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How to Fix BE (Why AC is a classic game and BE is not)

Discussion in 'CivBE - General Discussions' started by dwcole78, Apr 24, 2017.

  1. Ryika

    Ryika Lazy Wannabe Artista

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    Sure, and it's great that the game manages to give that immersion to you, but there is nothing mechanically backing it.
    You're basically falling for a lie if we want to phrase it negatively, and that lie can only stand upright as long as you don't look closely.

    It's probably worth noting that this system was introduced in Rising Tide, so in Beyond Earth itself, this was not the case.
    And in addition to that, leaders still prioritize things differently, so because Brasilia generally invests more into military, they will more often be in a situation where the system basically decides that it's time for war.
     
  2. Galgus

    Galgus Emperor

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    That makes sense, and I didn't realize it changed like that with the expansion.
     
  3. HEF

    HEF Warlord

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    I like the Communique Log! :lol:
    Yeah, I see whatcha sayin'. The Communique Log does feel like a Twitter between Colony Leaders.


    Remember how nuclear warheads would create huge craters on Planet's surface in Sid Meier's Alpha Centauri? :nuke:
    No more o' that in Beyond Earth, Rising Tide, thank goodness! :)


    Why do you think the Great Mistake was a nuclear exchange between nations on Old Earth?
     
    Last edited: Oct 18, 2017
  4. Ryika

    Ryika Lazy Wannabe Artista

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    The devs really predicted Trump-like public outreach, didn't they? ;)
     
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  5. HEF

    HEF Warlord

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    Yeah...

    The Great Mistake in Sid Meier's Beyond Earth, Rising Tide's storyline wasn't a nuclear holocaust but Russia's puppet, trump on the world stage. :D
     
  6. beetle

    beetle Deity

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    Sorry, but credit for that goes to Civ5, not BE. I agree though, 1UPT is much better than SOD. But I must also point out that SMAC balanced stacks better than II, III, or IV.

    @Galgus, I agree with most of what you wrote, so I am only replying to minority of things where we have a difference of opinion.
    I would appreciate it if you could give some in-game examples. Nerve Stapling, certainly. And many of the Wonder movies to be sure. I think there may have been an even more extreme SE option than Police State, but it was not very good, and I almost never used it myself. What else?

    I have to say, the transcendence victory being evil is all in your head, and not supported by any of the in-game presentation.
    I do not understand this assertion. I would characterize the game mechanics that are there as being okay. The themes are okay, just very dull as compared to the SMAC plot. The game is missing much too much, so I don’t see that as being mostly mechanical.
    I have not played Civ6 yet, but it is remarkable that SMAC, which came out before III, has features not implemented in V, BERT, or VI. Namely, terrain that can change and the Unit Workshop.
    Thanks, that is the strongest endorsement for RT that I have read! I only paid $10 for BE, so I am waiting for RT to be that cheap.
    I am on a Mac, so probably those are not an option for me.

    It is more than a bit underwhelming.
     
    Last edited: Oct 19, 2017
  7. Galgus

    Galgus Emperor

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    The game may not present transcendence as evil, but we still know what it is: the fusion of many minds into a hive mind.

    (Similarly the Emancipation victory for Supremacy is presented in a very positive light, but as I mentioned earlier in the thread there is more to it if you read between the lines.)

    That is, inherently, the destruction of many individuals to form a new monstrosity as I said: unless I'm wrong about it being a true fusion and it is merely a connection where people retain their individuality, but can see and feel the thoughts of others.

    The way it is presented in Beyond Earth is certainly the full fusion one, and I'm really not a fan of it.

    Other than that and that the game seems to set up transcendence and/or the planet awakening violently as a central story point and the atrocities you mentioned, they have factions that are much darker and more violent than anything in Beyond Earth.
    ____________________________________________________________________________

    The heart of Beyond Earth is humanity launching a desperate seeding effort from the vague Great Mistake under a banner of peace and cooperation, and then fragmenting into incompatible visions for the future which could all be Utopian or Dystopian depending on the interpretation and one's outlook.

    The colonies are shaped by their reactions to the planet, the Great Mistake, and evolving technology into the Affinities, which challenge the player to think about the ethical and practical implications of them.

    It's basically a meta sci-fi game with most futures one could imagine finding some home in an affinity.

