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Author Topic: Oracle: Objective discussion  (Read 7813 times)

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Offline Vanessa

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Oracle: Objective discussion
« on: March 03, 2010, 04:09:13 PM »
Yes.  It's another Oracle thread.  Before you run away screaming, I'd like to invite you to take a deep breath and recompose yourself.

Let's try to discuss this without whining, please.

The focus of this thread will be to discuss the purpose behind having the Oracle in the game.  Let's talk about:

1.  What power(s) is the Oracle supposed to give.
2.  What power(s) is the Oracle NOT supposed to give.
3.  Supporting arguments for the 2 items above.

As much as I value player input, I really do want to hear from the game developers as well.  Why did the game developers add the Oracle to the game?  (Which is just another way of saying: "What purpose does the Oracle fulfill?")


Out of scope for this discussion are:
a. real life scheduling difficulties at playing the game;
b. bugs concerning the game, especially the oracle;
c. how the oracle has changed the "rules" of the game; let's pretend it was there from the beginning;
d. fixes or modifications to how the Oracle works;
e. additions or modifications to the game that would affect how the Oracle works.


(edit) Adding the Screenshot links here, as my signature has become too crowded.

Oracle Screenshots:
Babam
Codename_B
(Victimized)Follet
« Last Edit: March 05, 2010, 06:23:42 PM by Vanessa »

Offline Vanessa

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Re: Oracle: Objective discussion
« Reply #1 on: March 03, 2010, 04:34:34 PM »
My personal observation of the game prior to Extreme:

The Original SFC is truly boring.  People hide behind diplomacy mode.  Those who don't hide are able to hide behind fleet and resource save strategies.

The Extreme SFC alleviated some of the boredom by making growth faster, and taking away the diplomacy mode.  But people are still able to hide by using fleet and resource save strategies.

There's hardly any battle between active players; instead, you have to hope that your prey gets lazy or is somehow unable to access the game at the right time.  Or, if you are fortunate, you might find some "hard core warrior" who is willing to stand and fight, rather than run away and hide.


My personal desire for the game: a way to "hunt down" the enemy fleet.

So ...
"1. What power(s) is the Oracle supposed to give."
I believe the Oracle should give us a way to "hunt down" the enemy fleet.


"2. What power(s) is the Oracle NOT supposed to give."
I believe the Oracle should not be given full knowledge about every single fleet/mission.


"3. Supporting arguments for the 2 items above."
Basically, it's a balance between boring gameplay and abusive gameplay.  The Oracle should improve our ability to hunt; but it should not be so abusive that it seems a homing signal is attached to the enemy fleet.


The novelty of researching new tech and building new ships wears off pretty quickly; and the novelty of fleetsaving and evading attacks wears off quickly as well.  The game in pre-Oracle times becomes a tedium of finding the next lazy or inactive or accidentally-idle target.  It's like shooting a stationary target.

The excitement the Oracle should offer is the ability to really hunt an active and live player -- there's a lot of fun in trying to figure out what your enemy will do next.

But it's one thing to have just _some_ knowledge about what your enemy is doing.  Imperfect information leaves room for strategizing, thinking, and excitement.

It's a very different thing to have full knowledge; suddenly it's almost like shooting a stationary target again.
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Offline Matt

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Re: Oracle: Objective discussion
« Reply #2 on: March 03, 2010, 04:49:03 PM »
Those are good points Vanessa. It's a fine line for us to walk. If we make it too easy to catch someone (for instance the blockades that have been suggested) then the game will be totally unfriendly to newbies. If we make it too hard, it will be boring for the long-time players.

Admittedly, someone has to mess up to lose a fleet, even with the Oracle. With perfect play you'd never lose one, however nobody's perfect.

The game isn't just about not losing fleets though, and even among just the players who never mess up and lose theirs, there is a big disparity. Top players do more raiding inactives, allocate resources better, catch other guys more, etc.

