The Future of Galactic War

The Future of Galactic War

Postby Rogueleader89 » 19 Nov 2014, 22:03

Disclaimer/Introduction:
I was a UEF player in the last galactic war from January until our eventual victory; I am not a highly rated player and I have little knowledge of how previous galactic wars have gone (which would be great knowledge to have as regards things like how the game went without autorecall, how active players were with lesser attack costs, etc.). I only played regularly during the war at around ranks 3-5, though I did spend my victories to hit rank 7 near the end just to see what each rank got. I also don’t know everything Ze_Pilot was planning for galactic war, only the few hints here and there of depots, rebellion of defeated factions, etc. That said, I am a game programmer by trade and have experience designing and implementing multiple games over the last 10 years so I’d like to think I can bring something to the workings of galactic war. Similarly I hope many of you will come out of the woodwork to add new ideas and shoot down whatever ideas I have that won’t work. I also apologize greatly in advance at how long and wordy this post (and possibly others) will likely be, I never was any good at making short forum topics or posts.

Regardless, now is the time we should be talking about galactic war, before anyone is working on getting it back up, when we can settle some long standing issues and decide on what its future should be. I hope to be a part of getting galactic war back online and expanding upon it, but regardless of who ends up working on galactic war in the future, let’s give them a few great bases to work off of, I think the autorecall thread is excellent, if you haven’t posted there yet and have any thoughts on autorecall please go do so, I've stated my own thoughts there and I’ll try not to repeat them too much here. Even if you hate every single idea I post here I encourage you to go start your own topics and help restart the conversation about galactic war, we shouldn't wait until its back to figure all of this out.

I may split some stuff I was going to post here off into separate topics (since I’m writing this last, having not yet scanned (or recreated in photoshop) any of my new GUI sketches and already have 15 pages of text in the word doc I am working out of...) and I encourage you to start your own topics as well if I forget anything. Additionally, if we start getting good discussions going for one or more large topics here by themselves we should probably break them off into separate threads and crosslink them.

Not included in this topic at the time of posting (will replace this section with crosslinks to other threads/posts later if needed):
- Images showing changes to GUI (some of new features, some just minor improvements like tabs for tiers of units on the reinforcements screen)
- An updated listing of things unlocked by reaching any given rank in a faction.

I will be referring to play on the galactic war map as strategic play and actual battles over planets in galactic war as tactical play; for the most part I will be focusing on the strategic level.

The Problem with Player Numbers:
Remember last galactic war? Remember UEF’s unstoppable march after Aeon was defeated and the gradual dying of all galactic war activity? All of this was a symptom of a singular problem: imbalanced player numbers. Unless a faction is very lucky it is unlikely they will have enough players on constantly to defend at any given time, in the case of UEF we were somewhat lucky, we had a few good contingents of players that covered most active timeslots, which meant that we could have pretty even fights during the day and utterly stomp through defenses at night because our opponents had great difficulty defending everywhere we could attack.

There are a few steps I believe are necessary to solve this problem. First: Faction enslavement has to go, enslaving the players of a defeated faction basically ensures that this problem is created; as I’ve outlined elsewhere I believe that the reward for defeating a faction should be gaining all of their tech (including access to their t1 engis as reinforcements with a considerable delay); the players of the defeated faction should have the ability to rebel at high cost to retake a planet somewhere around their starting territory or homeworld, until they choose to rebel however they should act as mercenaries, helping any faction they so choose for monetary reward.

Secondly, this mercenary system should not be limited to defeated factions. Anyone should be able to recruit someone from another faction to join their squad via an upfront payment of credits (possibly based on the rank of the player), this new joint faction squad would then be unable to attack factions that any squad member is a part of (so if a cybran player recruits a seraphim player they can’t then go and attack seraphim). This way, if its late and night and say UEF has a ton of people on attacking Cybran and each of the other factions has only a handful, the few cybran players fighting a desperate defense can give up some of their hard earned credits to form squads with Aeon and Seraphim players who want to help assist in their defense against UEF (which is probably in the best interest of all factions involved), this should help prevent a faction from being stomped into the ground when they aren’t on, and also prevent boring nights for a faction with tons of people on while their opponents are mostly offline. As an added bonus, you will be able to occasionally play with friends who chose different factions if you so desire. To participate in the mercenary system we would add a new checkbox to the right side of the screen in the galactic war map view; checking this would essentially add your avatar’s name, cost to hire (based on your rank, or possibly a user defined value next to this checkbox), and faction to a separate mercenary tab in the window for forming a squad so that people of other factions could invite you.

Strategic Intelligence in GW
One of the main features of supreme commander is the intelligence system, yet, outside of anonymous names and trying to figure out who is who, intelligence doesn’t seem to have any role on the strategic level at all. Let’s change that.

First, remove the ability to see defenses and other strategic structures on all enemy planets until the planet has either been scouted or played on, and do not update the defenses shown if new ones are built until scouted again or played on again. This will give defenses a little bit more potency and also encourage the occasional small poke to see what is there instead of jumping in headfirst, and providing some more defender’s advantage.

Second, remove the ability to see the map that will be played on before the planet has either been scouted or played on unless your faction controls it. This will work especially well if we get the random map generator going for GW, encouraging recon missions, pokes into enemy territory causing more battles, and giving some additional defender’s advantage.

