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Sneak Peek - The Total Overhaul I'm working on..

Discussion in 'CivBE - Mod Development' started by Ryika, Mar 27, 2016.

  1. Ryika

    Ryika likes cookies and milk.

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    Update: Mod has been released, the official Mod-Thread can be found here.

    ...or rather have been working on for the last... 5 months or so now? With varying effort. :D Either way, I assume this is the most ambiguous project for Beyond Earth up to date? Thankfully I have already worked on a lot of mods that I can copy-paste parts from. :crazyeye:

    Anyway. Not sure if this is even an interesting read, It's an unstructured mix of talking about design decisions, my solutions to problems I have with the game and... well, a sneak peek into what is about to be released sometime later this year - as well as a "No, I'm not dead!"-post for those people who asked me whether I'm still actively modding - Yes, I'm very much alive! I'd assume I'm around half-way through to a finished mod but I guess it can't hurt to take some time and create this post, spread some ideas and maybe get some feedback, right?

    I guess I'll prefix this with a quick paragraph on why I decided to do a total overhaul in the first place and what my goals are, so here we go: I like most of Beyond Earth, but I really dislike how short and "lacking in depth" (gameplay-wise) Beyond Earth is. I had worked on my Awesome Modpack for quite a while and it was fun, but really, none of my mods tackled this issue they just "added more stuff" And intentionally so - but lately I've really grown frustrated with "merely" adding stuff on top of a system that I don't find engaging in the first place.

    I decided it's time for a fresh start and set pretty clear goals for my modpack. I had actually written them down, here they are:
    - around 350-450 turns of gameplay per playthrough.
    - city and tech progression that feels impactful (that's a word, right?). Ergo: More linear tech tree, stronger buildings etc. on high-tier technologies.
    - Health and Energy must become something that can't just be ignored.
    - Create important decisions (and remove a lot of the old, useless decisions)
    - Interesting Wonders (that are situational? only work in some situations?)
    - More differences between Affinities
    - Make stuff less ridiculous. Spamming Explorers, Spamming Settlers, Spamming Trade Routes should not be go-to strategies. Find ways to limit these things!
    - A strong connection between Cities and Terrain. Make sure good city locations are important - #AllResourcesMatter.

    During development I added:
    - make constructing cities during later parts of the game viable. The "ideal" strategy should be to expand whenever there's enough health left to do so. (Not expanding too much should also be somewhat viable on lower difficulties)
    - Add new Features to the game that make managing the Empire more interesting.

    So... those were my goals. Here's where I'm at currently:

    Tech Tree:

    (Warning, there's a huge image below the spoiler)
    Spoiler :


    Obviously some of the names are placeholders ("New Humanism") and as one may notice due to the declining number of icons in the upper part only the lower part is actually somewhat complete. Some Technologies will be moves around later, the way affinities are separated on the upper part right now is not intentional.

    The lower part is somewhat linear with some important choices on each Tier, but the tree opens up a lot during later stages of the game, allowing players to pick the bonuses they want to specialize in, or work best with the things they already have specialized in. A lot of the

    Branch techs now have most of the stuff that is essentially a full tier of "generic" buildings per tech-level. Leaf Techs then add Affinity related and situational stuff, such as Wonders, National Wonders (green) and Buildings that require local Resources. Ideally, which Leaf Techs you pick will change greatly every game, depending on what the map offers to you and what strategy you want to use.

    City Progression:
    Most of the perk Icons you see on the tech web add basic yields to all cities. A new Building, the "Basic Infrastructure" has been created to gather these yields. They serve as a basis for new cities that are created during the game to catch up. A comparison between Turn 0 and Midgame:

    Spoiler :


    It is worth noting that I'm very... determined to make it impossible to just spam-expand early on. I do not like that playstyle where you ignore health and just create 7 cities, I want steady but controlled expansion during at least the first half of the game. The Basic Infrastructure is meant to help later expansions get up to speed.

