Please note that this is a preview for a feature being included in 1.1, not the 1.0f version available above. Specifics may change between now and release based on testing and feedback.
One of the biggest issues which brings down Sins of a Solar Empire is the way the late-game devolves into a tedious slog, where the determining factor of a match is not who has a better fleet, economy or strategy, but instead who gets bored last. Rather than large fleets and empires resulting in a climactic battle or series of key engagements, the end-game would drag on as players could easily accumulate thousands of unusable resources and immediately replace any losses. Their reserves would also be so large as to render most territory losses meaningless. Part of this can be ascribed to income rates, but its also partially the fault of how upkeep is handled; regardless of how many ships you have, once you've upgraded your capacity you're stuck at a flat income cost. You can't make that cost too big either, or players wouldn't be able to afford it and any loss would be impossible to adjust for.
No individual change can fix all of this, however we have a new way to handle upkeep which should require a bit more thought for fleet composition, increase the value on individual ships, and significantly change the way late-game engagements are thought about.
Instead of fleet upkeep being based on a flat rate (which remains), there is now an additional component where each individual ship has its own upkeep cost in credits. This is broken into tiers based on different characteristics of the ships, and provides another mechanic with which we can differentiate ships and even factions. This mechanic means that having a fully-capped fleet requires not just saving and spending properly, but having an income which can sustain it long-term. The more ships you have, the less money you have rolling in, and the less effectively you can replace losses you've sustained.
This also provides a sneaky way for us to potentially improve performance. Where before 10 players on a 100 player map could realistically survive and end up with 10 fully-capped fleets, making gameplay slow to a crawl. With these changes, that should be a lot more difficult to accomplish economically, since there are only so many ships that can be supported at once. As players get eliminated, more space gets freed up and remaining players can afford to expand more.
Figure out you're expanding too much, or losing too much territory to sustain your ships, or even just not at war and want to focus output more on infrastructure instead of military? No problem. You can also mothball your ships from any of your frigate or capital shipyards. Mothballing completely deactivates the selected ship, making it a sitting target, however it also removed the upkeep costs associated with keeping it active. This will hopefully provide players on both sides with interesting strategies to take advantage of. There will also be a helpful indicator above the ships, indicating that they are mothballed.
Moreover, this should also make it more viable to engage in hit and run tactics. We want to make infrastructure more valuable to begin with, whether by making it more expensive or take longer to build, but aside from that, previously if you had a smaller fleet you really had no choice but to engage or try to expand your own to take it on at some point. Our first attempt to solve this was buffing smaller fleets with well-trained fleet commanders, but that was not the answer. Now, if you're able to outmaneuver a player with a bigger fleet and chip away at their territory and economy, you can eventually force them to start mothballing or even scuttling their fleet if they want to continue producing anything or taking territory.
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Highest Rated (2 agree) 10/10
Thrawn is one of the best characters of the EU. This mod, and it's predecessor bring that character off the story pages. And into our game. Something the movies and official games have failed to do. Short of Rebellion (Supremacy.) The best SW's game ever in my opinion, but painfully dated by this point. Delving into the ideals of his background, in a fun and expansive SW mod is simply a joy. I'm waiting for 1.0 to authorize even as I speak, but .95 already showed a care to crafting a quality mod…
Feb 5 2016 by Justicar333