Speaking in defence of scanning only trading


*Note: This is just my thoughts on the topic. I’m not going to debate this here, there’s another thread going on for that. I just didn’t want to add another wall of text to it. *

I’ve played in a few games, it’s fair to say, so I’d like to share my own comments on trading.

For me trading is the basis of diplomacy. It’s the easiest way to establish trust, and the quickest way to lose it. We’ve all been a victim of the tech double cross.

The scan only trading setup is, in my opinion, the best tweak of recent months, because it’s a step towards better community play.

In the olden days, you normally traded with your galactic opposite, north to south for example. These trades were common, and in all my experience, conducted with the minimum of fuss. To me they were business like, dull,

Under the new system, communication is encouraged. The current Dark Spiral game has already included more messages than the allied 6v6 game did in it’s entirety. A good 80% of these are to do with tech trading, star exchanges to increase trading range and diplomacy to convince your neighbour you won’t attack them. (If you’re here Liberation Crusade, I’m really, really, not going to attack you. :slight_smile: Anything that encourages players to talk to each other is a good move in my book.

Knowing your neighbours, interacting more with them, improves the game for all. The personalities I’ve met all add something to the game. Every time a new player comes into scanning range it can disrupt the delicate balance of your paper alliances.

Now, there are still workarounds to the new system. The easiest is the formal alliance. I can ally with a player 50 light years away, and low and behold we can now trade. We can also trade with each other’s neighbours. It’s a flaw in the system I think needs correcting.

Scanning only trading adds another layer of complexity to the game, and I hope it is here to stay.

Now, where’s that cocktail waitress?


I am no waitress, but wait, here’s your cocktail.

[size=30]Cheers to an excellent review![/size]


I made a lot of the same comments in the main “Trade with Scanned Players Only” thread and ditto everything Ross said here - it adds a huge new exciting dimension to the game.

In the Dark Spiral game, I’m doing/observing all sorts of interesting emerging behavior (tech transfer bucket brigade!) that we’ve never seen before in NP. As I said, you can’t rely on your “posse” to trade or (as Ross points out) do the “safe” trading to the other side of the galaxy. You HAVE to talk to your neighbors and do REAL Diplomacy!

Jay wrote a post about NP compares to the board game Diplomacy. Using Formal Alliances to get around the “Trade with Scanned Players” limitation is like Japan and Britain being able to trade - it’s not realistic in the real world or in game play.

I agree with Ross that this flaw should be addressed and you must be within (real) scan range to trade - makes the game more realistic and fun! :wink:

P.S. And oh yeah, here’s that drink for 'ya Ross … this is from my 50th birthday … I’m the old wrinkled dude trying to look hip in the Hawaiian shirt.


There is one problem that I want to address with the new scanning.

In my current 64 player game, I spent quite a while locked in a war with a neighbour while other players around the galaxy continued to grow. My expansion was slower than others.

I found myself in a cluster of smaller players with two big allied players bearing down on us. My WS 12 to their WS 20 or so. Its going to be a bloodbath.

It would be nice if there was some way the large players all the way on the other side of the ring could help somehow.

My first reaction was to allow trading outside of range but make it very expensive so that you just would not do it under normal circumstances. (say 4 times normal price).

I don’t want to make any changes yet, because I think my current problems might just be a quirk of my current game, just sharing some thoughts.

Edit: Also, yes, I will see if I can fix the formal alliance issue as well. - but also note that formal alliances suck and you should be playing without them anyhow.


I had the same problem with weapons as you say, but I lived through, somehow…
This is rather difficult, to figure out what is best in such situation.

Probably encapsulate the tech into a package and transfer it through all the empires? Send money the same way and trust everyone not to open it?


I agree with everything but nobody has even mentioned the problem with being next to AFKers in a scan only game. I can tell you first hand it sucks. I am not surprised Hulk didn’t even mention it. It was fun for him to mow right through me in Dark Spiral. Nice pic Hulk, and Happy Birthday lol. I’m not far behind you.


Long term strategy, but actually very high on my list of priorities - make it fun to ally with, or fight against AI.


FYI Floydian: I commented quite a bit about how being next to two AFK’ers is NOT helpful in the original “trade with scan only” thread - just didn’t want to repeat everything I said over there here.

Who would have thought being between two AFK’ers wouldn’t be good! :wink:

And sorry about mowing over 'ya - obviously nothing personal - just playing the game.


I’m still not feeling it. Particularly when you start in a position where you have only one possible trading partner. Might not be so game breaking in a standard Hex or Circle map where you can see which directions other players are in and move to make contact. Very disappointed that Jay feels Formal Alliances are not only a bug (when it comes to scan trading) but a broken mechanic in general. I guess I just see more and more of his changes as breaking a game I enjoyed. Each improvement seems to make it worse lately. Just my opinion, but there you go.


[quote=“JayKyburz, post:4, topic:3792”]Also, yes, I will see if I can fix the formal alliance issue as well. - but also note that formal alliances suck and you should be playing without them anyhow.

HEY … thanks for listening to our feedback Jay.

As mentioned elsewhere, you could set the ability to trade via formal alliances as a game creation option … but I would strongly recommend the default be NO!

I respectfully disagree with you that Formal Alliances suck - they are incredibly helpful in Dark Galaxies to find out where you are - especially relative to your teammate. Plus you can see at a glance what is going on, rather than having to pester your teammates. And they allow you combine forces/attacks. And it’s another diplomacy tool - if you are serious about working together, lets FA! :wink:

So I don’t know how much you have used this feature in serious game play, but I bet a number of others players would say it is a fun little feature of NP.


I’m not the greatest fan of Formal Alliances, but saying they “suck” and “shouldn’t be used” I think is a completely wrong statement.

As Hulk said, I’ve used (and had it used by) neighbors as a diplomacy tool. That alone should keep it relevant and used.


Chin up Brian! I’m working on the team game stuff and we’ll soon have proper support for it!

Just want to make sure the 64 games are fun first.

I don’t think think the trade restrictions are required in normal 8 player games, only the really big games.


Yo, Hulk! Do you really mix all that stuff into one drink? No wonder your skin turns green :wink:

From the perspective of “Diplomacy in Space” play to win game mechanics, Jay is correct, formal alliances work against that format. Formal alliances and scan-trade restrictions also directly contradict each other, and I am guessing will lead to broken games. Formal alliances in team games are vital, however.


At first I was against it, because I think that very far empires should not be able to help, unless by pure diplomacy, and not so far empires can make pressure or even try to make a path through the enemy so to reach scan-distance. But then I remember one interesting thing that this cuts off is double-crossing someone, secretly helping one by sending techs.

But I suggest this to be an option, and to have the price multiplier tied to the distance, so the farther the empire is, higher the price will be.


AIs are very easy to make a path through in the beginning of the game.


I would like to see something like this as well. Perhaps it could more simply be enabled in the large games with cheap hyperspace and low value stepping stones in the middle. Or maybe resurrect the idea of randomly generated worm holes that allow travel great distances instantaneously. Perhaps enabled by creating stars that can’t be occupied?


I think they brake much of the fun in Dark Galaxies.


It wasn’t easy in Dark Spiral.


May I ask why? Is there some special reason?


Without anyone to trade tech with, I couldn’t get a 1-up on Weapons against either of them. Any time I launched an attack, most of my fleet was decimated and I couldn’t recuperate fast enough. I was a sitting duck.