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Crazy Thought: What if Affinities were designed like Religions in Civ 5

Discussion in 'CivBE - Ideas and Suggestions' started by Maximus_Light, May 10, 2015.

  1. Maximus_Light

    Maximus_Light Chieftain

    Oct 29, 2014
    Okay so I know that title and the idea of designing an Affinity system based off of the Religion system is Civ 5 is totally and completely insane (so my so that I honestly can't believe I had this thought) but hear me out.

    I was playing through and reading up on the Religion system in Civ 5 and it occurred to me that it allows you to to build a custom set of bonuses for your civilization should you chose to take it up, that's why they are desirable if you can do it effectively. Customizing and enhancing your civilization sounds and feels a lot like what we wish we could do with Affinities. Edit: but it should be limited to making Affinities more dynamic so it customization only to a point
    In a strange way that makes sense because when we are talking about Affinities we are talking about philosophies that are directing your civilizations progress and from the first line of Wikipedia: "A religion is an organized collection of beliefs, cultural systems, and world views that relate humanity to an order of existence."

    Now I don't have a concert idea of what that might look like in Beyond Earth, like fore instance Religions in Civ 5 are completely optional and they would have to be mandatory for Beyond Earth. Also, Affinities take much from of how they act towards each other from Ideologies in Brave New World so that would also need to be considered. The fact that it wouldn't make sense to lock out certain beliefs or customization when you have multiple civs with the same Affinity.
    Still though, there is something compelling about the idea of having Affinties be customizable like Religion (and Ideologies now that I'm thinking about it) in Civ V because how it would let us shape and progress our post-earth civilizations.

    Please discuss, even if to say that's a strange comparison to make (because frankly I'm still surprised by it myself).

    On further thought and based on feedback:

    Partial Customization: Just in case I didn't make it clear above, I don't full on mix and match I mean make the different Affinity tracks be more dynamic and have some more choice within the Affinity. Credit to Horseshoe_Hermi and KrikkitTwo for pointing out that complete customization doesn't make sense but finding some way to make the different Affinities more dynamic does.

    Influence Needs to Stick: As pointed out by Horseshoe_Hermi Affinities need to stick more than Religious pressure did in Civ5, so if religious pressure isn't enough is there some way of doing something like pressure, influence, or tourism (or a combination there of) that would stick in game and would fit with what we have here? It seems to me that while any of those Civ5 mechanics by themselves would be inadequate here but taken together they did add a lot of depth to how you influence other civilizations. Like in Civ5 there were religious pressure and tourism helped enhance each other. As an example to quote KrikkitTwo:

  2. HorseshoeHermit

    HorseshoeHermit 20% accurate as usual, Morty

    Apr 5, 2013
    Affinities are religions. I don't see people comfortably thinking of modern ideas as religions, but the religious is simply the big questions - what binds us together? What is real, what is all this about? Religion is a study. religio, the sense of the meaning things have to each other, recognition of a context and world above the sum of all the stuff that happens.

    There are tons of mechanical differences. "Speading" by influence and pressure is not good for affinity, and really, can back up only a gamey nonsense for the "magical powers" of Civ pantheons. Affinity needs to 'stick', more than it could with Civ V religions - Civ V religions work as a curious "living" component that ties into the culture system mostly and makes you value certain playstyles differently.... in a gamey way. In contrast, when religions represent some nonspecific script like happiness as civ IV, that too robs them of significance; they mean only some impotent "spirituality" which is frankly an insult to every one of those religions from Hinduism to Taoism. Religion are beliefs. They are the opinion of what matters, not some 'cozy idea' to quell unrest. Religions are what people are.
    And that means , just as the nihilist is only an abstract concept, so the irreligious person is impossible. A sad state being, though, where there are no significant religions that have traction in meaningfully large groups or communities. More in today though, it's not that there aren't groups, but our common unity is weakly known to ourselves, weakly understood, and our explicit institutions yoking us together are weak - liable to dissolution at any time, never imagined to found action. Where do beliefs cause actions on a political scale? When was the last time that happened? Civil Rights movement? Only politics has caused political actions for a long time. If there are vectors of agreement , there has not been a prophet, an artist among artists, to give form to the ideas defining what is valuable, meaningful, and significant today.

