Pandoran Structures as a Network

It should be the same with Lairs and Citadels and even after the research pandoran citadels this is mentioned:

Killing the controlling Scylla will cause a cascade reaction that will effectively destroy all biomass in the entire Citadel, including all the creatures created from it.

So contrary to my statement above, I have to agree with you here.

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Destruction of the “main generator” leads to de-energization of the adjacent network.
Perhaps gradual? Then, a suicidal attack of the remaining monsters is logical.

Edit
I will add from myself:
Then, the Citodel / Generator should have 2-3 more Lairs / Substations available (for the Lair - 2-3 Nests). Upon the destruction of which, we will weaken the effectiveness / Power of the Citodel (destruction of the Nests, weaken the adjoining Lair).

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Hmmm, yes and no … from research / wiki about lairs:

Based on our observations, when several Pandoran Nests come in contact with each other, a dominant Nest assumes control of the others, entering its second level of development.

… and citadels:

Our research shows that when several Pandoran Lairs exist in one overlapping territory, they merge into one single structure.

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I wanted to add on my own, continuing the logic of the Citodel = Network.
I find the logic of cutting roots very interesting. But it takes a creative approach to rebuilding Pandora’s Bases.

I would rather find it interesting when they would follow this logic also in the game itself. Once Lairs or Citadels introduced they can spawn directly without any underlying network of existing Nests / Lairs.

I assume they abstract it for a smoother gameplay.

  1. only Nests
  2. Nests + Lairs
  3. Nests + Lairs + Citadels

Would they always start with only a Nest that had to join with two others etc then the player would have a easy way to hold them back when the research of the Citadel is done (<- detect Pandoran colonies in scanning rage).

I think that is left over from the old system where we scanned with the aircraft and not the bases. But I also don’t know if they followed the “corract” path before this change (3 nests -> lair, 3 lair -> citadel).

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Similar thoughts.
What if you give the player a choice?
Direct attack on a strong Citadel or a chain of 2 missions: weak Lair + weak Citadel.

Edit:

  1. Destruction of a subordinate / weak Lair leads to a deterioration of the Citadel’s signaling system.
  2. An attack on a weakened Citodel does not cause Alarm until the first encounter with the monster.
  3. When there is no Alarm, half of the monsters are in reserve, and they begin to come in 1-3 turns after being Detected.

The problem is that the Nest and Lair missions are the most boring right now. But there should be more of them, in that case.

Edit:

Variety of missions for the Nest and Lair:

  1. Here you need a variety of maps / landscape (straight tunnel, long but narrow, wide but short, spiral, maze …).
  2. Variety of goals (2 Spawnery / Armored Spawnery / 1Scylla, destruction by Fire) and means (different entry points, overcoming obstacles).

As the most frequent / repeated missions.

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This is in my experience already the case EDIT: I meant the amount of bases, more nests, lesser lairs, rare citadels.

And they “evolve” over time but independent from near other structures, nests -> lairs -> citadels and this sometimes pretty fast.
I just had that, a nest was detected and before I got there it had evolved into a lair.

Eh, those are the few missions where surprises can happen, so my favorite mission types. Quite different Citadel, always the same map (the small changes in details are not really noticeable and also do not matter)

If you combine thoughts from me and @MadSkunky, then Citodels will appear less often, but they will be much more difficult.

Updated above.

I try to put them a bit together, could be a longer post :wink:


The idea that came out after some brainstorming via PM with @noStas:

If 3 Nests unite to form a new Lair, then the 2 weaker ones are abandoned and thus destroyed. Everything gathers in the largest Nest and a Lair is added to the existing Nest. The same then with 2 more Lairs within reach, where the 2 weakest are left again to build a Citadel, also additional on the remaining Lair.
Different structured layouts growing in size and variety, see also @noStas comment above.

In the end you have a more complex large structure made up of Nest-Lair-Citadel, all directly connected. The player can then decide to fight up from Nest to Citadel in single steps. These are then individual missions, the following can be completed after a minimum time, otherwise the Nest / Lair will be rebuilt. The destruction of the Nest weakens the Lair and so also the Citadel, the destruction of the Lair again weakens the citadel and then the last step should not be too difficult.

But, the player can also attack Lair or Citadel directly, of course much more difficult if the subordinate structure has not been destroyed.

Main raw concept of attacking such a structure see comment from @noStas above

This way such structures could grow independently on the whole globe, but not as much as currently and the player has to prepare longer for such a mission chain or the very difficult direct attack on the Citadel.