    I suppose it's mostly the broad spectrum for imagination and worldbuilding with the different affinities that I love about Beyond Earth's theme, and thinking of how wildly different cultures would interact and conflict.

    To me choosing Harmony or Purity is far more interesting than, say, choosing a green economy or not with all the other implications of affinities.

    That tension (and unifying force) between affinities, and the vast changes they'd make to everyday life, just doesn't show up in the gameplay much.

    To AC's credit the Planet was much more of a strategic factor, while in Beyond Earth Aliens are mostly a nuisance early on and a non-factor in the late game. That was a great idea that BE borrowed from AC, but just didn't implement well.

    To sum up other mechanical deficiencies briefly I'd want deeper rules and gameplay changes from Biomes so they play differently, a need for an early military to clear space to expand and explore beyond a small safe zone, better implementation of Artifacts where each one has a fitting specific reward and recipe, more marvels and regional rather than global nodes for them, and more and more active quests.
    _______________________________________________________________________

    It's a personal preference thing, but I dislike terrain change because I feel it somewhat trivializes the existing terrain and the need to adapt to it.

    Regions would seem to feel much more samey if they could always be shaped to your liking, eventually.

    I also prefer different units with distinct functions over a unit workshop, though BE has a lot of room to improve on that as well. Making the affinity units feel more unique, especially before their late game upgrade would be a good start.

    In my opinion having different units has better design potential in what strengths and weaknesses are built into them.
    ______________________________________________________________________

    I really enjoy BERT, but I try to gauge my recommendation of games to how much people may enjoy it. And if you've waited this long, waiting for a sale isn't really a big deal.

    No mods? Blech, if you can't mod BE (or Civ V or VI) you just aren't getting the full experience in my opinion.

    I don't know much about how that works with Macs, but hopefully you can try mods out somehow.
     
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  8. HEF

    HEF Warlord

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    Sounds exactly like the internet if you'd ask me. :grouphug:

    Are you saying that online activity is evil?
     
  9. beetle

    beetle Deity

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    It doesn’t “seem to”, it is the main theme throughout play! I think there must have been a dozen dialog boxes that hint or speak directly about it. (Which is why I am disappointed to have BE be so casual with it.) There is no “or” either, the planet awakening (gaining sentience) is strongly tied to the transcendence VC. I do not disagree with your characterization that it happens violently. As I recall, the in game building of the Voice of Planet results in fungal blooms everywhere.
    One did not need to use the Nerve Stapler, Planet Buster, nor the X weapons. The game mechanics actually discouraged their use.
    For “darker” I am going to read “memorable” and for “violent” I am going to read “an AI that knows how to fight”. That brings us back to OP and the screenshot @Darsnan posted on the first page of this thread.

    Agreed, Affinities beats SE. But really the corollary to SE is the Virtue system, but it is quite weak.
    All true. Which really gets at the heart of why SMAC is a classic game and BE is not. The forgettable characters are not the only missed opportunity!

    I find that all very insightful and encouraging, because it implies that the game might not need a severe overhaul to be good.

    I don’t disagree actually, except that terraforming in SMAC was pretty limited. I only mentioned it (and the Unit Workshop) because those feature have not been replicated in the 15 years since.

    Agreed on all points.

    I am aware. We Mac users also missed the best mods for IV.

    Not unless I willing to run Windows on my Mac just to play a game or two. The uses of DLL files (for mods) is not compatible. Which is weird because others aspects of V (etc.) are quite modern. I was sure that Firaxis would update their dev process for VI. Instead, they decided they were not interested in all that money they could have made by by offering VI on iOS. I can wait for Civ7.
     
    Last edited: Oct 20, 2017
  10. HEF

    HEF Warlord

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    Have you tried the Rocktopus engineered by Harmony, yet?

    It's a living orbital that reminds me of the Overlord from the original Starcraft. :lol:
     
  11. Galgus

    Galgus Emperor

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    "Darker" isn't synonymous or necessarily contradictory with better, and Beyond Earth gives leaders plenty of reasons to fight other than being blatant warmongers or simply hating other's freedom.

    And crummy military AI has nothing to do with BE's writing.

    The whole narrative of transcendance, that there is going to be an apocalypse and/ or a horrific fusion-death of a huge number of people is extremely dark, and I prefer BE's hopeful outlook where that is not a looming threat.
    ______________

    Having SE would at least partially eclipse the affinities in drawing focus from them: which is why I favor the vaguer traits and virtues.

