Proteus complaints and possible solutions?


#1

The request here being of course an improvement to existing features, rather than new ones.
If you’ve got a complaint about Proteus features you do not like, this is the place to rant and hopefully find a solution to that particular feature. Please let me know why any of my solutions won’t work :slight_smile:
In a different thread it was brought up that currently existing features are a deterrent to some players. So I will address these with my own solutions and post it as a new thread to encourage discussion.
These were the features that were pointed out:

1: it is not enjoyable to have carrier price stack like it does. Not only is that the farthest thing from how industry actually works, but it is annoying as I’ll get out. I would not play for that reason alone. The carriers should just be more expensive or something, honestly.

I agree with this, I remember my first Proteus game when I built my second carrier for twice the price thought “really? wth, that’s dumb :confused:” then realized it was a flat increase and was a little more ok with it but to this day feel like the increase is too fast. I do like the idea of it increasing but as was pointed out, it should be a little more realistic.

My Workaround (a.k.a. how I dealt with this annoyance):
I no longer loop ships. In Triton I will have 2 or more ships jumping between a pair of stars constantly moving my ships toward the front lines. In Proteus, when I have need to move ships faster, I began to kamikaze my carriers into the enemy and just build new ones keeping my ship count as low as possible so they’re not too expensive. This kind of works, but it requires I be a lot more attentive and can make me easily just sit there while nothing is happening which is bad.

My Solution:
As was pointed out, industry doesn’t just increase in cost because an empire gets bigger. It does however increase when greater technologies are introduced as implementation of said technologies can sometimes require a major overhaul of infrastructure/materials/logistic changes. So instead of cost being directly affected by number of carriers (x*25), how about making the price be affected by Technology?
I had a few ideas on this:
Attaching it to a static tech, the problem of course being some techs eventually get ignored and others won’t make sense for building carriers.
Averaging the techs and using that number to calculate the price, this either gives weird prices, formulas that aren’t simple or a very slow increase.
The one I liked best however is to attach it to the highest tech level. Once x is determined by whatever tech is the highest, the formula could be a simple (x-2)*25. This means you would be improving your carriers with weapons/cost (banking/manufacturing)/engines (range)/experimental tech/scanning (radar). In a typical Proteus game, this means your cost will increase up to a few times a day and still allows for some strategic coordination to not have them be too expensive but not give a huge advantage either. The rationalization there being that all these improvements are going to increase the cost of production and makes it more realistic than simply “it costs more because you already have some” unless of course the increased cost is due to storage requirements :thinking: (hangar expansion and land purchases along with possible relocations and renovations).

  1. Last I checked, there was a change to this, but back in the original Proteus, weapons benefits to defenders was overwhelming. Offensives were too difficult. Whoever won a star usually never lost it if they were smart. So it favored lucky aggressors FAR more than defenders. I play aggressively. It’s good strategy and so the game ruled out my entire reason to play by this concept alone. Thankfully I think it’s gone, but the damage is still done from the expensive carrier issue.

This is definitely gone, there is no defense bonus at all. Only first strike. Hopefully carriers get improved.

3: Star experience. I think this is a thing and actually makes conquering a star harder. This too, may have been something I vouched for or even requested. And it was a stupid thing if so, because it does not work well. It makes conquering stars even harder.

This is thankfully not a thing.

4: Tech pricing… Thank GOD for the ledger. Because I cannot make heads or tales of the price scaling and it just makes trading awkward as can be.

Not just the ledger, a dropdown has been added to show what tech up to lvl 20 will cost. The price scaling is covered in the help section, but it’s better with the dropdown.

5: Alliances. For some reason I’ve never had good interactions with other players in the game. It is usually more ruthless in a lonely way. That is not good at all. Diplomacy should be important.

This isn’t really a Proteus feature but I find that just being straightforward and open with your alliance about your plans is good enough. Communication really, and try to avoid allowing emotions getting the better of you or your allies.

6: It’s uglier. Screw cell phones. I hate them as it is and they suck up too much time. Really are “Cell” phones, mental prisons. Catering to that crowd is a smart business move on Jay’s part, but the current Proteus is down right hideous to look at. I still remember fondly the gorgeous interface of the original Neptune’s Pride. Triton is cuter, but at least it isn’t bland.

Maybe Jay could provide templates for users to customize and submit for approval?
Or maybe Jay could allow for members to volunteer their services in these types of areas.