    These Perks also grant free, outdated buildings to make sure a city founded on turn 200 does not need to work through 50 low cost buildings. :lol: My goal is to make everything that is 2 tiers below the current one and doesn't have some location requirements become free. That way new Cities still have around 15~20 cheap buildings available when they're founded, but I think that's okay - that way players have enough to choose from to make sure the city develops the stuff they currently need the most first.

    I changed my mind about this. Having free Buildings from Technologies felt somewhat silly. It made gathering technologies way too strong and took away a lot from city progression. The system now works different - all "Standard"-Buildings that are available now come in Tiers that build on each other, but differently than one would expect. An example for Buildings that share a building line:

    Laboratory (t1) -> Public Library (t2) -> Institute (t3) -> (etc)

    Whenever you construct a Building that is on a tier other than t1 you gain all the buildings that are below that tier in the same building line. So if you construct the Institute in a city that doesn't have the Public Library yet but already has the Laboratory the City then automatically gets the Public Library. "Outdated" buildings still become maintenance-free, so if you construct the Institute the Public Library and the Laboratory are then free to maintain.

    Once you unlock a technology that has a new Tier of a Building the Buildings of lower Tiers in the same Building Line can no longer be constructed. The Bonuses granted by the Basic Infrastructure make it so the current Tier of Buildings should always be somewhat reasonably priced, so new Cities can basically pick up the highest Tier available rather quickly and will then have all the infrastructure - instead of just having it by default.

    Health System:
    The Health System has been both, Streamlined a bit and made more important. There's still no "Don't drop below 0"-limit, buuuut the penalties below 0 are meant to be harsh enough that you do not want to -stay- below 0 for too long.

    The way you gain and lose health has been adjusted as well into a system that is easier to understand but requires more planning to do well. Each City now costs 6(!) Global Health and each Citizen now costs 1 Health. That means you can use local health from Buildings etc. to counter the Unhealth from Citizens (and don't gain global Health from them anymore), but to counter the 6 Health per City you require additional Global Health. Where do you get that?

    From Virtue Synergy bonuses and National Wonders, mostly (And some smaller Amounts from wonders/diplomacy etc.). Those are generally flat amounts of Health, bonuses like "Gain X Health from each building in every city" have been moved to the very, very end of the virtue tree and are available only there. That way you basically use culture to slowly increase your health-pool (and thereby expansion) potential during most of the game and only during the late-game health is then meant to become somewhat trivial. This also encourages steadily increasing ones Culture Production during most of the game (whereas in the unmodded game I more often than not get the virtues I wanted and then don't care that much about more culture anymore).

    City Specializations:
    I don't think there's any particular "need" for this, but I liked the concept, so I decided to implement City Specializations. An example for the basic building:
    Spoiler :


    There's a total of 3 Specializations: Food, Production, Energy. All of them scale throughout the game by unlocking relatively strong buildings that push the city more into the direction of the associated yield.

    Those buildings also have unique Building Quests that allow you to further specialize. An Example is: +25% Production towards Wonders vs. +1 Production from Grassland/Plains - probably not scaled very well, but just to get the idea of how strong those bonuses are meant to differ and promote additional strategies - the 25% Wonder Bonus should very much outweigh the +1 Production (Which sounds much but really isn't during later parts of the game), however, it only effects a specific type of construction.

    Update: I've refined the Concept a bit and made it so that Trade Route yields greatly change depending on which Specialization a City has. A Food-Specialized City will gain mostly Food, a Production-Specialized City will gain mostly Production (both from Internal Trade Routes) and an Energy-Focused City will gain Energy and Science from External Routes. That adds some depth to the trade route system - depending on how you route your trade routes you can greatly change what yields you generate instead of them being just passive bonuses.

    Affinities:
    Affinities are in a very early state, but the general idea I have for them is to focus them around improvements. All three Affinities unlock Affinity-Specific Improvements on Level 5 and their Affinity-Specific Scape-Improvement at level 10:

    Spoiler :


    That way all Affinities have a clear path to take in terms of Improvements and they play very differently at their very core. There will be some Level of Customization in these Improvements when you level up your Affinities further. Harmony 7 for example currently allows you to choose between adding +2 Culture or +2 Science to your Biowells.

