Terraforming

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gaerzi
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Terraforming

Postby gaerzi » Wed Jul 17, 2019 2:12 pm

Terraforming is probably the most puzzling part of the game right now; I needed to write things down to get how it works, so I figure it could be useful to other people. And yes, I know that a complete overhaul is planned, so any information about how it works now is hopefully going to be obsolete later.

Nevertheless, here are the rules as far as I can tell, based on an ongoing game that I'm using to figure stuff out (Easy difficulty, 99 stars, basically won already) and from the Orders\terraforming.lua file and whichever other files seem relevant based on a Shift-Ctrl-F search (but I am wholly unfamiliar with the Lua syntax, since all previous programming experience being in C-family languages).

  • Terraforming options appear if they'd increase a planet's max pop figure with either the current population mix or your empire's main race.
  • Atmosphere Generation lets you terraform barren planets into the Arid and Glacier types.
  • Terraforming lets you terraform planets to Garden and Island.
  • Hive Worlds lets you terraform into Hive planets; but this technology is racially locked to be only available to Ashdar (both types), Gremak, and Yoral.
  • Coral Bloom lets you terraform into Coral planets, but this technology is locked to Phidi.
  • Atmospheric Condensation combined with Energy Refocusing let you terraform into Iceball planets, but these technologies are locked to Orthin. Atmospheric Condensation is also required to terraform Inferno planets, so only the Orthins can do something with them: other races have to hope they can get some Tarib colonists instead.
  • Sentient Ecosystems lets you terraform into Paradise planets, however I have no idea how this is unlocked.
  • Inferno planets can only be terraformed by the Orthin (see above).
  • Cold planets can only be terraformed into Iceballs (so, by the Orthin) or if you have the "Artificial Suns" technology, which again I don't know how you get.
  • Warm and Hot planets can be terraformed normally, but if you want to terraform them into Iceball planets you need the Orbital Mirror technology. Since Iceball is the only planet with a Max Temp, it's the only "additional terraforming option on hot worlds" that this tech gives you, making it utterly useless to every race besides the Orthin. So it would probably make more sense to have Orbital Mirrors be locked to Orthins, but Atmospheric Condensation (a tech useful to any non-Tarib race that encounters an Inferno planet) be available to everyone.
  • Glacier planets are sometimes Warm, and therefore terraformable. Steppe and Iceball planets are always Cold, however.
  • Ocean planets can be Small, but Island and Garden planets cannot. So you can easily remove all of its water to turn it into a small Arid planet, but it's absolutely impossible to only lower the oceans enough to make island chains emerge.
  • There's no technology terraform planets into the Ocean and Steppe types.
  • Unique planets are not protected against terraforming, I can turn Gremal into a Garden planet. (However, Verrold is Cold, so I can't touch it).

I gotta play as the science bugs now.

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Arioch
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Re: Terraforming

Postby Arioch » Wed Jul 17, 2019 5:05 pm

There is also a useful terraforming guide here:

https://steamcommunity.com/sharedfiles/ ... =872111746

However, the whole system is going to change substantially in the next expansion.

bjg
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Re: Terraforming

Postby bjg » Wed Jul 17, 2019 5:17 pm

I don't think you can terraform (small) hot barren planets without a Orbital Mirror. Even more puzzling - Gremaks can't terraform small hot barren planets at all (while Orbital Mirrors are available for them). I didn't ask questions about that (lately) because the terraforming is about to be reworked.

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Arioch
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Re: Terraforming

Postby Arioch » Thu Jul 18, 2019 4:24 am

The proposed new terraforming system simplifies the transition diagram (and hopefully makes it more intuitive), and makes it the same for all factions. Whether habitation domes tech is required for colonization, and habitability according to biome type, will still depend on race.

Image

gaerzi
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Re: Terraforming

Postby gaerzi » Thu Jul 18, 2019 12:52 pm

That's a much better system, closer to the one from MOO CTS but more grounded in realism.

Seems to be heavily focused on modifying the atmosphere, I'd like to suggest having techs for modifying the soils too. Desert, arid and steppes planets could exist in both low and high fertility versions; those with native lifeforms on them would be high fertility while those without would be low fertility and improving the soils would be necessary for further terraforming efforts. This could require Food Replicators and Industrial Replicators in order to quickly generate all the billions of tons of microorganisms needed. High-tech soil technologies could also justify the creation of artificial islands (going from ocean to island) and even entire continents (going from island to garden). Inversely, the same techs could be used to erode soils and release moisture, going the other way around from garden to islands to ocean.

You could also have an Atmospheric Shielding technology that would allow planets that normally can't get an atmosphere (worlds that lack a magnetosphere strong enough to protect them, whether because they're too close to their sun, too small, or their core is too cold) to be terraformed. This one could be an offshoot of Force Fields.

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Arioch
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Re: Terraforming

Postby Arioch » Thu Jul 18, 2019 5:22 pm

Terraforming in the sense of altering the planet type focuses mainly on temperature, atmospheric pressure, and abundance of surface water. "Fertility" right now has more to do with environmental factors than it does specifically with soil quality, but it's worth reevaluating how fertility is considered.

I'm not sure that soil quality is something that should be modeled. The aquatic races won't care at all about soil quality, and even the terrestrial races will most likely be using some form of hydroponics on an alien colony world; even the best alien soils will contain toxic chemicals and be devoid of necessary microorganisms. Application of both chemical and biological fertilizers is a local, manual process and is extremely low tech. The only global processes for soil processing that I can imagine would involve self-replicating mechanical or biological agents, which would require the highest levels of technology but which I think would probably still be unsafe for use in the presence of colonists and their infrastructure.

