Terror Stars - Useful???

By on August 17, 2008 7:00:56 PM from GalCiv II Forums GalCiv II Forums

10kLakes

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Any one out there like terror stars?

I just finished a game in which I used them for the first time. Here's what my experrience was.

The game was on a medium size galaxy with everything random (I am going through each race in turn in TA to get a feel for each race's strengths in this expansion - opponents tough). The game set up as super abundant everything - lots of stars each having at least four habitable planets. I was the Drath and the Korath Klan were the bully boys. They rapidly took down everyone else and owned about 85% of the galaxy when they declared war on me.

I eventually got the upper hand, was pushing them back and had a won game. It was taking forever to grind through to finish the game (there were hundreds of planets). It seemed that terror stars would let me win faster by wiping out whole star systems at a time.

Not really so. The research for them takes a long time, you have assemble a fleet of constructors to build them quickly, but once that's done there is then a ten turn power up delay before they even start to move, and once they do move, it's only one square at a time. On top of that, you need a strong force to defend the terror star since the AI will make an effort to take it out.

It was my experience that over the same period of time I was able to take out four or five star systems through normal invasion tactics as opposed to only one using a terror star. In addition, many enemy planets would often flip over to my side by the time I was finally able to get to their star to destroy it.

The ONLY advantage I saw in using terror stars was that they would draw out the big enemy fleets from deep in their territory into an area where I could more easily destroy them (useful, but was not the reason I built the stars).

It's obvious that a lot of effort went into the development of terror stars, but I don't see any strong reason to use them because they are not very efficient in their present form. I would not want to use them on anything larger than a medium sized galaxy because they are so slow to put into action and move, nor would I ever consider using them in any game having less than five or more habitable planets per star regardless of galaxy size.

Any one out there have a different opinion?

ALSO - FOR THE DEVS - in this game I built three terror stars. During the running of the game, one of them went POOF! (it just disappeared - did not exist anymore). They next day, restarting from my QuickSave file, it was back! I have no explanation for this and don't know if anyone has turned in an error report on this problelm.

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September 14, 2008 4:43:43 AM from GalCiv II Forums GalCiv II Forums

Quoting ArchitectureFramed,

Quoting Sole Soul, reply 24 I STILL think they'd be better -for the game-, while obviously not in a more powerful kind of way, if the terror star were destroyed when it blew up the star in question.

They're no longer destroyed when used? Wow. That's a big change from the beta, where they were strictly kamikaze.

Having played them that way, I don't think it would make them more useful or powerful. I think it would simply add to frustration when trying to use them.

Really a TS should be an end game kind of thing - they should build faster, be more mobile, have attack and defense; but the research needed to mount them should be serious (as it is).

My post above outlines a way to have basic, mid-game TSs and later game "death stars" - really fearsome, mobile battle stations. Terror stars SHOULD be in the late game as an incentive to encourage the top civs to play more defensively and the lower civs the possibility of a daring comeback.

As far as I am aware, at no point in the betas did Terror Stars kamikaze.  There was, however, a bug at one point (3A maybe, I forget) where the TS would go completely invisible after use-and I lost track of three or four Terror Stars this way as I simply wasn't paying attention, and more to the point assumed that someone up top had finally taken my suggestion and made them one shot weapons, but alas, that was not the case.  I did not discover this until I reloaded a savegame where I had already used a TS that had disappeared on me and it came back-and I was quite surprised indeed.

If you'll read what I typed a little more carefully, you'll see I wasn't suggesting such a change would make them more useful, nor more powerful-in fact, the opposite-simply that it would be better for the game.

 

I like terror stars just fine, and have no problem with them being powerful, or useful, but they should certainly be limited enough that a game does not always devolve into using them.  And, personally, I feel the current system does not sufficiently strike that balance.

 

If I might ask...how would it add to the frustration of using them?  Do you actually move your Terror Stars from one system to another, to another, to another?  They're almost one shot as it stands-perhaps two or three if you find a cluster close enough together...beyond that, it's faster to just build more of them.

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September 14, 2008 4:45:57 AM from GalCiv II Forums GalCiv II Forums

Quoting ArchitectureFramed,

Quoting Sole Soul, reply 24 I STILL think they'd be better -for the game-, while obviously not in a more powerful kind of way, if the terror star were destroyed when it blew up the star in question.

They're no longer destroyed when used? Wow. That's a big change from the beta, where they were strictly kamikaze.

Having played them that way, I don't think it would make them more useful or powerful. I think it would simply add to frustration when trying to use them.

Really a TS should be an end game kind of thing - they should build faster, be more mobile, have attack and defense; but the research needed to mount them should be serious (as it is).

My post above outlines a way to have basic, mid-game TSs and later game "death stars" - really fearsome, mobile battle stations. Terror stars SHOULD be in the late game as an incentive to encourage the top civs to play more defensively and the lower civs the possibility of a daring comeback.