Third, create new reconnaissance structures on the strategic level, or repurpose existing structures, to allow for the scouting of enemy planets without battle. These structures should be fairly high cost and limited in use and range. They should make the planets they are on become bigger targets for the enemy. Personally I’d suggest making these vary a bit by faction, for instance UEF could construct a satellite from their strategic intel structure that orbits a nearby designated planet and provides constant intel at a high cost until they either choose to decommission the satellite (or captured the planet the satellite was over) or the satellite’s control center is destroyed (each control center being limited to a small number of satellites), Aeon’s t3 Quantum Optics Facility could serve as their intel center on the strategic level, allowing constant sight on all enemy planets within say 2-3 jumps of it, Cybran could have a structure that can occasionally fire off a virus at low cost that hits all planets within a set number of jumps of the target planet (which must be reasonably near said strategic intel structure, say 10 jumps?), revealing everything about those planets very briefly, making them able to scout more places quickly but unable to have constantly up to date intelligence, seraphim could make use of their rift technology to open small tunnels across the galaxy to land a scout anywhere and receive intel from the target planet for the next hour, having the advantage of intelligence range. Of course all of these are merely suggestions, all factions could have the same type of intel gathering across the board (or multiple types at different costs) or we could use completely different mechanics for each one, and regardless we would need to test to make sure it played well and was balanced.

Fourth: We have an empty intelligence tab, let’s use it. The intelligence tab should be where you see an overview of all the players you have fought against; if you’ve fought them, you’ll have their anonymous name and rank at the time you last fought them. You will no longer be able to see the name or rank of players attacking planets until their rank is discovered for your faction’s intel and if they go up in rank you will not see their higher rank until you fight them again. This also opens up the possibility of additional strategic level intelligence options to discover things like an enemy player’s win/loss ratio, updating their rank, or discovering if they have any position in the leadership of their faction. Strategically this also means that a faction could devote some of its members solely to handling one or two enemy factions and later surprise the third by using high ranked players they did not know about and could not see through intel. A player that dies is marked as deceased immediately and moved to a separate part list. A separate entry column should be maintained for each player allowing the entry of comments from existing faction members (so if you figure out someone’s actual identity for instance you can note it, or you can have someone who played against them try to approximate their level of skill in the comments).

Ending the War and Communal Spending:
Yeah I suppose I have to address super-weapons… I have seen a lot of ideas for super-weapons spread around these forums over the last 10 months, and a lot of people seem to want active super-weapons each side can fire off; I honestly think that is the wrong way to do them, we need super-weapons that will end a galactic war game. I propose that each superweapon, essentially act as a large countdown timer to victory like wonders do in the Age of Empires series; they should cost a fairly insane amount of credits, and the time required before the faction wins should depend on how many planets are left compared to how many planets they control (so a faction that controls most of the map will win faster via superweapons than a faction that is nearly wiped out), with a minimum of a week required. To prevent a faction with a superweapon from winning, another faction needs to reach the planet it has been built on and successfully destroy the superweapon in battle; note that they do not need to take the planet, they merely need to destroy the physical superweapon in battle, so defending this thing will likely require that a faction hold multiple connected planets as well as mount a successful defense of the superweapon itself on its own planet. All this said, I think superweapons are really something that should only be built once the current round of galactic war is basically over and their cost should reflect that. If we really want active strategic scale weapons they can be made as high cost structures that are separate from game ending superweapons.

Alternatively, we could even just have the creation of a superweapon be an automatic event that triggers on a faction’s homeworld once they have reached a certain amount of occupancy within the galaxy, no reason to have it cost anything really and we can have the faction’s homeworld be a map that nicely fits the superweapon in a great defensive position that makes sense (like the campaign maps). I think I actually prefer this free automatic superweapon idea over having to build one on a planet of your choice. Plus it means you have to actually control your home planet for this to be an option.

Super-weapons do bring up an interesting point though, we currently have no method of pooling large amounts of money together within a faction to put towards large scale projects. I think having such a method might be hugely beneficial and open up a lot of possibilities for strategic play. So Ipropose that we have a central pool of faction money (with its own hard cap) that can be used by the faction leader and other players appointed by the faction leader, for various purposes, for instance, building large projects on planets (new strategic structures or high tier defenses like nuclear weapons, t3 artillery, etc.), opened up for payments to mercenaries (simple toggle, makes it so players who hire mercenaries don’t have to pay them out of their own pocket and can thus get some allies when needed without worrying too much about funds), or spent on various strategic uses (like building/launching scouts to get intel on a planet, or spending credits to get more and updated intel on a specific enemy player).

Lastly, knowing about players and planets is well and good for intelligence, but we also need intel on entire factions themselves. The intel screen should always show the number and percentage of planets each faction controls as well as the income a member of a faction gets every 6 hours.

Importance of Planets, New Strategic Structures, and Faction Income:
In the last galactic war, outside of various choke points, planets never truly varied in importance. I think the best way to change this is to create new strategic level structures that can be built which provide various benefits while making the planets they are on higher priority targets for enemies, which I will go into below, but first, let’s discuss home-worlds. I think each faction should start with a homeworld and this homeworld should hold some strategic significance. For starters, it should be the only place you can construct a superweapon, but we should also consider tying a few other things into it. For instance, in the last GW, you gained a certain amount of income every so often (every 6 hours?), below I propose a structure that helps determine this income, essentially civilian occupation, I think your homeworld should start with the highest level of this (the metropolis); additionally your homeworld would also begin with a depot.