    So yes. Affinities are a religion, but unfortunately for you in th e game designer seat, that helps in no way to get how to make the thing.
    "Customizing" the affinity, kinda is like ideological tenets, but more to the point, it is exactly the setting of your grand strategy anyway. Your empire is your dictatorship, this game basically has no "convince the people" subgames. I suppose I should say, you cannot make affinities like religions because this game cannot let you make anything a religion, because what you are playing is a religion. You're defining it in defining the telescoping common cause of the whole colony. No system could represent "religion" under that, really.

    So Harmony, Purity, Supremacy, define three camps that people can get into. And they end up there. And you can control which one but the trichotomy is what it is, the choice must happen.
    The only thing I'm really hearing is that the predefined track of perks is too... plain. And perhaps too generic, or instead overly specialized in a way that's awkward way more than helpful. Like that second tier perk. Extra expedition modules? Scouts not attacked by aliens? It, I believe, is important to have the feeling of a predefined and emotionally powerful progression through a literal evolution of the species, but... by that very fact, the track is lame and did not hit the mark.

    Affinities are the attitudes that Humanity has toward Humanity once the power to change it comes into its grasp. Do you let it pass, adapting to the surroundings and context? Taking lessons from the bigger picture? Do you aggressively augment the individual and group, to achieve the aims of the intelligentsia, with technology? Or do you redouble your focus on Human destiny, standing firm with the 'recipe' of aeons, building on the culture and the anthropocentric significance attached to it in an unapologetic circularity?

    These are the camps. Here's a design tool. If it's ideologies, flesh them out by asking, what is this system like at its besT? At its worst? Well, I already know Harmony at its worst is the fact that it's genocide perpetrated against the Human race itself, but that's my grip with the very starting point of the transhuman question as broached by Civ:BE (i.e. Harmony is ideologically , as in it is slow and outdated, philosophically, and was before ... any idea ever, so it's quite an embarrassment) . At its best, apart from the whole unconditionally evil bit, is it's responsive and flexible I guess?
    Purity has everything conservatives have always had going for them, which is neat 'cause it's like a meta-conservativism even if Human society contains Right and Left factions or even becomes a Leftist utopia. Purity has sameness predictability, steadfastness, common values, resoluteness and simplicity. It's conservative! At it's worst it is slow. And arrogant - it has a confidence in itself that is unfounded, not being based in objective reason.
    Supremacy is neat, I think to understand it you have to let go of authoritarianism, because they could be a fascist extremity or a communist extremity, or be entirely non-nationalist. But what they are all the time, is definitely economically-right wing. Since supremacists believe that better can be defined, and that you ought to get there. That's it! If that revolution is brought from the cities to the peasants to make us all equal in superiority, or epitomizes class-based struggle in the ultimate degree, or if it's about raising everyone up to where the cyber industry is private but universal anyway. Very many outcomes like that. At its best supremacy is empowering, rationalist, and certainly universalist in the sense everybody is part of the plan. But it is factionalist, for sure; and has every problem the socially liberal do, compared to conservative Purity, anyway; and it's got the whole heartless technology thing, being Supremacy -at- its worst, if its progenitors charge into an era of technology with the emotional intelligence of cats. There's also definitely a feel of Supremacy being like giving everyone the unlimited power of magic, of gods, and then thinking that'll go fine. As astounding as it is to consider the sentiment that all men deserve to have everything, to be limitless, that it is their birthright, the only word for that world is Chaos.

    There's likely room there, so it would be nice if the affinities had some tracks which were more dramatic,, but I think I have to disagree and say they need to be predefined not customizable. But there would be a quality of that future world, all three of those answers to posthuman question have wild dystopias, and two of them have wonderful utopias, that depend on ... something else being brought to bear.
    Virtues? Funny, that seems to mean religion. Well, affinity doesn't become the only religious distinction in the future. It's just one that's absolutely polarizing, and cannot be fence-sat, nor delayed. Indeed, today we already have efficient drone war machines and A.I. missiles, and we have exoskeleton suits, and we have bionic implants. The moral questions of this future are today. We are making a check against the hidden stat right now.
  3. KrikkitTwo

    KrikkitTwo Immortal

    Apr 3, 2004
    Spreading by influence and pressure would work very well for affinities.

