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Community suggestions for Ernie

Discussion in 'CivBE - Ideas and Suggestions' started by ZTZaorish, Jan 11, 2016.

  1. ZTZaorish

    ZTZaorish Chieftain

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    Hey everybody,

    I am going to make a video discussing my hopes for ERNIE (assuming it comes).
    I would like to make community suggestions suggestion as well.

    To submit a suggestion Please use this format:

    A. Suggestion
    B. Further Explanation
    C. Potential positives of your suggestion
    D. Potential negatives of your suggestion

    I will give my input/thoughts on your suggestion within my video.

    Thanks guys, let's make ERNIE great~
     
  2. Barathor

    Barathor Chieftain

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    Oh, wow... it took me a little while to figure that one out... haha. :crazyeye:

    Spoiler :

    BE XP1 = BERT
    BE XP2 = ERNIE
    :D
     
  3. kipwheeler

    kipwheeler Chieftain

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    A. Suggestion that Hybrids be given their own artwork for cities and their own victory conditions rather than using that of the dominant affinity.

    B. The gleaming white of Supremacy/Purity, the bronze of Purity/Harmony, and the purple of Supremacy/Harmony are among the coolest aesthetics in the game in terms of visuals. That gets lost when split affinity cities default to one of the original three affinity's look. Furthermore, giving each one a unique victory condition would help differentiate them philosophically and visually from other factions, so they become more than half-and half.

    C. Positives--More replayability and variety. Tons of ideas for making this happen have been floating in the Civ forums under the new ideas sections--many of them quite detailed. Another positive to adding these are that it would satisfy a number of players besides me who have asked for it.

    D. Negatives--it's a lot of time-consuming art when many players would argue that playability issues, game balance, and more challenging AI would be a better focus for programmer attention.
     
  4. Browd

    Browd Dilettante Administrator

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    Moderator Action: Moved to Civ BE - Ideas & Suggestions.
     
  5. DefiantMars

    DefiantMars Chieftain

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    Nothing ground-breaking really, but I think this would be a healthy addition in conjunction with kipwheeler's suggestion.

    A. Stronger identities for the Hybrid affinities.

    B. Each of the Hybrid affinities are to receive their own name and more features to further solidify their identities.
    Ex:
    • Harmony/Purity = Ascendancy
    • Purity/Supremacy = Mastery
    • Supremacy/Harmony = Voracity
    C. Pros - Naming the Hybrids would help push them as being their own solutions as opposed to the half-and-half blends as they are now. A name invokes imagery and defines an affinity's scope. Harmony strives to adjust itself to fit the planet. Purity strives to preserve humanity. Supremacy strives to escape biological limitations. Furthermore, giving the hybrids (as well as the Core affinities) unique features would define the play-style and identity of the affinity.

    D. Cons - For the sake of brevity, I use the above terminology when I am talking about the hybrid affinities, however my name suggestions above are clearly based on my opinions and views on the affinities in question. Not everyone agrees with the names or natures of the affinities, which makes defining them difficult. Similarly, giving them features is also challenging as there is room for interpretation for each affinity. Developing unique features would require commitment to a particular trope or central theme within the affinity.
     
  6. SupremacyKing2

    SupremacyKing2 Warlord

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    A. Suggestion
    Add 1, maybe even 2 more rings on the outside of the tech web. Also, add tech "eras".

    B. Explanation
    Adding more techs is self-explanatory. The techs required for affinity victories would be moved to the new outer rings. Tech "eras" would be similar to the ages in civ5. Certain techs in a given ring would be prerequisites for each "era". When the player researches all the tech prerequisites, the player would get a pop up similar to advancing to the next age in civ5. The pop up would have nice art depicting what the era is about with some nice flavor text. In addition, each era would grant the player a special bonus.

    C. Pros
    This idea would try to accomplish several things:
    1) By adding more outer rings and placing the victory conditions on the new outer rings, this would make the game longer and let players experience more of the scifi stuff before reaching the victory stage. This would seek to address the common complaint that the game is too short and players beeline for the affinity victories too quickly.
    2) Adding more advanced techs would allow the game to have even more crazy scifi stuff in the end game to make it more interesting.
    3) By making techs in a given ring prerequisites to advancing to the next era, this would encourage players to complete more of a ring rather than just beelining down a certain branch in the tech web. The tech eras would also add a lot of flavor and atmosphere to the game by giving the player visual art and text that describes the state of their society technologically. There would be a greater sense of progression for the player. Plus, the era bonus would be a nice incentive to the player to reach the next era.

