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Sci Fi Fans, any missing Affinities?

Discussion in 'CivBE - General Discussions' started by MatThePhat, May 17, 2014.

  1. MatThePhat

    MatThePhat Fanatic

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    Howdy y'all,

    So I'm a bit a of a sci-fi fan, and it seems to be they got the "Big Three" of what sci-fi views humanity to be like in the future. Supremacy I recognize from media like the Borg in Star Trek, Asimov's Foundation series, The Matrix, etc. Purity from media like Gattaca, Starship Troopers, the Nietzcheans from Andromeda, The Federation, etc. Harmony from SMAC, Hyperion, the soldiers from Old Man's War, etc.


    My question for all the sci-fi fans out there is are there any other visions for drastic altering human nature of the future popular in science fiction? As far as I can tell the current ones have pretty good coverage.

    The only thing I can think of would be a dimensional transcendence like the Ancients in Stargate, but that's extremely "soft" on the scientific scale according to current understanding so i could understand why they would ignore something lie that.
     
  2. AriochIV

    AriochIV Colonial Ninja

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    There's the Theocracy -- Fremen of Dune, Covenant of Halo, etc.
     
  3. MatThePhat

    MatThePhat Fanatic

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    That's more of an ideology isn't it? Sounds like a Virtue that would be in the Purity tree...
     
  4. AriochIV

    AriochIV Colonial Ninja

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    Depends; some ideologies have technological ramifications. Taking Dune as an example, there was the Butlerian Jihad, which outlawed computers, leading to the development of Mentats (human computers).
     
  5. SamBC

    SamBC Emperor

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    I don't know about religion per se, but it looks like there could be room for something more metaphysically-based, with the development of parapsychic abilities.

    I wonder how easy it will be to mod in a new affinity.
     
  6. BrotherInJah

    BrotherInJah 60% of the time works every time

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    I think they abandoned other scenarios with optimistic future after big mistake. The Time Machine (2002) show how it would end. No space ships only riuns from our time.

     
  7. Makavcio

    Makavcio Prince

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    Missing? No. Possible? Yes.
    A 4th affinity is an interesting theme for the 1st expansion. There are many possibilities. Religion is an interesting suggestion. A group of people trying to create paradise, likely with pax romana approach.

    Other option could focus on something like transcendence. We have a faction that goes human, one that goes alien and one that goes t-1000 style, but we don't have one that tries to be pure consciousness or something like that.
     
  8. Denkt

    Denkt Left permamently

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    Well we could have a primitism faction which ultimate purpose is to make humans so primitive that the end of the new world will never come soon, basicly a faction that tires to fight the greatest enemy of humanity, technology.

    Religion kind of based faction could be good to.
     
  9. KrikkitTwo

    KrikkitTwo Immortal

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    Nothing in reasonable science fiction.

    Religion/Theocracy would be an example of how Society would change, not how Humanity itself would. (Any of the three affinities could support their approaches with/without a theocracy)

    Parapsychic abilities/becoming energy beings are in the realm of fantasy.

    There is the idea of a society that rejects all technology, but that wouldn't be an affinity because
    1. It would be a subdivision of purity (keep humans as they are)
    2. You gain affinities through researching technologies
    3. You're not going to be on a planet where advanced technology is required to breath

    There could be a vision of the future without any intelligent life (ie human genocide-suicide-extinction pact). But that doesn't sound like something to aim for in a civ game)
     
  10. SamBC

    SamBC Emperor

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    If we're going to pick and choose what counts as reasonable sci-fi, we end up in "no true Scotsman" territory. Plenty of serious sci-fi has involved some degree of 'psychic' phenomena.

    The fact you consider them to be too implausible, and thus fantastical, isn't objective. That would lead some people to exclude all sci-fi with any sort of FTL travel.
     
  11. Lancor

    Lancor Prince

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    Nah, like already mentioned, this is also a topic of sci-fi. In Stargate we have transcendence. Then we have things like telepaths in many sci-fi visions. Or mind enhancing technology like the box Chakotay in ST Voyager used to communicate with his soul guide. A fourth affinity could very well focus around a spiritual approach to technology. Developing telepathy, telekinesis and astral travels. Sure, there are many holes in the sci to this fi. But so are there in interstellar travel at the moment.
    I believe faith is already confirmed for release? A system similar to Civ5's GaK?
     
  12. Catalytic

    Catalytic Chieftain

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    I think there may be a niche for guided evolution. Genetic engineering is an incredibly powerful tool. We have already mapped the entire human genome. We can synthesize enough DNA to synthetically create a bacterium from scratch right now. Using molecular biology techniques, we can splice genes from one species into another with reliability and accuracy, and using modern versions of techniques dating back to the 17th century, we can predict how those new genes will enter into and spread within a population. We have incredible capabilities to create and shape life - though we dare not use them to their full extents on humans for ethical reasons.

