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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. beetle

    beetle Chieftain

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    Are you talking about the opening movie? I will have to watch closer. I actually have that one disabled.
    Yeah, but lots of little things. SMAX was a bit of a balance patch, and added few new units. And even SMAX still has plenty of little annoyances!
     
    HEF likes this.
  2. Darsnan

    Darsnan Chieftain

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    Your reply dovetails into a thought I've been mulling around for a while now:

    While Rome burned Nero fiddled.
    And while our world burns today we are too busy fiddling around with our everyday gadgets to care.

    In essence we are too busy with our everyday lives to lend credence to our online postulations. I am just as guilty of this as the next individual is these days, and I think that's why I was trying to cite examples for everything I pointed out above in regards to SMACX being a classic while BERT is not, and asking you to do the same in regards to the comments you were making. If you don't want to, then as noted above, understood these days....

    Regardless, I think this back and forth with you has given me a GREAT idea for a new SMACX scenario, one which stretches the bounds of the SMACX game dynamics! I'll see about chunking this out in the next few weeks! :)

    And of course this same thought process segues back into the what this topic is about, which is why SMACX is a superior game to BE: the BE game dynamics, especially its default sets of rules, are very confining. To highlight this, why one of the beefs I have with sci-fi in general is that it seems in most of the sci-fi story settings all planets have the same general gravity of one Earth Standard, whereas just looking at our own solar system the argument can easily be made that our species will need to colonize a host of planets which are uncomfortably outside this norm. I've tinkered around with the SMACX rulesets to emulate a low grav environment on a planetoid or asteroid (in a nutshell: +1 infantry movement, +1 speeder movement, and because of little to no atmosphere then no winged or prop based units, and with the reduced gravitational tug then drop units and missiles are easier to generate!), and the game engine has responded most admirably, and this will be the theme behind the above-mentioned scenario. Can the BE game engine be stretched as dynamically to emulate a low grav environment? I think because of its 1UPT that this is essentially ruled out, as the AI game programming just couldn't successfully handle the dynamics of adding +1 movement to each of the fundamental units of the game, and the base game doesn't even support drop units, which I don't understand. :(
     
    HEF likes this.
  3. HEF

    HEF Chieftain

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    I agree.

    Despite its dystopian theme, Sid Meier's Alpha Centauri does offer the player a variety of ways to play; the player could be a malevolent warmongering dictator seeking to destroy all of the other Faction Leaders brutalizing their own populace and scorching Planet with weapons of mass destruction in the process.
    :ar15:

    --- or ---

    the player could be a empathic leader of a democratic society creating a Future society that promotes a healthier lifestyle that doesn't repeat the same mistakes of Earth by mobilizing the entire mining & farming operation into orbit preventing severe damage to Planet's natural eco-system.
    :w00t::cheers::whew:

    The choice is up to the player.



    Both Sid Meier's Alpha Centauri and Beyond Earth, Rising Tide are classics, in my opinion.

    Back then, Alpha Centauri made social commentary about the state of the Earth as we know it and dedicated its science fiction setting to the men & and women of NASA.

    Today, Beyond Earth, Rising Tide restarts the Civilization series with the science fiction setting of Alpha Centauri by removing game systems such as the Social Engineering table and replacing it with a desired holistic approach, the Affinity system, a Virtue system and a comprehensive Trait/Agreement system that appears more 'civilized'.

    ¿Comprende? :coffee:

    Good luck in your endeavors creating a new scenario for Sid Meier's Alpha Centauri! :wavey:
     
  4. Galgus

    Galgus Chieftain

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    The world is actually getting better for the most part, though there is a constant threat to liberty and prosperity on the horizon by those who distrust the former.

    Gravity differences are near the bottom of features that could be added for me, and stack of doom really, really needed to die for interesting battle tactics to live.

    But I would love to see major differences between Biomes, and I posted some ideas for it in an old thread.

    https://www.reddit.com/r/civbeyonde...ce_threat_terrain_and/?st=1Z141Z3&sh=21fd81e8
     
  5. Galgus

    Galgus Chieftain

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    Screw the environment, I'm a Purist: it will all be remade into a glorious New Earth.
     
  6. HEF

    HEF Chieftain

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    In case you didn't know, Lady Deidre's fleet of orbital facilities are already launched into Earth's orbit.

    This evening, go outside of your home, look up into the night sky.

    You don't really believe those are 'stars', do you? :lol:
     
  7. beetle

    beetle Chieftain

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    Wow, that intro video certainly presents a grim earth in 2060! Rioting and wars to be sure. But the space shuttle launch was pretty innocuous, one of many trips to the Unity in space dock one presumes? Then the video changes into CGI and the Unity leaves orbit with the bright flash of its engines lighting, no trauma there. But then the voice over confirms the setting with “a small group of colonists leaves the ravages of Earth for a distant planet.”

