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Re: Excavator Change live on March 24, 2012

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Excavator Change live on March 24, 2012
lemming
User: lemming
Date: 3/17/2012 7:19 pm
Views: 1075
Rating: 2

On March 24, the new excavator changes will go live. At that time, all current excavators will disappear so that empires won't have to scuttle a few thousand ships.

For an explanation of how the new system works, please see the updated wiki page

http://community.lacunaexpanse.com/wiki/excavator

Lemmings in Spaaaacccce!

Re: Excavator Change live on March 24, 2012
User: The Vasari
Date: 3/18/2012 6:41 am
Views: 6
Rating: 0

Can't wait!! But will a new Glyphinator be needed?

Re: Excavator Change live on March 24, 2012
lemming
User: lemming
Date: 3/18/2012 9:15 am
Views: 11
Rating: 0

Glyphinator and several other scripts will need work.

Lemmings in Spaaaacccce!

Re: Excavator Change live on March 24, 2012
User: The Vasari
Date: 3/19/2012 0:05 am
Views: 3
Rating: 0

Ok :)

Re: Excavator Change live on March 24, 2012
User: raa
Date: 3/19/2012 3:04 pm
Views: 10
Rating: 0

Is there an approximate timeframe on Saturday?

Morning, noon, evening, night?

Re: Excavator Change live on March 24, 2012
lemming
User: lemming
Date: 3/19/2012 5:47 pm
Views: 0
Rating: 0

Whenever the GMT based person gets to it.

Lemmings in Spaaaacccce!

Re: Excavator Change live on March 24, 2012
User: ubu
Date: 3/19/2012 6:13 pm
Views: 47
Rating: 0

I'm a little curious about what the reasoning is behind such a radical change this late in development.

I know players (myself included, but not only me) who have built entire colonies around the strategy of building and launching the maximum number of the fastest excavators possible. Indeed, the jump to gyph-based growth and development gives higher level players whole new set of things to do, new goals to aim for, new daily "grinds", and, in my case at least, renewed my interest in playing the game (read: buying E). And now that whole system-- and all the time spent developing strategies around that system-- is just going away? What gives?

Re: Excavator Change live on March 24, 2012
lemming
User: lemming
Date: 3/19/2012 10:28 pm
Views: 34
Rating: 1

The system going away was heavily biased for people who could use scripts.  It also tended to make the game at least to me, fairly one dimensional.  Over 9000 RPC/day were going to excavator based functions.

The new system can certainly benefit from script use, but it's not as needed.  The returns can be higher than the old system, so there's plenty to work toward.

Lemmings in Spaaaacccce!

Re: Excavator Change live on March 24, 2012
User: ubu
Date: 3/21/2012 11:47 am
Views: 50
Rating: 0

If access to automation were really the problem wouldn't adding an in-game (non-scripting) method for automation be the solution?

Honestly, the fact that you personally find the EXCAVATOR ALL THE THINGS style of play one-dimensional isn't really the point here. *You* may find it to be so but other players-- paying customers, some of the most loyal players in the LE universe-- evidently do not.

I'm willing to give the new system a spin. What I'm objecting to here is the apparent lack of consideration for existing players; to the fact that you would so casually declare a long-running and well-established play style invalid with the flip of a switch.

Re: Excavator Change live on March 24, 2012
User: RedOrion
Date: 3/21/2012 12:10 pm
Views: 1
Rating: 0
I am paying so I know what is happening. It will hurt me a lot.

RedOrion

On Mar 21, 2012, at 12:47 PM, <> wrote:

ubu has posted to one of your subscriptions:

If access to automation were really the problem wouldn't adding an in-game (non-scripting) method for automation be the solution?

Honestly, the fact that you personally find the EXCAVATOR ALL THE THINGS style of play one-dimensional isn't really the point here. *You* may find it to be so but other players-- paying customers, some of the most loyal players in the LE universe-- evidently do not.

I'm willing to give the new system a spin. What I'm objecting to here is the apparent lack of consideration for existing players; to the fact that you would so casually declare a long-running and well-established play style invalid with the flip of a switch.

