Gratuitous Campaign Update

Some new screenshots are here … paign.html


brb cleaning results of orgasm

Additionally: Are there flagships of some sort that determine the fleet icon?

I assume the green bar to the right of planets is your fleet strength and the red bar on the left is enemy strength? Or like, something related to Threat Level (is that their strength unweighted or perhaps their strength relative to the present/nearby fleets, as well as nearby enemy fleets? :o)

I was wondering…do you know that shifting effect when mouseovering and moving about the planets on the system map in Dawn of War 2 campaign?
Have you tried to implement that, I find it would be very cool and befitting here.

The two levels are threat and loyalty.
Threat denotes how likely that system is to be attacked soon from neighbouring systems. This is partly based on what size fleet you have there, and the recent victories you have won at that location, plus the number of connected alleis vs connected enemies
Loyalty is gained through holding a system over time, and also stationing large fleets there. This acts as a multiplier for the effectiveness of local planetary facilities.

I would love to beta test this for you. Free of charge of course! ;]

Wow, this looks really cool. I always felt that something was missing from the original game, this is it!

How are the different races handled? Does each race has an own empire and do they fight among each other or does every enemy planet just has a random race assigned to it?

Will there be some sort of tech tree by buying stuff with honor as in the current games?

Are there going to be orbital defense stations you can put on a planet or will you have to station a fleet at each one to defend it?

I think this is a great update! I would like if at start of the game, I could see info about what races am I against and how many planets each of them have. When pressing turn, there could be info about who fought whom and if some race conquered or lost a territory. This way, the game could have a live feeling and not just a dumb territory conquering. I have always hated in games, when all races ganged up against me. Especially in galactic civilizations this is almost in all games, because I expand and fight very aggressively.

maybe its just me…

but do the planets look a bit flat in the middle?

Orbital defense platforms are awesome. Sadly in many games they are in, with the exception of Sins of a Solar Empire, they’re garbage. :frowning:

MOO3’s defense platforms took ages and ages to build, and lasted approximately 2 seconds in combat. At least with the SoaSE defense platforms you could have an extremely beefy, albeit entirely immobile defense network that could give even large fleets a run for their money. The fleet would win eventually if it was clever, but they sure could take a beating.

Nice preview images of Campaign GSB! :slight_smile:

OK, the question that’s most important to me: how moddable will Campaign GSB be, Cliffski?

( also cross-posted to the Suggestions forum here )

I’d like to know that, also.

Yes, the planetary defense in MoO3 was a sad joke. I’m advocating something much more like the SoaSE method!

Now I’m seriously thinking about fortifications for Campaign GSB. They would add some flexibility and interest to the game. I think that fortifications are too important an aspect of the game to be left out – not only do they make sense rationally, but frankly players are going to expect them in some form. I’d like to offer some thoughts on what extent of fortifications would be either too great or too small.

Since the ebb and flow of who’s controlling which worlds with which production facilities is the heart of the campaign economy, then the method by which you gain or lose planets in battle is literally the hinge upon which the entire game turns – for better or for worse:

  1. If it’s too easy for the defender to hold his position, then the attacker is at a major disadvantage and the game’s combat becomes static WW1 trench warfare in space, with real estate changing hands slowly…if at all, as battles are bloody affairs with high casualties. Front-line forces become expensive “sacrificial lambs” and the reserve forces become decisive, being the only elements able to capitalize upon breakthroughs created by the front-line forces. Most of your navy becomes tied-down, which isn’t very fun; on garrison duty if you’re the defender, on siege duty if you’re the attacker.

  2. If it’s too hard for the defender to protect his world(s), then the advantage goes to the attacker and the game becomes something like WW2 tank combat in North Africa, with great fluidity of movement and a maddening lack of persistent control over terrain…worlds changing hands frequently as well as quickly. Overall strategy becomes one of hit-and-run raids as the defender cannot be strong everywhere and in fact is weak mostly everywhere. Decisive battles mostly occur only where major tactical forces of each side blunder into one another unawares.

Those are my worries about what could happen if “the hinge” is either rusted too badly or oiled too freely. As long as their balance is handled with care, neither of the extremes detailed above should be possible. I imagine that the presence of defense bases (or whatever you choose to call them) would still increase a world’s loyalty level, albeit slower than if ships were also stationed there. If both ships and bases are present, then the loyalty level should rise faster than your present baseline of having ships alone.

