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Brainstorm Global Condition: You all Lose

Discussion in 'CivBE - Ideas and Suggestions' started by LORD ORION, Jan 19, 2015.

  1. LORD ORION

    LORD ORION Warlord

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    As recommended by Minor Annoyance here
    We can call it the "Great Mistake 2.0" condition

    Basically, is there room / need for a gameplay mechanic that makes everyone lose if everyone only plays "to win".

    Some basic guidelines for this suggestions
    1) This global condition should be a gameplay trigger to prevent/discourage "bad" gameplay elements among players.
    2) Any 1 faction should not be able to trigger this event as a "hah you were going to win, but I foiled your victory" strategy.

    So I'll open up with some general comments

    A Bad gameplay Element:
    Non-interacting with other players: Players build up their territory (develop tiles, build defense units) and then just rush to a victory condition inside their borders. Who has the best development strategy of the given starting places? Bleah.. who cares, because that's not a fun game. ;)

    What can we do to solve it?
    Maybe some sort of diplomacy interaction that makes people cooperate (with resentment) that eventually leads up to players being required to pillage certain enemy tiles / sabotage certain buildings?

    This is a brainstorm thread, so plz post ideas / thoughts:
    What do you think are bad gameplay elements in this game?
    Any observations on the current human condition? ;) *you know, make games draw attention to real problems in a round about sort of way*
     
  2. Minor Annoyance

    Minor Annoyance Deity

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    A lot has been said about the victories coming too early. So what if trying for a victory right away with the minimum 13 affinity has disastrous consequences?

    One that came to mind for me is Transcendence. Joining an alien intelligence seems risky. It's implied that the whole planet is joined, including those that don't necessarily want to.
    So what if trying transcendence too early kills the planets consciousness and takes everybody minds with with them. Whole planet including aliens, brain dead.
    Or there is too much hostility among humans and their consciousness can't fully join that way so everyone goes berserk trying to free themselves of other people's thoughts so they can be the only consciousness left.
    Last transcendence corruption, you partly succeed in joining with the consciousness, but either it doesn't fully recognize your intelligence or doesn't trust it. So instead of expanding your understanding of life and the universe, it adopts you as a worker class. Drones (not the flying kind) that plant foliage, tend to nests, and act as an emergency food supply in lean times.

    It could be that each colony has to accomplish something to avoid this fate when it's triggered and if they don't then they've effectively lost and in the case of the berserk outcome become a barbarian empire.
     
  3. 4N4C0ND4

    4N4C0ND4 King

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    I was thinking about something:

    If the sum of global affinities reach a level, things happens globally;
    - affinity: bigger aliens, more nests, more miasma, etc..
    - purity: no ideas yet, too much terraforming = rise seas? some tile become randomly transformed? desertification?
    - supremacy: global health penalties, tiles become randomly polluted = no use

    The fun factor would be that you have to focus against people having the same affinities (which doesnt make so much sense, I agree :)) to lower the global danger.

    What I like is that it's not a strictly "I lost" situation, but a growing annoyance that hinder any type of victory whatsoever.
     
  4. Lglenhaber

    Lglenhaber Chieftain

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    Maybe you could try for a affinity victory whenever (as long as you have the right tech), but if you try to do it to early and you are not prepared, there might be some disaster...
     
  5. HandyVac

    HandyVac Gentleman

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    Perhaps some kind of common threat to the whole planet, which requires two or more factions working together to solve/defeat?

    e.g.
    - A solar flare will wipe out all life on the planet in X turns, unless enough solar shade satellites are launched globally.
    - Giant alien robots invade from outer space and declare war on everybody... will you form an allience with your former enemies to fight them?
    - The planetary conciousness becomes so distressed that it decides all humans must die, becomes permenantly hostile to everybody and pulls out the really big siege worms that never normally come to the surface.
     
  6. LORD ORION

    LORD ORION Warlord

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    Hold on, this is going to be a long read to explain.

    I keep getting back to "Need a reason to go into enemy territory and pillage their stuff"

    eg: If you've ever read "Sea Sick" by Alanna Mitchell (it is a pretty grim read) many of the earth's ecospheres actually have game like mechanics.

    eg: The Hydrosphere can be imagined as having a numerical representation for "shield" that protects it's "Life points"

    Pollution goes right into the shields with negligible effects, because the hydrosphere in real life has a robust buffer system to maintain its own equilibrium. (if it was fragile, changes would be too radical and rapid and life would have died off before it evolved)

    The problem is, when you eat through the "Shield" and do damage directly to the "Life points" of the hydrosphere, very bad things happen to the food chains. (we're looking at a global die off)

    The game on our real planet earth; The "shield" (buffer system) is quite incredible in size, so we can build up a crap ton of pollution with little effect. However The life points of the hydrosphere is much smaller then the shield. When we cut through the shield, we do massive damage to the planet.

