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Gameplay Overhaul: Into the Nebula

Discussion in 'CivBE - Mod Development' started by Starrynite120, Apr 22, 2016.

  1. Starrynite120

    Starrynite120 Chieftain

    Joined:
    Jul 15, 2015
    Messages:
    469
    I have previously posted here about a mod called Into the Nebula that I've been working on, but what I'm doing with it now has changed considerably from the other post, so I decided to make a new post for it. It has become a total gameplay overhaul that I've been working on for over 6 months now, and it's come a long way so I decided it's time to share some of the stuff I've done! Below you will find screenshots attached.

    Tech Web Overhaul

    I found that in the base game the tech web is an absolute mess. So I've redesigned it, mostly removing leaf techs, as I felt they hindered a feeling of progression since they led nowhere and it was hard to make them seem worth it.

    I have designed it so that the first 3 layers (in the first picture) are general and necessary for everyone, having basic buildings that everyone can use, but as you become devoted to an affinity your focus will narrow and go deep in the tech web in a particular direction. So every supremacy building, unit, and improvement will be found in the bottom left of the tech web. Harmony is up, and Purity is down right, similar to the affinity wheel. Also, each direction of the tech web has a particular yield it prefers. Bottom is Production, bottom left is Energy, top left is Science, top is Food, top right is Health and Military, bottom right is culture. In these spots you will find the basic buildings associated with these yields. This thus requires the player to research the majority of the first 3 tiers of the tech web. It is later in the game that you choose a specific direction to go in based on your affinity choice.

    The intention of this is for the beginning and early middle of the game to have a lot of choices, but as the game progresses towards the end you have to choose a direction to go. This made it easier to establish phases of the game and balance buildings and wonders, as it is much harder with this design to beeline strong buildings.

    You may also notice that to go from levels 3 to 4 and 4 to 5 isn't very simple. I've made it so there is a sort of 3.5 and 4.5 level of the web, as there are techs (such as Computing) that can be researched from the previous level but only lead towards other level 3 techs. Then Robotics can only be researched from a level 3 tech but leads to level 4. This further structures the tech web to prevent beelining but also give freedom, as there are multiple ways between the levels.

    Buildings

    I've also added structure to buildings. There are now 3 categories of buildings: the Basic Tier, Affinity Buildings, and Other (such as the Alloy Foundry, specific to a situation).

    The Basic Tier is something entirely new for the mod. Each yield now has 3 basic buildings. For example, Production now has the Recycler, then the Autoplant, then the Robotics Factory (a new building). Each building requires the previous one to be built in the city and can be found on its respective part of the tech web. So to build an Autoplant you need a Recycler. This helps to balance out buildings, as you can make later buildings stronger but not overpowered since they can't be built right away.

    Something else I have decided to do is every Affinity building now requires a building in the Basic Tier in the city. For example, Supremacy's early science building, the Neurolab, requires the second basic science building (the Observatory) to be in the city. The stronger and later an affinity building is, the more requirements it has. The latest science building for Supremacy requires the tier 3 basic building (the Institute) and its previous Supremacy building. It is very powerful, but has a lot of requirements and can only be built in well developed cities.

    As for what buildings yield, percentage yields are restricted to the end of the game, thus making late game buildings very powerful but making the early game a bit more difficult and slower. Some wonders though will give percentage yields, making them particularly valuable.

    Wonders

    I have also done a general wonder overhaul. Each wonder now feels worth building. Here are some examples of wonder abilities:

    -1 Food and Production in this city for every city you own
    -Gain science for every unit you own
    -Gain 3 Culture for every Miasma tiles in this city
    -2 Production from forests
    -2 Science from Tundra

    Many wonders have totally new abilities, while others have just been balanced to make them worthwhile. There are also several wonders that improve specific terrain, such as the forest and tundra ones mentioned above.

    I have also added 5 new national wonders, one for each yield excluding health. Each wonder gives strong yields, but also boosts their respective specialist.

    Affinities

    Affinites in Rising Tide don't really affect gameplay that much, and I wanted to change that. Each affinity now has a very distinct playstyle. Supremacy is very good at going wide, but is handicapped at going tall. Harmony excels at going tall, but is poor at going wide. Purity is a sort of jack of all trades, being able to do both fairly well.

    Each affinity also has a preference and dislike of yields. Here are each affnities' yield preference, from most liked to most hated:

    Supremacy: Energy, Science, Production, Culture, Food
    Purity: Culture, Production, Food, Energy, Science
    Harmony: Food, Culture, Science, Production, Energy

    Their preference and dislike of yields is reflected in their improvements, buildings, and affinity perks.

