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Prometheus

Discussion in 'CivBE - Mod Development' started by Barathor, Jun 10, 2016.

  1. Barathor

    Barathor Chieftain

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    This project of mine is to help illuminate the game and bring a little more life to it by making things a bit more challenging, enjoyable, and most importantly, giving many elements of the game more significance through better balance and design.

    If you're a fan of Beyond Earth, like me, subscribe to this thread!

    I'm going to be updating it a lot with all the ideas and plans that I have for this project and I'll need some good feedback to help improve things further. I just want to polish my information up a bit more so that it's more presentable and easier to understand. I'm taking the dive by creating this thread to help motivate me to get things done, haha.

    In the mean time... guess what this is and what it's for:



    EDIT: Derp... forgot to change the filename... fixed!



    Also, here's a tease of the tech web so far:



    So colorful! :D
    (Of course, this isn't in-game, it's the Photoshop file I've created to help me design it.)
     
  2. Barathor

    Barathor Chieftain

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    Reserved.
     
  3. albie_123

    albie_123 Modding In Secret

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    Eagerly looking forward to this. :)
     
  4. Barathor

    Barathor Chieftain

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    Here's a small update on some things:

    That red resource pictured above is Adamantite. It's Purity's new affinity resource and matches their primary affinity color, like the others. Floatstone will become something else and will be used for other things; more info on that below.

    Right now I'm not going to get really detailed with the lore behind things, but basically adamantite is an incredibly hard and heavy material naturally found on the planet. Purity loves it for their monstrous war machines and thickly armored units. They don't embrace the expendability of the robots or the bestial power of the aliens, so they have to protect their own fragile people. Purity keeps things simple, wear tons of dense armor and blow the hell out of things.

    - - - - - - - -

    Floatstone (hate that name) is now Etherium ("ethereal" = "extremely delicate and light in a way that seems too perfect for this world"). I'm thinking of this as a super material, like melange (spice) in Dune, for example. It has a lot of applications; it enhances/unlocks various psionic abilities and grants unnatural longevity and health. It also a great alternative power source. (Some of these items are inspired from DefiantMars’s excellent psionics thread) Purity loves this stuff to help their heavily armored units move easier and to help levitate their massive vehicles, it's also great for their energy weapons and explosives. Harmony values the psionic capabilities of the substance, allowing them to delve into things like mind control and telepathy and other things that are shunned by Purity, it also helps strengthen their bond with the planet. Supremacy values the energy capabilities of it, along with enhancing their communications network through it to further bolster their swarm.

    In the game, etherium simply grants a nice bit of health and creates some nice points of interest throughout the map. It's also the strategic resource necessary to build all wonders, since it inspires minds to dream up these wondrous things and gives them the capabilities to construct them.

    - - - - - - - -

    Geothermal is being renamed too, because I want to give it a greater specialization and because "geothermal" is so ordinary and boring, I want something more imaginative. So, it's being renamed to a substance called Vulcanite. I don't really have much lore behind it, but this substance is an extremely powerful source of energy drawn from the planet's core. In game, vulcanite is necessary to power ("construct") all affinity buildings (each affinity has 8) -- none of them require affinity resources anymore, but they still require certain affinity levels before they’re buildable. Affinity resources are now used for affinity units only. (Other names I had for this was Vulcanium -- which sounds stupid if you pronounce vulcan properly and not in a way which makes it rhyme with titanium... and Torridium.)

    - - - - - - - -

    Strategic resources have much more focused roles, which I believe is for the better. Also, I should reveal this before I go any further so that we’re all on the same page: gone is the old Civilization discovery mechanic for resources. I’ve always found it very unnecessary in this game and it even conflicts with the lore a bit. Your colonists can’t find/utilize things like titanium and petroleum, but they have no problems locating gold, copper, etc… and they can even farm alien fruits and domesticate aliens for their chitin and resilin right away? I usually don’t get hung up on any type of realism too much, but even for gameplay reasons, I think my plans will be an improvement.

    Also, not only are affinity resources revealed (just like in the standard game), you can also improve them right away as your colony learns to harness their powers better. So all resources are revealed, improvable… and exploitable.



    Titanium is required for all of your core units -- except your soldiers and rangers on land, and your patrol boats and gunboats in the sea. Those four don't cost any resources and are the backbone of your army. Armor, artillery, and subs cost 2 titanium; carriers and tacjets cost 1 titanium. I’ll talk more about these units in the another post.

    Petroleum is required for all orbital units, they won't cost you any other resources just different amounts of petroleum. Simple.