As far as I am aware, at no point in the betas did Terror Stars kamikaze.  There was, however, a bug at one point (3A maybe, I forget) where the TS would go completely invisible after use-and I lost track of three or four Terror Stars this way as I simply wasn't paying attention, and more to the point assumed that someone up top had finally taken my suggestion and made them one shot weapons, but alas, that was not the case.  I did not discover this until I reloaded a savegame where I had already used a TS that had disappeared on me and it came back-and I was quite surprised indeed.

If you'll read what I typed a little more carefully, you'll see I wasn't suggesting such a change would make them more useful, nor more powerful-in fact, the opposite-simply that it would be better for the game.

 

I like terror stars just fine, and have no problem with them being powerful, or useful, but they should certainly be limited enough that a game does not always devolve into using them.  And, personally, I feel the current system does not sufficiently strike that balance.

 

If I might ask...how would it add to the frustration of using them?  Do you actually move your Terror Stars from one system to another, to another, to another?  They're almost one shot as it stands-perhaps two or three if you find a cluster close enough together...beyond that, it's faster to just build more of them.

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September 14, 2008 4:47:06 AM from GalCiv II Forums GalCiv II Forums

Apologies-didn't see the first post, as it created a new page and FF didn't show the new page for some odd reason-so I posted it again...and the edit button is still dead for me.

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September 14, 2008 9:47:00 AM from GalCiv II Forums GalCiv II Forums

My last few {3 or 4} games the vote to ban them came up early when i still had 4 members to vote against. each vote was the same--ban them< so i only used them once and it was the last turn in the game before i won , just so i could see the end movie.I think they would be more interesting as a special super event where some nutty minor race gets one and goes on killing spree.

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September 14, 2008 11:23:22 AM from GalCiv II Forums GalCiv II Forums

As much as i like this game, i have to admit, balancing has got to be one of its weakest points. It frustrates me because you can see the potential for really cool options and strategies in the tech tree. But what you end up with are novelties instead due to terrible balance. This frustrates me even more when it is a reason i bought the expansion pack. Case in point: terror stars.

Cut the research costs. Add modules to boost speed. Make the damn thing indestructible. I don't care. But make it useful.

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September 14, 2008 5:47:48 PM from GalCiv II Forums GalCiv II Forums

Used TS only twice so far  all other times they get voted to be banned. In both cases where I used them it was to take out an enemies home system. In each case they surrendered almost immediately afterwards. I rush built them after luring most of their fleets away from that system making it possible to be effective. True I was of sufficent military strength to slug it out but I was getting a bit fed up with the continual warfare to capture a few planets then wait to rebuild my fleets and do it all over again. I wound up getting a political victory both times but the end justified the means in each case.

The tactic I used to lure their fleets out was to build a fleet of fast Cargo hulls with a single weapon and run them through the enemy home system. Each time their fleets would persue and allow me the time to build and detonate the TS. Not very pretty but rather effective.

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September 26, 2008 6:09:51 PM from GalCiv II Forums GalCiv II Forums

I was very happy to find this post. I was beginning to worry no-one else saw a problem with our new terror star. Ok so the biggest problem with them right now is their defenseive capabilities.Right now the only way a terror star can effectively be used is if the civilization building it is already ahead of the other cultures. Sure you can build it next to a peacfull neighbor and quickly wipe them out, but afterwards if you dont have the superior military(and odds are you will not because you just wasted a year in researching the terror star), that terror star is gonna get exploded by remaining enemy fleet who is sore with you( though if playing on a smaller map like medium or small losing a system can hurt quite a bit). The weaker civ isnt going to stop competing for more advanced tech and begin researching/building terror stars, they have absolutely no defensive capability on their own and even if you have some fleets protecting it they are just gonna get blown up along with the terror star due to a years loss of research. The extremely deadly terror star, is only usefull to the guy whos already winning making a one sided fight: even more so. And as for the usefullness that i mentioned earlier , I think its been said before: helping spread and stop influence. I personally only use terror stars after Im sure i am going to win. In which case im bored of building transports and invading planets and the elimination of an entire system is at least different(even if it costs me an extra year of play time) . On the flip side I do the same thing with influence victories, I get bored of building constructors and influence starbases; so I build terror stars and just destroy a few of the last key systems and let my superior culture fill it up quickly.

BTW if u want to build some terror stars my advice is to save extra money, put the research slider to 100%, and productivity to 100%. The extra money will be needed just for research btw so dont forget about the obscence costs for the starbase too. This will cut the time for research in half or maybe even less:D so hopefully you dont fall too far behind in the techs of other civs. Oh and terror star tech is good trade material to civs your about to kill hehe.               Good Luck and Have Fun!