    I found the most unbelievable bit in that sequence was the space shuttle still being in service in 2060, even if it is just supposed to be a “space truck”! But it did not escape (and there would have to be hundreds of them), the Unity did.

    It is up to the player, but I leave my portion of Planet covered in forest with my widely spread colonies connected by a sparse and tidy pattern of mag rails. And the epilogue mentions Eden, so Earth would be lucky to be in that condition!

    We can agree that the themes of BE are worthy of a classic. Too bad those themes are still waiting for a decent game treatment!

    I agree with you though that the Purity Promised Lands VC is actually quite decent. Unlike the other two affinity VC, the player is kept busy doing something constructive for the whole endgame. Unlike the Supremacy VC (and for you, the Harmony VC), there is no off-camera destruction going on.

    The Contact VC and two out of three of affinity VC are totally underwhelming. So I guess it is either DOM or Purity if I play it again!
     
    Last edited: Oct 24, 2017
  8. HEF

    HEF Chieftain

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    This may be subjective but in Sid Meier's Alpha Centauri intro, do you honestly believe that the Space Shuttle Unity had launched because the vessel wanted to explore space?

    It is reasonable to assume that NASA had already completed the space exploration phase in what...? 2060 (I think?). The Unity had a preset destination.

    Now was the time to flee considering the "...ravages of Earth..." was in its last stages of consuming planet Earth.

    The crew of the Unity had absolutely no intention of going back to Earth considering that it was rated 'uninhabitable' for human civilization; there was no known indication in any of the victory conditions that reveals this...

    ...and this is where Sid Meier's Beyond Earth, Rising Tide shines:

    The victory conditions indicate that the populace on their newly colonized planet desire to return to Earth to Emancipate them, to Transcend them and to...
    ---Oh, I forget the last victory condition as I haven't explored that option in the game yet! :faint:






    I believe what you were hearing was Miriam's speech given when the player completes a certain Secret Project in-game.
     
  9. Galgus

    Galgus Chieftain

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    @beetle

    Thematically Emancipation fits, but I really wish Transcendance was something more like the Khalsa - a mental connection - than a true hivemind.

    Both could stand to be more interactive, though the Transcendance part of it angering the planet as it completes would be more interesting if the Aliens didn't fall off so badly.

    @HEF

    Nothing about the Transcendance victory implies visiting or even contacting Earth, though it wouldn't be incompatible with it.

    I'd prefer Purity's victory to be changed to Earth's Renewal: a project to ecologically, culturally, technologically, and economically restore Earth using the technology and resources developed on the new world.

    Then I'd shift Promised Land to the P/S victory and give H/P a Terraformation victory where they play God and mold the planet into a "perfect" environment to support them.
     
    HEF likes this.
  10. HEF

    HEF Chieftain

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    Ah!:)

    Interesting idea.

    Thanks for correcting me about the Transcendence Victory ; the only reason I remember the name is because it was mentioned in this discussion.:D

    As I've mentioned before, I still have a lot to learn and explore in Sid Meier's Beyond Earth, Rising Tide 'cause right now my focus is exploring all the particulars of just one victory type, learning how to work the Technology Web, the different Artifact combinations, the Unit upgrades, Agreements/Traits, not to mention how to deal with the behaviors of all the Colony Leaders, etcetera... it's a lot o' stuff to absorb and no player is going to grasp all of it in just a few sessions.

    I really, really like the experience so far. Beyond Earth, Rising Tide hits the mark more than it misses.:thumbsup:
     
  11. Galgus

    Galgus Chieftain

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    I'd heavily recommend trying out some mods once you get the hang of it, particularly the Codex and Echoes of Earth gameplay overhauls.

    They change so much that they don't mix and match as well with other mods, but that they are very well made.

    And you may look at the Biomes Redux and Visually Distinctive Terrains mods for what are in my opinion improvements on how the biomes look - I like Redux most, especially with how much dryer they make the Arid biome.
     
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  12. beetle

    beetle Chieftain

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    What is in the game is not that subjective. The Space Shuttle appears in the introduction video. Unity is a space ship, and probably is a 1000 times bigger than the Space Shuttle. Unity was not an exploration ship. It was a colonization mission with a preset destination and the colonists would would not be going back to Earth (as you wrote) but mostly because it is/was a long trip. I do not think the game says how they managed the distance. “Ravages of Earth” is vague too, and does not imply that Earth was uninhabitable.
    No, please see my excerpt. That is the in-game epilogue from the Transcendence VC.
     