    Vulcanite is required in different amounts by all of your affinity buildings. I didn't like that some of these consumed your main affinity resources, giving you less for your army, or vice versa. It created a situation where you would spend your extra affinity resources that weren't your main affinity on spamming the buildings. So a Purity/Supremacy player could just build a lot of extra xeno sanctuaries with their extra xenomass (if they met the low Harmony level requirement too).

    With vulcanite, and with the proper quantities placed on maps, I’m hoping players stick more to their own affinity choices when constructing buildings. Especially since I’m doing other things, like granting bonus perks to these buildings as you progress through affinity ranks. A Supremacy player “could” build Harmony buildings with their vulcanite if they achieve enough of a level in Harmony, but that vulcanite would probably be better spent on your Supremacy buildings which will be more powerful and continue to grow with more Supremacy levels.

    Etherium is required for all wonders in various amounts; the more powerful the wonder, the more etherium it’ll cost. I have plans for wonders that I’ll discuss in another post, but tieing this unique resource to them is part of the plan to better balance things.

    Adamantite, xenomass, and firaxite are required by all affinity units. It’s also very clean cut. For example, all Harmony units will only require xenomass. Purity/Supremacy hybrids will only require adamantite and firaxite. I’ll discuss affinity units later.

    - - - - - - - -

    Here’s what’s planned for all resources:



    All resources will now be improved by resource-dependent improvements. Things like farms, mines, and generators, which can be built on bare terrain won't be mixed in with these and mess up balance.

    Also, looking at that, you can probably tell that there are some changes to aquatic cities. There are! They’re mostly going to be no different than land cities, except for the need to expand their borders through movement -- and they’ll be much better at moving. Aquatic cities should be dynamic like the seas, but usually players leave them floating in place and just purchase tiles with energy, making very few moves. Also, with some of those bonuses removed, buildings such as the Vivarium, Alien Preserve, and the Progenitor Gardens can be built in them again (which helps with quests too). Well, other differences remain; they’ll still have a few extra aquatic buildings to construct and they’ll simply be more vulnerable since the seas are just a dangerous and fast place to be in.

    I also didn’t like that food was scarce out in the ocean. Instead, I feel that raw materials (production) should be a bit scarcer if anything.

    Also, don’t sigh at the energy resources, haha. I hope to increase the need for energy in the game, and make it a yield worth considering more. Petroleum, Vulcanite, and even Firaxite will be sought after for their high energy yields to help growing cities.

    All improvements are going to have maintenance costs and all buildings are going to have at least a maintenance cost of 2 (which also helps to balance some building quests a little better). Also, even energy-focused buildings and improvements are going to have maintenance costs. This way, when one obtains high maintenance reduction perks, your energy-focused items are still as valuable as your other items of other yields. For example, a 6 energy 2 maintenance building may look the same as a 4 energy 0 maintenance building, but not after a 50% reduction in building maintenance.

    Also, energy from rivers, deep ocean tiles, etc. are also being removed. The natural planet will be made up of mostly food and production. I’ll save that for another post, since the planet is going to be slightly reshaped, yield-wise.
     
  5. Barathor

    Barathor Chieftain

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    TERRAIN



    Planets are now made up of food and production. The standard tile is now 1F1P. Grasslands and plains are now homogenized and represent modestly fertile areas at 1F1P. Now, the different graphics just serve to visually diversify the map terrain (plus, a lot of times, they're a little more difficult to distinguish from each other anyway compared to the contrasting green and tan colors of Civ; they may as well share the same yields).

    Hills are 2P again. Tundra and desert are also homogenized and represent the infertile areas at 1P. All their flat tiles can be farmed, without freshwater, which at least turns them into unimprovable grass/plains at 1F1P.

    Rivers bring fertility to the land and remove 1P and add 1F, so grass/plains become 2F, tundra/desert become 1F, and even hills become 1F1P. Rivers no longer provide 1E to adjacent tiles, and flood plains are no longer being used in the game. I think this is a lot more interesting, and keeps rivers relevant now that farms can be built anywhere regardless of freshwater and there's no freshwater bonus, like in Civ. And the old energy bonus was a little sad.

    Snow terrain still has no yields, but is more restricted to the edges of the map and are not very prominent. Mountains also provide no yields and canyons are back to no yields as well -- they simply serve as obstructions to break up areas of land. I personally hated the canyon change that tacked-on all that production to them in the base game.