    D Cons
    Implementing this idea would require time and effort. New tech ideas would have to be created. New buildings, new units etc would have to be created too. A lot of balance would be needed to place the new buildings and units in the right techs just like balancing the original tech web. A bigger tech web would be perhaps more difficult to balance too. Art and flavor text would have to be created too for each era and interesting era bonuses figured out.
     
  7. Barathor

    Barathor Chieftain

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    That could definitely be an option, and Firaxis could probably make it work if they put it the extra time and effort. But personally, I believe in a very different path. (I'm actually overhauling the tech tree right now with what we have to work with so far in Rising Tide; it's a very tricky puzzle!)

    I think the content within the technologies are already spread a bit thin, especially as you get to the outer ones (I assume this is because they're saving content for expansion 2). Besides the affinity (which sometimes isn't even needed any longer, there's plenty out there), some of these techs only reward a single, tiny perk. One of my favorites is Nanorobotics: 3860 science to grant +1 science to you manufactories later in the game -- what an investment!

    I believe if there are going to be any additions, it may only be an extra tech or two; there's plenty of room in the outer ring. They may even add a few leaf techs here and there. They can devote a whole branch with leaves to psionics (I'm not giving up on it! haha); the social flavored portion of the tech tree is a bit weak right now too... it could fit right alongside Social Dynamics, branching out from Cognition. Maybe its leaves could contain some techs around the idea of cults/beliefs/orders and a new building could be the Temple, which is similar to what Jedi would train, learn, and live in. Maybe another branch tech on the other side could be dedicated to new spacecraft units. :D

    There could be other ways to delay victory and affinity acquisition. Affinity could be lessened on techs and a much more elaborate quest system could have more and deeper quest lines. If you're reading them and immersing yourself, maybe in a small way it could help reinforce the feeling that you're really going down the path towards Supremacy, for example. Especially since you're making all the choices and actively completing the quests, not just grabbing techs that you need for certain content.

    Also, with more emphasis on quests, pacing players ("softly", nothing too harsh and controlling) would be a breeze. You just create triggers within a certain turn range which unlocks the quests for all players when they're eligible -- players just have to keep on surviving and keeping pace to get to these points.

    More crazy scifi stuff you say? Sounds good to me! Hopefully it includes a few NPC alien factions. :D Stations for early/mid; NPC Aliens added in mid/late. Also, this could be a way to spawn more progenitor expedition sites, similar to the other two.

    Regarding eras, I'm not a fan. I think the web should actually encourage some ring busting out to the outer techs; it should be very flexible and take advantage of the idea that it's a web. Eras would either hurt that if they're controlling, or they would be too fleeting and have less impact.

    There are already affinity requirements in place which can control how soon you can utilize certain buildings/units, so "hard" beelining can be deterred. Plus, if there's still some affinity tied to techs, if you force players to complete a good portion of a ring before progressing, then you're only diluting their affinity. Another thing which supports tech ring busting is that buildings aren't tied to each other like in Civ 5, they are their own thing, you don't need to build a long line of prerequisite buildings to be eligible to construct the target building.

    Also, to me, eras are more iconic and simply work for a historical game like Civ 5. Plus, the tech tree is linear there, so it forces you to linger in each era for a bit and taste it before moving forward. In BE, I think any eras might be a bit meaningless -- though, who knows, maybe they could grow on players, the same way other new things did. In Civ 5, unit evolution is pretty dramatic and again, iconic; while in BE I believe it's a bit less (which isn't bad, it just is what it is), besides the one upgrade period where your units actually take on their affinity. Same for buildings, the lines are a bit more blurred in some areas between pretty amazing buildings (lore-wise) to even more amazing buildings. (Off Topic: That's one of the issues with wonders in BE too, flavor/lore-wise, and why things need to be rethought and distanced from Civ 5 -- for another discussion.)

    Regarding the benefit of eras when it comes to flavorful art and text, and improving the feeling of your current state and the sense of progression, I think that could simply be accomplished with affinity progression alone -- not only "could", I think it "should".

    Again, just my own opinions. Maybe Firaxis "wants" to better control tech ring busting and has other plans to support it.
     
  8. SupremacyKing2

    SupremacyKing2 Warlord

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    I'd definitely be in favor of an alien NPC faction dropping into the mid-game. I think it would be a good way of shaking things up.

    I agree that historical eras work well since players intuitively have a sense of what they mean. But I think with some imagination, tech eras could work really well in a scifi setting. And if done right, it could add a lot of world-building and atmosphere which is especially important in a game like BE where the player does not have the historical familiarity to fall back on.

