Changes to Mining Assault

The warfare system for mining assaults in its present form leaves a great deal to be desired. 

As the current system stands, you deploy your units and if somebody attacks you, one of two things will happen. Either you lose absolutely everything, or they lose absolutely everything. Either way, this represents real time months worth of work and training investment. All to secure a mine that cannot possibly have the same economic value as the money and time you've spent training up those elite soldiers.

Even if you win, there is no way to replenish the losses your squads sustain, which permanently weakens them. I would argue that permanently weakening several high level squads is more costly than whatever small profit you might reap from the mine itself, particularly as few resources seem to be truly in demand forcing most people to sell at rock bottom prices.

There is zero player interaction with the system. You just deploy and hope for the best. To make matters worse, the loser in the conflict does not even get the basic satisfaction of a report about how the battle went. So you have no idea if the real life months you spent prospecting, deploying and mining even weakened your attacker. And because there is no scout type unit, the only way to make intelligent moves is to use meta-game data such as Rankings Mining and how much the mine produces per "Time Period" to make guesses about its relative troop strength.

This all-or-nothing system makes it extremely difficult for cities/factions on the losing end to train up their armies, and with certain groups holding a relatively unassailable monopoly right now, that makes things downright miserable for the rest of us. Not that I'm complaining that these players are winning the system, my hat is off them for using team work to pound all the disorganized individual threats into utter submission. 

That said, the system could be a lot better so I propose a few basic changes:

* Scouts: Add a new squad type to legions called scouts.  These units can be sent in to gather information about an existing mine, such as who owns the mine, how many stored coms it has, and how strong the defending forces are. This scouting process should take substantial time, perhaps several real life hours, with a chance of the scouts being detected each time the mine produces coms. Detection results in a message to the owner and a chance the scouts are captured. If captured the owner knows who scouted them, otherwise the scouts just escape with nothing to report. 

* Remove Signs: 
This would make it so that the only way to determine who owns a mine is to engage in reconnaissance through scouting, which would take time and potentially alert the defender to your attentions. It would also make the targeting of individual players/factions more challenging, giving defeated individuals a chance to build back up. It would also encourage cities/faction to employ team work by sharing information when going after rival cities/factions.

* Retreat Option: 
Allow players to order their legions to retreat automatically if a certain threshold of loss is reached, even if they are offline. Battles should not always be all-or-nothing affairs. If the winner only stands to lose a few soldiers per squad the loser should not be totally wiped out in the same battle unless it is overwhelmingly one sided. Even if no retreat threshold is set, the legions themselves should lose morale and make a run for it at a certain point depending on their level and strength relative to the odds they face. 

* Replenishment of Units: 
If a ship loses some crew and the captain hires replacements, the total level of the crew is slightly diminished. Squads should work the same way. Allow players to replenish squads that have sustained casualties by hiring new people at the cost of dropping the units level somewhat for each new soldier.

* Battle Messages and Battle Speed: 
It is never fun to get the message "Your mine at [place] through the [place] has been taken by the Legion of [player]." with no additional information about how the battle played out. It is also quite baffling that you first get the message "Your mine located at [place] through the [place] is under attack by the Legion of [player]!" approximately 60 seconds before the battle resolves itself. What is the point of the first message if you aren't allowed to retaliate directly against the other adventurer and you have no role in the outcome of the battle? 

Battles should be slowed down to happen in stages over a few hours of real time. An entire system could be created where players give orders to their armies as the battle unfolds much like a chess game, with coms being un-claimable during that time. But such a system is beyond the scope of this post so for the moment I will simply say: Unless the opposition is so overwhelmingly strong that the defending side gets totally annihilated immediately, there should ALWAYS be a battle report with casualty figures for both sides.


  • MelodieMelodie Port Saint Lucie, Florida
    I think mining in general (as well as the use and need of commodities) could use a lot of fixing before we worry about better battle implementations. 
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  • edited February 2016

    > There is zero player interaction with the system.

    There's no player interaction once you deploy, by design. There never will be either, as in an asynchronous system allowing any kind of interaction once deployed would only favor the attacker, who has the advantage of deciding when and where the battle will take place.

    Mining isn't intended to be any kind of tactical battle. Scouting won't go in either because again, it gives all the advantage to the attacker. 

    Mining is about the decisions you make in terms of when, where, and what to mine, and when/where to attack with your legions. It's essentially running a business in a highly competitive market with low margins. 

    > Replenishment of Units:

    Definitely not going to do replenishment of units. It would simply ensure that the average level of a legion goes up and up until everybody who mines regularly has exclusively top-level legions. 

    Retreating is something I'm pondering a bit, but it would still be extremely costly, else people would just use it as a proxy for scouting, so I'm not sure it's something we're going to do. 

    The only change we're making currently is more randomness in when lodes pop up so that there's no way to really time their appearance, and messing with lode supply to reduce oversaturation of certain comms.

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