    Forests provide no additional yields and don't modify the existing terrain yields, you chop them if you want a production bonus and want to improve the land. They simply provide defensive bonuses and hinder movement and sight. Marshes still exist and are more prominent within the equatorial region of maps, especially near rivers. They serve to create some temporary infertility within the middle of maps to balance them with the desert and tundra zones further out in the map.

    Freshwater lakes will be 2F and won't just be single tile little dots throughout the map, they'll be slightly larger.

    As for the seas, the coasts are the standard 1F1P and the ocean tiles will be like the tundra/desert of the seas, but at 1F. No more energy from oceans.

    For the infertile terrains tundra, desert, and deep ocean I’m thinking of utilizing Mass Digesters (makes protein paste) to grant tundra/desert +1F for a total base yield of 1F1P and Water Refineries to grant ocean +1F for a total base of 2F.

    - - - - - - - -

    Outside of yields, I'll be doing lots of other changes. Mountains will be generated more like ranges and won't be big clumps of wasted tiles and the same goes for canyons (though smaller). There will be a lot more space on land (plus more of it) for units to move about on with fewer chokes.

    Tiny islands will no longer be generated in the seas. Ice will be more restricted to the edges of the map. Also, I'll be tweaking Hydracoral spawning so that they don't die off so fast. The largest ones will also block vision through them (similar to mountains) to make sea exploration and combat a little more interesting.

    Resource distribution and other assignments will be greatly improved and more controlled than the new system created in Rising Tide which is pretty random and usually creates big wastelands of resourceless areas on land.

    There are a lot of things to talk about on this, but I won't yet. They'll all be a part of the planet script to accompany this project, Pandorus. I created a quick "lite" version of this planet back in the days of vanilla Beyond Earth and have an old thread which explained some things before Rising Tide came out. When I was expecting another expansion pack, I stopped working on it because I didn't want to have to rework a lot of things if there were big changes. But, I'm guessing I don't have to worry about that now.



    - - - - - - - -

    Also, regarding starts, I'm seriously considering having all factions start on land to begin games. The only one really affected by this is the North Sea Alliance (the version most are familiar with), but they're changing in this mod and their bonuses won't only apply to the sea (and their aquatic city movement bonus will no longer be needed much). For Chungsu, it really doesn't even matter. This makes the seas more like expansion areas for civs that want to dip into them and face their dangers, to avoid neighboring factions expanding towards them or for needed resources.

    The other possibility, which I'll create as an option anyway, will randomly assign all factions to either land or sea -- they land where they land. Though, I think the style above may be better for gameplay. And I think all land or all random are both better than having rigid placement requirements that certain factions always start on land alongside other factions which always start at sea -- when planetfall is made in the sea, you have a good idea who it is, haha.
     
  6. Makenshi

    Makenshi Ahoy, ye salty dogs!

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    Hope I'm not the only one who bookmarked this thread, it's looking good! Keep it up! :thumbsup:
     
  7. albie_123

    albie_123 Modding In Secret

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    I'd much prefer all starts on land. Regardless of any other factor, the AI simply cannot deal with naval combat, and so naval cities are for all intents and purposes invulnerable for the player.

    I personally feel like that fact makes naval cities at all impossible to balance for, but your mileage may vary.
     
  8. Barathor

    Barathor Chieftain

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    I'm glad to hear that, albie... and thanks, Makenshi. :)

    Albie, regarding your second post, I'm also glad to hear someone welcoming that change, maybe I'm not too crazy afterall, haha.

    Though, if you care to, can you elaborate on what you said about AI naval tactics? Overall, yeah, the AI tactics are lacking (which I hope to overcome with some things) on land and sea, but what stands out with its naval use? In games I've seen some pretty wicked fleets and there's conquering going on in the seas. Maybe I can share some more information to address any concerns you have, or maybe you'll give me something else to look into. You can privately message me on here too or email me if you prefer, instead of posting here.
     
  9. Barathor

    Barathor Chieftain

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    TECH WEB

    Spoiler :


    Please read below after glancing at it for further explanations, don't throw things at me yet! Especially regarding those tech costs and things missing. :D

    - - - - - - - - - -

    This design embraces the web. The game’s old web was still a little too linear with its research paths, since only some techs had affinity points, web connections were limited, and because the costs were hard-scaled and predetermined -- after picking up some first-ring techs your next cheapest choice would be Robotics, Computing, Genetic Design, or Alien Sciences. If not, then you’ll spend twice as much research on the other techs available.