    Those who've played my Awesome Affinities Mod know that I've been flirting with the Idea of "Affinity per Turn"-Functionality and yeh, it's back in a format that's a lot more polished:
    Spoiler :


    It's now granted by buildings and will make up about ~40% of your overall Affinity generation (with Quests making 20 and Technologies making the other 40%). Some of the later Wonders will grant Instant Amounts of Affinity as well.

    Other than that I am planning to add some other, gameplay-defining traits at other Affinity levels, but I've not gotten around that yet.

    Events:

    The Event-System includes Biomes:
    Spoiler :

    A random Biome is chosen when the game is started, and Biomes randomly increase the Output of some Resources by an amount that should have quite an impact on new cities, with the goal of hopefully creating some dynamic gameplay, not only while choosing where to expand, but also by which yields you generate. A Biome that for example naturally comes with extra Culture will make generating Culture from Buildings less urgent, which should help make every match play out differently.

    Two sample-events (cheezy writing inc!):
    Spoiler :


    One has a duration, one will last for the entire game.

    There's also a new UI that shows all active effects:

    Spoiler :

    Not the most beautiful thing ever created, but it does its job. :D

    And I guess last but not least...

    A true wonder overhaul:
    So, I've already done one of them with my Awesome Wonders mod but really... looking back at it... that mod isn't very good. Which I guess is understandable, it was created at a time where I didn't know much about lua yet, so my possibilities were limited. However, now I'm somewhat familiar with lua, so the possibilities are limitless!

    I haven't actually gotten around to coding the wonders yet, but I have a lot of ideas. Some of the effects I have in mind:

    - "When your City has more than 10 Population it can work 5 additional tiles."

    (To get into some detail about this one: Meant to be found on an early game wonder (this one is actually already coded and has been added to the Master Control Wonder); as an Investment that pays out later and encourages pushing towards 10 pop (which isn't that easy early on in this mod). It also varies in Strength based on your starting position. If you have a great amount of Food around and many good tiles to work you'd probably want to get this. If your capital starts between snow and desert... not so much. :crazyeye:)

    - "Gain +1 Energy for each 2% of the map that you have explored."
    - "Gain a Chance to spawn Artifacts on tiles that you own."
    - "Allows Miasma to spread onto adjacent tiles, gain +1 Culture for every % of the land that is covered in Miasma"
    - "Increase a Yield by X% in all cities. The Yield that is increased Changes randomly every X turn."

    ...and stuff like that. Basically effects that are very unique and either change how something works or reward doing "out of the box"-stuff.


    ___________________________________


    NEW FEATURES

    Empire Manager:
    Spoiler :



    The Empire Manager unlocks during the early parts of the midgame and is a tool that lets you customize your Civilization in a way that you want to play, or on whatever you need right now. Changing your government form (I totally didn't steal those names from SMAC) can greatly re-shape your empire, Changing your Funding Options allows you to focus on the yields you need right now and Enactments... well... well, do stuff that I still need to figure out. :D

    Moonbase:
    Spoiler :

    The Moonbase is a huge project that unlocks during the Midgame and allows players to work on during most of the rest of the game. In contains Bonuses bigger than can be found anywhere else, but requires Players to invest a lot to generate the Resources required to run. More information about its current Functionality can be found here.
     

    Attached Files:

    Last edited: Oct 14, 2016
  2. Starrynite120

    Starrynite120 Chieftain

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    This sounds like it's going to be an incredible mod. A lot of really creative ideas adding a lot of unique concepts to the game. I'm kind of blown away by how much you've planned and new ideas you came up with, especially the events. Can't wait to play this!

    As a possible suggestion for affinity gain, I really like the idea of making virtues yield affinity. Seems to make a lot of sense to me. So each virtue yields a certain amount of affinity, thus making culture a part of affinity gain.

