What do you look for in a challenge?

Discussion of current challenges, tournaments, and general discussion about anything relating to the online challenges part of GSB
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Re: What do you look for in a challenge?

Postby Joecairo » Fri Aug 06, 2010 7:23 pm

yurch wrote:One thing that's starting to grate on me are the custom challenge maps just for the sake of being custom.

Usually when I'm cruising the newest challenge list I'm looking to try out a fleet type or philosophy, and that means I have fleets on file. A legion of maps called "custom map" means I can't reliably load/save fleets through the interface, which means I have to set a fleet up all over again each and every time.

I mean, I get that sometimes people want to play without fighters or something, but half the time it's just Conquering Chiarn Prime all over again with slightly different starting costs.


I hear ya. I'm a bit guilty of this myself, though. I rarely design maps (prefer to use Cliff's usually) but recently I seem to have put up a few challenges on a map that's basically Chiarn Prime with a slightly bigger budget and 2 extra pilots(???). I don't know who made it, I can't remember where it came from, but nonetheless I've got about 6 fleets saved for it.

The annoying thing is that it's self-perpetuating. If you design a fleet as a retaliation which you then want to post as a general challenge, you need to use the same map. Then people start retaliating to that and before you know it there are a hundred challenges using that map.

It wouldn't be so bad if there weren't about 500 scenarios called 'Custom Map' now. Would be nice if players had to assign a unique name to their maps.

Oh, and regarding fleet deployment, I've started adding the cost of a fleet to its name. It's not a perfect system, but at least it means that I can roughly figure out which fleets are going to work within any given map's deployment limits.
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Re: What do you look for in a challenge?

Postby disorder » Mon Aug 09, 2010 7:11 pm

I am shamed to admit I started with a spam type setup because it worked vs the AI very easily, before I saw there were so many other challenges with damn hard stuff in and I got my ass handed to me :)

What this game needs is a "Must have different ships" option so that you are forced to not place the same design repeatedly, that would make for some interesting fights.

I will try and post something a bit varied in the future.
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Re: What do you look for in a challenge?

Postby Jaymus » Tue Aug 31, 2010 3:55 am

disorder wrote:I am shamed to admit I started with a spam type setup because it worked vs the AI very easily, before I saw there were so many other challenges with damn hard stuff in and I got my ass handed to me :)

What this game needs is a "Must have different ships" option so that you are forced to not place the same design repeatedly, that would make for some interesting fights.

I will try and post something a bit varied in the future.


I pretty much went the same route when I was a little noobling fresh out of the noobery. Aaaand got rolled on pretty hard. After trolling the forums and getting better familiar with the weapons and hulls I scrapped all my fleet designs and started fresh. I am guilty of using the same hull, and im also guilty of using the federation so let's face it, I'm going to hell. I'll be leaving the feds behind soon and switching to the rebels though for a chance at redemption! I primarily use the Panther for my cruiser of choice. It just has a lot of versatility, I've got about 8 variants of the thing and none of them spam oriented. I absolutely despise spam fleets now. Hardly a thought process involved to it for me.

I usually look for the top rated challenges these days and choose what I think the most unique challenge is out of the bunch where I can. I just finished one where it was a 3 on 3 cruiser match and loved it.
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Re: What do you look for in a challenge?

Postby Ramcat » Wed Sep 08, 2010 10:51 pm

Well, I'm one of those bad players who uses ships all of the same type, federation, with lots of fast fire rockets. Hmmmm.... There are reasons why though. In my mind, it matches reality. There were few unique tanks, they were many assembly line produced tanks. Battleships are somewhat the same way. We reuse designs.

I wonder how this will play out in the campaign? Fighters for defence as the first production orders. Then a few frigates? Conquer a neigboring star system and start rolling out unique cruisers?