    Also, the old web had a lot of awkwardness to it and was a mess. You’d have affinity buildings under techs of another affinity (for example… Augmentation.P > Augementary.S and Field Theory.H > Mantle.P) and hybrid units seemed to have been just slapped on and even broke the standard of non-orbital units being available only in leaf techs. Units were sometimes under the wrong affinity tech as well (for example… Bionics.H/P > Autosled.P/S and Social Dynamics.P/S > Human Idealism > Throne.H/P). You’d even have tier 3 units like the LEV Tank and SABR in lower tier, cheaper techs than tier 2 units like the Aegis and CARVR -- wtf? Also, the lore behind things was a little wonky at times: like why did Autogyros exist? Why were CARVR's available under it? Why were Golems granted under Bioengineering?

    There was also some awkwardness with the affinity resources, with Floatstone being harder to obtain than Xenomass or Firaxite, which is probably why Battlesuits cost titanium instead, and Nanohives were titanium because Drone Cages weren’t going to use floatstone and used firaxite instead, so instead of two tier 1 hybrids using firaxite they went with the titanium.

    Not only was the affinity available on the old web isolated to only some of the techs, there was an overabundance of it! A lot of things weren’t worth researching if they didn’t progress your affinity. You could get 162 affinity points alone within the first two tech tiers (925 science cost and below) -- that’s nearly level 11 in an affinity (165 xp). It’s no wonder many of the outer tier techs were mostly a waste of time (like Nanorobotics!).

    - - - - - - - - - -

    With this new design, I’ve spread out each affinity evenly all over the place and tried my best to keep it true to the flavor. I also tried to create clusters of each affinity combo throughout it.

    All affinity levels equal 24 xp, there’s no more slight ramping of +1 xp cost with each level, they’re all the same. I’ll make progression harder through more natural means, like increase tech costs, virtue costs, etc. 24 is a nice number since it cleanly divides by 3, 4, and even 8 if needed. Plus, I averaged out the existing game’s affinity per level if it were flat and, if I remember accurately, it was something like 18’ish. So, 24 is a nice place to be in and the existing quests rewards and things shouldn’t be too off (but I’m still going to make a pass through them and balance them).

    This also makes it a hell of a lot easier to balance and control (for example, I know an 8 xp bonus is almost always equal to 1/3 of a level), plus it allows me to grant a free affinity level of the player’s choice with each synergy tier bonus in the virtue tree. If the costs ramped, then a free level wouldn’t always cost the same; you could keep culture low until you leveled up a bit and then rush virtues for free levels worth more. So, yes, your culture is now a potent tool to gaining affinity, not just science. For every 5 virtues you obtain within a tier, you get a free affinity level (plus whatever other bonus I add) -- this roughly makes each virtue equal to 5 xp. I’ll talk more about affinity gain and sources in another post.

    So, every branch and leaf of an affinity is equal to half a level (4 + 8 = 12 xp). The first ring has 2 affinity levels available, the second and third rings have 4 affinity levels available each. So, if you research every single tech available to an affinity, you’ll only reach level 10 (without any other perk bonuses).

    - - - - - - - - - -

    Now, regarding tech costs. Everything is adaptive and gives you more freedom to research what you like. All tech costs increase by 5% as you research techs. You can spend more time researching techs in a ring if you like, before pushing outward, but all the costs will be ramping up (plus your expansion will further ramp them). The tech costs shown certainly aren’t final, they were just good averages I’ve come up with while looking at the base game’s costs and experimenting with Excel spreadsheet formulas. There’s still a good chance I’ll increase the outer ring costs to more than 3x the 2nd ring costs; maybe even something like 4x.

    - - - - - - - - - -

    Also, the web above is still unfinished. I plan on fleshing it out more with flavorful and stackable bonus perks were needed. For example, you’ll get the colonist and explorer from the start and you won’t need to research Pioneering and Planetary Survey to get them -- I’m changing that, because it forced you too hard to start on these from the beginning (AI’s get these two techs free). Instead, they’re getting replaced with perks and I’m creating softer handicaps where you don’t need to research these right away if you don’t wish to for some reason. I’m going to increase base outpost growth time, but with the Pioneering perk, the time will return to the normal existing value. Also, I’m going to increase the amount of time it takes to complete an expedition, but with the Planetary Survey tech perk, it’ll return it to the normal time. Throughout the tech web I’ll be adding flavorful and useful perks to techs to make them a little more interesting and useful.