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October 2, 2008 8:28:44 AM from GalCiv II Forums GalCiv II Forums
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October 8, 2008 5:11:01 PM from GalCiv II Forums GalCiv II Forums

Quoting FLPNDRox,
IDK, this guy seems to be having fun with them. 

He inspired me to use them in my most recent game...I got the Dread Lords event, and left them for several years because I had no idea where they were...turns out they were right between me and Earth (I was a custom Evil race), so I spent sveral years researching the techs and managed to blow them up in what I suspect was mere turns before they begun making their move. Pity that doing this took me to war with the Terrans, who destroyed it afterwards, and I haven't bothered replacing it yet.

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October 8, 2008 5:36:52 PM from GalCiv II Forums GalCiv II Forums

 Just like to add, if you fleet them with a ship that has the fully upgraded Fleet Bubble you can get the TS up to +3 movement speed, just make sure to detach the ship and hightail it out of there just before you take out the star so you don't lose your escort.

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October 8, 2008 7:02:08 PM from GalCiv II Forums GalCiv II Forums

Quoting KushHaze,
 Just like to add, if you fleet them with a ship that has the fully upgraded Fleet Bubble you can get the TS up to +3 movement speed, just make sure to detach the ship and hightail it out of there just before you take out the star so you don't lose your escort.

Does this only work with a fully upgraded fleet bubble?  During the beta this was possible, but then they added the code for it to check if a TS is in the fleet to disable that module.

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October 8, 2008 7:55:23 PM from GalCiv II Forums GalCiv II Forums

 Not sure if you need it to be fully upgraded I havent tested this on the lower warp bubble techs, but I do know for sure that at the max warp bubble level it will add the moment modifier I just tried this a few days ago.

  Just a side note I have not tested this since 1.99 was release since I just updated to the current version yesterday, I am playing a metaverse game right now so I will test to see if  this works on lower level warp bubble techs and if the newest version of the game still allows this, I will get back to you on this soon as I finnish my game.

 

   P.S. Hey loupdinour how do you get your medals to show up at the bottom of the screen, my account setup has no option for this.

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October 8, 2008 8:09:04 PM from GalCiv II Forums GalCiv II Forums

Go to the Metaverse site linked in the top left of this page, then over to Account, then Edit My Characters, then on the right side of the character is a button that says Default.  Hit that on the charater's who's medals you wish to show under your posts.

BTW if this is the case with the TSs...they are then re-bugged and will see the hammer fall again.

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October 8, 2008 8:40:18 PM from GalCiv II Forums GalCiv II Forums

Screw the TS then I want to build this Hammer you speak of and play wack a mole on a galactic level .... I do hope though that they leave the mechanic the way it is now, I really don't see how giving the TS an extra 2 movement with the aid of tech and a escort to be overpowered at all, in fact its really the only way I see them being of any real use other then sadistic fun.

 Thanks for the information on the character options I would have never figured that out lol.

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October 14, 2008 3:50:08 PM from GalCiv II Forums GalCiv II Forums

Quoting Marvin Kosh,
Terror Stars can be fleeted. However they don't add anything radical to a fleet's offensive capabilities, so basically you need only fleet them for peace of mind in case one of the enemy fleets gets in close enough to take a potshot at the exhaust port.

 

  That is true. The drawback, however is that if you have the terror star within a fleet and you detonate the terror star on a star system while it is fleeted, the fleet gets destroyed along with the enemy (or friend if you are betraying them) planets, ships, and even space stations if there are any. Therefore, your terror star will be left vulnerable without protection from marauding enemy fleets.

   I also find that the terror star isn't worth the effort of researching if you have your technology research speed set at normal. Because you are focused on researching each stage of terror star developement for 150 weeks give or take several dozen weeks, you will most likely end up falling behind technologically compared to the other races. Then again you can trade tech with friendly races but why not keep your hard gained technologies to yourself?! Besides that hard researched Photon Torpedo might fall into the hand of the Drengin menace! (note half sarcastic and half serious tone in last part of last paragraph) 

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October 14, 2008 4:02:35 PM from GalCiv II Forums GalCiv II Forums

That is true. The drawback, however is that if you have the terror star within a fleet and you detonate the terror star on a star system while it is fleeted, the fleet gets destroyed along with the enemy (or friend if you are betraying them) planets, ships, and even space stations if there are any. Therefore, your terror star will be left vulnerable without protection from marauding enemy fleets.

There is an option for a fleet to make an attempt to leave the blast radius.  Make sure your fleet, minus the TS has enough movement points to clear the system and make sure the option is eneabled.