    Here are some examples of perks:

    Harmony 8: -10% of all yields in all cities, but +1% of each yield per population in the city
    Supremacy 10: each city works 3 additional tiles
    Supremacy 4: Gain 15 Energy whenever you construct a Node, Array, or Manufactory.
    Purity 8: Gain food in every city for every 2 virtues you own, but 1 food for every virtue in the capital

    Affinity Gain

    Affinity gain is still connected to the tech web, but to a much lesser extent. There are now 5 means of affinity gain, all in the form of instant boosts rather than per turn yields:

    -Technologies
    -Virtues
    -Buildings
    -Wonders
    -Improvements

    Early game affinity gain will be largely from virtues and any wonders you grab. as the game progresses, those two stay important, but gain from advanced improvements (such as the node for supremacy or biowell for harmony), technologies, and affinity buildings comes into play, so that every choice you make impacts what affinity you end up taking.

    Virtues

    Might has been removed, and in its place are 3 separate trees with 7 policies each, one for each affinity. These are early game trees. Knowledge, Prosperity, and Industry are locked until you finish one of these. Further, each early tree only unlocks 2 of the advanced trees. The Supremacy tree unlocks Knowledge and Industry, but keeps Prosperity locked since Supremacy players have a hate for the yield food. This makes it easier to balance virtues and prevent beelining for the strong policies. Further, each tree has 2 affinities in it. For Industry, the left side of the tree gives Supremacy style perks and yields Supremacy experience, whereas the right is for Purity. This way when you adopt a tree you have to decide which affinity you prefer for that tree.

    Improvements

    At the start of the game no improvements are unlocked. Since you are on a foreign planet, you have to learn how to improve the land here, as it does not work like earth. This will change the early game drastically, as you have to carefully choose you tech choices, not just based off what yields or wonders you want, but also based on your natural resources.

    As for advanced improvements, each affinity will have 3 improvements, and the plan for them is to be rather specialized. This way, for example, the farm will never be totally out of use, but in certain situations something else will be far better. Each affinity will also prefer certain terrain. Harmony prefers features such as rivers, forest, and reefs, Purity prefers fertile land, and Supremacy has little concern for what land it uses, but reduces food or simply overrides the tiles yields.

    Improvement buffs have also been entirely removed from the tech tree. Basic resources are further improved by buildings, basic improvements (farm, mine, generator) are improved by new national wonders, and advanced improvements are improved by affinity. So anyone can build the advanced improvements, but the player who has its respective affinity will get better yields from it.

    Health

    I have redone health so it will hopefully be harder to maintain and will give bigger penalties to letting it drop. It will no longer be viable to stay in negative health, as your empire will be seriously hurt by it, but there will also be rewards for maintaining it, found in increased yields. Each negative point reduces yields by 2% (except growth which is 5%), so its not a big deal to go a little negative, but if you keep going you will have problems. Each positive point, however, gives you +1% of all yields, up to 20%, making it desirable to stay healthy.

    I have increased unhealth from population to 1 per pop (in aquatic and land cities). Health is available in a small way through buildings, and then in a bigger way through virtues and basic resources.

    Energy and Trade

    Building maintenance is increased based on what tier building it is. So a late game building could have up to 6 maintenance! I have also limited trade routes to 10 per player, but they will be fairly powerful and an important source of energy. Haven't fully worked this out yet.

    Victories

    This is a big one. I am completely removing all the base game victories, because put simply they suck. I am instead putting in a sort of point style victory. Every player needs 5 points to win, and there are multiple ways to get them. Here are the ways:

    -Population: Have one city of 40 pop and global pop of 150 - 1 VP
    -Cultural: Have the tier 3 Synergy Policy - 1 VP
    -Science: Get the 3 victory techs and build the wonders on them - 1 VP
    -Economic: Have accumulated 100,000 Energy - 1 VP
    -Wonder: Have 10 Wonders - 1 VP
    -Wonder Competition: Compete to build an expensive (6000 P) wonder, only one person can get this, becomes available at certain turn - 1 VP
    -Expansion: Own 15 Cities and 40% of tiles on the map - 1 VP
    -Supremacy - Get to Supremacy 18 and build wonder - 2 VP
    -Purity - Get to Purity 18 and build wonder - 2 VP
    -Harmony - Get to Harmony 18 and build wonder - 2 VP

    As you can see, the Affinity victories yield 2 points rather than just one, encouraging pursuing one affinity. Each affinity will excel at pursuing certain points, but lack in other areas, so your affinity choice will heavily determine what victories are most available to you.

    Also, I am changing domination to total elimination rather than just capture you opponents capitals.

    NOTE: These are still up for editing, they are in no way set in stone.

    Sponsors and Loadouts

    I am overhauling the sponsors abilities and loadouts. Below you will see them in screenshots. They are still being edited, but this is what I've got so far. My intent is to make each sponsor excel at one particular victory style.

    Diplomacy

    I will be editing the diplomatic traits and agreements, but I have not gotten into this much. I will say though that Diplomatic Capital gain has been removed form all buildings and restricted to wonders and Specialists to make specialists more relevant.

    Specialists

    Specialists have all had their base yields increased by 1. Also, they all yield 2 Diplomatic Capital. Your colonists choice will improve a certain specialist yield by 1, and national wonders improve specialists (ex. the culture NW improves Artist yield by 1). Also, late game Virtues will give boosts to specialists.

