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|Sep 19, 2011, 09:46 AM||#1|
Join Date: Sep 2005
Location: Los Angeles, CA
Age of Ascension
Age of Ascension
formerly known as Spatz's Mod of Alpha Centauri
The chronologically third part of the Content triad (but first completed), the Ascension mod is a content mod inspired by the classic game Sid Meier's Alpha Centauri. The Age of Ascension goes from the original space race upwards through three full Eras, the Digital, Fusion, and Nanotech. This is capped by a final 2-tech Transcendence Era, replacing the old Future Era as the scientific endgame.
This mod consists of 48 new techs (replacing the 4 Future techs in the original game), with an accompanying set of Buildings, Wonders, Units, Resources, and Policies. These are designed to allow for a more interesting endgame than the vanilla game allows, as each victory condition is significantly altered by various rule changes. Each Era is designed to support a somewhat different playstyle, and much of the mod was structured towards keeping the existing AI competitive despite the unfamiliar content, without the need for any new AI behaviors. This content is very technology-driven, but multiple elements of this mod are designed to keep all players at comparable technology levels; how well you use many of the units and building is intended to be more important than the raw power involved.
The mod is primarily balanced around an Ancient Era start, allowing you to progress from cavemen to ascended being in a single game. However, if you want to ensure being able to see all of the new content, I suggest starting a game no earlier than the Renaissance Era, with the Industrial start being best for a players seeking a competitive space race. If you start in the Digital Era (or later) then the space race is automatically disabled and psionic barbarian units begin spawning almost immediately; this results in gameplay intended to feel very similar to that of the original Alpha Centauri game.
As with all other Content mods, this requires the Base mod to function, preferably loaded first. It is designed to pair with the other Ages of Man content mods; much of the game balance will be designed around the assumption that you're also using the Age of Empires mod as well, as it adjusts many critical aspects of the base game's balance, especially in regards to the scaling of buildings and units in the Nuclear Era that leads into this new content. However, the Empire mod is not absolutely necessary; if you'd prefer to pair this mod with someone else's balance mods then the game should still be functional, barring conflicts with UI elements. I'm in the process of improving this part. My goal is that at the very least, this mod should be compatible with Thalassicus' balance mods. It is important that anyone using this mod use some form of game balance mod; the vanilla game is not structured well to support the addition of future eras, as most of the game is balanced around the idea that all victory conditions will be achievable in the Industrial or Nuclear Eras.
Because the Ascension mod adds new strategic resources to the map scripts, it is incompatible with any mod, map, or scenario that alters resource distribution, as well as any maps using pre-set resource locations. The Player Pack (see the Files thread) contains altered map scripts compatible with the Ascension mod, designed to replace the three existing map scripts (Great Plains, Highlands, and Lakes) known to be incompatible with this mod, and will eventually contain a custom world map adding the new resources.
While this mod adds a large number of technologies, it does not move or add any technologies before the Nuclear (formerly "Modern") Era. It is therefore compatible with mods that alter the tech tree in the earlier Eras, unless those mods shift the positions of all later techs or add new Eras of any kind. The Mythology mod includes this sort of shift, but its SQL is specifically written to adjust the future eras of this mod at the same time.
Last edited by Spatzimaus; Dec 02, 2011 at 06:25 PM.
|Sep 19, 2011, 09:47 AM||#2|
Join Date: Sep 2005
Location: Los Angeles, CA
ERAS and TECHNOLOGIES
Notation: if something (a tech, a unit, a building) is listed as T15, this means it is tied to a technology with a GridX value of 15. In other words, higher numbers mean higher tech levels.
I have added four new Eras to the end of the tech tree, removing the Future Era. (So effectively, three new eras.) The distribution now goes:
T0-2 is Ancient Era (12 techs, one of which you start with, Agriculture)
T3 is Classical Era (6 techs)
T4-5 is Medieval Era (11 techs)
NOTE: If you use the Age of Mythology mod, these numbers are shifted to 0-3 for Ancient, 4-5 Classical, 6-8 Medieval, and everything later shifts by 3.
T6-8 is Renaissance Era (14 techs)
T9-11 is Industrial Era (11 techs)
T12-14 is Modern Era (15 techs), renamed Nuclear Era in this mod. I added one tech in this era, bringing its total to 16.
In the core game, T15-17 is the Future Era (4 techs), but we toss all of that.
In this mod:
T15-17 is the Digital Era (16 techs)
T18-20 is the Fusion Era (16 techs)
T21-23 is the Nanotech Era (13 techs)
T24-25 is the Transcendence Era (2 techs, 1 of which is repeatable)
I use the values assuming this mod is added to the vanilla game. If the Mythology mod is being used as well, then this significantly changes the lengths of the earliest Eras and shifts the later Eras by 3. The Empires mod does not affect this, yet.
In total, I have added 48 technologies, all drawn from Sid Meier's Alpha Centauri (albeit with a few name changes). These technologies are from the core SMAC game, none of the expansion's "resonance" technologies were included; I also rearranged a few things for gameplay and thematic reasons (primarily, I moved gravitonic techs earlier and nanotechnologies later). While scientifically speaking we're probably closer to nanotechnology than we are to gravitic manipulation, it was important for balance reasons to get the gravtanks into the game in the middle era. Likewise, fusion power probably isn't that far off compared to some of the other techs, but it was important to separate it a bit from the fission level of units.
Attached are screenshots of the new eras. Obviously the icons won't mean much to someone who hasn't played SMAC recently, but it should give a good general idea of the dependencies involved. SMAC's icons are generally color-coded, with military techs having red icons, growth techs green, "social" techs yellow, and "scientific" techs white. A similar color scheme applies to buildings and Wonders.
The new Eras break down as follows:
The Digital Era is all about two things: making the tiles your city works more productive, and building a lot of Wonders. This causes cities to go away from the specialist-centric economy of the Nuclear Era, and grow substantially in the process. Happiness starts off plentiful but runs out quickly, while gold production starts out in short supply and increases significantly; in a lot of ways, it's analogous to the Renaissance Era in the core game. Militaries doesn't get much of a boost here; there are some decent specialty/support units, usually combining several earlier specialist units into a single type, but your core units will still be the Modern Armor and Mechanized Infantry of the Nuclear Era for most of this period.
The Fusion Era centers on Buildings in your cities that increase production, science, etc., so you'll see a substantial boost in raw power. This era contains the final, powerful versions of most of your staple military units, like infantry and tanks, so this becomes a prime era to go on a conquest spree if you didn't have one before. It's very similar to the Industrial Era in feel; by the time you're done with it, your cities will be big and productive, and your army will be very powerful, especially on offense.
The Nanotech Era focuses on specialists and generating more Great People. The few buildings and units in this era are incredibly powerful but incredibly expensive; nearly all of the units in this era are Titan-class units, with insane combat power but tremendous costs. If you haven't conquered your foes by the time you get here, well, it's your own fault, but that can be easily rectified. A lot of the building and Wonder effects give substantial empire-wide boosts, and nearly every type of victory can occur at this point, similar to the Modern Era in the core game.
The Transcendence Era is the end of the game. One tech containing a game-winning Project, one repeatable tech.
Okay, now for the technologies, by Tier. These are basically top-to-bottom on the tech tree, as you can see from the attached screenshots. Nearly every tier has 5 technologies in the Digital and Fusion eras, but the tree tapers off a bit as you get to the top end.
Notation: (W) means World Wonder, (N) means National Wonder, (B) means Building, (U) means Unit, (S) means Social Policy, (P) means a new promotion is available to appropriate units, (*) means a Project, (I) means a terrain improvement change or new resource, and (R) means some other rule change (like the "all units move faster on roads" bit from Machinery).
NUCLEAR ERA (formerly known as the "Modern Era")
Globalization: (U) Colony Pod
Advanced Ballistics: the SS Engine was moved here. Note that this means three out of the four spaceship components are in the Nuclear Era. Only the stasis chamber requires a tech from a future age.
And the new tech for this era:
Prerequisites: No techs, but you get it when you build the spaceship, OR when the Breakout occurs. Since the project requires one component that doesn't unlock until T15, you might wonder why I'd put this tech at T14. It looks better this way, but it also means that a Digital Era start (which closely mimics a SMAC start) would give you the tech for free and disable the spaceship race.
(W) Weather Paradigm
(I) unlocks Omnicytes
(I) Farms: +1 research if fresh water
TIER 15 (techs cost 6800)
Prerequisites: Ecology (yes, a single T13 tech. So you COULD research it before many Nuclear Era techs.)
(W) Human Genome Project
(B) Children's Creche
(I) Plantation: +1 production
Prerequisites: Globalization and Robotics
(W) Planetary Transit System
(N) Planetary Datalinks
(S) Free Market
Prerequisites: Satellites and Robotics
(B) Energy Bank
(I) Trading Post: +1 production if no fresh water
Prerequisites: Satellites and Stealth
(I) Fishing Boats: +1 production
Prerequisites: Stealth and Advanced Ballistics
(I) Perimeter Defense
(U) Laser Infantry
(*) SS Stasis Chamber
TIER 16 (7700)
Prerequisites: Centauri Ecology and Gene Splicing
(N) Empath Guild
(U) Mind Worms
(I) Pasture: +1 food
Prerequisites: Gene Splicing and Planetary Networks
(W) Longevity Vaccine
(I) Camp: +1 food
Prerequisites: Planetary Networks
(B) Hologram Theater
(N) Citizens' Defense Force
Prerequisites: Industrial Economics and Doctrine: Flexibility
(W) Merchant Exchange
(N) Nethack Terminus
Prerequisites: Doctrine: Flexibility and Applied Physics
(W) Maritime Control Center
(U) Stealth Ship
(I) unlocks Dilithium
Prerequisites: Applied Physics
(W) Planetary Energy Grid
(U) Plasma Artillery
TIER 17 (8700)
Prerequisites: Centauri Empathy and Bioengineering
(P) Soporific Gas, Soporific Bombs (same effect, but for different unit types.)
Prerequisites: Optical Computers and Social Psychology
(N) Hunter-Seeker Algorithm
(W) Virtual World
(S) Thought Control
Prerequisites: Optical Computers and Doctrine: Initiative
(N) Command Nexus
(B) Genejack Factory
(U) Scout Powersuit
Prerequisites: High-Energy Chemistry and Doctrine: Initiative
(I) Quarry: +1 production
Prerequisites: High-Energy Chemistry
(I) Mines: +1 research if no fresh water
TIER 18 (9800)
Prerequisites: Centauri Empathy and Retroviral Engineering
(W) Xenoempathy Dome
(B) Centauri Preserve
(U) Isle of the Deep
Prerequisites: Retroviral Engineering and Pre-Sentient Algorithms
(B) Bioenhancement Center
(I) unlocks Neutronium
(I) Offshore Platform: +1 research
Doctrine: Air Power
Prerequisites: Pre-Sentient Algorithms and Neural Grafting
(B) Aerospace Complex
Prerequisites: Neural Grafting and Superconductor
(W) Cyborg Factory
(U) Assault Powersuit
Prerequisites: Graviton Theory and Superconductor
(B) Fusion Lab
(U) Planet Buster
TIER 19 (11000)
Prerequisites: Centauri Meditation
(W) Pholus Mutagen
(B) Brood Pit
(U) Chiron Locusts
Prerequisites: Centauri Meditation
(W) Clinical Immortality
(B) Habitation Domes
(*) The Ascetic Virtues
Prerequisites: Centauri Meditation and Silksteel Alloys
(R) Labor Mechs and Formers gain the ability to Raise and Lower Hills.
