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Methone

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There is, at present, a fundamental problem with the crisis.

The crisis is slow. Very slow. When 2.0 came and reworked how colonization and expansion works to be system-by-system, the crisis also got reworked similarly. The crisis must now expand system by system with easily-killable construction ships, and without them, it's simply dead in the water. It can be completely stumped by dedicated fortress worlds. Existing features such as the Unbidden pouncing on anyone attacking their portal, or the Contingency withdrawing its fleets to protect its exposed nexus, are entirely nonfunctional.

Furthermore, the crisis's expansion does not factor in travel time. So what happens is that as the crisis grows, it suddenly slows down immensely as its construction ships build 1 starbase, then travel all the way across its territory to build another, then back again, back and forth. This results in an expansion slowdown so sharp that unless the crisis spawned virtually on top of you, you'll never be in danger. I had a 5x Unbidden spawn and, despite 50 years of being unchallenged, they couldn't expand to more than 60 systems in that time.

Hardly a 'galaxy-threatening menace'.

To solve these problems, I suggest several changes to the existing crises, though perhaps not all of them are required to solve these problems.
The crisis expands with a simple formula: A roamer fleet goes into a system, attacking anything and everything it comes across. Then it holds position until a construction ship arrives. The constructor builds an outpost. The roamer fleet then selects a new system and heads there, repeating the process.

As mentioned earlier, the crisis does not take travel times into account, resulting in a drastic slowdown. However, this also means you can just keep forcing the crisis to backtrack by going behind the 'front line' of roamers waiting for their constructors, slicing up their outposts, and then jumping back out since now they'll have to refill those systems too. Kill the construction ships and it's even slower, especially if you're facing the Contingency who gets a reinforcement event every ~5 years or so.

PROPOSED SOLUTION:

Dedicated Planet-killer Roamer Fleets. Instead of selecting a bordering system to go to, some of the crisis's roamer fleets are ones that instead make it their mission to find inhabited worlds and raze them. This, however, would require some changes to pathfinding AI, in case the only inhabited worlds left are hidden behind FTL Inhibitors.
The crisis roams around with armies that are 2k strong. Always. These armies do NOT benefit from increased crisis strength except for making the transport ships have more health. Also, 2k strong is peanuts to a dedicated fortress world's defense armies.

But even if the crisis ground armies were 999k strong, that'd only help somewhat due to Planetary Combat Width; when only something like 8 soldiers of the 999k strong can fight at once, it'll take ages to cut through a dedicated fortress world.

PROPOSED SOLUTION(S):

Let ground armies be boosted by crisis strength. This one is fairly straightforward, but also...

Crisis Colossus. Just like the Materialist Fallen Empire can have a cityworld regardless of if you have Megacorp or not, let the Scourge and the Contingency have the ability to spawn in Colossi. The Unbidden don't need a Colossus as they simply need to 100% devastate a world and it gets torched.

But give the Scourge a special 'infestor' Colossus that instantly infests both enemy and uncolonized worlds. Give the Contingency a world-cracker colossus (Neutron Sweep would make more sense with its purpose to sterilize the galaxy, but World-Cracker both fits its Red color sheme and fits its 'I've gone axe crazy with isolation' deal).
Pre-2.0, whenever you even entered the Unbidden's portal systems, ALL of their roamer fleets would beeline back to the portal to defend it, and since they used pre-2.0 jump drives, they could get back FAST.

But now, they simply start hyperlaning their way back, very slowly, so what happens is you take out the portalguard, take out the portal itself, and then 2 years later the roamers finally arrive, then sit around in the portal system looking miserable until you take them out.

Pre-2.0, when the Contingency's final nexus was exposed, it would withdraw all its remaining fleets to that system to try and defend itself. It used warp drives, so it could easily get the fleets back, if perhaps not as fast.

But now, with FTL Inhibitors, I believe the fleets simply go 'cannot find a path back to the nexus, will continue sitting still and twiddling our thumbs'.

PROPOSED SOLUTION:

Crises get the old FTL Methods back. Probably a very controversial thing. After all, the other FTL methods were removed from the game for a reason, and for a good reason too. That sort of assymetry in movement made balancing virtually impossible. But I propose that the Crisis should be assymetrical, should be unbalanced, they should break every rule in the game and defeating it should be a great accomplishment, rather than something you just sort of check off the list of "Endgame stuff to do".

Scourge Warp Drive. Give the Prethoryn Scourge the ability to use Warp Drives. Not only does this explain how they got to our galaxy in the first place - there's, uh, not exactly any extragalactic hyperlanes... - but it'd really bring back the numbing horror of watching the Scourge arrive and scatter in all directions like shrapnel from a bomb. For balancing, you can simply tweak how long the 'Warp Sickness' they suffer upon arrival is.

