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Echoes of Earth: A total conversion for BERT

Discussion in 'CivBE - Released Mods' started by Machiavelli24, Jan 23, 2016.

  1. Machiavelli24

    Machiavelli24 Mod creator

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    splash.jpg
    In the twilight of Earth's great civilizations, we were chosen to venture to the stars in search of a new home. But we did not travel alone. As we slept, behind us streaked messages from Earth. Their dream that we would not let the light of humanity extinguish. When we awoke we listened to words spoken centuries ago. As we gazed across the vast space and time that separated us, we hoped that Earth still lived and that the words were not the echoes of ghosts.

    Echoes of Earth is a total conversion mod for Rising Tide. It completely replaces the technology web, buildings, building quests, diplomatic traits, improvements, orbital units and more! The four design pillars of Echoes of Earth are:
    1. Remember Earth
    2. Play the Map
    3. Struggle to Survive
    4. Dynamic Decision Making

    Resources and Links
    • Steam workshop page. You can download the mod from there.
    • The official guide contains a complete overview of all the new features with pictures. It should be the first place you look for more information about the mod.
    • Alternative download location from CivFanatics.
    • Reddit discussion thread on /r/civbeyondearth
    • Development blog. Contains behind the scenes info and sneak peaks at future versions.

    The Design Pillars of Echoes of Earth
    1. Remember Earth
    Earth's commitment did not end when the seedships were launched. The messages of the Signal streaked across space, ready to decode and read upon arrival at the new world. Earth channeled much of its dwindling resources into aiding your survival, and the time will come to repay that generosity. When the messages from Earth grow desperate, what will you do? Will you take the extra step to start sending help back - even if it may not be enough to save Earth?

    2. Play the Map
    Never before has the map been so critical in the choices you will face. What terrain and resources are nearby will determine what improvements you can make and what buildings are available. Specializing your cities to take advantage of the things they are uniquely suited to do will be key in growing an effective colony. Your technology and diplomatic trait choices will be shaped by what parts of your colony you want to benefit.

    3. Struggle to Survive
    Life is not easy on the new world. Energy will be scarce, Health will be a concern throughout the game and orbital units will require effort to sustain. Many yields are harder to come by. If your colony lacks for certain resources you will have to struggle to preserve with the constraint. The planet does not welcome you and survival will require foresight and cunning.

    4. Dynamic Decision Making
    No two games of Echoes of Earth will play out the same. From the moment you make planet fall you will need to form your strategy within the tools you have available. You will not be able to follow the same steps in every game. You will need to utilize your colony's strengths while mitigating its weaknesses. Even as your colony establishes itself on the new world its Affinity will shape its play style. Each Affinity has unique improvements, buildings and technologies that give it a fundamentally different play style than the alternatives.

    What is new in Echoes of Earth
    1. Completely redone tech web
    2. Completely redone buildings and building quests
    3. New early and mid-game quest chains
    4. New Affinity point economy (less old quest and tech, more varied ways to get points)
    5. A new orbital system
    6. A new Health system
    7. A new Trade Route system
    8. A new Energy economy

    For more information on the new systems go to the official guide.
     
  2. DefiantMars

    DefiantMars Chieftain

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    I'm very much interested to see the other changes you've made to the game. Just looking at the tech web in the build showed me.

    I would be glad to give any feedback that I can.
     
  3. Machiavelli24

    Machiavelli24 Mod creator

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    I've sent you a private message with the internal version DefiantMars.
     
  4. Lamassu

    Lamassu Chieftain

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    I'd be curius to playtest as well. Fairly new to BERT, but have played CIV in all its iterations.
     
  5. DefiantMars

    DefiantMars Chieftain

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    I have a preliminary list of comments from my first playtest session. Not sure if you want it here or if you want me to PM it to you.

    Overall I quite like what's going on with the game. I actually started another game. I think my settings may have not been correct but I don't want to check because I can't open the file due to another mod... (I may have ignored your warnings and used some aesthetic mods but there was an update that messed with my file.)

    Anyway, I'll keep an eye out for any more issues. I'm going to try another affinity route and see how that works out.
     
