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Distinct Affinities Mod

Discussion in 'CivBE - Mod Development' started by GenEngineer, Nov 5, 2015.

  1. GenEngineer

    GenEngineer Chieftain

    Joined:
    Aug 24, 2014
    Messages:
    456
    Looking to make a mod that encourages each affinity to play completely differently from each other. AS it currently stands, there isn't too much difference between the affinities - the unique units (for the core affinities at least) aren't flashy enough to be worth building once you hit the later tiers of upgrades, and the buildings tend to have similar effects (Skycrane, Bioglass Furnace, and Microbial Mine are all nigh indistinguishable at this point) In a perfect world, this will also be compatible with Polycrate's Tidal Balance mod, so that these buildings don't feel out of place in a balanced game (although this might come at the cost of moving around some of what the Tidal Balance mod already moves around) Current goals and current state:

    Core Units:
    Spoiler :
    Hope to eventually make it so that the unique units have access to their upgrade perks at base level (a la Xeno Swarm bonus in Miasma). Will also change Xeno Cavalry to have a bonus in rough terrain (to emphasize Guerilla warfare, as well as to keep distinct when Tier 4 cavalry already ignores terrain). Finally, change the names of the upgrades so that a purity tinged Supremacy unit will be "Master XXX" instead of "True XXX." AS of right now, only this text change has been implemented

    Hybrid Units:
    Spoiler :
    Hope to eventually have hybrid versions of every base military unit, although as this is dependant on getting the models for each, this is lower priority. Will also look into changing the Immortal's perk from "Ignore Terrain Cost" to "Autoheal 5 HP a turn", to better fit in with the Civilopedia flavor, role in the army (as the workhorse accepting buffs from the other unique units), and to distinguish it from the Xeno Cavalry

    Core Buildings:
    Spoiler :
    Will update each of the buildings so that they encourage a different play style. Further, all affinity buildings are subject to moving around the tech web or having their exact requirement edited, to keep them balanced. What's more, the likelihood that an affinity improvement will be destroyed in conquest has been increased - a flavorful concern that should hopefully make it harder for players to amass all of the buildings at once.

    Harmony: Idea is working with the environment. Unlike the other affinities, expect most of the yields from Harmony buildings to actually come from them improving local, basic resources - work with the planet, not indoors. Further, as harmony already has bonuses to aliens and Miasma, expect them to feature heavily in the buildings design.
    Spoiler :

    Xenofuel Plant
    Spoiler :
    Changes made to reduce the specialist number, as well as the flat yield. In exchange, increase the bonus that you get from Xenomass tiles, and make it so that Alien Nests also provide some energy. The issue with the original Building was that it pushed in the wrong direction, in my opinion. It did a lot to encourage settling near Xenomass, but since that often meant nests, and the rewards for Xenomass Wells were better AND less annoying than the nests, Harmony was incentivized to not play nice with the Aliens. Adding a bonus to nests, along with changes in other buildings, should help encourage that. Not yet implemented - need to learn how to have a building edit the yield of local improvements

    Xenonursery
    Spoiler :
    See above, but for Science. Also didn't help that this building did a lot to help Harmony run away with the game if they could keep grabbing sites with multiple Xenomass tiles. Also not yet implemented

    Growlab
    Spoiler :
    Flat Yield removed, changed to affect the yields of (and be enabled by) Tubers and fruit as well as fungus (also considering adding a water resource if I can think of an appropriate one). Will generally result in a weaker building, but one that's available in more places. I never saw a reason why Harmony should care about Fungus more than the other plantation resources - it's not like their any less alien, even if they have an analog on earth. Already implemented, capable of changing

    Biofactory
    Spoiler :
    Link to petroleum removed, flat yield reduced. Instead, now keys off of Chitin, Resilin, and Chelonia, and improves all of those yields. Think like a stable from CiV. This is even parts wanting it to care more about the living, basic resources than the dead strategic ones and me being frustrated at how hard it was to ever actually take advantage of the bonus to Chitin. Yield to Resilin is to encourage settling in paddock rich areas, yield to Chelonia is to make it so that Harmony still has options when going into the water. Already implemented

    Xeno Sanctuary
    Spoiler :
    Possibly the only Harmony building to keep it's flat yield. If it loses it or has it reduced, it's other bonus will be buffed - the Sanctuary will complete the set with the Xenofuel Plant and the Xenonursery, adding a sizable bonus to the culture yield of Alien Nests. I really want to make it so that leaving the aliens undisturbed is a feasible option, but as it is, the available buffs you can get from a Well improvement outweigh it. So make nests better. This also fits in with the listed flavor of the sanctuary - unlike an Alien Preserve which is a glorified Zoo/Safari, a Xeno Sanctuary is a place where citizens can walk among the aliens with no risk to themselves, and marvel at their beauty. I feel like culture from nests is appropriate. Need to learn how to make buildings edit the yield of local improvements before it can be implemented

    Microbial Mine
    Spoiler :
    Fancier building. Similar to the Growlab and the Biofactory, it will improve the production yield of resources improved by mines (excluding Titanium, for reasons of balance and Titanium being a strategic resource instead of a basic one) at the cost pf a reduction of it's flat and percentage yield, but it will also cause a minable resource to spawn on a tile within the cities workable radius. Given the types of tiles that can have Copper, Gold, Silica, or Minerals, this makes it very unlikely a city can't get a new resource. Thematically, I think this is appropriate - not only does this let Harmony get resources from the environment that other affinities simply can't, but the description in the 'Pedia describes the building as using microbes to leech out minerals that are already in the rock, just in quantities so small that other techniques cannot separate them out. Surprisingly, already implemented, resource spawning and all

    Molecular Forge
    Spoiler :
    Flat yield removed, because as it was, the Forge was boring. Instead, improves the food yield from tiles with Miasma by 1. This helps to let Harmony grow really big cities if they spread enough Miasma, and fits in with the idea of synthesizing new food from 'thin' air. Only possible downside is that as it currently stands, Miasma is land only - this might simply be a thing, but I'd like for all of the affinities to at least have decent options for aquatic colonization. Already implemented in code.