Some additional thoughts:

  • The immediate detection of all pandoran structures in scanning range with research of the Citadel has to be changed. Otherwise the player just has to destroy every spawned Nest to hold the Pandorans at low level without evolving to Sirens, Chirons, Scyllas. I would make the detection of low Nests really hard and increasing chances when the whole structure/net grows. Something like that …

  • Overall lesser haven attacks from smaller Nests, increasing when they grow, same with Lairs:

    • Giving the player more time and lowering the overall pace

    • The Nests are harder to detect in the early stage of the game when they don’t attack that often

    • The structure get the time to grow up to the Nest-Liar-Citadel


Any thoughts, additions, ideas?

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Ok, but this would mean more citadel missions overall, because nests are hard to detect?

I would think even lesser Citadels, not more then 2 or 3 at once, maybe even hard capped to only 1 at once. And when you destroy Lairs (easier to detect) they have to evolve from scratch with 3 new Nests.

Edit:
The point is, with this system there are 9 Nests necessary to build the 3 Lairs that are necessary to build the Citadel. And even more of the Nest are scattered unconnected around to find each other. Even when a single one is hard to detect, it should not be hard to detect at least some of the many.

A picture to show how such a structure would grow up, the big arrow shows the 3 different possibilities to attack the final and biggest structure of a Nest, Lair and Citadel. All bases that are crossed out are abandoned after they have integrated/evolved into the next larger structure.:

  • Attacking direct the Citadel should be the most difficult mission if the Lair and Nest are still alive and so there are more enemies in, these subsequent structures can also send permanently reinforcements to the Citadel.

    • If successfully finished the whole structure including the Lair and Nest are destroyed.
  • Attacking direct the Lair should also be difficult but not as much as the Citadel, also more enemies, reinforcement etc.

    • If successfully finished, the Lair and the connected Nest are destroyed (if not done before) and the Citadel is in its weakest condition with lower enemies present and low or even no reinforcements.
  • Attacking the Nest should be the easiest task with not much enemies and low reinforcements

    • If successfully finished, the Nest is destroyed and then the Lair attack but also the Citadel attack is easier to finish (lesser enemies, lower reinforcements).

Single Nests or Nest-Lair structures follow the same principle but should be even weaker.

This is a pretty big thing to thought about … omg :rofl:

Edit:
Just a little remark, the main goal for me is to reduce the amount of haven attacks overall and also the amount of Pandoran base attacks and make them less boring, more interesting, with more variety.
Nests should be weak and rarely attack Heavens and even then mostly will not be able to win the attack, Lairs a bit tougher but not that much. Their main job is build the above structure to evolve to a bigger threat. This should cost time and so reduces the general pace for the player.

Edit, part of the “battles fought” result page of my last campaign (ended at 27.03.2047 in game time):
grafik

68 missions with haven defenses and destroying pandoran bases, 30 HD and 24 Nests. IMHO way too much.
Feedback for this particular issue: Too much Haven defeses and Pandoran base attacks

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The way Pandoran structures are currently generated is definitely problematic, because

  1. it doesn’t fit the lore (2 Nests within each other operating range form Lair, while the Nests become abandonded, and same with 2 Lairs and Citadel),

  2. Pandoran colonies that don’t have any havens to attack don’t do anything besides contributing to a hidden max cap, and

  3. The whole thing is really governed by hidden counters telling when to spawn a new base or to launch an attack.

All this adds up to an unsatisfying feeling that the whole thing is just arbitrary.

And there is also this:

The @noStas and @MadSkunky idea is pretty good, imo

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I like the Network Idea, a lot.

I dont feel adding difficulty or making the mission longuer would be a good idea, However, I can see an evac mission atached to the citadel, but It should be a distinct mission provide the player a resuply option or not require too much ammo. Also I dont think it would work unless a carry wounded soldier mechanic is implemented, which would fit a more runnaway than killing focuss (which would be hard to do) but would also fit the not requiring too much ammo.

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The point is, when the big structure of Nest-Lair-Citadel is connected then the player can choose the difficulty on its own:

  • Easy: First Nest, then Lair, finally Citadel in 3 single missions in a time frame, otherwise the subsections would be rebuild.

  • Mediocre: First Lair (more difficult than above), this would also destroy the Nest when successful, then the Citadel (same difficulty as above), again single missions in a time frame.

  • Hard: Direct attack the Citadel in one mission, hard to achieve but all is destroyed in one go.

But this is only my personal Idea, it could also be done with the current Nest-, Lair- and Citadelmissions as they are. This would be maybe the easiest way to get this Network in the game.

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I want to add a little, this is only an Idea that needs to be tested.

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I don’t really like this idea. Well, I like the idea of Nests merging together like the lore says, but if the problem is “there are too many boring Nest missions” then making Nests spawn more often and making them part of the Citadel assault process isn’t really solving the problem.