    Units and Aliens

    I have not done this yet, but I will be balancing units so there are not huge jumps in power, like when the battlesuit upgrades. I will also attempt to make aliens relevant longer by increasing their strength and aggression throughout the game, similar to what Rising Tide of Aliens did, but not nearly that extreme. It will also be possible to be friendly with the aliens if you take Harmony. If you're not Harmony though the aliens are going to hate you.







    If you have any questions, or would like to see a copy of it, feel free to ask! Comments are also more than welcome! I will say though that it is not in a playable state yet. I will be looking for several playtesters when it is though! I'm particularly curious how the AI will handle some things. I'm trying to keep that in mind as I design this, but we'll see what happens :)
     

    Attached Files:

  2. Starrynite120

    Starrynite120 Chieftain

    Joined:
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    So I'm trying something rather...unique for Supremacy, and I'm wondering what other people think of it.

    I've made a perk (right now unlocked at Supremacy 12) that will get ride of Supremacy's use of food and instead give food based on energy and production (cause robots don't use food). The way it will work is you are given a -100% growth malus. Then 10% of your energy is spread out among your cities as food. (for example, if you are making 1000 Energy per turn and have 10 cities, you take 10% of the 1000, being 100, which then spreads among your 10 cities, thus giving 10 food for city). In addition to the energy, each city gains 25% of its production as food.

    What do you think? I feel this could be interesting, as it makes Supremacy very different from purity and Harmony, and fits in very well with the lore.
     
  3. Doviello

    Doviello Chieftain

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    Brazil
    that's.. a radical change. The way the tech tree is set up, sometimes you need to get a few supremacy techs, and then there's a few excavations that give you xp towards an affinity against your will. Im sure "accidentally" getting to supremacy 12 won't be a problem, but what about hybrid? A purity/supremacy player isn't "robot". Also, up until sup. 12 you still need food to grow, then suddenly an entire yield is useless? What about specialists, internal trade routes, etc.

    I agree that supremacy with farms is lame, from a roleplaying perspective. But in Civ, food isn't really "food", but growth; so I think the best way to implement a more "robotic" feel for supremacy would be to connect his growth (i.e. his food output) to certain improvements, for ex: +2 food from autoplants at supremacy 8, +2 food from Manufactories at supremacy 12, etc. This way your pop growth will come from factories, which has more of a supremacy feel. Purity, otoh, could get extra food from farms, and harmony from forests/resources, i dunno.
     
  4. Valessa

    Valessa Communistress

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    It's a cool idea, but I don't think it works from a gameplay perspective - it would make all food bonuses that you have gotten until then useless., so you'd basically have to go through the game either ignoring as many of them as possible, or would end up with a yield that becomes worthless midway through. Don't think either of these would feel good.

    Maybe just combining the basic growth and adding this system on top as one of the main Supremacy bonuses would work better. If you make Energy convert at a good rate and make Supremacy-Improvements strong enough then that should be enough to prefer Supremacy-Improvements over Farms.
     
  5. Starrynite120

    Starrynite120 Chieftain

    Joined:
    Jul 15, 2015
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    Doviello, I have reorganized the tech tree, you can see a screenshot of it in the first post. Supremacy does not ever have to pick up a tech of another affinity. I actually plan on making it impossible to go fully hybrid, so you have to pick one primary affinity. It will not be possible to have supremacy 12 and also purity or harmony 12. Also, Supremacy is encouraged to forgo food a bit up until supremacy 12. Each affinity has 3 improvements, and none of supremacy's provide food. Nodes give a lot of energy and -1 food, Manufactory's give a lot of production but overwrite the tiles yields (like terrascapes) and arrays may only be built on hills. These improvements will be very strong though since they do not promote growth. Supremacy has an every citizen counts kind of style. They also have generally no bonuses to food, and no buildings which produce food aside from basic buildings like the vivarium. Also, I have set up virtues so that they are very tied to your affinity choice, and if a player is going full supremacy they will have no food bonuses there either. To compensate for this I'm giving them perks that allow for working extra tiles (by the time you reach Supremacy 12 you are getting 4 free tiles worked), and high production and energy yields so that they can do a lot with a small population. I am designing Supremacy to be very good at going wide, but almost impossible to go tall. Each Affinity is going to work in a way like that, so you pick affinity based off playstyle and which yields to prefer to emphasize.

    Ryika, I do see your point with it happening at Supremacy 12 being too sudden of a change. Perhaps I could just make it a smaller amount of food from your energy and production yields, or reduce the growth malus to 50%. I am making supremacy improvements very strong, and they all actually either do not deal with food or reduce it, so this perk is meant to be freeing rather than restricting, as it makes it easier to build the powerful improvements. Supremacy is supposed to be forced into a wide playstyle with an every citizen counts approach. They will also have high energy yields, so you can buyout things easily, thus depending less on high population cities. Further, they have the strongest science improvement in the game, so it's not as big a deal that they get less science from population. -100% growth though does seem a bit harsh, I'll have to spend some time finding the best thing to do.
     

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