    However it should be automatic (no "faith" resource).. pressure could be depend on culture, or be flat (along trade routes + nearby cities..and a city should pressure itself)

    If your empire follows the X affinity,
    1. all of your cities get some 'pressure' for the X affinity (amount of pressure could depend on Tenets..and how strongly you follow that affinity)
    2. cities following a different affinity than your empire experience unhealth (amount of unhealth depending on Tenets... and how strongly you follow that affinity)

    That would make a lot of sense... if a Harmony themed- city is conquered by a Harmony themed empire, there should be less unhealth than if a Supremacy themed empre conquers them (the unhealth come from the installing of totally different implants..as well as the fact the people don't Want those implants)

    That would also give a good reason to 'liberate' recently conquered cities of your affinity.

    I do agree that customizing the affinities is not ideal... although Quests work well for that. (ie quests that only open up at certain levels of affinity and offer a choice of benefits)
  4. Minor Annoyance

    Minor Annoyance Deity

    Jun 27, 2007
    Hamilton, Ontario
    It's not that crazy. Months ago I had a thread about whether religion or ideology could be used an a function of affinity.
  5. Maximus_Light

    Maximus_Light Chieftain

    Oct 29, 2014
    On the concept and philosophy of the idea:
    Yeah I know what you mean with regard to Affinities are Religions and the whole ethical and moral issues the way of the three tracks of Affinities are being handed to us. I actually had several conversations with my friends on the subject of how they want us to accept Affinities and it boiled does to religious ideology and the fact that they all assume that people can do no wrong. I think part of where the idea might have come from now that you mention it is probably because the three Affinity tracks force us into moral and ethical tracks for game play reasons that don't seem to take into account that there should be more room for debate.

    On Gameplay:
    1. You're right it would need to stick and that as religions are in Civ 5 they don't do actual religions justice in terms of showing just how much they effect the people and civilization. I suppose a follow up question is: Is a way of doing something like pressure, influence, or tourism that would stick in game and would fit with what we have here? It seems to me that while any of those Civ5 mechanics by themselves would be inadequate here but taken together they did add a lot of depth to how you influence other civilizations. Because this is a finite game and we need to have some way of setting things up so it can function as a game I'm not sure we could ever fully represent religions or affinities properly but I would think that from both a game mechanic and game play feel point of view it makes sense that you'd need to convince your people that this is the right idea when competing with other ideas.

    2. For customization: I don't mean like full-fledged mix and match anything you want kind of thing I was thinking more like in say Supremacy when you reach a certain level you can pick between one of a few perks that would reflect they way you play and want to interpret that affinity.
    e.g. Purity level X: You can pick between a bonus against combating aliens (you want to destroy the aliens) or making them less aggressive towards you (you want to co-exist but still do your own thing). Either way, I think what you mean by having a track and having that be more dynamic is more along the lines of what I was thinking.

    Yeah we definitely don't need a new resource, we are expected to pick up affinities as we progress through the game technologically. Then again, don't we already have a resource for it in the form of Affinity EXP, I mean I feel like it already is a resource it's just not presented as such.
    As for customizing, see #2 above, dynamic I think was better as what I was getting at not just whatever you want to stick together. I think I'd better clarify my post now that I'm better able to define my idea. (this is why I wanted feedback afterall)

    @Minor Annoyance: Good to know I'm not crazy! XD
    It sure did seem like the idea came out of nowhere and like it would be such a strange thing to suggest when I first had it though, I literally typed this out about 5 minutes after I had it.
  6. Galgus

    Galgus Emperor

    Aug 22, 2012
    I like the idea, but I think each affinity should have a distinct play-style that players make some variations on.

    If every Affinity can more or less do anything, it takes away much of the weight of the choice and the thematic impact.

    Perhaps there could be some inherent bonuses gained as you ranked up your affinity with some bonuses chosen by the player.

    Perhaps even some hybrid bonuses for having a secondary affinity with some options that are exclusive to other affinities.

    That said, I kind of feel that this should only extend to a Primary and possible, not mandatory Secondary affinity.

    This may be a silly idea, but a Rome Total War mod I use called the Fourth Age* had a sort of culture mechanic where having certain buildings would convert the population to your culture, while a conflicting culture made them harder to hold onto.

    *(Set in Middle Earth many years after the events of Return of the King inspired by abandoned notes from Tolkien.)

    It set an interesting dynamic in that factions sharing your culture were more likely to be friendly to you, but also smoother to conquer.

