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Orbis 2 The New Beggining (for civ IV) brainstorming

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

  1. Shahrazad

    Shahrazad Chieftain

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    I think that your intuition is correct... human thought has a binary nature and even to think one thing you must be able to think the exact opposite thought. You can not have a idea of the "death" if you do not know what is the idea of "life". Reversing the idea of mortality we got the abstract idea of "immortality". Reversing the imaginary of some patriarchal societies where men rule and can have multiple wives it's possible to imagine a fantasy matriarchal society controlled by women who practice polyandry. Etc.
     
  2. Valkrionn

    Valkrionn The Hamster King

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    I wasn't so much saying things need to be completely original to everything that exists; simply that they should be original to FfH. The further apart the two are on the feel of their civilizations, the better.

    I would not have one civ that feels like doviello, and another like illians; at that point, you might as well be playing FfH. I'm also not so much a fan of two civs for the same niche anymore; I'm extremely fed up with the proliferation of civs in FfH as each is shoehorned into a very specific play style. I'd prefer a small number of civs, each highly adaptable and capable of playing multiple ways. You could easily satisfy urges for both illians and doviello in one civ... And that one civ would be much, much better for it.
     
  3. civ_king

    civ_king Deus Caritas Est

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    Polygamy is good for rapid expansion and Polyandry is good for existing in tight constraints.
     
  4. Ahwaric

    Ahwaric Shrubbery-hugger

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    I completly agree. It is really hard to come up with something completly new - if that is even possible.
    Archetypes are archetypes - and orcs to be orcs need to be orcish. In fact, FfH clan of embers is on the edge of not being orcish enough. It makes it more original, but at the same time, it is not to everyones liking.
    But we can hope for new ways of combining things and ideas. And that I hope for
    I think it is the most common way of creating new races in fantasy - most of Shahrazad's examples fall into that category. In fact, I think SF and fantasy are in big part based o such experiments.
    I agree here too. I do not want to remake FfH civs. But I might use mechanics.
    But I do not think it is that hard as you think to make original civs. FfH uses only one setting. It came from D&D, but was greatly (completly?)changed by Kael. But it still has common points.
    There are other settings, though. Warhammer is just one exapmle.
    But the mythology of different peoples is also unending inspiration. Even in Europe, there are ones that are not uften used. Slavic is just one expapmle.
    If we leave Europe - we leave behing most of the often used mythos
    But therre are drawbacs. First, it can feel alien to the player, so you should keep the middle ground.
    Second, you need to get to know the mythology you are using.
     
  5. Lplate

    Lplate Esus (Allegedly)

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    This is probably true. If you ever want to be disheartened about your ability to come up with a completely original, fictional idea, you should check out tvtropes.org.
    Fortunately, I don't think a mod needs pure originality - what's needed is fun (and good mechanics to back it up). Whether the inspiration comes from FFH, other mods, history, mythology, literature, wherever or whatever combination of any of the above, if you think you can make it work in a fun way (and have enough time to make that happen), go for it.

    Useful inspiration might be found in White Wolf's role-playing game, Mage: The Sorceror's Crusade. It's setting is an alternative renaissance and involves conflict between those who follow traditional magic and the order of reason, who would lean more towards science side of magic. The alternative timelines developed by White Wolf for the games might also help pinpoint an appropriate time period for particular arcane technologies.

    Two is a lovely number but the steampunk/arcane branches already provide a ready source of duality in the planned Orbis 2. Multiple Civilization overload isn't needed where the tech path options for a Civilization can give them completely different feels depending on how they are played. What would the Mechanos look like if they embraced the Arcane path? What shape would a Steampunk Amurite civilization take?

    Once Orbis 2 is up and running, it would be nice to try and slot in extra civilizations. Please include the option to create xml/python modules like RifE (I don't now if this was included in the original Orbis).

    Incidentally, Shahrazad, where do you find all the great images?
     
  6. Shahrazad

    Shahrazad Chieftain

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    This idea reminds me of an old game called Warrior Kings

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Warrior_Kings

    In this game was possible embrace three different paths: 'Pagan' (magic), 'Imperial' (warfare and religious units) and 'Renaissance' (technology), each with its own unique values, style of war, and evolution of the storyline.

    But at this point I wonder if this role is not already covered by religions (religions affect the gameplay and the ideological orientation of civilizations)

    Is it therefore contemplated the idea of a multilple path?