    And from what I've heard most of the SE choices are cynical and unethical anyway.
    _________

    I actually think the writing for the leaders in Beyond Earth is fine, and far better than the grim caricatures of AC.

    The problem is that you don't really get to know much about them unless you delve into the pedia entries and the old official site introductions. We need to be able to see who they are and how they act in game.

    Sachua is a gifted scientist who sees everything as a technical problem for her to solve.

    Elodie is a snarky patron of the arts who created "The Canon" as her magnum opus, a history of Western arts and thought that she intentionally and openly left some unspecified things out of, to shape the culture of the future as she thinks it should be.

    Kozlov is brutally pragmatic, with the amazing Terraforming quote illustrating that: "Yes, the world is beautiful and unspoiled. But it is wrong. Correct it at once."

    I'd recommend looking at the faction and sponsor civilopedia pages, maybe some tech quotes, and the outnofngame teaser intros Firaxis did for the leaders: I think you can find all that and more on a wiki page.
    _______________

    Generally I think the ideas and themes of BE are solid and that it just needs a bolder implementation.

    It feels like Firaxis was too worried about it feeling too different from Civ 5.
    ____________

    @HEF huge difference in those "hive minds."

    As for the Rocktopus it's a really cool unit, but I struggle to play anything that isn't at least part Purity.

    And I only play Marathon games, so I don't think I've used it yet.
     
  12. beetle

    beetle Deity

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    Follows is a couple excerpts from the latter part of the interlude.txt file. Game is 20 years old not 15! Please note “Those who wish to live out their lives in their original human form will be allowed to do so” and “You maintain Your gardens as a paradise. The transhumans who live among them call it Eden.” Memory is fickle, and I have no doubt you remember it as dystopian, but (for whatever reasons) you made the game play that way.
    Spoiler excerpts from SMAC interlude.txt file :
    Code:
    ; Copyright (c) 1997, 1998 by Firaxis Games, Inc.

    Code:
    #INTERLUDE16
    #xs 500
    #caption Interlude
    ^  "Is it possible to prevent the dieback? And can we survive as a species if this
    Planet flowers to godhood?"
    ^  "I believe it is possible, and Planet agrees." Dr. $SHIMODA9's image swirls away and
    is replaced by a detailed schematic. "It involves a process I call
    the {Ascent to Transcendence,} as it will change both us and Planet
    forever. In short, I propose that when the time comes, the majority
    of humans upload their personalities directly into the Planetary Mind."
    ^  "We will have to give up our bodies, our humanity?"
    ^  "Those who wish to live out their lives in their original human form will be allowed
    to do so, since statis generators built Planetside and in orbit will preserve genetic
    material, plant and animal embryos, cold-sleep humans, and significant areas of Planet's
    surface through the metamorphosis. But many of us are eager to accept Planet's gift and
    join the dawning superintelligence. That's where the catch comes in.
    ^  "You see," $SHIMODA9 continues, "although anyone will be able to achieve virtual
    immortality by uploading into the planetary mind, only a few of us will be invited to
    join the dominant personality, to transcend our humanity entirely and reach a truly
    higher plane of existence. Your with Planet's immature mind may give us a
    leg up in this area, but I predict that it is the group who best and most quickly
    prepares itself for this step, the group who first embraces this {Ascent to
    Transcendence,} it is that group which will be tapped to lead us into the
    new era."
    ^  "In that case, what are we waiting for!"
    