    You had to do some work in changing the culture of a city to keep public order to really benefit from it

    Where I'm going with this - perhaps individual cities would have influence levels towards one Affinity or the other with penalties when they contrast your Affinity or sub Affinity and actions you could take to change them.

    They could even affect espionage, with rivals sympathetic to an unwanted affinity's cause having an easier time spying in cities with citizens that hold that affinity.

    This could make for some fun individualization of Affinities - like your capital is 85% Purity, but some border city is actually 65% Harmony - with ramifications if you don't somehow change it or adopt Harmony as a secondary Affinity.
  7. HorseshoeHermit

    HorseshoeHermit 20% accurate as usual, Morty

    Apr 5, 2013
    In terms of reproducing some believable behaviour at the level of the citizens, that is missing the mark because the core of the affinities are changes in economy and social organization, and these things just don't exist in Civ. In any civ. It's not there, it's covered up with an effacing abstraction.

    In terms of making a nice gameplay system for a strategy game, it's kinda neat. Controlling playstyle with affinity, is within Beyond Earth right now. If the affinity points required certain technological directions, then being in an affinity would imply you took certain technologies, which would mean either you're playing in a certain concordant way or you're losing. Now we have the overdetermination problem though, because if affinity is your grand strategy, then it is your grand strategy and not anything different. You're going affinity to play in that way and no other reason, it's all set in stone.

    That can be -doable- and even a design feature, but you have to design around it, including aesthetically. The game has to be about adopting an affinity, because, hey, it is now.

    Current BE is probably the worse configuration possible in this regard. Your special resources are so profound in driving you to a certain affinity, and then at that point the affinity is window dressing because it is equipotent for everything and the tech web spreads aff-exp for everyone. It doesn't let you express anything. As a game it's not showing you what it is like to be something*, games are vehicles of play, and play is a practise of the know-how of context and empathy, knowing what it is like to be in a situation and be something else. The modified ears or the antenna on your little dudes are just window dressing for your war sim 4X game.
    It's the opposite of anything to care about. If having things that look cool is something to care about, then I got bad news in that the game is guilty of something even worse, it's lying, in tying together such themes in a cacophonous way. I'd rather accuse it of just not giving a damn.

    Having affinities in cities would be great. I just squirm at the challenge of figuring out what would make each city's preference. Designing that whole subsystem. And if it's absent, we're back to being made to experience a context of a "lifeless" set of numbers, which will determine our playstyle. The same problem only worse, because , like I said, we can at least get off Beyond Earth by saying it doesn't care; an explicit public opinion mechanism is much harder to dismiss as gameism.
  8. Galgus

    Galgus Emperor

    Aug 22, 2012
    Economy and social organization seems a bit off to describe Affinity.

    I view it more as responses to transhumanism and values.

    With transhumanism it would be on adapting to the environment, embracing cybernetics AI and uploading to try to become something "better", or seeing such drastic changes as dangerous.

    With values, it would be on wanting to carefully preserve the planet and avoid another great mistake, wanting to keep technological progress moving at all costs, and wanting to keep the past and treasured traditions from being forgotten.

    Affinity currently has minimal influence on actual playstyle - mostly just nudges to one tech or another without significantly defined strategies.

    I think adding some virtue-like bonuses to Affinities could help to better immerse players in the feeling that their colony is changing with affinity while making things more interesting tactically.

    I took a shot at that earlier in this thread's Devotion system, albeit in a system without much flexibility.

    More quests with deeper impacts could also help players to feel that their affinity and their decisions matter - with some perhaps highlighting political tensions between affinities.

    Ideally I think mechanics and immersion should go hand in hand so that a player gets to make immersive decisions and see real impacts from them.

    I'd guess each city's preference would be influenced by pressure from dominant colony affinity, pressure from neighboring city affinities, and pressure from affinity-related buildings and tiles.

    Perhaps trying to change the dominant affinity in a city could also anger AIs of that affinity?

    What exactly the public opinion system would do seems to be the harder question, though I could see players liberating cities sympathetic to their affinity from colonies that are not.
  9. HorseshoeHermit

    HorseshoeHermit 20% accurate as usual, Morty

    Apr 5, 2013
    It is values, which have effects in economic ideas. The right and the left are ideologies, situated in the uncertain situation of the current Human condition. But I believe an argument exists that the technological tools of genetic and cybernetic alteration bring the core of those questions to debate; they magnify the issue, or rather, they allow all peripheral factors to clear up to answer absolutely:

    Is there a 'better'? A better life? A better Human? A place you ought to be?
    Or is that missing the mark of universalism, that there is no such measure? That all lives have a worth as they are?