If using something as simple as defense satellites, then having only that level of protection (no friendly ships in-system) would raise the loyalty level very slowly, perhaps also with an absolute cap on how far. At least the def-sats would provide some benefit for the planet below if no starships were available.

If there was also a larger, tougher, better-armed kind of orbital defense base there in quantity plus the existing def-sats, loyalty would rise faster and to a higher number.

Both of the above fortifications plus naval warships on-station would provide the greatest boost to the loyalty level.

Depending on how large the biggest kind of defense base was and how closely you choose to tie it into your economic system, that largest base could also have some kind of construction/production capability to add to that down on the planet’s surface, as well as possibly offering repairs to naval units at a cheaper cost or faster speed.

Creating defense platforms would be relatively easy to do in GSB’s engine. They would be large hulls that are immobile and lack engines, but to make up for that they could perhaps have a +range modifier.

-100% movement
+100% range

Something like this. This means that the platforms cannot move, even if you put engines on them. However the guns shoot at double range. A stationary platform that does not need to move at all can invest in larger guns, as well as registered firing coordinates for longer effective ranges. This also works for gameplay, so you can’t simply outrange defense platforms with extremely long range missiles and wear them down without taking any return fire.

You could arrange the platforms before battle starts, but once the battle has begun they are completely immobile. Before the battle there could be barges or tugs that move the platforms into formation as the platforms have no engines on their own, and when the shooting starts the barges or tugs will be staying clear of the battlefield.

Defense platforms should cost upkeep, like any other ship. Too many platforms means not enough money available for fleets.

However there is the potential where both sides could be building up huge arrays of defense platforms on their frontier worlds, where you get a cold war type situation. Each side building up more and more ships and platforms, but neither side willing to attack. The defender would have both the fleet and the platform whereas the attacker would have the fleet only.

I’m not sure of any way around this really. Same thing can happen in SoaSE. Max sized fleet sitting on top of a maxed out planetary defense network along with a starbase is pretty much invincible. 1v1, the attacker will lose and then the defender can retaliate while the attacker is rebuilding his fleet, so neither side attacks. But eventually someone will get bored of it and just try it anyway, or perhaps move their fleet elsewhere to try to attack a different border world, hoping that their platforms can fend off the inevitable counterattack by the fleet.

The cold war situation would only occur if both empires fight each other to a stalemate. So long as the borders are moving there is no incentive to entrench.

This is awesome. I posted an update on the Anantech forums linking to the campaign site. I can’t wait!

I do not have immediate plans for adding fortifications to the game I’m afraid. This would be trivially moddable. It is possible to do in a way, using ships without engines, such as the imperial defense platform, but any ship can be made engineless.

The mechanics of the campaign change many things. Not all ships are buildable everywhere, and you can only move ships along hyperspace lanes. This means (for example) that if planet A can build fighters, planet B has a spatial anomaly that prevents fighters, and planet C is linked to from A via B, then you can’t project a fighter force from A to C. This leads to all sorts of strategic chin-stroking.

Although the campaign allows you to build big engineless fleets, you can’t move them to another world, so they are stuck where they are built. Thus some planets (with class A shipyards) can be heavily defended by static fleets, whereas others cannot.

Plus… When you defend a system, you don’t get to see the enemy fleet in the deployment screen. You are effectively being ambushed by an invading fleet. This also leads to some interesting events.

Lastly, in terms of what race is where, currently the game assumes the whole galaxy is awash with all your enemies. They do not have defined empires, but each planet will be controlled by one of your enemies. The AI ignores your race, so you face whatever other races you have installed (so expansion pack races will be featured if they are installed).

Hyndis: You can’t make range-boosted hulls.

Cliff: What if you had them in CARRIER BAYS on a cruiser? :smiley: :smiley: :smiley:

Not currently, no. But it seems like it would be relatively easy to add in. Hulls can have modifiers that increase or decrease attributes. Things like armor strength, hull hitpoints, speed, and so forth. Those are all attributes with a +/- modifier on them. Multiply the existing attribute by the modifier, and there you go.

The other day I watched the whole battle (after the victory I left the battle going) and was pleased to watch my fighters dock in my carrier after the end of the battle.

Cliff: will this work with modded races? I’d like to churn out lots of Star Destroyers and send them off to conquer the galaxy.
Also, if we have the same mods installed as other players that posted modded race challenges, will we be going up against them as well?