    The problem; we are expanding our pollution levels, so eating through the shield at a more alarming rate. We need to pretty much cut our pollution levels in 1/2 just to stop eating through the shields, let alone allow the shields to regenerate.

    On "beyond earth"

    Perhaps a global running total of tile based +output of ALL factions is accrued with the exception of energy (you'll see why in a sec). At some point in the game "the event" occurs.
    1) +output total is shown to all players in the status bar along with a "tipping point" value
    2) Ecosphere "shield" and "health" is also shown
    2) Damage to the ecosphere "shield" starts to happen if +output is higher than the tipping point value.

    Choices... work cooperatively through diplomacy and mitigate +output by expending energy (thats why energy it not tallied, think of energy spent as "scrubbing pollution")

    Pillage the crap out of enemy tiles to reduce the output vs tipping point values. :DDDDDD

    Now... if the "shield" is depleted and the "life points" of the ecosphere start to get hurt, BAD THINGS should start to happen.

    How BAD? Well... what if we starting killing off food so cities starve? (which is what happens when the food chain is damaged)

    What if when things get really bad the chemistry of the ecosphere changes and irreverisble damage is done? (tiles like fruit/coral/chitin begin to be removed)

    What if the hitpoints are gone? Population starts to be reduced every turn until damage to the ecosphere stops and the "shield" can regenerate.

    In short, you should be able to really mess up the planet if you do nothing except sit in your borders and take no action other than increase output :)
     
  7. Lglenhaber

    Lglenhaber Chieftain

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    As well, all of the aliens would become very aggravated, but at a certain point start to die off
     
  8. laslin

    laslin Chieftain

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    I remember posting in steam forum an idea about a learning/evolving alien,which will profit from human tech advancement(adapt) and favorable encounter(assimilation)such as killing human unit or city.

    So in this system,human have to research to get better gun against the numerical advantageous alien threat,but this in term speed up the alien's evolve which will also cause trouble for those pacifist human neighbor.

    The plot (or quest system)should allow choices of more radical measure of solving the problem like trying to ensure one's safety while risking other(gene field research/secret weapon project), or try to build an united front of human against the alien.
     
  9. Minor Annoyance

    Minor Annoyance Deity

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    Going with a theme of corrupting a victory condition:
    Using the beacon, instead of contacting aliens, reveals your planet to a hostile human force (possibly the marauders from Starships) who nuke your largest city from orbit and land a substantial military force and try to conquer the planet.
     
  10. Galgus

    Galgus Emperor

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    As a Chrono Trigger fan, I'd kind of like a Lavos parasite to be detected in the planet, which requires huge military force to defeat.
    __________________________

    @Minor Annoyance

    That kind of scenario is the biggest justification for fighting to stop a Contact victory.
     
  11. MrUnderhill

    MrUnderhill Civ-loving Hobbit

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    - Purity: The Warp Gate is complete, but unstable. Tens of thousands of Earth refugees try to cross the distance, desperate to escape the dying world, but most of them are lost in transit. The handful of survivors are only barely enough to maintain a long-term colony on the planet's surface. In your haste and desperation to reclaim Earth's past glory, you've doomed what was left of her culture and civilization.

    In-Game Effect: Earthling Settlers cannot be summoned on purpose. Instead they spawn instantly in sparse random intervals (say around 10% chance per turn), greatly slowing down a Promised Land victory.

    - Supremacy: Same as Purity, but in the other direction. Your people come not as liberators or conquerors, but as refugees, deformed and destroyed by the strange forces used in the incomplete Emancipation Gate. The few who survive are now at the mercy of the Earth governments. It remains to be seen whether they will still be recognized as human. Far from being able to survive under any planet's skies, your people's implants will surely fail without the Firaxite needed to make even basic repairs, or the collective intelligence now rendered inaccessible by the Gate's closure. You may have doomed your people to slow, agonizing degradation, for which death would be a mercy, not a curse.

    In-Game Effect: Population across your faction is cut in half. The game continues as if the Emancipation Gate was never built. You can try to build the Gate again, but it will be much harder, and without further pushing your affinity, you risk the disaster happening again.