So yeah, the Oracle does attempt to alleviate some of the boredom for top players by making them able to catch people a bit better. But once people adapt their fleetsaving method, we don't think it will be TOO much more. And moons are insanely expensive (50m resources on average) so we still think they're quite balanced.

To be honest, I think the Hephaestus Class will be a bigger deal, though we may need to modify how it works some.
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Offline Captain Quack

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Re: Oracle: Objective discussion
« Reply #3 on: March 03, 2010, 04:51:46 PM »
One thing the Oracle SHOULD change is the attitude of a lot toward surface defenses.  The way it was before, you could totally ignore SD as long as you fleet saved.  The Oracle means more people will be building defenses to deter attacks when you can't make a deploy/recall work.  I am one who has built a solid defensive core on my main planets to deter resource raiders during the times I am off line (i.e. real life).  It's not perfect, but it has worked so far.  In fact, I am having problems getting a moon shot due to the defense levels I have.  Those of us who have a life will have to build more defenses if there is an Oracle near us.  Players will then also have to put more in to ABMs to protect those defenses.  That is one thing I think the developers wanted as part of balance.....just my 2 cents.
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Offline Dampaq.Pale.Horseman

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Re: Oracle: Objective discussion
« Reply #4 on: March 03, 2010, 04:52:40 PM »
Quote from: "Matt"
To be honest, I think the Hephaestus Class will be a bigger deal, though we may need to modify how it works some.

How about putting a Jump Gate and an oracle on it  :twisted:
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Offline Perseus

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Re: Oracle: Objective discussion
« Reply #5 on: March 03, 2010, 04:53:36 PM »
Quote from: "Matt"
To be honest, I think the Hephaestus Class will be a bigger deal, though we may need to modify how it works some.

I want a Hephaesteus, but it costs too much. Even resource saving with a level 4 foundry and Warp 10 will leave me needing over 18 million more OCH, and I only have enough ships to move about 15. I think 15 million ore, 12 million crystal, and 3 million hydro would still be insanely expensive but more obtainable.

but then again, it can't be obtainable by everyone.
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Offline Victor Doom

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Re: Oracle: Objective discussion
« Reply #6 on: March 03, 2010, 05:01:24 PM »
:evil: The Oracle Gives too Much advantage to the Attacker and essentially eliminates the fleetsave... Those on top would STAY on top becauce anyone who starts to gain advantage would quickly be put down through oracle ambushes... I would like a balancing act to deter the Oracle... I'm forseeing a day when I'm oracle ambushed and I can't do anything about it even though I'm online.,..
 :evil: One very realistic and fair balancing move would be to give commanders the ability to modify speed in-flight... I'd have to be online to do this and I can outfox a potential Oracle Ambush...
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Offline Bleys

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Re: Oracle: Objective discussion
« Reply #7 on: March 03, 2010, 05:08:56 PM »
Quote from: "Victor Doom"
:evil: The Oracle Gives too Much advantage to the Attacker and essentially eliminates the fleetsave...
It does NOT eliminate fleetsaving. It means you have to fleetsave more carefully to avoid the Oracles powers.

My suggestion is to remove outbound deploys from the Oracle if a planet is scanned. Thats too good. Knowing a guy is sending a fleet to g11 and it lands in 42 hours is way too powerful (as an example). I also think that showing the amount of res in the fleet is overpowered. Hitting cargos you see on an Oracle should be a crap shoot.

For the record, I have 100s of 2+ million DF hits in OG, and maybe 5 of them were spotted on my Phalanxs. The rest were simply spy, fly, and recycle, usually on a player with a few moons but was too careless to fleetsave.
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Offline Victor Doom

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Re: Oracle: Objective discussion
« Reply #8 on: March 03, 2010, 05:14:18 PM »
:evil: The Deploy method of Fleetsaving is Retarded and a waste of Hydro
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Offline Vanessa

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Re: Oracle: Objective discussion
« Reply #9 on: March 03, 2010, 05:20:04 PM »
Quote from: "Bleys"
My suggestion is to remove outbound deploys from the Oracle if a planet is scanned. Thats too good. Knowing a guy is sending a fleet to g11 and it lands in 42 hours is way too powerful (as an example). I also think that showing the amount of res in the fleet is overpowered. Hitting cargos you see on an Oracle should be a crap shoot.