    Progenitor Garden
    Spoiler :
    The big daddy of the Harmony Buildings. I'd like it to be impressive enough to rival a Xeno Titan. As it currently stands, rather boring - Miasma tiles yield +1 Health, again allowing big cities and encouraging the spread of Miasma. What I'd like to do is make this yield -1 Unhealthiness from Miasma, allowing the circumvention of the local cap, and further allowing for HUGE cities, as well as granting a player perk (which stacks for every Garden constructed) that gives a combat bonus to leashed Alien units, to keep them relevant in the game so there is a reason you might want to leash an Alien when you could otherwise have an army made out of Tier4 units. Half implemented (+1 Health instead of -1 Unhealth, haven't written the alien buff perk yet)

    Purity: Purity plays a bit different - its focus on Terraforming means that there are lots of bonuses encouraging developing your territory, to the point where you might ignore a basic resource on a tile because hey, Terrascape's just better. Also has a small subtheme in that it cares about strategic resources more than the other affinities - this encourages it to value specific territory in a way different than Harmony to encourage conflict, but it also ties in to the eventual change to Purity's victory (where Strategic Resources will be very important)
    Spoiler :

    Gene Garden
    Spoiler :
    Science bonus removed (I see Purity being something of Luddites, at least at first - slow to dive into new fields of research). Instead, bonus to food carried over. Ties in to how I see Genetic manipulation being used in the Affinities - Harmony will use it to make new traits, and Ascendancy will use it to augment existing traits to Superhuman levels, but Purity is more focused on just letting every achieve the maximum capacity a 'regular' human can. Being strong is great, and they want to make people strong, but not to the point where an individual could lift a building. So their genetic manipulation sites come more from improving the bottom, rather than the top - the result is overall higher health, and genetic defects being cured, increasing growth rate (as implied by the 'Pedia). Currently implemented.

    Gaian Well
    Spoiler :
    First instance of Purity's "Strategic Resource" subtheme. As it is, Gaian Wells are rather forgettable, so they mostly get a buff - the same geothermal resources that it requires now also yield increased +2 production, making them much more valuable tiles. The raw yield has been unaffected. Currently implemented.

    Bionics Lab
    Spoiler :
    Not sure where to go with this building. Would like to divorce it from the Resilin, as that's a Harmony thing, but that just leaves it as a +20% health building. Toyed with having it grant promotions to military units, but that winds up stepping on the toes of plans for other affinities. What's more, I'd like to make it so that it costs Petroleum to build, to further show a different side of Purity's strategic resource subtheme. Suggestions on this area are welcome.

    LEV-Plant
    Spoiler :
    While the Bionics Lab lost it's local resource requirement, the LEV-Plant gained one. LEV-Plants now require nearby Floatstone to build, and accordingly improve the production yield of Floatstone. Strategic Resource subtheme, but it also gives Purity more reason to care about floatstone - after all, it's starting unique unit doesn't require it, unlike the rest of the affinities and their affinity resource, and as Floatstone comes later, it also needs more incentives to care about than the others (who also have non-affinity buildings improving their yields). Currently Implemented

    Borehole
    Spoiler :
    Problem building. The fact that Purity has 3 production buildings makes it hard for them to all feel distinct, and the Borehole as it is is definitely underpowered. So this was changed to be Purity's one concession to terrain. Similar to it's implementation in Tidal, Boreholes improve the yield of Canyon tiles, in this case by a whopping +3 Production, +5 Energy, although at the cost of no longer having a flat yield and costing an amount of Geothermal to build (again, to give Purity a reason for collecting the strategic resources while also making it so that Geothermal is actually worth something). Currently Implemented

    Terra Vault
    Spoiler :
    The start of the glimmers of Purity's improvement theme. The Terra Vaults yield has been changed to a flat yield of +6 instead of a scaling +15%, to make it matter more if it is the first culture building built and to add to the subtle variation each affinity has on gaining yields. What's more, the Terra Vault has also been changed to cause a city it's constructed in to immediately gain 3 tiles as if by culture (although the culture cost of additional tiles does not increase) - this should hopefully encourage players to have plenty of room to keep their workers busy improving tiles with fancy improvements. Currently implemented

    Mantle
    Spoiler :
    Continuation of the improvement theme. In addition to again changing the scaling yield to a flat one (in this case +8, although that is definitely subject to balance changes as needed), the Mantle decreases the maintenance cost of local improvements, making it even easier for the Purity player to spam advanced improvements like the Dome and the Terrascape around all of their cities. From a flavor perspective, this represents the progress made in the practical applications of the Mantle's findings, something that the 'Pedia suggested but never showed in the base game. Currently implemented

    Skycrane
    Spoiler :
    Purity's ultimate building. The Scaling bonus has again been removed, but in the name of being flashy and impressive enough to justify building, the flat yield has been upped to +10 production, hoping to have raw yield making it distinct from the other production buildings in the Purity affinity. What's more, the improvement theme shines through here - Skycranes grant a promotion to workers built in the city that results in their build speed increasing by some amount (200% is what I first thought of, but that is DEFINITELY subject to balance changes) This not only encourages building improvements (especially advanced ones held back by the time it takes to improve them), it also encourages rapidly re-terraforming to suit your needs - no need to keep a tile a dome if you later decide a Node or Array might be better. Currently half implemented - the flat yield is in, but I don't know how to add a column to the promotion table to actually have a promotion affect worker speed, so it's still in progress.


    Supremacy: 2 Key subthemes here - the idea of cities being 'a well oiled machine,' where everything works together in perfect synchronicity to achieve spectacular results, similar to how the units work really well in tandem with each other and in certain formations. The second is the idea of plug and play technology - moreso even then Harmony, Supremacy is especially able to upgrade it's units on an as needed basis by outfitting them with certain pieces of tech integrated into their body.
    Spoiler :

    Feedsite Hub
    Spoiler :
    Mostly as is, although perhaps making a small change to the yields resulting from trade routes - add in a bonus to culture to augment the one already present in science, but in exchange, change it so that both bonuses only benefit internal trade routes. It helps play into the theme of cities working in tandem, like cogs in a machine, and also helps nudge Supremacy to a bit more towards going wide, to mirror the slight nudges given to Harmony to go tall. Unfortunately, it seems the removed the part of the table where you specify what type of trade route a yield is given to - there used to be a distinction for the Recycler building also only affecting internal routes, but it's since disappeared. As such, not currently implemented.

