Nominations from here
So the next expansion and 8.0 are planned to be released in October. That gives some time for trying out some new stuff to improve the game, but it is a pretty finite window. This poll's purpose is to help set priorities for how some/most of that time will be spent (I have some stuff I'll be fiddling with either way, probably including some of the below in some form, but anyhow).
Not all of the below will take the same amount of time or whatever, but I'm more interested in what's most important to people rather than getting into cost/benefit analysis at this stage, etc. More analysis and discussion of exactly how to address the winners is likely to follow. Accordingly, I don't know how many "winners" there will be as it kind of depends on how much time I wind up having and how much the top items wind up taking.
Note: the order of work may vary if something works better being done first and/or needs more testing/iteration time (like the stats downscaling thing).
The list from the nominations thread, by way of adding some explanation to the poll options:
1) Promoting Hacking to a full resource
- the idea being to replace crystal, and just combining m+c as they're functionally interchangeable except for the 1.5 conversion ratio
- this is the main thread where we discussed this: http://www.arcengames.com/forums/index.php/topic,12812.msg141921.html#msg141921
2) Revising Champions
- whether it's new scenarios, new direct-use-abilities, changing how unlocks are done, etc
3) Revising the Beachheads AI Plot
- adding less death-on-wheels manifestations so they can be used to make chokepointing harder without hard-countering them, then making it scalar
4) Reworking Armor
- first we'd need to find a solution that people actually like. Some are ok with just removing it, some are ok with making it a simple %-based rule, but others really want to retain the current level of complexity in terms of having more impact on high-rof attackers, etc.
- Frankly at this point I've just been quietly removing armor and armor piercing from most units that I rebalance unless it seems to make good thematic sense that they be there, and not putting armor or armor piercing on most new units (unless, again, it really makes sense). Keeping this up for a while will probably largely resolve the issues people have with armor as there will be a much smaller list of ships with either characteristic.
5) Diversifying Fallen Spire events
- So instead of every shard recovery being a survey-ship-then-escort-home, having a random roll between that, and another mode where the shard is stationary and just needs to be defended for X minutes, and another where the shard is in a hostile ship that you have to blow up to get the shard (which probably just warps to your subspace receiver at that point to save further trouble), and whatever else we come up with
6) Revising the Astro Trains plot (again)
- basically now it's at least interesting, compared to its previous incarnation, but it's hard
. If we can work out something better for these I'm happy to work on it if it's really a priority for people.
7) Improving Hybrids
- implementing hybrids recolonizing neutral planets (presumably in a way that does not cost AIP to retake), restoring their ability to build defenses (presumably with some kind of per-planet cap to avoid them stacking like 50 FF-IIIs on a single ARS command station, etc), restoring their ability to build more hybrid facilities (again with some kind of restraining mechanism so it doesn't get out of control), and whatever else we can cook up that's feasible.
8 ) Improving Spirecraft
- These work pretty well right now, honestly, as many AARs and such attest, but there's definitely room for improvement.
9) Downscaling health/attack/armor/etc stats
- Basically just dividing all those numbers by 10 or 100 or whatever; there are some units that will need special attention due to having values low enough that the round-off would be significant. Just doing this in itself isn't terribly complex, but it's a lot of work so I'm not really going
10) Reworking relationship between superweapons and non-superweapons
- This would basically go along with #9 (the downscaling of stats), and the idea would be to not downscale the superweapons as far as the other ships, so that there's more distinction between, say, a MkV Zenith Starship and an Armored Golem.
- I think there's still some dissent on this, so we'd need to sort out exactly what it is that people want here first.
11) New Sentinel types
- as per this post from Hearteater
12) In-game IRC client
- I've done tests where I can successfully get the game to send and receive lines to the normal AIW IRC channel (though we wouldn't want to use exactly the same channel, probably, but the folks running the server are ok with us using the service for this purpose), but there's a lot of work involved in getting the interface even semi-reasonable. Not sure if it can be done without writing our own textbox, actually, to get away from the bugs in Unity's, which is a lot of work.
13) Revising the Hunter plot
- I'm basically planning on doing this anyway since it's so recent, but including here for completeness.
14) Balancing energy, especially early game vs late game dynamics
15) Tweaking balance of player economy, especially harvester vs econ station upgrades, and early game vs late game income levels
16) UI improvements to make it more "accessible" to new players
17) Turret cap rework
- Basically to make distributed defense more feasible without significantly buffing or nerfing chokepoints.
- basically something like http://www.arcengames.com/mantisbt/view.php?id=11815
, but probably with a mutual on-the-same-planet exlcusivity between core turrets and the structures that provide more local turret cap for normal turrets
18) Defender mode rework
- it's never really worked right, and no one seems to care, because they hardly ever play it
19) Improve consistency of balance across different Unit Cap Scale and Combat Style settings.
Anyway, I'm setting this to run for 72 hours, with 4 votes per user (more votes would probably unfocus the results).
Thanks for the feedback