I have assembled a limited list below of my thoughts on what strategic structures should be added and what they should do, but I hope to hear many suggestions on this; especially as regards the possibility of creating some faction specific structures on the strategic level so that faction diversity can show through a bit. Note that all proposed costs and cooldowns and other such things (As well as proposed differences between factions) are subject to balance. Also note that I believe all of these structures should be present during tactical battles, if they are destroyed in a tactical battle they should also be lost on the strategic map; these are structures you want to protect, structures that make the planets they are on more valuable.

Depot: Ze_Pilot originally had depots serving 3 purposes, income, reinforcement, and influence. Personally I think this is a few too many and have split his version up into multiple other structures, some with a few different mechanics. This said, I would like to use depots exclusively as reinforcement centers, whether we call them depots or not. Essentially this functions the same way Ze_Pilot originally laid it out, closer you are to a depot the faster your reinforcements arrive, the farther away you are the longer it takes for them to arrive. I’d also like to suggest that planets with depots on them do not lose occupation over time from surrounding enemies/neutral planets, because they effectively have a constant military presence. Similarly, I think that you should not have access to reinforcements on any planet that is not connected to a depot planet via a series of connected jumps through your own controlled planet, effectively allowing factions to cut off supply lines if given the chance; this would be especially effective to prevent an opponent from pushing deep within your territory without securing a supply line, making those ever more desirable deep strikes become riskier propositions. I propose that these Depots cost somewhere around 6000-7000 credits, a steep purchase, but doable by one player, and more than doable by the pooled resources of the faction, they are things you definitely don’t want to lose but they aren’t so expensive that you can’t replace them. Ze_Pilot also already had a graphic for depots he was going to use for galactic war, and I’d suggest using this same graphic as they should be made clearly visible given their importance to every member of the faction.

Colony/Settlement/City/Metropolis: A tiered strategic construction, each tier having to be built upon the tier below it (with the exception of the first tier), limit of 1 per planet. This structure provides additional income to your faction and represents the colonization of planets by your faction’s civilian population. I propose that the costs be as follows (ConstructionCost/IncomeGained)
Colony: 10000/10
Settlement: 20000/20
City: 50000/50
Metropolis: 100000/100
Additionally, the cost of each tier should rise by 5000 credits for each structure of that tier you have already. The first tier however, should cap off at 20000 credits as its maximum price.

The reasons for these particular (rather high) costs being that faction-wide income is an incredibly strong thing to increase, it affects everyone in your faction across the board and has an exponential effect if then pool the money you earned to build more income sources. The way this is laid out, it should be fairly doable to colonize a decent number of places; early on a faction will do well to create a few metropolises in protected territories to bring in money, and they will be tempted to slowly colonize out into more dangerous areas for additional income. I think tying faction income to planets will create many fantastic incentives for one faction to stage strategic operations against planets they might otherwise ignore or bypass as well as provide incentive for a faction to strike deeply into enemy territory instead of just slowly taking outer planets.

Ideally I would like these to be represented in tactical battles as a number of civilian structures (depending on the tier), the percentage destroyed would determine whether the structure would go down in tier or be destroyed, but this seems like a fairly difficult thing to do from a practicality standpoint, would need some exploration in modding to see how thesible this is. Alternatively there could be a central civilian building, or a few, that represent this. Another possibility is that the defense of a planet with this could be done with the civilian defense mod so long as the structure is intact.

Intel Structures: As outlined in the intelligence section. I’d suggest that only players specified by the faction’s leader and players of rank 7 be able to perform scouting actions from these structures (though anyone would be able to build the structure themselves from their own pocket, albeit, most would be better suited to an expenditure of pooled faction resources). Limit 1 per planet.
UEF Satellite Control Center: Not to be confused with the Novax Center, this satellite control center launches up to 3 intelligence satellites over target planets. The control center itself should have a fairly high cost, with each satellite costing additional credits (I’d suggest 5000 credits for the control center, 1000 credits per satellite)
Aeon Quantum Optics Facility: In tactical this acts the same way it always has, at the strategic level it reveals information about all planets within X jumps from it (I’d suggest 2-3). I’d suggest a cost of 5000 credits or so.
Cybran Quantum Reconnaissance Facility: A central facility from which Cybran can launch viral scouts through the gate network to discover various intel about a large number of planets. I’d suggest a cost of 3000 for the initial structure plus a 1 hour cool-down between each scout launched.
Seraphim Micro Rift Stabilizer: A facility capable of creating a small tunnel through the rift allowing the seraphim to send automated scout drones to the planets of their choice. Given that this does not need to be on the front lines I’d suggest a 10k to 20k cost in credits with an additional cool-down between scouting attempts of 1 hour.

Superweapons: As described in the superweapon section, they are a countdown timer to victory, only buildable on your faction’s homeworld, may have a really high cost or be automatically started once a percentage of the galaxy is occupied. Limit 1 per faction at any given time.

