No Experimentation in 1v1 EPIC games?

Starting a thread to discuss if Exp should be LOCKED (and probably set to ZERO) for 1v1 EPIC games.

First and on a related note, there is a 3-year old Forum thread asking if Jay could modify the code so that Exp does NOT hit a locked technology. I was a bit of a nay-sayer (in real life, sometimes Scientists research something that doesn’t pan out) … but after getting TWO Weapons hits early in my 1v1 game with @AnnanFay , I realized that this is a significant game changer. Jay has rolled out a code update so that Exp won’t do that again!

So in the 1v1 EPIC games, the cost to research tech has been “normal” except for Manu and Experimention (both “expensive”) and Weapons are locked. In my game with @Karmadrome, I got the following Exp hits:
Cycle - Points - Exp hit (comment)
1 - 72P - Hyper (OK - that’s helpful)
2 - 72P - Bank (Hey, maybe Dr. Banner learned his lesson from TWO (useless!) Weapons hits in the last 1v1 … so HEY, lets drop everything and research Experimentation to finish at the Cycle
3 - 144P - Experimentation (GRRR!!!)
4 - 144P - Terra (OK - that’s helpful … but HEY, since we have that 144 point in Exp, lets finish it! :wink:
5 - 216P - Experimentation (Double GRRRR!!!)
6 - 216P - Experimentation (WTF!!!)

So at this point, I said screw it, I’ll just finish Exp4 … and @Grunter (currently playing against @SuperDave) thought he was a bad-a** finishing E3! To be clear it was MY CHOICE to research Exp … but clearly I got seriously hosed … again! And clearly the dice gods are angry with me - @nick.muzzio will say that’s payback for questioning why Exp should not hit locked tech … :wink:

What’s the over/under that now I have Exp4 (!) that I’ll get yet another Exp hit?!?

What do people think about locking Exp (maybe even setting to zero?) for future 1v1 games?

My thoughts are if you get hosed (or get lucky) that can make a significant difference in the first 5-10 cycles of the game.

This takes that element of chance out of the game … but does reduce the number of researchable techs to 5 … and I like having various options and attempts to win.

Completely remove it, [Or… *]

While experiments on disabled tech was removed it’s still a huge swing to get multiple experiment hits in a row.

You can calculate the expected ROI (return on investment) for Exp. Exp is worth 3 science labs (+72 points per day) and at base costs 144 to go from level 1 to 2. So the ROI on level 2 is at least 2 days. Similar to buying economy for $20 (2 day ROI), this is a pretty good deal, but you pay in science and get science back. But for level 3 it’s a 4 day ROI (288/72), then 6 days, 8 days, etc.

So when you get experimentation hits on experimentation the ROI for your current investment increases. Investing further increases the problem because higher levels have longer ROIs. Level 4 Experimentation is like buying economy for $60 - which in games with Terra is very uncommon.

A 216 base cost makes the ROI numbers 3,6,9,12,etc., days. Which makes it more balanced in the early game when lucky, but much worse in the mid game.

[* The problem here is not so much experimentation, but experiments landing on experimentation because after level 2-3 it’s straight up a horrible tech. Instead of completely disabling it you could keep it at level 1 but disable experimentation research.]

Great analysis @AnnanFay … but remember in the 1v1 games that Experimentation is currently “expensive” … so 216 points to research each level (that’s has been doubly painful!) but you still only get the additional 72 points payback … so the ROI is even worse!

@Grunter went to Exp3 in his 1v1 game and said even though he has hit Manu 3 times, it sounds like a bit too little, too late.

So maybe another approach is we make Experimentation “normal” cost … but then I worry about it being too big of swing in the early game … which is why I made it expensive in the first place.

Option #3 is disable it (level 0 or 1?) … but then I can’t go “wah-wah-wah” about it! :wink:

Seriously, looking for feedback to balance giving players various options to try to win versus not allowing things to be swung too much by chance.

P.S. I’m also open to leaving it as-is … i.e. researching Exp is a Bold Strategy Cotten!