I was aware of your observation concerning outbound deploys.  I agree with you: the outbound deploy should be invisible.  From your earlier comment(s), this feature wasn't in O_game.

I was not aware that the Oracle showed the cargo contents of the fleet.  That's even more information than I expected.  Now it becomes very easy to figure out which fleet to attack and gain both debris and plunder.  From your comment, this is a feature that wasn't in O_game either?
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Offline Vanessa

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Re: Oracle: Objective discussion
« Reply #10 on: March 03, 2010, 05:22:36 PM »
Quote from: "Dampaq.Pale.Horseman"
Quote from: "Matt"
To be honest, I think the Hephaestus Class will be a bigger deal, though we may need to modify how it works some.

How about putting a Jump Gate and an oracle on it  :twisted:

Just to clarify the word "it" ... I'll rephrase.

"How about putting a Jump Gate and an oracle on the Hephaestus Class"


 :twisted: Twisted  :twisted:  indeed!
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Offline Victor Doom

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Re: Oracle: Objective discussion
« Reply #11 on: March 03, 2010, 05:29:01 PM »
:evil: The Hephestis is nothing more then a mobile base... allows you to use it instead of a colony slot which is what everyone is doing today...
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Offline Bleys

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Re: Oracle: Objective discussion
« Reply #12 on: March 03, 2010, 05:32:07 PM »
Quote from: "Vanessa"
I was not aware that the Oracle showed the cargo contents of the fleet.  That's even more information than I expected.  Now it becomes very easy to figure out which fleet to attack and gain both debris and plunder.  From your comment, this is a feature that wasn't in O_game either?
Nope. And if your Espy isnt high enough, you cant even see the ships themselves in OG. A friend just hit a guy who had 500 ships incoming and it turned out to be mostly cargos, but he sent 2000 destroyers just to be safe.

And it was a deploy, the player wasnt online when it landed, so he couldnt recall.
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Offline Perseus

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Re: Oracle: Objective discussion
« Reply #13 on: March 03, 2010, 05:34:18 PM »
Quote from: "Victor Doom"
:evil: The Hephestis is nothing more then a mobile base... allows you to use it instead of a colony slot which is what everyone is doing today...

Yes. That is it's purpose.

It's also slow enough to deploy to the same planet overnight as a fleetsave.
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Offline Vanessa

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Re: Oracle: Objective discussion
« Reply #14 on: March 03, 2010, 05:34:51 PM »
Quote from: "Matt"
So yeah, the Oracle does attempt to alleviate some of the boredom for top players by making them able to catch people a bit better. But once people adapt their fleetsaving method, we don't think it will be TOO much more. And moons are insanely expensive (50m resources on average) so we still think they're quite balanced.

Let's be somewhat realistic.  One of the reasons that some players have an outcry over the Oracle is because of the perception over the moon.

In my opinion, it's not insanely expensive.  It might "seem" expensive to the single player.  But the smart players will have an alliance, or at least a few good buddies, supporting them.

And the benefits of an Oracle can be somewhat shared among those buddies or alliance mates.  It really only takes one mate having his Oracle at the right place and scanning the right player; and that guy can launch a group attack and have multiple players rush in for the kill.

And I LOVE that you can share in the efforts of building up, and also share in the reaping of the rewards.


Quote
To be honest, I think the Hephaestus Class will be a bigger deal, though we may need to modify how it works some.

That would be a separate topic (and we've kinda drifted already, LOL).  I think people are still trying to swallow the requirements for Warp Gates (two or more *personal* moons to take advantage of this tech; on the other hand, the info of one Oracle can be shared among many).
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