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Re: Excavator Change live on March 24, 2012
lemming
User: lemming
Date: 3/21/2012 12:34 pm
Views: 6
Rating: 0

I actually discussed this with people in chats, batted around ideas.  The change has been live on the test server since the end of January.  I got feedback, and modified the behavior based on that.

At least some of the paying customers are liking this change.

It's impossible to make a change without annoying some people.  From a non-scientific polling, opinion seems to be leaning toward more people liking the change.

One of the thoughts was to just put in automation of what the various scripts do, but instead I went with something that produced around the same results at a lower overhead.

Quick note to Red Orion:  At your number of colonies, you can be producing more glyphs/day than the current method without maxing your arch ministries.

Lemmings in Spaaaacccce!

Re: Excavator Change live on March 24, 2012
User: Jazzeroki
Date: 3/21/2012 1:14 am
Views: 18
Rating: 0

Planets that were built up to make use of the old excavator system will still be great planets to hang onto.  Just do a little repurposing and turn them into attack ship building planets.  With all these extra rpcs hanging around now launching some assaults could be a good use for them.

Besides some of these AI's need to finish being wiped out.  The diablotin are down to about 30 colonies left.  I wonder how fast they can be finished off.  The Saben and Trel are still out there strong as well.

Re: Excavator Change live on March 24, 2012
User: ubu
Date: 3/21/2012 11:30 am
Views: 56
Rating: 0

Well, sure. But that gets to the root of why this change irritates me, honestly. I've been playing LE for more than a year now and, for the most part, I've been a peaceful empire. Some people have fun going to war with other players and/or the AI, others have fun just building stuff up for it's own sake. I'm more of the latter so "repurposing" those planets to be warship builders just doesn't interest me. This effectively means that the strategy I've pursued for the past several months is being declared invalid.

What JT et al are effectively saying is "hey, thanks for all the cash but we decided you were having fun the wrong way"

Re: Excavator Change live on March 24, 2012
User: RedOrion
Date: 3/21/2012 11:38 am
Views: 16
Rating: 0
Agreed, but it helps balance the new and more advanced players. Equals the playing field.

RedOrion

On Mar 21, 2012, at 12:30 PM, <> wrote:

ubu has posted to one of your subscriptions:

Well, sure. But that gets to the root of why this change irritates me, honestly. I've been playing LE for more than a year now and, for the most part, I've been a peaceful empire. Some people have fun going to war with other players and/or the AI, others have fun just building stuff up for it's own sake. I'm more of the latter so "repurposing" those planets to be warship builders just doesn't interest me. This effectively means that the strategy I've pursued for the past several months is being declared invalid.

What JT et al are effectively saying is "hey, thanks for all the cash but we decided you were having fun the wrong way"

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Re: Excavator Change live on March 24, 2012
User: Jazzeroki
Date: 3/21/2012 9:07 pm
Views: 21
Rating: 1

The new excavator system does several things

  1. Seriously reduces the workload on the server.  I remember hearing as much as 90% of the traffic on the server was excavator related.
  2. Eliminates the need for the use of the glyphinator script to be able to reach the top levels of the game.  A game where scripting is mandatory isn't a well balanced game.
  3. The Entry level for getting into the use of excavators has been reduced.  It use to require a level 15 Arch ministry and that has now been reduced to level 11.  Meaning players can get into the use of excavators now sooner.
  4. The limit of a maximum of 272 halls per day has been abolished.  Now all of your planets can produce halls and glyphs.  The old system could severly limit the number of halls that you could use accross your empire which could put a severe limitation on the overal size that you could grow you empire and still be glyph powered.
  5. With less rpcs needed for excavator spamming they are now going to be available for other activities without hampering empire growth.
Ubu, I don't mean to belittle your complaint about how you built up specialized planets to work with excavators.  I know myself I bought lots of e when I started to get myself up to having planets meant for spaming excavators cause I knew how key they were to be a powerful empire.  
Being able to produce and launch mass numbers of ships is something that most empires now are still pushing to be able to do.  Even if it's purely for defensive reasons.  If you really don't like the planet after this new change the is the possibility that you could offer the planet up for trade to another player that might love to buy it from you, they'll have to claim it of course via insurrection.
If you only have 1-3 planets with an Archmin and were maxing out all of your rpcs everyday excavator spaming yes you could be disadvantaged by this change for a time.  
As Norway said though he's been working on this since January.  I think this change was being discussed as early as October/November last year.  Short of a weekly public announcement in the game client I don't think this change could have been handled more publicly than it has been.
You should also be aware that other game play changes are in the works that are going to be major.  Including autopushing of resources, spy management, and ship fleets.
I do thank you though for being an active player and I honestly hope your are going to love the new changes.
Re: Excavator Change live on March 24, 2012
User: ubu
Date: 3/23/2012 12:55 pm
Views: 14
Rating: 0

I'm willing to give the new system a fair shot.

