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Distinct Affinities Mod

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

  1. GenyaArikado

    GenyaArikado Black Queen

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    idk but something with the word "Olympic" would probably nice
     
  2. GenEngineer

    GenEngineer Chieftain

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    @ GenyaArikado - the thing with Olympic is that while it perfectly fits in with a lot of the ideals present (living above the clouds, monsters of legend, becoming demigods), it's too linked to a specific culture. "Western Civilization" all harken back to greco-roman mythology as the default mythology (hence why it's called Classical Mythology), but that doesn't hold true everywhere. I remember seeing discussions (at least on other sites) about how weird it was to see the traditionally non-Christian sponsors like PAC or PAU using such specifically Judeo-Christian terminology in the Supremacy units. So for here, I'd like to not explicitly tie it into any given mythology - the references already present are good because they don't name anything specifically, but I'd like to keep the language either neutral or wide ranging. So instead, how about "Anthropantheon?" It would still resonate with the Olympian gods most strongly, being the pantheon that westerners tend to be most familiar with, but doesn't preclude referencing other mythologies. Moreover, I see Ascendancy reasching the point where they start using more and more 'mystical' terminology as the progress, to the point where they tacitly see themselves as gods. It would make a nice transition in the building names too - NVRS is hard science, references to genetics. Epigentic Temple has a mix of hard science as less scientific, and in the ultimate, the pretense of divinity is favored over the truth - Ascendancy truly views themselves as gods.
     
  3. GenyaArikado

    GenyaArikado Black Queen

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    Well we gave Supremacy "Angels" so i think it would be ok. But i like your name, none of the affinity buildings have particulary overdone names, most of them are still pretty tech-ey so it would be great
     
  4. DefiantMars

    DefiantMars Chieftain

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    Honolulu, HI
    I don't think they view themselves as actual gods, but they do view themselves as god-like, demi-gods, or on the never-ending path of ascension. I feel like they view themselves as divine, but not as divinity.

    I like the Trancendi. Just make sure that there is some story and mechanic reason to pursue them aside from a point of every yield.

    This building is interesting from a background aspect. From what I understand, its promoting the production of twins, meaning more population. Quite interesting.

    It makes sense. Its sort of a "holy place" with regards to genetics where ascendant citizens can unlock their genetic potential. For a quest perhaps there could be a divide in making Epigentic Temples intended for Citizens only or to implement them for Military use?

    I like where we've arrived with the Orichalcum Smelter. Its strong, has a nice background, has a compelling quest decision and yields good rewards.

    Don't know how to feel about this one. I do like the quest, but Free Maintenance rewards have typically been on the weaker side of things.

    As awesome as this sounds, I don't think this highlights the theme of Ascendancy. There should be more emphasis on the human aspects. This doesn't mean that you need to scrap what you've written. The background can carry over, but I wouldn't use the mechanical aspect with the beasts. It just doesn't jive with the affinity...
     
  5. GenEngineer

    GenEngineer Chieftain

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    Hey everyone - further updates on the state of the mod. I've figured out something going wrong with the promotion granting (with help from the help section of the forum), so progress on the other areas should continue.

    With regards to the comments, the main point I'd like to address are the unbalanced buildings - as it currently stands, I'm going to leave them available as is, but once more significant progress has been made in the other areas of this mod, I'd like to return to them and add more buildings to the hybrids. This would allow buildings like the Mytho-menagerie and Cloudhome to be more of a transitionary point between the core affinity and the Hybrid - rather than being Ascendancy, it's the point where Ascendancy slides into Harmony or vice-versa.

    Conceptually, the Ascendancy buildings are nearly complete - as far as the Epigenetic Temple quest goes, I actually considered having it be a point that eventually, these businesses become so common, that the question of specializing becomes an issue. Due to competition and zoning issues, there is still only so many that can be supported within an area, but do we encourage them to stay general? Or allow them to specialize so that some areas are really, really good at activating artists. Mechanically, this would become another transcend slot or another free specialist - everyone get;s a little better, or easier to grab a 'proper' specialist. Seeing as a lot of the buildings now have 2 texts for mechanically the same quest, I could definitely see about writing one for the "Military-Civilian" split as well. As for the Cloudhome "Free Maintenance" reward, they've been fairly weak because the buildings invariably only have 1 maintenance, so it's not that big a reward. I know the Tidal Balance mod changes it so that a lot of the later buildings have 4 or even 5 maintenance - if I scale the effects and maintenance of Cloudhome to that level, that becomes a much more feasible reward.