  6. Machiavelli24

    Machiavelli24 Mod creator

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    I've put together another version and sent it to everyone. Feedback can be provided here, in part because discussing it with others (not just sending it to me) can help clarify ideas. I would also recommend this post as a good explanation of my perspective on feedback.
    ----------------------------
    From a mechanical perspective all the features are implemented. I'm doing refinement passes on everything. After the first public release I will likely do a smaller second update that will include faction traits and Wonder costs. I could try to include those in the first version but expanding the scope so close to release seems unwise.

    The main chunk of work left is writing the story text for all 60+ building quests. This is something I have been working on this weekend. Depending on how long it takes and what the results from this weekend's internal play testing is public release could happen some time early next week.
     
  7. Doviello

    Doviello Chieftain

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    I would like to play test as well.

    Do this mod affect faction traits right now?
     
  8. Machiavelli24

    Machiavelli24 Mod creator

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    PM sent Doviello.

    The pre-release version does not and the first public release most likely will not. However, I do plan to work on the faction traits after release. The second version will likely come out a couple weeks after the initial public release and could contain altered faction traits.

    I'm hedging so much because there is a lot of uncertainty in terms of what will happen post release. Faction traits is something I want to expand the mod to include in the near term but I don't want to make promises on the exact order and dates.
     
  9. DefiantMars

    DefiantMars Chieftain

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    I just wanted to make sure I was violating any form of etiquette.

    Quite prudent.

    That's quite a lot of writing. I have a few questions about some of the building decisions that I'll include in my feedback. I'll put that in another post for easier formatting and to prevent this reply from getting really long.
     
  10. DefiantMars

    DefiantMars Chieftain

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    Bugs
    Improvements
    • So... I ran into that bug with Farms that you were talking about. They're using the Fiber symbol saying “FARM”. Additionally, Farms of other sponsors though the Fog of War appear as Fiber tile, even over water. However I noticed that repairing my own tiles after they had been destroyed by a Siege Worm seems to have made the Fiber icon to vanish.
    • Titanium offers two options to the worker: Construct Mine (Normal - +2 Production, -1 Health) OR Construct Mine (Titanium Mine - +2 Production, -1 Energy from Maintenance)
    • Similarly, Gold offers two options as well: Construct Mine (Normal - +2 Production, -1 Health) OR Construct Mine (+1 Production, +1 Culture)
    • Could not build Improvement over aquatic Titanium, only Farm and Generator options were available.

    Quests
    • Completed the “Steven vs. the World” questline. Said I got “Worker Miasma Immunity” but one of my workers a few turns later died to the aerosol. So unless I totally misread that reward, I think it may not be functioning properly.
    • I have some questions about some of the Building decisions, such as the Growlab and Vivarium Decisions: Why do they offer bonuses for other buildings? I'm just a bit confused about the reasoning behind this. I feel like there is form form of synergy that either I’m missing or is not clear/strong enough.
    Balance
    • I noticed that unlike New Horizons, you haven’t made any changes to the the Virtues.
    • Culture also seems to be much less abundant, meaning territorial expansion was greatly reduced. My starting terrain options limited my Capital population growth, due my inability to make farms. Fortunately I did have Fiber nearby which curbed the severity of the deficit.
    • I was initially baffled at where to get Explorers, but then I remembered what you said in your Private Message. It worked out though, I went for Ecology pretty early.

    Supplementary

    • Load in does not have the usual “historical text” instead it uses “code” and fragmented data streams. This fits in with the communication with Old Earth mentioned in the mod synopsis.
    • Affinity perks all give culture to affinity buildings, but I didn't really notice any way to get abilities that affinities would normally have. This makes me nervous as lack of diversity is a big problem with the Affinities.
    • I noticed that Affinity resources were capped at quantities of 7 as opposed to the possible 9 in Unmodded.
    • I was strapped for Titanium for a very long time. There were no nearby sources readily available and I had to go out of my way to find and settle near some.
     
  11. Pfeffersack

    Pfeffersack Chieftain

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    I'm around 250 turns into my first game with the mod and the game feels much more challenging and diversed compared to the unmodded version. It is mainly the adding of meaningful decisions. I haven't encountered any gameplay/balance issues to report yet.

    I however have sometimes a technical issue with the UI, which sometimes does not load correctly (units pic in the left lower corner is either missing completely or replaced with a couple of strange looking buttons) - as it sometimes works however, I supect something fishy on my side. What does the part "Double enable the mod for correct behavior" of the installation advice does mean? Or is it necessary to clean cache before each start?