I have to disagree, though, that the discussion of this change was as public as it could have been. Compare your comments with Norway's: you both point out that this change was deployed to the test server and was discussed in the chat and forums. So, here's my question: of the total number of active players, how many participate in the chat? How many read the forums? How many even know there's a test server let alone how to access it? From the inside, I'm sure these things seem very much like the public face of the game but how many players do they actually reach? Wasn't the in-game mail system an option?

More broadly, though, the reality is that in any game with a persistent universe with lots of different activities people are going to find their own ways to have fun and some of those ways are are not always going to match up with the designers' original ideas for what the game "should" be. So what do you do? Obviously, if those emergent play styles harm other players' experiences or cause problems with the game itself then, yes, they need to be shut down. But if they *don't* negatively impact other players then by shutting those options down you're basically telling players "stop having fun that way! ur doing it rong!" Does that seem sensible? Why one game thrives and another doesn't is a complicated question but after 10 years of open world games it seems pretty clear that one of the elements that helps a persistent-universe game succeed is a give-and-take between what the designers intend and how people actually play. In fact, I'd argue that the most durably successful games are those where designers embrace and extend the nutty ways that players find to amuse themselves rather than trying to force players into *their* definition of fun.

Even from a purely business perspective, one loyal longterm E-buying player is worth substantially more than, say, 10 players who sign up, play for a month, and wander off. Suckers like me are the customers you hope to get and keep. Telling me "there's no pleasing everyone" (with the implied "so go away if you don't like it") doesn't seem like a great move.

Whatever. What's done is done and, like I said, I'll give the new system a spin. My only point here is to underscore the fact that upending the harmless ways that people find to have fun within LE isn't a great plan-- for us as players or for you as designers.

Re: Excavator Change live on March 24, 2012
lemming
User: lemming
Date: 3/23/2012 2:33 pm
Views: 26
Rating: 0

I'll answer a couple of these:

1) How many people don't pay attention to the wiki, forums, and chat?

I don't honestly know.  I figure people will at least try to keep up with a game that they're invested in, but I also know that people don't try to keep up either.  One of the reasons icy & I put up the wiki page http://community.lacunaexpanse.com/wiki/projects-being-worked-on was to give people a heads up on some of the changes.

2) Telling me "there's no pleasing everyone" (with the implied "so go away if you don't like it") 

Not implied in the slightest, just the cold hard fact that I can't please everyone is just there.  The excav system was reworked with the goals of reducing server load, but still allow the potential same growth.  We realized it would have an impact on ongoing scripts which is why we gave warning when the system would go into place.

3) Paying customers have a greater say.

Long term players I tend to listen to more since they've been around and know the system more, but any reasoned argument is worth listening to.  I've heard positive comments from long term paying customers as well.  That being said, I don't check on empires to see if they have bought E before listening to them either way.

Lemmings in Spaaaacccce!

Re: Excavator Change live on March 24, 2012
User: ubu
Date: 3/24/2012 6:41 am
Views: 31
Rating: 0

Thanks for the thoughtful response.

Regarding "who looks at the chat, etc" I guess I really am the outlier here. I tend to play using the iPhone client as a typical "casual game"-- log in when I have a minute or two, do a couple of things, log off, rinse and repeat. Playing that way, the chat is basically non-existant and the forums seem like supporting media rather than an integrated part of the game and I can certainly see why people who favor the Web client (i.e. most people) would see things differently.


