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It's the little things...

Discussion in 'CivBE - Ideas and Suggestions' started by MechMedic130, Jul 7, 2015.

  1. MechMedic130

    MechMedic130 Warlord

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    I've been trying to get back into BE, I really have, but I keep going back to Civ V. I started wondering why that is, and I think I've got it figured out. Its the little things that this game doesn't have that just kill it for me.

    For instance, there is nothing lovable (or hateable) about the leaders in this game. In Civ V each leader is a unique character that has quirks that I've come to enjoy. The leaders in BE just annoy me, they are cold and bland. I don't see Elodie land as my neighbor and go "Awww crap, not Elodie!" like I would if I see a Greek scout show up in Civ V. I have no connection to any of these leaders, and that really sucks a lot of the fun out of it for me.

    Another thing is resources. When I see a big chunk of land open in Civ V I'm checking it for resources and getting excited by what I find. In this game I'm like "Oh, 2 Floatstone and some tubers...or is that fiber? What the hell do they do again?" It just isn't as fun.

    I've played each of the civ's in this game, and each time it all feels the same. I don't feel like I'm playing a different game each time through. There is nothing interesting or unique about it. I feel like I'm forcing my way through each game, and its disappointing because I had such high hopes for Civ in space.

    This game gets a few things right with the quests and excavations and cool things like that, but I just can't get attached to it like I did with Civ V.
     
  2. Ryika

    Ryika Lazy Wannabe Artista

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    Yes, these are common criticisms.

    The leaders are bland and boring, the Expansion is trying to change that by adding a new diplomacy system and new leader texts. I think that's only half the problem though, as their behavior is very similar too and the fact that the sponsor abilities have so little actual influence (when the AI plays them) all make them feel very similar.

    I think resources actually have some good ideas behind them. The game doesn't need luxuries, but it needs to utilize the resources it has better. Strong buildings with resource-requirements (both local as well as quantities) would do a great job at making them more important.
     
  3. Galgus

    Galgus Emperor

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    I agree, strong resource-requiring or resource-upgrading buildings can make it more fun to settle on the resources.

    This could even be made into a form of specializing - grabbing techs to upgrade, say, the output of Gold or Resilin.
     
  4. GenyaArikado

    GenyaArikado Judge of Love

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    they need noticeable affinity and virtue tree biases. Or at least that's what SMAC did.
     
  5. Galgus

    Galgus Emperor

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    I'm fine with Sponsors varying in what they choose, though I'd like preferences like a .4/.4/.2 chance to adopt each affinity or a .5/.3/.2.

    If I knew what affinity every Sponsor would adopt it would both make their culture seem extremely narrow and make the game incredibly predictable.

    I like thinking of what, say, Purity Brasilia would be like culturally, and how it would differ from Purity Franco-Iberia and Harmony Brasilia.
    _____________________________________________________________

    What irks me more than anything in BE is how the affinities barely change anything.

    The extreme differences in outlook for humanity's future should be accompanied with extreme changes to how the Colony works.

    Purity vs Supremacy in peacetime should be more than upgraded farms, crummy domes, and Gene Gardens vs...whatever those tin cans build.
     
  6. GenyaArikado

    GenyaArikado Judge of Love

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    Not at all in the game. I'd rather have predictability and character than half-assed randomness and lack of character.
     
  7. Galgus

    Galgus Emperor

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    For a small aesthetic touch, Unique backgrounds for each sponsor in the diplomacy screens with their own affinity changes would add in bit of personality and a small window into their culture.

    In the blogs the leaders do seem to be decently developed characters - but they just don't show it in game.

    I'd prefer some exaggeration like Bolivar being extremely likely to fight factions of another affinity, or Suzanne Fielding's opinion of you being largely shaped by whether or not you are trade partners.

    There is definitely a problem with all the leaders feeling same-ish in game.
     
