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Unread 18 May 2009, 19:04   #1
Tri
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This round from a noobs point of view

Right. First I'd like to say that I used to play this game, from R2 until R9.5 and I've also played several rounds of PIA as well. With the exception of a couple of weeks for the Elysium reunion tour R14 I havent played since PAX began.

Anyway, when reading for exams a while ago, I tried killing some time and stumbled across these old forums again, and noticed a new round was coming up and decided to play.

Basically not having played with this new PA formula before I started reading through the forums and start up guides etc, and I had RL friend of mine is HC of Rock so he got me a nice spot there, and I was happy to see some old faces from Elysium there as well.

Anyway, due to start up guides etc I was able to get a decent start, and spent most of the first 100 ticks in T100. All the while I felt it was very generic and really boring compared to 'luck of the scan' as it was previously, which imo was alot more fun.

Round went on, my gal did fine, was attacked several times but Rock provided solid def for the most of it, however, getting 4-5 waves saw some waves going through.

Nonetheless, I gradually lost interest with the game. Went on some attack runs and got easy roids etc, but, in honesty, I just didnt find it any fun as I used to with old pa.

So to my actual point of posting these things;
I was a noob in this game. Much was new, and I'm sure I dont know even half of what I should've done still. Although I was a noob, I was lucky enough to be in a good alliance and galaxy who looked after me and tried making the round as enjoyable as possible. What troubles me is the fact that these are rareities for a new player, which will then result in mass bashing and that you'll never get a 'fair chance' when you now receive multiple waves of incs everytime. Also, this may be subjective, but when the start up now is SO generic and outright boring new players will lose interest.
Also I found many of the new features in this game confusing, even though I have several rounds of experience from these type of games.

All in all, I am not surprised that this game has such a small universe. Nothing about this game in its current state is noob friendly.
I read a Q/A with the creator of this game, Christian "Spinner" Lassem today, regarding his football game project.
He was asked; "You guys had Planetarion, and now you have ML, how are you able to make these games such big successes?" He replied " The most important thing is that you have a game good enough for others to suggest for other people they know ". Planetarion was like that once, it is not anymore.


PS: I'd like to say a big thanx to ROCK for being a nice community and letting me play with you this round, and also my galaxy. For once its actually appropriate to say: "Its not you, its me".

Signing off, Tri
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Unread 18 May 2009, 20:33   #2
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Re: This round from a noobs point of view

The more difficult question is what would make you recommend it, but it's a pretty central point to what needs to be done to keep the game going, tbh. No amount of graphics or popup windows will help if no one enjoys the game.
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Unread 18 May 2009, 21:17   #3
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Re: This round from a noobs point of view

I dont get it , you have a nice ally with a good community a decent gal and your quitting ,is it because you got roided or because you dont understand the game , if it's the game what parts are confusing you and have you asked members of your ally/gal about them ?
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Unread 18 May 2009, 21:37   #4
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Re: This round from a noobs point of view

If the current version of PA was released in 2000, people would have loved it as much as the one that actually was released.

In 2000 the WWW was still only an internet cafe thing, and as such created a new place for a "select" group of people to meet up (in real life).

I used to spend most of my saturdays between 2000-2008 at an internet cafe, however just over a year ago it had to close, mainly due to declining client base. In 2000-2004 you had pre book to get a computer slot, between 2004-2008 you would struggle to get half a dozen people in the door. This, I fear, was partly down to the massive increase in home internet access.

I also fear the same thing has happened to PA, things bigger and better have come along and take all the shine away from the old dogs, and PA can in no way compete against them.