    Also, I know to said you're not sure about the endgame yet, but any general ideas on how you plan on making each victory more distant and less science related? I like the idea of each affinity having a particular preference for a certain yield (ex. Purity likes culture) and then the victory requiring a lot of that yield.
     
  3. Lightjolly

    Lightjolly Chieftain

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    Holy SH***

    Well ladies and gents, here's our second expansion for BE




    I'm keeping all tabs on this.
     
  4. Doviello

    Doviello Chieftain

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    Awesome.

    If you need play-testers for a beta version sign me up.
     
  5. DefiantMars

    DefiantMars Chieftain

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    A very interesting and compelling overhaul. Adding Events and Specialization is a welcome addition. However I have 2 questions and one comments.

    1) Could you clarify how the Basic Infrastructure works? I feel like I'm just not grasping it right now.

    2) Do you have support for Hybrid affinities? As in do Hybrids get their own things? Or do they still have to get the Core affinity buildings?

    And on that note, I have to say I am a little bit sad to see the Tech Web go. But I understand that balancing it and making thinks make sense is a lot harder with the less linear set up. It looks like the Affinities weave in and out of each other's way as you ascend the tree, is it supposed to do that? And lastly, are you going adjust the positioning and requirements for the Affinity units? Just looking at the Tech Tree, some of them didn't seem to make sense. I was wondering what you want to do there.
     
  6. Ryika

    Ryika likes cookies and milk.

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    That's probably still ages away but I put your name on the list. :D
    It's just a free building in all cities that "grows" as you progress to the game. Currently many Technologies, some virtues, some Events and some Building Quests effect its yields.

    It's basically a representation of the increased efficiency that your Cities gain throughout the game from things other than just constructing new buildings and helps making expanding easy and desirable throughout a lot of the game (by allowing new cities to grow quickly, construct stuff quickly and immediately start adding some science/culture/energy to your empire).

    (Keep in mind that I haven't yet really started to work on Affinity traits, but this is at least how I envision it currently) Yes and no. They don't get their own affinity buildings but they get unique Improvements that have a specialized role that should make them play differently. Purity/Supremacy for example gets the Manufactory which will have some unique requirements ("Must be placed on a Resource"?) but has greatly increased yields.

    That way the normal Improvements of your main Affinity Choice will still be dominant but you'll have the extra yields from the new Improvement on certain Tiles, which will also help Hybrid Affinities make up for the increased investment they require to make during earlier parts of the game to get their Affinity Yields rolling.

    Not only harder, I found it to be pretty much impossible. With the tech web and every technology basically available very quickly I found myself between two choices:
    - Either make ring 3 technologies incredibly expensive to force players to spend a lot of time in Ring 2 - that then however caused the situation where players would start getting technologies every 3-4 turns which was certainly not a "satisfying feeling"
    - Or make only certain parts of the rings cost more I originally outlined that idea here: http://forums.civfanatics.com/showthread.php?t=553422 (Ah, and you even commented on it ^^ Random Note: That thread and the responses I got was the starting point of this overhaul ^^), which worked but became really confusing visually. The more I thought about it the more I found that basically it's just a tech tree made to look less linear, but in reality it had already been linear due to the fact that you couldn't really access the expensive parts anyway. The tech tree with leaf techs basically does the same thing (in theory you can research 10 technologies and reach the end of the tree), it's just a lot easier to see and understand where a player should be going (up, up, up all the time).


    Currently there are a lot of theoretical "beelines" for Affinities (for example purity dominating the whole left of the tech tree), that's certainly not intentional. Ideally I want to spread them out in a way that makes it so there are no "Affinity X dominated areas", all affinities should have some reason to go to pretty much any technology.

    Of course there's the artificial evolution bottleneck, that's for now more a "visual note" for me that that's the point where the victory race starts with some kind of mechanic that somewhat dominates the rest of the game. The upper part will certainly not stay split up like that.