    This really is, as far as I can tell, the ideology of economics. Some economics is about objective measures of wealth and objectively effective or ineffective interventions... but ... well, no, at some point, you have a tradeoff that is about values. I want to make an argument, but I think the only way I can do one clearly is... in an actual argument with someone, by steps, who disagreed with that. Also that is definitely off-topic, since I would not suggest that this is a strong restraint on the Design issue in question.

    It's not fear mongering. That's too flat. Harmony is like fearmongering but it's more like cautioning ultimate ignorance. Harmony is anti-rationalist. The rationalist supposes to know, and deciding from what he knows, he acts. Harmony says , you know you don't know everything, why do you ignore that when you know that the real manner of things could make what you're about to do a catastrophe? Stop trying to outsmart literally the entire Creative Force of the cosmos.

    But Purity has already opposed Harmony on that issue too. They're even preserving Humanity -in the face- of evidence that Humans keep mucking things up. Purity believes that the way they are doing things has a purpose. They were made in the first place, right? So , Mr. Harmony spokesperson, when the Creative Force is good and ready to finish us off it can very well do that. We won't do that for It. But Purity looks at Supremacy and goes "No. You don't have those kinds of answers. You're elitist and absolutist, even impatient. Just because you cannot deal with variation , or put up with dissent to your "perfect designs" for society, does not make you right at all! Your science does not make you right. It merely makes you correct."

    And Supremacy as far as this post goes, I think is clarified against those criticisms.

    We've got the old Civic pressure system. The AIs want you to adopt their favorite civic... but why? Nothing really makes them want this to happen. Religions kinda do because of the Shrine, but that only makes sense for the founding player. And in Civ V you got .... avoiding conflicting pressure with your nice beliefs on your cities?


    But let's take a step back and, I'm afraid I have to answer this well-defined topic on affinities by proposing a system that is separate from it, because only that system can make a tension as should exist with the affinities. (The alternative is just making it a playstyle decision, which we've been over.) It would be the Influence/Diplomacy system. There is the notion of winning over the enemy side by overwhelming prestige surrounding your way of life. There is, inside a tiny span of agreeable conditions within the notion of an "influence victory", an idea of a diplomatic victory.
    If we were talking Earth-Civ there would be the question of a period in history that enables these to occur, when outright racism, nationalism, tribalism, or what have you, would of course preclude the first instance of "being won over" by "those foreign gaijin". But we're in BE. We are postmodern... darn posthuman.

    Winning over the enemy could take some forms. It seems clear it ought to arise from genuine and enduring excellence in a handful of factors, and without an offset of inferiority in some weak measure. I've been examining this idea also as a way to solve the "invisible game over" problem from long empire-building games... if you're just better in like every way, then yeah you might screw up winning, but there's a majority of cases, where the players would know in advance, that they would know they don't want to bother playing that out and can we get an official win screen please.
    Such a "Domination victory" mechanic would serve other uses though, to deepen it beyond what that practical aim would make it seem. In any case though, the terms for that domination seem clear. It should be impacted by measures of distinction between two empires, and triggered by deliberate effort, and this effort above all concerns must foremost be pure sacrifice, having absolutely no payoff, like just burning your advantage in the air; so then if you still have it after this bald challenge to the entire board, indeed you must be dominant.

    With a game with population, we can attach to this mechanism the conceit that we are actually compelling the Hearts and Minds of the people, to see that assimilation is the only thing to do; there's no reason to put their families in squalor hewing to any other identity that is so outclassed. And from this kind of understanding it's clear what should impact positively or negatively on the effect: In addition to the measures of the achievements of the respective civs, any way that can compare the methods of the two civs should -increase- the impact if the civs seem to play differently, and -decrease- if they are playing the same. After all, that superior world over there sure looks more like utopia when it's built from pieces that are just different from the ground up. But if communist Russia is crumbling, and yet.... that supposedly dominant, other, (and very fictional!) state is , too, communist, well, you're not that wrong, can you be?