    Code:
    #INTERLUDE17
    #xs 500
    #caption Epilogue
    ^  After a million or so orbits around Your primary, You pause to reassess Your
    efforts. The stellar encapsulation is proceeding smoothly, and in a few hundred
    thousand more orbits will provide You with a 90% draw on Your primary's radiation,
    trapping all of the energy off the plane of the ecliptic. Deep space Aux links
    allow You to watch the frame assembly in low stellar orbit, and follow the
    progress of buglike Jovian freighters loaded with resupply mass.
    ^  Occasionally You spot one of Your transhuman friends/symbiotes supervising
    activity on a scaffolding; even the immortals sometimes crave the risk and adventure
    of independent incarnation. Some of the most daring souls even undertook to
    resume interstellar travel, beginning with a return to Your nearest
    neighbor to sift through the ashes of its third planet and recolonize their home
    system. In the present age You hear a nanotech civilization is thriving there once
    again.
    ^  In such times of repose, You often sift through Your personalities and recall
    Your former selves. Your alpha self derives from an individual once called $NAME1. Over
    the millenia the exceptional focus and judgement characteristic of this fragment have
    proven effective on numerous occasions. The $NAME1self now drives all of Your long and
    short range planning, and is the principal force behind the encapsulation project.
    Ponderous but playful is the Voice/Planet personality, avatar of Your sessile precursor,
    who in the present age has devoted her centuries to philosophical pondering. Many
    others flit about within You. Some, like the prankster $SHIMODA9 and the demon $NAME5
    are semi-dominant and often hover near the plane of Your Thought. Others plumb the
    depths and create new worlds within the abyss of Your open-ended neural network.
    ^  Sunlight plays across Your mottled surface and provides pleasing warmth to Your
    organic components. Recently, You have edged somewhat further away from the primary and
    purged Your atmosphere of certain gases in order to allow the occasional
    friends/symbiotes who choose to live among Your organic gardens an easily
    breathable mixture. In another eight billion orbits the primary will drop off
    the main sequence and alternate arrangements will have to be made, but for now You
    maintain Your gardens as a paradise. The transhumans who live among them call it Eden.
    What? Wait! Did you play SMAC or not? Most of the SE being cynical and unethical is not correct! Here is the wiki.com article on Social Engineering. It is a 4x4 matrix where you are allowed only one choice per column. Of those 16 choices only two (Police State and Thought Control) are fairly characterized as being cynical and unethical.
    Yes, the civilopedia entries are well done, and that matters not at all because it has no in-game effects. You have just proved OP premise about why SMAC is a classic game and BE is not.

    While trying to remember some details, I came across this Paean to SMAC WordPress site which was new to me, so I though I would share. That was really the amazing thing is that the game was really pretty simple. There was only like ten attributes/resource, but the rock/paper/scissors nature of the intersection between the SE choices, leader traits, and buildings really made it all interesting. And then revealing a decent sci-fi story all through natural play mechanics (no civlopedia reading required) of a 4X game is just remarkable.
     
    Last edited: Oct 20, 2017
  13. Galgus

    Galgus Emperor

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    It is evil even for those who willingly do it, in the same way a cultic mass suicide is. Fundamentally when one's mind is fused with another's, especially many others, they die to create something new. And the "dominant personality" part only adds to the creepiness.

    All of that would make me want to destroy the planet, or at least permanently cripple the hive-mind from forming before finding a better world to call home. Better that than to sacrifice the majority of humanity to a planet that could possibly become malevolent: and to prevent anyone else from doing it.

    I've played SMAC a little in recent times: as I said, the mechanics and theme were a huge turn-off for me.

    I'll admit that most of them aren't, but I'd include fundamentalist, planned, and green economy in a lesser unethical category with their restrictions on the population: I'm obviously not much of a Harmonist in BE.

    I've never said much in defense of BE's implementation, but I do argue that the themes of Beyond Earth are worthy of a classic.
     
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  14. beetle

    beetle Deity

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    I am satisfied that my refutation has been sufficient for posterity.

    That is compatible with motivations of the Manifold Usurpers from the expansion.
     
  15. Darsnan

    Darsnan Emperor

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    Can you cite in SMACX why you believe this is how it is implemented? Personally (and based on beetle's quotes from the gameplay dialog as noted above) I've always interpreted the Transcendence victory to be more along the lines of all the individuals keeping their personal identity/integrity when they transcend, i.e. their individual consciousness were just moving to another plane of existence, sort of like how the transcending race was portrayed in Babylon 5's "The River of Souls", if that's a better analogy for you.

    Anyways, I see some very good points made by everyone in the above (sometimes rather intensive) back and forths. Couple of things jump out at me are the beetle doesn't have RT? If so beetle I recommend you get RT on the next sale. I bought RT this time last year for $15, and it turned the game from a frustrating and incomplete wargame into much more of a builder/exploration type game where you can enjoy the atmosphere (pun intended? :mischief: ) of the game. And as far as Galgus and HEF are concerned, when you make a reference to SMACX if you can cite an example of why you feel that way I think it would help, as I am puzzled by a lot of your comments/references about SMACX, as they don't appear accurate to me.