    Yes, for gameplay reasons. The last units I have actively placed are the t1-affinity units (including hybrid ones), everything else is either on it's original place or on some random tech that I put it on to get it out of the way. I'm not planning to keep the units on the technologies that would be the requirement for them "storywise" - I think it's simply impossible to keep all of that intact and at the same time create a balanced experience.

    It's maybe worth noting that I'm also working on an overhaul for units. The t1-Affinity Units are basically the new "core" melee units for a land army as are the boats for water-combat. Soldier and Ranger Units are now amphibious units that can fight on land AND on water, but are not as efficient at doing so as Affinity/Water units. That's why the t1 units are unlocked so early.

    Organics and Physics both grant a free Affinity level when researched (which unlocks a perk that grants +1 progress towards that Affinity every turn) - reasons for that are to push the AI towards the correct path (It doesn't reliably pick up the techs required for their chosen affinity, but it will always pick free Affinity levels for exactly that Affinity) and to delay the split into affinity technologies for a while.

    The first Affinity Technologies then unlock the first Affinity Building that grants Affinity per Turn; unless you were lucky enough to get a ton of Affinity from Expeditions (which isn't that easy because there's aliens guarding progenitor ruins that you'd need to get rid of first) you won't have Affinity Level 4 when you unlock that technology, but you will reach it before unlocking the affinity technology of the next tier. If you do a good job connecting Affinity Resources and then using them to construct the affinity buildings at least.
     
  7. Syrkres

    Syrkres Chieftain

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    Looks very interesting. Few thoughts...
    1) Love the idea of city specialization. In late game I get these wonders +10% Science, and really don't know or care which city gets it. But by having city specializations it makes this choice much more thoughtful.

    2) which on your specializations I think you need to add Science/research to that. For example you probably wouldn't go to Kansas city as a "Research Capital" today (not putting KC down, it's just not know for research - as an example).

    3) Love the idea of events. This could add a very cool dynamic to the game that is currently missing.

    4) Affinities, I know you haven't done much with them, but some thoughts I had with them was also like a negative effect for building in a cross affinity. For example if I am Supremacy based and I build a Harmony (low level unit) I should get hit with a penalty for stepping out of my affinity (Sort of like a LG Paladin does something Chaotic he has to repent). It shouldn't kill ya, but you should take a hit. This obviously need to be adjusted for Hybrid affinities. It would be nice if when you focus on an affinity (even hybrid) it takes away other affinity builds. (or again you take a Hit if you build it - as I believe it's hard to delete things - but again if your doing it from scratch this may be easily built in?)

    5) Health, yes yes yes. When I first started playing I used to get -60 to -80 negative health and not care. Now usually I don't drop below -10 (at least not for too long). So I think it should be a scaling thing, -20 is a lot different than -10. Also what would be cool if it was more "city" centric. That is I can easily see where the problem is (which city) is causing problems, but not sure how Military effects this if they are not tracked to a specific city. But would be cool, like when you get "XXX" is starving... Oh I need to focus on this city... This could also lead into your events. If you get to a certain level of negative health you could trigger events, same for positive health I guess too. Like a riot and city revolts, if not taken care of in X rounds it becomes an independent city or maybe even jumps to another side? Independent could be the minor civs? Joins sides with a trade station (maybe if it's trading with them - or just random). For positive events, maybe a jump in TECH of a list of special buildings - Like a "Disney World" which adds something.

    6) City progression, I like the idea of a central building, maybe somehow tech level based, so for example if I have branched into the 3 tier of tech and then build a new city I would get a base infrastructure building for tier 3, not tier 1.

    7) Tech tree (city progression) yeah it would be cool if it was more clear of upgrades rather than just keep adding new buildings.

    8) Tech tree, not sure if this is just because of prototype,but I don't like the collapse at artificial evolution, basically starting over again. I think there can be cross connectors, but just not a full collapse, Because it makes me feel like the branch I took is useless and if the really cool stuff is above that, then I will always take the shortest route there.