    So Civ V ideology is the reverse of this aim. Sharing the ideology should slow the impact of influence, being different should quicken it. (Not to criticize this within Civ V; since this served a different purpose with a different backdrop of mechanics. ....it was bad for different reasons.) And so we have a bit of reason for players to want their rivals to adopt their "civics".

    Throw in the right terms for mutual civics to affect mutual rivals, and the multiplayer environment turns the reward matrix out just right. Weaken domination victory by getting players alike you; if you're dominant, then pshyeah, you're going to be indifferent to the other guy switching over.

    All this gets even better with Affinities though, which hits ideology better than civics do (because of the "stickiness"), and ... even ideology (BNW) .

    Some actual math (ish stuff):

    Domination is impacted hugely by small differences... relatively speaking. So, that is, a small change in an amount by which Civ B exceeds parity with Civ A, has a much larger effect on saving B from domination by A, than a proportional change in the dominant measure from A, in ramping up the domination.
    Next, the sameness measure, is such that differing in affinity, should increase the whole scale, again... except increase the small differences again by proportionally more. So, indeed, if you are dominated to a certain degree, the difference makes it faster, sure. But it also rapidly saves you in terms of even the slightest bit of distinction in the other measures.

    And lastly, .... the "0" point has to be shifted into the negatives, of course. Domination should only occur with complete domination of every measure. So by "parity" I mean excess of this "pitifulness threshold" (I love making up words) for civ B to be outpaced by A. If B is not "pitiful" but still crushed, that counts as positive. We shift the 0 measure to some appropriate point that would be determined , of course, by playtesting and pacing analysis. Or just some number that feels right. Same difference. :rolleyes:
  10. Galgus

    Galgus Emperor

    Aug 22, 2012
    I think all the affinities have the potential to be friendly to individualist or collectivist thought - I view them as a fairly wide spectrum based around some core values.

    As such I could see all three affinities in free or centrally planned societies.

    I don't view Harmony as being against changing themselves - it is a pretty core trait that they adapt.

    Their core values in my opinion are adapting to truly thrive on the new world, seeing genetics as something to be pragmatically altered, and a strong desire to preserve the environment for humanity and for its own sake.

    Purity's core values are embracing Earth's rich cultural heritage and ensuring that it is not forgotten and a certain hesitance with altering oneself.

    I don't think a "perfect humanity" movement is outside of Purity's spectrum so long as it doesn't fundamentally change what it is to be human.

    Purity is the one in the room that sees how humanity could be forever scarred by
    misguided changes, and either rejects such changes or urges caution with them.

    (While Supremacy pushes cybernetics as far as they can with boundless enthusiasm, completely convinced that it will only make things better.)

    Personally I'd make the AI more likely to go to war so that affinity grudges lead to that more often while tossing in Affinity controversy quests that reward such wars.

    Honestly I was never a fan of the fill the meter BNW Culture victory with tourism.

    If cities were divided into percents of citizens subscribing to different affinities, low health could cause citizens to move towards an affinity of higher health though.

    Generally though if players are miles ahead of the AI it is either an AI problem (shocker!) or a difficulty level problem.
  11. Maximus_Light

    Maximus_Light Chieftain

    Oct 29, 2014
    I feel like we've crossed into the realm of opinion...
    *pulls up a chair to see where this goes*

    But no really, I think the thing about Affinities is that the developers weren't trying to be specific and they were supposed to be left open to interpretation. So it boils down more to how you view them in light of how they are presented in the game rather than there ever being a definitive philosophy/religion/social construct that they actually are.
    Like part of the fun is that you can kind of make up a story about what's going on in your Civ in your head about what all your choices means and what they break down to in the everyday. I think the difficulty is that it's hard to make your imagination and the game line up the way it is. I mean ideally you'd want to be able to make your imagination and what's going on in the game line up how you like it and have it work from a gameplay perspective. but that will always be a difficult thing to do.
    In any historical Civ, we can kind of latch onto what we already know to help inform us of what's going on, or in other words we kind of have pre-existing constraints that give us some limits that we can work within rather than just making it up from scratch. It's kind of like if you tell a child in school to write a paper on anything they like anyway they like, it can be overwhelming but if you give them some guidelines or even more narrow constraints it can force them to be creative because now they know what they can do right away rather than figuring that out as well.
    Each can work but is a different way of doing things I think the hard part is knowing how to present that sandbox and making it functional as a game which is why the Affinities are both an interesting concept but also difficult to digest because they don't really represent any one thing they are more like a general idea that we are supposed to fill in the blanks about.
    Great for conversations, but not really truly anything like religion, economics, or systems of governess.