Conclusion
So I dont feel that its a case of PA failing to be fun, just that our expectations of what we knew and also what we know now are higher than PA can give us.
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Unread 19 May 2009, 00:55   #5
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Re: This round from a noobs point of view

To make this game fun again what's needed I think is:
- the possibility to play solo or more gal oriented by diminishing the importance of alliances (no more def travel bonus or alliance size cut to 50 members or any creative idea)
- the possibility to target alone bigger planets (stats + better XP formula)
- a limitation to the number of waves attacking a planet or a decreasing in capping with each successive wave
- friendly fire to introduce a drawback to outrageously massive team ups (when 3 or more fleets are involved in combat)

The game is just going the wrong way, from the ability to target bigger planets on our own, we are now to the point where we need team ups on smaller ones.
For a smaller/noob/late starter planet it is just impossible to play. People play the Sim part of the game during the 72 ticks of their protection, then they quit after the first bashing, or after the 10th successive failed attempt at landing an attack.
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Unread 19 May 2009, 07:54   #6
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Re: This round from a noobs point of view

priv gals up to 7-8 ppl.. random gals maybe up to 15ppl? no alliance eta privilege, instead bring back C defence eta -1.. we still got 1 summer round this year to try this out so why not give it a go ?
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Unread 19 May 2009, 12:11   #7
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Re: This round from a noobs point of view

some people just can't be pleased.
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Unread 20 May 2009, 13:20   #8
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Re: This round from a noobs point of view

I think MrLobster is on the right tracks - the game was fun ~9 years ago, however in that time so many other games have raised the bar.

Back in 1999/2000(?) this was fairly revolutionary, a massive multiplayer game through a web browser. It didn't matter if you were on dialup, unlike the FPS games at the time where the low ping bastards were on ISDN. The game was reasonably simple (doesn't this look far easier to analyse than todays stats?), it was easy to play with friends, unless you really pissed someone off or you were a super high rank you wouldn't get bashed to death.

These days, anyone could probably clone Planetarion in a couple of months - it's nothing unique. People expect more, by more I don't mean a more complicated game, but more features. There are so many quality games competing and it feels like Planetarion has been stuck in a time warp with constant tweaks instead of major improvements.

Figure out the fun parts of the game and improve them, find out the shit parts of the game and eradicate them. Try and figure out what makes the game demoralising for some people as well.
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Unread 20 May 2009, 14:00   #9
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Re: This round from a noobs point of view

I am afraid that the feeling of tri is 100% right.

Last round was horrible.. It just dragged on and on and this round.. Well, pa-team *tried* to solve the issue of too big gals while going to exactly the wrong direction. Whenever i look through the gals, i can see gal after after being dead.. and the poor new guy sitting in it being just an farm.

quote "Round went on, my gal did fine, was attacked several times but Rock provided solid def for the most of it, however, getting 4-5 waves saw some waves going through."
well you were lucky, as you had an good ally which covered most.. But just think what happen if you don't have an ally and you were unlucky enough to have 500+ roids.. That will will you will have the same 5 waves and will end the day with 120 roids.

This rounds i have seen 700k value planets with 300 roids being attacked by planets which where 1500k value (or more) with 1300-1400 roids... Easy roids for the attacker, but what an fun.. Ofcourse this is not only this round but all of them.. People who just other planets which are almost below their bashing limits.

The bashing limit works in theorie but in practice, it really doesn't matter... People do an bcalc before they launch (taking into account the guessed production) and they KNOW that the other side will remove his fleet or face total destruction. Gal raids + prelaunches made the game just an boring excercise. You launch knowing that you will win whatever the other side does.. and you recall if the other side gets deff.. (most of the time).. After three weeks of doing that on exactly the same moment in the day you are fed up with it.

If you are not part of an ally in which you can coordinate your attacks and/or defends then the game is not really worth playing anymore.. Planetarion is now all about allies.. and sending multiple waves to the same poor target.
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Unread 20 May 2009, 14:07   #10
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Re: This round from a noobs point of view

Quote:
Originally Posted by GReaper View Post
Try and figure out what makes the game demoralising for some people as well.
That is simple.. The sad sight of six waves of incomming who are all going to land... Kicking you back from 500 to about 100 roids.. Knowing that it will take you a week or so to get back to your 500 roids while praying that galbuddies will be flattened also... Otherwise you will see the same waves the next day.

