wTVd0's Master List
This document includes:
- a list of bugs that interfere with gameplay in Era 3.
- a list of recommended changes to the game's interface.
- a list of "non-labor-intensive suggestions": gameplay elements that I believe could and should be changed without constituting major overhauls
The focus of these lists is things that can be implemented in a short development cycle. It does not include more ambitious suggestions.
This is one player's perspective and is not exhaustive of all suggestions that have been made on the forum.
Structures & Designations
- [Priority] The tech program exploit- once a tech program has labor allocated away from it, it continues to provide TLs for free. It's easy to dupe planets into allocating labor away. Multiple underlying issues: nonproduction structure services are not tied to labor consumption & one-way ratchet for labor allocation to alloc:fixed structures.
- Allocating resources via trade routes should prioritize by planetary designation; currently it seems to prioritize by the order in which the routes were established. This can result in resource misallocation during mild shortages.
- Worlds that get redesignated from ‘trading hub’ should get a spaceport structure to replace the lost starport.
- Trade hub weirdness and consumer goods autofac death spirals, this link lists a couple of different bugs but the major issues are that hubs may still refuse to distribute trillum (and maybe some other resources) unless there are at least two refineries connected (underlying reason unknown) and that consumer goods autofacs on hostile worlds can easily end up in trillum-shortage situations.
- The militia base structure can become unusable (reflects an underlying issue with how the game handles alloc:fixed structures, but the militia base is the only one that it renders fully unusable).
- Sector capitals may be able to permanently drop below TL5 (untested)
- The structures tab on foreign worlds displays the entire planetary industry table for the designation, including invalid structures.
- Habitat ruins affect habitat construction options in a problematic way.
Units & Combat
- [Priority] The difference between displayed unit movement on the galactic map and actual movement mechanics has lead to a method for destroying starship fleets without them getting a chance to fire back. This has been aggressively exploited by players.
- [Priority] The fleet capture bug affects PvP combat, fleets should NOT be captured when planets get captured or defect. It's fine if stationed units get captured, but there's no reason for fleets that just happen to be at a world to getting captured.
- [Priority] Missiles can follow goofy paths that result in them timing out before hitting
- [Priority] Combat report announcements on the galactic map are usually one or more of the following: incorrect, misleading, or insufficient.
- [Priority] Wings orbit within range of defenses that they should outrange. In Era 3 units like jumpcruisers were fixed to correctly start firing at maximum range. The problem is now that they will not voluntarily remain near their maximum range and insist on getting close enough to get shot back at.
- [Priority] Fleets do not appear to use opportunity fire. Appears to be a regression from Alpha 4.
- Transports don't fire their weapons and can automatically withdraw even if they could mostly survive an invasion. Transports count towards spaceForces despite being essentially non-combat units. (Also see the entry for transports in the suggestions section).
- Ground battles and space battles with small numbers of units on both sides can drag on for hours or days.
- There are issues with the combat visualizer that may or may not reflect actual issues with how combat occurs. Specifically, really large fleet wings appear to have a problem with firing range.
- Units that leave a planet's orbit during combat are reported as casualties in notifications.
- [PARTIALLY FIXED] Weird behavior of single-shot units (note: GDMs no longer do this since they are no longer single-shot, but presumably any future single-shot unit would also be buggy).
- There are a few issues with citadels/jumpmissiles.
- Fleets should treat jumpmissiles consistently regardless of whether they are performing an “attack” or “invasion”.
- [Priority] Ramjets need to be able to move; they mostly stopped working mid-game, with a few exceptions. This may be tied to dark nebula duplication, additional layers of dark nebula that appeared spontaneously in the middle of Beta II and again in Era 3.
- [Priority] In nebulas, exploration can clear black tiles without revealing all planets beneath them, which leads planets being "invisible" to players until they are stumbled upon by accident. My guess: tile clearance is based on scanner range in open space, so in a nebula a tile can be cleared without planets getting detected. This ties into weirdness with inconsistent or ambiguous fleet and planet scanner radiuses. .
- [Priority] Mesophon worlds should only sell environment-appropriate ships. Planets should not offer starships in a nebula & or ramjets outside one.
Players and Empires
- [Priority] Empire names should be unique, with no empire allowed to adopt the same name as an existing one. Otherwise anyone with a Multiverse account can incite a war via false-flag attack.