    CEL Cradle
    Spoiler :
    The second culture building that Supremacy gets. Unfortunately, while I greatly appreciate the idea of buildings whose value is mostly in the specialists they provide, I want to try and limit it in the affinities as the result of wanting to make it a minor theme in one of the hybrids. So instead, the buff get's changed to a scaling one - generally, Supremacy buildings will give % bonuses to things encouraging you to stack things together in unison to have a effect. In the case of the CEL Cradle, I'd like that to be a 5% bonus for every CEL Cradle currently in the empire - the more people working in the Collective Emotional Link, the stronger it gets. Currently not implemented, looking on a clean way to add it in as a perk

    Neurolab
    Spoiler :
    Not sure what to change here. Supremacy unfortunately has 3 Science buildings, so it makes it hard to keep all of them distinct. As such, the Neurolab might just stay mostly as it is. Some of the changes I've considered, but rejected, are changes to the yield it get's from Firaxite - I don't want to have Supremacy makes too many ties to the environment, because flavor-wise, Supremacy cares the least of the core 3, but I do need them to care enough to generate tension with others over land. So Firaxite is the only thing they care about, but they wind up caring about it a lot. As it is, currently implemented as a result of no changes being made, but I'd like to come up with a change.

    Optical Surgery
    Spoiler :
    Comparatively easier to design. For on thing, the resource that yields Health has been changed to Firaxite, making it even more valuable of a resource to them, and keeping them from caring about any part of the environment beyond Firaxite - they should claim a lot of territory in spamming closely packed cities, but for most of those cities, where they're located doesn't matter, except for the ones with Firaxite. Beyond that, the Health yield has been nerfed from 2 to 4, and might wind up getting nerfed further. In exchange, upping the Health level is left to being the result of the quest, taking the place of the Bonus Sight perk. This is because the bonus vision is implemented as a free promotion that the building grants. I want Supremacy to have a 'Build your unit' subtheme, so a lot of the buildings will grant promotions to units constructed in them - no combat bonuses, but potentially even more powerful quirks like upgraded sight. Currently implemented

    Augmentery
    Spoiler :
    Bit of a tricky one, this. There are two ways I could see this going - the first, the one that's currently implemented, is for the Augmentery to provide a production multiplier (tying in to the theme of multipliers being what Supremacy does) to the production of Military units. This makes it easier for Supremacy to produce all of the units needed to run it's formations. It also doubles up on the idea of having some cities specialized for producing a lot of military units, helping with the 'Plug n Play Technology' subtheme. The other option is for the Plug-n-play theme to be implemented even more directly, by having it grant a combat promotion to units. This might step on the toes I have for other buildings, so t's a back-up for now, but still an option. Currently implmented

    Organ Printer
    Spoiler :
    The second of 3 Science buildings. Similar to the Optical Surgery, this might be specialized by moving some or all of the normal yield to a quest reward, and bringing in the perk option as a promotion. In this case, bonus healing rate in place of science. Conceptually, this is by having the units in question use specialized, mass produced organs or organ replacements, making it easy for them to be replaced if they get damaged. Unfortunately, that type of promotion isn't currently supported by the table, so I haven't currently implemented this change.

    Bioglass Furnace
    Spoiler :
    Not quite certain what to put here. I'd like this to be another case of taking out some of the yield (in this case, the flat yield, leaving behind the percent bonus), in favor of giving it a promotion for units built in the city, for the plug and play tech theme. Unfortunately, the idea I had in mind was to have the furnace grant bonus movement - if that was the case, then the SABR might wind up being too powerful. Other than that, I could have the furnace grant a defense mod to the units, or bonus production to Firaxite, but I'd like to have the non-direct combat promotion work. Unfortunately, movement promotion also isn't naturally supported, so I'm still looking into how to implement this

    Hypercore
    Spoiler :
    Supremacy's ultimate building. I'd like this to be the purest expression of the cities working together theme possible. So in this case, the Hypercore yields +10% science, for EVERY city. This has a lot of potential to go out of control, but my thinking is that by the time you unlock the Hypercore, you already are far enough in the tree that something so impressive is important. Furthermore, if you already have a lot of cities available, chances are good that you are already in a good position to begin with. Not currently implemented, since I haven't looked into how to count the number of cities and set it in a perk.


    Hybrid Buildings:
    Spoiler :
    As above, Buildings add a peaceful way to feel out how an affinity thinks and acts. Some buildings have been conceptalized and coded, others still to come. The ones I currently have are as follows (Hoping to have 6 of each, since they should still probably pick up some core stuff along the way). Currently in a post further down, since it exceeded the text limit.

    Quests:
    Spoiler :
    In addition to updating the building quest for the changed / new buildings, add in some for affinity progression to better cement hybrid playstyles, while also making it even easier to divorce affinity progression from the tech web. Not implemented yet

    Victories:
    Spoiler :
    Not touched on yet, but the goal is to adapt the ideas Galgus mentioned a while back. Details inbound shortly

    Aesthetics:
    Spoiler :
    Nothing yet, but this will hopefully include sponsor appearances and city appearances if someone can provide the art


    As far as credit goes for how far I've already gotten, props to Ryika for providing advice on getting a LUA code to work, as well as to Galgus for the initial ideas behind the victories. Credit also to Polycrates, whose Tidal Balance mod seems to have a lot of the same opinions about what certain buildings should do, and therefore gave guidance as to what the appropriate power levels for those effects are. Furthermore, credit to the developers of the Awesome Collection (Ryika again), the Affinities as Yields mod (HandyVac), and the Tidal Balance mod (Polycrates), for providing examples of just how certain ideas can be implemented in the games code.

    As always, I welcome any input that can be provided. Suggestions for some of the buildings? Ideas on what might constitute balance? I'm happy to hear them.
     
  2. DefiantMars

    DefiantMars Chieftain

    Joined:
    Dec 10, 2014
    Messages:
    568
    Location:
    Honolulu, HI
    Quite ambitious, GenEngineer. This sounds like its going to be a crux of concepts.


    For Aesthetics, this isn't a city art but more of a "buildings" art theme. The movie "Aeon Flux" came on Sy-fy last night. Its an interesting movie with moral questions and a number of science fiction themes. Anyway, within the story there is a a floating dirigible called the "Relical" which houses the genetic sequences of the citizens in the story. It reminds me greatly of Ascendancy (Harmony/Purity) with its color palette and association with genetic storage and analysis. Here's an image for reference.
     