    Same situation for me; my solution was taking the quest outcome for the autofactory which gives 4 Titanium per building (which shows again the quality of the mod - in the unmodded game you hardly ever have ressourc shortages)
     
  12. DefiantMars

    DefiantMars Chieftain

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    I don't think the building decision actually came up. I had to abandon the game for various issues. I do like that resources are more meaningful but obviously not knowing how much you need the first time is certainly a roadblock. I'm definitely keeping that in mind as I'm working on this new save file (Franco-Iberia Standard Speed, Sputnik Difficulty, Massive Protean Frigid Planet)
     
  13. Doviello

    Doviello Chieftain

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    I'm playing a game, on turn 300 or so right now. I had an incredible terrible start (the only resource around my capital is a xenomass 3 tiles away from me, and a titanium on water i can't improve, and that's it!), but i kept going anyway :p

    I came here to make most of DefiantMars comments, so i'll avoid repeating them.

    I love the new tech tree. I miss some of the improvement upgrades, though.

    I like that buildings are very situational. In RT, you just build everything everywhere, since energy is plentiful and there really aren't many real choices to make, and that makes city management a chore; so this is a good change. However, some builds are kinda rare to make, and for the sake of some quests, this is annoying; i think resource-requirement buildings should always work with at least 3 different resources, never with just 2, IMO.

    But i didn't enjoy how some of the buildings ended up as. I'm mostly talking about buildings that don't give you anything but specialists (there are plenty of them). I think the basic buildings in the first rings should at least get SOME yields, a basic +2 would suffice, especially when population is lower than usual and health is actually a problem so we can't make full use of specialists (but i like that specialists give diplo capital).

    Late buildings feel fine, but i wouldn't mind if they were boosted up a little more.

    I also think there should be a way to make academies and other improvements on water, even if they have to be made non-continuous (cannot be placed one adjacent to the other, there's a mod that make academies like that). Otherwise there won't be any variation, all water cities will look the same, boring, etc. Also the AI only make generators (in fact my world is covered in generators, even on land) but at least the AI is improving the land i guess. Ocean tiles are REALLY bad right now, unless i missed something.

    I like your solution for the "hybrid-affinities being delayed on upgrades for non-hybrid units" problem, but the changes for the core affinities on the affinity disk are very... boring i guess?

    For example, i went harmony. There are plenty of harmony specific buildings, in the harmony side of the tech tree, that have a high affinity requirement, that i can only really get by going harmony anyway. Allright their exclusivity is well defined. But the affinity bonuses limit themselves to giving +2 culture for those buildings. Since they are harmony buildings to begin with, and i wouldn't get them if i had gone to a different side of the tech tree, why not just give those buildings the culture bonus as part of the building itself, and leave the affinity disk bonuses for some cool stuff? Affinity choice ended up less diverse and relevant than before, something i didn't thought was possible.

    The improvement affinity bonuses were kinda cool in RT (but not well balanced). I'd be cool if all affinities modified the same improvement (like farms get +food with purity, +energy with supremacy, and +something with harmony)

    There's a lot less yields around. I'm mostly ok with that, except when it comes to ENERGY, which i think the changes were too radical. I filled the industry tree, and got 10.000 energy, mostly with spies, to get the +200 income, but i was often running negative (which means i would be at under -200 if i hadn't gone industry). I can't not have an army on deity! I kinda understand why the AI spammed generators like it's going out of style, but i wonder how my next, non-industry game will go. There should be some ways to improve generators (like thorium reactors? Maybe a different solution for energy for each affinity).

    At first i didn't like the changes to orbital units and the orbital layer, now i think they are well implemented. But orbitals fell either very expensive or too short lived, it makes most of the satellites kinda bad, and the resource-spawning satellites kinda of too good. The skies look so empty, i don't think the AI adapted well to this change. Crank it up to at least 30 or something. The resource costs are fine, but even with not much oil on my lands, i couldn't keep it all used up because how fast satellites died. And I think there should be more sources of extra orbital radius, but not as many as in RT off course.

    Miasma should not stop me from building improvements. I'm harmony! So i voluntarily placed a miasma condenser on my new frontier city, just to find out i had to clear miasma to improve the resources. Also, i think miasma immunity isn't working, because my workers are dying to the green goo.