(I) Lumbermill: +1 food
(R) Workers work 25% faster
Prerequisites: Doctrine: Air Power, Subatomic Alloys, and Mind/Machine Interface
(W) Cloudbase Academy
(B) Sky Hydroponics Lab
(B) Orbital Power Transmitter
(U) Geosynchronous Survey Pod
Prerequisites: Mind/Machine Interface and Fusion Power
(B) Gravity Shield
(U) Mobile Shield
TIER 20 (12300)
Prerequisites: Centauri Genetics and Ecological Engineering
(B) Temple of Gaia
(*) Utopia Project
Prerequisites: Ecological Engineering and Ethical Calculus
(B) Hybrid Forest
(I) Fishing Boat: +1 gold
(I) Camp: +1 gold
Prerequisites: Ecological Engineering and Advanced Spaceflight
(W) Theory of Everything
(I) Magtubes: railroad movement costs are halved. The math is a bit more complex than that, but basically a unit can move 9-10 hexes per MP on railroads now.
(I) Well: +1 production
Prerequisites: Advanced Spaceflight
(W) Self-Aware Colony
(W) Network Backbone
Prerequisites: Advanced Spaceflight and Applied Gravitonics
(B) Lunar Mining Station
(U) Quantum Missile
(U) Orbital Ion Cannon
Prerequisites: Applied Gravitonics
(W) Space Elevator
(*) Orbital Defense Pod
(U) Labor Mech
TIER 21 (13700)
Prerequisites: Centauri Genetics and Homo Superior
(W) Telepathic Matrix
(U) Nessus Worm
(I) Monolith: +2 gold
Prerequisites: Environmental Economics, Homo Superior, and Monopole Magnets
(W) Cloning Vats
(I) Landmark: +2 food
(R) Formers and Labor Mechs can create Deep Mines
Prerequisites: Digital Sentience and Monopole Magnets
(N) Living Refinery
(B) Robotic Assembly Plant
(I) Manufactory: +2 production
Prerequisites: Digital Sentience and Matter Compression
(W) Nano Factory
(I) Citadel: +2 production
Prerequisites: Matter Compression and Super-Tensile Solids
(B) Quantum Lab
(U) Combat Mech
(I) Customs House: +2 gold
TIER 22 (15400)
Prerequisites: Centauri Psi and Biomachinery
(W) Universal Translator
(N) Neural Amplifier
(I) Academy +2 research
Nanomatter Editation historical note: this was the original name of the tech in SMAC, they dropped the "nano" part later on
Prerequisites: Biomachinery and Nanometallurgy
(R) Mine: +1 production
Nanorobotics in SMAC, was "Industrial Nanorobotics", but that felt too redundant
Prerequisites: Nanometallurgy and Nanominiaturization
(U) Orbital Death Ray
Prerequisites: Nanominiaturization and Quantum Power
(W) Bulk Matter Transmitter
(B) Jump Gate
TIER 23 (17200)
The Will To Power
Prerequisites: Intellectual Integrity and Nanomatter Editation
(W) Dream Twister
(N) Paradise Garden
Prerequisites: Nanomatter Editation and Nanorobotics
(W) Manifold Harmonics
(N) Stasis Generator
Prerequisites: Nanorobotics and Matter Transmission
(W) Singularity Inductor
(U) Subspace Generator
Prerequisites: Matter Transmission
(N) Quantum Converter
TIER 24 (19,000)
Threshold of Transcendence
Prerequisites: Every previous tech. Or realistically, the four T23 techs, which depend on every other tech.
(*) The Ascent To Transcendence (the victory condition wonder for the Transcendence Victory. Starts the transcendence timer.)
TIER 25 (21,000)
Transcendent Thought a.k.a. "Future Tech"
Repeatable technology. Every time you research it, you gain a permanent +1 happiness.
Most new techs depend on two others. This was deliberate; if you examine the screenshots, it looks like a lattice with lots of diagonal connections. Effectively, you have a "pyramid" setup, where to get to a typical tech you have to take two techs from the tier before, three from the tier before that and so on down the line, which makes it nearly impossible to "slingshot"/beeline for the techs you really want; to take any Fusion tech, you'd basically have to take all of the techs in the lowest tier of the Digital era, most from the middle tier, and a few from the top tier. It's not a perfectly regular pattern; certain technologies, such as Advanced Spaceflight (T19) are more of a "linchpin" technology that everyone funnels through. But the result is a tech tree layout that discourages beelining for a specific technology, which means the AI isn't at as much of a disadvantage.
I wanted every tech to do three things, no more than one of which is a World Wonder, so that each tech will always be desirable. So you see most techs having a building, a unit, and an Improvement change or something similar. This also helps the AI, and it makes the decisions harder for the players. There's still some variation, with a few techs having multiple units or multiple buildings, but it's much more AI-friendly now.
The tech tree is laid out in a pretty simple way: the biological techs are up top (with the Centauri techs forming the top row), the pure physics ones are on the bottom (fusion power, gravitonics, quantum power, etc.), and the ones in the middle are what you get when you mix the two approaches (cybernetics, bioengineering, nanotechnology, social sciences).
Last edited by Spatzimaus; Dec 02, 2011 at 06:41 PM.
|Sep 19, 2011, 09:47 AM||#3|
Join Date: Sep 2005
Location: Los Angeles, CA
RESOURCES and IMPROVEMENTS
I have added three new strategic resources:
Tech: Centauri Ecology (T14, technically, but it's the one you get from the spaceship)
The core of the physiology of the mindworms, these are basically like super stemcells, capable of being altered into whatever you want, making them the core resource for all bioengineered units.
Besides being a strategic resource, Omnicytes provide a massive food bonus (+1 food base, plus an additional TWO for the improvement), and the Centauri Preserve building heavily boosts the yields of Omnicytes tiles further. They can appear on land (harvested with a Camp) or in shallow water (harvested with a Fishing Boat), representing the species that have been engineered to produce them.
Generally speaking, Omnicytes are found in a good number of very small deposits, which often makes them more useful as a simple +food resource than an actual Strategic. Very few things other than Psi units require them, so it's not hard to have a surplus. Brood Pits, Centauri Preserves, and Temples of Gaia generate an additional Omnicyte for each city, while only the Nanohospital consumes a unit, so the majority of your Omnicytes will be found through buildings instead of natural deposits. Since this resource is unlocked directly by the tech given by a spaceship launch, it's a little harder to reach than other T14 techs for the leaders but easier for everyone else; everyone will get the tech unlocked when the Breakout occurs.
Tech: Doctrine: Initiative (T16)
Dilithium is a stable transuranic element used as a catalyst for fusion reactors. This is ONLY naturally available from coastal water tiles (meaning in a water tile directly adjacent to shore), with an Offshore platform; these crystals cannot be created artificially (until quantum power is researched) and can only be found naturally underwater. It is possible in the Nanotech Era to use Deep Mining to extract Dilithium on land, however.
Besides being a strategic resource, Dilithium provides +1 production for the resource and another TWO production for the improvement, plus the tech-based increases in Offshore Platform outputs; add a Seaport and this becomes a fantastic production hex for a coastal city.
Dilithium is really the hardest resource to consistently get enough of. Being water-only makes it difficult to acquire on some maps, and it's used by a lot of advanced units (including the Labor Mech, which is the last upgrade of the Worker) as well as the all-important Fusion Lab building. Quantum Labs generate an additional unit of Dilithium per city, while the Fusion Lab and Gravity Shield cost a unit. Since Fusion Labs are really the only "must have" future building that consumes a resource, this is a substantial drain. Note that as a coastal resource, city-states will control a disproportionate share on most maps.
Tech: Subatomic Alloys (T18)
Neutronium is a metal that has been manipulated at the subatomic level to be stronger and harder than previous alloys by removing the nonessential subatomic pieces (protons, electrons...). It is incredibly dense, which also means that it can be made incredibly thin while still being excellent armor. Unfortunately, it requires a mixture of a variety of rare earth elements to produce; it only appears on land, and is harvested with a Quarry.
Besides being a strategic resource, Neutronium is also a Luxury resource (as a civilization that has Neutronium can make all sorts of fantastic statues and artwork), giving the usual +4 Happiness. It gives +1 production for the resource, +1 gold for the improvement.
Neutronium is fairly common, which is good considering how useful it is. Quantum Labs generate an additional unit, so in theory it would be plentiful... except that most advanced military units need it, and Titan units tend to require multiple Neutronium to construct, so you'll go through it quickly if you want a competitive endgame military. The Nanoreplicator and Robotic Assembly Plant each require 1 unit, both of which would be in high demand in the endgame.
There are three additional Resources, all Luxuries created by buildings:
Hit Movies is produced by Hollywood (national wonder), and adds +2 happiness. You get 3 units of it to trade around, but since it's made by a national wonder that has other benefits, in the long term everyone will have some and it'll be a flat +2 happiness (barring any bonus for difficulty, etc.)
Information is produced by the Planetary Datalinks (national wonder), and adds +3 happiness. You get 3 units of it to trade around, but as above, the other civs will eventually have their own.
Ambrosia is produced by Clinical Immortality (world wonder) and adds +5 happiness. You get 3 units of it, and since it's a world wonder no one else will ever have any unless you trade it to them, making it an excellent trade good in an era where most civs have most or all of the luxuries.
Note that I've also added a group of buildings that add strategic resources, in addition to the Wonder-produced luxuries above. The Stock Exchange adds 1 iron and 1 horses, The Energy Bank adds 1 coal and 1 oil, the Fusion lab adds 1 uranium and 1 aluminum, and the Quantum Lab adds 1 neutronium and 1 dilithium. Three separate buildings produce Omnicytes: the Brood Pit, Centauri Preserve, and Temple of Gaia. None of these are wonders, so if your civilization completely lacks a given late-game resource, you can use these buildings to produce enough to support essential city structures or build the one unit you really need. If a city produces an Energy Bank, for instance, it can use the coal to produce a Factory. Note that each of these buildings appears 1-2 eras after the first building that consumes the resource, though, so you can't depend on always having these resources. Additionally, each strategic (beyond iron and horses) has a World Wonder that produces 10 units of that resource.
As for luxury resources, the Paradise Garden and Quantum Converter (both Nanotech Era National Wonders) create a unit of each of the existing luxuries (with one giving the "organic" luxuries and the other handling the minerals). These are very expensive endgame buildings with other powerful effects, though.
The distributions of resources on the map was altered; every resource now has an effective minimum number of deposits based on the number of civilizations at the start of the game; for instance, on a map with 8 players, three small Aluminum deposits will be placed before any other resources are allocated, with the percentages for random aluminum reduced somewhat to compensate.
The only truly new permanent Improvement is the Monolith, the special structure for the new Great Empath person. This structure will provide +3 happiness (even without being worked) and the tile now generates 2 food, 2 gold, and 2 culture when worked, regardless of what the tile's base yield was (although resources still add to the total, as do bonuses for rivers and such). In the later game, it also adds 2 research, and eventually 2 production. While that yield sounds great on paper, it's actually considerably less in practice than what other GP buildings produce, to compensate for the Happiness. It's inspired by SMAC's 2/2/2 obelisks.
In addition, between the Renaissance Era and early Fusion Era, nearly every type of tile improvement receives a boost analogous to the food boost for Farms/Pastures/etc. at several existing techs. For instance, at T15, you have Plantations, Fishing Boats, and Trading Posts getting bonuses at different techs. (Many of the boosts here are production-based; the Digital Era is filled with Wonders to build, and the following Fusion Era is all about Buildings, so it is important to have decent production in all cities.)