  3. Galgus

    Galgus Chieftain

    Joined:
    Aug 22, 2012
    Messages:
    1,695
    I picture Ascendancy as favoring some organic shapes like Harmony, but with a lot of gold and an obsession with the grandiose.

    This is the best image I've seen of what they would look like, from an earlier post.
     
  4. Galgus

    Galgus Chieftain

    Joined:
    Aug 22, 2012
    Messages:
    1,695
    In case you did not see it, I asked for and received help on how to make a group of buildings exclusive to other groups to create incompatible affinity building sets.

    It may be useful to you in changing the buildings, since we seem to have similar ideas on them.

    Here is the thread.

    Though we disagree on some specifics, I'd be happy to give feedback if you want it.
     
  5. GenEngineer

    GenEngineer Chieftain

    Joined:
    Aug 24, 2014
    Messages:
    456
    Hey Everyone. Sorry for the delay in adding the rest of the details - real life decided to stubbornly intrude. Love the looks of both of those cities - unfortunately, I still don't know how to go about editing the art defines, so while I will keep those in mind as key Ascendancy Buildings (and the 'Grey Goo' style buildings for Clarity), they might not get implemented for a very long time. And I'd be happy to have any feedback you could offer, Galgus - even for the disagreements, since that can help both of us get a better idea about how we want our mods to come across. Fortunately, I have managed to add a few buildings to the hybrid affinities: (shown below due to text limit in first post)

    Ascendancy (Harmony/Purity) - The elite of the elite, pushing into superhuman, demigod territory - or Ubermensch, if they don't like you. Yield will come mostly from specialists, representing how a citizen who chooses a career in this empire will just be better at it by default than those in other nations, being genetically enhanced for the job. As for mechanical, unique themes... not sure yet

    Spoiler :
    NVRS
    Spoiler :
    - Short for 'En Vitro 'R Us' (also, acronym building to parallel Supremacy's acronym units - not guaranteed to be common or even stay here, but works as a placeholder). Designed conceptually to be the lowest affinity level Ascendancy building, I see this being the seeds of how a culture starts down the Ascendancy path. Idea is that Ascendancy is focused on manipulating the genome of humans to make it more than it was before, but not so far as Harmony - only edit traits that people already have. Not sure what effect it should be, but I'm currently leaning towards it being a Grower specialist building. Potential for a lot of food. No idea what to do about building quests when I get there.


    Orichalcum Smelter
    Spoiler :
    - Resource dependent building, needs gold to build. Idea is some kind of biological material is added in, making it less sturdy, but more malleable and colorful. Ascendancy, harkening back to the days of old when gold was valuable for it's beauty, alloyed with it and named the new metal Orichalcum, after that written in Plato's dialogues. Has 2 spots for artist specialists, and increases the yield of Gold tiles by either 1 production or 1 culture - not sure which yet. The quest will involve how the new metal is allocated - is it left only to the sculptors and masons, that all might see its beauty? (Increased artist slots) Or is it given to the people, where they might use it in their daily life (increase yield of Gold by either culture or production, whichever the base building doesn't do). Already coded, but still in flux until some of the balance details can be nailed down, like what tech should unlock it, what should the production cost be, what should the affinity cost be, etc...


    Clarity (Purity/Supremacy - Mastery taken by the name for the upgraded units) - Similar to the Supremacy idea, there is a lot of scaling going on. Unlike Supremacy, Clarity is more people focused, so you get population scaling instead of city-by-city scaling. Other themes include more defensive elements, based on the behavior of the unique units as an army, and some other one offs using the perks for progress in the affinity as a guide.

    Spoiler :

    Embassy
    Spoiler :
    Rather surprising that there isn't a building already for an embassy. Simple idea that I'm rather fond of - increases the number of hitpoints the city has, representing the aid given to the city by foreign powers, and also makes trade routes to foreign powers yield +1 Diplomatic Capital. Basing this mostly of off the rather defensive theme seen in the units - I see Clarity only having a few cities, but it's nigh impossible to take those cities, making them a very turtle-y playstyle. As far as concepts go, I see clarity being the first to reach out to the other affinities - they lack the aggressive condescension and hate I'd expect fro the others (in favor of passive aggressive condescension, but hey. What are you going to do? In addition to the rooms they have for physical visitors, they also have set ups for a digital, holographic uplink, to better enhance the comfort of diplomats. This is turn helps to yield positive relations. As for quest rewards when I get around to adding them, either make it so that the building doubles down on defense (giving more City Strength, representing choose to make it a very defend-able place to help visitors feel safe, doubling down on the physical aspects), or double down on diplomatic capital (an additional +1 per trade route, representing increased digital outreach programs). Currently coded into the basegame at Computing, costing 200 production to build.


    Sympathetic Core
    Spoiler :
    This is where the population scaling kicks in. Simply put, the Sympathetic Core currently yields +1 Science for every population in the city, but costs higher maintenance for most buildings (I continue to monitor the Tidal Balance Mod for an idea on what constitutes higher maintenance). As far as conceptually, this is the idea of each personal computing device sharing processing power with each other. As such, the more of them working together in synchronicity, the faster they solve each problem. Which results in a lot more free time for all of the systems, which has recently been co-opted for academic research to result in leaps and bounds in technology. In order to keep it from being too ridiculous, the Silica requirement from Supremacy's Optical Surgery has been moved here, to limit how many of these very good buildings you can fit into an empire. Quest ideas currently undetermined. Currently coded in and unlocked at Collaborative Thought (production cost undetermined).