UEF BlackSun – No planets, no problem.
Seraphim Quantum Rift – Because you don’t need anything more than a gigantic army spreading over the galaxy to win.
Cybran Gate Virus (QAI?) – Cybran of course have the gate virus victory by control of mobility; I vaguely recall this being a function of QAI?.
Aeon Superweapon – I sincerely apologize to all the Aeon fans out there, I honestly don’t remember anything from the campaigns that could act as the Aeon superweapon, I’m pretty sure their ending in supcom 1 was ascension of some sort, but there wasn’t exactly a structure involved in that, so I am open to suggestions on what the Aeon superweapon should be.


Faction Leadership
Right then, lets discuss faction leadership. In the previous galactic war, we had a single rank 8 player who served as faction leader, this was great, except that they couldn’t really do anything, and if they stopped playing we couldn’t replace them, and honestly the rank was entirely pointless… I’ve already outlined several things this rank should be able to do (and I’m sure many of you can think of things you’d want this rank to be able to do) so I’m not going to touch much on those, here we will instead focus on how you obtain the 8th rank and some of the few managerial things you can do with it.

Let’s start with how you gain the title. The first person to gain the 8th rank will be the player who first achieves 60 wins and pays the credit cost necessary to upgrade to the rank. Once this player has attained the rank, their title can only change via 2 methods. First, If they die, the rank automatically falls to the highest ranked player with the most wins (even if this player is not rank 7) in the event of a tie we decide which of the tied people should be leader via random number generator. Second, if more than half of the existing number of active rank 6 or higher players (determined by whether or not they have participated in a battle sometime within the last 5 days), including the faction leader, within the faction vote the rank 8 out of power (voting is done in the intelligence tab under your own faction in the leadership sidebar that shows your faction leader and their appointed cabinet members (or whatever they get called that will probably vary per faction). A faction leader that is voted out of office may not become a faction leader again on their current avatar unless no other candidates are available, they may however become a faction leader once more if they gain a new avatar. Lastly, a faction leader may at any time choose to leave their position via an option in the intelligence screen.

All of this said, the faction leader cannot, and should not bear the weight of the entire faction on their own. To this end, the faction leader will be able to appoint (and remove if needed) up to 8 cabinet members (hopefully given a better name than that which varies depending on faction). These cabinet members will share all of the managerial powers that the faction leader has including, but not limited to the ability to:

• Allow the faction money pool to be used for mercenary hires
• Place priority markers on the galactic war map (see Operations and Planning below)
• Prevent/Allow players to attacking specific planets or factions
• Spend money from the faction money pool on large projects (only those things marked as such, primarily these are things like depots, the strategic intel structures, civilian settlements, etc.) as restricted by rank (so a rank 1 cabinet member for instance cannot go and build a depot if depot construction is restricted to rank 6 or higher, but a rank 6 or 7 cabinet member could)
• Add/remove comments on a player from the intelligence tab.
• Restrict a player’s access to the intelligence screen if they believe that player is cheating by playing for another side with an alt account.

If a faction leader is removed from power, their cabinet members maintain their positions (unless the new faction leader removes them), even if nobody in the faction is qualified to become the faction leader at the time and the entire faction ends up being leaderless, cabinet members retain their positions, allowing for planning and organization of faction resources to continue. If a cabinet member dies, they lose their position.

Operations and Planning
One of the best things we did on UEF was having a separate forum where we could post strategies, discuss upcoming operations, and get images up of said operations so that everyone knew where they could be deployed most effectively. Now I’m fairly sure some factions will manage to set this sort of thing up for themselves, and I am definitely not proposing that we figure out people’s allegiances and give them access to a separate subforum or anything (infact I think that would create more problems than it would solve); but we could use some proper planning tools in galactic war. To this effect, I propose that in the bottom left corner of the galactic war screen we allow the faction leader and various others appointed by them to place priority markers directly on the galactic war map.

These markers allows you to mark a planet with a specified priority letter and number (displayed inside an icon representing the type of marker (offense, defense, support) over the planet to your faction), no two planets can share the same priority letter, number, and type. Because no two planets can share the same priority value of a given type, we can then optionally render arrows of attack between planets, providing a clear visual indication to your faction as to what the plan is and what people should be doing. I’d pull some images from the UEF forums as to how these would basically look (in a very non-polished simplified manner) but the forums appear to have gone offline due to inactivity, that said, I hope it’s fairly self-explanatory, otherwise if any old uef members see this and happen to have any of our operation plans saved I would love to have a copy of one to paste in here; alternatively if it’s really not clear let me know and I can probably make something quickly in Photoshop.

Moderation of Galactic War
And now for the topic I wish we did not have to address. Last galactic war we had issues with people feeding occupation to enemy teams, and with the addition of intelligence that actually matters we will probably end up having issues with people joining factions with alt accounts to steal intel. I think it is solely on us, as the galactic war community, to find and report these individuals, we can give faction leaders and their appointed cabinet the ability to effectively banish these people from the faction they have joined until a moderator can deal with them, but it will still be up to all of us to find out who these people are and ensure they don’t ruin the game for everyone. To aid in this, I recommend that players don’t get access to the intelligence tab until rank 3 to prevent someone from simply joining a side and immediately knowing everything there is to know; however, in order not to penalize existing players within the faction, this should be a one-time thing, once you have passed this barrier with one avatar you have passed it with every avatar you will ever have in that cycle of galactic war; this allows the faction leader to still recruit cabinet members who are dedicated players at lower ranks without huge penalty and prevent unnecessary complications when someone higher ranked who is helping lead the faction dies.