I don't think so... I would roll out my best all around cruiser, en mass. My "Mark3" as I've nicknamed it. I will build them until my production wheels fall off. And I would throw them at neiboring star systems as fast as I could. I can't imagine any other build path than an efficient production roll augmenting my fleet with specialty builds only when I find a system I can't conquer quickly.

Spam fleets mimic real world production (all the Apache helicopters I worked on for 9 years were the same). The US Army is a spam fleet. I can't see space fleets being that much different. But I'm willing to see if it turns out differently in the campaign, actually I'm dying to see if it turns out differently.
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Re: What do you look for in a challenge?

Postby AcePalarum » Thu Sep 09, 2010 1:31 am

I suppose I would qualify as using "ships all of the same type", due to the relatively minimal design lists I maintain for each race. (I assume my design lists are minimal based primarily on the fact that every time folks post about how hard it is to sort through their lists I really can't sympathize. Hence I assume that my less-than-a-dozen cruiser designs are below average).

I agree that it makes sense to stock up on identical ships. I have a few specialized designs - anti-fighter, missile platform, fast skirmisher, etc. - and I deploy groups of them to work together.

Don't know that I'd limit my production to a single design, but certainly two or three tops except in special circumstances. I guess we shall see what we shall see when the campaign hits us all in the face demanding that we all kneel before Zod.

...

(Sorry, not sure where that last part came from. But I like the sound of it so I'm leaving it there.)
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Re: What do you look for in a challenge?

Postby Adsadafafas » Tue Sep 28, 2010 6:39 pm

I really wish there was a way to sort by Enjoyment and not just Difficulty. I'm surprised that feature hasn't been included. Here's my list:

What I Look For
    Original Challenge Taunt
    Original Fleet Setup (curse the blocks of spam!)
    No or low supply limits
    No more than two spatial anomalies
    ...and lately, if the creator has played and beaten their own level
What I Enjoy
    Look hard, play hard, but possible to defeat. I can handle trying a strategy or two and losing. I don't go over 5 tries. Each attempt earns 1 star D
    Close battles that result in 1 or 2 ships left at the end. Usually earns a 5 star E
    Original strategy or something unexpected (one of my favorites is by Hannibal)
What I Wish Would Die
    Levels where I can't kill a single ship - Automatic 5 star D and 1 star E and I won't attempt the challenge again.
    Blocks of ship spam - usually 1 star E but possibly 2 max.
    Foul language or close approximations - It's a weak admiral that uses words instead of his fleet to offend.
    Spam retaliations - I REALLY wish there was a weapon that did group damage.

Berny_74 wrote:I tend to skip challenges with lots of limits. I find they are a hastle because most of my ships have to be completely redone. I like keeping a fairly limited stock of designs that I just pick and chose from - I don't like tailoring a ship to a specific challenge that will never be used again.

I'm with you on this one all the way. I have enough ship designs that I don't want to add or modify simply to satisfy a particular challenge. Personally, I don't care if you use the same ship design, just don't put them all up in a spam wall. I confess to posting a spam retaliation to a spam fleet, but I have since seen the light and refuse to fight refuse with refuse.
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Re: What do you look for in a challenge?

Postby AcePalarum » Wed Sep 29, 2010 2:43 pm

Agreed on the supply limits issue. I don't mind so much if three or four limits lock out a ship design or two. Having supply limits that fill up the whole screen and give me one cruiser option from my dozen or so designs is not fun.

Also, does anyone make small-medium challenges anymore? Two cruisers, half a dozen frigates, couple squads of escort fighters - that kind of size? I've kind of cooled on the giant super-sized battles because a) I can't follow what's going on and b) my computer becomes unhappy very quickly. And since the video becomes choppy, it makes it hard to watch the battle, which is what I want to do in the first place. And the "here's my cruiser, put it up against your cruiser" challenges have gotten old for me too (most of my designs are intended as part of a small battlegroup, not solo ships).
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Re: What do you look for in a challenge?

