Sins of a Solar Empire is often described as a 4XRTS game, or a game that tried to merge the action and tactics packed gameplay of a Real time strategy game with the deep, complex, empire wide strategy of a 4X turn based game. It's up to debate whether Sins succeeded in this goal, but I think all can agree that of the 4Xs of "explore, expand, exploit, and exterminate", Sins is much more focused on the exterminate than on the others. This mod seeks to give more depth to the other 3Xs of the game by adding additional game elements or refining the existing ones to reward players who give more strategic thought to the non-combat side of the game. Combat will still be the center point of the game, but players will find that the non-combat options available will be much more rewarding. Spying, exploring, sabotage, diplomacy, culture, and economic development have all been added or changed in innovative new ways. Regardless of what you think Sins is, this is the 4XRTS it should have been.

Post news Report article RSS Feed Rethinking Titans

After much debate, I've finally concluded that substantial changes to titans is necessary.

Posted by GoaFan77 on Oct 15th, 2012

None of the new features in Rebellion has provoked debates quite like the role of titans. For most of this time I've been fairly supportive of the status quo. Sins clearly needed a unit that scaled substantially in power in order to be "game ending". And having a unit that counter frigates as a whole lead to a much revitalized role for Capitalships, which tended to get marginalized late games as 100+ frigate fleet count take any single capitalship out fairly easily.

However, combined with the fact titans keep their levels on death, the meta game in Rebellion is now heavily focused on avoiding losing ships to titans at all cost, mainly with capitalships and carrier cruisers. Main combat frigates become entirely obsolete late game by the combined forces of massed strikecraft killing them from afar and titans Area of Effect (AoEs) abilities killing them if they get into combat range. Something must clearly be done, and though I haven't entirely decided what, so all input on this topic will be greatly appreciated either in the comments or in the forum.

Changing AoE Abilities

The best way to make battles more dynamic in the late game is to remove most of the ability killing power of titans. Before Rebellion, unlimited damage AoEs were either weak (radiation bomb), level 6 abilities (Missile Barrage, Cleansing Brilliance), or on starbases (Meteor Storm). By introducing very powerful AoEs on a mobile platform that could be used at level 1, this design decision was abandoned and has discouraged fleet diversity. It's also doesn't work well for an exciting new dimension to the mod I hope to add in the future.

Only one titan in the game has no AoE damaging abilities, the Coronata, and other titan will be changed to become more or less like that. The damage effects on abilities like Scattershot, Chastic Burst and Nano drain will be seriously reduced or removed, and replace with debuffs. Scattershot will probably just focus on the armor penalty but become cheaper to use and Chastic burst will become primarily a mass disable ability rather than mass damage ability.

I'm don't have any timescale of when this will be done, sadly time has been short lately and I still have plenty to do with the capitalship/titan upgrades. But I figured it would be better for me to see how everyone feels about this major change before I do it.

Post comment Comments
WaffleAndy Oct 15 2012 says:

Imagine a full-scale titan warfare...

+1 vote     reply to comment
neronix17 Oct 15 2012 replied:

No need to imagine in dev's kinda fun!

+1 vote     reply to comment
Shockmatter Oct 15 2012 says:

Titans were always supposed to take on full powered fleets on their own and come out on top (with battle scars of course) I hope you guys accomplish this in the mod! :D

+2 votes     reply to comment
GoaFan77 Author
GoaFan77 Oct 16 2012 replied:

Ay, I have no desire to turn them into mere "Supercapitalships" as some want. Especially titans like the Eradica that relied on their abilities for damage will get a large stat boost to compensate.

+1 vote   reply to comment
Shockmatter Oct 16 2012 replied:

I understand, any changes you make I will be happily content with.

+1 vote     reply to comment
ThanatosFM Oct 16 2012 says:

Also I can understand your point of view about the titans, but this is some kind of... castration of that units. And it will make the titans more or less senseless. For me, this is just a tiny step before remove the titans completely. Yes, the titans may not be balanced. And that was a good point. Do you/we really want a 100% balanced game? If yes, than we have to play Stone-Paper-Scissors. Not Sins, not E4X or any other Game. I don't want to offend anyone. You asked about our opinion - this is mine.

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GoaFan77 Author
GoaFan77 Oct 16 2012 replied:

Again I'm not sold on my changes. I've just come to realize yes, being able to do thousands of damage to an unlimited number of frigates is a bit excessive. Basically I'm redirecting this damage to the titan's normal weapons (which can be more precisely controlled) and making the abilities debuff instead. I assure you titans will still be able to go head to head with lots of ships, they just won't be able to eat entire fleets in a few minutes.

+1 vote   reply to comment
ThanatosFM Oct 17 2012 replied:

I still understand you. And I also understand the problems of a lot of players with that AoE damaging abilities. I just see it in another "light". For me this is a challenge, not a problem. There is just one titan for each side. And the AoE abilities are also limited in range. Also, these abilities have cooldown times and the titans are slow. So it is just much harder and more tricky to beat a enemy titan. And yes, right now they have brought the pure mass of frigate fleets rush tactics to an end. Again, for me this is a good point and more a challenge than a problem.
Anyway, this is just my opinion. E4X is one of the best mods for Sins. So of course I will try the next version of your mod, regardless of any changes to the titans.

+1 vote     reply to comment
GoaFan77 Author
GoaFan77 Oct 17 2012 replied:

Another problem though is that not all titans have these AoEs. The Coronata doesn't have one at all, and the Ankylon and (until level 6) the Vorastra only have weak ones. And this change also happens to be convenient with my future plans. While I'm glad you spoke up I need something more than "It's more of a challenge", especially since this change should affect humans equally, to reconsider. If you really want more of a challenge, I would be more than happy to make a minimod that lets the AI cheat more for you. :p

+1 vote   reply to comment
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