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 Post subject: Faction Powers, Offense & Defense
PostPosted: Tue May 04, 2010 8:43 am 
Snuggler

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Discuss them here.

How have they been working?

How has the cost of them been?

Have Skyland Offense & Defense seemed useful? Do their maintenance costs give you any pause?


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 Post subject: Re: Faction Powers, Offense & Defense
PostPosted: Tue May 04, 2010 8:59 am 
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The impression I've gotten is that the unique powers are not worth their high cost in comparison with the smaller powers. I'm not working powers myself though, so take that with a grain of salt.

There's not much feedback in game about powers. If someone didn't read radio or leave game, they'd never know they were there.

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 Post subject: Re: Faction Powers, Offense & Defense
PostPosted: Tue May 04, 2010 10:27 am 
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The Hand doesn't really have a great targeted assist ability.

Infiltration as a neighbor ability could be nice but the time it takes to deploy means by the time it's useful, the Hidden Fleet may stop attacking altogether, and the influence generation goes way down. It doesn't really work to target a skyland.

Hand of the Market is nice, but supply generation hasn't been all that hard, and so far I can't tell how much of a difference it really makes.

Sabotage Run looks intriguing but it costs so much, and I can't really tell what percentage of the HF's power it is. Is it a lot? And what effects occur from dropping the HF's power by 250k? In fact, I don't really know how much the action would help as the HF's power still hasn't been made public.

The strategy I sort of see for the Hand is we are the tactical nukes. We can globally knock down a really bad day, for little cost. In return, we have nothing to save a skyland directly other than Scout Expedition and Launch Raid. Without the ability to predict a really bad day, we don't know if deploying 10 Sabotage Runs simultaneously is a firecracker or a nuke.

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 Post subject: Re: Faction Powers, Offense & Defense
PostPosted: Tue May 04, 2010 10:43 am 
Incarnation of Rock

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So far I'm loving the lower-level powers, if anyone got the short end of the stick there it'd probably be Green. Blue and Purple direct aggro, Red and Brown give buffs to anyone flying through, Green gets... more supplies? Or spreads influence around? Not as immediate or noticeable.

As for the super powers, I think Purple got the short end of the stick there. Blue and Brown and Red's powers are great on a skyland under attack, Green gets the big power to hit the Hidden Fleet's overall numbers (again, not very immediate or noticeable though), Purple gets something that is best spammed on something with a lot of neighbors. Doesn't matter if it's under attack or not, just something with a lot of neighbors. Maybe useful, but not in any tactical sense.

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 Post subject: Re: Faction Powers, Offense & Defense
PostPosted: Tue May 04, 2010 10:45 am 
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I'm perceiving some concern that it's really hard to tell the magnitude on powers that affect hidden numbers -- mainly Presence, Aggression, Overall Power -- to tell whether the power does anything useful.

Blue is specifically concerned that Paths of the Nomad appears to do nothing of any use.


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 Post subject: Re: Faction Powers, Offense & Defense
PostPosted: Tue May 04, 2010 11:05 am 
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Eskay wrote:
Blue is specifically concerned that Paths of the Nomad appears to do nothing of any use.

Path of the Nomads stacks, for one, and on a 20 hour action (shipping something from Islo to Uur) it would take off an hour. Or do it twice and take off two hours. It's supposed to be used on long-distance things, not shaving a minute off an action you're executing on that skyland.

Edit:
Also, presence and aggression aren't hidden. Their exact meaning is hidden, but every skyland tells you the aggression and presence and more is bad. The rest is explained in the Hidden War rules.

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 Post subject: Re: Faction Powers, Offense & Defense
PostPosted: Tue May 04, 2010 12:51 pm 
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When I expressed that argument to her last week, Kitteh said it doesn't reduce travel times, only base times.


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 Post subject: Re: Faction Powers, Offense & Defense
PostPosted: Tue May 04, 2010 1:13 pm 
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Have you tried testing it? Put it on A9 and send some supplies there from Islo or something. It doesn't seem to explicitly specify just changing the base execution time, but all execution time. If it's not affecting the travel time that's gotta be a bug.

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 Post subject: Re: Faction Powers, Offense & Defense
PostPosted: Tue May 04, 2010 1:15 pm 
Snuggler

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Eskay wrote:
When I expressed that argument to her last week, Kitteh said it doesn't reduce travel times, only base times.


If that's the case, it's a bug.

HOWEVER.

I think there may be some muddiness in the air...as right now, Paths of the Nomad (I think) only affects the actions *of* that Skyland.

So putting it on A9 wouldn't help actions occur on A9 faster, it would make A9's actions faster. If that makes sense.

I think, it would be perfectly reasonable to change it such that actions both to AND from the skyland where Paths was active were affected.


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 Post subject: Re: Faction Powers, Offense & Defense
PostPosted: Tue May 04, 2010 2:00 pm 
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Chesterfield Taft wrote:

I think there may be some muddiness in the air...as right now, Paths of the Nomad (I think) only affects the actions *of* that Skyland.

So putting it on A9 wouldn't help actions occur on A9 faster, it would make A9's actions faster. If that makes sense.

I think, it would be perfectly reasonable to change it such that actions both to AND from the skyland where Paths was active were affected.



Since we have not yet used -
Can you clarify if Blessed Cache is similarly misworded?

