It's a planet that is strategically located and it's conquest would fucking cripple me.
Theoretically, I can agree. Unfortunately, that theory doesn't work in GC2 for this simple reason.
Mathematically, it is more effective overall to just build a big offensive military and use it defensively than to build actual defensive buildings and leave ships in orbit. That is, it is better for you to simply surround the planet with several fleets of ships than to rely on whatever fleet is in orbit plus whatever defensive bonuses you might get from those tiles.
You can still protect the planet just as well while having a bigger economy. Just intercept any enemy ships that get close.
Wait a second here. After all the silliness you've suggested abotu planets needing to be able to be survivable with a static fleet defense, you want to introduce a unit that would instantly reverse that? DOES NOT COMPUTE.
Sure it does. It's all about the pacing of the game. The game should feel different at various stages of it.
GC2 does a good job of having the "colony rush" phase feel different from the rest. But after that phase, nothing really changes. You build ships with a number. The enemy builds bigger ships with a bigger number. You build even bigger ships with a bigger number. Ad nausium.
Being able to have real changes in how one plays the game as the game progresses is good. The jump to "superweapons" would change how people play the game in that phase. It's not just more and bigger ships with bigger numbers; it's ships that do fundamentally different things.
And I don't intend superweapons to be "offense wins." It is a different kind of offense that cannot be stopped by passive
defense. Take Terror Stars. If they could actually move decently fast, passive defense would fail against them. You would have to have ships with faster speed that could intercept them in order to fight back against them.
"Superweapons" don't even need to be weapons. Maybe one race gets a (mobile) space station that allows them to teleport itself and any ships in that fleet to any location (within a range).
I'm not sure how one would go about making any sort of influence system immune to attack; even planets can be targeted to further an influence offensive.
What I mean by that is this.
In GC2, to effectively attack a civilization through influence (assuming that we're talking about a reasonably sized galaxy. Not small), you need to use influence starbases. These are easily attacked and destroyed. Therefore, to effectively attack a civilization through influence, you must be able to build and protect
your influence starbases. This requires a military.
If influence is intended to be an alternate means of attack, it needs to be alternate
. Military should not be able to help influence, nor should it be able to harm it.
You're right that you can always just start attacking planets. But my main thrust is that the influence system should not have extra things that can be attacked. If there is a way to boost influence over an enemy planet (beyond what your planet creates), it should not be something that can be directly attacked with military ships.
True, to a point. Unfortunately, the balance only holds if the ships are equally capable in both roles. When you tamper with the rules to make ships defending more effective , it means each planet can be defended more economically, making it feasible to defend all planets.
You fail to understand the dynamics of attacking vs. defending.
If I have 10 planets, and I defend them with 5 ships each, then I have 50 ships. If defensive ships were no more effective in combat than offensive ships, then the attacker could take any one of my planets with a mere 6 ships. That is, to take a world, the attacker only needs an army big enough to take that world
. This is very imbalanced against defense, especially if the cost of all of those ships is the same.
My defensive army is 50 strong, so I have to pay maintanence on 50 ships. He only has to pay maintanence on 6 ships. I spent slightly less than 10x the resources he did on defense, and he still won.
Now, if we give ships in a static defensive posture double the effectiveness compared to non-static ships, then things change a bit. He now needs 11 ships. I'm still paying more for my defenses than he is for his offense, but now it's only 5x different rather than 10x.
Take the same scenario, but I instead employ "concentrated weakness". I cherry-pick certain worlds to defend well, namely those likely to be attacked. So I put 9 ships on 5 of my worlds, and 1 ship on the other 5. To take one of the fortress worlds, he now must bring 19 ships to bear. He must spend 40% of my army in resources to successfully take one of my fortress worlds.
The attacker still needs fewer resources to attack, but defense is still useful.
I'm assuming the fundamental concepts of the GC universe will remain the same from one game to the next. Given that SD has stated there is a long, convoluted, pre-written backstory to the GC universe, this seems like a safe assumption. I find it hard to imagine they could change whether interstellar societies mingle without significantly rewriting their history.
Influence was an addition in GC2, so it is hardly a "fundamental concept of the GC universe".
Also, I rather like the concept of influence. The implementation could use some refinement, but overall the idea of a cultural war is absolutely solid.
Did I say anything about removing the concept of cultural war? Did I not say that it should be replaced
, not removed?
But the solution is not to make it harder to take their stuff from them...? The solution is to make it harder to maintain a lead... right? Defense doesn't do that. It makes it harder for them to increase their lead, ok, but it also makes it harder for the trailers to chip away at the lead. That's what Defense IS.
However, if they invest in turtling like this, they have slowed themselves down. Problem solved.
What I meant is that if you have game-trumping super techs at the end, then the correct strategy is to do the absolute minimum midgame development, race to those end techs, and win. Is that the vision?
If you were able to do that, then the game's economic model and tech tree structure would be faulty. To do that, you're basically saying that building a super-weapon would need to be free, because you certainly won't have an appropriate infrastructure if you charged down the tech tree to such a tech.
It may require putting some restrictions on the tech tree. Like forcing you to tech down at least 3 branches fully before you can start researching the big stuff or some such.
I think there's a tipping point. Either you buff defense to the point where it still doesn't match up to offense - in which case, no change, so it's as if you did nothing - or you buff defense above offense - in which case, trench warfare.
But we already have games where it does
work: the entire Civilization series works like this. Defensive and offensive units are separate from one another. Defenders have the advantage in Civ: they get bonuses for being in the city and from fortifying in it.
What I'm against is FORCING the player to diversify his fleet in terms of size, and to a lesser extent to weapon types. Having to hand-build fleets, with the ships coming from multiple planets with different build times, is pretty much the definition of a micromanagement nightmare.
That's easy to do. Again, CivIV was able to get away with it. Using a single type of attack unit wasn't a good idea, since it could be countered. Using a variety worked best.
The key is to lower the construction concerns. Rather than having ships that can have dozens of guns that all add up to a single number, just have 1. If it's an advanced ship, it could maybe have 2. Make it so that the gameplay portion of ship design takes no more than 10 seconds: pick your attack, defense, and utility module, and you're done.
The particular attack module would work best against certain defense modules, utility modules provide special effects, and the end. Speed should be determined by the hull; you can choose between 3-5 different speeds for that hull, each with a cost associated with it.
If you reduce the number of options in ship construction, but focus
them for a specific and designed
purpose, then the logistics of having to have 4 ship designs isn't a problem.
Also, micro-management concerns can be banished with improved UI. Fewer screens, better use of the main screen, etc, can go a long way to smoothing out such things.