Contingency Hyperlanes AND Wormhole Generators. Give the Contingency hyperlane motion like normal, but also the ability to construct Wormhole Generators in its existing territory. To solve the issue of FTL Inhibitors preventing the nexus-guard-withdrawal, they'd probably work different compared to the old Wormhole Generators. Perhaps they let fleets appear at the generator no matter where they are, similar to existing Gateways. Thus the Contingency would still have to hyperlane to get to new territory, but could zip around its claimed territory quite fast. This would also help in the expansion-slowdown.

Extradimensional Invaders Jump Drive. Give the Unbidden, Gold Unbidden, and Green Unbidden the old outrageously-overpowered Jump Drives. They'll jump around the galaxy like overcaffienated children, and if you even look at their portal funny they, just like they used to, will come running to defend it fast. This would neccesitate taking out most if not all of the roamers prior to fighting the defense fleet, which is in line with the Unbidden's theme of 'take out all the anchors before you fight the portal' deal.

This would, like with the Contingency, also help prevent the expansion-slowdown.
Quote-Unquote Problem: The Contingency uses completely normal weapons. The Prethoryn have their bioships and their acid-missiles and swarm-strikers. The Unbidden have their Thanos-Snap disintegrators.

But what does the Contingency have? Gamma Lasers. Plasma Cannons. Neutronium Armor. Particle Lances (Not even Tachyon Lances, to fit with their Red color scheme). The only special thing they have are Seeker-Drone Strike Craft on their bigger defense stations, which you can't reverse engineer anyway.

Proposed Solution to the Nitpick: Just rename some of the Contingency's weapons. Even if you can't reverse engineer it, it'll make them feel a bit more special.
Let me know what you think of these.
 
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ubuntufreakdragon

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I would also give crisis starbases FTL inhibitors to stop NPC's flying though half of the crisis territory to kill one Construction ship.
It would be nice to have multiple crisis in the same game(maybe as startoption), and more of them.
e.g. followup crisis like some years after the peryhorn the hunters appear to hunt all life in the galaxy.
or some thranscendent NPC empire forming a covenant with the end of the cycle(should be more likely if they are cornered by superior enemies)
or some time/interdimensional war, it more or less spawns a second "L-Cluster" containing the future/other dimension to defeat it one have to scan enough debris and research an intercepting gateway.
The more fleets a Crisis looses in on System the likelier it should choose other system to invade first.
All Empires regardless of Ethics should use Armagedon-bombardment against Crisis worlds, and Crisis fleets should use it, too.
A new purging type for Continggency/Peryhorn with +2000% purging speed based on destroying/infecting the hole ecosystem of the planet should be added, they need a decade to continue once they hit a populated colony.
Also if a crisis enters a system with already disabled starbase they stay there for eternity while the starbase stays alive.
Peryhorn reverse engineerable weapons are weaker than a red laser at the moment, seams like an oversight some patches ago.
If the peryhorn scouts are defeated before the main swarm arrives the main swarm event fires but no swarm is spawned and the warning sound becomes permanent.
If a crisis destroyes a starbase, even if it looses the fight the empire has to spend influence again to reclaim the sector, there should be some cooldown untill you need influence again.
If a crisis destroys a habitable megastructure it should be repair/replaceable. when build habitats place a flag on the orbited planet set_planet_flag = has_megastructure which is not removed by the crisis code to remove a habitat.
 
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Spaceception

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I like the idea of colossi for the crisis', and making armies scale and all. I would also like the Contingency to have their own special weapons.

The only thing I'm hesitant about is reintroducing the FTL tech's for the crisis. I'd like to see that, but I can also see people demanding that those same features be returned to the players somehow. Even if it has to be modded in, and/or until PDX caves. So if that happens, make their versions stronger/better in some way?
 

Methone

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I like the idea of colossi for the crisis', and making armies scale and all. I would also like the Contingency to have their own special weapons.

The only thing I'm hesitant about is reintroducing the FTL tech's for the crisis. I'd like to see that, but I can also see people demanding that those same features be returned to the players somehow. Even if it has to be modded in, and/or until PDX caves. So if that happens, make their versions stronger/better in some way?
It's something I'm worried about too. Plus, if we give the Scourge and Unbidden a type of motion not bound by hyperlanes, then how would they expand? Right now the crises look for systems bordering their territory to expand into, but if you can just warp and jump wherever, what counts as 'bordering'?