    - - - - - - - - - -

    With resources available from the start, I made sure to have a few non-aquatic wonders available early to all to spend any etherium a faction may have laying around. Same thing with the two early orbitals, I didn't want players having early petroleum with nothing to spend it on early enough. I felt that these two orbitals were very fitting for the early game, one for those early station trading partners and the other to help with map exploration and guarding/watching areas of wild land around your territory.

    - - - - - - - - - -

    Victory progression has been modified a bit, but I’ll write about that another time. Also, spy agencies, covert ops, and intrigue have been changed up a bit and I’ll write about that another time too.

    - - - - - - - - - -

    Also, things are cleaned-up, and all 1st tier units are available on the 2nd ring (there’s only 3 tiers now, with ultimates as the 3rd. The first two units of each affinity share the 1st tier since they don’t really display characteristics of being much more powerful than each other compared to the other tiers) and all 2nd tier and 3rd tier ultimates are available on the 3rd ring. So, hybrids get two tier 1 units like the pure affinities, and a tier 2 unit.

    Sorry for this digression, but I should note that the LEV Tank is now a tier 1 unit with the Battlesuit, and the Aegis is a tier 2 unit, before the ultimate LEV Destroyer. I just see an intersting unit like the Aegis as cooler and more powerful than a tank. Also, same thing with the CARVR and the SABR, they’re switched (and rebalanced). The CARVR is now a very powerful and monstrous Megatron’ish unit.

    Affinity buildings are split into two tiers of 4 each. So, there’s four tier 1 affinity buildings for each affinity on the 2nd ring, and four tier 2 affinity buildings on the 3rd ring.

    - - - - - - - - - -

    I’m also using fairly strict rules: hybrid xp combos are only available on branch techs, all buildings must be on branch techs (except for the first ring), all units, wonders, and perks must be on leaf techs (only the new lasercom satellite breaks this since it’s used by both Purity and Supremacy). Also, all affinity buildings and units must be assigned to the appropriate tech affinity.

    Also, I made sure each ring tier has the same amount of xp for all affinities. I also spread wonders out evenly so that each affinity has the same number of wonders available as they progress through their techs (but this doesn’t mean you shouldn’t branch out to other affinities!). Also, I did the same with orbital units and spread them out evenly. I also tried to keep them flavorfully accurate with the affinity and synergize with their playstyle. Again, for example, this doesn’t mean only Harmony should get things like Xeno Sirens, anybody can get it. It’s just more convenient for Harmony, that’s all.



    As said above, all resources are now revealed and improvable from the start. Also, all basic core units are available from the start too (remember, they cost titanium now) and are balanced with that in mind. Why shouldn’t your space-traveling faction that awakened from cryo-sleep (sans Al Falah) not be able to construct rovers, drone planes, subs, and carriers? Especially when they're basic and nothing too fancy until you progress in affinity.

    - - - - - - - - - -

    Also.. (haha) if you’ve noticed the improvements are missing from the web, that’s because they’re not earned from tech anymore. You’ll be able to build farms, mines, generators, roads, and arrays (new/rebalanced) from the start. You get Domes, Nodes, and Biowells from your affinity. Terrascapes also come with a high Purity affinity and Manufactories or now called Droid Foundries and come with a high Supremacy affinity. Harmony gains really nice bonus yields from alien nests in their territory (which synergizes with their other perks) and they may even get a small perk like +1 energy to tiles with Miasma too since alien nest construction is a little harder to control and earn (I’m looking into controlling spawn rates and other things). I didn’t like just anybody being able to terrascape, build biowells, etc. and manufactories aren’t really needed. Oh, also Academies are removed from the game -- I hate them, lol. Instead, you’ll get bonus science/culture to you unique affinity improvements via perks to give you more incentive to build more of them. Also, there are no more magrails, just roads (or I may refer to roads as rails or magrails in the game now). Instead, you collect route movement perks to improve your roads (and the connected production bonus isn't really needed).

    EDIT: Oh, I forgot to add a photoshopped image I created to see what a Droid Foundry could look like if retextured from the original, rusty-piece-of-crap looking one:
    Spoiler :


    Eh, better than the original I guess. Not much I can do.


    - - - - - - - - - -

    Sorry, another digression here regarding improvements. All basic improvements (farms, mines, generators) will remain fairly basic throughout the game. The basic improvements in the base game were just stupid, especially farms with all their yield bonuses. They shouldn’t receive this when there are advanced improvements to build because they just wind up trumping them and accelerating the power ramp-up. They didn’t even cost any maintenance either!