I think everyone who is playing 1vs1 games that go 10+ cycles against a tough opponent realizes how fun and challenging it is. It’s not like any other type of game in N.P. You don’t win by grinding away on weapons. You don’t win by forming an alliance with your buddy and tag teaming the rest of the galaxy. You only win based on your moves and figuring out your opponent’s. I personally think EXP should be set to 0 and locked. It’s the only thing that brings luck into the equation when the rest of the game is 100% you + strategy.

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I agree 100% with @SuperDave

So it seems that most people are thinking the game would be better with ZERO/LOCKED Exp.

Open for any other opinions/suggestions … but certainly can use this going forward if that’s what most people think will work best.

P.S. Just to be clear, there certainly is some “luck” involved in guessing what your opponent will do … and while the Dice Gods are hammering me, I’m more than making it up with lucky guesses in my game with @Karmadrome … but that may run out soon.

I did mention that later in my post :wink:

Lock it up! Set it to like 1 tho, I dunno. I guess we’re technically not here to measure luck, rather, skill… but I feel like luck is an integral part of NP and how the game has always been played. Having a single, unknown variable in a game where everything is now contrived doesn’t bother me any.

I think there’s plenty of potential for luck without having exp involved, so for me lock it out.

I’m in favor of keeping experimentation in the game for 1 on 1s. Although EXP rewards based on chance, going for it requires a strategic decision. I think part of the fun with the game is that you never know whether you’re going to hit on something useful or…banking.

Take for example my current game with @SuperDave. It wasn’t a coincidence that I went for EXP early on. I figured that if someone gets to the quarterfinals of a 1 on 1 game, they must have skills and thus the game could drag for a while…which it has. Therefore I made the decision to go for EXP. This did put me at a slight disadvantage early on, but now it’s paying off and I’m guessing Dave is thinking about whether he should finally research it or not. This is fantastic, and part of the chess game beyond simply using arithmetic and analyzing the five possible strategic attack points each turn. It’s another element of the strategy.

Also, @HULK, what is this “too little, too late” comment all about? It ain’t over 'till the Jackelope’s last ship is vaporized!

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Good point @Grunter … and yes, I like to leave various options for players to try … so that’s why I’m a bit reluctant to disable Exp as it reduces one of the “levers” you can pull on. Plus if we disable it, then I won’t be able to go “wah-wah-wah” about Dr. Bruce Banner! :wink:

Seriously, it seems that most feel that disabling is a good route … but maybe I lock it at level1 so at least there is the 72 random points you get each cycle. Right now, Jay doesn’t have a way to set it to zero.

I’m real curious @Grunter how your Exp strategy works against @SuperDave - you are behind in stars, but seems to be coming back. I’ll also report on how my Exp4 (!) strategy (didn’t mean to do it) works against @Karmadrome - I got a Banking hit last cycle - where the Manu love?!? :wink:

Before a final conclusion is made, I suggest we let a few players take the game to 15-18+ cycles. I say this because @Karmadrome and I went almost 20 cycles and I will admit I was reaching the point where I was tired of the game. I got lucky (from Karma making some mistakes), but I would have taken anything at that point. Once you pile up the ships between two strong players then something needs to give someone an edge. Perhaps it’s the luck of exp and researching it that does it?!? We don’t want stalemates in games.

I say this because Grunter and I are piling up the ships on our borders now after endless attacking each other. We both have 1 extra empty planet to capture. To win the game I then need 17 of his planets or he needs 31 of mine. It will be tough either way.

Also, his early exp research has paid off for him. I will admit that. As such, perhaps we don’t want to shut that avenue down. I’d like it gone myself. However, I’m saying that from the standpoint that I think it makes it harder to beat me then :slight_smile:

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I am liking the locked level1 right now. Gives you a direction to go in. I also like having a little random as it trains you on how to leverage the tech. I also liked @Grunter 's point that early investing into exp is a risk reward type of play. Reminds me of heavy investing in econ if you think you can hold the defensive line for it to pay off. I am fine leaving exp just expensive as well. I am just happy to not have the exp hit locked techs!