  13. cinattra

    cinattra Chieftain

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    Not sure this belongs in this thread but here goes...

    I believe that Civ and BE are too similar. So, BE hits and misses in pretty much the same areas that Civ does. I think the focus on improvement should be in the places where BE can definitely do it differently than Civ. Anything else is just tweeking, nipping and tucking. This is science fiction after all and not just Civ on an alien planet.

    For example a change in the map is due for BE because I believe the Civ style map constrains BE. The map could add layers and it sorta of does this with the satellites. I'm pretty sure this has been mentioned before but why is there no underwater map? Why not have to research tech that allows you to go to the very bottom of the ocean or having to research tech that allows high altitude flight? BE is not earth and we will be required to re-tech how to do some things.

    Combat could be different. I think someone mentioned like a rock, paper, scissors incorporation into combat. Whether you win or not could give you options on what to do such as attack, retreat, or defend. This way if you are attacked first, but win the rock, paper scissors battle you have a chance to determine how combat continues or not.

    The planet should have a chance to fight back. Too much human activity should force the BE fauna to evolve and get stronger. I think BE fauna should be allowed to heal as well. Where is the airborne fauna?

    Just my two cents.
     
  14. Galgus

    Galgus Chieftain

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    @cinattra

    Agreed, which is why I'd love to see affinities, biomes, quests, aliens, and artifacts all pushed much further.
    ___________________

    I could see some sort of ocean layer, but aquatic cities are generally fun. Though ideally I'd let them move more and try to make them feel more distinct.

    There could be a new type of improvement for them that sends resources to the nearest city and doesn't have to be in city borders, like a remote platform that takes advantage of quicker travel over water than land.
    ____________________

    A high altitude layer seems less practical, but it reminds me of Metal Fatigue in a good way.

    I had an old idea for implementing an extra-planetary layer while keeping the focus of the game on the home planet with Fleet Expeditions.

    The basic idea would be to build expensive infrastructure and, essentially, pricey trade routes to develop and send yields back from locations beyond the planet: with space-upgraded air units and new Capital ships to defend and/or raid them.
    _____________________

    I generally like combat in BE other than that melee units still feel a bit weak, and I'd like to see less raw strength increases in upgrades to keep the Aliens relevant and give underdogs more of a chance.

    I'd be worried that a rock paper scissors system like that could be a bailout for a player or AI who positioned their units poorly - like a Ranger that was about to get run over by a Combat Rover.
    _______________________

    I'd really like to limit raw strength scaling for the players as one way to make the planet more relevant, but their lifeforms upgrading over time also makes sense.

    The Aliens do heal in Miasma naturally, but since there is no Miasma on the oceans those Aliens never heal.

    Maybe they should return to a nest for it if they aren't engaged in a fight.
     
  15. HEF

    HEF Chieftain

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    Thanks, I'll keep this in mind.:)

    However, I prefer to play video games the way the game designers intended because they're the professionals that create the fun & challenge.
    I just appreciate the escapism exceptional video games provides.
    Unofficial third party materials to commercial video games are interesting perspectives from fans but misunderstand what game design really is.
    Until any of those mods are useful and/or of quality that Firaxis would approve of and package with their products, I'll consider.

    Until then, I pass.:nono:
     
  16. Ryika

    Ryika likes cookies and milk.

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    While it's of course a valid decision to not use mods, your reasoning is just ridiculous. Professional game designers are not some demigods who have studied the art of game design for decades and now can deliver products that nobody else can create. There are many modders who know more about game design than your average game designer.

    You do realize that they did EXACTLY that in Civilization IV, right?

    +
     
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  17. cinattra

    cinattra Chieftain

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    What about making military units more precious by making them count against your population as well? Meaning if you build a marine or a ship it subtracts a person from the city its made in just like building a colony unit. This could have ramifications in regards to population growth and what improvements you build. It could also play a part in use of robotic units which could technically not need a population, but maybe doesn't upgrade as fast or heal as fast or maybe doesn't need to rest to heal, but is a lot more expensive than units requiring a population.
     
  18. Galgus

    Galgus Chieftain

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    @HEF

    I have to side with Valessa here: professional game designers aren't perfect and modders can be very talented and knowledgeable.

    You are missing out on a lot of good content by ignoring mods.

    @cinattra

    If anything there already isn't enough reason to build an army other than a Domination victory, with how terrible the AI is at fighting.

    I'd much rather encourage peaceful players to have an army as an important part of expanding and exploring, due to the Aliens being made more of a threat.
     
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  19. beetle

    beetle Chieftain

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    I still do not believe the opening movie shows the end of mankind on Earth, but those asserting that SMAC portrays tragedy are more than justified.

