT VI
Takes: 70-72 ticks (?)
Prerequisits: AOT V
Gives: "Military scan (doesn't show eta or target co-ords)" X = 8


The scans need costs, but I'm not sure exactly what they should be - probably 500 of each resource up to 10k of each resource, or so (or maybe something like X*500, or X*1000).
The times, if anything, probably need shortening by 20% or so.
For the single player, the middle tree is probably the best, but alliances would prefer players with the last tech tree, and the first is quite powerful.
I know this disadvantages the single player slightly - we could move the JGP into the middle section. I was trying to think of "on planet / around planet / away from planet" mentality.

XP gained = 0.5*number of agents*X*10*min(2,target_value/your_value)
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Last edited by Appocomaster; 3 Jan 2006 at 15:33.
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