    9) Tech tree costs, one thing I don't like about the current tech tree is it's basically based on it's distance rather than what you get for it. For example in your's the second step (Genetics/Ecology/Specialization) are all the same costs, but clearly (at least in short run) I get a LOT more for the first 2 (Genetics/EcologY) than I do for Specialization. So it would be cool if the branch could be cost based on what is below it. The problem I see with this is it would have to be dynamic, because as people add mods this will change. This would also make it so people would spread tech's out more (possibly better aligning them). Rather that just throw a new tech onto Ecology (because I alway take ecology - as an example) if I add a new TECH to ecology it will make it cost more, thus may not be as cost effective. Though the same could say for the opposite, that if there is a cheap cost, people may throw a tech under it just because it is cheaper. It needs some thoughts I guess.

    10?) Lastly I still like the idea of a tech tree (since it grants affinity) affinity focused/split, where main limbs drive a specific affinity, though a branch my cross affinities. So you would have "major" branches (affinity focused) and then cross branches (or jumps to other "major" branches, which are more cross affinity.

    My thoughts.

    Update: Was just thinking some more (while looking at your tech tree) on the negative effects for building cross affinity, is that if you use a "Major" branch concept, then you can count the jumps from your current "major" affinity to the tech your building and that is the amount of a "hit" you take. So if I am again working on Supremacy branch, and I jump over to a tech located under Harmony branch and build a tech, I would count the number of jumps it takes and apply that to the "negative" modifier I get for going outside my cross affinity. Now for hybrids it would work the same, but I would take the "closest" major branch. For example if I have supremacy and Harmony as major techs (lets assume same level for now) and I take a tech I would count the number of jumps from each branch and then take the lower number of jumps and apply that as my modifier. If there is a level difference between my two affinities, lets say my supremacy is 2 levels higher than my harmony, and the tech I build is closer to harmony then I would add 2 to the number of jumps (if still less than number of jumps from Supremacy I apply that otherwise apply supremacy jump count). - Just some thoughts in implementation.
     
  8. Syrkres

    Syrkres Chieftain

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    Another thought, since they added Hybrid affinities, is they are actually missing one. They have one for going between two of the main affinities, but they are missing the hybrid affinity if I take all 3 (at equal or similar levels). For example if I progress all three main affinities at equal level, is different than advancing Supremacy and Haromny.
     
  9. DefiantMars

    DefiantMars Chieftain

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    Several people have brought up this point, but I really don't think a 3 way hybrid would amount to anything. It lacks a cohesive theme that the 2 way Hybrid Affinities and Core Affinities have. Trying to blend the three would just be... Development. It doesn't really have any storytelling impetus, no idea that you can exaggerate and run with. From a gameplay aspect, it would be slower than even the hybrids.
     
  10. Ryika

    Ryika likes cookies and milk.

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    I actually had one for every specialization at the beginning but I found that it limited design space a lot. A City that has tons of population by itself doesn't really do anything, so it has to be able to convert its citizen power into other yields to be "endgame-viable".

    I decided to make it so that there's three specializations with clear goals:

    - Metropolis: A lot of Citizens that - via "per citicen"-bonuses and specialists can yield a lot of Culture/Science later on
    - Industrial: A city type that can build a lot of the wonders that give empire-wide bonuses (it's worth noting that a lot of the National Wonders specifically effect all Cities as well).
    - Power Grid: A city type that focuses on generating energy to use globally (and probably also gets some science bonuses during the later parts of the game).

    Specialization also effects yields of trade routes, so a Power Grid City will probably prefer external Trade while a Metropolis prefers Internal Trade. Ideally I don't want the decision to be between an "Internal Trade System" and an "External Trade System", I want to see both as one would in a real empire.

    That's of course subject to change, but right now this system of 3 Specializations with global customization through building quests seems to work quite well.

    I go more with the "it's an investment early on but brings benefits later on"-route. I find that avoiding penalties when possible is a good thing. The early affinity buildings don't do much other than generating Affinity compared to other buildings of that stage, so to benefit from hybrid affinities you need to invest quite a lot of time early on.