At the same time, you need some way to give the Unbidden the ability to defend the portal, the Contingency defend the hub, and the Prethoryn a convincing way of even arriving in the galaxy.
 

bitmapmedivh

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It's something I'm worried about too. Plus, if we give the Scourge and Unbidden a type of motion not bound by hyperlanes, then how would they expand? Right now the crises look for systems bordering their territory to expand into, but if you can just warp and jump wherever, what counts as 'bordering'?

At the same time, you need some way to give the Unbidden the ability to defend the portal, the Contingency defend the hub, and the Prethoryn a convincing way of even arriving in the galaxy.
Couldn't it be accomplished by giving them bonuses to travel speed and such?
 

Methone

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Couldn't it be accomplished by giving them bonuses to travel speed and such?
For the Unbidden, sure, but the Contingency's problem is, I believe, that it can't path around FTL Inhibitors.
 

Mr. Morague

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You could take a technique from a mod for the Contigency rather than reintroduce wormhole stations. The mod Here There Be Dragons has roaming Ether Drakes through the galaxy that occasionally produce Ether Wormholes that eventually “die out.” I haven’t looked to be certain yet, but since we can’t really delete wormholes my guess is that it’s an event spawned megastructure, and its bypass functions similarly to Gateways.

Using this technique, larger or specialized Contingency fleets, after a certain point, could begin to spawn with a special ship that allows them to be targeted by an event triggered when a hostile enters their home system, spawning a unique decaying wormhole only traversable by them in said system and every system with the special ship type in it, allowing them to quickly converge on their home.
 

Methone

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You could take a technique from a mod for the Contigency rather than reintroduce wormhole stations. The mod Here There Be Dragons has roaming Ether Drakes through the galaxy that occasionally produce Ether Wormholes that eventually “die out.” I haven’t looked to be certain yet, but since we can’t really delete wormholes my guess is that it’s an event spawned megastructure, and its bypass functions similarly to Gateways.

Using this technique, larger or specialized Contingency fleets, after a certain point, could begin to spawn with a special ship that allows them to be targeted by an event triggered when a hostile enters their home system, spawning a unique decaying wormhole only traversable by them in said system and every system with the special ship type in it, allowing them to quickly converge on their home.
Ooh, I like that. The mechanical way is probably too gamey for Paradox themselves to implement that way, but they're the ones with the source code - I absolutely believe they could straight-up make temporary wormholes.
 

grekulf

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I agree that planet sieging for crises feels too slow. I've also been thinking about giving them a colossus, either by circumstances, randomness, or all the time.

I would like the different crises to feel more distinct, but its usually harder to prioritize it over other things.
 

Zohtun

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I would LOVE for the Contingency to have World Crackers. I always thought it was weird that players have access to more powerful and destructive weapons than the ultimate bad guys.
To be fair, have you met the Paradox playerbase?

If you go by the majority, WE are the ultimate bad guys.
 

Methone

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Wait, they don't normally do that?
Jokes aside, nope. Prethoryn pick a random rim system, Unbidden pick a random non-FE non-AE system, and Contingency is assigned at the game start.
 

Trolololkarln

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Jokes aside, nope. Prethoryn pick a random rim system, Unbidden pick a random non-FE non-AE system, and Contingency is assigned at the game start.
In the two games where I reached the crisis since 2.2, both have spawned within 1 jump from my starting system (Prethoryn and Contingency), so I actually wasn't joking.:(
 

Tamwin5

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I think the Prethorian shouldn't have a colossus. Atleast one of the crises should be able to be slowed down by a Cadia final stand. Buffing their armies would be fine though. Never actually gotten to the point of actually fighting a crisis, so I can't judge balance.
 

Methone

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I think the Prethorian shouldn't have a colossus. Atleast one of the crises should be able to be slowed down by a Cadia final stand. Buffing their armies would be fine though. Never actually gotten to the point of actually fighting a crisis, so I can't judge balance.
The problem, remember, isn't that they can be 'slowed down'. It's that they can be completely stumped by a fortress world.
 

klopkr

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I agree that planet sieging for crises feels too slow. I've also been thinking about giving them a colossus, either by circumstances, randomness, or all the time.

I would like the different crises to feel more distinct, but its usually harder to prioritize it over other things.
Oh wow I can imagine a world eating/swarming colossus for the prethoryn.
Maybe the Unbidden can warp a planet to their own dimension and later spit it where it was as a tomb world.
I'm not sure what the contingency could do but maybe naniting a world?
 

Methone

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Maybe the Unbidden can warp a planet to their own dimension and later spit it where it was as a tomb world.
Maybe that's what a theoretical Unbidden colossus would be like - I maintain the Unbidden don't need one, but maybe just for the cool factor? Though it'd have to return a Barren world rather than a tomb.