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October 14, 2008 4:49:38 PM from GalCiv II Forums GalCiv II Forums

Sorry it's taking me so long to test the TS + Warp bubble, the council outlawed Terror Stars in my last game ;-(

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October 14, 2008 7:54:53 PM from GalCiv II Forums GalCiv II Forums

Quoting KushHaze,
Sorry it's taking me so long to test the TS + Warp bubble, the council outlawed Terror Stars in my last game ;-(

Load auto save an option?

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October 14, 2008 10:13:10 PM from GalCiv II Forums GalCiv II Forums

Unfortunalty no I got a little upset and instead of thinking I just went on a rampage and wiped out the yor and all the other races lol, and whats worse is that i changed my custom tech tree to Drengin so no warp bubbles in the following game as well doh!

 I was going to make a samll custom game with fast tech to test it out, I'll get back to ya soon as I do.

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October 15, 2008 11:28:43 PM from Stardock Forums Stardock Forums

why not just leave the UP?

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October 15, 2008 11:59:29 PM from GalCiv II Forums GalCiv II Forums

I've never used a Terror Star or seen one used in a game.  The potential usefulness of the weapon just doesn't justify, in my opinion, the immense cost to research the technology and the relatively slow moving and virtually defensless space station.  I would much rather simply capture the planet and add it to my empire.  A much more militarily useful tool in this game would be the ability to conduct orbital bombardment without destroying the planet, let alone destroying the entire star system.

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October 16, 2008 1:43:44 AM from GalCiv II Forums GalCiv II Forums

I just gotta say....Terror stars are rather fun if you just want abit ol sadistic pleasure But Honestly i believe they should be given Some weapons systems and abit of defence also perhaps also Make them moble millitary bases *As in let them keep millitary assistence modules along with perhaps with the abillity to slow peoples influence/push back their borders and finally perhaps let them give production bonus's to close by planets making them moble boosters that are while slow highly useful for both enhanceing your empire and in the rare occation either terminateing an enemy system or say if an enemy invades a powerful starsystem as a last resort to destroy it.

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October 16, 2008 2:40:02 AM from GalCiv II Forums GalCiv II Forums

What about speeding up the Terror Stars, but requiring that they "power up" before destroying a star?  That way they could move around a bit faster, but the "power up" phase would prevent an ambush.  Maybe make it so they have to park for several turns to build up enough power to destroy the star.  Maybe the amount of power/turns required could be dependent on how many planets are in the system, even?  (say, 2 turns per planet?)  That would make destroying more sparsely populated systems a little more viable.

I like some of the suggestions about making them more like mobile Military Starbases, especially if that includes the possibility of adding additional modules.  If that option is explored, then perhaps going into "star-killer mode" could weaken the Terror Star's defenses, thus making it more vulnerable to a counterattack...

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October 16, 2008 3:56:52 PM from GalCiv II Forums GalCiv II Forums

Terror Stars are fluff. I only used them in one game. They are completely useless the way they are at the moment. I had one dissapear but it was still there. I just happened to click on what I thought was empty space and I accidently found my terror star, the galactic teddy bear. All graphics for it were gone and it had moved away from the star it blew away. But before I could get my fleet to defend, again, my new found "superweapon???", it got blown away.

They are useless. No movement. No defensive weaponry. (Perhaps it could be changed so it can only fire at ships when attacked, *hint to devs*, not when it moves to attack ships.) If you have the time and resources to build and maintain a terror star then you don't need to. The game can be won much quicker without them. All they are is a note to the AI that the human player is an idiot because the human player has just built a big, fat, slow, expensive target with a sign on it that reads: "I'm an unitelligent user and I want to attempt to lose a game I was winning against the AI's. Please come and kick my butt."

(I didn't lose that game by the way. Probably because I didn't build any more.)

Basically after a terorr star is built you have to protect the thing from a transport that has weapons. And while your garding this "awsome powerful" cuddly weapon the AI, if its smart, attacks your empire that is the farthest away from your teddy bear and your left with a big fleet moving 1 parsec a turn because of the ball chaining them.  

I've yet to see any AI on any setting build one, even my friends who play it never ever see any AI build one, we do not play on the lower levels. Although we haven't  conqured "suicidal" yet. And yes many of you are much better at GalCiv2 then my firends and me, I'm not attempting to boast here just making a point that the AI doesn't touch these things, from what I've seen.

Basically it you can build a terror star then don't, you will win much faster if you don't. I'm starting to think Stardock has a different sense of humor than normal peiople. They're probably laughing there bodies into shape thinking about how stupid everyone is for building terror stars just to see the graphical affects of a solar system we can't use get blown away. At this point that's all they are good for.

C'mon devs, at least make terror stars modable. If I understand correctly then they have been hard coded?

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October 17, 2008 12:54:58 PM from GalCiv II Forums GalCiv II Forums

Quoting steellwaters,
why not just leave the UP?

Because then you won't be able to trade with your allies or other friendly races.

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