    But, what if we needed population to fight off threats and preserve our society? What if we found we were simply not adapting well enough on our own? What if we needed something faster and more reliable, even more than what directed crossbreeding would produce? And what if we used Terran organisms as a source of inspiration because alien genetic material was too foreign for comfort? It would yield a society half-Purity and half-Harmony, but distinct from both. It's end goal would be to create a new transcendent hominid species.

    I'm imagining something along the lines of:
    -Longer limbs and more mechanically correct spine for faster endurance running
    -Longer feet, stronger ankles, digigrade running for pure speed
    -Longer, more nimble fingers for complex manipulation and repetitive tasks
    -Larger brains in general for more complex planning, logical thinking
    -Larger spinal ganglia for faster reflexes, automation of neural function to allow brain to develop increased sensory and higher-level functionality
    -Regenerative capabilities, particularly for neurons, bone, muscle, and teeth
    -Secondary breathing apparatus, like gills for living underwater
    -Altered blood physiology to allow more efficient oxygen exchange (deep water diving, endurance athletics) similar to seals or whales
    -Increased optical cell density on the retina for improved (eagle) vision, in the nose for improved (bloodhound) scent detection
    -Photosynthetic skin for increased energy, long-term famine survivability
    -Bony or keratinous exoskeleton on the long bones that's protective, but doesn't impair joint movement or add overly burdensome amounts of weight.
    -Increased hair and expression of glycerol as a cellular antifreeze on a cold planet
    -OR Increased sweat glands on a hot planet, or the ability to produce a sweat molecule other than water on a desert planet to prevent dehydration.
    -Ability to rapidly alter skin color for a type of camouflage like a chameleon
    -And that's just within a relatively restrained realm of possibility...

    These could be the basis of various unit upgrades or faction-specific production bonuses.

    Upgrade choice: Skin - Camouflage for defensive bonus or Photosynthesis for lower supply cost
    Upgrade choice: Bone - Longer bones for movement bonus or Bony exoskeleton for defensive bonus
    Upgrade choice: Neural - Neocortical for flanking or ambush bonus or Spinal Reflexes for attack bonus
    Upgrade choice: Eyes - Optical cell density for extended sight radius or Reflective Cornea/Night Vision for attack bonus
    Upgrade choice: Blood - Deep diving for amphibious assault or Regeneration for healing bonus

    My suspicion is that they'll probably just roll these ideas into Harmony, since it's similar design space.
     
  13. Kid R

    Kid R Emperor

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    Yes it could be a great affinity in its own right if they wanted to take it that way. Good answer :goodjob:

    Psi's a bit different cos it's really just another kind of tech in sci-fi and games. I mean they always say sufficiently advanced tech is indistinguishable from magic, and that's essentially what psi powers are. All the affinities in BE are going to have their own tech, and they could arguably all get psi too, through different routes (brain-enhancing implants, zen master study, alien fungus spores respectively, all of which are tried-and-true routes to parapsychic ability in sci-fi :lol:)

    Taking a different tack can I also just say a huge amount of science fiction isn't concerned with war and alien invasion and dominating the universe! Admittedly your typical time travel story doesn't have much you could form a faction around in a war game like Civ, so I don't have any answers to this thread.

    Maybe there's a different game in there somewhere, with 3 affinities battling it out to define the meaning of life and win hearts and minds. (On an alien planet of course!)
    :thumbsup: Liberty: The meaning of life is to advance society and freedom, and help others. Led by Ursula Le Guin of Utopia and Sam Beckett of The Culture.
    :scan: Inquiry: The highest good is to discover new knowledge and perfect art and science. Isaac Asimov's Phlebotinian faction and Stephen Hawking of the Black Hole faction belong to this affinity.
    :dance: Comedy: Believe that life's purpose is to be funny and cool. Led by Douglas Adams of the Futurama faction and Agent J of the Red Dwarfs.​
     
  14. Krajzen

    Krajzen Deity

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    Good luck with making this faction playable in a game with a main purpose of 'develop science and technology'. This is like including the 'pacifist character with no weapons' in FPS game.

    Harmony covers the religious/spiritual/creepy faction :p Also there is conservative Purity which definitely covers the entire 'religion but without xeno harmony stuff'. Also remember, each affinity has to be enjoyable, interesting and equal to already existing affinities. Purity has battleships and traditional space empire, Supremacy has robots and nanotechnology, Harmony has genetical engineering and mind control, and what Faith would have?

    Harmony covers this area entirely. It is on the verge of fantasy with with 'planetary consciousness' stuff :p

    What the hell is 'astral travels'. Not to mention telepathy and telekinesis is exactly as plausible as ghosts, tarot cards, witches and magic. Keep this SF universe as realistic as it is possible.

    Serious SF is Peter Watts' SF :p

    Also, as I said, Harmony covers this 'psychic' stuff on - the - verge - of - fantasy.