    Yeah, it pretty much works like that, just that it's yields are a lot more dependent on your tech choices. Affinity-techs especially are meant to add yields closer associated with that affinity, so a supremacy-based city will have a higher base energy-yield while a harmony-city will have a higher base food-yield.


    Yeah, like I said before: That's more a visualization for myself, I haven't gotten around to actually working on that part yet. I should have probably added some connections before making those screen shots. :D

    I see the logic but I wouldn't quite see it that one-sided. The specialization-unlocks themselves are pretty strong (with currently a +25% yield bonus each) and certainly something you would want to get early if you can. Both of the other technologies have a health building each which you'll need to stay in positive health while expanding so dependent on the play-style all of those technologies have their "I want to get this first!"-scenario currently. Also, most (non-affinity) leaf technologies come with somewhat situational bonuses so you may not even be able to make that much use of the extra technologies (unless of course you're looking for a wonder).

    More pragmatic answer though: I'm planning to add stuff below the specialization-technology later. ;)

    Yes, I had considered that, but I found that it really takes away a lot of the "tech web"-feel that I want to still be there, because to split technologies like that I'd basically need to get rid of the Leaf Technology concept. I'm pretty confident that the general tech tree layout is a good hybrid of linear progress with a lot of freedom to make decisions on what type of empire you want.

    Only thing I really need to find a solution for is the "Oh, this old technology only costs 2 turns of research, I guess I'll pick it up"-problem. :D
     
  11. Ryika

    Ryika likes cookies and milk.

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    Endgame Consideration:



    That camouflage-effect on the Xeno Cavalry standing in the Xenoscape is awesome, isn't it? Next level predators - they don't adapt to their environment, they change the environment so it fits the color of their Armor!

    Joking aside, a general idea:
    - Have an Endgame Improvement for every Affinity
    - Allow these Improvements to spread in neutral territory (I've already got code for that from previous mod experiments)
    - make it so the percentage of tiles covered in the X-scape of your affinity is an important piece of your victory progress in the last third of the game
    - add buildings and Effects that can increase the X-scape's chance to spread to neighboring tiles etc.

    Sounds like a fun mechanic to me. :D Any disagreements?
     

    Attached Files:

  12. Starrynite120

    Starrynite120 Chieftain

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    Wow, that is a really cool idea. The nanoscale graphic is pretty sweet too. I guess a possible objection would be that if it required a certain amount of the world to have your improvement, your ability to win would be dependent on if other players also chose your affinity. This of course creates some good end game conflict, but could also make victory for certain affinities impossible. The concept and potential of it seems pretty great though, would certainly make the end game more interesting and would require more effort on the players part rather than just waiting for the game to end.
     
  13. DefiantMars

    DefiantMars Chieftain

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    Hot damn. That's some sweet looking tile improvements.

    I like every affinity getting an actual late game improvement. It just feels... right. Also having them spread over time it interesting, although I question its behavior. Would it overwrite other improvements? Because then your precious resources would be converted to these X-scapes. Would they still give the yields?

    In any case, I see a lot of potential in this. While I may be a diehard Harmony+Purity supporter, I have to admit that I am indeed envious of the Nanoscape.
     
  14. Ryika

    Ryika likes cookies and milk.

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    The general idea is to only make them spread into neutral territory, that way it wouldn't touch anyone's improvements. The current code also completely ignores Tiles with Resources.

    The problem may of course be that there's probably just not much space left in the late game. Or that one may be surrounded by AIs while some AIs have tons of free space behind them. And of course those tile improvements look really silly on water.

    Lots of things to figure out. ^^
     
  15. Captain_Wozzeck

    Captain_Wozzeck Chieftain

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    This whole thing looks really awesome. I especially like the idea behind the "basic infrastructure" that makes later-game expansions more viable.

    (I actually think civ V could benefit from something like this, but that's another discussion!)