I assumed it meant we could designate a skyland to be cheaper for everyone to help ON. But if it just makes one skyland cheaper to send actions FROM, we would never spend enough on actions from a single skyland to justify the cost.

For example, if we sent 4 purges from Cidade, we would still not save enough to make the cost of the Cache worth it.

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 Post subject: Re: Faction Powers, Offense & Defense
PostPosted: Tue May 04, 2010 9:01 pm 
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Indeed, that is the case.

In our next update, we'll change it to be both from & to.

So, talk to me about Offense/Defense. It seems like people can put a lot on a Skyland without supplies/workforce maintenance really mattering much. Thoughts?

Alpha 9 right now is giving a 60% reduction to HF influence and a 99% increase to Skytopia influence, for 79,500 supplies a day, and 53,000 work a day. Is that a pittance for the benefit?

Also...Armed Blockade seems like it's very powerful. Too powerful perhaps? Does it need to be more expensive for what it gives?


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 Post subject: Re: Faction Powers, Offense & Defense
PostPosted: Tue May 04, 2010 9:12 pm 
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Also!

Purge the Wicked -- powerful. Too cheap for what it does?


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 Post subject: Re: Faction Powers, Offense & Defense
PostPosted: Tue May 04, 2010 10:16 pm 
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Chesterfield Taft wrote:

So, talk to me about Offense/Defense. It seems like people can put a lot on a Skyland without supplies/workforce maintenance really mattering much. Thoughts?

Alpha 9 right now is giving a 60% reduction to HF influence and a 99% increase to Skytopia influence, for 79,500 supplies a day, and 53,000 work a day. Is that a pittance for the benefit?

Also...Armed Blockade seems like it's very powerful. Too powerful perhaps? Does it need to be more expensive for what it gives?


I think 79k and 53k in workforce requires a lot of work to uphold (well the supplies at least) and would be wasteful if the fleet shifted focus. If you wanted to nerf it, maybe there could be a cap on the number of O and D per skyland?

Regarding the Blockade and the Purge the Wicked --
it is hard to tell if they are too powerful without knowing how rare/often they should be expected to be used. If the fleet is yet to kick into high gear, we will need to execute even more of those- maybe more than we could earn back.

While the powers granted have not been used in the most optimal way possible but there have been/are some close calls on losing skylands. So somewhat depends on expectations- did you expect us to be able to hold out this long or did you think the powers would help fend off most of the fleet attacks but a skyland or two would have fallen by now?

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 Post subject: Re: Faction Powers, Offense & Defense
PostPosted: Tue May 04, 2010 10:28 pm 
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I'll admit, Skytopia has done a lot better than I thought they would. The Fleet so far have been unable to take a single Skyland.

I think there are a number of factors influencing that, and I doubt it's one major thing.

The powers certainly are a major factor, in particular when the only tool the Fleet has is influence running.

Hence, the next thing I'm doing (besides Legendaries) is rolling out abilities for the Hidden Fleet. They will probably just be allocated a specific amount of supply every day. A number that likely will be reduced the more skylands they take over (as they will be using those supplies for their own maintenance).

I think things will become more interesting the HF has their own versions of Purge and Blockade.


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 Post subject: Re: Faction Powers, Offense & Defense
PostPosted: Tue May 04, 2010 10:46 pm 
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Would you mind rolling out the HF power number that Sabotage Run refers to or at least tell us what is typical? I used it once already and couldn't tell if it even did anything.


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 Post subject: Re: Faction Powers, Offense & Defense
PostPosted: Tue May 04, 2010 10:48 pm 
Incarnation of Rock

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Armed blockade is powerful, but no more than ~30 offense. It just saves the trouble of constantly arming and then scrapping defenses as fronts move. A quick surge of the HF can be met with a solid blockade. If anything it doesn't give enough other benefit (+20,000 influence maybe), as ~30 offense would do the same thing with the ability to convert some of it back.

I'm not sure if this means offense/defense is brokenly powerful or armed blockade is underpowered, but it's one of those. The only skyland we (Purple) have more than 5 offense or defense on is Grotto, and we're scrapping it there because we don't really need the help. The same looks to be true for everyone but Blue, who has some super high numbers on a couple places and fairly high numbers everywhere else. Of course, they also taunted the Fleet like 20 times. I might suggest, to reduce the synergy of "+offense/+defense = +++gap between fleet and skytopia" that +offense becomes +skytopian influence and +defense becomes +workforce/supplies. This would let the Hidden Fleet run at full power and shift more of the defense to the influence runners and the powers. If you want to more effectively defend, up defense and get more people to drop supplies and workforce there to power your abilities. Also, this would bring "armed blockade" up to a unique and very valuable superpower.


As for purge the wicked, yes, yes it is powerful. We've also only seen it used on things with at least 8 million HF influence. It'd be useless on something with only 1 million HF influence. I'd say what actually makes it powerful is that the numbers are only going to grow larger as time goes on, so when we're fighting with 20 million to the HF's 19 million on all the skylands it's going to be an even bigger blow. Perhaps cap it so it's not an unbounded hit? Would still have to be fairly high (in the millions) to be worth doing regularly though.

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 Post subject: Re: Faction Powers, Offense & Defense
PostPosted: Tue May 04, 2010 11:02 pm 
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Another thing that just occurred to me.

The powerful abilities like Purge and Blockade are going to be very important should we have to retake skylands from the Fleet. Some of the other abilities might not be sufficient when we have 1 mission offered and we cannot build fortifications.

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