Postby gunnyfreak » Mon Oct 18, 2010 4:13 am

AcePalarum wrote:Also, does anyone make small-medium challenges anymore? Two cruisers, half a dozen frigates, couple squads of escort fighters - that kind of size? I've kind of cooled on the giant super-sized battles because a) I can't follow what's going on and b) my computer becomes unhappy very quickly. And since the video becomes choppy, it makes it hard to watch the battle, which is what I want to do in the first place. And the "here's my cruiser, put it up against your cruiser" challenges have gotten old for me too (most of my designs are intended as part of a small battlegroup, not solo ships).



good to c others who like smaller battles...

small challenges are a specialty of mine... i gotta make a few soon...

u want me 2 send u a personal challenge?
SOOOO........... MANY........ BUGS!!!!!!
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Re: What do you look for in a challenge?

Postby lkohime » Mon Oct 18, 2010 7:47 am

AcePalarum wrote:
Xelek wrote:... I'm about to just ignore/delete spam retaliations..


I hear you. I will play any retaliation once in the spirit of fair play, but as soon as I realize "Oh ... wall of cruiser missile spam" my interest immediately wanes. I may let the scenario play out, I may not, but I most likely won't retaliate, and I definitely will delete the challenge as soon as I'm done. No point in keeping it around if I'm not enjoying it, right?

Now just a second. I generally run such a "wall of cruiser missile spam" and decided on my particular fleet build after a lot of careful deliberation. If i send my fleet to you as a retaliation, it means I think you have a weakness your fleet needs to address. And no, it won't be that "OMG! Lots of ultra-long range ships can kill you!" it'll be something about how your fleets are spaced, the orders they're given, or the actual ship builds.

But then, i don't do the generic taunt either.


EDIT: At RamCat, I have a slightly different take on that. i've been playing games like AE and SoaSE for a while, and have come to the realization that the ships you build for system defense and your active fleet are TOTALLY different. For instance, I will be running my standard missile wall-of-battle as my offense, but i'm working on a system defense fleet that will let me do ~2-2.5 times as much damage as it takes, AND do maximum damage to ships it doesn't destroy (ie, keep moving, not co-operative, and not vulture) Every enemy ship that's dead or has lost armor, damage weapons/shields/modules is a loose end, and i am VERY eager to see how Cliff will handle that in the campign mode.

now it just needs to hurry up and get released for mac's!
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Re: What do you look for in a challenge?

Postby Ramcat » Mon Oct 18, 2010 3:00 pm

lkohime wrote:EDIT: At RamCat, I have a slightly different take on that. i've been playing games like AE and SoaSE for a while, and have come to the realization that the ships you build for system defense and your active fleet are TOTALLY different. For instance, I will be running my standard missile wall-of-battle as my offense, but i'm working on a system defense fleet that will let me do ~2-2.5 times as much damage as it takes, AND do maximum damage to ships it doesn't destroy (ie, keep moving, not co-operative, and not vulture) Every enemy ship that's dead or has lost armor, damage weapons/shields/modules is a loose end, and i am VERY eager to see how Cliff will handle that in the campign mode.


That is a very interesting idea. I have the most hours, besides cliffski, in the campaign, and I think your idea has some merrit except for a couple of issues. Hmmm.... not sure cliffski would want those details revealed *yet* either. There are a couple of places I think I could make use of this thought. I can tell you it won't work in as many systems as you would hope it would, unless you have engines in all those ships.

I can also tell you there are some natural "fortress" worlds/systems, that holding them is critical and they are easier to hold than to take.

(About names: I know I capitalize the "C" in cliffski (not in this post). I have done that out of my 'english' speaking/respect model. Otherwise I try to case names like the forum member has done. Personally I believe all names should start in a capital letter but I know not all people are english speakers or agree with that standard. If you see me capitalize the first letter of your forum name, realize I do that out of respect. For me, I like "Ramcat". Thanks, and no harm done. :))
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Re: What do you look for in a challenge?