We also should be able to do some automatic detection of these actions. A player seeking to feed an enemy for instance will have a series of really short games where they immediately recall, this should be fairly easy to detect and have the system both create a visual flag over the person in the intelligence screen so that faction leaders can talk with them and perhaps take action against them in the meantime and, if flagged often enough (or faction leaders decide their actions are serious enough to report them) moderators should be automatically alerted. A single flag however should prevent that player from accessing the intelligence screen of the faction until they are cleared by a faction leader in order to hopefully minimize the damage they might cause.

In the end though, it will come down to us, the players, to moderate most of galactic war, we will need to work together regardless of factional differences to flag down and report people abusing the system; the game isn’t fun if we allow people to cheat at it. I suggest we build in and clearly indicate a set of tools in galactic war to do this with, leave a ticket or something that a moderator can look into when they have time without needing to rely on a moderator capable of handling the problem being online. Moderators also should have the tools available to see who owned a given galactic war avatar name at any given time so that they can sort out who offending parties are if another faction spots them (feeding occupation for instance). There is no excuse for people having multiple galactic war accounts in different factions, if they want to play with friends they can play a game outside of galactic war, or, if the mercenary system is implemented, recruit their friends as mercenaries to fight with them against their common foes.


Commander Upgrades and the Head Slot
First, as I’ve spoken of in the auto-recall thread, I think there should be an additional ACU upgrade slot that exists solely in the strategic mode of galactic war. This head slot would not be upgradable in tactical gameplay and would provide primarily strategic effects. Below you will find my proposals for this slot, bear in mind as usual that everything is subject to balance and these are only ideas, I’d be more than happy to hear good reasons why any of these won’t work or suggestions for better upgrades we could have here. Like all ACU upgrades, you may only have 1 upgrade per slot, and as such only one upgrade here (and you can’t stockpile upgrades for later use).

ACU Head Upgrades:

Auto-Recall – The classic auto-recall that made me consider needing this slot in the first place, for those of you who haven’t had the chance to play galactic war this nifty little device basically auto-recalls your commander when you hit 0hp instead of allowing you to explode into a million pieces and have to start over. In my proposed changes, this acts primarily as a safety net for newer low ranking players, see the auto-recall thread for further explanation. Once used, the auto-recall is lost and must be repurchased. Suggested Cost: 500 credits
Signal Jammer – Blocks the auto-recall signal of all opponents in the next game you play in which an opponent using auto-recall is present. Once used, the signal jammer is lost and must be repurchased. See the auto-recall thread for further explanation and argument for the signal jammer. Suggested Cost 1250 credits.
Command Node – Allows the use of a 6th reinforcement group. Suggested Cost: 2000 credits.
Quantum Beacon– ACU acts as a beacon in tactical battles. Suggested Cost: 750 credits.
Intelligence Scanner – Gathers information on enemy commanders in battle, revealing their win/loss record and whether or not they are a member of enemy leadership (all of this is added to the intelligence tab automatically). Suggested Cost: 750 credits.
Capacitor – ACU begins the game with 9000 energy storage (providing built in overcharge and a decent counter to enemy reinforcements). I am least sure on this one; it might be a bit too powerful. Suggested Cost: 2000 credits
Quantum Locator - Causes reinforcements to teleport in around the beacon instead of being airdropped in, no more transports shot down enroute.

Other ACU Upgrades:
Now let’s talk about the other upgrade slots you usually see in tactical games. I've been thinking long and hard on how we could possibly make these available through strategic play, and I've come up with one idea; I do not claim this will work or that it is a good idea to implement in the next galactic war, or at all desirable, but I've heard people say they wanted ACU upgrades in the past and I believe the only way to properly implement that feature would be to add a delay time to the ACUs arrival on the battlefield.

Now to be fully clear, I’m definitely not saying this would work with every upgrade, most of the late tier upgrades simply won’t be available as options here, you aren’t going to jump in with RAS or personal shields or telemazor. But I think there are some early game options you probably could do this way, gun upgrade for instance, or things like the UEF engineering drone, the first level of the cybran cloaking upgrade, possibly the UEF nano-repair upgrade nobody uses, maybe even tech 2; the options would have to be very closely examined. I don’t think we can let the delay of ACU arrival be longer than a minute and a half to 2 minutes, so I suggest that if we do this, we hard cap how many upgrades you can have on your ACU by the amount of time delay they will add, so if gun upgrade adds a minute and the tech 2 upgrade adds a minute and a half, you can’t have both. Now before you go saying any upgrades at all would be horribly overpowering, consider what sitting in your base doing nothing for the first minute or two of a game would cost you. Your opponent will have more units, more eco, and more map control, you had better use your upgrade pretty well if you plan on catching up with them. Additionally I’d recommend that we immediately inform the other side of exactly when the enemy ACU will arrive on the battlefield. Ontop of the delayed ACU I’d also suggest a 1 minute delay added to all reinforcement groups if you have an upgrade on your ACU so you can’t just make a combat ACU and rush in with reinforcements for the win, your opponent will have reinforcements first as well as all the other advantages they accrue from your tardy arrival. On the plus side, you’ll have an upgrade you normally wouldn’t be able to get that early and if you use it properly it could shift the dynamic of the game into your favor. Additionally it will help break up some of the potential monotony of fighting battles over and over in galactic war if every so often a few key factors like this are different. I’d suggest no player be allowed to purchase an ACU upgrade prior to rank 5.