    As far as the last building, the Anthropantheon, here's where I'm at. I was considering having the building either edit the yields of standard specialists or just have slots for them, but the challenge of editing specialist yields locally gave me a headache. So currently, the plan is to have the Anthropantheon have 4 slots for Trascendi, and 1 slot for each other specialist type (represented as additional 'wings' constructed when the building is finished to simplify the view in the city UI). Conceptually, the Anthropantheon represents the final success of Ascendancy's gene therapy - they no longer need to work on zygotes in order to add modifications, having finally reached the point where adults can be modified at every cell in the body. The result is facilities where individuals can spend a day completely revamping their genome, to better fit their whims (some modifications remain mutually exclusive, as pleiotropy and interfering regulatory pathways making having both of them at once unfeasible). Quest will center around whether or not the government should interfere with these facilities - should they continue to allow people to change as they wish, resulting in the 'average' citizen being better, but unspecialised? (Global perk that increases the yields of all Transcendi by 1)? Or should they take the slight manipulation of only allowing certain mods to be available at a given time, subtly regulating the population to encourage certain fields (each 'wing' has the number of specialist slots increased to 2-3).

    Nearing release of at least the Ascendancy buildings - all that remains to code is the free specialists from Epigenetic Temple, the specialist health from Cloudhome, and the Anthropantheon itself (possibly also more thorough debugging, but releases help to debug).
     
  6. DefiantMars

    DefiantMars Chieftain

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    I like where you're headed with the Ascendancy buildings. For me what you have so far with the Anthropantheon is both arrogant and optimistic to me. I quite like it and I can't wait to have a truly Ascendant society.

    ------------------------------------------

    With this hybrid sort of settling into position, what are your stances on the other affinities? Avoiding overlap between the affinities (and making them distinct) is most certainly one of the goals of your mod, from what I understand.

    So do you have any idea where you want to start with the other affinities?
     
  7. DefiantMars

    DefiantMars Chieftain

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    Sorry, accidentally submitted a double post, but I guess I'll use this opportunity to brush on my feelings towards some of the other affinities.

    Harmony:
    Harmony should draw strength from the planet. Its natural resources, particularly the organic ones, should be stronger than other affinities. There should definitely be more incentive and ability to befriend and harness the wrath of the native fauna. Alien nests and lack of alien aggression would be nice additions to Harmony's set of tools.

    Purity:
    Purity possesses a desire to terraform the planet to be like old earth. And they possess not one, but two tile improvements linked to the affinity. I think it would be nice if you could somehow provide more incentive to pursuing this mechanic via the buildings, I think that would interesting.

    Supremacy:
    Supremacy to me should feel like an industrial powerhouse. Their raw productive capabilities should be second to none. Making mass Nodes, Generators, and Manufactories feel like they would be right their alley. I think they should come across as almost a production line.

    Now for the other hybrids:

    Mastery/Clarity/Whatever:
    To me, they feel all about Proxy, Command, Substitution, Turtling, and Sieging. The Drone Command Artifact Building as well as the Markov Eclipse totally belong to this hybrid's school. Even more-so than Purity, I see Mastery/Clarity as holing up inside of a bubble and letting RC robots do their work for them.

    Voracity/Audacity/Ferocity:
    Last but not least the power hungry Harmony + Supremacy hybrid. Turning their "power by any means" attitude is challenging, as they don't care how they get stronger. I suppose I would go about this backwards and look for things they would not do. They are not limited by historical sentiment. They are the antithesis of Purity.

    Anyway those are my brief thoughts on the matter. I hope they help you refine your position on the affinities.
     
  8. kipwheeler

    kipwheeler Chieftain

    Joined:
    May 25, 2014
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    I just now stumbled across this thread, and I laughed really really hard at that!:lol:

    You guys crack me up.
     
  9. GenEngineer

    GenEngineer Chieftain

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    That's generally my feeling on the topic. I didn't limit it to 'organic' basic resources, but I did make it so that 3 of their 8 buildings play well with surrounding basic resources (and in 1 case, generate some). The playing well with the planet should be easy enough to implement - give bonuses to nests, so clearing the for the well is no longer a no brainer, give bonuses for Miasma, to encourage spreading it everywhere. Finally, if the Harmony Ultimate (Progenitor Garden) gave some combat bonuses to leashed aliens, it should go a long way to making them work with the planet.

    I gave the very top of the line Purity buildings subtle bonuses for terraforming - gaining a bunch of tiles to terraform, halving the maintenance of them so spamming them is easier, and bonuses to worker build speed so quickly spamming Terrascapes and swapping out improvements is easier. Beyond that, I think it's important to remember that they want to make it like old Earth to the point of exploiting the New Planet - all of it's resources are to be drained first, and then made to superficially look like Earth - as a result, the appeal of going back to Old Earth is never quite lost.