7: Game mechanics. Nothing about them works for me. It is like a 4x speed game on steroids. Back in the old days, when I was more free and could literally sit there all day with nothing better to do, sure, that might work. But with how Proteus is now… I still can’t comprehend how to enjoy something that requires constant attention and careful resource micromanagement. A beauty of NP2 is that I need not log on continuously during early to mid stages of the game. Proteus’ mechanics in this regard are all over the place for me. This is more a personal gripe though. I honestly don’t think it is a genuine flaw…

It’s possible your approach is making it seem speedier. I find the pace to be very slow. In the early stages I just make sure to log in at least once a day, usually 2 or 3. It’s usually 3 or 4 days before I feel the need to pay real attention to the game and some games I go a day or 2 without logging in and still do well. I do plan at least 24 hours worth of actions before I ignore the game (with the exception of day 1 which only let’s you plan ~8 hours worth of moves) and if I return early it’s just to make sure things are going as planned, to spend my savings and to see if anything needs changing. For the most part though I have felt that Proteus is slower than Triton (except for the money management). In Triton mistakes feel more lethal whereas Proteus seems easier to recover from and even the warp gates don’t offer much advantage until your range is in the double digits. If you ever decide to try it again I’d be more than happy to join a game together and compare notes to see what we’re doing differently.

8: The tech, though, IS a flaw. It renders falling behind in tech a brutal and pointless waste in futility. Might as well quit at once, as far as I’ve seen.

I think I’m beginning to see your problem >.>
In case I’m wrong though, would you mind expanding on how the tech is flawed?
I have played games where I focused on something like Range/Scanning while my Opponent did Weapons/Manufacturing and I came out on top because of the way the map was rendered it gave more advantage to travel farther and see attacks coming than to being stronger. I’ve also had the reverse be true. I find taking a moment to really look at the map and plan your worst-case scenarios go a long way to determining what you should research and what you shouldn’t. Sometimes it’s fine to get behind in a tech as long as you’re getting ahead in another.

9: wormholes. The idea is awesome. And I may even have been instrumental in suggesting that idea too. They seemed to smart. And yet they are implemented terribly. I know what Jay’s going for, but to me, there is no reason to spend 24 hours moving somewhere unless it is to set up a Scanning Outpost at an ally’s system. It links the galaxy, but it ruins it because you can see other players moving back and forth and that in turn removes some of the secrecy, certainly lets you know when enemies are moving large quantities of ships. It is also slow… way too slow. If that’s changed by now since I last played, then good, because it was awful otherwise.

It’s still 24 hours, but I’ve noticed a lot of players seem to forget that you can build warp gates on them and reduce that time to 12 hours. I’ve done plenty of expansion through a wormhole, it’s not the easiest thing to do, in one game I was in a player defended their wormhole against 3 other players for maybe 6 weeks because they were not familiar with wormholes and didn’t understand the travel costs and strategies that go along with long-range attacking.
I do feel they’re too random and have more than once had the misfortune of 4 wormholes leading to my empire behind my main defenses making it almost impossible to survive without some clever diplomacy.

10: Warp gates: again, useless. Suddenly, despite needing to get on constantly for the hourly income, warp gates do not work as they did in NP2. It seems to me we might as well have none of them at all. They just weren’t worth it anymore, being too expensive and granting a very marginal boost most of the time. They did not even work with wormholes.

They do work with wormholes, a lot players don’t do it though, probably because of the cost.
The boost for warp gates really comes in handy later in the game, you usually can’t afford them early on anyway, but they are critical in the end-game. I’ve seem the top of the leaderboard drop quickly when they don’t get their warp gates right.

11: Carriers get experience but last I heard that doesn’t do anything. Why? Stars seem to gain experience or did during the beta test I played (I think. I don’t pretend to be the brightest star out there, so it wouldn’t surprise me if I got confused on this point). Point being though, considering carriers are at a premium, it would have been more sensible if their experience did something. But then considering what happened with the stars getting it, I would think this is a bad idea all around, too.

Right, bonuses are difficult to balance, but should be ok if kept simple. I’ve seen some of the suggestions that make the ships overpowered, I do like the suggestion of just granting the carrier the ability to scan. It always seemed silly to me that my carrier was technically flying blind, you’d think the captain of the ship would relay information or at the least have windows or radar on the carrier.

12: No terraforming. Jay prefers this, and I have to agree, so this is not a complain per se… yet even so, I’ve noticed empires that don’t grow fast in Proteus die a swift death. So there needs to be SOMETHING done.

I think that’s true for Triton as well. At least in the larger games it is, if you don’t grow, your opponent just rolls over you, unless your allies are helping you survive, but that’s kind of universal, you don’t grow, you die.
One thing I have noticed is map rendering can sometimes be so unfair in Proteus. So many times I see someone start with their empire split in 2 needing range 4 before they are able to travel between their own stars. That definitely needs to be changed. It makes half your stars practically undefendable. These players rarely survive despite best efforts and that just sucks.