The common improvements not requiring resources (Farm, Mine, Trading Post) start at +1, gain two alternating half-time (fresh water or not) +1s to their specialty, and then get a single half-time +1 to something outside of their specialty. So the Farm gets +1 food for freshwater farms at Civil Service, +1 food to non-freshwater at Fertilizer, and +1 research for freshwater at Centauri Ecology (good motivation to build a spaceship!).
Resource-specific improvements (Plantation, Quarry, etc.) get +1 to two things, to make them more desirable, and these don't depend on the presence of fresh water.
The Great Person-generated buildings (Landmark, Customs House, etc.) are so specialized and rare that they get a total of three +2 boosts (one in the late Medieval/early Renaissance and one in the late Industrial/early Nuclear in the Balance mod, and then another one in the early Nanotech in the Content mod).
The three "pure" GP improvements (Manufactory, Academy, Customs House) get three +2s all reinforcing whatever the specialty of that building is. The Customs House gets +2 gold at all three, making it a whopping +9 gold in the Nanotech era. The other GP-made improvements (Citadel, Landmark, Monolith) instead have three differing increases, resulting in more all-around useful improvements; the Monolith, for instance, adds happiness, food, research, gold, culture, and production in the endgame.
Also, in the core game, City Ruins are basically worthless, something to be cleared away to build a farm or trading post. To me this is backwards; ruins should be seen as valuable, so in this mod they give +1 gold, +1 culture, and at Archaeology, +1 research. Also, ruins give a +25% defense boost to units defending from them. (All of the advantages of fighting in a city, without the collateral damage!)
There are several terraforming options in the game.
At Penicillin and Ecology, two Nuclear Era techs, Combat Engineers and their upgrades gain the ability to plant jungles and forests, respectively, to boost food/research and production. This planting takes a bit longer than other terrain improvements.
At Ecological Engineering, a Fusion Era tech, you unlock the ability to create or destroy hills. Only Labor Mechs and Formers can do this action. This takes about twice as long as planting a forest.
At Biomachinery, a Nanotech Era tech, you gain the Deep Mine ability. (Again, only Labor Mechs and Formers can do this.) This can only be used on tiles without a resource, and creates a new resource semi-randomly; Dilithium (harvested with a Mine) and Neutronium are the most common, but Aluminum, Uranium, Coal, Oil, Gold, Silver, and Gems are also possibilities. This action takes a LONG time compared to the other terraforming options, but the results are often worth it. Especially on a Pangaea map where you don't have Dilithium nearby.
Finally, the Former (a T22 unit unlocking at Nanomatter Editation) has the unique ability to Terraform. This can turn Snow tiles into Tundra, Tundra into Plains, or Desert into Grassland. (Doing this on any other terrain does nothing.) This would take a long time, but the Former builds at 5 times the speed of a Worker, so it won't take long.
NOTE: The Raise/Lower Hills and Terraform actions change the terrain but do not update the graphics in either regular or Strategic view. You will see the correct terrain the next time you load your game. The forest/jungle planting and deep mining, however, show up immediately. Although, in each case you might see a remnant of the placeholder graphic until reloading the game.
Obviously, a key part of adding a future era is ensuring the players are not forced to end the game beforehand, either by their own hand or by an AI winning one of the victory conditions. Each of the existing victory conditions is therefore altered as follows:
Time: The standard game, on normal speed, lasts 500 turns. I have extended that to 1000, with similar scaling added to other game speeds. The year count might have some ridiculous numbers, though, if you start in an era other than Ancient or a game speed other than Standard.
Cultural: The Utopia Project requires the Homo Superior technology. Additionally, 10 "Super-Finisher" policies were added, one per branch; these policies are stronger than normal policies, but do not count towards a cultural victory and require specific technologies in the future eras, so taking them slows a cultural victory down.
Diplomacy: (These changes are in the Balance mod, but are included here for reference.) In the vanilla game, you need 47% of the votes on a small map, and 35% on the largest maps. In this mod, you now need ~67% of the votes on a small map and 50% on the huge ones. The math changes a bit as you conquer other empires, though, so if enough city-states are destroyed, it might become mathematically impossible for anyone to get enough votes to win without liberating captured states.
Additionally, it's now significantly more expensive to bribe a city-state, while the effects of non-gold ways of gaining Influence have been boosted. Gifting units to a city-state, or completing its quests, is now an excellent way to gain and keep Influence; this reduces the ability of a player to buy the loyalty of half a dozen city-states right before a vote.
Conquest: No explicit change, but many components of the Balance Mod above are designed to make rolling over opponents much harder.
Science: In the core game, launching the spaceship wins the game. Here, it doesn't. Instead, there is a Transcendence victory at the end of the now-expanded tech tree. Building the spaceship will instead do the following:
> Gain one Social Policy of your choice
> Gain the non-researchable Centauri Ecology technology
> Enter a Golden Age (5 turns on default settings)
> All of your current wars end immediately. You can start them back up again, if you want. This has the negative that if the other empire was losing, you miss out on some good peace terms.
However, the first civ to complete the ship gets additional benefits:
> Gain one free technology of your choice
> The free Golden Age mentioned above lasts twice as long
Centauri Ecology is a prerequisite for many later technologies (and by the end of the tree, all of them), but you don't actually need to build the spaceship to get it. 10-30 turns after one civ builds a spaceship, the Breakout will occur, when mindworms escape into the wilds of Earth. The more civs that build ships, the faster this happens. Once the Breakout occurs, every civ gets the Centauri Ecology tech (meaning you don't HAVE to build a spaceship to continue), but none of the other benefits of a spaceship, and civs without a fully built ship can no longer build any new spaceship parts. The Breakout has other effects, though, the biggest of which is the periodic spawning of Spore Towers around the world, immobile units that generate new Psi units as long as they survive.
The new Science victory condition, the Transcendence Victory, is more complex.
Once the Project is built, a 20-turn timer begins to count down. When the timer expires, you win if your empire still exists, assuming no one has won through any other mechanism (like conquering your capital).
When the timer starts, everyone declares Permanent War on you. This is because they know that the only way to stop you from taking over the world is to conquer you.
During those 20 turns, your empire is in a state of Anarchy; no science, no production, no income, no expenses. This may or may not be temporary.
Each turn, each of your cities loses 1 population, to a minimum of size 1. Your people start to ascend, and this reduces the city's productivity as they no longer worry about material things. The "population" reflects the number of citizens that are still creating and consuming resources.
Sacrificing a Great Person reduces this timer by 2 turns for the first GP of a type, 1 turn for each later GP of that type. This one isn't implemented yet. The idea is that when a famous leader ascends, you'll see a lot of extra people follow his example. It's assumed that a human player would have stockpiled a few Great People before this point, but the AI won't do this, and probably wouldn't know how to manage it even if he did have them.
Losing your Capital adds 5 turns to the timer. Losing any other city adds 1 turn. These aren't implemented yet.
As 40-population cities won't be uncommon by the time you reach this, the 1 pop per turn isn't likely to truly cripple any of your cities, but it would keep you from settling new ones. I'd also like to add a few other tweaks, like you can no longer annex cities and all puppets immediately begin to raze.
NOTE: You cannot disable the space race or Transcendence Victory. They will always be available.
I have added two new Citizen types:
Empaths add no production, culture, research, or money. Instead, they add +1 Happiness and +2 food; while this sounds like a large amount, remember that these unlock after the national wonders that boost other specialists by +1. They also generate points towards the new Great Empath unit, which can build a Monolith (+3 happiness, plus terrain effects), or can be sacrificed for a Golden Age 50% longer than a normal great person could get.
To me, a +1 happiness citizen is an essential addition to the game, and should have been added as an Entertainer specialist in the core game. It gives a level of tunability to the happiness part of the game, allowing you to easily go from -1 to 0 without rush-building a new Colosseum.
Transcends are extremely productive: +1 to food, production, science, and gold, and +2 culture, plus any bonuses from Wonders, Policies, and such. But they generate no great person points, and only three buildings have slots for them, all end-game (T23) National Wonders.
The balance factor here is that these are in very limited supply, and I'm basically assuming that the three National Wonders with Transcend slots will always use them when I balance things out.
Last edited by Spatzimaus; Sep 19, 2011 at 10:12 AM.
|Sep 19, 2011, 09:48 AM||#4|
Join Date: Sep 2005
Location: Los Angeles, CA
Before we go further, I wanted to make one point absolutely clear: I will not, in any way, attempt to reproduce SMAC's unit-building system. While I loved that system, I don't see how it can be implemented well into the Civ 5 engine without some massive recoding, and given Civ's new Promotion system there's less need.
In the core game, there are something like ten unit Combat Classes (Armor, Gunpowder, Mounted, etc.). I've added five more:
Psi: Bioengineered alien units from Alpha Centauri. There are five of these (four buildable by players), covering the basic combat styles.
These didn't come from AC directly; the genomes were transmitted and they were built on Earth by placing constructed genes in various Terran lifeforms. This is why Centauri Empathy, the technology that grants Mind Worms, depends on a non-Centauri tech, Gene Splicing.
Psi units, while a distinct unit type, can be of any Domain and can mimic pretty much any other unit type. So you can have a Psi naval unit, a Psi melee unit, and so on. While Psi is a unit type, it is also a Promotion that all units within this type get. The most important characteristic of Psi units is the "psionic combat" system; Psi units' base combat strength will adjust up or down by up to 25%, depending on the strength of their opponent (so Psi units get stronger against powerful foes and weaker against weak units), although they get +10% when attacking to help make up for any decrease.
These units are constructed with both production and food (like Settlers), gain XP at double the normal rate (but don't generate Great General points at all), and they regenerate at least 2 HP per turn even if they take other actions. They also make fantastic Raider units, as they can enter rival borders and will have the Hidden Nationality trait once that is working; however, to reinforce this role, all Psi units get a -25% penalty when adjacent to an allied unit. They're not very good as part of a huge attack wave, but very strong when raiding alone. This makes them very dangerous Barbarian units, which is good since they basically take over the Barbarian role in the future eras.
In most cases, their combat strength isn't an even match for comparable "mundane" heavy units (Mindworms have considerably less power than the strength 70 Modern Armor despite coming later), although Psi units automatically adjust their base strength against various foes to make up for this. They're very limited in which promotions they can pick (none of the exotic ones, just the basics like Shock), and they never upgrade. But if you want something that can drive a more powerful rival crazy, they're ideal, and they build up experience so quickly that the extra upgrades of Shock and Drill they'll have can become enough to swing the balance in their favor in any individual fight.
There are two promotions (Trance I and Trance II) that give +25% versus Psi units, and a few Wonders that help as well, but their biggest advantage is that they're not one of the more common unit types, and only one unit (the Troll) has an inherent defense bonus against Psi.
All Psi units start with one free "mutation" promotion, randomly selected from a list for each type. Barbarian-trained "Wild" Psi units get 2-3 of these promotions, as well as other benefits.
Energy: Infantry. Basically, the future equivalent of Gunpowder units, although with a bit more variety. There are 6 units of this type, all land-based, although the Labor Mech is not really designed for heavy combat.
While they don't have much more firepower than a Modern-era unit (ranging from 45 for the Laser Infantry to 70 for the Assault Powersuit), they tend to be loaded with special abilities and free promotions. For instance, the Assault Powersuit gets +50% versus armor, has better odds of intercepting aircraft, can paradrop, has 3 MP and only spends 1 MP per tile, and is amphibious.