    Audacity (Supremacy/Harmony) - Power at any price. That is the credo of Audacity. In addition to the general extremist modifications applied to all aspects of life in Audacity, there is also a drawback theme - yields of these buildings are generally higher than the other affinities, but they come at a drawback beyond mere energy maintenance.
    Spoiler :

    Cable Fields
    Spoiler :
    The blurring of the line between organic and mechanical. The Cable Fields were an experimental concept that achieved wild real world success. Sections of land were cordoned off and rows of solar power cells (with outputs) were laid down akin to a field of flowers. The work machines of the colony were then instructed to recharge from these fields when low on power, to simulate the act of feeding. The results was a wild success, increasing energy efficiency by a wide margin, and by allowing the optimized behavior to transfer to livestock rearing, food was increased as well. Eventually, the two were blurred, resulting in areas where mechanical grass and organic grew in the same patch, with incredible yields. However, the resulting spectacle was found to be unsettling to those not accustomed to it, harming diplomatic efforts. Mechanics-wise, this means that the Cable Fields yield large amounts of both Food and Energy (currently at +2 each), but comes at the cost of 1 Diplomatic Capital per turn, making it potentially costly to build it in too many places too quickly. Quest concept will be based around predation naturally 'evolving' in the machines - resulting in them killing/destroying and absorbing energy from either biological or mechanical components. This is even more viscerally disturbing to visitors, and results in 2 options - 1, work to stop these predation events. Result in dignitaries appreciating your moderation, causing the diplomatic maintenance to go away. Or 2) encourage the events. It evolved via optimization of the system, it is objectively better. Result in even more food and Energy, but increases the penalty even more. Currently coded into the system, where it's unlocked at Power Systems and requires 2 of each affinity. Costs 200 production to build..


    Simulation Cell
    Spoiler :
    Before any equipment is put into the field, it is subject to rigorous tests. For Audacity, that includes the genetic and mechanical enhancements on soldiers. The Simulation Cells are where the quality testing is carried out. Soldiers are put into combat with a wide array of opponents, which are controlled via implants and whose genetics are enhanced to make them worse than the real enemy. The result is that training new soldiers may take longer than most affinities, the result is a dangerously elite army. The Simulation Cell currently decreases the production rate of all military units in the city by 20%, making it a lot harder to spam a huge army, but it also grant a unique promotion to all units built in the city that gives them +20% strength in combat. Quest will involve the question of how to go further with the fields - rather than mere testing military training, more radical modifications could also be tested, as well as extreme situations to make for heightened adaptability (results in (possibly global) experience gain modifier). But there is a group that is a proponent for more subversive methods - extensive training and modification of covert agents to make them indistinguishable from the normal citizens of the empire they subvert, down to genome level (Results in global increase to the success chance of covert operations). Currently looking for a tech to call home (along with production and affinity values to match), the base building is currently coded into the game albeit at Habitation.



    Also, here is where I'm currently at conceptually for the Victories (again, originally based on ideas mentioned by Galgus a while back, and not currently implemented in any fashion). As a note, all of the victory wonders will be changed to be one of a kind, to again encourage interfering with other civs.

    Harmony
    Spoiler :
    Left as Transcendance, albeit with a twist. As it currently stands, Transcendance winds up being boring late game, as a sit back and wait victory, and one where you really have to fight the aliens, rather thn work with them. My idea is to change it so that, once constructed, the total alien opinion of people needs to be above a certain level. These opinions are scaled based on a players position in the score list, making it so that someone who is crushing the game has a lot more impact on overall alien opinion than someone who is nearly dead. So not only are you incentivized to play really nice with the aliens to increase the average opinion, but also to go to war with anyone who is to nasty to the natives to bring their impact on the overall opinion down.

    Ascendancy
    Spoiler :
    Terraformation victory. Goal is to turn the planet into a veritable Eden, combining the best of both the Old and the New. In addition to the tech research requirements, will involve constructing a Terraformer Wonder (name subject to change). As long as you control the Terraformer Wonder, it will naturally start adding Hybrid Forest improvements on unimproved tiles within your territory. These improvements function a lot like Terrascapes, providing a wide array of decent yields, albeit at the cost of not yielding as much while be able to coexist with Miasma. Workers are also able to construct these improvements while you control the wonder, and can be constructed in territory you don't own. On the downside, they take very long to build, perhaps longer even than the Terrascape. Once a minimum percent of the planets surface is covered by thees hybrid forests, you win the game. Fighting for enough space to plant all of these forests (or trying to open up enough borders, if doing it diplomatically) should be the driving force behind conflict in this victory.

    Purity
    Spoiler :
    Earth's Renewal victory. Changed from Exodus because I didn't think Purity would really abandon Old Earth outright, even if it did rescue the people. Once all of the techs are researched, construct a Renewal Gate planetary wonder. Once built, move 5 care package parts into it. These parts are built in cities, and unlocked at the same time as the gate wonder. In addition to a large production cost, these packages also require a large amount of strategic resources each - currently thinking like 8 needed for each (1 for Petroleum, Geothermal, Titanium, and 2 for Floatstone) because it's so easy to get a ton of them, but that may change with balance mods. Idea is that by requiring the strategic resources, Purity will need to war with it's neighbors to acquire them, increasing interactivity (also plays in nicely to the Strategic Resource subtheme in the buildings). Designed to call back to the old spaceship victory from past civ games - before, you sought to leave earth for the new planet - Purity seeks to undo that, by sending stuff back to Earth to bring it back up to prosperity.

    Clarity
    Spoiler :
    This is the new home of the Exodus victory. Essentially unchanged from the basegame, I think it synergizes well in that Clarity doesn't claim too much land, up until the victory when suddenly it needs a lot of it. Likewise, Clarity seems the most likely to care about the people of Old Earth without giving any thought onto what planet they are on, as the intersection of Purity's looking back and Supremacy's not caring about as specific environment.

    Supremacy
    Spoiler :
    New Eternal Voyager Wonder. Changed from Emancipation because they implied aggressiveness of that victory seems a better fit for Audacity. After researching the necessary techs, construct a Dyson Core Wonder. The Dyson Core wonder will then give you visibility of 5 (modified by game size) resources that were placed on the map at the start of the game, but hidden until youhad the wonder. In order to win, you have to both build a unique improvement on the wonder AND have it covered by an orbital unit (any kind). The improvements can be built on unowned territory, but not on land owned by another civ. This should encourage interaction with other players in that you need that territory to improve it, and you need the orbital territory. If someone else is there, well, then they have to go, don't they? Conceptually, this is Supremacy completely giving up on the idea of caring about their planet. Instead, upload all of the minds (originally organic and AI) into this supercomputer, with a few robotic bodies for maintenance, and take off to explore the stars or eternity.