#BRINGBACK64! (64 Game Resurrection Petition)
#2

Thanks for the interesting discussion guys.

I would like to do some more work on Proteus soon. Life is just a lot more busy than it was a few years ago.


#3

A lot of players have skills we’d be happy volunteering to help things move forward. It would take time to set things up and screen talent, but you should consider it, it would help get things completed, even if not implemented until final approval, it would certainly make it easier when you have time to just review code, test it, then deploy it rather than doing it all yourself.


#4

Thanks Murasaki! I’ll have a think about how we might be able to get it to work.


#5

My two biggest issues with Proteus are infrastructure scaling and the removal of defenders advantage. To quote some of my posts on Discord:

Jays’s response was:

So, not sure if it’s going to change or not. I’ve not played Proteus in quite a few months, so for all I know it’s been changed.

About defenders bonus:

Jay’s response was:

There are several more back and forth comments from both of us you can read here if you have joined the server. I left the conversion completely unconvinced.


#6

Make infrastructure cost scaling linear instead of square. Right now the scaling makes it very hard to strategically place stuff because the cost difference between places is so high.

In Triton you can invest more strategically because the costs don’t increase as much.

You can still invest strategically in Proteus, the problem is the starting part. Some stars are so expensive I don’t put anything on them until after i’ve taken most of an opponents stars. Later in the game it’s not a problem because you make so much money, but at first it sucks, especially when you get a clump of low resource stars and can’t build anything on them. The starting prices definitely need to be reduced on the 5 resource stars. Even if additional infrastructure costs scale quickly, it’d help to not be the top of the leaderboard with half your stars being useless since the both AI and players will target you. So many games I see people deliberately holding back from the top of leaderboard just to not have to worry. Most times 2nd and 3rd place have much higher resources, sometimes double what 1st place has which is kind of ridiculous.

The best method is still to attack, preferably deep raids inside enemy territory. If you destroy enough infrastructure it doesn’t matter if they retake the stars or kill your fleets because you have done so much damage.

There’s more to it than that, but you definitely don’t get anywhere without attacking. I’ve met plenty of aggressive players that don’t do very well. Blindly attacking is never a good strategy. A good strategy allows for adaptability, there’s no 1 good strategy. As the variables in each game change, so are different conditions met and different actions are taken. But what you’ve said fits perfectly with Proteus. If you go around destroying their infrastructure and forcing them to rebuild, it hurts.

In Triton you can normally retake your stars, with their infrastructure, because the defenders advantage gives you an immediate localised ship advantage. In the big picture having 20 more ships, for example, doesn’t seem a big deal. But, that 20 ship difference is at your front line.

It’s easier to get stars back in Proteus as the opponent doesn’t get a defenders bonus. This means you have a more difficult time defending, but ships build faster. There have been plenty of games where my opponent becomes fixated on a single star and I keep building (and dropping off) just enough to barely keep the star. In Proteus it doesn’t make sense to keep the infrastructure, imagine you lose a start with 10 infrastructure on it and your opponents Manufacturing is lvl 10. He’s now building 100 ships an hour. Travel time to that star means you will likely face +300-1000 ships from what he landed with. Destroying the infrastructure means he now has to build on that star so at the least he spends money. You will be likely be retaking the start with 1-5 defending infrastructure instead of 10. Granted you will need to rebuild as well upon retaking it, but that’s a small price to pay to ensure your opponent doesn’t take a star and is suddenly pumping out 1000 ships per hour at your front line. I have saved money in games to build a mess of infrastructure upon taking a decent star from an opponent and suddenly having the enemy pumping out a couple thousand ships on a star that used to be yours is difficult to defend against. Most of the time we both have ships headed to the same star but ship building is so fast that planned properly you can cripple an opponent and his spirit. I’ve had people quit after losing a star and then seeing 20 infrastructure on it. Building ships faster helps the game move faster. A defenders bonus plays to the defense, that’s where the advantage is after all. By making the building of ships faster, the game is more balanced, it puts the attacker and defender on equal terms and it allows players to play how they want, you can build a fort and defend using the opponents travel time to your advantage, or attack attack attack and use the quick ship building to keep pumping out ships at your front lines with waves of fleets coming up from the rear instead of relying on stars farther back to move forward.

It really just boils down to how you play the game and if you can find a way to make the game mechanics work with your strategy. I think most of the people that don’t like Proteus are just too used to Triton. I felt the same way when I started Proteus, but the more I played, the more I realized the balance is much better for the different strategies I started trying. I think it’d help if we could make our own Proteus games, we could really see how it works more than in a live match where you might get jumped by all your neighbors in a heartbeat.