Titan: The endgame units, replacing the Giant Death Robot. There are six classes of these in the game, although only four of them are true combat units and two of the six aren't actually classed as Titans. Each costs as much as a Wonder, but they're worth it. (Also, building a Spaceship Factory boosts production of Titan units by 25%.) Also note: you cannot rush or purchase a Titan. They must be built, fully, the old-fashioned way.
Titans, like the Energy units above, are loaded with special abilities, and Titans also have access to practically every promotion in the game. They have higher maintenance costs than regular units, though.
As an example, the first Titan unit is the Bolo (T20). (If you have to ask where the name comes from, turn in your geek card.) 150 combat strength, a bombardment rating of 75, and a ton of promotions (+10% vs cities, indirect fire, amphibious, all terrain 1MP, movement of 4 MP, gets two attacks per turn, and +20% interception rate against aircraft) but it costs 2000 hammers, more than most Digital-era Wonders and more than double what an infantry unit of comparable technology costs. Also, it doesn't get terrain defensive bonuses, because it IS the terrain.
Other Titans are similar; generally speaking, they're the equal of at least two normal units. No units ever upgrade to Titans, no Titans upgrade to anything, and there are no selectable anti-Titan Promotions (barring any anti-Psi promotions used against a Nessus Worm or the inherent anti-Titan ability of the Ranger).
All Titan units start with +10XP, attack twice per turn, are immune to nukes, and have the "Damage Reduction" promotion, which reduces all incoming damage by 1 point per fight.
There are two other new Unit classes: Multirole (used only for the Needlejet) and Orbital (used for the satellite weapons). Both are Air types; Multirole units have both Fighter and Bomber promotions, while Orbital weapons use the artillery-style "Rough/Open" ranged promotions instead of the land/sea/city ones of the Bombers, and are nearly impossible to intercept. Other than that, they both act like normal Air unit types, with the usual rebasing, immobility, etc.
This is not to say that all new units are in these classes; I've added quite a few Armor units, a couple Navals, and even a couple Gunpowders.
One of my key design philosophies for the units is that most of the early-future units shouldn't be substantially STRONGER than modern units; someone with these isn't going to just flatten the Modern-era civs (until Titans, which are designed for exactly that sort of brute-force approach). But the units are loaded with special abilities that make them far more useful and flexible; most have much better mobility and few have any explicit drawbacks, although most Titan units lose the ability to get a defensive terrain bonus (because they're just too big to hide behind terrain).
The upshot of this is that once a civ reaches the modern era and has Modern Armor, Stealth Bombers, Mobile SAMs, Rocket Artillery, and Mech Infantry, it should be good enough to put up a reasonable defense even against a Fusion-era civilization. And so, a well-played Digital or Fusion army that takes advantage of all the special abilities will wipe the floor with a poorly-led one without those tools.
The full list of units, in order of technology:
Combat Engineer (Dynamite): An upgrade of the Worker. Works at 150% speed, has 3 movement points, moves like a scout (all terrain 1 MP, amphibious), but costs substantially more. This does NOT obsolete the Worker right away, though; I waited until the Digital Era to obsolete those, because they're so cheap to build. This is the last resourceless worker unit, so the AI will have many of them in the late game. Note that unlike the standard worker, Combat Engineers cannot be captured; they simply die if attacked, because they won't switch allegiances.
Several existing units were modified.
The Anti-aircraft Gun and Mobile SAM now have the "Melee Penalty" promotion, making them weaker vs. non-air, non-ranged units and cities.
Mechanized Infantry (T12) had its power reduced from 50 down to 42. (Note that Infantry are 36 and only move 2, so it's still a substantial upgrade considering how few techs lie between the two units.)
Modern Armor (T13) had its power reduced from 80 down to 70. (Note that Tanks were 50, so again, still an upgrade, especially considering they're only a couple techs apart.)
Colony Pod (T14, at Globalization): An improved Settler; both can found new cities, but the Colony Pod has several significant advantages over a Settler: increased movement (3), a combat power of 50 (but can't attack), and the ability to airdrop like a Paratrooper. The Colony Pod requires one unit of Oil and one of Uranium, and cannot be purchased. You can't actually upgrade an existing Settler to the new unit, though. And since it has a combat strength it can't stack with a military unit escort; it IS its own escort. But this means it CAN stack with a Worker/Engineer.
The Digital Era doesn't add a lot of units, and the ones it does add are generally not in the "bigger is better" theme common in the previous era. Several combine several previous unit types into a single flexible unit, others are basically new styles of unit designed to turn combat into less of a brute force slugfest and more of a finesse battle. Lots of raider or hit-and-run units, not as much that can stand toe-to-toe in a heavy fight.
Laser Infantry (T15): A balanced all-around cheap Energy infantry unit. No resources needed, only moves 2, and costs a bit more than half what a Mechanized Infantry does; its combat strength is 45 (just slightly more than the revised Mech Infantry), but it gets an inherent +20% when allies are adjacent. Inspired by the infantry in Starship Troopers; the movie, not the book. With the ever-increasing costs of units, I figured there should be at least one unit that can easily be constructed in your fringe cities that find themselves under attack unexpectedly.
Mind Worms (T16): As mentioned above, a cheap Psi land unit. Great raiding unit; it's outgunned by most combat units but builds up combat strength very quickly though normal promotions. I really want them to have the Hidden Nationality trait, so that if the game ends up stalemated you can start flooding the other side with cheap units he can't declare war over.
Stealth Ship (T16): Naval unit, combines the best features of Submarines with Destroyers and can carry missiles like the Missile Cruiser. Basically a sub that can bombard land targets, which makes it VERY hard to stop if you don't build a navy.
Plasma Artillery (T16): The game's final true Siege unit. Besides being an excellent mobile artillery unit, with a movement of 4 and great bombardment strength, this is also the last true anti-air unit in the game (upgrade of the Mobile SAM). Very handy to have, after an era dominated by bombers and such, a good anti-air unit that can still fight back in other ways. There are quite a few later units with bombardment attacks, but no more true Artillery units after this, so you'll continue to use them extensively until the end of the game.
Doppelganger (T17): Energy unit that, at the start of each fight, can steal a promotion possessed by its opponent and keep it permanently. Handled well, this can become an extremely strong unit. Starts off very weak, but regenerates.
Golem (T17): A Melee unit. It's very cheap, and only has 40 combat strength, just enough to keep from getting wiped out by ancient-era leftovers. But these constructs regenerate, heal fully if they kill a foe, get a bonus against cities, require no unit support costs, and act as Workers at 75% of normal speed; they can't build specialized improvements (Pastures, Quarries, Plantations), but can do Farms, Mines, Roads, etc. just fine. Great in an era where you don't need many new terrain improvements and don't want a bunch of defenseless Workers clogging up your empire.
Also, Golems can be sacrificed in a city to rush production; while the amount they give isn't nearly as much as the Great Engineer gives, it's approximately equal to what the Golem cost in the first place, so you can use them as a way to transfer production to your outlying cities or "disband" them once they're no longer needed.
Scout Powersuit (T17): Energy infantry unit, a cross between Mechanized Infantry and a Scout. Only 50 combat strength, but +50% versus Gunpowder units, 4 MP, all terrain costs 1 MP, is amphibious, +2 visibility, and can paradrop. Inspired by the infantry in Starship Troopers; the book, not the movie. 50 strength isn't enough to really hold up in a fight against modern tanks and such, although the Gunpowder bonus helps you clean out any leftover Mechanized Infantry. And while you don't need terrain recon now that the map has been revealed, there IS a good use for "spotters" for aircraft, artillery, and long-range missiles, especially nukes.
Vertol (T17): upgrade of helicopters. Siege unit, a whopping 7 movement points, only 50 defensive strength but it has a 70-strength range-1 attack. It also gets +50% versus Armor, and it can move across all terrain for 1 MP including oceans, something no other units can do before the Nanotech Era. It can't capture cities, though, and gets -33% when attacking them. Since it is not a Helicopter type, anti-air units have no bonus against it. Inspired by the AV-4 from Cyberpunk, basically an armored car with a Harrier's VTOL engines. Note that because of its ocean ability, it must be built in a coastal city, although inland you could just build a normal Gunship and then upgrade.
Skimmer (T17): A futuristic upgrade of Mech Infantry that can do a little of everything. Armor unit, 56 strength, 4 MP, all terrain costs 1 MP, and can move after attacking. It gets a +50% Interception bonus, allowing it to engage aircraft targeting nearby units or cities as if it were an anti-aircraft unit. Inspired by the "combat cars" from the Hammer's Slammers novels, but really it's that I didn't like how the cavalry line sort of petered out and the Gunships were too specialized to take the role. A good all-around support/skirmisher unit.
This is nearly the exact opposite of the previous era; quite a few of the new Fusion Era units are brute-force combat units, the kind of things designed to be used in a major war. Frankly, I expect this era to be one with LOTS of high-attrition wars, which is good since these units are more resource-heavy than before.
Isle of the Deep (T18): aquatic Mindworms. While slow, they have good defense against bombardment, regenerate health well, and have a very strong bombardment attack that isn't limited to sea targets. Park one of these off the coast of a city and it can work wonders. The one thing they lack is range. Note that the Psi strength adjustment does NOT apply when making ranged attacks; only the Isle's defensive strength will do so.
Needlejet (T18): what you get when you cross a bomber with a fighter. The last true Air unit, the Needlejet is basically a fighter with excellent ground attack abilities and Stealth-like evasion, with less of the drawbacks of the earlier air units. I wanted the various air units to upgrade to something useful, just like I did with the Naval units. These are the most cost-effective bombardment unit, even after Orbitals come out, but they feel like Cavalry, a sort of "end of an era" unit that will become outdated fairly soon after.
Leviathan (T18): Naval unit, combines a Battleship with a Carrier. Basically a carrier that can bombard land targets, but also has good anti-air ability. With the ever-increasing range of aircraft and the eventual addition of orbital weapons, pure carriers aren't very necessary outside of "beachhead" assaults, but they have enough bombardment range to supplement artillery on most maps. Unlike the units that upgrade to them, Leviathans can also see submarines. This allows you to upgrade your existing heavy naval vessels into something useful; the Battleship and Carrier were weak against aircraft, too slow, and/or too specialized.
Note: these are the last naval units in the game. At higher techs, quite a few units can fly over water or airdrop as necessary, and orbital weapons take over the "artillery" role, so there's little need for further naval units on offense, although they're still important for pillaging water-based resources like Dilithium.
Assault Powersuit (T18): Remember the Scout Powersuit, above? It's like that, but more so. 70 combat strength, only 3 MP, but +50% versus Armor instead of versus gunpowder and it doesn't get the visibility boost. That anti-Armor boost means that an Assault Powersuit actually outguns the Gravtank, slightly, in a straight fight.
Planet Buster (T18): ICBM. Same basic effect as the Nuclear Missile, but it's got unlimited range and SDI is half as likely to intercept.
Chiron Locusts (T19): Helicopter mindworms. 70 strength and a movement of 6 is nothing to sneeze at in a commerce raider unit, especially one that can regenerate health; they also get +25% versus wounded units, dangerous in a regenerating raider. While these are outgunned by most Armor units, they actually compare favorably to the infantry of their era. They don't have many inherent promotions, but the double-XP-gain of Psi units makes them kind of scary if they can survive for a bit.