    - Harmony: The Mind Flower is complete, but the union between your people and the planet's intelligence isn't. The planet lashes out at your people, causing the more deeply melded to turn on the less-so. You flee from your capital as the possessed agents overrun your defenses, wondering where you went wrong.

    In-Game Effect: Half of your bases, including the base where the Mind Flower was built, are taken over by the aliens. Any units stationed near those bases are also converted to the alien faction.
     
  12. Galgus

    Galgus Emperor

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    Perhaps there could be some global event with something making the Aliens more aggressive.

    Essentially building-sized structures would begin to appear across the planet which both spawn Aliens faster and begin to spread Miasma.

    These aliens would look somewhat different from others and would be universally aggressive, even to other Aliens.

    Players would need to capture the Mind Stem tiles after fighting their way through the Aliens around them, and after enough were captured the location of the Core Mind directing the altered Aliens would be revealed.

    Destroying the stems and the Core Mind would require fighting through heavy resistance, but it would give some useful Science yields.

    If they are not destroyed, they will continually spawn Aliens until the planet is overrun - spawning more and bigger varieties the longer they are left untouched.

    This scenario could be interpreted as a failed prototype Mind Flower or a sentient entity evolving from the planet in response to humanity.
    _______________________________________________________________________
    ______________________________________________________________________

    @MrUnderhill

    Those victory changes twist the optimistic theme of Beyond Earth into something dystopian and cruel, and are thus fully unfit for the game.

    Somehow you even made the creepy hive mind victory more creepy.

    This would be solid material for the soul of Alpha Centauri, but it just doesn't fit here.
     
  13. MrUnderhill

    MrUnderhill Civ-loving Hobbit

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    The failure states aren't supposed to replace the successes: they're bleak because they're a punishment for being too greedy or hasty with your chosen victory condition rather than waiting until your faction is truly ready. That way other factions (even ones who share your affinity) have a (non-gamey) reason to oppose you. "I'm going to stop you because otherwise you're going to hit your 'I Win' button before I hit mine," becomes "I'm going to stop you because you're pursuing something that has a non-zero chance of causing bad things(tm) for yourself and possibly the rest of us." And the possibility of failure makes victory all the more sweet.

    Which is the whole point of this thread, right? Yes, BE is generally more optimistic than AC, but both are set against a very pessimistic backstory of humanity dooming itself through it's own hubris. Adding consequences to each of the victory conditions fits that theme just fine, and it's something that none of the original Civ games could get away with. If anything, I was probably too light with some of the failure conditions, in that most of the consequences only affect the faction that failed (though I still like that they're all ironic; having the one thing you value most turn into a liability in some way).

    Edit: It could also present a very good justification for joint victories. In regular Civ, there really is no reason to work together towards a particular victory condition if you have the means to pursue it by yourself. I suspect that's why hardly anyone seriously uses Permanent Alliances in Civ 4 and why they were taken out of Civ 5. Here, if going it alone has a high risk of failure, it could encourage factions of the same affinity to work together to make sure that doesn't happen. That would fit in perfectly with BE's optimistic tone: avoiding a second Great Mistake by collaborating instead of competing.
     
  14. Galgus

    Galgus Emperor

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    The other factions already have non-gamey reasons to oppose victory conditions.

    Contact - What if the Progenitors do not have good intentions? Is humanity ready to deal with the consequences of contacting them?

    Mind Flower - A creepy and seemingly involuntary hivemind, risking the death of the individual.

    Emancipation Gate - Do you really want them to march an army into Earth to dominate it?

    Promised Land - Hardest victory to find reason to oppose, but it could come from a similar vein of Emancipation Gate in not wanting the colony to have such huge influence over Earth.
    _______________________________________________________________________

    What the Great Mistake actually was is kept consistently vague, so calling it hubris is largely baseless.

    Yes, the story of Beyond Earth starts in a desperate plight, but its theme in the colonization is that technology and the riches of the new world will make life great.

    Your suggestions reverse that theme into the AC style of a dystopian future where advances led to tragedy and atrocity.

    It's also not very realistic to say that everything could somehow backfire massively after so much time and effort focused on its success.
     
  15. MrUnderhill

    MrUnderhill Civ-loving Hobbit

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    Those work in the background flavor but they have no impact on gameplay. The victory conditions right now are 3-4 different flavors of "I Win." Contact is always peaceful (or at least the game ends before we find out one way or another). The Mind Flower always brings about a new age of enlightenment. The Emancipation Gate always results in successfully uplifting the Earth. The Exodus Gate always results in a new Earth-as-Paradise. All I want is for those very real concerns you just mentioned to be represented mechanically within in the game.