Re: #2 Yeah, it's been apparent from the beginning that reducing server/network load was the real goal and, thinking it through a bit more, it can't have been easy to design a new system that does that without completely nerfing glyph discovery for higher-level players. Talking with perigrin (yes, we discuss LE during work :-) he pointed out that even the old system didn't permit infinite growth-- the RPC cap created a hard limit on the number of Excavators that could be built and sent, I just hadn't bumped up against it yet.

Re: #3 I didn't mean to suggest that the opinions of those who buy E should be given greater weight than the opinions of those who don't. I just meant that people tend to be fickle and committed, long-term players are the "holy grail" in persistent-world games. Repect for loyalty, not deference to money, is what I was driving at.

So, really, I trust that you're trying to keep LE great while addressing the system load; the people who have actually tried the new Excavator system seem happy; and, well, there's not much more to say beyond that.

Thanks for taking the time to answer in detail.

Re: Excavator Change live on March 24, 2012
User: the_deacon
Date: 3/24/2012 0:04 am
Views: 8
Rating: 0

I am one of those long-term players that supports the excavator changes.  I've tested them on the test server, and they seem to work OK.

Yes, changing a game always risks annoying or even alienating someone.  So, the question one needs to ask is pretty simple:  does the change improve gameplay for many players at the expense of a few, or vice versa?

I think the answer in this case is pretty clear: far more players will benefit from this change than will be hurt by it.  As matters stand right now, excavators are difficult to use effectively without scripting.  This change will open up effective use of them to players that currently make little or no use of them due to limitations of the Web UI in building and launching them in large numbers.

Yes, changes could have been made to alleviate the above issues without fundamentally changing the game mechanics, but that would not produce as much "bang for the buck" as a complete overhaul of the system.  The latter is advantageous since there were more problems than just game mechanics with the existing system, namely the excessively high RPC load exclusively due to excavator spamming.  Reducing the latter ultimately may actually be more useful than just increasing player access to exvacators, since high server load negatively impacts *ALL* players.

Additionally, these changes will introduce a new factor to optimize in excavator deployment: balancing out the underlying ore distribution for returned glyphs.  More reasons to probe star systems, make good choices in planet and asteroid selection, etc.

All of the above makes it an easy call as a player for whether to embrace the change or not.  And I do think that the developers went to significant lengths to give a heads-up to players, solicit input, etc.  I think October was the first time I heard about it.

Did every player know in advance?  Most probably not.  But games are much like life in that they favor those who choose to be engaged over not involving themselves much.  Everyone has the opportunity to participate; if they choose not to, they must accept the consequences of that choice, good or bad.

I think most players will like the new system after having some experience with it.  And maybe they'll find some creative uses for all those RPCs that will be freed up. :-)

Re: Excavator Change live on March 24, 2012
User: fecund
Date: 3/25/2012 10:37 am
Views: 27
Rating: 0

You're not an outlier-

Regarding "who looks at the chat, etc" I guess I really am the outlier here. I tend to play ... a typical "casual game"-- log in when I have a minute or two, do a couple of things, log off, rinse and repeat. Playing that way, the chat is basically non-existant and the forums seem like supporting media rather than an integrated part of the game ...

I'm also a year+ player who is only on minutes at a time, and yet still pays for E once in a while. I know of many changes in the past that started with an in-game email of "Changes to so-and-so coming soon", this change completely blindsided me.

* How about weekly in-game emails from devs on "this is what is in discussion" to help those of us who don't check chats & wiki changes? *

Re: Excavator Change live on March 24, 2012
User: the_deacon
Date: 3/25/2012 12:50 pm
Views: 37
Rating: 0

I'm in the year+ group, but I can't recall ever seeing an in-game mail message regarding server changes.  Just server announcements after the change, and hints in the forums.

In general I think the policy has been not to announce changes in advance, though that has changed some in recent months.  Decent amounts of discussion in chat, though timing information has usually been vague.  I believe this is in keeping with official policy from JT for a long time now.

The excavator changes are actually the most-discussed set of changes that I can recall for quite some time in the game.  First word I heard of them was in October I think.

I think there are good reasons for not announcing most software changes in advance.  First, it gets in the way of responsiveness for bug fixes by delaying the change until after it has been announced.  Second, a lot of players aren't very good about reading mail consistently, so you still won't reach them ahead of time in many cases.  Third, it just consumes additional developer time with little benefit; the most important interaction comes from the more active players in the game, who do tend to read the forums frequently.

