Author Topic: Why should I expand? ... seriously  (Read 7322 times)

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Offline TFGoose

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Why should I expand? ... seriously
« on: September 10, 2008, 03:24:16 pm »
Okay, after a few solid days of playing Spore (mostly in the space stage with my Shrublings), I have a serious question.  Why oh why should I attempt to expand beyond 10 or so star systems? 

Does the size of my empire influence how much I'm attacked?   Yes, but in the wrong direction. 

Do I get more ships from expanding?  Nope.  

Do I get more spice?   Not really.  Once you have a couple planets churning out record numbers of pink and purple spice you really don't need anything else.  Additional planets and colonies become superfluous.

So why do I do it?  It seems to me that the only reward I get for actively expanding beyond the point where I have a self-sustaining, profitable economy is more frequent pirate attacks and bio-disasters.  It would be different if by arming my colonies to the teeth with fully defended cities, uber turrents and both bio protection devices that I could fend off these nuisances without my personal attention.  But as we all know, even the most heavily-defended colony in your empire will lose the fight if you don't personally show up to supervise the action.  All expansions seems to do is make sure that I will definitely, positively be called back to one of those colonies all the more often, even if only to watch my uber turret take them all down while I make another pepperoni and cheese cracker.

So again, where's the motivation?  At this point, the only reason I'm doing it is because that's what I envisioned I would do from the day I heard about this game at GDC '05.  Part of the fun lies in taking over planet after planet, system after system, on my way to the center of the galaxy.  Indeed, the game seems somewhat built on the idea that you should try to expand (there are a number of 'story' missions to that effect after all), yet at the same time I feel as though I'm being punished for traveling that path.

Does anyone else understand what I mean here or am I just way off base?

--TFGoose


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Offline Yannick

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Re: Why should I expand? ... seriously
« Reply #1 on: September 10, 2008, 03:25:27 pm »
To get badges to get new stuff really...

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Offline spiritofcat

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Re: Why should I expand? ... seriously
« Reply #2 on: September 10, 2008, 10:35:52 pm »
You don't have to expand. There's no stage beyond space stage that you are driven towards.
There's the mystery of the Grox and the middle of the galaxy, but if you don't care about them then don't bother to expand.

In fact, why should you play the space stage at all?

Offline Doomsday

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Re: Why should I expand? ... seriously
« Reply #3 on: September 10, 2008, 10:57:12 pm »
In fact, why should you play the space stage at all?

I don't... lol. I get to space.. play about 2 or 3 hours of Space and go back to cell and start over.

I find the whole process of Cell to Space more fun right now.
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Offline spiritofcat

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Re: Why should I expand? ... seriously
« Reply #4 on: September 10, 2008, 11:11:56 pm »
In fact, why should you play the space stage at all?

I don't... lol. I get to space.. play about 2 or 3 hours of Space and go back to cell and start over.

I find the whole process of Cell to Space more fun right now.
Exactly! It's a very free-form game. You can choose how you want to play. you don't have to do any particular thing.

Offline Necrox

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Re: Why should I expand? ... seriously
« Reply #5 on: September 11, 2008, 03:44:22 am »
I agree with Goose.

There is no incentive to expand, only the opposite. The only benefit I could POSSIBLY see of having more than a handful, would be that enemies would have a harder time crippling you. Later in the game that's not really an issue though (at least for me).

I would really like it if there was some sort of incentive to expand, instead of just... more problems, more time waste, and more duplicate micro management.

Ideas to combat this problem could be some of the following (not all at once):
-Give each colony a slow and small but steady $ income (not spice, direct funds).
-Give each colony a way of defending themselves against raids.
-Add extra health to your ufo per system, planet or colony you own.
-Make hostile AI's level of agression towards you based on your number of colonies vs. theirs.
-Give a synergy bonus so for example an extra red spice planet adds +1 to your ship's or other red spice planets' storage capacity etc.

Offline Bama

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Re: Why should I expand? ... seriously
« Reply #6 on: September 11, 2008, 03:46:31 am »
I'm currently expanding in a straight line so it's easier to get back  ;D

Offline macweirdo42

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Re: Why should I expand? ... seriously
« Reply #7 on: September 11, 2008, 04:56:35 am »
Because there's no feeling quite like watching your enemies beg for mercy before you crush them.

Offline Necrox

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Re: Why should I expand? ... seriously
« Reply #8 on: September 11, 2008, 05:07:43 am »
Because there's no feeling quite like watching your enemies beg for mercy before you crush them.

You can do that without expanding.
There is no power gain by expanding beyond a handful of systems or two, so you have a steady flow of high quality spice.

