Steppes Hostile Environment Discrepancy

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Dacarnix
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Steppes Hostile Environment Discrepancy

Postby Dacarnix » Tue Mar 23, 2021 10:36 pm

I've noticed that Steppe planets sometimes have a -3 penalty for Hostile Environment and sometimes do not.

I haven't noticed any commonality like planet size or position within the solar system or what species are on the planet. I've got two Steppe planets the same size with Yoral on them. One has a Hostile Environment penalty and one doesn't.

(While we're at least sort of on the subject, I hope this system gets some tweaks in the upcoming DLC that has updates to the planet system. Are Phidi living in the Ocean facing a more "hostile environment" than Phidi living on an Inferno that happens to have one Tarib living there? It's not particularly intuitive. Maybe Phidi should negate the Ocean penalty and Yoral should negate the Steppes one? Or maybe Steppes doesn't even need one. The description doesn't sound so bad compared to the others.)

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Arioch
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Re: Steppes Hostile Environment Discrepancy

Postby Arioch » Tue Mar 23, 2021 11:34 pm

Arid worlds (including Steppes) have variable atmospheres. Those with a "normal" atmospheric density (listed in the planet info pane and indicated by greening on the surface) don't have the Hostile Environment penalty; those with a "thin" atmosphere do have the penalty.

All of this is being reworked with the changes in DLC2.

nweismuller
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Re: Steppes Hostile Environment Discrepancy

Postby nweismuller » Tue Mar 23, 2021 11:54 pm

My impression for why having populations adapted to the environment negate the hostile environment penalty for everybody is that you need *somebody* outside of the little sealed environments supporting small populations doing work out of doors. Laying pipes and conduits, construction and maintenance, and so forth. If you have Tarib on an inferno environment, you can have Tarib handling that sort of work, while the Phidi all stay inside the domes. If you only have Phidi, maintenance becomes... more complicated.

Dacarnix
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Re: Steppes Hostile Environment Discrepancy

Postby Dacarnix » Wed Mar 24, 2021 9:51 pm

nweismuller wrote:My impression for why having populations adapted to the environment negate the hostile environment penalty for everybody is that you need *somebody* outside of the little sealed environments supporting small populations doing work out of doors. Laying pipes and conduits, construction and maintenance, and so forth. If you have Tarib on an inferno environment, you can have Tarib handling that sort of work, while the Phidi all stay inside the domes. If you only have Phidi, maintenance becomes... more complicated.

Sure, fair, but... Tarib can help you 15 gold-worth on an Inferno planet and Phidi can't help the Tarib even the tiniest little bit underwater?

That's the part that bothers me.

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Arioch
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Re: Steppes Hostile Environment Discrepancy

Postby Arioch » Wed Mar 24, 2021 10:03 pm

The maximum population calculation is abstracted so that you are rewarded for adding population that is more suitable to underused biomes on a planet, but you are not penalized for having sub-optimal population (as we feel that would lead to very tedious micromanagement).

gaerzi
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Re: Steppes Hostile Environment Discrepancy

Postby gaerzi » Wed Mar 24, 2021 10:20 pm

Water is not necessarily the same thing as water. Just like air is not necessarily the same thing as air. The hydrosphere of a planet is not going to be just pure H2O, there will be other elements in there, whose presence or absence can make the water just as toxic to phidi as the atmosphere of an inferno planet is toxic to humans. Pressure is also an issue with water, even more than with air -- water pressure is merciless, as every submariner knows. Go too deep and you go squish before you even have time to realize what happened. Then there's light. Water absorbs light much more than air does. As long as you don't go too deep, you can still get sunlight, but as you go deeper the abyssal environment just becomes darker and darker.

The phidi are said to live in shallow waters and reef. From this we can extrapolate that they are adapted to low-pressure waters, and that they like their water well-oxygenated thanks to photosynthesizing algae that can exist at shallow depths where sunlight is still plentiful enough.

Dacarnix
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Re: Steppes Hostile Environment Discrepancy

Postby Dacarnix » Thu Mar 25, 2021 1:19 am

I guess.

But when you put a seahorse alien in front of the average human, they're not going to immediately assume all of that.

The premier "sea" race whose very ships appear to be full of water having penalties on water planets and having "low fertility" on those planets feels weird to the average player.

nweismuller
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Re: Steppes Hostile Environment Discrepancy

Postby nweismuller » Thu Mar 25, 2021 2:42 am

I'm not too concerned about ocean planets being somewhat hostile to Phidi; I've just been advocating they have some tools to improve population capacity on ocean worlds because of the fairly limited selection of worlds Phidi can colonise at all. Ocean worlds having lifeless, unoxygenated waters are frankly quite plausible to me, and how I always pictured it.

Dacarnix
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Re: Steppes Hostile Environment Discrepancy

Postby Dacarnix » Thu Mar 25, 2021 2:50 am

"Lifeless" is just not what the word "ocean" conjures. Even inhospitable portions of ocean on this planet are teeming with life.

nweismuller
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Re: Steppes Hostile Environment Discrepancy

Postby nweismuller » Thu Mar 25, 2021 3:12 am

Right. But the 'ocean' worlds in Stars in Shadow, unlike the 'island' worlds, are, I believe, intended to be lifeless. Big sterile crushed unoxygenated water deserts, basically the water-breather equivalent of Mars.

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Arioch
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Re: Steppes Hostile Environment Discrepancy

Postby Arioch » Thu Mar 25, 2021 4:04 am

The open ocean on Earth is like a vast desert; the vast majority of sea life exists in shallow water near the coasts or on the sea floor. Those organisms that you do find in the open ocean are often only there because they're on their way to somewhere else. The open ocean at the surface receives plenty of sunlight, but lacks the minerals and nutrients that even simple organisms like like algae needs to grow. Animals that live in the open ocean have to be specialized for swimming long distances very efficiently on very little food, and need to be able to go long periods without eating.

The Phidi are not open ocean organisms. The food they eat grows in shallow reefs, and their homes and technologies (and farms) are built on the sea floor where it is still shallow enough to receives sunshine. Phidi might be able to survive in the open water on Ocean worlds, but they can't build houses or farms there -- there are no building materials or a stratum to attach things to. This is why they receive the "hostile environment" modifier, because they need to build special floating structures to live in and raise food, much like a terrestrial species would need to build pressure domes on an Arid world with a thin atmosphere.

The Threshers, on the other hand, are a) adapted for the open ocean, and b) are primitive, not needing materials for houses or technology.

In the current DLC2 test build, we are experimenting with a "Sargasso world", which is essentially an Ocean world with some kind of mega-sargassum organism that forms floating islands, providing a small amount of reef biome. But frankly I'm not sure it's really necessary... the new terraforming system will probably benefit the Phidi more than any of the other existing factions, as melting ice caps to produce more water biomes is one of the most basic transformations. The Phidi say, "Bring on the global warming!"


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