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Orbis 2 The New Beggining (for civ IV) brainstorming

Discussion in 'Orbis Modmod' started by Ahwaric, Dec 1, 2011.

  1. Ahwaric

    Ahwaric Shrubbery-hugger

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    Hi guys.

    De profundis acclamate...
    I mean, it has been a while. In fact, it is almost two years (20 months) since the last update of Orbis.
    I hoped to start my next mod on Civ 5 basis. It is a fine, though not grond breaking game. However, there is not much change in Civ V moddability this last year. I guess the publishers are more interested in getting $ from DLC than having big competition (with only "thanks devs" on the plus side) form the modders community.
    Truth is, I think that Civ V modding was designed to provide great support for smaller "rebalancing" and "expanding" mods, while making FFH-style total conversions almost impossible.
    That, or I am just getting older (33 is old, right?) and start to complain about the world nowadays. Another reason to stick with the great games of my youth long gone ;)
    Also, even if I am wronfg there is simply so much stuff I can use for Civ IV mod - and almos none for Civ V one. If Civ V will be more modding-friendly in the future, I might consider remake for Civ V - as I said, it is not a bad game.

    Ok, after this long and unnecessary (?) introduction, now some specifics regarding the "mod in thinking":

    1) Orbis as a base - from the code and general mechanics side
    2) changed time scope - Orbis ends in renaissance, Orbis 2 would expand it to steampunk (victorian) era
    3) new tech tree, redesigned from the start
    3) that means, more technology
    4) in general, less magic (dark world with not many powerful spells and artifacts)
    4) civs replaced with new ones
    5) some (big?) changes in cosmology to make it all fit better
    6) the above changes mean that most leaders and heroes would be new - if there would be any heroes at all
    You may want to check what I alrady posted while I was thinking the mod will be created for Civ V - though currently am thinking of something much more in line with current Orbis. The thread (including techtree and civs ideas) is here.

    Also, I would like to cut all redundant features. Especially the ones that make problems for the game, i.e. I think that ranged attacks were the most likely candidate for OOS. But I will have to check the bugs reported first.

    If you have any thoughts on my proposals, feel free to let me know. In fact, I ask you to post what features from Orbis you would like to see in Orbis 2, which ones you think should be cut, and what should be added. And first of all, if anyone woud be interested in such mod.
    Keep in mind the general idea for the mod. And I of course reserve a right for myself to do what I want. I will be doing the coding after all ;)
     
  2. scar2496

    scar2496 Chieftain

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    would it have ffh2 civs and religions?
     
  3. Terkhen

    Terkhen Chieftain

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    I'm also curious about that. In the Civ V thread you mentioned that Orbis 2 would abandon FFH2 lore. Is this still true for your new Civ IV plans?

    I prefer to play with unaltered FFH2 lore myself, but I would welcome a new fantasy mod with open arms, specially one with so many customized game mechanics as Orbis :)
     
  4. Ahwaric

    Ahwaric Shrubbery-hugger

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    I think not - I want to make something new.
    Some civ properties I will probably keep. Like beast association for doviello. But I think I would make them shamanistic culture and less evil bestial ones. The name would change, too.

    In fact, many civs in Orbis are already quite different than FfH orignals. Doviello are quite good example.

    In general, I want to give player more choice in shaping the civs. There would be less differences in units (in stats, I want to keep different looks), though I still want to have unique characteristics of civs - like totems for doviello, forest-dwelling for elves, undead civ (egyptian or roman style).

    But at the same time, I want to make innate differences regarding religion and magic/tech less important for the civ at start.
    Only later you would choose religion, which would shape civ in one of the directions, plus the techs you research will decide if your civ prefers magic or technological sulutions. For example dwarves might be able to improve their technology (siege engines etc.), magic (including golems) or just combat abilities (berserkers).
    The same might be true for religion - you might develop it differently, going thelight or dark path. But I think of removing aligments, so not shure how exactly the religions will work.
    Religions will be different than FfH ones, though some will be quite similar (i.e. nature one, magic oriented, tech cult, an order/empyrean type one). I want to have less religions, but make them not uniform and dependant on players decisions.

    Choosing one path will not forbide developing another, but it might be expensive. On the other hand, patch will be common for all civs, but they might find a bit different goods on each path.

    Edit: I do not plan to replace Orbis 1 - though I do not plan to develop it further. Except for the last update I am working on (currently installing all the tools). I need to upload the mod again, might as well include all the patches in the main mod and fix some bugs.
    If anyone would like to keep developing Orbis 1, I will not mind.
     