I think expensive experimentation is a valid strategy to use in a 1v1 game as @Grunter mentioned above. It is high risk, high reward, but still a legitimate strategy. It is also the sole element of chance/luck in NP and certainly adds to its charm. Jay added it to the game for this very reason - the element of chance within a strategy game. Without it, some of those exciting moments…or dreadful moments of disgust…are lost, even in a 1v1 scenario.

I had not seen this thread prior and am admittedly a bit salty it was implemented mid-tournament. :angry:

I purposefully invested in experimentation in my first 1v1 against @Affordable_Desk and it paid off with an eventual win. When the second round started against @HULK, it had already been locked to level 1 and was a bit unexpected. @HULK smashed me fair and square, but I did feel robbed of a legitimate strategy within NP, and I voiced my displeasure in-game at the time too.

For being the Tournament Director and self-proclaimed “Rule-meister” @HULK, I am inclined to call out that it was inappropriate, from my perspective as a contestant, to change the format mid-tournament. Rules were posted, people joined, games ensued… format should have remained the same until the next tournament if that was indeed the choice of the players.

Now that it seems to have permanently changed for all future tournaments, I would lobby to re-enable it given my points listed above.

No hard feelings @HULK. :peace_symbol:

~ Tr0n

I’m confused @Tr0n since I only see you listed in this 1v1 tournament thread (see first post) and I’m pretty sure we had Experimentation throughout (?)

The game has rolled off, so I can’t check for sure, but I don’t see any discussion about locking Experimentation mid-tournament. There was a comment on July 2nd about a spun-off mini-tournament to test locked Experimentation.

Is there any chance you are confusing a subsequent tournament like this one or the 2v2 you did against me? Both of those clearly say Experimentation is LOCKED in the first post.

As I said in the first thread: “Being a rule-miester isn’t a whole lotta fun …”
It would be awesome if some other people setup some tournaments! :wink:

I have plenty of those moments without experimentation. The difference is I am annoyed with myself for making the decisions, rather than annoyed at the game for screwing me.

When I make a bad play or an opponent does something unexpected I can learn from my mistakes. When experimentation gives your opponent repeatedly good results while giving you nothing there is not much you can do.

If we want to have random stuff I would much rather have non-mirrored starting layouts. With star layout you know what advantage the opponent has in advance and can fight against it. To even out the effect of random layouts you can use the fair cake-cutting method to choose positions and/or have a best-of-3 format.

If the good experiments caused you to win the game, then bad experiments may have caused you to lose. It seems unfair on both players that the winning or losing of a game can be decided based on chance. If it wasn’t a close enough game that experimentation wouldn’t have made a difference then it’s better without experimentation.

I’m all in favour of keeping tournament formats rules consistent.

We did not. Exp was available for round 1. Our round 2 game started later than the other one and exp was then locked. You and @SuperDave haven’t played for the title yet, due to the 2v2. First thread post states that exp and manu would be expensive. I realize our game has expired so no way to check now, but I remember vividly because of my strat the first game.

It was locked in that 2v2 with @nick.muzzio. No issue there (only personal disappointment) since it was agreed on at the start by all players.

Happy to do so as I’ve mentioned my enthusiasm for running a RT tournament. However I don’t have special Hulk powers available to generate mirrored maps (obviously granted by Jay). Perhaps this can be remedied?? :blush:

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You should always read the game custom settings in the join game page.

I did. I was aware of it and called it out in-game. The format change was across games within a tournament, and there was pressure to start my second round game quickly since the other second round game was already complete by the time my first round game wrapped up. I was pretty much obliged to join the match as-is to prevent any further delay.

The issue is that it did not match the advertised tournament format and was changed purposefully due to the earlier chatter and decisions in this thread.

Nothing can be done about it now, but I felt it was worth noting in this thread. @HULK is a fair tournament host and excellent player. This particular issue though, rubbed me the wrong way at the time is all.