- [Priority] Limit the characters that can be used in an empire name to A-Z & 0-9 (Unicode names can paint stuff outside the boundaries of in-game dialogs) and restrict name length.
- The zoomed-out map displays capital planet names. It should display empire names.
- In rare cases, players can start in nebular locations with no other planets visible. This results in an unplayable game because there is nowhere to move fleets.
- Starting capitals that used to be part of another empire can get potentially unbalanced extra units and resources, and/or too-high TLs that are actively regressing. Imperial capital planets should also have their efficiency reset to a high number and their revIndex reset to 0 at the time that a player joins the game, if this does not already occur.
- [Priority] Worlds without a biosphere do not always prioritize life support resource production over other labor-consuming activities. The bug is mostly seen in extreme situations; anecdotally, it is most likely on non-biosphere planets that are designated as consumer goods autofacs.
- [Priority] "Welcome Back, My Lord" message and combat messages often require multiple mouse clicks to dismiss.
- [REGRESSION] Missing "ffi" ligature in some in-game fonts (this is still an issue despite an attempted fix).
- Game client freezes when zooming to combat visualizer on a moving fleet.
- Incorrect error text when interacting with planets outside of capital control radius
If interface changes are on the table, it would be nice to have:
- [Priority] A "merge to" button in the transfer dialog that transfers absolutely everything in a fleet to the target fleet or planet. Alternately, a button in the bottom bar to merge all owned fleets at planet.
- [Priority] Ability to pick the number of units to buy when purchasing from Mesophon, rather than buying in fixed quantities.
- Scroll wheel support in game interfaces like the transfer dialog.
- A new trade route interface that is more streamlined (e.g. click-and-drag to select all worlds to conduct 2-way trade with) .
- Prompt for desired TL when importing foundation technology.
- [Priority] Cancel button is needed in more places.
- The UI needs to communicate labor reduction from allocating labor to multiple structures better. This is a central game concept but players rarely intuit it on their own.
- Use monospaced fonts or scale bars on the production tab so that production can be assessed at a glance.
- Define planetary traits explicitly in-game.
- It should be possible to check stockpiles of resources that a planet is neither producing nor consuming somewhere other than the deploy dialog. Possibly rename the production tab to "resources", add this functionality to it, and add a "units" tab that shows units and unit production.
- The galactic screenshot button doesn't seem to work properly for most browser/computer configurations.
- [Priority] Button to dismiss all map overlay messages. Toggle to prevent any new messages from appearing.
Galactic Map View
- [Priority] It's difficult or impossible to distinguish unexplored space from dark nebulas and open space at zoom levels where background stars stop being displayed.
- [Priority] Show relevant range circles for planets when mousing over designation button, to support empire planning.
- Scroll wheel support for zooming.
- Scanner radius for fleets should be explicitly communicated somehow; the nebular scanner radius for planets is inaccurately represented. How do scanners even work? In general it is very difficult to determine when fleet will become visible or when it will become countable.
- Clicking an empire's fleet should highlight that empire's borders, if known.
- Clicking a message that involves another empire should highlight that empire's borders, if known.
- More consistently clear foreign fleet paths without refreshing the game client.
- Click and drag to select multiple fleets, then issue them all one movement or merge order.
- It's hard to select individual fleets when more than three or four are present at one world. Array fleet icons in concentric semicircles rather than all in one big semicircle.
- There should be distinct fleet icons for explorer-speed fleets, gunship-speed fleets, and possibly for fleets that include landing-capable ships.
- During invasions, the scanner circle for conquered planets is displayed instantly whereas the "Imperial Forces have conquered XXXX" message and the color change/incorporation into empire occur when a watch ends, unless the player refreshes their game client. All these things should occur simultaneously.
- Distinguish neutral and "hostile" empires by border color - maybe have more explicit "war" and "peace" states?
- [Priority] When many wings are present at a world, their control boxes extend beyond the bottom combat visualizer and it's difficult to issue them orders. Either revise the visualizer to accommodate more wings or entirely rethink how wings are selected on this screen- for example, support wing selection by clicking on the orbiting wings themselves.