  5. Davor

    Davor Chieftain

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    I like the idea of trying to go a Steam Punk era. So you want something totally different now? If I read you correctly, you still want a "fantasy" feel to it, but different than FfH 2.

    I think starting like you have it now, is great and have both. Maybe have one race that keeps relying on Magic like you have now in Orbis, have another race that forgoes magic and is more Steampunk, and another race that uses the best of both worlds, combines them.

    If you want to try something different, how about sci fi? Maybe something like Masters of Orion. I would love to see someone do something like Orbis but set in the MOO series. So maybe instead of being in stars and planets, just have it done on one planet (Orion of course :p) but use the unique races set in the MOO univers. I would love to see what you can do for that.

    Or maybe have a Star Wars faction, with Star Trek, with Battlestar Galatica with Babylon 5 etc etc. I always wanted to see a Star Destroy go up agaisnt the Enterprise. :p

    Or if you want to stick to Fantasy, how about Lord of the Rings. I know someone tried to do one, but I haven't seen it completed and can't even find a mod to try. Now that should keep you busy and I believe you would do an awsome job in doing a LotR modmod.
     
  6. Tschuggi

    Tschuggi SNAFU

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    Aloha Ahwaric,

    nice to have you back. I have always been a fan of all fantasy modmods here and, after trying out FFH 2, Orbis was the first of the modmods I played. As a builder-type player, I love Orbis and his unique features, mechanics, civs and buildings, and am therefore very eager to here these big time news about Orbis 2:eek: Steampunk, since now, is only represented by the mechanos and I guess it is an interesting way to go. Mo fancy steam technology, less magic, but maybe this "less" of magic might make it more mystical, dangerous and - restricted to a few civs and rare, hard to research techs - more powerful.

    One thing from the gamers (my) perspective: Orbis has a quite lame AI when it comes to war. Iirc, you once made a poll about what people liked and not liked when playing Orbis... the majority mentioned the AI.

    Sephi made quite a good job concerning the AI, you might take a look into it: http://forums.civfanatics.com/showthread.php?p=11091422#post11091422

    Greez and thanks for having returned to the "real" thing (which ciV isn't),

    Tschuggi
     
  7. Aline

    Aline Cat

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    I would love a steampunk mod, infact i have a lot of ideas and concepts for one in mind as i once thought about posting the idea on the civ5 forums, but then civ5 realy sucked. ^^
     
  8. Shahrazad

    Shahrazad Chieftain

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    Welcome back Ahwaric! I've never written before on this forum, but I always read it.
    Your modmod has always been one of my favorites!
    I like the idea of a darker world, but I tell you my opinion:

    - first of all, I would love to be able to see one day completed the first Orbis... I was disappointed when I saw abandoned Orbis and never touched in recent months... There were bugs and problems to be fixed and there was nobody who could complete this. I was sorry because I love the "clean" style of the first Orbis

    - the AI of Orbis I is the only weakness of Orbis I... would be a shame to leave it as it is.

    - concerning Orbis II ... the steampunk era is a good idea, but there are few units graphically of quality... This fact obviously implies a greater difficulty, because the larger portfolio contains essentially fantasy-medieval type units compared to a portfolio of "steampunk" units.
    I'm not saying it should not be done: I am saying that this kind of choice of course will involve a greater difficulty. I must be honest... for me the faction of "Mechanos" was the less successful in terms of graphics, due to lack of material available to make a serious idea of "steampunk"...

    But I like the idea of a world less "fantasy" and more dark, maybe with more human civilizations and less fantastic races with a "Narnia" style (for example... emh... centaurs?)

    For example I love the less fantasy lore of A Song of Ice and Fire (George R. R. Martin) and The Witcher (Andrzej Sapkowski)...

    Oh well, no matter... any outcome that has your new project, best wishes and good luck :)

    p.s. Sorry for my bad English :p
     
  9. afgates

    afgates Chieftain

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    And just today I was looking for the old Orbis mod after getting tired of Civ V. Good to hear it is still alive.
     
  10. civ_king

    civ_king Deus Caritas Est

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    I think the first order of business would be merging in all the speed ups that have been developed for BtS since the last update.

    Shall I start gathering research for a South Asia civ? (Fantasy, technolocy etc.)
     
  11. Jarrema

    Jarrema Master Voter

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    I would love VIctorian Era fantasy mod!!!
    So, as an Orbis 1 fan, I would wait for it.