Geosynchronous Survey Pod (T19): A cheap infinite-range recon unit. No damage, but it gives a huge visibility radius around whatever city it's currently "based" in, and can move to give visibility anywhere in the world through a very quirky method of movement that snaps it back at the end of the turn, AFTER the opponent has had a chance to kill it (with the ability to spot submarine units as well, if you're short on Destroyer-types). Great if you're getting ready to bombard a city but don't have anything in the area to spot for you.
Gravtank (T19): The final true Armor unit. 90 strength, 4 MP, all terrain costs 1 MP, but costs 1000. While these can still be outgunned by dedicated anti-armor units or bombarded down from range, it's an all-around capable heavy unit. While it's only one tier before the first Titan units, you'll have plenty of Modern Armor around to upgrade into these, so it'll make a big difference right away. It's also much cheaper than a Titan, in both hammers and resources.
Mobile Shield (T19): A unit that makes all adjacent friendly units stronger; besides a general defense and healing increase, the shield bestows an anti-nuke, anti-orbital promotion on all nearby units. As an added bonus, it's on a hover chassis, so all terrain costs 1 MP.
Ranger (T20): A bioengineered Human with the unobtrusive genetic modifications needed for special-forces combat. Only 65 strength, but it gets +25% in forests or jungle, +25% versus Titans (the only unit to get an anti-Titan bonus), mindworm-like regeneration (2-3 HP/turn), and a massive +50% when attacking in ANY terrain. While it doesn't have the now-ubiquitous "all terrain 1 MP" ability, it does have the Commando ability to use enemy roads. Finally, all Rangers have a 10% chance to deal an automatic 5 damage to their opponent at the start of any combat. Very expensive, at 800 per unit, but starts with +30XP. Not nearly as fast as the Skimmer or Vertol, but an excellent first-strike unit for any heavily fortified front line and a good anti-Titan unit.
Troll (T20): A human who has been heavily adapted for high-gravity and hazardous conditions; unlike the Ranger, a person choosing the Troll conversion has given up attempting to still look human. Like the Ranger, this is a 65-strength unit that costs 800 and starts with +30XP, but where most other units are optimized for offense, the Troll is all about defense: +50% when defending, another +50% versus ranged attacks, +25% versus Psi units (the only unit with an anti-Psi bonus built in), and the Troll regenerates FULLY every turn regardless of what actions he takes. Also, Trolls have a 10% chance of healing 5 damage at the start of any fight. In a fort or Citadel or at a choke point, these become practically impossible to budge; forget about bombarding them down. They're also good as the first-wave attacker in a tough city assault, since they'll fully heal afterwards and aren't very vulnerable to counterattacks. But their mobility is lousy compared to any other Fusion era unit, although they can move across mountains, so you'll primarily use them within your own rail network.
Bolo (T20): Mentioned above, this is the first Titan unit. Basically, take a Gravtank and double it; it's a lot like getting a Giant Death Robot in the core game (150 strength), where it's practically unstoppable if supported right. Like most Titans it adds a bombardment attack as well; it's a relatively weak one, compared to other Titans, but "weak" still means a 75-strength bombardment capable of wiping out practically any weaker unit caught in the open field. Effectively, this is a 1-unit invasion force, capable of taking down a city single-handedly, and is designed to be the spearhead when attacking a heavily fortified defense line.
Quantum Missile (T20): Non-nuclear missile. Good damage, especially against Titans; when used against units in the open, it also damages all adjacent enemy units and places fallout in the target's hex.
Orbital Ion Cannon (T20): Orbital weapon. The damage isn't very impressive (only 50 strength, with a free EMP promotion), but again, you can hit pretty much anything indiscriminately. This effectively takes over the Air units' "pick off the retreating skirmisher units" role, and is great for a first shot to soften up an even-match opponent, but it's not going to be killing any modern units outright and its damage against cities of this era is pathetic.
Labor Mech (T20): a super-Worker unit, builds at 200% speed. It's actually an Armor unit with 50 strength, so it can defend itself pretty well, but it's not cheap. Workers and Engineers upgrade to this directly (but since it costs Dilithium, not always), and Workers obsolete when these unlock, so in the Nanotech era many of the AI's workers will become these. Most importantly, the Labor Mech can perform some of the more advanced terraforming options, which Combat Engineers can't. The combat power is essential in an era when each side is raiding the other with psi units or vertols, and pillaging everything in sight. It's also nice to have a construction unit you can send in with the combat forces, to repair the damage caused by your invasion, taking over that role from the Golem.
Nearly every unit in this era is a Titan, a massive, expensive engine of pure destruction. If you like military conquest then you've probably already won by this point, but if you haven't, these are "Game Over" units.
Nessus Worm (T21): It's Godzilla. Seriously, it's an amphibious Psi unit that acts more like a Titan. 140 defensive strength and a 100-strength range-1 attack, can travel on any terrain (including oceans) for 1 MP, and regenerates its health fully each turn. One of these comes out of the ocean and levels Tokyo on a regular basis. (As a Psi unit, it'll have the hidden nationality and ability to enter borders without a war, eventually.) But it's not cheap, at 1500 hammers, and it's the last combat unit without a long-range attack. Conversely, it has a massive bonus when attacking cities, so unless the defender has loaded up on defense buildings, a Nessus Worm can often one-shot a city (but can't capture one); a smart defender won't let it get close. The Nessie's other advantage is that it only requires only Omnicytes, and no Dilithium or Neutronium (which tend to be in shorter supply in the late game).
Combat Mech (T21): It's the Giant Death Robot, souped up. A Titan that specializes in bombardment; only 100 strength, but a staggering 120 bombardment strength (with a range of FOUR), and it can carry missile units. Also, it has a big anti-air boost, can see 2 hexes further, and has the usual "all terrain 1 MP" ability. With that firepower, it can generally take a defending city down to 1HP for other units to deal with, and do so at range while taking no damage.
Former (T22): A Titan unit that doesn't fight. It has heavy armor (combat strength 100 but can't attack), it builds Improvements like a Worker at 500% normal speed, and it has access to Terraforming options that smaller workers don't have. A Former can turn hills into plains, snow into tundra, tundra into plains, deserts into grassland, and it can plant forests and jungles. It can move across water as well, which allows it to place water improvements like Fishing Boats without sacrificing itself.
Orbital Death Ray (T22): The Orbital Ion Cannon, dialed it up to 11. 150 combat strength that can hit anywhere in the world and gets a large bonus when attacking cities, but it costs 1400 hammers. While not technically a Titan, it's comparable in price. Unlike the Ion Cannon, this CAN one-shot most non-Titan units. It's horribly expensive, of course, but worth it.
Subspace Generator (T23): What do you get when you cross a Death Ray with a Nuke, and then make it a Titan? Instead of a single-target attack, this unit drops a level 2 (Nuclear Missile-equivalent) nuke anywhere in the world each turn. It costs a 3000 hammers, more than most land-based Titans, but given time one of these will level an empire. (Which is good, since you can only have one.) It's completely impossible to intercept, of course.
There are a couple buildings that reduce the effects of nukes, so by the time you get this, your opponents' cities will often be nearly immune to nuke damage. But that doesn't stop you from nuking their terrain instead; you can easily cripple opponents this way. And unlike earlier nukes, SDI-type projects have no effect on Subspace Generators.
Gravship (T23): the ultimate weapon. Concept-wise, take the Terran Battlecruiser from Starcraft. Then add fighter bays. 200 combat strength, 200 ranged attack, moves 5 hexes across any terrain (including oceans), repairs itself by 2-5 every turn, and is basically immune to air units. It also acts as a Great General, buffing anything else nearby. But it costs 4000 hammers, and you can only have ONE. I would KILL to have the game play the Starcraft "Carrier has arrived." soundbite when you build a gravship.
Barbarians and City-States
The only units listed above requiring no strategic resources are the Combat Engineer, Laser Infantry, and Geosynchronous Survey Pod. Because the minor factions have limited access to strategic resources, special units were created just for them.
Barbarians have access to "Wild" versions of the four Psi units, the Mind Worms, Isle of the Deep, Chiron Locusts, and Nessus Worm. These units are identical to their player-made counterparts, except that they require no resources and begin with additional "mutation" promotions to make up for the lack of +XP buildings for the barbarians. There's also one additional unit unique to Barbarians, the Spore Tower; once the "Breakout" occurs, each turn has a chance of a Spore Tower spawning somewhere in the world. If it's not killed, then each turn the Spore Tower has a chance of spawning various more Psi units. Killing a Spore Tower gives a player 100-200 gold, depending on era, as well as stopping the flow of new units; Spore Towers, however, possess good artillery and defensive abilities and so take some effort to kill.
City-States have access to "Secondhand" versions of the Tank, Modern Armor, Fighter, Jet Fighter, Helicopter Gunship, Rocket Artillery, Plasma Artillery, Stealth Ship, Skimmer, Vertol, Needlejet, and Gravtank. These units are noticeably weaker than their player-made counterparts, but again, require no resources. On the plus side, most Secondhand units can repair improvements or clear fallout, to help offset city-states' defenses against nukes.
These units are treated as Unique Units for these nonplayable civilizations. Players cannot make them, even if you'd rather have that resourceless alternative.
For Promotions, I've added four selectable ones:
Trance I and II (+25% vs Psi units), available to anyone. You can't really get an anti-Psi bonus any other way.
Soporific Gas / Soporific Bombs (+15% versus Gunpowder, Energy, Mounted, Melee, Recon, and Archer units), available to Armor, Siege, Helicopter, Air, Naval, and Titan units.
EMP (+15% vs Armor, Naval, Siege, and Air units), available to Gunpowder, Energy, and Titan units.
Note that neither EMP nor Soporific hurts Psi or Titan units.
However, I've added far more promotions. Several wonders and buildings (Command Nexus, Citizen's Defense Force, Bioenhancement Center, etc.) add free promotions, either to all units trained in that city or to all units everywhere. Others (Hunter-Seeker Algorithm, Space Elevator) add temporary promotions to certain units under certain conditions. Psi units get a unique "Psi" promotion that gives the benefits of the type, above, Titans and Orbitals each have a unique class promotion as well, and many other units have type-specific promotions.
Last edited by Spatzimaus; Nov 14, 2011 at 11:28 AM.
|Sep 19, 2011, 09:48 AM||#5|
Join Date: Sep 2005
Location: Los Angeles, CA
WONDERS and BUILDINGS
Wonders and Buildings adhere much closer to the SMAC design than units did, although here I've changed quite a bit too. For instance, there were no National Wonders in SMAC, a feature I've taken significant advantage of.
Again, in rough order of technology:
The Human Genome Project: +2 happiness, all cities grow 1 size
The Planetary Transit System: Trade route income +10%, and all of your units gain +1 movement within your borders
The Longevity Vaccine: +2 happy, all Specialists generate +1 Food.
The Merchant Exchange: All strategic and luxury resource tiles worked by this city generate +2 gold, and the city gains +1 gold per 2 population
The Maritime Control Center: all Naval units get +1 movement and +20% versus other naval units. All units in all cities get +5 XP; must be a coastal city
The Planetary Energy Grid: all cities get +10% gold, get a free Great Merchant, gain 10 units of Coal and Oil
Clinical Immortality: +1 food per 2 citizens, creates a tradeable luxury resource Ambrosia (+5 Happiness)
The Virtual World: +3 happy, gain a free Social Policy
The Supercollider: +100% research in this city, get a free Great Scientist, gain 10 units of Uranium
The Xenoempathy Dome: All Psi units are 10% stronger, have +1 movement and can pillage for free. All units in all cities get +5 XP.
The Cloudbase Academy: +1 airlift, air units all get +4 range and get extra interceptions, Air units get +20% vs other Air units, and the city's strength is +100% vs. Air bombardment. All units in all cities get +5 XP.