Nothing is more depressing for an unallied player is seeing your galmates waves getting covered for 70-80% while your incs will all land.. and knowing that because the attackers are repelled you gall will be again on the short-list of suitable gals to be roided for the next day.. which makes initiating new roids to cover up your losses an no-no.
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Unread 20 May 2009, 14:37   #11
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Re: This round from a noobs point of view

Well the stats changed alot since the first few rounds. It where always battles with alot of losses on both sides. Now the stats are made like the attacker cannot have losses if he has the best fleet for it.

Soms inits have to be the same or not much of a difference with other ships. This way its creates alot of losses for both sides. Less people will try to go for easy roids. A landing should be more "messy" for both sides.

Maybe we need something that smaller planets get a def bonus? Or raise bash limits?
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Unread 20 May 2009, 19:21   #12
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Re: This round from a noobs point of view

TBH when i rejoined pa after a near 14 rounds off, the most fun thing i saw was the golden roids. Simple things like this made going for the alliance/planet/gal wins not the only goal. Small things like golden roids made for a fun alternative when you were bored and had a spare fleet to send somewhere.
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Unread 21 May 2009, 08:03   #13
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Re: This round from a noobs point of view

if stats are changed so it's harder to attack, then no one will attack so much. Then it'll be even more boring
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Unread 21 May 2009, 09:27   #14
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Re: This round from a noobs point of view

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if stats are changed so it's harder to attack, then no one will attack so much. Then it'll be even more boring
Or people will just have to use their brains to attack instead of just spamming fi/co and hitting launch?
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Unread 21 May 2009, 11:12   #15
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Re: This round from a noobs point of view

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Originally Posted by [DW]Entropy View Post
Or people will just have to use their brains to attack instead of just spamming fi/co and hitting launch?
Now now, everyone knows that's Gate's fault.
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Unread 4 Jun 2009, 10:10   #16
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Re: This round from a noobs point of view

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Originally Posted by GReaper View Post
I think MrLobster is on the right tracks - the game was fun ~9 years ago, however in that time so many other games have raised the bar.
This is exactly right. I signed up last round after a hiatus of some 6 years or so. I was surprised how little the game had changed, compared to the other games out there of the same genre. We signed up with a group of about 15 vets as the "Old Phartes Alliance", some of whom had also played... if you can't keep a group like that, you're in serious trouble. We're not playing r31... and haven't decided yet if we'll ever play again. So what went wrong?

Quote:
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Figure out the fun parts of the game and improve them, find out the shit parts of the game and eradicate them. Try and figure out what makes the game demoralising for some people as well.
The fun parts are obvious: friendly interaction with other players. PA is currently so hideously geared towards old players at the expense of new (or returning) ones it's ridiculous - just look at these forums. There's a sub-forum specifically geared towards players who are quitting but nowhere is there a HELP forum for newbies to ask questions without being flamed! There is too little reason to stick with your gal mates right now, I'd suggest more salvage for in-gal defence or something. The alliance size is also a big problem if you want to attract a group of players - unless they're signing up in groups of 50, they don't stand a chance without smaller alliance limits.

I've also noticed that players who sign up late tend to get SK sent at them within a few days of leaving protection. WTF is that about? SK are a big joy-killer. Losing roids is one thing, you can steal 'em back. Gaining roids helps you but SK'ing only hurts your target, so should only be used as part of a big alliance war imo when you really need to stop an enemy rebuilding. Random noob bashing with SK makes me angry. My point is that to reduce the unnecessary SK'ing, why not make the % of buildings SK'd reduce the possible roid cap? This would make using SK a strategic decision, rather than simply something you can just tag on to a roid fleet.