- Strongly distinguish wings and unit types in the combat visualizer; e.g., overlay each wing with a transparent floating fleet symbol of an appropriate type and size
- indicate when there are pending wing orders, not just the active order (due to delay before orders get accepted by wings).
- Combine START and GAMES pages on website or more strongly differentiate them.
Multiple & Misc
- [Priority] Long empire names can overlap other interface elements. (So can "tall" empire names that use oversize Unicode characters.)
- More placeholder artwork is needed for resources, units, structures, etc. Borrow these from Transcendence?
- It would be really nice to have a combat and communications log and master lists.
- make unit/resource/planet descriptions and stats visible in more places.
- give fleets more informative default names based on their composition. E.g., instead of "30th fleet", "30th jumpfleet".
I support an interlocking set of changes to strategic warfare that is described here. However, the suggestions made in this section are versions that could be implemented a la carte without affecting one another.
Structures & Designations
- [Priority] a proposed change to some jumpbeacon properties to address issues with warfare.
- [Priority] a proposed fix for "spite-redesignation", a phenomenon where players manually redesignate sector capitals right before they are captured to prevent planetary defection.
- T&E empire capitals and sector capitals should have jumpbeacons so that T&E empires aren’t obligated to build yards to use the jumpships that they buy. A yards is usually not an good use of a planet for a T&E empire.
- T&E empires should be able to build something more exciting than basic infantry; maybe they should get the citadel complex as a secondary (or primary!) structure.
- Defense structures on independent worlds should ruin down to lower-TL equivalents so that independent worlds don't end up defenseless after civil wars.
- Make defense structures require access to resources before being able to build the structure.
Units & Combat
- [Priority] Implement some new system for ground combat, preferably one that addresses ground forces snowballing (once a player has sufficient ground forces, further combat results in a net gain of ground forces because overwhelming ground forces leads to unit surrender).
- The current metagame favors sending transports in separate wings. Instead, have transports orbit higher but not be targetable until they begin a landing approach.
- The citadel complex should build more effective ground units.
- The jumpship unit type/role (the kind of jumpship that Eldritch and Stinger are) should be renamed. The name "jumpship" is used by the game to refer to both a unit class and a specific unit type, which is confusing and inconsistent.
- Force tiny wings to merge with other wings of the same unit type. A multi-fleet assembly of ships that is divided into many small wings seems to have an advantage over a comparable fleet with a few large wings. (This ties into the lack of opportunity fire; large wings waste time pursuing small ones.)
Players and Empires
- Option to manually abandon a planet (instead of forcing it into civil war in order to abandon). Limit how much a player can do this in a cycle.
- Don't let players change doctrine unless certain conditions are met, or allow all doctrines to build transports. Some new players immediately switch to a doctrine that doesn't produce transports and lose interest in the game because they can't expand.
- Standardize unit transfer between players. Either the existing ways to do this should be written out, or a standard mechanism for doing it should be written in.
- Don't let new players immediately build a bunch of tech programs on their capitals since this prevents them from building ships (starting capitals are earthlike worlds without chronimium). One way to do this would be to make capital tech programs require chronimium.
- Fix the vulnerability of the Mesophon sovereign by making their planets better defended and making them immune to secession and revolt. Optionally, allow Mesophon to "grow back".
- Improve secession empires by making them attackable by their originating player without penalty, permitting them to auto-abdicate (since they are too small for other players to attack), and distinguishing them from player empires in the game client.
- [Priority] Allow resource import ratios to be adjusted dynamically based on source planets' labor output and existing resource stockpiles rather than as fixed ratios. A workaround is to enable importing of any resource that a planet can export; that way two-way trade routes to hubs will auto-balance demand. This already works for consumer goods!
- [Priority] Planetary option to export all surplus to hub- stockpile resources on hub instead of the producing world, with the hub importing as much of the resource as possible independent of demand.
- [Priority] Planets should continue to use resources if there is a stockpile present, even if no trade route or structure exists to supply the resource. Trade hubs should be able to distribute stockpiled resources until they are depleted.
- Make nebular resources more interesting by tweaking aetherium/chtholon frequency (chtholon is very common) & making aetherium and chtholon usable to run some kind of structure or to build some sort of defenses or infantry.
- If games don't end, hexacarbide should probably be subject to attrition, even if it's very low attrition. You can see insanely large accumulations of hexacarbide in long-running games.