Offline econundrum

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Re: Why should I expand? ... seriously
« Reply #9 on: September 11, 2008, 05:08:32 am »
I also find this to be a big problem in the Space phase, I would suggest they create devices to enable planets to properly defend themselves and just make them expensive.

e.g. Viral inhibitor to stop eco-disasters and planet patrol ships that intercept and fleet from a smaller empire without you having to interfere.

As it stands a large empire is just too much trouble to defend and I quickly find myself going back to cell and starting over.

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Offline Spore-addict

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Re: Why should I expand? ... seriously
« Reply #10 on: September 11, 2008, 05:10:15 am »
12 planets seems to make full spice production in every colour each 5 min. possible.

I really wanted spore to have other routes to go like using extortion, demanding tribute and other ways of making the evil approach more viable.

Actually there is a device that helps keeping eco trouble down. Has not tried it much yet if it works. I just let some planets go into trouble so I can get that badge faster...

But as it stands now we are all going to be spice miners....BIG TIME.
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Offline rustybrazenfire

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Re: Why should I expand? ... seriously
« Reply #11 on: September 11, 2008, 05:33:42 am »
I've been taking my time and slowly expanding my empire, usually building up every planet in every system to the fullest... especially when I have 3 different types of spice in a single system.  So I only have 5 systems, sure, but about 15 planets.  So far the rate of raids and/or eco disasters is one every 7-10 minutes, sometimes longer.

Question - are you filling out the planets in your systems or are you only colonizing one or two planets in each?

I can't wait until I have 10 systems to see if I have these problems, because I too wanted to simply continue expanding my empire as far as it can go.

Offline Ondaderthad

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Re: Why should I expand? ... seriously
« Reply #12 on: September 11, 2008, 07:10:17 am »
I expand by starting lots of new games at different stages.



Then when I play some of them in space stage i will hopefully encounter some of my other races.

Offline TFGoose

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Re: Why should I expand? ... seriously
« Reply #13 on: September 11, 2008, 08:13:18 am »
To get badges to get new stuff really...

Well, yes that's certainly a reason.  But I was speaking more on the lines of "once I have all the tools"....

You don't have to expand. There's no stage beyond space stage that you are driven towards.
There's the mystery of the Grox and the middle of the galaxy, but if you don't care about them then don't bother to expand.

In fact, why should you play the space stage at all?

LOL, a valid point.  No, we don't have to expand, but as I said the game seems to encourage it.  Indeed there are a few missions where you are given direct orders to do so "for the good of the empire".  Expansion is (at least to some degree) necessary in the early going.  You have to get some planets with each kind of spice and really juice up the production.  My goal was to have several planets churning out each kind of spice so I could basically make a run every 5 minutes or so and offload 99 of each of them.  With 15 systems colonized, I've reached that goal.  I topped 75 million Sporebucks last night and I still have a cargo hold overflowing with spice.

I know that reaching the center of the universe is a goal, as is meeting and (perhaps) defeating the Grox.  But I suppose my real question is this:  "Does expansion help or hinder those goals?"  From a logical standpoint, I would assume that it should help.  Realistically speaking (I know, just go with it), the larger an empire is, the more powerful they should be.  But that isn't the case in Spore, or at least I don't see how it is.  Instead, the reward for growing larger and larger is an ever-accelerating landslide of repetitive problems.  And I don't think that should be the case.

I guess this is really just a gripe more than anything else.  To me, expanding, getting bigger, and "owning" more of the universe should be a positive thing.  I shouldn't feel as though I'm going to be punished for daring to place yet another colony.  It's like the pirates are just sitting there licking their chops every time I do it.  "OMG he gave us another one to raid every 10 minutes.  LOL, what a douche."

All that said....


...

Ideas to combat this problem could be some of the following (not all at once):
-Give each colony a slow and small but steady $ income (not spice, direct funds).
-Give each colony a way of defending themselves against raids.
-Add extra health to your ufo per system, planet or colony you own.
-Make hostile AI's level of agression towards you based on your number of colonies vs. theirs.
-Give a synergy bonus so for example an extra red spice planet adds +1 to your ship's or other red spice planets' storage capacity etc.

These are good ideas, especially the second and fourth points.  If my colonies had a way to mostly deal with pirate raids and low-level invasions on their own (if properly equipped by me of course), then expanding could be a lot more fun.  But there's no way I'm trying that now, as I would be doing nothing but babysitting all those colonies from random attack #8427.  There's a way to reduce the frequency of bio disasters, so why can't turrets or something do the same for pirate attacks?  For that matter, why doesn't an uber turret own the entire invasion force when I'm not there the same way that it does once I float down into the atmosphere?

This all seems fixable, so this is me asking... Please, fix it.

--TFGoose
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Offline munchkin5

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Re: Why should I expand? ... seriously
« Reply #14 on: September 11, 2008, 08:30:11 am »
i'm hoping that maxis will realise that having to defend each planet personally, no matter what you place there, and fix this problem very soon in a patch.