    From the DOM VC epilogue: “Not a word has been heard from Earth in all the years since Planetfall, only a deafening silence across all frequencies, so one can only presume that you now rule all that is left of humankind.”
    Spoiler Excerpt 1 of 2 from interlude.txt :
    Code:
    #INTERLUDE19
    #xs 500
    #caption Epilogue
    ^  "It's all over, $TITLE0 $NAME1! Planet is yours!"
    ^  "Thank you Simon. Dismissed."
    ^  And so it is ended. All of the remaining faction leaders have
    surrendered or capitulated, your former colleagues turned treacherous
    enemies and now turned servants and prisoners of war. On the planet
    where seven human factions, seven human ideologies, once struggled for
    dominance only one now remains. Humanity has at last achieved the
    Unity of which the U.N. Interstellar Colonization Agency dreamed
    so long ago.
    ^  Not a word has been heard from Earth in all the years since
    Planetfall, only a deafening silence across all frequencies, so one
    can only presume that you now rule all that is left of humankind.
    The mysterious and growing Planetmind remains a significant challenge,
    but humanity is now prepared to meet this alien presence, friend or
    foe, as a united species. The human species must survive, and it is
    your duty, your sworn vow, to see that it does.
    The best game canon version of Earth’s fate actually comes from losing by Transcendence to an AI. This might be the germ of an idea for SMAC II where the player returns to Earth to recolonize: “Go forth and multiply … a few scattered impact craters the only visible signs of a war now buried in the aeons. Third planet. Earth. Home.”
    Spoiler Excerpt 2 of 2 from interlude.txt :
    Code:
    #INTERLUDE18
    #xs 500
    #caption Epilogue
    ^  The cold-sleep unit finally cycles open and you stretch muscles rusty from
    decades of computer-managed disuse. But they are young muscles, shockingly young,
    and it will be a pleasure to beat them back into shape. Orbital insertion
    begins and you tingle with the excitement of your new mission and with the joy
    of having returned to human form. Yes, you left a copy of your personality among the
    Planetmind's giant matrix, but this copy, this human being $NAME1 now waking to
    lead the first Seed mission, this is the only self now immediate to you and therefore
    the only real you. You are flesh again, and so quite mortal, and for this too you
    rejoice.
    ^  You despaired when Planet invited $NAME5 to join its dominant self, and
    for a decade or more you moped about the bizarre virtual reality of the Undermind
    with no coherent purpose, a lost spirit unable to die. But when the Seed missions
    began, the Voice/Planet personality herself sought you out in the abyss and convinced
    you to accept command of the {Prodigal Son}.
    ^  "Earth$NAME3, you are unfulfilled here and I have need of you. In ages to come
    I shall have need of allies, sister Minds, if I am to keep the flame of conscious
    thought from guttering out as the universe contracts or else expands to dust. Take
    with you the gift of life, the seeds of all our species. Spread them to the stars,
    across the galaxies, creating new civilizations, new minds, and enlisting the aid
    of any you encounter. Go forth, Earth$NAME3. Go forth and multiply."
    ^  The maneuver at last complete, the safety shutters retract from the viewport
    and you behold a sight lost to human eyes for over $NUM3 centuries. Deep blues, swirling
    whites, the azure tint of a rich oxygen atmosphere. Inviting browns and greens of
    continents basking in the sun, a few scattered impact craters the only visible signs of
    a war now buried in the aeons. Third planet. Earth. Home.
     
  20. HEF

    HEF Chieftain

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    Really? :D
    Would you pay money for any of it?:confused:


    Look, many modders may meet the enthusiasm criteria & talent to create additional material to a video game that they like, however, lack the discipline and the etiquette required of a professional video game designer compared to an amateur.

    The ability to separate themselves from their work and accept constructive criticism is an example of that discipline.
    Attention-to-detail and keeping a civil tongue when being criticized is another.

    I've been reading the forums of Civfanatics for over a decade and when Sid Meier's Beyond Earth was finally released, I was very excited about just the idea alone of a spiritual successor to Sid Meier's Alpha Centauri game.
    :beer:

    Still am! :)

    As a spectator who didn't play the game upon release reading all the dissatisfaction in the forum, anyone else would have thought Sid Meier's Civilization: Beyond Earth was the worst game ever. :undecide:

    It's not, at all.

    After I was able to get a chance to play it (after the expansion pack and retail price point was reduced :D), Sid Meier's Civilization: Beyond Earth, Rising Tide was far better than I thought! :thumbsup:

    I'm not disappointed by the game and I cannot be persuaded otherwise. I would love to see more kinds of games like this...

    Games like... Sid Meier's Civilization VI and the official expansion pack! No mods.

    ---but that's not for another few years from now, so it's all good!:thumbsup:
     

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