    Audacity
    Spoiler :
    New home for the Emancipation victory. The implied ruthlessness seems a better fit for my view of Audacity. Mostly the same, although with one key change - now also requires sending a certain amount of population through the gate as well as units. While you could do this in your cities, why bother paying the cost yourself when you could use a conquered people to do it instead? This should encourage Emancipation victory to involve active interaction on the player's part, rather than waiting for the AI to come and interfere with them when their army get's too small
     
  6. DefiantMars

    DefiantMars Chieftain

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    I don't expect to be seeing unique city art for quite some time. If its anything like Civ V I'd be impressed if modders could get to it, as I've heard Civ V's cities are hard coded.

    I'd like to give a little bit of feedback for Ascendancy, as it has become the Affinity that I resonate with the most.

    I love Ascendancy. The concept of Purity and Harmony coming together to making superhumans makes me giddy.

    From a military standpoint, they're a mirror to Supremacy. The robotic affinity specializes in adjacent bonuses and positioning. Ascendancy has units that excel in battlefield control. Their units are good at fighting in their territory, are durable, can ignore terrain costs, and can adjust combat strength with their unique units directly.

    I don't know what to suggest for mechanics. The only thing I might suggest is taking a look at some Civ V mods to get inspiration.



    Not sure how I feel about having acronym buildings to mirror Supremacy, however it does invoke a sense of Roman naming to me. I don't like the "R Us" part. I feel like that does not glorify humanity.

    What I do like is the direction of the building's nature. Ascendancy idolizes the human form within this they cannot be convinced otherwise. For introductory building I think it makes sense for the affinity to start improving human advantages. Later on, they start making more extreme alterations but they're always sure to preserve the human form. The functions of the body can change and should not be limited by shortsighted nostalgia. One adjustment they probably would make would be making their colonies immune to miasma. That would just require some simple epi- and sub-dermal changes in addition to retooling the lungs. No big deal in the grand scheme of things, right?



    I don't object to this from a mechanical standpoint, but I question the background provided. Gold is already a poor material for durability. Its electron valences cause it to be highly malleable already. For the sake of the Sci-Fi setting I would say that adding a biological material (particularly one from these planets we're on) would improve its strength. Perhaps to get around that is to say Orichalcum is very malleable until it cures where it becomes a surprisingly durable alloy despite being made from gold and a biological additive.

    Side note, I really like the idea of the Cable Fields. However part of me wishes that it was a tile improvement for the affinity.

    Some people think that each of the victory conditions need to be a big "power play". In a sense, I think that your victories here do fit into that. For Ascendancy, they're bending the planet's environment to their will.

    Part of me thinks that the Hybrid Forest should be their Affinity improvement and it shouldn't be locked by the Victory Wonder. That way they can do a bit of future proofing. Also, Ascendancy doesn't need 2 improvements like Purity. That would devalue Purity's domestic terraformation focus. As an end state though, Purity's heart lies with Old Earth.
     
  7. GenyaArikado

    GenyaArikado Black Queen

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    I'm talking from ignorance here, but wouldnt it be possible to "repaint" the current city models to make the art for the hybrids

    ie:
    Supremacy city with white buildings with blue lights for PS
    Purity city with marble, gold and purple colors for HP
    Harmony city with red and black colors for SH
     
  8. Lord Tirian

    Lord Tirian Erratic Poster

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    The problem isn't the modelling/texturing, it's adding new city tile sets to the game. This has not been solved yet in Civ5, where modders have considerably more experience (personally, I don't believe the dummy improvement path is viable, since you'd define it city size. Not only does that mean you need a lot, it also means that you lose the nice terrain-conforming distribution of the city buildings, hugging mountains, not being placed in water and so on)

    Otherwise I would be all over it (in other words, once somebody figures it out the coding side, I'll dive right into making hybrid city art like immediately).
     
  9. GenyaArikado

    GenyaArikado Black Queen

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    well that sucks.
     
  10. GenEngineer

    GenEngineer Chieftain

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    I'm happy to have any and all feedback.

    It seemed like a good idea when I thought of it, but you are right in that it sounds a bit cheesy. Will possibly keep the acronym, but change it to stand for something a bit more mythological/divine sounding - fair compromise? And don't worry about the acronym buildings being a thing - that was just a one off idea for the NVRS, not one I intended to have for all of them. I do like the idea of making it sound roman - maybe the full name is partly in Latin, hence why an acronym is commonly used?

    That's part of how I see Ascendancy diverging from the others. You're right - gold is a terrible material as far as durability goes, valuable only for artistic purposes really. I see this new alloy being even more so of that, as well as potentially having really bright, vibrant variations in color. I could say that the biological component increases it's strength, but I actually want it to be in the lore that Ascendancy has weaker armor than most - their relying not on some metal suit to save them, like the rest of the affinities (especially Supremacy) - they rely on their grace to not get hit, and their genetically encoded durability to survive. What little armor they have is decorative - like the demigods of legend, they still wear it, but they don't really need it.

    I might have to look into the idea of moving when they Hybrid Forests get unlocked - you are right in that all of the other affinities at least have ways of preparing in advance for when they finish their wonder, why shouldn't Ascendancy? As far as affinity improvements go, I don't actually like the idea of having those. With the possible exception of the Terrascapes, I'd rather like each affinity to be able to build all improvements, just with a different spin - Domes for everyone, but the environment under the dome varies wildly - Earthlike vs Extremely alien to future-proof gene mods - vs Atmosphere-less to test for complete independence from planet. As a result, I don't really think Ascendancy has 2 improvements - the hybrid forest might be 1, but that's more included because Tidal Balance includes giving Harmony the aility to plant Forests, and with Purity Terrascapes, it seems natural to give Ascendancy an intersection of the two.
     
  11. DefiantMars

    DefiantMars Chieftain

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    Fair enough.

    I'm just saying, wearing just gold is pretty stupid. Ascendancy is arrogant but they're not idiots. Their armor is probably the weakest, yes (though I think Harmony would be a close second) but they still need to be competitive.

    I highly disagree with this point. I think that the "you can get everything" mentality is one of the reasons that the affinities do not feel distinct. I think that every place where we (as a collective gaming community) can suggest and/or implement divergence would benefit the affinities. This is not to say that if the player works for it, it should not be unavailable.

    If you want to roleplay that scenario of Domes housing different functions by all means, that's fine. But for the sake of mechanical diversity, I implore to explore the idea of improvements for the hybrids and reinforcing the role of the improvements to the affinities.