    This is another example of just blindly taking things from Civilization (an entirely different game) and applying them to Beyond Earth. Civ didn’t have any advanced improvements (not counting great ones from great people) that could be built all over the place by any civ. You had farms, mines, trading posts, mills, and (lol) forts. In that game, it made sense to add bonus yields to them as things ramped-up towards the later game. But, Beyond Earth has many advanced improvements to build which should not be outclassed by basic improvements… seriously, a FARM, why should it have so much power? Haha.

    - - - - - - - - - -

    That’s it for now, I think I’ve wrote enough today. Hopefully, I covered everything and explained things enough that the images make sense. If not, please ask!

    I think I’ll talk about the core units next and how the titanium units will be different from the existing game and be worthwhile to build. I’ll also talk about the problems with the existing game’s design around these. Maybe I’ll even get into unit strength progression, the aliens, and cities too plus the new way cities are sieged -- it’s going to be awesome and fun!
     
  10. albie_123

    albie_123 Modding In Secret

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    Ooooooh, man. Now THIS looks great. Finally, the affinity-tech relation makes sense, and your positioning of technologies makes so much more sense from a real progression perspective (as in, one thing naturally leads to another). I went through ready to tear it to pieces and couldn't find anything. :D

    My comments:

    1. It looks like hybrid affinities are going to be more common than straight affinities. I don't personally have a huge issue with this, apart from my personal feeling that the hybrids seemed a little 'tacked on' and didn't offer too much distinctiveness. I'm guessing the angle you're going for here is that hybrids are the usual form, and the pure affinities are more specialized? That makes sense. Either way, I'd like to see affinities really force the player to go for a different playstyle. Playing purity didn't feel particularly different to playing harmony, you just got different stuff to play with!

    2. Affinities are still directly tied to technology. I don't love that, but I'm not sure how you could go about changing it. One thing I've always personally wanted to see is a synergy between virtues/culture and affinity, where your choice of virtue (and therefore playstyle) result in you being pushed towards a certain affinity. Personally, after using this overhaul I find the vanilla virtue system severely lacking in general.

    3. You haven't mentioned so far anything regarding the most major issue with BE: The early game is great, the midgame is eh, and the lategame is awful, especially the victory conditions. I'm looking forward to you expanding more on how you're going about changing that.

    I'll comment on the earlier mentioned naval issue later, I'm meant to be studying for an exam at the moment. :p

    EDIT: One thing I'll say before I stop procrastinating - it looks like, even if it's unintentional, you're going towards a SMAC style where you unlock most of the 'things' you can build early on, and then research gives you more improvements / perks / promotions to improve those 'things'. I much prefer that, although you may run into problems if you use promotions on units to do so. Promotions are broken in relation to modding, and any changes to them run the risk of messing up the UI entirely and forcing the player to exit and reload.
     
  11. Barathor

    Barathor Chieftain

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    :D Thanks! Yeah, this tech web was a real pain; it was a very tricky design puzzle for me and took forever (though, I secretly enjoyed trying to work it all out -- design is fun). The one above is the 75th iteration of my tech web, and it went through a lot of drastic changes, as I scrapped things that weren't working well and took new approaches.

    All the ideas I've had were pretty much hinging on this tech web redesign and were put on hold until I was satisfied with it, because I really hated the existing tech web. I could continue to tweak this thing for a really long time, but I had to stop and continue with everything else. It's certainly not perfect, but it'll do for now.


    I hope hybrids aren't more common! They shouldn't be. I felt that in the existing game, that was somewhat true, since it felt much easier to get max hybrid units and steamroll everything (especially in the sea -- one-shotting cities, lol!), than getting the pure affinities. I didn't like that.

    At the same time, I don't believe in purest of the pure affinities. Players are shades of gray, some much darker or lighter than others, but never black or white.

    Playstyle-wise, yes, I'm trying to focus a certain theme and playstyle with each main affinity, and the hybrids borrow from both of their affinities, with their own bit of a twist. I'll post about affinity themes in another post.

    The colors throughout the tech web can be a little deceiving at first, and it looks very hybrid-dominant. While designing the tech web, I created a tool to give me an idea of affinity progression totals and rough science comparisons to each total (though, without taking into account the additive 5% modifiers with each researched tech -- I didn't feel like bothering to write that formula for the smaller differences when comparing pure/hybrid paths, eesh).

    Also, keep in mind that virtues will provide a nice amount of levels of whatever you choose to spend them on. So, pursuing more of a pure path could be even tighter than the numbers below. Also, another thing to keep in mind is that many of the earlier perks of each affinity are fairly general and you don't get to the juicy perks which really start to identify your affinity until you tread further down each path.