    By the way I don't understand why we immediately have to justify each unrealistic stuff in BE because it was somewhere else. This is not Stargate, Star Wars etc. There is no FTL travel here, no magic, no alien gods, no zillions of alien races, no prophecies and paranormal activity, there are Earth space companies sending colonists to the new planet. So far it seems this game is going to be rather realistic, and unrealistic only when it is required by the desired level of awesomeness. The only fantasy stuff I see in this game so far is Harmony 'planetary consiousness' but even this faction is rooted in reality via genetic engineering and crazy cults :p

    Personally I have no idea for fourth Affinity.

    Supremacy - transhumanism
    Purity - humanity, culture
    Harmony - ecology, spirituality

    It seems they really cover most of areas. The only fourth affinity I can think about is stuff from Dune - rejecting computers and developing 'human computers' along with super - psychic abilities, and I am afraid it is already covered by already existing affinities.

    All traditional values like religion, culture and nationalism go to Purity, all spiritual go to Harmony, all technological go to Supremacy. No idea for something different.
     
  15. boghog

    boghog Warlord

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    If we can't have something different - and I agree that we probably can't without straying into fantasy (nothing wrong with that per se if that's your cup of tea) - why not differentiate the affinities we have.
    As has been discussed in various threads supremacy can take various forms (hive mind, storable consciousness, brain in a cyborg ...). We could probably define some of these more clearly and turn them into their own affinities possibly with their own VCs.
     
  16. GeoModder

    GeoModder Deity

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    Two affinities I can think of with a bit of thinking: sufficiency, and adaptivity.

    Sufficiency borders on a mix of (worldly, not mythic) ascetism and living of the land approach. Just enough of a tech base to grow your food, have potable water, basic industries for day-to-day amenities and working materials. And basic healthcare of course. Very much decentralised. Think of 19th century-sized communities in an agricultural setting with mere road connections and pretty stagnated.
    Of course, not much fun to play with. ;)

    Adaptivity is actually more general. A culture devoted to the best possible solution to the problems that present themself. One time it could be genetically altering a local critter to counter a beetle infestation (making it very adept in cleaning beetle nests for instance) another time infesting the worm tunnels with a limited Von Neuman robot design armed with a tactical nuke blowing up a siege worm upon contact. As it where, a mix of Supremacy -and Harmony approaches.
     
  17. c2h5oc2h5

    c2h5oc2h5 Chieftain

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    Except this is not really fantasy. OK, we have no planet-wide brain-like structures here on earth... but I can't see why should this be considered unrealistic. OK, floating stones are a bit fantasy (we can hardly explain that using current physics) albeit cool. Planet consciousness is explainable, there are no real arguments why such things cannot exist in science driven scenario, are there?

    Personally I'm not bothered with fantasy elements mixed with science, if they are well defined in the setting and have some fictionary science element to it (not to be mistaken with overused, dishonest technobabble - it only makes things sound idiotic). It's science-fiction after all :). Will BE go this path now or in the expansion I don't really care, as long as it'll provide good gameplay and immersion through climatic audio-video-story!
     
  18. boghog

    boghog Warlord

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    Couldn't Dissemination be one? Dedicating oneself to quickly discovering new inhabitable planets and building up of enough population, technology and production facilities to start the next colony. The basic idea could be that after the Great Mistake we come to the conclusion that humankind shouldn't put all its eggs in one or two baskets.
    Further steps could be to develop the capability to have cultural or even trade exchanges among all these outlying colonies over interstellar distances.
     
  19. Krajzen

    Krajzen Deity

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    Well, it depends how do you understand 'planet consiousness'. Giant mushroom or whatever spanning in the entire globe - ok, that can be possible (although my knowledge about brain and cognitive systems is very skeptical about the possibility of developing super - intelligence from something like that) but I have met with nonsensical consciousness of the entire planet understood as entire celestial globe. IMHO this is one of the stupidest tropes in the entire science fiction :p

    Dissemination is against philosophy of this game - a single planet.
    Sufficiency makes sense but also doesn't fit the game about development ;)
    Adaptivity is just mix of Harmony and Supremacy ;)

    However you know what would be awesome? The possibility of combining two affinities, which offers some stuff from both trees but obviously is not as specialized.
    So:


    Harmony + Supremacy -> Adaptation; Homo Sapiens and universe are all about change. Everything is fluent and relative, humanity has to constantly improve itself and its environment to survive and evolve, the ultimate utopian goal is the Perfect Universe.
    Harmony + Purity -> Essence; Homo Sapiens has infinite potential if free from aggression. Morality, philosophy and preservation of environment is the key to achieve utopia - the Peaceful Human Society. We have to learn from our past and use the best parts of human legacy to achieve harmony.
    Purity + Supremacy -> Eternity; Homo Sapiens is the greatest phenomena of the universe so far, it has to preserve itself, conservate millenias old culture and diversity while simultaneously go into the future. The ultimate utopian goal is the Infinite Freedom of Human Being.
     
  20. boghog

    boghog Warlord

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    For consciousness (or anything really) to evolve we need inheritance, variation and differentiated survival over many generations. Hard to see how we could have that with planets.
     

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