    For example (and it is only an axample)

    "Doviello" (or "Illians" or "Kislev" or "Stark" civilization):
    - "Doviello" magic path (winter mages, werewolves, direwolves, rusalki spirits, etc.)
    - "Doviello" technological path (cossacks with firearms, mechanized druzhina, etc.)

    "Doviello" magic path:
    - "Doviello" magic path and followers of an evil cult (e.g. this path enable the Unique Hero Koschei the Immortal and a special "evil" promotion to all the werewolves)
    - "Doviello" magic path and followers of a good cult (e.g. this path enable the Unique Hero Fevroniya and a special promotion to all the priests)
    - "Doviello" magic path and followers of a neutral cult (e.g. this path enable the Unique Hero Baba Yaga and a special promotion to all the winter mages)
    etc

    "Doviello" technological path:
    - "Doviello" technological path and followers of an evil cult (e.g. this path enable the Unique Hero "X" and a special promotion to all the mechanized druzhina)
    - "Doviello" technological path and followers of a good cult (e.g. this path enable the unique building "Y" and a special form of government)
    - "Doviello" technological path and followers of a neutral cult (e.g. this path enable the unique naval Hero Kitezh the Floating City and a special promotion to all the cossacks with firearms)
    etc

    This is part of the concept of less civilizations, but much more flexible.

    @Lplate: I took pictures from google, many from deviantart
     
  7. Lplate

    Lplate Esus (Allegedly)

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    "... in a world called Orbis."

    What were the odds or is this more evidence that there are only so many ideas out there?;)
     
  8. Valkrionn

    Valkrionn The Hamster King

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    That's the kind of thing I'd be going for, exactly. Or at least, a start. ;)
     
  9. Tschuggi

    Tschuggi SNAFU

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    Ahwaric, you might take a look here: http://www.civforum.de/showthread.php?t=75685 and if your german is not so proficient, take a look here: http://forums.civfanatics.com/showthread.php?t=352646

    It is Pie's Ancient Europe mod with greatly developed ancient civs, unique mechanics (religions, cults, katastrophes, slave mechanic, city revolution, stack/army rebellions, improvement costs, new resources, and tons more) and a unique gameplay. It might give you some nice idea, or, at least, some nice art to use ;)

    Greez,

    Tschuggi
     
  10. Jarrema

    Jarrema Master Voter

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    I like it!
     
  11. thadian

    thadian Kami of Awakened Dreamers

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    hero units, lairs and forts are a big plus, another big plus is a big mean dragon...
     
  12. Apepis

    Apepis Chieftain

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    Well, a lot was said on civilizations, but this is only an element of the mod. TBH, not even the most important one. What would be FFH without magic, heroes, the setting in general (this whole good vs evil struggle which needs an Armageddon counter)? Do you have any tangible ideas on actual gameplay mechanics? ;)

    Concerning the civs, I think they are more flavor than core element. Maybe it could even be easier to start the mod with a very limited number of civs (about 6, I'm thinking), polish the gameplay a bit, and then add more civs. Because I'm really curious about the "customize your civ throughout the game" philosophy I hear in your words, Ahwaric, and I fear that by giving too much emphasis on a "cool civ idea up front" we can get stuck with very FFH-style civilizations. That is, civs which have large portions of game mechanics devised especially for them and split in nice packages that can't be used by anyone else.

    Maybe at this point it, if thinking about civs, it would be best to consider only the most GENERIC ideas? Like: a civilization of orcs. They can be barbaric, if player chooses so. But they can also be turned into perfectly capable magic users, skilled artisans or even a civilization of bards (each orc a poet). That's an idea - poetic orcs! Cool enough to justify its own set of gameplay mechanisms. But if we would go this way too far, we would forego other opportunities and shape the player's choices instead of giving him as much freedom as possible.

    If you see this as I do, please: select only the civilizations you would most like to see implemented first and think of them in general terms. Think about possibilities they give, pathways they unlock - the more customizable by the player the best.
     
  13. civ_king

    civ_king Deus Caritas Est

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    A nation of warrior poets, I like it
     
  14. Apepis

    Apepis Chieftain

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    And that is just one of the things the player can turn those orcs into. :)


    I feel that FFH was very much a game where player was told: "Go forth and shape the world to your civilization's ideals". I would be refreshing if in Orbis 2 we could say instead: "Shape a civilization to your liking as it progresses through the ages".
     
