Weekly Discussion #18 - Making Hydro more interesting

I have awakened from my slumber

Anyway, hydrocarbon power plants are critical for early game build orders, but pretty quickly become irrelevant. So I was thinking of some ways to make hydros more interesting later in the game without making them any more powerful in early game build orders.

Ideas I've had have all focused on adjacency.

  • Massively increase e storage power output bonus.
    • Gives an additional option for e storage placement. However this runs the risk of making it easier for your opponent to snipe your e storage since they know where it is, as well as doing damage to the hydro and anything else around it.
  • A small range boost to T1 and T2 radar.
    • Gives an advantage to holding forward hydrocarbons, as well as the risk/reward mentioned above with e storage
  • Stat boost to shield generators
    • Could be radius, regen speed, or recharge time, or an hp buff if we're feeling spicy

How about: If the hydro is ctrl-k, you can't make another one on the same spot, but you can build anything else there. Then you can replace it with a high-level pgen for adjacency bonus for existing structures.

Upgradable (to) Tech 2 hydros that are marginally more efficient than a T3 pgen for their mass cost, e.g. 1200 mass cost, generates 1000 energy

Another upgrade option - provide 20k energy storage for 750 mass (in addition to the energy and/or with a small boost to energy generation), while also becoming very volatile

Give stealth generators a boost as well.

Well I wouldn't say they are irrelevant late game, they definitely can still have value as part of an air grid, or can save a chunk of power of your nuke launcher without risk of damage from exploding, or can just chuck fabs around them...

@black_wriggler They are thought. a T3 Pgen is 3000 energy a second, a Hydro is 100. That's 30x less. The time spent clicking the hydro is not worth the extra 100e after the first 20m of a teamgame.

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@femboy said in Weekly Discussion #18 - Making Hydro more interesting:

@black_wriggler They are thought. a T3 Pgen is 3000 energy a second, a Hydro is 100. That's 30x less. The time spent clicking the hydro is not worth the extra 100e after the first 20m of a teamgame.

I want those T3 pgens that you are using lol 🙂

But I was thinking more of the use for the hydro you already have in your base from the start of the game - it still has value due to the t2 adjacency discounts it can provide, eg 500e off your nuke consumption.

I agree that it feels more worthless to rebuild late game if it gets destroyed - and just seems to block space which could be put to better use.

Which gives me the idea - what if a t3 pgen, could be built on top of a hydro as well as normally, that would provide a use for the space. dunno if this is possible in-game tho

Another option is to create interesting enhancements for the hydrocarbon. One that gives you additional storage, but due to the hit points of the hydrocarbon it is less trivial to snipe. Or one that gives you radar coverage, but one that is free (as it tabs from the hydrocarbon plant). Or an enhancement* that boosts the e production from 100 to 300.

These do not match the criteria without making them any more powerful in early game build orders., but it would be refreshing for the meta and how people approach the game.

A work of art is never finished, merely abandoned

Statboosting a hydro won’t do anything for a meta except speed up scaling on every map (which I imagine most people probably already think is too fast than too slow). If it didn’t speed it up, you just wouldn’t use it. It wont require that much time for everyone to figure out at what period it is optimal to make and it will always be optimal at that game point.

Besides speeding up scaling, you can also provide a safer alternative. You could keep the cost / benefit ratio the same, but unlike tech 1 pgens or storages the hydro takes more than 2 or 3 bombers to destroy. It also has no volatile effect when it is destroyed.

A work of art is never finished, merely abandoned

Keeping the cost/benefit ratio the same doesn’t say much since hydro is currently more efficient than anything that isn’t a t3 pgen. I would also put discouraging aggression as a negative not a positive in the form FAF currently is in.

@ftxcommando If hydros are more worthwhile at the T2+ stages of the game it could encourage aggression by having players fight for hydro spots on the map similar to mexes (although this assumes more maps are created with hydros in places other than the start point)

Basically all maps with hydros in contested areas already have mexes there as well. Only decent map off hand where that isn’t true is hardshield oasis. Getting a hydro is still pretty significant even when you’re on t2 pgens, it’s only t3 pgen stage where it doesn’t matter.

What if guys food for thought:
We may T3 Hydros avaliable as upgrade to options once you have a T3 HQ

I’m a shitty 1k Global. Any balance or gameplay suggestions should be understood or taken as such.

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Hydros could also have different upgrades granting you a global buff, while you control the hydro.
For example all your radars are larger etc.
So the Hydro would be contested lategame, for the big stat bonuses, which are not as valuable in the early game.
And without eco bonuses this wouldn't speed up eco scaling either.

@dragun101 Just make T3 hydros, but leave T1 hydros unupgradeble to T3.

boost t3 artillery fire rate by 100% when adjacent to a hydro

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Give a T1 hydro the same fire rate boost that a T3 power generator would give to T2 and T3 artillery. This might make placement more predictable though.

If Hydros somehow managed to be useable past the T1 stage, that would be neat.

Blacks Ops mod(s) has an upgradable variant which are nice, to be honest.

What would be cool though it's Hydros granting structures buffs to some random stats or group of stats. Like, perhaps next to a shield to increase Regen rate, increase HP, shield size, etc. Any stat.

I heard Jip mention something like that before with an Energy Storage adjecency on a different post. Seemed like a pretty awesome idea.

Something more to add some more complexity to some structures that aren't quite that interesting.


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need to add some sort of meaningful choice. like have 2-3 types of hydro or 2-3 upgraides from witch you can only choose one.
maybe can add have Combat upgrade that adds HP and some PD on it, intel upgraide that adds cheaper radar with t2 radar-ish range, and maybe eco upgraide that adds adjacency but makes hydro explode.
with this choice of upgraides it might even make sense to not upgraide at all so that is like 4 choices

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