  8. Lord Tirian

    Lord Tirian Erratic Poster

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    I think they could've gotten around it by having definite aversions instead of preferences . The reasons for disliking an affinity could already carry a lot of characterisation:

    Barre: Aversion to Purity, Old Earth was an injustice. We should not idolise a flawed world!
    Bolivar: Aversion to Supremacy, a computer cannot command. With power comes responsibility, who can hold a machine responsible?
    Daoming: Aversion to Purity, not enough progress. The only way for us is forward!
    Elodie: Aversion to Harmony, violates the Canon. Humanity can evolve but not by incorporating alien parts!
    Fielding: Aversion to Harmony, resources must be exploited. If you care for nature, you cripple your industry!
    Hutama: Aversion to Supremacy, no machine has needs. How can you trade, if you don't desire?
    Kavitha: Aversion to Supremacy, loses touch of the divine. There is no such thing as an enlightened machine!
    Kozlov: Aversion to Harmony, biotech cannot into space. If it can't fly, it's worthless!
     
  9. GenyaArikado

    GenyaArikado Judge of Love

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    It's funny because Elodie and Kavitha are probably the definitive builders of the (Harmony) Drone Sphere and the (Supremacy) Cynosure (actually mentioning them, unlike the rest of the leaders regarding their wonders)
     
  10. Galgus

    Galgus Emperor

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    These are my thoughts on each sponsor's possible reasons for adopting an affinity.

    I gave each an aversion, but as I could still see them possibly adopting it in-game I gave reasons why.

    Also, though I refer to the leaders I mean to speak of the sponsor's culture as a whole.

    I view the leaders as avatars of sorts for the moods and values of the sponsors.

    Re-reading the blogs brings back some nostalgia for that what-could-have-been time of speculation.
    __________________________________________________________

    Barre

    Aversion to Supremacy. I doubt he would be a great fan of the utilitarian themes. That said, environmental agnosticism could offer new frontiers which would be mostly unattractive for imperialists of other affinities.

    Harmony. Celebrate and embrace this new world where the Pan-African Union has sovereignty, make the most of it.

    Purity. He stated a desire to carry on Africa's heritage with the seeding, so he could go Purity to preserve and restore African culture.
    ____________________________________

    Bolivar

    Aversion to Harmony. He seems somewhat paranoid and predisposed to military action, which could set him at odds with the natives. But he could see the importance of adapting to survive and thrive.

    Purity. He spoke of the seeding as a sacrifice for humanity's future.

    Supremacy. Could be sympathetic to utilitarian themes as a military leader, to make the colony safer and more efficient.
    ___________________________________

    Daoming


    Aversion to Purity, her blog had a theme of disliking tradition blocking progress. But on the other hand, it was largely about breaking limits and saving humanity from extinction.

    Harmony. View it as foolish, inefficient, and needlessly risky to not adapt to the world.

    Supremacy. Could view its transformations as the best path of technological progress.
    ___________________________________

    Elodie

    Aversion to Harmony. Aliens do not have culture, and it would be endangered in extreme adaptation. On the other hand, she might interpret the Canon in a way that preserving nature is essential.

    Purity. Celebrating the Canon and human heritage on Earth.

    Supremacy. Use the Canon's culture as a guideline to remake humanity into a more developed form.
    ____________________________________

    Fielding

    Aversion to Harmony. She would probably view it as pointless sentimentality. She could also see it as the most efficient path for the colony to thrive. And ARC does have a solid environmental sciences background - just see its name.

    Purity. Continue a tradition of liberty and rugged individualism, suspicious of changes that could endanger those values.

    Supremacy. Embraced to maximize efficiency and through it, prosperity.
    __________________________________________

    Hutama

    Aversion to Supremacy. Distrusting of how it could centralize power and control. Could also view it as a path to a better life.

    Purity. Make a world where humanity can be happy and prosperous.

    Harmony. To live as well and prosperous on the planet as possible, humanity must adapt to it.
    _____________________________________________________________

    Kavitha

    Aversion to Supremacy. Too dehumanizing and dangerous to the human spirit. Could also view it as a glorious future to be embraced with her trademark enthusiasm.

    Purity. Embracing the unbreakable human spirit and culture that led to their seeding against the odds, with strong faith in what humans can accomplish.