The Cyborg Factory: All units in your empire increase their healing rates by 2 when they rest, and this city produces units 50% faster
The Pholus Mutagen: +25% Food in this city, and all food resource tiles (cows, sheep, etc.) near this city gain +2 food, +1 production, and +1 gold
Theory of Everything: +10% science in all cities, gain one free technology
The Self-Aware Colony: +1 happy per city
The Network Backbone: In this city, +1 base gold per 4 population, and all specialists in your empire generate +1 research
The Space Elevator: Land units that begin their turn in this city (including those just built there this turn) gain the "Orbital Drop" promotion, which allows them to paradrop anywhere on the planet you have visibility. This ability goes away at the end of the turn if the unit is outside the city.
The Universal Translator: Start a Golden Age and gain a free Social Policy
The Telepathic Matrix: Gain any tech that any other civ knows. Gain a Great Empath.
The Cloning Vats: All cities gain 2 citizens instantly
The Nano Factory: All of your units upgrade for free, purchasing units costs 25% less, all units in this city build 25% faster, and gain 10 units of Aluminum
The Bulk Matter Transmitter: trade route income +33% and unlimited airlifts from this city
The Dream Twister: Gain one Great Artist. All other civs get -10 Happiness from now on.
The Manifold Harmonics: for this city, +1 gold, food, production, and science per 2 population, and gain 10 units of Omnicytes.
The Singularity Inductor: All cities get +10% production, you get a Great Engineer, and gain 10 units of Dilithium and Neutronium.
Note: none of these require any previous buildings to be in every city, although a few require specific buildings in the city you build them in.
The Weather Paradigm: Workers work 20% faster, and all of your cities generate 5% more food.
The Planetary Datalinks: Each turn you have up to a 4% chance to learn a tech, stacking with the KGB. Also produces 3 units of the "Information" luxury resource, which adds +3 happiness and can be traded.
Skunkworks: All upgrade costs reduced by 25%, all new units in this city gain +10 XP regardless of type, all units in all cities gain +5 XP regardless of type
The Empath Guild: Gain a free Great Empath. Every turn, all city-states gain free Influence with you depending on your current Influence level (+1.5 for no relation, +1 friend, +0.5 ally). This generally just offsets part of the natural decay, although it IS possible to move upwards as Greece or with the right policy.
The Hunter-Seeker Algorithm: All non-Psi enemy units within your territory get -1 visibility, -1 to range (for artillery/naval units), -1 to healing rate, and -20% combat strength when attacking your cities.
The Nethack Terminus: Gain a technology automatically if more than 50% of the other civs know it, adds a 1% chance of stealing randomly, and warns you when and where other civs are within 5 turns of completing a Wonder. If you can't beat them to it, then this lets you switch to something else without wasting any more time.
The Citizens' Defense Force: All of your units get +10% to combat within your borders, increase healing rate by +1 within friendly territory, and gain +10% strength when defending a city.
The Command Nexus: All of your units get +10% to combat outside of your borders, and gain +1 range (important for naval and artillery units, marginal for air)
The Living Refinery: +50% production if the city has local Dilithium, +50% gold if the city has Neutronium, +10 food if the city has Omnicytes, and it costs one unit of each. Also, all Empaths in all cities gain +1 Production. Basically the Ironworks on steroids.
The Neural Amplifier: all your units get +25% versus Psi units, gain +1 visibility, and gain +10% when adjacent to a friendly unit.
Paradise Garden: +2 Happiness, +25% Great Person rate in all cities, creates 1 unit of all "organic" luxuries
Stasis Generator: City gets +100 strength and immunity to nukes, and all specialists within your empire produce +1 food. Basically makes the city immune to attack. Put it in your capital and never worry about a domination loss. I'd also like it to add the ability that all enemy units within 2 hexes of this city only have 1 MP per turn, and/or that you can't bombard the city. The food boost actually makes more sense than it sounds; a strong stasis field also allows for perfect unspoiled food storage.
Quantum Converter: All hurry costs reduce by 25%, all specialists get +1 production in every city, and gain one unit of each "inorganic" luxury resource (Gold, Silver, Gems, Dyes)
Children's Creche: +8 food in this city but -1 happiness for your empire
Energy Bank: +20% gold, and produces one unit of Oil and one unit of Coal
Perimeter Defense: +10 city strength and 20% nuke defense, but no prerequisites and it's cheap to maintain
Hologram Theater: +3 happy, +25% culture
Genejack Factory: +50% production, but -2 happiness for your empire
Centauri Preserve: +2 happy, all local Omnicyte deposits greatly increase in yield, gain one unit of Omnicytes, two Empath slots; can only be built if the city has local Omnicytes.
Habitation Domes: +1 happy, +2 food, +10% Great People, +10% food storage, city must be Large size note: "Large" means size 13 or 14ish
Aerospace Complex: Air units in this city start with +15 XP and produce 25% faster, city gets +50% defense vs. air attacks, and it's required for all satellite units. Also, Land units that start their turns in this city gain a temporary "Airlift" paradrop.
Bioenhancement Center: units trained in this city get +10% strength. A bit boring, but I did this for a reason; by the Fusion era, you'll have been upgrading a bunch of 100+ XP units for several eras, like a Modern Armor that has Blitz and Repair. This allows newly-constructed units to close the gap a bit and still be a threat, which primarily helps the AIs.
Fusion Lab: +20% research, +20% gold, creates one unit of Uranium and one of Aluminum
Brood Pit: Psi units train 25% faster and start with +15 XP, creates one unit of Omnicytes, +2 gold for Oasis
Sky Hydroponics Lab: all cities get +2% to their food. Unlike in SMAC, you can only build one of these per city.
Orbital Power Transmitter: all cities get +2% gold.
Gravity Shield: +30 city strength, and -100% nuke effects, but it's not cheap and adds -1 happiness to your empire.
Temple of Gaia: +2 happy, +5 culture, +25% Great People rate in this city, create one unit of Omnicytes.
Hybrid Forest: +1 happy, +2 gold per forest or jungle hex near this city. Since Workers will long have had the ability to plant forests and jungles, this could lead to civs "re-greening" their empires and removing the ugly Trading Post sprawl. Unfortunately there's not a stub in the XML for it to check to see if there are any forests or jungles nearby.
Lunar Mining Station: all cities get +2% to production
Robotic Assembly Plant: +1 production per population, but -2 happiness for your empire.
Nanohospital: +5% food storage, +1 research per 4 population, units in this city heal fully each turn
Quantum Lab: +20% research, +20% gold, produces one unit of Dilithium and one of Neutronium
Nanoreplicator: +1 production for each local strategic resource deposit, +1 gold for each local luxury resource, +1 food for each local food resource
Jump Gate: Each turn, you have a 2% chance of triggering a 1-turn Golden Age for each Jump Gate you control. (So if 10 cities have gates, you have a 20% chance.) Every city gains +2% to Research per Jump Gate in your empire. Also, unlimited airlifts, the city is always connected to the Capital for trade networks.
SDI: Nukes are intercepted ~40% of the time (x1.5 for atomic bombs, x0.5 for Planet Busters), but the SDIs of all enemy civs combine against you with diminishing returns. Also unlocks Orbital units.
Orbital Defense Pod: Nukes are intercepted an additional 1-3% of the time, and all orbital weapons' damage is reduced by 5%. Can be built ten times throughout your empire.
The Ascetic Virtues: unlocks Titan units, and your capital gains +2 Great Person points each turn for each Great Improvement in your territory (of the appropriate types).
Finally, there's the Ascent to Transcendence Project. When built, this starts a 20-turn timer. Each turn, knock one turn off (obviously) and your empire is in Anarchy. Each turn, each of your cities loses 1 population (minimum 1, and normal growth isn't stopped although research IS.) At the end of the timer, you win (assuming you're still alive and no one else has won in the interim).
I'm still tweaking a lot of these effects, but this should give the general outline.
SMAC was loaded with Wonders. One of the thing that annoyed me about the core game was that when you reached the Modern Era, there were almost no wonders to build, which made Great Engineers nearly useless. I tried to make up for this by having the Digital Era be filled with Wonders, but many of them were changed to National Wonders to prevent the first civ to launch a spaceship from sweeping up every powerful effect.
As a result, many of the National Wonders duplicate the effects of World Wonders from previous eras. Since every civ can build a National Wonder no matter how far behind they've fallen in techs, this is a nice mechanism to prevent the tech leader from running away with all of the good effects. However, I disliked the core game's "must have X in all cities" mechanism, so all of my National Wonders only require certain buildings to be present in the city they are to be built in, nothing more.
Attached is an image of a wonder-heavy capital city in a late era, using v.1.03 of this mod. Obviously, a size 30+ city with the massive bonuses we're discussing here will be insanely productive, so don't pay too close attention to the raw numbers in this screenshot.
Last edited by Spatzimaus; Nov 14, 2011 at 11:29 AM.
|Sep 19, 2011, 09:49 AM||#6|
Join Date: Sep 2005
Location: Los Angeles, CA
Ten new "Social Engineering" Policies were added, one per tree in the existing game. Each unlocks at a certain technology; a few are in the Fusion era, but most fall in the Digital. These are not actually part of the branches they are linked to; instead, each of these "Super-Finishers" is in the separate Social Engineering branch; each becomes available once you complete an existing tree and recieve the corresponding Finisher policy bonus. As a result, they do not count towards a Cultural Victory, but are significantly stronger than normal Policies.
The 10 Social Engineering options, by branch:
Tradition: Eudaimonic (+1 food, production, gold, and science per 3 population in the capital; doubled happiness from Empaths or the Transcendent Thought tech) at Ethical Calculus
Liberty: Green (+10% food in all cities, +1 food per Water Mill, Solar Plant, or Hydro Plant) at Bioengineering
Honor: Power (All units gain +1 movement and +1 visibility, +50% Production when building military buildings) at Neural Grafting
Piety: Fundamentalist (Gain culture when you kill a unit, one unit is maintenance-free per 10 population) at Social Psychology
Patronage: Free Market (fulfilling quests for city-states gives +100% Influence, golden ages take 20% less Happiness) at Planetary Networks
Commerce: Wealth (+1 gold per Market, Bank, Stock Exchange, or Energy Bank, and +1 production per sea resource) at Industrial Economics
Rationalism: Knowledge (All Farms and Mines give +1 research, all four types of laboratory gain +5% science), at Optical Computers
Freedom: Cybernetic (+1 production per specialist, unhappiness from the Genejack Factory and Robotic Assembly Plant are halved) at Mind-Machine Interface
Autocracy: Thought Control (-10% to all unhappiness, remove unhappiness from the Children's Creche and Gravity Shield) at Pre-Sentient Algorithms
Order: Planned Society (+5 Happiness, and +1 food, production, gold, science, and culture per city), at Fusion Power
Several existing Policies were changed in the Empire mod, to be more compatible with the new mechanisms added by the various Ages of Man content mods. For more information, refer to that thread; the screenshot below shows the rearrangement done in the Empire mod as well as the new Social Engineering area containing these 10 Super-Finishers.
Other things I need:
> I'm still adding 3D art assets as I go, but for now I can't add those for buildings and such.
> Sounds are not easily imported, so that's still on hold.
> The ability to play wonder movies instead of using a flat picture. Either .avi or .mve formats are available.