Some aspects of the game are also very out of tune - I'm looking at Covert Ops mainly, but the same also applies to SK. PA is all about escalation. The biggest fleets at turn 240 would be laughable at turn 2000. Even scanning escalates through the race of distorters vs amps. But not Cov Ops. There is never a reason to train a large force of CovOp agents, and you'll never inflict a significant amount of damage on an enemy fleet with them. Make them worth using, or remove them entirely. Newbies just get pissed off by trying to do stuff with them and failing miserably, wasting research time and resources in the process.

Finally, look at improving the descriptions of ships/fleets etc for new players. They shouldn't need to delve into mathematical formulas in order to decide what factory to build! The whole "first impression" of PA is bad, it's not a game you can simply sign up to and say "ah, yes, I see how you play this..." which will drive away a lot of newbies.
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Unread 17 Jun 2009, 05:59   #17
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Re: This round from a noobs point of view

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if stats are changed so it's harder to attack, then no one will attack so much. Then it'll be even more boring
Its this complete lack of creativity that has put PA right where it is now. This and your post in another thread that "People choose a race based on personal preference, not stats" suggest you really need to spend a round or two immersed in PLAYING instead of doing so much admining, or perhaps you need to find a new project -- you sir sound burned out!

You can change the way attacks go without removing the play imperative of attacking. Just off the top of my head (some will flame these, but if PATeam shoots down all the ideas, PA will continue on course):

1. Change the XP Formula so that solo attacking a large planet can actually be accomplished.

2. Bashing (on fleet value) affects roidcap -- max cap should be for say planets 20% smaller than you and up only - figure some tiered down or prorated down level from there. By giving the defender a chance to pull fleet and kill maxcap that avoids a total bashing. It should also give the attacker a good reason to choose his fleet wisely. Sure, this could be abused, but what can't.

3. Add a "salvage ship" to the game (or have pods cap roids or salvage) -- if attackers can gain salvage they get an incentive to attack a planet with fleet home -- figure salvage cap based on surviving percentage of fleet value in salvage ships (max it at 20%). You could even figure a weighting out so that the attacker somehow only gets a proportion appropriate to their fleet value.

4. Only "home planet" defender should get max salvage -- other defenders get salvage based on their fleet value of salvage ships. This creates an incentive to have salvage ships for attack and def.

5. No more than 3 attack fleets per tick. This could offset some of the folks that cry foul about making it easier to land on large planets.


And how about these wild and crazy game-wide changes to try:

1. Add a "mercenary for hire" element to the game -- perhaps a message board like system where a planet can post a "hit" to settle a score and an individual planet can be hired to settle it. Gives the bashed player a chance to get even. Set it similar to exile pricing, make it cheaper first hire and more expensive as time goes on, and tie it to average value per tick (so that if you get bashed back to the stone age late in the game its not exorbidantly expensive). The merc gets a portion of the hire fee and obviously any roids/salvage (assuming point 3 above is implemented)

2. Try 30 min ticks -- Havoc is a great time because its so much faster -- not so blindingly fast that its hard to play casually (like speedgame) but faster than PA has been until now. Like it or not you are competing against WoW, Call of Duty etc on some level -- all are fast paced!

3. Stop making dumps available and somehow ban IRC bots. Alliances would have a completely even playing field -- no, Munin has never won a round for ASC, however for an alliance thats a small start up of friends to play against that kind of slick coordination just isn't reasonable. Why not force alliances to rely singly on the existing in-game tools that PATeam spent so much time coding?

4. Allow regulated farming. The early rounds were fun for a n00b because they could catch up fast -- most galaxies had a farm, some clusters had entire galaxies worth of farms. Sure, the bots in 1:1 were a kind of condoned farm, but if you were a mid-size planet and got roided to oblivion -- you were probably still too big to farm the bots. If some time is spent actually thinking about it, it can be regulated so that farming works, isn't a total exploit, and multis are kept in check. Within reason, if a player wants to buy a credit for a farm -- wouldn't it behoove the PATeam and zPeti to allow that?