    Harmony making Domes and Terrascapes doesn't really make sense unless they're hybridized into Purity.
     
  12. GenEngineer

    GenEngineer Chieftain

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    Regarding the building name for NVRS, how about having it stand for "En Vitro Regna Scientia?" It's rather horrific latin from a grammatical standpoint, but it roughly translates to En Vitro, Realms of Knowledge. For finding new breakthroughs in studying en vitro developments, I think it's semi-appropriate.

    How about making the disagreement on the Orichalcum Smelter part of the quest? The initial alloy is only barely more durable than gold, but more vibrant. The artists want to include strains of bacteria that enhance the color and create new shades, but that comes at the cost of ruining the durability. The military wants to increase the strength of the alloy with another culture of bacteria, which would make the color more muted. Rewards are either more artist specialists, or bonus production for gold tiles.

    As far as the rest of the buildings go, here is the general scheme I've thought of for Ascendancy buildings, with a subtheme. Remember how SMAC had the Transcend specialists? Bring them back as representing the superhuman element of the Ascendancy population, playing back on the idea that Ascendancy get's yields via specialists. Transcends yield 1 each of Culture, Science, Production, Energy, Food, Capital, and Health, but there are only enough buildings that you can only ever have a maximum of 6 in a city. These Transcends would ideally be resistant to the PAU's bonus (to keep them from being overpowered with it and therefore being overly encouraged to go Ascendancy), but if that's not an option, they only increase the Capital yield. So the NVRS would only have 1 Transcend Slot as all it does, another building would have 2 and another average effect, and the Ultimate building would have 3 with a big effect. The Smelter makes 4, and then 1 building that has an unbalanced affinity requirement towards Harmony and another towards Purity makes 5 and 6, covering at least the rough guidelines for all of the Ascendancy buildings.

    Regarding the affinity improvements, I'd like to hear from the rest of the community. I'm still not personally sold on the idea (in part because I'm at a loss as to how I would do that, including the new art for the improvements), but if it's a popular idea, then I'll see what I can do.
     
  13. DefiantMars

    DefiantMars Chieftain

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    There seems to have been some major loss of history in the aftermath of the great mistake, so I think some "even worse than 21st century Latin" would be expected. I'd have fun with it, you seem like you have a good sense of developer and your own personal direction for the affinities.

    You sir, deserve major props for this one. You've turned the disagreement into an asset. I definitely think it would work well and both rewards are desireable. Very very nice.

    I didn't play SMAC, but I have a general understanding of the game. I think having Transcendi would be great. Giving them a domestic, specialist focus, a focus on the population, is a nice counterpart to their battlefield control their military possesses.

    The 50/50 nature of hybrids and the "Collect them all" nature of techs and buildings is not conducive to distinction and diversity. If its not possible from a technical standpoint I totally understand. I simply feel that any opportunity to diversify the affinities should be explored.

    Somewhat related, I really like the idea that the improvements upgrade over time. This was something that was already in Vanilla game, though behind techs.... but the affinity linked upgrades are much more organic in my opinion. If you go with the "customized" improvements, I would try to stick closer to hybrids. If you're Harmony and try to get Domes and Terrascapes, the closest you will get would be Ascendancy Domes and Terrascapes. It doesn't strain the affinity mentalities as much as having True Purity Biowells.... or Evolved Harmony Nodes. At least in my opinion.
     
  14. GenEngineer

    GenEngineer Chieftain

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    I still don't like the idea of outright gating players from building certain improvements, but I can get behind the idea of incentivizing them to build other improvements instead. That way, if a player wants (or needs) to build a Dome to answer a specific gameplay challenge, they always can regardless of affinity. But if they are Harmony or Supremacy, they might not want to because they just have better options. The affinity upgrades currently in the game seem a lot more appealing. There's no reason you can't build Biowells as Purity... except that means not building a Terrascape or a Dome.

    As for implementing that, I can see 3 ways of doing so (a mix may be preferable) - the first is to lock it behind affinity gates directly, similar to how the perks are treated in the game as is. The second is to lock it behind a building, akin to what I'd currently like to do with the Harmony Buildings and Alien Nests (the problem being that, while I'm sure it's possible, I still haven't figured out the code for). The last, and my personal favorite, is to have it be a part of the affinity quests. I seem to recall there being a Purity quest that asks you to build a quarry somewhere, and then improves the culture yield of quarries. That seems like a really natural progression for the affinities, especially if they trigger more often as a whole .

    (As for the Hybrid Forest specifically, make it get a bonus for each step along the multi-part 'quest chain' that each affinity has/will get, and it further incentivizes the player to build a ton of them even before they get to the Victory Wonder, further future-proofing it).
     
  15. GenyaArikado

    GenyaArikado Black Queen

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    i know the mod will probably not have a graphic componed but throwing this here regardless. This is more or less how i envision Pur/Har Elodie (aka the canon one, deal with it). Agree, disagree?



    i really think that skin with literal gold would be thing for pur/har leaders
     
  16. Azem.Ocram

    Azem.Ocram Chieftain

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    I really love your mod idea! I cannot think of anything I read so far that I disagree with. I like the idea of having a quest make Orichalcum prettier or stronger; I like the idea of Transcend specialists; and I absolutely love the idea of making each affinity more distinct and having hybrid affinities being different from/more than mixtures of the two parent affinities!

    I'm not so good at imagining how a woman looks when she was younger but I imagine Purity/Harmony Elodie to look like she would have at age 25 after a beach holiday, wearing an elaborate golden Greco Roman ensemble with reslin robes and seemingly gold armor

    Spoiler :

    Rough expectation of skin tone


    Rough approximation of outfit, but needs an elaborate gilded/bronze chest plate


    The harmony appearance of leaders in Starships seems a bit technological and not all that alien, Supremacy/Harmony leaders should look like Harmony leaders in Starships with an indigo and magenta color scheme and some cybernetic implants
    Spoiler :


     
  17. Galgus

    Galgus Chieftain

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    @GenEngineer

    While I don't know if making affinity tile improvements exclusive is possible, Affinity bonuses making some more desirable at least partially ties them to Affinity.

    I'd strongly advise making the affinity building sets mutually exclusive, though.
    _______________________________________

    @DefiantMars

    Honestly I think Domes would be on the P/S side of the hybrid while Terrascapes would be P/H.