    Harmony. Viewing the planet as one that could be a utopia, the reward for all the effort.
    _______________________________________________________________

    Kozlov

    Aversion to Purity. He has some scornful things to say about the past, and seems entirely focused on the future that could be. On the other hand, he gives some lip service to a faith in humanity working together.

    Harmony. Embraced as a sustainable future where the colony can thrive.

    Supremacy. Viewed as pushing boundaries beyond what humanity is capable of.
    ____________________________________________________________

    Arshia Kishk

    Aversion to Purity. Never saw Earth, and Al Falah's heritage there was a hard one. But it would be an inspirational story for them to have preserved and treasured Earth's culture enough in their journey to embrace Purity.

    Harmony. Embrace the first planet they see as their own, grateful to finally be free from the ship.

    Supremacy. Retain something of their culture bred in a confined ship with a desire to not be reliant on any environment.
     
  11. joncnunn

    joncnunn Senior Java Wizard Moderator

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    Moderator Action: Moved to Ideas & Suggestions
     
  12. GenyaArikado

    GenyaArikado Judge of Love

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    Well, duh, of course they were made so they could go either way. They outright stated it.

    Ultimately i feel like making the leaders have a prefered affinity rather than a disliked one is more telling about their personalities than since they arent actual people.

    I still dont get why people feel like the snob european bish is going to embrace with open arms to the Old Earth rats.
     
  13. Galgus

    Galgus Emperor

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    Elodie? She is all about preserving the Canon, her version of Old Earth's culture.

    Or, less charitably, she is all about indoctrination with it.
     
  14. GenyaArikado

    GenyaArikado Judge of Love

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    preserving her culture, not bringing back the riffraff to ruin her cheese.
     
  15. Lord Tirian

    Lord Tirian Erratic Poster

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    Well, that's the thing: where else to get an original 2132 bottle of Châteauneuf-du-Pape to go with your cheese than an Exodus Gate? Some sacrifices have to be made for good wine! ;)
     
  16. Josephias

    Josephias King

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    I think in this tread is stated we are moving between two extremes, good in its own way, but also with is bad points.

    Strong character personalities are good for immersion, but may be too predictable.
    Character randomness may be good for replayability, but it may make for a bland experience.

    I am normally in favor of randomness (for replayability and surprise), but I have the say I would like it to be controlled in certain way - this means, in example, that I would like to select my ship to have random cargo, but only out of three of the five options. Or that I would like to rule out several planet scenarios, but have a random choice of all the others.

    Applying this philosopy to leaders could be a compromise point on this discussion, altough it may mean an extra work that may or may not pay off. The premise is we want to have strong leader personalities, but we also want each leader not to play the same each game.

    The key may be to make four to six leaders out of the ones we have: ¿what does this mean? Let's simplify and say we have three AI variables (preferred virtues, preferred affinity, overall gameplay stance -aggressive, isolationist, diplomatic... )-.

    Out of these variables, the idea is ¿how the basic personalities of each leader can evolve? ¿and how this can be represented?.
    Let's take Elodie, in example, we know she is a civilized, cultured and probably a little snob old lady. Since planetfall, ¿what could be her path?

    -> She may play the "old grandma, earth legacy protection" role, softening its snobbism and appearing as a moderate diplomatic / purity / knowledge>prosperity leader.
    (Grandma Elodie)

    -> She may instead become a fanatic preserver of "old earth" legacy, considering herself superior to all other seddings and doing wichever necessary to presserve the human "spìrit", becoming an aggressive / supremacy>purity / might-knowledge character.
    (Fanatic Elodie)

    -> She may consider the earth values can (and may) be adapted to new world, and that achieving certain wellbeing for its subjecst is part of this, therefore showing a builder / harmony>purity / prosperity > knowledge profile.
    (Ecoidealist Elodie)

    -> Or she may follow something similar to "Alpha Centaury" trascendency path, become somewath a "vanguard" artist thinking the existing model must be preserved, yes, but as a museum piece, and that new times require new ways of expression, following a isolationist / harmony>supremacy / knowledge > industr path.
    (Artist Elodie)

    This is, whe have to "code" four different elodie AIs, each one following an specific, hardly-biased, personality-defining trait combinations (that could be combined with specific text, too, as she progresses further into its "final" character) - but they all belong to a single leader, that at the start of the game you will choose/met only as elodie.
    Only as the turns pass, you will discover if you are facing Grandma Elodie, Fanatic Elodie, Ecoidealist Elodie or Artist Elodie, which can already have a focused behaviour to make for a memorable game experience. It leaves you the doubt just at the beggining of the game, then evolves into something you can firmly recognize and talk about - but that you do not know what would be when setting up the game.
     