  15. Ahwaric

    Ahwaric Shrubbery-hugger

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    Hi again guys!
    Been a bit busy with a real life and modding, so sorry for another period of silence.
    But I kept reading, I assure you ;)
    Got me ;)
    I have spent a lot of time playing Warrior Kings. It is a really great game – I particularly liked the mixed paths i.e. imperial renaissance and pagan renaissance. In fact it is one of the sources of inspiration for Orbis 2. Regarding the world name – it means something circular, or simply world. I have chosen it, as it is Latin and suggest that the world is circular (or round). Both things are important factors differing Orbis from FfH – Orbis is more based on real world history (hence Latin name) and the world is round (spherical).
    I want there to be 3 sources of differences between players:
    Civilization – some special abilities and unique units, like Serenissima superior fleet (and carnival?), Oikumene (byzantine kuriotates) sprawling trait, Ērānshahr (Persian “Sidar”) or Imperium Eternum (roman scions “the gift”)
    Religion – adds some unique buildings, units and special abilities i.e. Oak Brotherhood religion allows Sacred Grove “building” Einheinjahr heavy infantry and Rusalka special unit, also turns forest to ancient forest.
    Tech development – the last common point of magic and technological paths is alchemy tech mid-game. After that point you can completely ignore the other path. But even before, the techs you choose can be different. I want to the game techs to reflect real world ones, but also give a choice form several interwoven paths, so you won’t have to research all of them to develop advanced ones.
    So, Imperium Eternum has gift special ability, which is a kind of citizenship – you have to be “gifted” (so in fact undead) to be considered privileged citizen. It applies to the army, so the core – heavy infantry, plus Equites cavalry have gift. Settling new areas is the same as for other civs – there are alive citizens too, and new cities are built by them, the elite moves there later.
    Now, they can choose different religions – and some fit better, some worse. But I want to make a viable choice of at least 3 religions for every civ.
    Last, they can develop magic side (thus improving the gift), or go tech route and get bonuses from tech and from the gift. I think this should allow player to do a lot – and does not force to choose just one path.
    That is exactly my concern and I really want to go the “customize” route.
    I will start with some civs and some religion/tech mechanics, and the increase the number of both, but it will be more than six civs at the start. I want to start with flavored, but not entirely unique civs and develop the system further based on the feedback and my own experience. So the civ will start with unique ability and some unique buildings and units - so the differences will be much bigger than base in Civ IV or V, but still small enough to allow introducing a bigger number of civs. Such things are easy. But the core game mechanics will not be completely different, like it is for Sheaim, Luirchup or Scions. I think I will avoid such civs even later – partially for the sake of AI, and partially to allow freedom to the player.
    It will give me both :) I tried the mod, and while there are some things I do not like, there is a lot of great ideas. I will use the slave system – including the revolts. Current system in FfH/Orbis needs to be changed, and after some modifications Pie’s approach might be great. I am also thinking of adding blackening of the already explored areas and making settlers and scouts available at later techs – or at least requiring any tech. It would allow for extending the untamed wilderness to last longer – I think it should not be allowed to settle new cities before Bronze Age. What do you think?
    In general, if any of you guys think there is a nice mechanics that could be added to Orbis, let me know. It does not have to be ancient mod. I plan to add transcendence victory from Alpha Centauri (and Planetfall) – it will wait at the end of the magic path.
    Lairs and forts are core addition of Orbis, so will stay. I want to add some areas that will be untamed for a long time – to give you something to test your units before you decide if you want to go to war. So the big mean dragon has a place, too ;)
    Regarding heroes, I wanted to remove them – but decided it is fun. I think one hero per civ, representing the flavor of the civ should be fine. I want to make the heroes immortal – so that you actually use them instead of camping in the capital, plus it will allow AI to use them more. Plus, for flavor reasons (the immortal hero, archetypical for the civ). Also, the immortal unit will be removed (or rather, every unit will be able to take this promotion in the late game), so they will be unique.
    I am not sure if I should keep religious heroes though.
    I plan to post tech tree screenshots and some info on religions (hope for help in shaping them).
    And by the way, Merry Christmas (Hanukkah/after-Saturnalia/Yule, choose to your liking) Everyone :)
     
  16. Druxee

    Druxee Chieftain

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    Hey there, I had a few ideas for a FFH modmod that maybe you could incorporate:

    Firstly, I thought a good setting would be a prequel to FFH1: That is, the civilizations before Mulcarn was summoned. You could have a lot of freedom, as you can simply assume new techs and power were wiped out by Mulcarn, while keeping in FFH lore. Also, I'm pretty sure it was stated somewhere that wizards were less numerous before Mulcarn, but more powerful, which ties in to your reducing magic idea. I also had a few other specific ideas:

    Civ Leader: Every Civ starts with their leader in the same way Basium/Hyborem work: if they die, you lose their bonuses. This way, the civ world spell can be a spell of the leader, they can be vary a lot between civs, and you could use an upgrade path mechanic to keep them balanced at the start but relevant at the end.
    You could also make the White Hand a proper religion. Otherwise, I thought the Illian snow mechanic could be expanded, I think snow tiles should expand like Hell terrain, depending on the Illian situation. When Mulcarn is summoned, snow should expand everywhere like Hell Terrain, and the sea should freeze over, while any improvements get destroyed in the process. If 100% of the planet is snow, Mulcarn wins.