    How so? We already get pop up screens for affinity levels with visual art and flavor text and bonuses so in that sense we kinda already have affinity "eras".
     
  9. ZTZaorish

    ZTZaorish Chieftain

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    It's great to see all these suggestions! Keep them coming boys!
     
  10. SupremacyKing2

    SupremacyKing2 Warlord

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    Here is another suggestion.

    A. Suggestion: affinity specific Utopia

    B. Explanation
    When the player reaches the highest level in an affinity, it would unlock an affinity specific Utopia. It would be like an affinity specific super wonder. It would represent the ultimate perfect society under that affinity. The player would put the Utopia in their capital's build queue to start the project but it would use your civ's total culture to "build". The reason it would use culture is: 1) it would give the player something to spend culture on in the late game and 2) Since you are changing your society, it makes sense that it would require culture to complete. 3) Using culture would change things up a bit from wonders always using production. Once a player completes the Utopia, they would be stuck with it for the rest of the game. This would be to prevent the player who levels up in 2 affinities from building two utopias which would not make sense (how can a society be two affinity utopias at the same time?) Each utopia would give very powerful end-game bonuses to your entire faction. And of course, there would be a pop up with visual art and text describing your utopia.

    C. Pros
    I believe this would give players something to do once they reach the end of the affinity levels. It would also give players something more meaningful and rewarding for reaching the highest affinity level. Currently, it is really underwhelming when you reach the highest level in your affinity. Utopias would be like a mini victory for completing an affinity. It would also add to the world-building as the player would see from the utopia screen a visual depiction of the glorious advanced affinity society that they have achieved. In practical gameplay terms, the powerful bonus would serve to help the player finish their victory if they have not done so already. So, it serve as an end game tie breaker if you will by giving the player a bonus strong enough to assure a quick victory. And since they are end-game bonuses, it would not matter if the bonuses were too OP. That would be the whole point.

    D. Cons
    One issue might be how to make the player care to build it rather than just go for the affinity victory right way. If it is easier to just win the game, why bother building the utopia other than perhaps the excitement in seeing what it is the first time? [ADDED] Perhaps pushing affinity victories back further in the affinity level requirement to after Utopias would help. If Utopias come first, then players would have an incentive to do them before finishing the victory. There would also be some logic to your civ achieving an affinity utopia as a precursor to winning. [/ADDED] Also, some work would need to be put into imagining a cool utopia appropriate for each affinity and creating great art and text describing it.
     
  11. kipwheeler

    kipwheeler Chieftain

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    I can take or leave the idea of eras--no strong opinion there. However, filling up the fourth ring of techs on the tech web? I'm SO on board with that.
     
  12. ZTZaorish

    ZTZaorish Chieftain

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  13. SupremacyKing2

    SupremacyKing2 Warlord

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  14. SupremacyKing2

    SupremacyKing2 Warlord

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    Let me add another suggestion.

    A. Suggestion: Improved stations

    B. Explanation
    We know that stations are pretty basic in BE. They just give you extra yields when you trade. I think they could contribute much more to gameplay. I propose making them more like one city civs. I suggest the following:
    - Give stations a unique leader with a name, portrait, personality (isolationist, paranoid, aggressive etc which would affect how the stations interacts with the other sponsors) and backstory.
    - Allow stations to produce a military unit every X turns (up to a maximum of say 3-4). This would allow stations to better defend themselves and even fight with you if they are your ally.
    - Give stations a diplo relationship with the other sponsors (war, hostile, neutral, friendly, ally, member). The relationship would affect what you get from the station and how they treat you. war would mean that they launch their units against you, hostile would mean that they only attack you if you come too close, friendly would mean that you get a small bonus from them, ally would mean a bigger bonus and their units will attack your enemy and member would be a new special relationship where the station converts into a city and joins you. Relations would degrade over time if you stop "bribing" them.
    - Stations would have a special category which would make gameplay more interesting:
    + militaristic stations would give you a unique military unit when friendly or ally. You improve relationship based on the size of your military.
    + cultural stations would give you a unique virtue when friendly or ally. You can "bribe" them with culture to improve relationship.
    + economic stations would give you strategic resources and would improve relationship when you send trade convoy to them (like it is currently)
    + diplomatic stations would give you a unique diplo agreement and you would "bribe" them with diplo capital to improve relationship.
    + scientific stations would give you a free tech and you would "bribe" them with science to improve relationship.
    + agricultural stations would give you food and you would "bribe" them with worker units to improve relations.
    - Stations would also have relationship with other stations and could declare war on each other. Stations could ask you to join a war against another station in exchange for improved relations. Aggressive stations might even launch an early war against you in the early game.