Postby lkohime » Mon Oct 18, 2010 3:30 pm

Ramcat wrote:
lkohime wrote:EDIT: At RamCat, I have a slightly different take on that. i've been playing games like AE and SoaSE for a while, and have come to the realization that the ships you build for system defense and your active fleet are TOTALLY different. For instance, I will be running my standard missile wall-of-battle as my offense, but i'm working on a system defense fleet that will let me do ~2-2.5 times as much damage as it takes, AND do maximum damage to ships it doesn't destroy (ie, keep moving, not co-operative, and not vulture) Every enemy ship that's dead or has lost armor, damage weapons/shields/modules is a loose end, and i am VERY eager to see how Cliff will handle that in the campign mode.


That is a very interesting idea. I have the most hours, besides cliffski, in the campaign, and I think your idea has some merrit except for a couple of issues. Hmmm.... not sure cliffski would want those details revealed *yet* either. There are a couple of places I think I could make use of this thought. I can tell you it won't work in as many systems as you would hope it would, unless you have engines in all those ships.

I can also tell you there are some natural "fortress" worlds/systems, that holding them is critical and they are easier to hold than to take.

(About names: I know I capitalize the "C" in cliffski (not in this post). I have done that out of my 'english' speaking/respect model. Otherwise I try to case names like the forum member has done. Personally I believe all names should start in a capital letter but I know not all people are english speakers or agree with that standard. If you see me capitalize the first letter of your forum name, realize I do that out of respect. For me, I like "Ramcat". Thanks, and no harm done. :))

My apologies, I'll be sure to use the single capital in the future.
If your defense ships lack engines, it becomes possible for your enemy to sit JUST outside your range and wipe you out with missiles, or to to charge in knowing you can't keep distance up between your fleets. Thus, both defense and causality-causing fleets should have engines
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Re: What do you look for in a challenge?

Postby Ramcat » Mon Oct 18, 2010 6:49 pm

lkohime wrote:If your defense ships lack engines, it becomes possible for your enemy to sit JUST outside your range and wipe you out with missiles, or to to charge in knowing you can't keep distance up between your fleets. Thus, both defense and causality-causing fleets should have engines


Wouldn't you be able to fire missiles right back? Are their racial missiles with greater range?

For the most part I agree with you, engines are required. I liked SoaSE but never saw the need for defence ships, maybe I didn't play the game well enough. And it has been a long time since I played (I played right at release time *before* they had the bugs worked out). I'd like to see your ship designs. Matt the Merciless has shown us a truely defensive fleet that can deliver awesome damage. Is your approach similar to his? I have yet to replicate his results...but I have been busy testing the campaign.

I'd like to take some of what I've learned from the campaign to this discussion on Lethality vs Survivability
. It sounds like you could contribute as well...
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Re: What do you look for in a challenge?

Postby lkohime » Mon Oct 18, 2010 9:26 pm

I'll post my actual content reply in the Lethality v Survivability thread
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Re: What do you look for in a challenge?

Postby Entropy » Mon Oct 25, 2010 1:42 am

I look for a challenge that won't crash the game. I have identified and implemented a number of "necessary" mods, but there are still challenges that lock up the game and can only be corrected by going the CTRL-ALT-DEL route. It would really be nice to change the useless taunt field (how many times do I need to read "tremble before my mighty space fleet, human"? to something more meaningful, as in "must have this mod to play". Examples of this are #4621355 and #4621356, both of which crash immediately upon my hitting "download".

A great many of the challenges with zero attempts and victories also have this problem, which could indicate that it is a fairly widespread issue.
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Re: What do you look for in a challenge?

Postby Ketejan » Tue Oct 26, 2010 10:43 am

Hey, do you guys have pictures and text explaining what's in them? (pointing out what weapons and armors and shields etc. is equiped in each desighn, how you positioned them next to eachother and what you've ordered them to do..

It'll allow us to compare strategies much better!
And the rest of us to gain more suggestions, to actually acquire some sort of technique!

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