Last edited by Spatzimaus; Sep 23, 2011 at 05:49 PM.
|Sep 19, 2011, 10:50 AM||#7|
Join Date: Jul 2011
Hi Spatz, first of all, congratz on the new subforum . I'm not sure if this goes here, but it's the closest I think. After a few games, I've noted the tech stealing mechanism, and I feel that it kind of ruins all that I loved about civilization. I'm a tech-muncher, so I used to love keeping at least 10-15 techs ahead of the other civs. The idea of the mechanism is nice, it helps bring other civilizations in the same tech range as you, though I think it's a bit overpowered. 3% to learn a tech if everyone has it is quite a lot, especially if it's PER tech. Basically this means that throwing your tech out the window doesn't have such an impact as it used to...
Again, I'm all for tech diffusion, though I feel that ESPECIALLY after the interplanetary links wonder which adds +4% chance of stealing a tech it just gets rediculous. It's impossible to gain the tech lead, which is really a bummer for me... But that's me, I don't know if other players will agree with me. I'm sure there are players who at times enjoy the fact that they can't fall behind even if there's a runaway civ, so I understand if there's some level of diffusion, but as it is now, it feels way overpowered, even more with datalinks... The extreme case was with the story of Germany in my previous post, where they skipped up 30 techs in about 30 turns. Now THAT just made me want to cry ... .
Still playing that game! The AI is so much more challenging this time around
|Sep 19, 2011, 11:19 AM||#8|
Join Date: Sep 2005
Location: Los Angeles, CA
If every other civ had the tech, you'd have a 3% chance per turn, so on average you'd steal a tech in 33 turns. Assuming the other players are gaining one new tech every ~10 turns, you'd end up staying about 3.3 techs behind the leader. But what happens in practice is that all of the city-states (and the Barbarians) gain a new tech at the same time, so that 3% is actually only 1% in practice, at most. That'd put you 10 techs behind the leaders, as long as you can stay ahead of the city-states. In reality, it'll be even lower, because the other major civs will not all be at the same tech level; you might have only a 0.2% chance for a couple techs that only the leader has, 0.4% for a few more, and so on, with the average being about half the civs having a given tech. That puts you up to 20 techs behind, but that'd be below the city-states. Hence the 10-15 estimate.
If you go for a balanced approach, mixing infrastructure/growth techs with military ones, then you might get passed in one area by a civ beelining for a later tech. Or conversely, if you beeline for a key military tech, then there's a very good chance that one of your opponents will pass you in some other area. You'll still be the tech leader, with a measurable advantage over your opponents, but you won't be guaranteed to be first to every single tech.
This was necessary because of Wonder sweeping. It was too easy to get twenty techs ahead of the AI, and be able to not only get every Wonder, but to place Wonders in fringe cities to benefit from the "+50% Culture if this city has a Wonder" policy. With this sort of change, you'll often lose a few Wonder races in the future eras, which'll keep the game a bit more competitive. You'd see Elizabeth beat you to the Maritime Control Center, because that's her favorite Flavor, and I regularly get beaten to the Merchant Exchange.
It's also just generally the theme of these eras. It's not about who has the tech advantage any more, it's about how well you develop your cities, how well you use the more complex units, and how well you've done on picking Policies. It was just too easy in the core game to get 30-40 techs ahead, at which point it no longer mattered how well you played. That's what I wanted to avoid, so you should try to get away from the idea of having the tech lead be your top priority in general.
And it's not just about defense against you; if they're that far behind, then they'll lose to a single Barbarian camp or city-state that attacks them, and once the Breakout happens and the Spore Towers and Mindworms start spawning, it'd be all over for them. Watching an empire be crippled because it can't remove a Spore Tower that happened to spawn nearby isn't fun, and it ruins the game's balance (since the AI is invariably worse at this). So some form of diffusion on this level was necessary.
Some tweaking can still be done, but it'd be useful to know exactly how many techs behind you everyone was. I'd like the weakest major empires to be ~12 techs back with KGB, ~6 with the Planetary Datalinks, and ~4 with the Nethack Terminus.
Now, one issue may be the randomness of the process. That was a necessity to avoid any save/load issues, but if need be I CAN shift the system to be a bit less random, to where the chance of stealing is reduced depending on how many turns it's been since your last steal, or something along those lines. But remember: randomness hurts the player (you) more than the AI, because the AI has no long-term plans and bases his choice on random numbers anyway. So removing the randomness from this process will help you more than the AI empires, making things easier.
|Sep 19, 2011, 03:57 PM||#9|
Join Date: Sep 2005
Location: Los Angeles, CA
I should also mention, the numbers for this tech-stealing are VERY easy to modify. In the CIV5Buildings.xml file (in XML/Buildings, obviously), there's a custom table at the very bottom of the file. You should see entries for the buildings in question labeled something like "TechStealChance"; KGB should have a 3, Planetary Datalinks a 4, and Nethack Terminus a 1.
So if you're uncomfortable with how often techs are being stolen, you can lower these numbers (say, to 2, 3, and 1) and see what it does to the gap between the tech leader and the lower civs. This would only affect new games, not ones already in progress.
Before you do this, though, I'd suggest using FireTuner to see how far behind everyone actually is; it should be a simple Lua command like
for index,pTeam in pairs(Teams) do print( pTeam:GetName(), pTeam:GetNumTechs() ) end
(I'll check the syntax when I get home tonight.)
This should allow you to keep an eye on how far back everyone else is, and see if it matches the guidelines I mentioned above. The important thing is that no major civ should ever fall noticeably below the City-States and Barbarians, who gain techs through both normal research (for the city-states) and a tech-stealing mechanism of their own (for both).
|Sep 20, 2011, 05:38 AM||#10|
Join Date: Jul 2011
Okay, I see your point, I actually agree that it's better to make the game emphasis playing well more than simply out-teching the enemy. What I am worried about is that all my "hard work" on teching up is for naught, because the other AI's basically just get for free something I worked hard to get. Now this wouldn't worry me in the early ages, but later on, closer to trascendence victory, this becomes quite an issue. Since everyone will be within 4 techs of each other, the "science" victory is kind of drowned out, because everyone is reaching that finishing point very closely to eachother. The entire game a player could have ignored tech, and then around the end start working really hard on it... I understand this is kind of an "end-game" function, also it helps to know the fact that being 4 techs ahead is enough to reach it before the others... But it still feels too close for comfort. I could try changing the XML files and see how that feels... For now I'm sticking with your settings, maybe it makes more sense to balance it like this .
Also, even with the tech diffusion mechanisms, Iroquois beat everyone to every single wonder (besides 3-4, including the space-program). Now I understand that it's possible to have VERY high wonder flavor, but he seems to have high flavor on everything. He has INSANELY high gold, something like 80k right now, gaining 4k per turn. He has insanely high culture too, something like 2000 culture/pt (woah!). Also insanely high tech, he's always neck to neck with me. There seems to be nothing he's NOT emphasized in... Just thought i'd note this - The tech diffusion did not prevent him from hogging every single wonder there has been so far.
|Sep 20, 2011, 07:17 AM||#11|
Join Date: Sep 2005
Location: Los Angeles, CA
Another part to keep in mind is the amount of "hard work" you've actually done. In earlier Civ games, going for techs actually had a cost, since you'd have to put less into Culture and Gold to do so, and the larger your empire was the more you needed to set that slider towards gold (to offset corruption). But in Civ5, research is very hands-off; you have to build research buildings, but beyond that you can just sit back and let the beakers roll in, at a pace the smaller empires could never hope to match; the biggest empire would invariably be the tech leader, unless you played on the highest difficulties.
This is HORRIBLE for game balance, so something had to be done. I compensated using these buildings; Thalassicus, over in his mod, compensated by changing the math on Research Agreements to where the civs with fewer techs were given extra beakers while the tech leaders would get much less. Same basic idea: make research easier for smaller empires. I modeled my system on what the game already uses for Barbarians and City-States, who steal techs from the major civs instead of researching them. (City-States do both, but their research rate is tiny compared to major civs, so in the later eras the vast majority of their science comes through stealing.)
One of the things I'd considered a while back was lowering the KGB to 2%, and putting 1% on the Palace, just so that it wouldn't be quite so abrupt a transition; you'd have been stealing a few techs here and there throughout the earlier Eras, and the chances would just get better at a few points. If a 3% maximum is okay but the game is just untenable at the ~8% the other national wonders give, then one possibility would be to cap the steal percent at, say, 5%. That is, you'd still be the same rate as now when only a few civs had a tech, but you would hit a wall where once half of the civs had a tech you wouldn't get any bonus for even more of them having it.
This is also linked to a problem I'd run into; it was very easy, if you won the space race, to stay in a sort of perma-Golden Age for thirty or forty turns and build up such a huge amount of money that you'd be untouchable. Especially if you're playing Persia. I've tried to tone that down a bit, but it's still fairly common to see.
For instance, if you're playing on Deity, the AI:
> Has only 60% of the normal Unhappiness. (Previously this STACKED with the Chieftain issue, to only be 36% of what you had.)
> Has cities that grow twice as fast
> Buildings, Units, etc. all cost 50% of their normal values
> Units cost half the normal maintenance and half the normal upgrade costs
On King, these are all in the ~85-90 range instead, but if you're playing on Immortal I could see losing the Wonder races pretty often even if you were the tech leader.
|Sep 21, 2011, 11:48 AM||#12|
Join Date: Jul 2011
First of all, I think I've found a clue as to why sometimes a player will get more than 2 techs. I was recently playing, and I lost the tech lead and am now trailing 5 techs behind EVERYONE (I have no idea how that happened, but oh well). On the last turn I played I received 2 techs at once, and the notification stated on one tech that it was stolen by KGB, and on the other that it was stolen by interplanetary datalinks. Maybe the one tech limit is per-wonder, and the multiple tech stealing is due to the fact that there are two wonders? Hope this helps.
Also, I always wondered what exactly the breakout is (I'm not familiar with the alpha cetauri game).
I would also like to note that the mindworm-barbarians totally K.O.ed me, I was only a few techs behind the rest of the civs, and yet these 140 strength brutes were spawning all over my empire wreaking havoc. Most of my units were in war, and the remainder that were defending were pummeled by these super-units. It's insane!
An update on the game I've been playing: I was the tech leader until around turn 450. Around then I was in war so my happiness dropped and my breaker production took a hit. From that point until around turn 500, the rest of the civs were only slightly higher than me in their tech production. And yet they ALL passed me in tech, and not only that, ALL took the lead and are ALL at least 4 techs ahead of me. I feel that if I had a buffer of 10-15 this wouldn't have happened, and even with the gap being 4-5 I still don't see how this could have happened, but still, like I said before, I think this reinforces the reason I think 7% is overpowered. OR to limit the amount that can be stolen, like you suggested earlier - it would put soft brakes on the tech train. Also, as I noted before, Iroqouis was beating EVERYONE to ALL the wonders and he was TRAILING me in tech, but since he was getting many techs "free", as were the others, he kept beating me (he has a very tall empire and is production CRAZY). He also seems to be in a constant golden age, I can't explain how else he would have a constant 4,000 gold income (according to info addict, this is actually the average!!!).
That's my update for now, hope it helps !
|Sep 21, 2011, 12:47 PM||#13|
Join Date: Sep 2005
Location: Los Angeles, CA
Just realize that while fixing this will eliminate the 2-techs-on-1-turn phenomenon, it won't really change much in the long term, as you'll just have two techs stolen on consecutive turns instead or something. The gap betwen the tech leaders and the trailing civs won't really change.