  17. KrikkitTwo

    KrikkitTwo Immortal

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    Well I think a better way that could be represented is with text remarks.

    ie Harmony Elodie will have different text than Purity Elodie (and possibly Knowledge Elodie will have different text than Might Elodie)

    However those would both be different from Harmony Barre or Purity Barre.

    Admittedly that quadruples (for affinity..including unaffinity early game) the amount of texts you need to have, but I think it fits it better.

    They designed the leaders to beable to justify any options... so when we See those leaders making a choice, we should hear the justification.

    (ie When offering trade Normal Fielding talks about Adam Smith, Harmony Fielding talks about synergy/integration, Supremacy Fielding talks about efficiency, Purity fielding talks about trade as 'the most human of activities'..as opposed to nations)
     
  18. Lord Tirian

    Lord Tirian Erratic Poster

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    I think they really underestimated, in general, the need for good writers. While the lore thought up by the Civ:BE developers is interesting, I'm afraid they just don't quite have the writing chops to make it come to life.

    If your writing and art has to carry that much world building as in Civ:BE, it has to be top-notch. And while the art is, the UI and writing feel lacking.
     
  19. Josephias

    Josephias King

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    Indeed, they either underestimated that, or were afraid to go overboard, or both...

    Take affinity appearances, in example. They were advertised as big thing at start... now in Civ BE they are just color changes (well, except for Fielding where ¡oh! laurel leaves are placed differently according to your affinity). I am sure we all expected more, but maybe they were afraid they would be too cartoony? Maybe.

    The thing (as commented) is that, even if we want to have some surprises on how a leader behaves, we also want it to reflect some of his charisma and background... and how he embraces one affinity, as Krikkit said, would be one of the defining traits - is not that they have to have Aversion to one affinity, but their reasons to choose it be diferent.

    Fielding is the own-made, liberal, business shark -- for her, Supremacy will be all about efficiency (indeed), Harmony a way to become a predator (synergy, integration, with an edge for "business instinct"), and Purity an interest to keep the rules of the "capitalist world".
    I see little interest for her to pursue a supremacy victory (Earth is not worht anymore), and just midly for harmony and purity (yes, the mindflower is a good source on intel, ¿but an interesting one?, and I am sure she'll make pay these settlers for the real state!). This could lead her to pursue other types of victory when switching supremacy, and being more balanced in Purity / Harmony.

    To keep with businessmen, Hutama is more a pretty face, advertisement-man, probably less rough in negotiation (altough not less dangerous). Supremacy will be "see all these cool new gadgets", Harmony a "planet-fashion trend", and Purity a "nobody knows better how to have fun than us". He would be probably more close to earth and likely to push either Supremacy or Purity victores - and maybe les for Harmony (a mind-plant? that looks booring...).

    More serious, I am sure we should consider Daoming choice of affinity will be based in "I have calculated the % possibilities of survival considering (turning us machines/aliens / keeping us human), and it is the one with an higher value... that you didn't choose is just proof you are stupid, so just don't bother me...

    Yes, the dialogue should indeed reflect all of this :thumbsup:
     
  20. Galgus

    Galgus Emperor

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    @Josephias

    I'm wouldn't describe Fielding as liberal: if anything I'd think her views and those of ARC would value broad liberty and economic freedom more than the kind of state liberals typically want.

    I've always thought ARC would be very individualistic in its culture.

    Granted, I don't have all her quotes memorized so I could be missing something.

    Anyway, I agree we could use more exploration of what each leader with each affinity thinks.
     

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