    These are just floating ideas at the moment, though. Tell me what you think!
     
  17. Apepis

    Apepis Chieftain

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    Hmm... Just a thought: maybe each hero would be in fact a leader. This would imply the leaders of a civilization would be somehow superhuman, magical, or otherwise extra-special, but at least you wouldn't have to explain why a republican leader rules hundreds of years past his term. He would be a (techno)magical, eternal creature, who chose to cede the burdens of rulership to its followers and focus on delivering philosophical guidence instead (and some hardcore action on the battlefields from time to time).

    BTW, if you are Polish, you could've read "Inne Piesni" by Jacek Dukaj. There was this idea of Kratistos beings who did not literally hold any political power, but their migthy, nation-wide auras influenced the way people could think. So, in fact, they created civilizations, and from their influence political structures evolved. I think it's not a bad idea to follow, but of course - your decision. ;)

    Ahh, and one more thing... Kick out religious heroes. In FFH religions were very active in the world, in a sense of eternal struggle between light and darkness, good and evil, treeants and squid-monsters, and so on. Heroes were the paragons of the causes, the doers. I always thought Orbis was much more about development than struggle, so IMHO more philosophical religions could take roots here. "Philosophical" means giving bonuses to peaceful activities rather than new kinds of units (even though some of the religions could give that too).

    But TBH the thing that bothers me the most with religious heroes is their uniqueness. Only one civ could get them and once it got them they were practically a permanent bonus. So, as a human player it was way to easy in vanilla FFH to:

    a) found an early religion
    b) build all the religion heroes relatively early on
    c) spam the world with missionaries knowing that once other civs convert, they will never ever get any extra heroes (or the holy city, because you ain't sharin').
     
  18. IlikeTanks

    IlikeTanks Chieftain

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    Less magic? Orbis already had a weaker magic system then even FFH vanilla.... and I only play as the amurites...
     
  19. Jarrema

    Jarrema Master Voter

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    1. I like idea of two-tier settlers. It was introduced in a mod with a prehistory at the beginning of a game (do not remember name). Basically, before certain tech you can only build 'tribe' unit which is limited in number to one per civ, slow and really expensive (I believe at least twice as expensive as settler). Then, after some tech, normal settlers come. I like it idea, because it allows someone who desperately wants to have an early expansion to do so, but at really big price. It is interesting choice - to do it (and how many times) or not.
    2. this mod (arghhh... I want to remember name!) also introduces some '0.5 tier units', which are really less powerfull than scouts or warriors. Maybe at the beginning scout could be such a frail unit?
    3. As for heroes - Master of Mana mod has interesting mechanic that lets players use them more offensively, while not giving them a true immortality (which IMO is too much). If you are going to get rid of religious heros, maybe think about more heroes for every civ? 2 or 3? Either one for every game stage (one early, one mid-game, and one late game), or one for magic-oriented part of tech tree and second for technologicaly oriented part of it (so, in fact, before realy late game civilization will have to choose one of them, together with focus on magic/technology)
     
  20. Apepis

    Apepis Chieftain

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    Somehow I feel that one hero per civilization is actually more substantial... However, those heroes COULD grow in strength with new techs (and maybe even quests, deeds, dungeons explored?). Also, if a player chooses to align with a religion or chooses between technology and magic, IMO it should be reflected in the hero too. So, instead of providing more hero manpower, religions should only unlock some paths of development - for the cities (new buildings), for the military (units, why not?) and for the hero (chains of promotions, free bonuses, unique spells, special items, and so on).

    BTW, I'm glad that Master of Mana mod was mentioned. While it has a vastly different feeling than Oribis had (well, magic rules supreme and Amurites are actually quite a strong civ there), it is definitely a good source of ideas to steal. I personally kind of like what they did with economy in the last patch, even though I hate their equipment system (the pain of micromanagement!).
     

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