    Having played over 2,000 hours of BE/RT, and an inordinately higher amount of SMACX, here are some of my thoughts about and/ or comparing the two:

    1. BE has a better soundtrack: in my almost 30 years of computer gaming, BE is the only game I've ever played that I turn off my music and listen to the soundtrack. And I still do this, even three years into the game.
    2. BE has better graphics: very rich visual asesthetics, versus SMACX drab/ darkness and pink frothy fungus. I think the SMACX devs knew that the ingame screens weren't going to win them any fans, as they didn't include a single picture of the ingame views on the SMACX box art (which back in the day before the internets was the way you advertised a game):
    SMACX box art.png

    3. BE has a better spy system: the SMACX AI was never programmed to utilize spies correctly, and would continually march them up to enemy units where they were easily killed. And infiltration in SMACX, once achieved, was universal and omniscient, which was OP. BE's spy system is a step in the right direction, albeit I find it a bit confining and linear itself, but that could be argued that its gameplay dynamics.

    4. Crawlers versus trade routes: not a direct comparison here as crawlers were essentially semi-autonomous machines/factories which harvested resources from an area, whereas trade routes are, well, trade routes. I like trade routes better in that the AIs were programmed to use them (unfortunately the SMACX AI was never programmed to use crawlers), therefore they assist in making a better more competitive AI to play against, versus SMACX where the use of crawlers assisted in pulling away from the AIs.

    5. Leader dialog and leader soundbites: one of the first things I did in BE was find out how to turn off the leader soundbites, as personally I found them really annoying, especially the American "Adam Smith" sound bite and the Australian "everything has a price" sound bite. As opposed to the SMACX leader sound bites associated with tech quotes, where 20 years on I still find myself pausing and listening to these. And the leader dialog? BE leaders all use the same quotes, versus SMACX where the leaders' quotes are unique and individualized to that specific leaders attributes. And then in BERT there are those messages from various leaders at the top of the screen: I'm going to segue here to another planetary 4X sci-fi TBS called "Deadlock" which did this, with animated leader heads, and with crisper and unique dialog (as opposed to BERT's oneness in leader dialog), and this was done back in 1996! For reference as to what I am talking about, at approximately 3:45 into the following Youtube video you can see the Cyth and Uva Mosk AI leaders responding to the attacks initiated by the human player:


    6. Military AI: I've already pointed out previously regarding the BERT military AI not being very well programmed, and there have been a never-ending stream of discussions on the limitations of 1UPT since its introduction. The one aspect I think BERT does better here than SMACX is air combat, as the SMACX AI didn't utilize aircraft all that well, whereas BE seems to use aircraft relatively competently (RT seems to have taken a step backwards here, but maybe that's because of the greater range of aircraft in RT and the human player's ability to suppress AI aircraft more quickly). All in all though I respect and enjoy playing against the SMACX combat AI much moreso than the BERT combat AI.

    7. Cult classic status: SMACX during its heyday of 1999 - 2005 had three sites specifically dedicated to it: Network Node, Planet Alpha Centauri Online, and CivGamingNetwork. And SMACX boasted a huge following of players and lively online/ PBEM communities during that timeframe. Here it is three years after the release of BE and are there any sites dedicated solely to BERT? And as far as online community, comparatively against the same timeframe (i.e. three years after release) I don't see much action here whatsoever (modding, PBEM, storytelling, etc.). And as far as planetary participation is concerned, other than the bump of a free play weekend and the release of RT, consistently the number of people playing BERT has hovered around 1k at best:
    BE vs Civ comparison.png

    SMACX is a cult classic of its genre, period. As far as BERT being considered a cult classic, considering how the devs abandoned it without completing it (incomplete combat AI that doesn't even take into account miasma, which is a fundamental aspect of the game, no development of a scenario generator, etc., etc., etc.), then I have a hard time considering BERT as a cult classic. However, considering the ferocity of some people in defending/ proselytizing BERT, then who knows, perhaps in the end they will be successfuland push this game into that same legendary status as SMACX.


    D
     
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  16. Galgus

    Galgus Emperor

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    I hadn't seen the transcendence victory text before you posted it, but even in it this part seems to suggest that most who "transcended" would not reach whatever higher plane of existence it claims some personalities did.