    The fact that they call it a mistake implies 1. that it was man-made rather than an act of God/Nature and 2. that it was (theoretically) avoidable. Good enough for me.

    Again, not everyone would or should end up failing. If you put sufficient time and effort into a victory condition, then you've earned it and deserve the good endings we have now. But how much time and effort is enough? The conditions I outlined aren't so much dystopian as "the logical consequence of you screwing up big-time." Right now every victory condition is a race to the finish, and that implies that some factions would cut corners to get to the "finish line" before someone else does. Competitive players already do this. That choice should have consequences. I like the idea of a failure condition because it gives us a rare chance to explore what it really means to "win" at Civilization, and the lengths players will go to do such.
     
  16. Galgus

    Galgus Emperor

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    Does a moral question have to directly effect gameplay for it to be relevant?

    Regardless of your answer, the loss condition still ties it into gameplay by making it something to avoid.

    I'd argue that Contact never tells what happens after, the Mind Flower is always an evil hivemind induction, the Emancipation Gate's intent and methods are always dubious, and the Exodus Gate is always a mass refugee situation.
    _______________________________________________________________

    It could have been a nuclear war - the madness of a dictator or of a nation.

    That wouldn't be hubris, it would be aggression with no concern for the consequence.
    ____________________________________________________________________

    They are dystopian - the failure of everything a colony worked for into an abomination of its intent can't not be dystopian.

    I'd agree that weakening beelines and expanding options is a good mechanical goal, but I don't feel the need to break the legs of whatever player pulls ahead, or to make victory a game of betting on RNG.
     
  17. MrUnderhill

    MrUnderhill Civ-loving Hobbit

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    Fair enough. I'm no fan of the RNG, myself. Suppose there was a way to increase your chance of success up to 100%, through raising your affinity level, researching techs, and building infrastructure. If you're the kind of player who won't push towards victory until it's absolutely safe, that's great. However, you might lose a couple of times to someone who is comfortable with 75%, or you might have to clean up the mess of someone who thought 75% was enough when it wasn't. That small change creates a whole spectrum of possible choices, each as valid and as interesting as the other. Isn't that what Sid himself said games are all about?

    I'd say it does. Games are fundamentally about mechanics more than narrative. If a moral question isn't represented mechanically, then it's just flavor, because you as a player aren't allowed to explore the consequences of choosing either way. I think Emancipation Victory is creepy as hell, too, but that doesn't stop the game from portraying it as a 100% positive thing if you lean even slightly toward Supremacy.

    Something to avoid until you're ready for it. No one says you have to pursue a victory as soon as it becomes available. This isn't breaking the legs of the player in the lead so much as giving every player the opportunity to pull ahead at the risk of breaking their own legs. Again, it's a choice.
     
  18. Galgus

    Galgus Emperor

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    That chance to fail in trying to jump the gun would be a game of betting on RNG.

    It adds choices, yes, but not good ones - as they are entirely centered on betting on RNG.
    _________________________________________

    I think its better for the game's themes to tie into its mechanics, something I've posted many suggestions for, but a theme doesn't need a mechanic tie-in to matter.

    Flavor is extremely important - one of the points of tying themes into mechanics is to increase flavor.

    The game gives a biased view of each victory condition from the perspective of its supporters when you win - I don't think its intended to be an objective portrayal.
    ______________________________________________________________________________

    You would essentially push players into playing the RNG early to beat the other guy who may play it early and then break their legs if it goes the other way.
     
  19. MrUnderhill

    MrUnderhill Civ-loving Hobbit

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    The RNG would just be a quick way to implement it. You could use something more deterministic if you could figure out a good formula. I admit that my experience with Beyond Earth is pretty limited (haven't played it myself yet, just read about it here and on TVTropes). I just got excited about this thread, figuring it could create a new way to play Civ. And maybe I got a bit carried away.
     
  20. KrikkitTwo

    KrikkitTwo Immortal

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    It would be far better for My victory to directly hurt you

    in BNW Diplo Victory denies others CS allies
    Culture Victory makes others unhappy (unless they are your ideology)
    Conquest Victory requires me to take your capital

    Culture victory seems like the best.

    I would add a global terraforming mechanic (Satellites, Tile improvements, and Buildings would all contribute)
    Terraforming would be bad for Harmony players and good for Purity players (affecting their improvements and buildings)

    A certain minimum level of Terraforming would be required for Purity Settlers to come through
    Above a minimum level of Terraforming would prevent/slow Transcendence

    Not sure How to tie Supremacy in
     

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