    What I would like most?
    In fact there is a list:
    1. REALLY unique religions and civs. Not necessarilly lot of them, and not necessarilly lot of civ-specific units, but I like when civ has sometning really unique, preferably whole unique mechanic, even small one. If civs would be more similar to each other, than I would like religions to be really unique.
    2. As much 'warhammer-like' stuff as reasonable. I think it would be a great inspiration for a mod mixing magic and technology
    3. civs that make references to Slavic myths - like parts of Palatinate civ. You know, all that poludnicas and stuff. Some russian and polish fantasy writers could be a good inspiration (and I am not talking about Sapkowski here, but he also could be). I just love that... Also, it would be nice to incorporate ideas from other cultures, so the mod would not be so European-centered
     
  12. Hankc

    Hankc Chieftain

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    Yea, it would be fun with a less "medieval european fantasy" for a change. Nothing wrong with the setting, but it is very common. Still, one writes what one knows...

    I very much support this project.
     
  13. Opera

    Opera Chieftain

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    Welcome back Ahwaric :D

    What are your ideas regarding the background? I wouldn't mind a change from the "after the fall" setting of FFH to a "beginnings of civ" like vanilla Civilization.

    In any case, I'll be following this project!
     
  14. Jarrema

    Jarrema Master Voter

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    What about a setting like 'drastic change' ?
    It would be like another idea stolen from Warhammer, or for example Shadowrun, or Monte Cook's World of Darkness: what if, one day, magic awake (due to some kind of cosmic catastrophe, or not) in rather normal medieval/post medieval society?
     
  15. Khazad

    Khazad Chieftain

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    Yeahhhh! Thats great :clap:

    Ahwaric, 33 years <-- thats not old - I am 45 :cry:
     
  16. Jarrema

    Jarrema Master Voter

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    Oh, I missed that part!
    Ahwaric, there is similarity between us!
    we have the same age!
    It would be interesting to count a mean of FfH (or just Orbis) players :)
     
  17. Ahwaric

    Ahwaric Shrubbery-hugger

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    Hi again.

    It is the high time I reply. But to counter my long tradition of post "too-long-to-read", I am splitting the answer.
    So first, regarding Orbis1:
    Truth is, a mod (or game) is never done. You can always improve things.
    Is it possible to expand Orbis? Yes
    Improve balance? Yes
    Improve it code-wise (speed, AI)? YES!!!

    But there is limited time I can devote to modding. And my main aim is to have fun from it. I have plenty of work in RL, and do not want to force myself into something I do not want to do any more. Plus, the work of lovve is usually better.

    That is aprtially the reason for my brak in modding. I was tired with the creating version 1.0 of Orbis. Plus, I hoped something new can be created civ V.
    Now I am back to modding as I missed it, and Civ V is not an option. But I still feel that Orbis 1 reached its limits - or simply I have reached mine. I think that is the same reason FfH first reached feature -lock phase, and then no more updates.
    The main problem I have iwth orbis, are some things inherited from FfH. While I think it is really great mod, it does necessarly mean my ideas fit with it. And some can't be implemented at all.

    I agree, and it is something I want to improve for both Orbis 1 and 2. I will try to do so, but Sephis mod is not very useful for Orbis. It hardcoded many things, and these are prepared for FfH. Most are invalid fr Orbis, and the rest I have tried to add already (Kael partially incorporated it into FfH anyway).
    But I will check if anything new appeared or maybe I missed something.
    Is speed really such an issue?
    If so, I might try to add some of the fixes you mentioned. Can you give me any links?
     
  18. Ahwaric

    Ahwaric Shrubbery-hugger

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    I do not plan to abandon magic. Also, steam punk era will be the last era of Orbis 2. Actually, it is now quite small and the mod focuses on classical-medieval-renaissance periods.
    The magic and technology will be both present - as research choices. You could even go both ways, but it will make you reach the final techs of each route later, and they allow respective science victories.

    Might be interesting. But I do not want to make sf mod - even though I like sf and alpha centauri is one of my favourite games. Now that I think of it, I need to remind myself what were the requirements for the ascension victory ... :)
    I do not want to do any of the book settings. Also, I have a feeling that LoTR mods do not develop very well in general. No idea why. If I would have to name an inspiration, Arcanum would be the best bet.
    Ideas are more than welcomed. I think I need to expand the steampunk era. I want it to be steampunk/teslapunk.