Incorporating the Nomads into the Galactic War
I’ve seen a lot of suggestions for how the nomads should be incorporated into Galactic War and I use to fall closer to the side of making them their own faction, but upon consideration of their lore I think they would be more suited to being an AI faction or minor faction. I do not think nomads have to be added, they could just end up being mercenary reinforcements if we wanted nomad units in galactic war without the faction being played, but I think if we are going to add them we should do it in an interesting way. Below you will find two proposals for how the nomads could work, there are ways these could be combined (I really like the idea of nomad reinforcements being available as something you can only get via a separate currency with t1 nomad engineers having a high cost and long delay time), but I’m not going to go much into that as I think both can stand on their own and I haven’t been fully happy with any of my ideas for a combined suggestion.

The first idea is to combine the Nomads with another feature people have been talking about incorporating into Galactic War, matchmaking. Essentially we’d add matchmaking to Galactic War with the catch that players who used matchmaking would end up playing as the Nomads
A quick side note here since I know there has been a bit of talk about adding matchmaking in the past; I’ve tried to think of ways to do matchmaking via the other factions (not involving the nomads) but honestly I don’t think it adds anything to galactic war and would just be a pain to do, galactic war isn’t just the tactical game, it’s the strategic game as well, and matchmaking would bypass and possibly ruin that.

When you used matchmaking you would be paired against a player who was on a side other than your own side; your opponent would be someone who is trying to take a neutral planet and you would fight on that planet. If the nomads win the attack against that planet is stopped and the player who played the nomads is given a special currency that allows them to purchase nomad reinforcements for their GW avatar. If the nomads lose the opposing player gets the usual rewards for victory.

My other idea, which I prefer over the first, is to have the Nomad faction be controlled by an AI. Essentially neutral planets that are left alone long enough (and I would have the entire center of the galaxy start as neutral in this instance) gain nomad occupation. The amount of nomad occupation determines the chance the nomads will defend the planets on a given charge (50% occupation or above = 100% chance) as well as the strength of the nomad force that will be defending it (0-50% = Sorian AI, 50-75% = weakened Sorian AIX, 75%-100% = full Sorian AIX). Once a nomad planet reaches 50% it also begins to gain defenses every additional 10%, so at 60% it might get some basic t1 defenses, 70% t2 defenses, 80% additional defenses like tac missile defense, artillery, and shields, 90% t1 reinforcements that are immediately sent to attack the opposing player(s), 100% t2/t3 reinforcements immediately sent to attack the opposing player(s). At 100% occupation the planet spreads nomad influence; nomad influence is spread based on the distance between planets rather than the quantum gate connections between planets (as the Nomads do not use the gate network). A 100% nomad planet that is next to planets of other factions (again distance, not gate connections) will not spread influence to those planets and will instead occasionally launch attacks of full Sorian AIX level against them. Nomad occupation level is not affected at all by influence. FFAs in which two different factions fight one another while a nomad AI also plays are possible as well, either over nomad planets, or over planets of another faction that happen to have a bit of nomad occupation on them due to successful nomad attacks (the same chance of defending for below 50% nomad control applies here). This idea of course hinges on how well the AI can play nomads and whether or not we’d need to update all the galactic war maps with AI markers (my guess is this would be helpful for the AI but not necessarily required). Winning a battle against the nomads would reward you with an amount of credits based on the difficulty of the nomad AI (generally less than a win against most human players would get you) but would not increase your victory count as it applies to advancing to the next rank. If all nomad planets fall, the nomads could become available as AI mercenaries to fill out squads for fights on larger planets when they are down in numbers, scaling costs similar to how rank cost would be scaled for players, basic Sorian AI being the lowest while a full cheating Sorian AIX would be the highest (perhaps higher than the cost of the highest ranked player if this proves too powerful, again everything subject to balance..).


Miscellanious Additions/Fixes:
- Seraphim names need to be unique and readable enough that a human being can actually remember multiple of them.

- Extra credits are awarded when a player/team manages to wipe out defenses or other strategic structures on a map.

- Extra chat channel added for Galactic Network, as depicted in the original indiegogo images, used to talk with people of other factions anonymously, GW's Aeolus essentially.

- There should be no post-game chat for GW games, new players tend to fall into this trap, giving away their anonymous statis on galactic war by not noticing that they automatically join a post game chat with their opponent that shows their real names; I'd say these chat rooms should show their anonymous names, but ideally one of them should be dead at the end of a battle and we don't want to give away who their new character is, so its easier to just do away with this entirely.

- Before a single player is allowed to attack a single planet alone that supports 2v2s or higher they should be given a warning notification that they are likely to end up facing multiple enemy players in a squad against them, if they wish to accept this risk they should need to hit okay, otherwise they should be able to cancel out of the attack at no cost by pressing cancel, a toggleable checkbox should also be present on this warning that allows the player to never see these type of warnings again if they are so inclined. Similarly, the leader of a squad that tries to attack a planet that supports more players per team than are in their squad should recieve a similar warning.