    The idea of the Dome, sealing the colony away from the planet, just doesn't make sense with Harmony in my opinion, aside maybe a preserve of sorts for Old Earth creatures from an "appreciate diversity of life" angle, but that's a bit of a stretch.
     
  18. GenEngineer

    GenEngineer Chieftain

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    @ Galgus - Regarding the dome, I see it as fundamentally being about building a pocket with a different environment than the rest. So Purity makes it more Earthlike, and as that is a direct theme of the affinity, they should want to build it more, hence bonuses in Perks. Harmony would use it to test out ever more extreme environments, going in the opposite direction of Purity, in an attempt to prepare even more modifications for when they settle yet another planet.

    As far as making the buildings mutually exclusive, I would guess that hard coding each one to be exclusive with every other one in an affinity would be very difficult (and judging by the thread you made, it is). One idea I had kicking around when the perk screen was first shown was to make it so that only progress in one of affinities is active at any given time. So you can be at level 13 in all affinities, but you are still by choice one of the affinities. The UI interface here would perhaps be trickier, but the result would be the civ having a PlayerPerk_AFFINITY that identifies what they belong to, and that guides what set of perks, buildings, and units are available to them. The player is free to change their identification at any time (in case drastic changes in the diplomatic landscape encourage serious changes), but it costs a decent chunk of Diplomatic Capital to do so (scaling based on progress in both the affinity your switching to and the one your leaving). As is, I'd rather leave that for after all of the buildings, units, and quests are done, seeing as it'd be a brand new mechanic and I'd like to see if encouraging more cohesive themes within the buildings naturally make them less attractive to pick up only 1 or 2 on the side of your main affinity.

    On a more immediate note, here's the current update on how the Ascendancy buildings are shaping up (seeing as there is a lot of discussion to help think of ideas about them):

    NVRS - 1 Transcend Specialist, and that's it. Requires level 2 in each affinity. Quest centers around the centers should encourage zygotic twinning in the en vitro procedure, which would increase the size of the 'advanced' population rapidly, but result in fewer resources for each individual while growing (+15% to growth, or +1 Health).

    Epigenetic Temple - The thing about genetics is that having a gene for something means nothing if the regulatory pathway for it doesn't turn it on. For example, very efficient muscles don't mean as much if you don't still build up muscle mass. In that sense, the building can be thought of as a fancy gym, where people put in the effort to actually make use of the genetic potential given to them. Has 2 slots for Transcend Specialists (increased potential of whole population), and also allows 1 free specialist in the city (achieving said potential is even easier). Still uncertain of the quest, both flavor-wise and mechanics-wise. Requires 4 in each affinity.

    Orichalcum Smelter - See ongoing discussion on development of quest :p

    Cloudhome - (Uncertain of name) Requires Floatstone to build. Removes the need for buildings to actually have a foundation on the ground, allowing for a lot more room for people to live in, decreasing the pressure of overcrowding. Yields +15% health (decreasing unhealthiness is stronger and models idea better, but I'd like it to be a clear difference between Purity and Ascendancy that Purity is removing unhealthiness sources, and Ascendancy is adding more - further distinguishing their overlap), as well as decreasing the unhealthiness caused by specialists (not sure by how much, not sure how to code). Because the key ideas behind it are using Floatstone and focusing on the people, it's mainly leaning towards Purity - the only Harmony influence is the fact that if individuals are going to live in the clouds like gods, their going to need modifications for the thinner atmosphere (Currently 6 Purity, 4 Harmony, subject to change). Quest will center around how these homes are produced in large enough quantities for the population - a bunch of companies offer to help subsidize them in exchange for the right to use it as an opportunity to advertize (free maintenance), but higher quality might result from giving the task to individual craftsmen who could find employment (adds 2 Engineer Specialist slots).

    Mytho-Menagerie - Not certain how this will be received, especially for Ascendancy instead of Harmony, but the idea tickles me. In addition to adaptations made to humanity, some research was put into modifying beasts of labor and pets for increased longevity and better health. As research advanced, the thought of new designer organisms of course also developed. Separate from the course of Harmony developing brand new organisms though, Ascendancy's Purity influence made it look to the legends of Old Earth for ideas on how they should be designed. The result is a roaring pet trade, wherein beasts from the myths of Old Earth become available for sale to any and all who desire them - including members of the military. As far as mechanics go, the building will have 2 trader specialist slots (increased income from the domestic pet trade), but it will more importantly grant some unique promotions to units produced in the city (providing minor mirror to the promotion theme in Supremacy). Similar to the Kris Swordsman from CiV, you only get 1 at random, but which one is visible from the start and all of them are beneficial. Ideally, there would be 5 possibilities, based on Pliny's list of the 5 Legendary Creatures of Old Earth: The Dragon (+50% on offense, -20% on defense), the Unicorn (the Medic Promotion from standard CiV), the Griffin (the old Blitz promotion, possibly with an additional move if Ranged units don't break it), the Chimera (+50% when flanking), and of course, the dread Llama, with it's monofilament coat and acidic spit (unit provides bonus a la a great general, as all are inspired by the creature's majesty). Ironically enough, this doesn't seem to difficult to program, by having the building give a dummy promotion, and an LUA code to roll for one of the other promotions to grant when the dummy is granted. Quest will center around realizing that these things are very lethal - do we defang them to make them safer for the pet trade (an additional 2 trader specialists), or do we take advantage of it by official integrating them into the military, training people to fight alongside them (+15% to military production from building). Building will require 6 Harmony and 4 Purity. All numbers subject to change.

    This covers 5 of the 6 buildings. I'm still trying to come up with something that properly hits the 'WOW' factor for the ultimate, along with a name and concept. I want it to have 3-4 Transcend specialist slots, but I'd also like it to have something else unique too. Any suggestions/feedback on the above buildings?
     
  19. DefiantMars

    DefiantMars Chieftain

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    @GenEngineer, you would seek to unleash an unholy doomsday weapon unto New Earth!? You monster, how dare you even think of creating a dreaded Llama!
     
  20. Galgus

    Galgus Chieftain

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    Reintroducing the mighty Llama to Old Earth will be humanity's greatest safegaurd.

    No amount of robots could beat them for an Emancipation victory!
     

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