    That is true, and I love european mythology. After all, that is my mythology, I was raised on it.
    I want to expand it to other regions, but I always feel a bit uneasy doing that - as I am afraid of mistakes and not reflecting the flavour.
    I know it is just a game, but it matters to me.
    Sure :) I have no ideas for the south east civ, but I think it might be a nice addition! No promises tough, I need something to "feel right" before I add it.

    I want the civs to be both unique and flexible. While I like most of the FfH civs, some just have one bag of tricks - and that limits the possibilities. Also, that cripples the AI. I do not think anyone can teach Ai how to play sheaim - but I might be wrong.
    I want the flavours to be multi-dimensioal, too. So no more (or at least less) pure evil civs/religions
    Warhammer is very important source of inspiration for me - and it will still be. I love it :)
    But I do not want to do Warhammer mod either, especially as there is one already. Now that I think of it, I did not check how is it doing.
    You know I want to do it :) But for an interesting civ, you need a lot of stuff that works well together, and many of the elements of slavic mythology are already taken (vampires, werewolves). Plus sp much was lost over the ages and we do not know what peaple believed :(
    For now, I thought of merging it with remodeled doviello, to make norse-slavic civ. It is not as strange as it might appear - baltic sea helped to mix the peoples and mythologies.
     
  19. Ahwaric

    Ahwaric Shrubbery-hugger

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    :D :D :D
    Nice idea - and exactly the route I want to take. But some artifacts or ruins might make initail gameplay more interesting. No idea how to explain their existence.

    And thank you, you followng this project means a lot!

    I feel better ;)
    But I tell myslef - no matter how old are you, the most important thing is to think young and fresh. So I was afraid that I am starting to complain about the changes.
    Still, to have 24 again, with the abilities I currently have :mischief:

    So, for us :beer:
    It is a nice age. You know, :jesus: (hmm, no cross smily.. this is civ forum, right?)

    And the mean might be really interesting - and suprising.
    Long gone are the days of gaming world dominated by teenages. Or at least these teenagers are no more teenagers.
     
  20. Ahwaric

    Ahwaric Shrubbery-hugger

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    And finally, an update of what I could code so far. Unfortnatelly, the joy of teaching the university students the mysteries of plant evolution and systematics takes too much of my time. And what is left need to be split between real life and high school textbook (photosyntethis, my love :crazyeye:).
    But here is what I managed to do these last few days:

    • Orbis 1 codebase was rewiewed. I managed to nail down the MAF bug - or so I hope. "Great" 2 days spent hunting a one line of missing code :cry:. But it is done.
    • In general, I want to keep the same codebase (dll) for orbis 1 & 2 for as long as possible. That means, all improvements in dll will benefit Orbis 1 as well
    • Updated dll, but also XML and python to the last relaesed FfH patch. Shoudld help at least a bit.
    • To take a break from C++ :scan:, I have done the tech tree for Orbis 2. It is juts the tech tree, I need to redistribute the stuff lineked to it.

    There are 110 technologies (a bit more than in orbis 1). It starts in ancient (Neolithic) era, then proceeds to bronze, classical, medieval, renaissance and steam eras
    I will post screenshots when the stuff is at least somewhat redstributed, as I will probably change the layout to make units and buiding dispersed better.
    I tried to make the tech tree as much based on the real history as possible for such mod. Did an extensive research and for most techs, I have an approximate date of discovery. Then I divided it into periods, so i.e. medieval era is divided into 400-1000 AD, 1000-1200 AD, 1200-1400 AD and 1400-1500 AD periods. For bronze age it is before 3000BC, 3000-2500 BC, 2500-1800 BC, 1800-900 BC
    I even tried doing it for fantasy techs, like necromancy and demonology - reflecting the time when such ideas appeared. But of course, it was not always possibe.
    I also need to expand the steam era, as I feel it ends too fast.

    Now I want to do the units (more on it when I am at least partially done) and civs.
    In general, civs are based on european and middle-east history and mythology. There will be following civs: elves, dwarves, orcs, vampires (Transylvania), norse-slavic ("Doviello"), german (Palatinate), roman ("Scions"), medieval italian (merchant republic), greek/Byzantine ("Kuriotates"), arabic ("Malakim"), Persian ("Sidar"), chinese ("Dao") and mesoamerican ("Tlacatl"). I also consider egyptian civ (undead), franco-english (knights) and african (gnolls?) ones.
    It will take a lot of time to incorporate even the few basic civs, but I hope with a lot of work and stealing of features form existing FfH-Orbis 1 civs it can be done.
    New civs ideas are also welcomed :)

    And that is all for now guys.
    Time to do some modding before I go to bed ;)
     

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