    I've been thinking more of gameplay that defining Affinities when I posted this originally but I suppose to know what to do gameplay-wise you have to at least discuss what they represent to have some idea of where to go with it.
  12. HorseshoeHermit

    HorseshoeHermit 20% accurate as usual, Morty

    Apr 5, 2013
    yeah, that's the thing: I have to agree the affinities are also up for interpretation.

    I interpret them the way I do as an attempt to be (i) as charitable I can within the assumption that (ii) the affinities are different positions that are all apparently viable, and they are a "triangle", not a "line".

    Each one boldly answers something in the final analysis, but I don't know where the final analysis is, so I could be off. In a more down-to-earth view, each one could represent a more concrete opinion on a certain direction to go.... an answer not to "what is the reason we are here" but just an answer "what is putting our race's best foot forward? Which of these profound technologies has the answer to the next question we need to ask?"

    The weird thing is, if I were to assume something as strong as "they're all legitimate" (ok ok, even discounting how I conclude Harmony is not legitimate out of hand), that itself is an opinion on the concerned subject matter. We are in a position of knowing these questions exist, but also knowing we're far from having solved society. We don't know what it would take to answer which one is legitimate. Maybe we ought to know, for practical reasons and right now, that the Supremacy direction will lead to ruin. Maybe strong A.I. is actually impossible, the computational thesis is incorrect and, good god, John Searle was right all along. Maybe Purity is just wrong - it's a guess about the Good but, hey, maybe Plato's Forms are out there and if we could see them they'd also show that Purity is resisting something in futility, and creating unnecessary suffering in the process. These things could be so! Or they could be legitimate, moral relativism for everyone. Moral relativism is widely discredited, but, umm, moral relativism got really redefined lately. That's how little we know.

    If we make a game, we have to guess that at least for some period of time, all three routes will seem to bear fruit. And to really be impartial on the matter, it is more fair not to inject the views I gave, but instead to make each one about a clearly defined 'strategy' instead of an 'ideal' - that much is not in dispute. So they are directions of change, meaning that attaching them to "means" as in base game is, indeed, correct.

    What upset me is just the lack of coherence in the Supremacy ideology. Only college freshmen can idolize dressing up in tech and having cybertopia just for the sake of it. Yet "technology moar" seemed to be the only thing pasting Supremacy together. It.. well, upset me. I had to make the case for what ... well, what a belief of that could be. Mine is not the unique, authoritative, canonical one, but it darn well is more legitimate than what shipped.

    So if each affinity is a guess, and a commitment to a research and sociopolitical direction which is natural because the research will require deep investigation and innovation that builds on itself, not topical survey; then a "look and feel" as in the base game is not so wrong. Mechs and bionics and genetic alterations all well-placed. But supremacy. The cybernetic revolution is more varied than that.

    And Rising Tide better darn well have a bionic enhancement affinity. If I understand Firaxis right, this will be Harmony/Purity if anywhere, even though it's really most Supremacy/Pragmatism .

    ... I guess it's really that Supremacy was the lone representative of, apparently, using any kind of mind-machine interfacing at all. I mean, Rising Tide's Purity/Supremacy being servitors?! A slave class is either not A.I. and just a dose of effective tool specialization as Humans are well-acquainted with - should go right along with Purity's use of mech-suits, or it IS A.I. in which case it is knowing oppression of a completely sentient lifeform just because it is synthetic. Come on guys, Star Trek covered this.
    Well, that could be what BERT is going for, then. You're Purity, you put some research into that artificial intelligence stuff because Big Data and military applications, yabbadabba doo, so now you have the robots. But you don't believe in that "Cyber(read: Supremacy)" stuff, so -of course- the machines ain't got a place in society. That could be nice storytelling. But it just again emphasizes how Supremacy now has to be this monolith hodgepodge , containing all hint of anything robo-y but standing for all of it like it's one uniform movement, and furthermore, representing it as having a single "extreme" or "end" when really, mind-uploading is just another point in the whole philosophic program.
    It grinds my gears.

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