    The thing here is that I don't want them to have too much interest in their surroundings - part of their philosophy is divorcing themselves from the demands of their environment. Building a lot of nodes and generators still makes sense (since nodes are given bonuses and Supremacy will be Energy hungry), but I think they should be mostly focused on buildings and having cities interconnect, like a network. So Harmony is incentivized to grab a few choice cities with suitable resources that grow to undreamt of heights (20 or so population), Purity wants mega cities that have terraformed their entire radius, while Supremacy basically attempts a form of infinite city sprawl. Part of this comes from the fact that, stricly speaking, Purity has 3 production buildings, Supremacy 1, making Purity the de facto industrial powerhouse. Supremacy, on the other hand, has 3 Science buildings, but having a "Science Affinity" threatens to be too unbalanced to me, so I turned it into a 'build your unit piecemeal' theme.

    In a parallel to Harmony, I also see Clarity being focused on going tall. This leads into a focus on well defended cities, also tying into leaving room for their VC. As far as flavor of how I see Clarity, the easiest description I can give is that I see Clarity as the only Affinity that wouldn't replace lost limbs - Purity would use your tissue to regrow it, Harmony would freak about why you lost one of their superlimbs, then give you a new, better once, Supremacy would see it as an opportunity for an upgrade, Ascendancy would shrug and let it grow back naturally (side effect of their near-immortality modifications), and Audacity wouldn't have the limb to lose in the first place. But Clarity would just leave it, because, unless it was vital to your operation of your drones, why do you need it? People don't walk anymore anyways, so who cares if you've lost a leg? You don't talk to anyone verbally anymore, so mutism isn't a big deal. Effort is still made to maintain healthiness of course, but it's the ability to control your drones that's important.

    Regarding being more robot-centric than Purity, well of course. Personally, I think Purity would never build anything that doesn't require constant human input - they are tools for humans to use, but everything comes from the work of humans (even the AEGIS, noted to have a rudimentary AI for logistics, is noted to be incapable of aiming and firing with the pilots input). Supremacy, in the mean time, gives the robots free reign - there is nothing restricting them, because they are treated as and in many ways are indistinguishable from 'normal' members of society. As for Clarity, there are actual robots - mechanisms that are capable of functioning outside of the direct manipulation by humans. This is classic Asimov, 3-Law compliant robots - entirely subservient to humans, with all the implications present in Asimov's thoughts on robots.

    Audacity's 'power by any means' is I think easily represented by having each building have some kind of drawback that represents what they were willing to give up for this power. As far as more concrete subthemes, I think subversiveness is key - their units have a thing about attrition and invisibility, and that makes me think they need some subversive effects. I keep going back to the idea of blurring the line between mechanical and organic life - creating a robotic ecosystem. Supremacy is disturbed by machines limited to animalistic intelligence, Harmony by the mockery of the natural order. But by god, it works. Beyond that, I'm still looking for a source of inspiration for this culture - it's tricky trying to represent such a culture in the same way as the rest of the affinities - mostly positive, unless your looking at it from the point of view from another affinity, wherein some of the sleeping demons become apparent. Ruthless 'power at any cost' credos are a bit tricky to present as positive by default.

    (To clarify, each affinity must see itself as positive by default, and not immediately strike people as innately evil - the potential for a specialized cast system and state determination of your fate in Ascendancy disturbs me, but that should be possible implications hinted at beneath the surface, not front and center).

    Will probably be about at least a week before first release - once the semester ends, I'll have more time to dedicate to making the LUA do what I want
     
  10. Theobald

    Theobald Chieftain

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    Dec 8, 2015
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    Hi there.

    The whole concept here is very exciting and interesting. I'm thrilled for every planned change.

    Are you planning to get the same tech tree swaps (units and affinity points) than in Tidal Balance ? (I find them both logical sounding and gameplay pertinent).


    It seems the hybrid affinities' names aren't already totally locked.
    I really like the H/P one being called Ascendancy.
    May I advocate names for the other two ?
    S/H -> Singularity (totally leaving humanity behind and riding both the alien genetics mutation and cybernetic evolution transhumanisms)
    S/P -> Surrogacy (being the ├╝ber drone paradigme - and at the same time one of their ultimate tech is called the same)

    I'm working for some time on a (possible and at the moment for personal use) advanced Social Engineering mod (based on SMAC and the already existing mod here, and at some extent on other Civ or 4x games) that would go deep and flavorish into affinity customization (by using other "perk points" than culture ones too - political and doctrinal ones at the moment) and a lot of the things i'd want for affinities uniquenesses are emerging in this thread, while my heavy lack of modding skills are impeding me. So I'm happy.

    Some buildings are still to be conceptualized if I read correctly ? For a total of 6 for each of the 6 affinities ?
     

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