    "although anyone will be able to achieve virtual
    immortality by uploading into the planetary mind, only a few of us will be invited to
    join the dominant personality, to transcend our humanity entirely and reach a truly
    higher plane of existence."

    That is very vague in a bad way to me when dealing with fusing into a hive mind.

    It is voluntary from what we have seen, but I've been calling it suicide rather than murder.

    From what I've read the Usurpers want to use the plant for their own ends, not permanently prevent transcendance.

    I haven't watched Babylon 5, but the inherent implication of fusing into a hive mind is the destruction of the individual unless stated otherwsie.

    And the quote portion I posted implies that most who fused themselves would not reach that plane.

    As I've said I have little experience with the game beyond reading about it, other's comments, and a little bit of playing it.

    Feel free to bring up any information that contradicts what I say.

    Spies have never been a big appeal to me in BE or Civ 5, but they seem to serve their function decently.

    I think the effectiveness of spamming Steal Science rather than trying for something needing higher Intrigue was probably a flaw though, and if the AI was more competent the risk of angering them with a caught spy would be more interesting.
    _____________________________

    Trade routes feel too powerful in Beyond Earth in my opinion, mostly in how many one could have. I'd prefer going back to Civ 5's system of a set empire-wide trade route cap that increases over time: probably with dominant/ dominant hybrid affinity level.
    ______________________________

    The leader soundbites do get repetitive. Just having more lines and maybe more contextual ones would help a lot in my opinion.

    I wouldn't say that BE leaders use all the same quotes, but aside a few they don't say too much about their personality.
    ___________________________________

    Those quotes looked like pretty generic taunts to me. I think the BE quotes-at-top-of-screen could use more personality though, and sometimes it feels like they just show up too often for trivial things.

    ("Yep! You sure do have some Energy!")
    _______________________________

    There's no defending BE's military AI other than saying that it's been a problem in Civ 5 and I think Civ 6 as well.

    Implementing stack of doom would be a huge step back tactically, but I could see something like Civ 6's combining system where the units mostly just become more durable with a smaller increase in power.

    But beyond positioning armies there's the issue of the AI falling behind economically or just not building enough of an army.
    _____________________________

    I think BE has the potential to be a cult classic with great ideas, but that it was implemented poorly on many fronts.

    I love it more for what it could be and the implications of its world building than what it is, though there are some excellent mods that greatly improve it.
     
  17. HEF

    HEF Warlord

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    The misunderstanding is on your part.

    I've never played 'Alien Crossfire', only the original Sid Meier's Alpha Centauri.:)
     
  18. beetle

    beetle Deity

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    @HEF you did not miss too much as the SMAX introduction of aliens subtracted from the plot IMHO. But OTOH, it patched a bunch of bugs.

    Inspired by this thread I fired up a game. It took an hour to get it run, and then I spent another hour trying to get it to play in a window, before just settling in. It is dark, but in horror genre kind of way. It is not dystopian unless you define all scary sci-fi as dystopian.
     
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  19. HEF

    HEF Warlord

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    If you check out the intro to Sid Meier's Alpha Centauri, notice the rioting? The Rastafari praying...? The presence of police squad cars...? The space shuttle launch...? ...and just after the shuttle reaches Earth's outer orbit, suddenly there is a bright flash!

    Well, it goes without saying, "We know what happens..."

    When all Faction Leaders go their separate ways upon reaching planetfall, the Planet is untouched by humans.
    Unfettered, and teeming with native lifeforms (aliens from our point-of-view).
    If the player starts the game from the beginning of the timeline (another game element discarded in Beyond Earth, Rising Tide) to retirement and begins the book tour, chances are the player will have left Planet exactly in the same condition Earth was when the space shuttle escaped...
    ---in ruin.
    This is what people mean when referring to Sid Meier's Alpha Centauri having a dystopian theme.

    Regarding the expansion pack, 'Alien Crossfire' to Alpha Centauri, didn't even know it existed until I saw it at GOG dot com a few years ago.

    Didn't mind the bugs in Sid Meier's Alpha Centauri as they were not show stopping bugs... just little annoyances. :smug:
     
    Last edited: Oct 22, 2017
  20. Galgus

    Galgus Emperor

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    I view it as dystopian because of the grim outlook on the future and very cynical portrayal of humanityin the factions.

    Especially with the oppressive nature of some of the options.
     
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