    This spoiler below has some examples.
    Spoiler :

    A "tight" Purity lvl 6:


    The same Purity lvl 6, but also grabbing every branch tech in the first two rings:


    Some more comparisons (note: those science numbers aren't real research costs, they're just for comparison. For example, 1st ring techs are worth 1 science, 2nd ring techs are worth 3 science.)



    That's a really cool mod and nicely done. Though, for now, I'm sticking to the existing virtue trees and leaving it very flexible. Early on, I thought about assigning specific affinity points to each virtue depending on the tree, but I felt that I'd rather keep it flexible. And as another player reminded me (Ryika), when I was going to develop random rewards, there's already a lot of things which assign affinity xp that you can't really control or that you need to take, having more restrictions or having random affinity xp assigned from virtues could lead to frustration.

    For example, affinity xp from expeditions is going to be totally random and I hope that it shakes things up and makes players reconsider their affinity gain slightly. If you're suddenly only half a level away from a helpful off-affinity + hybrid perk, you may steer your research off course a bit to grab that extra affinity to reap the benefits (not only for fun -- hopefully it's strategically worthwhile too!).

    Digression: There will be no free levels from expeditions - those were just stupid good, especially when affinity is everything. Now, only a bit of XP is rewarded. Right now, I'm thinking of keeping it simple with a reward of 4xp (1/6th of a level). I wanted to do all hybrid rewards, but 2xp/2xp rewards may feel a bit too small. And 4xp/4xp seems like a bit too much -- it equals a branch tech. 3xp/3xp is another consideration, along with 6xp pure rewards (1/4th of a level... see, 24 is a great number!), but I'll have to see how game pace fairs first.

    Digression #2: This is an idea I haven't developed yet or looked into, but it's on my list once everything else is in place: flavorfully rewarding bits of affinity xp depending on building quest choices. The building quests have always felt a bit irrelevant (plus, the choices are badly balanced), I almost wanted to get rid of them. But, I think there's potential in them, especially once they're balanced better.

    If they suddenly rewarded some affinity xp too, then it makes your choices a little more complicated and it gives players another source to represent their affinity through what they're building and the choices they make. It's perfect that they're quests and a one shot deal, so you don't have to worry about multiple buildings piling on more and more xp as you build them in each of your cities. One quest represents them all.

    For example, with the Old Earth Relic, if you choose to remove the 2 energy maintenance and consider them sacred sites, you'll also get some purity xp. If you choose to instead gain the 1 culture and put them into some kind of museum for your people to simply look back on as they move ahead with their new world and their new ways of life, then maybe you get a hybrid reward of a small bit of harmony and a small bit of supremacy (the purity reward total would be both of these added together).

    Or if I'm capable of not only modding this in, maybe I could also have all buildings give 3 choices for quests, for each affinity. (Affinity buildings will be handled a bit differently: perhaps two choices are hybrids of the affinity and one is a larger pure affinity reward.)

    I have some tweaks to victories, but for now I haven't looked into them as heavily. They'll definitely get a pass once a bulk of things are finished up. I first want to see the rippling affects of all these changes I have planned on the end game. Part of the problem with the existing game was the crappy tech tree, rapid affinity gain, and rapid increases in power (just to name a few). Plus, cities and the AI were easy to steamroll, defend against (if they even attacked), and out-tech, which further led to boring, runaway victories where you're just waiting uncontested. If there are no threats of other AI's nearing victory or no need to defend yourself heavily from an onslaught of enemy AI's trying to stop you, then any victory method would surely be boring. I believe a big part of the problem are exterior factors, even early ones which ripple into the later game, not just the victories themselves.

    This game isn't going to be a lightly-themed and happy "let's all ally with each other" and "sit around, build things, and vote" Civilization. This game is much darker, proven by things like the Supremacy victory, the creepy Harmony one, and even many of the Civilopedia entries. It's an entirely new planet, a new Wild West, where we're not all allies and/or friends, we merely fear and/or respect each other. We don't judge each other by things like our differences in religion or government, in this game it goes as far as how much humanity you still have left in your people. In Prometheus, you'll need to eXpand and eXterminate along with your eXploring and eXploiting. You have a gameboard filled with all these fun pieces to move around and interact with, you can't spend the whole game scribbling on sheets and charts off the edges of the board.