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Shastar2005
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Re: Terraforming

Postby Shastar2005 » Fri Aug 09, 2019 1:44 pm

Hi,

as i get more into this game, i come to the point to read about the terraforming processes.
It is a sience for itself, so far i can see it.
And it is not very logical imho and this makes it so confusing.
To make a island world into a oceanworld or a glacier world into a gardenworld makes sense. Make a Barren world into a desert or arid world its fine. But...

You can never make a waterless desert planet into a ocean or glacier world because it is lacking of the most important thing you need: Water!
And you can never make a ocean world with hundreds kilometer deep oceans to a desert world or hiveworld, because you have all that water that must be put else where.

And we speak in both cases of billions and billions cubic kilometer of it. You also could move planet surfaces from one planet, to another. It is impossible.

And for that, ocean is not like ocean. To live in shallow water under the suface is quite different from deep sea life with enormous pressure and without any light source. So a ocean world must have less space to settle even if you are a phidi, you would need swimming cities/shores.

So, i have no clue who designed this "terraforming" thing, but he/she did it not very seriously. :roll:

This graphical chart makes a good overview, and some planet types should be limited in their terraforming possibilities.
"Get off my land."

zolobolo
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Re: Terraforming

Postby zolobolo » Fri Aug 09, 2019 8:08 pm

Shastar2005 wrote:This graphical chart makes a good overview, and some planet types should be limited in their terraforming possibilities.

Yes, the above is the working doc of the developers - the current system is a sort-of placeholder and is not fully fletched out

akkamaddi
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Re: Terraforming

Postby akkamaddi » Fri Aug 09, 2019 11:55 pm

Shastar2005 wrote:You can never make a waterless desert planet into a ocean or glacier world because it is lacking of the most important thing you need: Water!


Actually, there is evidence that several of the larger asteroids are more than 25% water ice.

Drag an asteroid close to the planet. Shot it to break it up. Let the pieces burn up on re-entry. The vaporized water will cause a massive amount of humidity in the atmosphere, leading to massive rainfall. Water settles in to basins, and you get oceans.

This is actually where most of the water on earth comes from.

There is growing scientific evidence that water is actually common in the galaxy, it's just frozen.

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Arioch
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Re: Terraforming

Postby Arioch » Sat Aug 10, 2019 12:20 am

There is subsurface water on rocky worlds and even airless worlds like Mars. And water is just a chemical; it can also be created from other substances that contain hydrogen and oxygen. There's also quite a lot of it in asteroids and especially comets.

But I agree that Ocean worlds cannot practically be converted into terrestrial worlds and vice versa. That's why it's not an option in the proposed new terraforming chart posted above.

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Shastar2005
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Re: Terraforming

Postby Shastar2005 » Sat Aug 10, 2019 9:02 pm

okay, you caught me. :D
You are right. Even under North america, so scientist estimate, is more water then in all oceans on earth. But this is 650km deep in the Earth's mantle and our deepest advance is 14 km depths. And also the water is inside a stone, under very very high pressure (3 million atmosphere) and over 6000 degree celsius. So, even in future, open a planets core and extract a ocean full of water is hard to imagine.

The asteroid thing seems more possible, but, to do this, is like a mass instinction for every life. i bet its an very bad idea to do it on a inhabited planet. :shock:
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Arioch
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Re: Terraforming

Postby Arioch » Sat Aug 10, 2019 9:35 pm

Shastar2005 wrote:You are right. Even under North america, so scientist estimate, is more water then in all oceans on earth. But this is 650km deep in the Earth's mantle and our deepest advance is 14 km depths. And also the water is inside a stone, under very very high pressure (3 million atmosphere) and over 6000 degree celsius. So, even in future, open a planets core and extract a ocean full of water is hard to imagine.

The pressure of superheated water is actually what drives vulcanism, so encouraging vulcanism by, say, slamming asteroids into fault lines should release a lot of water. But no, this is not an environmentally friendly solution for an inhabited planet.

Shastar2005 wrote:The asteroid thing seems more possible, but, to do this, is like a mass instinction for every life. i bet its an very bad idea to do it on a inhabited planet. :shock:

I think you could probably do controlled crashes of comets below a certain size threshold in uninhabited regions without triggering a global "impact winter", but again this is probably not very nice for existing inhabitants.

On cold arid worlds like Mars, there is a lot of water frozen on or near the surface in permafrost. Just warming the environment can trigger the release of a lot of surface water... as some of the folks in northern Siberia are finding out now as the temperature there rises.

I think a combination of deep drilling to tap subsurface water, melting polar caps and permafrost where present, and surface reactors that convert atmospheric CO2 into water using surface compounds could produce significant amounts of surface water even on the driest desert world; it's just a question of time and energy. And as you mention, the Earth's oceans are actually fairly shallow and represent only a tiny fraction of the crust's mass... much smaller bodies like Europa and Enceladus have much, much larger oceans than Earth.

gaerzi
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Re: Terraforming

Postby gaerzi » Sun Aug 11, 2019 8:38 am

Shastar2005 wrote:The asteroid thing seems more possible, but, to do this, is like a mass instinction for every life. i bet its an very bad idea to do it on a inhabited planet. :shock:


Image

akkamaddi
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Re: Terraforming

Postby akkamaddi » Sun Aug 11, 2019 2:11 pm

So... Arioch, put a pin in that too? :lol:

When spying is fleshed out, if we have sabotage missions, sabotaging a terraforming operation should let us take out a pop unit or two.

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Shastar2005
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Re: Terraforming

Postby Shastar2005 » Mon Aug 12, 2019 6:14 pm

gaerzi wrote:
Shastar2005 wrote:The asteroid thing seems more possible, but, to do this, is like a mass instinction for every life. i bet its an very bad idea to do it on a inhabited planet. :shock:


Image

:lol: :lol:
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