When you arrive on Planet, with your one dinky Colony Pod, the planet is already covered in Fungus, a reddish plant that spawns mindworms, and occasionally spawns Fungal Towers that spawn worms faster. Later on, the fungus will spawn Locusts of Chiron, which are a lot more dangerous, and Spore Launchers, which are basically mindworm artillery. You've got a few turns to pick a good spot before the worms start to appear, but it's pretty much a threat from the start. Your "Former" worker units can remove the fungus nearest your cities, but doing so makes Planet unhappy with you and makes mindworm spawns even more likely in your area. Also, later in the game, after you unlock certain techs or pick certain policies, fungus' yields are higher than improved terrain AND act as roads, so you don't always want to clean them up.
This helps reduce empire-on-empire conflict early on, as you'll have a tough time even reaching your neighbors and the game's a lot more defensive than Civ as your workers need to be protected. There's also fungus in the oceans (and you can make Sea Formers who can plant Kelp Farms, add improvements to those farms to add minerals or energy, and clean Fungus) that spawns Isles of the Deep and, later, Sealurks (i.e., the Nessus Worms).
My mod, however, is still set on Earth as it's intended to flow smoothly from the existing content. Earth, despite our best efforts, isn't covered in fungus, and our current inability to change terrain graphics in Civ5 ruled out any attempt to add fungus to the existing game. So I needed a transition from one playstyle to the other, some excuse to have worms be the new Barbarians. There needed to be some point at which mindworms and such would start spawning; it could have been a simple on/off, but I also needed some excuse to give civs that hadn't launched the spaceship the Centauri Ecology tech, and I needed it to be something that would happen fairly soon after the first ship was launched, or else it'd be in the player's best interests NOT to launch, to research as far up the tree as he could, and the use the ship's free techs and policies to grab more valuable stuff.
Hence, the Breakout; the idea, lore-wise, is that the colonists on Alpha Centauri sent back maps of the genomes of the local wildlife, and most of the powerful nations attempted to engineer their own worms in captivity; after all, they're psionically active creatures, so you could use them against an enemy without him having any way to trace it back to you, controlling them telepathically from your own territory. Inevitably they escaped into the wild; a few through inadequate safeguards, a few through military actions, and a few through a particularly stupid group of P.E.T.A. terrorists. That last one's actually based on an old Heinlein story about a anti-animal cruelty group that tried to release engineered dinosaurs from a zoo.
Basically, it's like an old Godzilla movie. Godzilla shows up and attacks Tokyo; the military is completely ineffectual at first, barely slowing him down at all... and then MechaGodzilla shows up. I'm not saying they'll be complete pushovers, but once you have a few Bolos, Combat Mechs, and such, it shouldn't be too hard to pound a Nessi down. And they don't spawn very often at all (10% chance per turn per tower), so the only way you'd see more than one would be if you had quite a few intact towers near your territory. (Now, since Nessi are amphibious you need to be careful about monitoring any offshore islands...)
City-states should have a real problem defending themselves from Nessi as they can't make Titan units. But you'll be entering the endgame at that point; either defend your CS allies, or let them die while you race for the end.
Once upon a time there was the Ages of Man mod set. Then Firaxis broke it. But thanks to the DLL efforts of the community, the mods shall rise again!
Last edited by Spatzimaus; Sep 21, 2011 at 01:00 PM.
|Sep 21, 2011, 12:56 PM||#14|
Join Date: Sep 2005
Location: Los Angeles, CA
It also depends on which Policy branches you took. If you picked Rationalism over Piety then you'll have had a big advantage in science in earlier eras, but now that choice will be less useful as the tech-stealing keeps everyone close to you, while Piety (which isn't really that great early on) starts to really shine as Happiness becomes more of an issue.
What difficulty are you playing on? If it's Emperor or above, then I can understand that sort of discrepancy; your only hope on the higher handicaps is to have a significant advantage in beaker production, and that'll only happen if you conquer one of your competitors early on and have the largest empire in the later phases.
One other question: are any of your opponents DLC civs? One thing I haven't done in this mod is make any attempt to adjust UUs and UBs from DLCs, so if one of the AI civs is using a DLC civ that has some sort of UB variant of a building I'd modified (especially a research-oriented one), then it wouldn't have accounted for that.
Now, this can also go back to difficulty; AIs on higher difficulties need less food to grow, with Deity opponents only needing HALF as much food as you do to gain a size. So they can quickly outstrip you in size, especially India or Persia (due to their Happiness changes). But on King, you should have no problem winning Wonder races, because even if the AI does develop vertically you'll be more efficient at how you develop.
It'd be useful to know his current Happiness surplus. If it's over 100, then that would explain the near-constant GAs, but the only way to get that high would be to NOT expand your empire beyond its core cities, not build the buildings that subtract Happiness, and to specifically pick the Policy branches that boost Happiness. (Tradition, Piety, and Freedom especially.) If he's doing that, then he should be a pushover militarily, even with a tech lead and plenty of production. Heck, just toss a dozen Planet Busters at his biggest cities, and he'll never beat you to another Wonder again... max interception chance on a PB is 50%, so at least half will get through.
Now, I do intend to reduce the tech-stealing Wonders down to lower levels, like 1% for KGB and 2% for Planetary Datalinks, but only once the unit-based espionage system in the Empire mod is in place. And that'll require the DLL to do, so it'll be a while. But eventually, the process WILL get a bit less random.
|Sep 22, 2011, 04:06 AM||#15|
Join Date: Jul 2011
Hi Spatz, I just finished playing the game I was telling you about, I lost due to the Iroqouis completing the Utopia project (I did my best to stop them, halfway through the massacre he finished the project ). All in all, the game felt very well balanced, was very challenging and this time I got much further into the tech tree than last time (Finally had gravtanks and needlejets). I think the loosing point was around the Titan project tech. I have a few notes:
First of all, it's not clear to me what role exactly the Vertol is supposed to play, since it didn't seem very effective against any unit. I preferred to use Plasma artillery due to their 3 range (+1 command) vs. the Vertol's 1 range. The mobility is nice though, but it doesn't feel all too useful.
Second, the AI does not seem to understand or want to use PlanetBusters. I built a few and totally blew the AI away, and while he was nuking me left and right with nukes and atomics, none of the AI's used even ONE buster, and I'm not sure if they built any either.
Also a small note on CSs, I liberated their city states after a long oppression by the Iroquois, and the next turn Persia bought them away from me with gold and declared war on me. First of all, this is annoying. Second, it's annoying . The amount of influence I gained from liberating them was something like 80-90 influence I think. I don't think that's an adequate thank you for liberating them (also to prevent the other AIs from pulling crap like in my last game).
Another note on CSs... For some reason all the Nessus worms would mass towards the CSs and leave me alone (not complaining), even if they spawned over 15 hexes away, they'd make their way over to the CS and harass them. Why is this? o_O
Also, I don't know if this will help, but along ALL the games I've played, everyone is extremely tight on aluminium. Last game I had a hoard of Uranium and a ton of everything else, but it always feels like the game is seriously lacking aluminium, and not just to the point of "making it scarce" - Many of the later units and buildings require it, and as it is you're choked up on aluminium for the units, so no way are you going to build a building that requires it. It's sad for me, because I want to use all those cool units but I can't because aluminum is so scarce!
Iroquois had something like 7-8 landmarks all over his empire, and as such, beat me in a culture victory. It doesn't seem he's burning them on golden ages, but by the looks of it on info addict, he really was nearly constantly in a golden age (100+ happiness). I guess he was a GP spammer + all the other things he did... Well played... !!
|Sep 22, 2011, 11:37 AM||#16|
Join Date: Sep 2005
Location: Los Angeles, CA
But Vertols have a secondary use: raiders. Because they can move across any terrain, including water, and don't embark, they're great to send on an end run around your enemy's front line. Sure, they can't capture any cities and can't really stand up to heavy attacks, but they can harass workers, pick off support units, or pillage improvements. They're sort of like the land-based equivalent to submarine units. They're not built for the sort of static slog that tanks and artillery are, but they have a lot of utility in a more mobile environment.
This also brings in a third role: city-state protection. On maps where your CS allies are on small islands of their own, or when they share a continent with a hostile empire, it's very hard to protect them from an aggressive enemy. You won't send unaccompanied land units, so rather than build additional naval units (which get less and less useful as the game goes on) you can send a Vertol or two instead.
It's also possible that it did hook them up, but spent all of its Dilithium on Fusion Labs and upgrading tanks instead of cranking out PBs. But first let's check if he'd hooked them up.
One of the things I've been looking to do is simply remove the Aluminum consumption of the Hydro Plant and Spaceship Factory. Make it a unit-only resource; I know in my own games, I just don't build those buildings, even if I can, because every unit of aluminum means another tank or bomber I can field. Doing this will change the production amounts in the Digital Era, though, so it's something I need to be careful with.
Now, I have had games where I had tons of aluminum, although those were really the exception. And if resources are scarce, then it encourages you to take the Autocracy branch and/or the Patronage one, since those have policies that boost resource amounts. And once you get to Fusion Labs you should be adding quite a bit more. But yes, it'll still be scarce.
|Sep 30, 2011, 09:29 AM||#18|
Join Date: Sep 2005
Location: Los Angeles, CA
So here goes. I've attached alternate texture DDS files for the Colony Pod, Gravtank, and Spore Tower inside a zip file. The Colony Pod one uses no compression at all, the Gravtank one (texture2.dds) uses BC3/DXT5 (the same compression the icon files use), and the Spore Tower one is a no-compression version of the previous BC3 file. So take these, replace the existing file within each unit's Art subdirectory with the appropriate name (just drop the "2" from the name), and see if any of these three units works for you.
I tried getting a variety here; the first two units are ones whose texture was directly taken from the Civ4 unit with no modification other than compression, while the Spore Tower is one that I re-mapped myself. So if one of these three works, then I'll know what's wrong.
|Sep 30, 2011, 10:42 AM||#19|
Join Date: Sep 2011
Good stuff, I'll give it a shot as soon as possible and update. It might be worth noting that the spore tower *does* work at the moment... so possibly the re-mapping is the key.
|Oct 01, 2011, 06:13 AM||#20|
Join Date: Sep 2011
Sadly the new textures made no difference, BUT on the plus side everything works just fine in the DX9 version (I was sure I had tried it previously but perhaps not...).
In DX10/11 mode, the following do NOT appear: Needlejet, Bolo, Gravtank, Stealth Ship, Colony Pod, Isle of the Deep, Vertol, Gravship.
The Titan Mech, Assault Powersuits and Spore Tower DO work in DX10/11.
I also tried GIMP with DDS plugin and I can view all the textures no problem.
Do you use DX9 mode yourself or does it work in 10/11 for you?
Even without animations the new models make a huge difference, looks awesome. If the solution is to just play in DX9 mode then I can probably live with that
On a separate note, I've only had time for one real game with the new version and a few test games to check on the texture issue but maps seem to be *very* tight on Dilithium and Omnicytes. Aluminium, Uranium and Neutronium are much more plentiful. My last game had just one hex of Dilithium in the whole world (duel map), same for Omnicytes.
The water based resources:
Still no sign of the AI improving water oil/dilithium tiles but I'll keep an eye on that over the next few games. The new improvement looks decent, though. Can we get something similar for Neutronium?
Adding oil to the carrier may have fixed that issue as they were building destroyers/subs instead now. Makes for a much more threatening navy. Defensively the AI seems quite tough now. I had a lot of trouble making any kind of progress offensively, short of nuking them into oblivion... On the subject of global thermonuclear war... is there any kind of logic built into the AI whereby it might NOT immediately take every conflict nuclear? They really don't seem keen on conventional warfare.