    As I said, I have plans to enhance combat which should make things more fun and balanced, along with plans for the military AI. I could do sooo much more with the DLL -- but Firaxis has been silent on any tweets I make asking about it and hasn't said a word about it anywhere else. It's a real hard kick in the nuts to their fans and modders if it's never released, especially with all the things that need fixing.

    Though, it gives me a very, very small ray of hope that maybe they're still planning on an expansion. It's just going to take a bit more than a year to develop because of maybe a smaller team, or maybe because there's a lot to clean-up. But, most importantly, they don't want to go alongside the titanic release of vanilla Civ 6 or share the hype leading up to it with any other game marketing -- it's all about Civ 6 now, their flagship. Maybe something might pop-up between its vanilla release and first expansion. I believe Civ 5 took two years to come out with its first expansion while many were starting to believe it was doomed. I doubt it, but you never know, especially with the way Firaxis keeps everyone in the dark about things until, "Surprise! XYZ will be released in 5 months! lol!"

    Hmm, I wasn't intending on that, but it sounds good to me! SMAC was a nice game in its time.

    Regarding the mod reloading, I've already accepted this as something that's going to be necessary with all the modifications I need to make. Simply having titanium improved by their very own "titanium mines" instead of the basic ones already requires this mod to be loaded twice to play. It's sad that Firaxis/2K just leaves the game like this.
     
  12. Barathor

    Barathor Chieftain

    Joined:
    May 7, 2011
    Messages:
    1,202
    An update for anybody that is following this: I'm still working away at this. I've been coding everything up so I can get an early version up and running for folks to try the new systems out. I know I said I'd right about more things, but talk is cheap, right? Perhaps, I'll share some more stuff as I'm getting everything working in the game. I also think it would be cool for players to just hop into a game with this mod and not know what to expect; I'd LOVE to get that kind of feedback on things, haha. But, I guess I can get some of that once I throw it up on Steam.

    Most of my work on this has been conceptual and on spreadsheets and things (though, I always refer back to the code to see if I can make an idea happen and most times test them out too with a small test mod). I don't like to start coding away on things unless I have a pretty solid plan. I have the tech tree all laid out inside the game and it looks great, along with some other things, like the terrain, resources, and most improvements. Right now, I'm tackling all the units, buildings, and wonders and then I'll focus on the affinity perks, personality traits (especially each leader's character traits), and virtues. Then, I'll work on all the other miscellaneous things, such as tweaks to covert operations, quests, leader attributes, AI/Difficulty, city health/combat, etc. I also have an aesthetic overhaul for most unit model scales, formations, and movement speeds to make the game more appealing and which I had planned as a mod a long time ago.

    Also, I'm doing everything in SQL this time (and for the first time). Wow, I wish I hopped into SQL much sooner -- I love it! Not only is it more powerful, but everything just looks much neater and tidier.
     
  13. Ryika

    Ryika Lazy Wannabe Artist

    Joined:
    Aug 30, 2013
    Messages:
    9,239
    It's a bit offtopic and I don't really have much to say ontopic other than: Looks great so far! :D
    But still, question: Did you actually find a way to create a new font icon for the Adamantite? The old Civ5 methods still don't seem to work.
     
  14. Barathor

    Barathor Chieftain

    Joined:
    May 7, 2011
    Messages:
    1,202
    Thanks, Ryika!

    I'm actually holding off from implementing the adamantite for now. I want to get most of the core stuff out of the way and get everything working first, because I believe I'm going to have to spend a good amount of time on changing and rewriting a bunch of quests to work with the new resource, among other things.

    I haven't made any font icons in BE yet and wasn't aware of any issues; that's a real bummer (... to add to the list of bummers when modding BE!). I'll see what I can do; maybe I'll get lucky with something. Though, I highly doubt it, since I’ve looked up some other threads on this just now and even whoward couldn’t get it to work, so it’ll be pretty futile. If I’m really desperate to get adamantite in down the road and it makes a big difference in gameplay, I’ll try that LooseFilesOverridePAK method, but I also know that’ll cause me a lot of headaches from user feedback about the mod being broken or deter them from using it if they have to paste files into the main game folders.
     
  15. Ryika

    Ryika Lazy Wannabe Artist

    Joined:
    Aug 30, 2013
    Messages:
    9,239
    Yeah, given that some people seem overchallenged by even reading a big warning in the mod description that would almost certainly make some heads explode. ;)

    I'm having a similar problem currently and am thinking that I'll just use one of the existing FontIcons, as "Before you can use the mod you have to do this and that!"-ish stuff just doesn't seem to resonate well.
     

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