The phrase "more important interaction" above does not mean "most important players".  Rather, the interaction that is most useful for developers will tend to come from active players.  The latter know the game, have some sense of what features/changes will fit better with the rest of the game, and are also more likely to provide feedback in a timely manner.  Timeliness of feedback is important to any software development process, and certainly so for games.

Just my thoughts.

Re: Excavator Change live on March 24, 2012
User: 2112
Date: 3/22/2012 4:49 am
Views: 36
Rating: 1

Seriously ubu?

First of all, I do not know what empire you are, nor do I really care. I am obviously the 2112.

If you have been here over a year, you SHOULD have some idea that JT expected this to be a combat game and was surprized at the lack of it. If "I" remember his commentary in chat "somewhat" correctly from a year ago.

Personally, I cannot hardly remember ANY conflict between anyone that is worth mentioning. This game so far has been largely sandbox. So if you have any diplomatic skill, or are in any decent alliance, you should be safe. Otherwise, move to the Neutral Zone, as that is what it was designed for and it has been around a large part of the year you have played. A BHG will help get you there.

The fact that you have been here over a year, as have I, means you should have noticed several potentially game changing upgrades at the times they were released. The limiting of 2 Singualrities per planet was a major game changer,. Do you remember that? That move helped everyone into the grab as many glyphs as you can excavate game. and that turned into RBCs for Glyphs, and that IS a narrow game. I know, I have played it quite a while, and I am just about sick of it.

I have put a lot more funding into this game than most, and my ranking should somewhat underline that. The game needs changes if it is ever going to grow. Yes, I like being number 6 out of 700/800/900 empires, but I would rather be number 60 with 10 times more people actively playing. Yes noobs come in, but anyone can see they do not stay. So something has got to change to try and fix that. "I" see this as a good step in that direction. Yes, it may upset what I am currently doing, but it is best for the game, and that does work toward my long term goals.

This change has been well noted in the forums and in chat. This should be surprizing to no one. Norway has even went out of the way to make sure everyone knows it is coming. so people could adjust for it. It has been well talked about for many months with many people adding their ideas. Since you have been here a year, game changes should not surprize you.

And if you have been playing like you say you have, and I do not doubt that. How many planets have you already abandoned? How many planets have you stripped down or had to rebuild because they were not right? Hasn't that been the nature of this game? upgrade, refine, upgrade, refine, upgrade, refine? and repurposing does not interest you? How many times have you done it before? You spoke of strategy. So when you finally get it right, it will always stay right? That doesn't make sense. What game are you playing?

Best to you all,

-We are the 2112.

Re: Excavator Change live on March 24, 2012
User: Jazzeroki
Date: 3/21/2012 1:17 am
Views: 13
Rating: 0

The Archaelogy Ministry has also been updated to reflect many of the new changes.

http://community.lacunaexpanse.com/wiki/archaeology-ministry

Be sure to also be aware of this change as well

http://community.lacunaexpanse.com/wiki/parliament

Excavators can be limited to where they can be sent and I know some stations will be implementing this restriction.

Re: Excavator Change live on March 24, 2012
User: VLM
Date: 3/27/2012 1:39 pm
Views: 65
Rating: 0

I have no comment on the right/wrong battle.  I do have a question, I'm now gathering something like a dozen beach plans per day and instead of finely crafted selections of glyphs via specific directed searching, I'm getting all kinds of junk glyphs that I'm not entirely sure how to use, although I'll probably figure out how to turn the glyphs into halls.

Basically, I'm asking, how do I take out the trash?  Otherwise I'm gonna drown in beaches and junk glyphs...

Is there some way to "eat" excess beach plans other than build -n- demolish?

Re: Excavator Change live on March 24, 2012
lemming
User: lemming
Date: 3/29/2012 9:48 am
Views: 112
Rating: 0

For junk glyphs, there aren't really any.  There might be an imbalance, but every glyph goes into one of the Hall recipes.

For junk plans, yea, at some point some trash function should get done.  Del will buy some plans at a low price, but even they can't keep up with the slush amount.

Lemmings in Spaaaacccce!

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