5. Bring back the cluster ETA bonus for attack and def and let ETA bonuses pigy back for cluster and alliance -- FI/CO gets +1 for cluster, +2 for deffing an alliance mate in cluster. This will bring back the cluster play in game without killing alliance play. If you're worried about alliances getting too many planets in same cluster -- have the game shuffle every 90 ticks -- 15 same-alliance planets per cluster, after that they get tossed.

Basically I can see nothing more infuriating to a new player than investing 500 hours playing PA, crashing one nite, then getting roided to 300 again the next nite. We call it emo-quitting, but honestly whats the damn point of continuing when you're trying a game on for size and it becomes evident that the only way to play this game is to be one of the "in-crowd" of seasoned players?
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Unread 17 Jun 2009, 06:12   #18
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Re: This round from a noobs point of view

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Originally Posted by Yorga View Post
My point is that to reduce the unnecessary SK'ing, why not make the % of buildings SK'd reduce the possible roid cap? This would make using SK a strategic decision, rather than simply something you can just tag on to a roid fleet.

Finally, look at improving the descriptions of ships/fleets etc for new players. They shouldn't need to delve into mathematical formulas in order to decide what factory to build! The whole "first impression" of PA is bad, it's not a game you can simply sign up to and say "ah, yes, I see how you play this..." which will drive away a lot of newbies.
These are both absolutely brilliant - the first because, well its self explanatory - but for the second, get someone in the community that was an old Battletech or D&D Game Master (yes, the board game) to write some prose and backstory to the races -- lets get some really cool "blueprints" of the ships in the game so theres some imagination at work here. Games that do well are immersive -- this game is immersive for math-heads and strategy geeks, but the average player needs "pretty shiny things"
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Unread 17 Jun 2009, 06:36   #19
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Re: This round from a noobs point of view

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Originally Posted by cknight725 View Post

2. Try 30 min ticks -- Havoc is a great time because its so much faster -- not so blindingly fast that its hard to play casually (like speedgame) but faster than PA has been until now. Like it or not you are competing against WoW, Call of Duty etc on some level -- all are fast paced!
wtf man, ppl need to sleep. You cant compare PA against CoD or WoW thats just dumb. But I do agree havoc is better then speedgame, so replace 1min tick with 15min tick game

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Basically I can see nothing more infuriating to a new player than investing 500 hours playing PA, crashing one nite, then getting roided to 300 again the next nite. We call it emo-quitting, but honestly whats the damn point of continuing when you're trying a game on for size and it becomes evident that the only way to play this game is to be one of the "in-crowd" of seasoned players?
With 30min ticks you should be abel to emo quit severall times durring one round. btw if you crash your fleet once/twice your round doesnt need to be over, can still be escorted and so on (salvage ). Not allways a top 100 rank that make this game fun.

&
?Farms? RLY?
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Unread 17 Jun 2009, 12:37   #20
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Re: This round from a noobs point of view

Reducing tick duration to 30 minutes would succeed in finally driving me away from this game. (Maybe that's a reason to implement the change - but I'd like to hope that it isn't).

Having a "maximum snooze time" of 1 hour and 55 minutes is bad enough. Reducing it to 55 minutes really wouldn't help.
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Amnion (aka The Arcane Chas of Arcania) - Playing PA under those and other pseudonyms every genuine round since Round 2. Most recently (and insignificantly):
Keepers of The House R71 | The Way of His Saints R72 | Certain of Nothing R73
The Dance of Idiots R74 | Back of Beyond R75 | Mentor of Arisia R76
Certainty of Indecision R77 | Chamber of Mazarbul R78 | Defence of the Realm R79
Enemy of My Enemy 2:4:1 R80 | ITN of TGAOTU 7:3:8 R81 | Waste of Space 6:9:7 R82
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