    I just had a couple of thoughts about it though and thought I would give feedback. I like the idea of a more punishing health system in general, as it is too easy to settler-spam in the current game. That said, if the healthy penalty is -6 and new cities start with +17 food later in the game (just going off the screenshot of basic infrastructure you have there) then there is a danger that it would become too burdensome to bother with later-founded cities at all.

    One of my gripes with the civ V happiness system is that you rarely have enough happiness left to justify expansion after the initial early game phase (i.e. the new cities end up hurting your existing cities' growth, rather than providing a benefit to the empire). I worry that your proposed system would emulate the same problems. Perhaps there needs to be a way of reducing the health penalty to keep this in balance. Or the "basic infrastructure" comes with a bonus to health in some way.

    Secondly just a general comment about Beyond Earth (I am Civ V fan, primarily) is that it has the potential to be a really great game, but lacks in the depth of strategies. Often we call different strategies "builds" for the obvious reason that they require planning and stacking bonuses to pull off. The slight disappointment with BE for me is that the strategies are too readily available from the get go. They require relatively simple and uncoordinated choices, rather than a well-considered plan. I think your mod package has a very good chance of rectifying this somewhat by allowing players to make decisions over how the "basic infrastructure", city development and city specializations progress into a meaningful "build" over time. You might have to make decisions in the early game that shape the future of cities later on, and thus the game requires more than just "in the moment" decisions. Hope that makes sense.

    An example of how BE is currently not doing so well at this. Let's say we want to make a gold-purchasing strategy in Civ V and analogous energy-purchasing strategy in BE. In Civ V you start with really low gold income. You have to slowly build up trade, establish city connections, unlock policies in the commerce and autocracy/order trees and build wonders like Big Ben to turn this into a meaningful strategy. In contrast, with BE it's really quite easy to get sufficient energy from terrain, trade and orbitals from the very beginning of the game. It's not unusual for me to comfortably buy key buildings early on, something that requires considerable planning and maybe even costly loans from the AI in Civ V.
     
  16. Ryika

    Ryika likes cookies and milk.

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    The idea is to get a (more or less) constant stream of additional health from virtue unlocks (and some other sources), so over the course of the game you will be able to expand more and more.

    The city-growth curve has been adjusted a lot to meet the influx of food later on, which means that new cities can come to a reasonable population to be mid-level efficient really quickly.

    Overall, my goal is to encourage constant expansion (with not expanding and gaining bonuses from increasingly positive health being a weaker but somewhat viable option), be it via actual expansion of conquering.

    That's certainly not what I want and should be easy to address by just increasing the amount of health that becomes available over time (and potentially decreasing the bonuses from positive health) if required.

    Yes, that's sort of my main motivation and goal for this overhaul. Simply stacking one thing and ignoring everything else should not be possible, the way I want it to feel is that you need a reasonable amount of pretty much everything and then on top of that you can decide where to put the rest of your resources to specialize into whatever you want.
     
  17. Captain_Wozzeck

    Captain_Wozzeck Chieftain

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    Thanks for the reply! You've obviously considered it in great detail, which gives me faith that it will be an awesome mod!

    I'm really looking forward to it!!

    Do you have a patreon or something similar for support?
     
  18. Ryika

    Ryika likes cookies and milk.

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    Glad to hear that. ;)

    Don't worry, I'm fine. :)


    Small addition:




    Biomes to further differentiate planets from one another, mainly for the early part of the game. I will of course add an Advanced Option to disable those.

    I guess I'll need to be a bit careful with feature creep, but that one just seems... logical with most of the framework already in place.
     

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  19. gunnergoz

    gunnergoz Cat Herder

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    Kudos for the great ideas and wonderful implementation to date! A wizard at work! :D

    This will bring me back to BE for sure, and then some.
     
  20. DefiantMars

    DefiantMars Chieftain

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    Sooooo, this is sort of question with a lot of breadth and one that I never seem to stop asking... Have you thought about what kind of theme or direction you want to take with the affinities?

    Its probably a bit far off in terms of actual action, but are there any guiding principles that you've established or are looking at?
     

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