    C. PROS
    I think this would dramatically improve stations by making them a bigger factor and adding interesting gameplay. Having different stations require different "bribes", would make things more interesting instead of just always sending trade convoys to them.

    D. CONS
    Balance would be an issue. I know when BE was in production, there was the whole talk about free techs or free units being OP. But I think something like this would be great because it would make stations worth it.
     
  15. DefiantMars

    DefiantMars Chieftain

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    A. More sponsors and a higher sponsor limit.

    B. This suggestions is two-fold. 1) Increased number of sponsors to choose from and 2) An increase in the sponsor limit per map. Between the 8 original sponsors and the 4 from Rising Tide, BERT currently has 12 sponsors to choose from. With a limit of 8 players possible on the map. Upping BERT's limit to match the 12 player limit of Civ V on a massive map, would be a good idea. Instead of 4, it would be nice to see anywhere between 6 and 12 new sponsors. As for the types of Sponsors, it would be interesting to see more NGOs and private organizations.

    C. PROS - Adding more sponsors would help add more variety of cultures and offer potential for different playstyles. With the ability to settle Water Cities (balance notwithstanding) this effectively doubled the amount of playable space on the map compared to Civ V. By increasing the limit of the number of players that can exist in one game, it would increase the potential tension between sponsors as more of the map is able to occupied.

    D. CONS - The biggest challenges of adding new civs/sponsors is theming and balance. Trying to make creative ideas the push the boundaries of creativity while simultaneously maintaining comparable strength to other sponsors can prove very difficult. And given BERT's already questionable balance situation, adding more content on top of that is not reassuring. With the amount of sponsors I'd like to see added, that is a lot of content to come up with and manage.
     
  16. darkskies

    darkskies Chieftain

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    a. I'd like an alternative graphics/colors that improves the visibility of certain features.

    b. An example I still often stumble into miasma because I just can't see it (ok I'm on a 4k monitor, but still).

    c. It would give us people with poorer old eyes a better chance.

    d. The time it would take to redo the graphics when it would be better spent on improving the AI though probably not as the graphics people not the AI people would be doing this; note: suggesting this as an optional choice so it won't affect people who like the current, often lower contrast, colors.

    I agree with DefiantMars, but need bigger maps too so all the sponsors can be on them without too much crowding when you want that, but you can still use the smaller maps when you want a more crowded field of play.
     
  17. DefiantMars

    DefiantMars Chieftain

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    Like Civ V you could scale the number of players on the map, but as of now; we don't even have that option. Increasing the "default" cap to 12 to match Civ V Massive would fix undercrowding and lack of tension and players have the option of scaling it back the same as previous titles in the Civ series.
     
  18. darkskies

    darkskies Chieftain

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    But that doesn't solve the problem of the largest maps not being big enough no matter how crowded or sparse a mood I'm in ;). I'd like (in both civ5 and BE) to see an option for maps about double the current largest sizes. For those of us who especially enjoy exploration, having even bigger maps increases our fun.
     
  19. DefiantMars

    DefiantMars Chieftain

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    I'm fairly sure that becomes an issue of hardware limitations than anything else.
     
  20. Barathor

    Barathor Chieftain

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    I'm more "quality over quantity", but having some more sponsors would certainly be nice; as long as they're interesting additions. Replayability would be a little better with a slightly different mix of leaders each game.

    Though, alongside that, they would also really need to add in more artifacts and unique rewards (which wouldn't be a bad thing and would improve replayability as well). When playing with all 12 on a map now, the artifacts get claimed pretty fast, which I imagine is partly why Firaxis went the easy route for now and clamped the total sponsors on maps so players can still have fun and find a decent number of them to combine.

    - - - - - - - -

    Maps not big enough? :eek: Well, we all have different tastes and playstyles.

    Even in regular Civ, I didn't play on anything larger than Standard, due to movement speeds and such. I just feel on larger maps, I don't really interact with distant portions of them (partly due to laziness) and it's a waste.

    In BERT, the maps feel huuuuge with all the extra useable areas and resources. I've actually dropped down to playing only on Small maps now, with 8 players, and I love it. I highly recommend that setup to anybody that doesn't care for playing on the biggest maps possible. Even within my own project, along with tweaking default player totals for each map size, I'm renaming Small to Standard so it looks like this: Dwarf, Small, Standard, Large, Massive. I think the default game should do the same.
     

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