- You do not have to capture your own planets. One of the strangest mechanics in the last GW was the fact that you had to devote people to capturing planets you already own or that are already well within your sphere of influence so that they would get up to 100% occupation. Why? We want people to actually play galactic war and provide enjoyable games for others, planets above 50% that have no connected planets decreasing their occupation should automatically increase in occupation over time until they hit 100%. Similarly, a neutral planet that is entirely surrounded by a single faction should slowly gain the occupation of that faction.

- Free for alls. If we delay the start of a game on a potential FFA map a good 30 seconds to a minute we can open up the possibility of 3 or more factions having a free for all for occupation of the planet; there would be a small window in which this could happen so it would be fairly rare, but it would be a fun event every so often and I think it’s well worth the 30 seconds to 1 minute we would lose in starting games on a small number of ffa compatible planets.

- Planet Naming, planets need actual names, also I'm fairly sure we have some names we need to implement from the indiegogo campaign, that said, I think we should also keep the numeric designation, so one planet's name might be "A7 - Agon's Folly" for instance, the numeric designation can remain useful by telling players which section of the galaxy the planet is in, and providing a shorter more easily typed term to put into the search bar.

- Add an indication, similar to the current 1v1 automatch indication, when your faction is being attacked in galactic war, this indication should be visible from all tabs outside of galactic war including Aeolus and the Find Games tab. Plenty of people talk in Aeolus while they wait for stuff to happen in galactic war, lets not punish them for that by failing to inform them when their faction needs defenders.

- Manual Recall should take the same amount of time regardless of distance from your start location/beacon or duration into the game (with the exception of the initially automatic manual recall that occurs if a player appears to be afk). Having this time vary is fairly unintuitive, you don't know how much time you need to hold out or if recalling in a given forward position is thesible before you try it, and your opponent doesn't know how much time they have to try to snipe you before you go.

- Remove the limit to the number of credits a player can hold. Instead, the current credit caps should be the point at which, if you bypass the cap, you stop recieving income from your faction. This way if you, a rank 1 player, go and defeat a rank 8 in an epic duel you aren't immediately penalized by not recieving your full reward. I think the last galactic war may actually have implemented this, but it was never clear and I'm not sure if it was just bugging out or not the few times it happened to show that I had more credits than my supposed maximum.

A Timeline for Future Development
Now that I’ve proposed way too many ideas to possibly implement into the next galactic war without horribly delaying its return, lets lay out a potential timeline for the future. In this timeline I will be assuming that every feature I've outlined here or elsewhere (or that other people have outlined or completely different features that solve the same problems) gets implemented eventually (which is fairly impractical, I'll be shocked if even half of these things get implemented even if I end up programming them for galactic war). I will be numbering each set of features based on which galactic war I think they should be implemented by the start of (with the first feature set being things we need before the start of the very next galactic war). Keep in mind these are just my suggested priority of additions/fixes and I won’t be listing minor changes/fixes like anything on my miscellaneous section list or potential ACU upgrades. I will also be listing things fairly vaguely as I don’t believe my proposed solutions are necessarily the right ones and if the community seems to agree universally one someone else’s solution to something I will happily update this list to have that solution instead (infact if you think my priorities are off I’m more than willing to update the priorities here, honestly we could even make a poll on it if we can all agree on what needs to be fixed/added and how we’ll go about it).

Galactic War I: Aka things we should probably find and implement solutions for before Galactic War returns.
A fix for the various issues of auto-recall
A fix for the numbers problem and enslavement

Galactic War II:
Faction leader system.
Planning tools built into galactic war
Pooled faction money.
New strategic level structures.
Super Weapons

Galactic War III:
Overhaul of the strategic intelligence system.

Galactic War IV:
The addition of the Nomads.
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Re: The Future of Galactic War

Postby Teralitha » 22 Nov 2014, 10:31

Auto recall is for pussies. Everything else looks reasonable.
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Re: The Future of Galactic War

Postby Apofenas » 22 Nov 2014, 11:33

As for aeon super weapon, i think it should be based on aeon ability to capture affect enemy's mind so they turn in aeon religion. So some kind of temple capturing planets.
VictimOfJaggedBalance wrote:IMO Scathis is in a perfect spot right now - nobody's using it, so nobody's complaining about it, just like fire beetles.
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Re: The Future of Galactic War

Postby D4E_Omit » 22 Nov 2014, 12:31

Apofenas wrote:As for aeon super weapon, i think it should be based on aeon ability to capture affect enemy's mind so they turn in aeon religion. So some kind of temple capturing planets.


You mean like what happened with some guy in the cybran supcom vanilla missions? Pretty sure that was a seraphim relic that aeon used as a weapon :)
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Re: The Future of Galactic War

Postby Apofenas » 22 Nov 2014, 12:53

D4E_Omit wrote:
Apofenas wrote:As for aeon super weapon, i think it should be based on aeon ability to capture affect enemy's mind so they turn in aeon religion. So some kind of temple capturing planets.