I’m also doubtful that the “choose how you want to attack the Citadel” part would actually work out in gameplay, because the player can’t normally see the whole network. You typically attack Pandoran structures as you find them, and you only find them if they happen to attack a Haven. So it would be pure luck whether you’re able to hit the Lair before the Citadel, since you might not know where the Lair is! And the detection tech that would let you see everything is locked behind destroying a Citadel, so you only get it once you prove you don’t need it.

But I do like the idea of “take out the Citadel to take out the network in one swoop” - it’s stylish and gives you a reason to focus on the more interesting high-tier missions while reducing the total number of missions you have to deal with.

Also, I think part of the problem is that midgame and endgame have different demands. In the midgame having lots of missions is a good thing because it makes you feel desperate and overstretched, it’s only in the endgame that it becomes frustrating, since you can handle all the missions but you don’t want to. So maybe “bring down the network” should be unlocked by a late-game tech.

My proposal:

  1. Citadels and Lairs beef up any lower-tier structures in their radius - more reinforcements and strength. Glowy lines show up on the Geoscape to show the flow of reinforcements and hint that there’s another threat nearby.

  2. When you destroy a Nest or Lair, you reveal the supporting structure, if it exists - “The fleeing Pandorans have regrouped at a nearby Lair/Citadel!” This lets you “climb the chain” to find the bigger targets more easily.

  3. Destroying a Lair/Citadel debuffs structures in its radius for a while (reduced radius and power), meaning that if you’re overstretched then these missions buy you some breathing room. A late-game tech (“Virophage Chain Reaction” or something) upgrades this to destroying the connected structures outright.

  4. The endgame detection tech changes from “Auto-detect any structure” to “Detecting a structure auto-detects any connected structure in range” - it still lets you sweep your territory very quickly, but you can no longer see the game spawning Citadels in the middle of your territory. (It can still do that, because I don’t want to think up a whole new difficulty curve, but it doesn’t blatantly violate the lore where you can see it.)

This gives late-game nest hunting more of a sense of direction - the goal isn’t to just play whack-a-mole with the Pandorans, the goal is to hunt down their biggest targets and stop the attacks at the source, which I think is more in line with the Phoenix Project’s mission.

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Reducing massively the attacks from Nests and also Lairs as mentioned above and also by abandon the weaker Nests when they reach the next step. Only the biggest Nest survives, the other merge in the biggest Nest to build up the next bigger structure at the same point, the Nest-Lair. Same procedure with Nest-Lairs → one single Nest-Lair-Citadel.
Their main goal should be mostly only to grow and reach the next step:

  • Nests → Nest-Lair
  • Nest-Lairs → Nest-Lair-Citadel

That is the main plan …

These bigger structures (Nest-Lair or Nest-Lair-Citadel) should be one single point on the geoscape and when attacking them the player can chose which part he wants to attack, the Nest, the Lair or the Citadel.


This is a different approach and a bit similar to what @noStas has mentioned in our PM discussion/brainstorming. My suggestion let the Nests and Lairs simply abondon/destroyed in the growing process and end with one big complex structure (abstract, as said above, on the geoscape it is simply one POI) and not a real existing network for all the time.

Of course this can also be discussed and fine tuned, it is just a bit different solution :wink:

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@beleester

Assembling my messages from PM together with @MadSkunky:


Our research shows that when several Pandoran Lairs exist in one overlapping territory, they merge into one single structure.

N-L-C

structure = Network

Imo, they are weakening = losing control and some of their energy, but they continue to function as a Part of a larger System. (N5 and L3 remain alive and continue to spawn.)

When we destroy “N”, then “L” weakens.
When we destroy “L”, then “C” weakens.

We do not need to know the coordinates of N5 (or L3), we need to destroy one / any N (or L).

Chain of 3 (2-1) missions and the Network is closed / destroyed.

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I have a suggestion “light” to reduce the attacks a bit in the later stages and to make them generally weaker:

  • Generally weaker Pandoran attacks on havens but increasing the casualties when the defence was successful, calculated over the time the attack lasts

    • The player has not to respond to the many attacks when more of the havens are able to defend by them self, but the havens got weakened over time
    • The player can respond not only to haven attacks that would end in a victory for Pandorans but also on weaker attacks to reduce the attacking time and so the casualties
  • When Lairs are introduced, decreasing the amount of attacks from Nests, they should concentrate on growing to Lairs

  • When Citadels are introduced also decreasing the amount of attacks from Lairs, they should concentrate on growing to Citadels


I think this solution doesn’t require as much implementation or modification of internal code, more optimization of the numbers and therefore a higher chance of it happening at all.


I made a canny post as a question to the developers, feel free to vote:
https://feedback.phoenixpoint.info/developer-questions/p/the-middle-to-the-end-game-is-repetitive-and-boring-any-possible-solutions