My Current thoughts and comments on the Campaign
Most of my campaign attempts have been on CEO difficulty with scientific since its the only campaign I can't win. A few attempts with other colony types and default difficulty. Some comments importance are influenced by this. I know the campaign is a work in progress.
- It would be great if I could choose where to place the “free buildings”. Pretty sure the free building (patent lab) destroys the resource if it gets placed on a resource tile with no initial bonus. Free quarries and mines are nice, but either carbon/silicon are preferable to others. Or alum > iron with scientific.
- Because of the above, the free buildings for scientific suck, because they do not end up on a corresponding resource tile. Therefore, the free higher tier buildings are actually detrimental, unless its power.
- There is a general imbalance in the value of the different perks. The patents are a massive boon if they show up as a perk. Sometimes there are duplicates.
Growing the colony as the basis of income creates some weird/non-obvious challenges:
- The overall campaign income is based off the size that you are able to grow the colony too. Not the amount of shares purchased, but rather the colony has time to grow to. As such, the income is highly dependent on which AI’s you end up with. The scientific ones tend to be crap. Easy to beat, but almost always add nothing to the growth of the colony. This creates a weird situation where you want a competent AI, but not great. The launch/production ones tend to “run-away” the most frequently and end up as “unbeatable.” The AI also tends to wait a long time before buying the first stock, so growing the colony is dependent on you starting it up with early purchases. Risky as the “run-aways” can easily generate huge amounts of cash.
- There is no advantage to purchasing additional colony buildings/stock beyond its ability to grow. AT the end of a mission, the only reason to buy into the colony more is to not lose. All cash spent ends up being wasted since it doesn’t carry over if the colony doesn’t have time to grow. As a corollary, scientific on CEO tends to run into problems since it takes so long to even get past size 1 that you have to almost immediately spend all money earned growing the colony in a mission, or you lose because you can’t even grow the colony past a certain size.
- Because the colony growth is affected by water/food/oxygen, certain colony types are poorly equipped to “grow the colony” since they can’t suppress the prices of those items since they don’t even get buildings to do so. Scientific/robotic struggle the most. All of the colonies should start with the 3 necessities, especially if a particular colony type consumes it (e.g. scientific consumes water and doesn’t even start with a water pump)
- There should really be alternative ways to earn cash in the missions. Bounties or something rather than the colony growth and net ending cash. Falling behind in a mission because of a rare random early short/surplus shouldn’t necessarily be a reason to just give up the entire campaign. Losing a mission is too critical to the overall campaign.
- It is extremely difficult to obtain cash to actually hire engineers, at least on CEO/Scientific. Usually I can spend the first free 800k, and then later get 1 more if I do exceptionally well on a mission and grow the colony. It’s a little easier on easier difficulties, as it should be, but I’m not sure how you are expected to get multiple hacker arrays or off world engineers to even increase the productivity enough that they are useful to construct.
- Do you get the income from the colony from winning a mission immediately, or is there a 1 mission delay? Seems to be a delay which creates a lull in the campaign’s 2nd mission.
- The starting engineers for scientific are totally bizarre. Early missions you don’t even have the time to get to the point of producing chemical labs, but you have 2 chemical lab engineers costing a ton of money. Some of the higher tier patents take an inordinate amount of time to complete the research after finally getting the resources to start it.
- Not being able to choose where free buildings goes hurts. A lot. That free chemical lab? Probably getting scrapped as it won’t ever be profitable since the base efficiency is so bad on higher tier buildings. That free glass furnace? Getting scrapped since it won’t be on silicon.
- Not having water pumps to start isn’t good, since it is consumed.
- Takes so very long in the early missions to even grow past size 1 on CEO.
- Power trap: Cash is so important within a mission than doing anything to merely reduce debt is a waste of time. Power is the noticeable example and so running up 200k+ debt is a regular occurance. In mission debt matters, but far less than getting the colony to grow and winning the mission.
- The 10% increase of debt on the last day should probably be removed or integrated differently. An upwards of 10-15k cash hit which has zero effect going forward on the mission, except when tied, since it ends immediately afterwards.
- I’m not certain how the ending cash values and stock price are calculated on the campaign. A little clarity would be nice. Is cash the net of cash/debt/resources? What about buildings? I’m under the impression that its best to sell absolutely everything possible and pay off as much debt as possible.
- There is a bug where upon creation of the campaign, an unrevealed mission will be in focus. I discovered it while trying to brute force carbon scrubbing. It only became available after the 3rd or 4th mission, but it was there!
- Sometimes there are 4 missions?!, sometimes only 2. Odd.
- Robotic AI basically start at level 2, every time.
- The auction prices are ???! 108k for an offworld that won’t ever get built. AI’s tend to ruin themselves on debt from auctions.
- Snowballing cash from shortages is so powerful since the AI doesn’t pose a threat.
- Improve the relationship between the cash generated in the missions and the overall campaign. Micromanaging cash/debt during the missions feels necessary since its so difficult to control cash/debt outside the missions.
- The hirable engineers need a lot of work. Perhaps it would be better to have more of them at lower cost, with lesser increases. I don’t think it would be a bad thing to be allowed to go into debt to hire more risking the future for the present. Being able to fire them would be nice too. Sometimes a patent/perk comes up that you’d love to put to use but can’t since you have hired a different path.
- The engineers available is lacking. There should be more variety at varying costs. Perhaps more of them, with more “skill” variety for different costs instead of just fixed values. Efficiency engineers consume less. Output engineers, which produce more but use more power/inputs. Add some building mods too to adjust production. Fixed costs for those. Faster blimps? Not sure what the coding will allow for, but there’s lots of room for fun things.
- I don’t really like requiring a lump sum + salary going forward for the engineers. Get stuck sometimes since controlling campaign cash is a serious challenge. It’s convoluted and limited.
- There’s a lack of overall campaign actions. There needs to be more campaign actions than just hiring the rare additional worker. I believe some of the lack of engagement of the campaign is due to this. Perhaps add some longer term goals. Add some longer term goals/researches that you activate outside of the missions. R&D department?
- I'd like to be able to challenge to take control of a region that was already in play (or be challenged).
- I think with the current structure, the campaign should play more like a game wrapped around the off-world game (individual missions), although I know that adds a ton of complexity. The current changes with campaign stock prices are a good step in this direction.
- Currently, most of the choices are to be made really only have 1 proper choice.