You mean like what happened with some guy in the cybran supcom vanilla missions? Pretty sure that was a seraphim relic that aeon used as a weapon :)


I mean what princess done with colonel Arnold in mission 3 for aeon and uef in vanila, so he turned to aeon side and we saw him fighting for aeon.
VictimOfJaggedBalance wrote:IMO Scathis is in a perfect spot right now - nobody's using it, so nobody's complaining about it, just like fire beetles.
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Re: The Future of Galactic War

Postby Hawkei » 23 Nov 2014, 20:22

I only got down to the Operations and Planning section. I agree with everything I've read so far. You actually have some very well thought through ideas. I particularly liked your ideas on mercenaries. It would be nice for defeated factions to be made "guns for hire". I also like the idea of active factions working together for defence. With a sort of alliance of convenience. Very good ideas.

As for the "UEF Forum" I allowed it to lapse. It served no further use and it would be much easier for someone else to create another, if, and when required. For the benefit of everyone else, who wasn't a part of the UEF Faction, I have attached some of the archived picture links to this post.

https://www.dropbox.com/s/i47x1ltri55i3 ... n.png?dl=0
https://www.dropbox.com/s/0dzrd2ti4bcoq ... r.png?dl=0
https://www.dropbox.com/s/h5qw8zu8n0uwy ... p.png?dl=0
https://www.dropbox.com/s/87dsnacli8smv ... e.png?dl=0
https://www.dropbox.com/s/c4469deuru096 ... e.png?dl=0
https://www.dropbox.com/s/t6knqyte4nq1d ... 1.png?dl=0
https://www.dropbox.com/s/nqq59bi2mtcyl ... 2.png?dl=0
https://www.dropbox.com/s/hu6rhvv0jsmul ... m.png?dl=0
https://www.dropbox.com/s/u77lyjbynh9vs ... r.png?dl=0
https://www.dropbox.com/s/yfimfncp7jz9z ... 2.png?dl=0
https://www.dropbox.com/s/1kessol8ky4ht ... e.png?dl=0
https://www.dropbox.com/s/ftfud5dxv3rdg ... e.png?dl=0
https://www.dropbox.com/s/u3z6tp32jo8k3 ... 2.png?dl=0
https://www.dropbox.com/s/e3ca1cg10wgz9 ... 3.png?dl=0

As you can see. The way in which the UEF carved up the galaxy was no accident. Every aspect of the assault was meticulously planned to achieve the most favourable adjacency conditions. So as to maximise effect with minimal effort. It would be great to see these kinds of planning tools inside GW itself.
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Re: The Future of Galactic War

Postby DarkMatterVale » 24 Nov 2014, 02:42

These ideas look great!

Let me know when you've finished adding them :D
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Re: The Future of Galactic War

Postby Rogueleader89 » 24 Nov 2014, 03:52

DarkMatterVale wrote:These ideas look great!

Let me know when you've finished adding them :D

With the exception of 5-7 images with UI changes I haven't gotten around to getting on the computer/up here yet (yay sudden lack of free time)I am probably done adding things to the main post; barring some more ideas coming up in discussion or fairly conclusive decisions arising in places I'm unsure of/that go directly against an idea or that have been debated forever (auto-recall), its probably bloated enough as it is :P
(I really planned to split this into several posts but I had trouble finding good splitting points since a lot of things end up being connected to one another... the intelligence changes for instance are fairly worthless if you don't then add structures as valuable targets, and you can't have truly valuable structures without having structures of high cost that a faction has to really put money toward, and you can't have those if you can't pool credits together, etc.)

At some point I do hope to post a list of ranks with their attached benefits but I will probably post it later in this thread (or edit this post..) or in another thread and just link to it from the main post as its not terribly necessary information (just convenient for a quick overview). Otherwise if I happen to think of some other thing I'll make a thread on just that and cross-link here to avoid further bloat.

And thanks Hawkei for saving some of those images and posting links here.
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Re: The Future of Galactic War

Postby Neutrino » 27 Jan 2015, 11:55

Superb post Rogueleader. I can't really comment on any of your suggestions since GW has not functioned since I started playing FAF so I don't really know anything about it. It all sounds very well thought out though and quite exciting.

If I have any suggestion at all I think it would be to get GW up and running in any form as quickly as possible so that more people have the chance to become familiar with it and can then contribute to the discussion.
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Re: The Future of Galactic War

Postby yeager » 26 May 2015, 15:33

I like the mercenary idea. note that i haven't yet played gw, but can't wait to do so, with that, here i go. The aeon super weapon could be something that turned everyone for the way like what happened to arnold in mission 3, also, it would be interesting if a faction on the brink of destruction could ask another faction for help in exchange for not being able to hurt that faction for quite some time. For example if Cybrans are about to get wiped out by the UEF they can ask seraphim for help, if Sera agrees and saves the cybrans the cybrans can't attack the Seraphim, additionally the Seraphim would have access to some of the Cybran credits. Also I like the mercenary idea, but I don't think we should regulate cost, if business is slow players need to be able to lower it accordingly, and if business is good players should be able to take advantage of that, at least within certain boundaries. As for intelligence structures and super weapons, factions with less people should have better spy tech and slightly faster super weapon builds, and factions with a lot of players should have bad intel. I think different intel structures would be good, but there are so many other things to consider right now it would be better just to be put to the side for later. As for enslaving factions, don't, you should just get all of there ports (depots, cities, etc.) and better reinforcements all around. The other faction should just be integrated into other factions as mercenaries, but still with a little headquarters so that if it is time to come back the faction can sommon everyone and coordinate it.
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