    Anyway... For a first impression of the mod, I think i used too many "i like" and "i think"'s. I only played one game, need to play more to get a better feel of the mod. But i definitely like the way tech, resources, and most other aspects are working. I'm not convinced with affinities, early buildings, and improvement variety.
     
  14. Valessa

    Valessa Communistress

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    Would also give it a try if you're still looking for testers and feedback. :)
     
  15. Machiavelli24

    Machiavelli24 Mod creator

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    PM sent Ryika.
    -------------------
    I've sent a new version (5) to everyone. Let me know if you didn't get it. It won't break saves. It fixes the bug where you couldn't improve water Titanium. It also adds a bit of text to the mine/titanium mine/basic resource mine builds so you can tell the difference between them.

    It also fixes some issues with the "fake tubers" most improvement create. I'm re-writing the code that handles that because there are still some known issues with the current implementation.
    ---------------------
    I'm closely reading every post in this thread. There is much I would like to respond to but with only a few hours each week day to work on the mod I've been prioritizing working on the mod over posting here. But please do continue to discuss your experiences.
    ---------------------
    The behavior you're sometimes experiencing is a known issue that mods that add work build actions (like Echoes of Earth) will cause. To avoid it you'll need to double enable the mod. To do this, when you're starting up Beyond Earth and go into the mod menu:
    1. Select the mods you want, click NEXT
    2. Wait for a few second while it says Configuring Game Data...Please Wait
    3. Hit escape and wait while it says Configuring Game Data... (for a 2nd time)
    4. Back at the mod menu again, click NEXT and wait while it says Configuring Game Data... (for a 3rd time)
    5. Now start or load a game and it will work
    --------------------------
    The +4 Titanium from the Autofactory is just a flat 4. Not 4 per building. I've been working on a way of phrasing it that is more clear.
    --------------------------
    For Energy issues, what have people's experiences been with:
    • International Trade Routes
    • Xenofuel Plants
    • Trader Specialists
    • Solar Collectors
     
  16. kipwheeler

    kipwheeler Chieftain

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    I don't know that I'll have any time this month to serve as a playtester, but I am looking forward to the final version once playtesting is done.

    Thanks for the hard work!
     
  17. Starrynite120

    Starrynite120 Chieftain

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    If you still want more people to playtest, I'll probably have some time this weekend to give it a spin.
     
  18. Doviello

    Doviello Chieftain

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    Is echoes of earth compatible with your NH virtue and loadout standalone mods?
     
  19. Machiavelli24

    Machiavelli24 Mod creator

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    PMs sent.
    ----------------------------
    You may have found it by now but the Tidal Turbine (+1e from Ocean tiles, only buildable in water cities) is what Ocean tiles need to be worthwhile. They are unlocked by Industrial Ecology, a ring 1 leaf tech. Domes can also work well in water tiles if you're purity.

    Yes for now. But I intend to expand Echoes of Earth to do its own thing with Virtues and Loadouts over time.

    During the pre-release play test I would prefer if Echoes of Earth was the only mod folks used. As this will help find bugs that are Echoes of Earth related rather than inter mod compatibility issues.
     
  20. Doviello

    Doviello Chieftain

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    I played another 2 games, and fixed my energy problems mostly with specialists. I had to get the diplo agreement that specialist cost no food in both game, but it's doable, should be even better with AU. Xenofuelplant and the one building that puts +2 energy on algae (there's usually multiple alga near each other) are very good as well. I still think a upgrade for generators is necessary, though, either on tech or a building that improve them like the vivarium for farms. On both games, the AI didn't seen to suffer from energy problems, because they make generators everywhere. International trade routes need a buff. Satellites i've been using them once a city can make them in 1-2 turns, early on it's not worth.

    On both games i tried going two affinities and had a bit of a problem keeping up with the AI in upgrades. With 1 tech giving less than 1 level worth of xp, i need 4 techs to upgrade my units once.

    I can't seen to be able to improve the sea resource "mineral" if it's on a ocean tile, i can only put a generator on them.

    The wonder that reduces affinity level requirements for units and buildings doesn't seen to stack with the hybrid affinity ability. Also, i upgraded marines and melee boats to lvl 4 (hybrid) before rangers and cruisers could reach lvl 3, not sure if it's intended.
     

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