In the code, it looks like there is some groundwork for the addition of both human and ashdar marauders.
There are also pieces of the Zubelengen, what appears to be an aquatic, non-diplomatic ("repulsive") enemy race with a larval, hunter, and soldier form. I think that would be a good addition. It would be justified to make them a bit overpowered, but incapable of making any kind of alliance. As an AI, any diplomatic overture would simply get a wall of alien Lroem Ipsum text in reply, then disconnect. As a player, diplomacy options would be "start fighting" (declare war) and a very expensive "stop fighting", but no alliance options.
Along this line, I posted this idea about the Gremak on the Steam forum:
"Also, a really dark potential game mechanic for the Gremak could be a buildable improvement structure "Abattior", which would be an alternative to an agriculture structure. This should be restricted to one structure per planet. Slave population growth is cut by -75% (so slave population growth is 25% normal speed), but it produces two food units per slave pop unit on the planet. "
A possible mechanic with a "repulsive" race would be that instead of slavery, you have "consumption". If you conquer a planet, you start with the option "Consume", which instantly destroys one population unit, produces ten food units, and causes both civil and diplomatic unrest (like purchasing slaves or harmonizing). A good additional effect would be that every 20 or so surplus food produces one Zubelengen Larva, so consuming a conquered planet would produce population and a little extra cash from food surplus.
And early science tech would be "Experimentation", which opens that as a second option on captured pops. That also destroys one pop unit, but produces 500-1000 research points. It would be far more powerful than experimenting on slaves, but again, destroys the population. It may also produce a few units of food. You know, leftovers.
An advantage of this consumption/destruction based approach is that no art assets are required. (Unless Arioch is laughing maniacally as he reads this, in which case buckle up for a really dark turn!
) This means that unlike slavery and harmonization, it could be used to purge the minor races. It may be logical for Sven to have a noConsumeForFood racial flag, as I could see Tinkers, Harmonized races, and perhaps Viscids not being tasty, but I think all races should be consumable for science. The noConsume flag would also mean that player-made races would immediately fit into this model without alteration. (My Kanparush and Bound Spectrals would fall into the noConsumeForFood category, but would make cool science experiments!)
And, Sven and Arioch, if the consuming race is not where you wanted to go with the Zubs, something nasty inspired by, say, The Thing in the modern movies or "Who Goes There" (actually an alien weaponized Shoggoth from "At the Mountains of Madness"), the fungal zombies from "The Last of Us", or a consuming parasite like MoO3's Ithkul would work. When they conquer, the native pops are consumed for food and science (perhaps as an action, perhaps automatically consuming one pop per turn). If one of their worlds is conquered, the population always revolts, and make them very strong so they tend to reclaim the planet or do a *lot* of damage as the last goes down fighting. Basically, orbital bombardment and a purge would be the best option.
And I just wandered into the weeds there.... sorry. Back to Zololbolo's post:
>> - Art is easy: a new race can bring new art for pop units, ships and stations
Um... Art is easier to implement than new mechanics, but actually creating the art is not easy.
This IS NOT directed at Zolobolo: Let's all remember that it takes just as much natural talent, training, and practice to make good art on a computer as it does with paper or clay. The devs have obviously put a lot of work making good assets that follow a very clear motif (military sci-fi with a touch of steampunk and just a bit of whimsy).
Also, the way they implement the artwork is not exactly easy. Look at my modding post about the Abbizi. The implementation was obviously done by someone accustomed to optimizing for print. The end result is not very intuitive, BUT it makes for a very crisp picture that scales extremely well and creates a quality finished product.
Sorry for another digression, but I've had the dismissive sneer with, "Oh, you did it on the computer..." turned on me, even with my photography. (As if my computer bought a camera and polarizing filter, drove an hour, set it up, took 100+ pictures, did post-work, had the pictures printed an matted and framed and displayed in a museum...) Again, not at Zolobolo, but I want to be careful with the "art is easy" part of this.
But I do agree with the statement overall. My digression on the Zubs above is about how this seems to be partially in the game already. I would love to see this.
>> - New stars and planet types
Oh, yes. I had a long post on new planet types. Also, changing population fertility from planet type to temperature / atmostphere / hydrosophere (/gravity?) modifiers would make new planets easier to implement.
>> - Regarding combat, it is much harder to bring something new on the tactical level without considerable re-balancing but most importantly without re-scripting the AI ...
Actually, the new Harpy types and weapons (that awful area discharge thing!!!) seem to be a good step here. Overall, they tend to be very challenging fights. I think the only tweak I would make is having the Proteans be a bit faster, and making their explosions bigger. Turn them into mines.
>> - Making not breaking: The two biggest flaws currently in the game are semi-functional diplomacy and AI that does not utilize special tech. When considering the content of the DLC I would try to avoid deepening these aspects and implement new content in a way that actually resolves them
Summary: The new faction would not include new mechanics and specialized tech unless it can be incorporated into existing elements and thus already used by the AI. E.g.: The new faction would have a different building for Rea search Labs that would fulfill a similar role as the original labs but have an automatic secondary effect that strengthens the weak parts of the AI (like machine alter but automatic effect).
This is where I was going with the "Consume" mechanic.
>> - Such a new building would have the benefit of giving bonus also to the player who captures it and not just to its owner (like machine altar) making planers with these structures precious targets that should not be bombarded out of kingdom-come
OK, I was actually going in the *opposite* direction here with the "orbital bombardment is the best option", but i do see your point.
Actually, with the machine altars, I think there is a simple fix: If a Machine Altar is on a planet occupied by a non-tinker species, the distributed computing and analysis infrastructure can be re-purposed to scientific ends. Each Machine Altar produces an additional +1 Science for non-Tinker species.
>> - The mechanic in question is also easy: as diplomacy is the most under-developed part.
Yes. I would love to see the ability to barter for techs and planets. Also, as I posted elsewhere, the ability to end a war with "demand conditional surrender" and "demand unconditional surrender" would be a very good addition.
>> - Diplomacy is a great target not just because it is underdeveloped but also because it can be fixed without tampering with the AI: can be scripted around, as the game rules and mechanics are simple enough to translate these into diplomatic events and adding a probability would make them much harder to anticipate and thus fun to react to
I would add improving the random events here. MoO3's system was actually very robust, and I added many that were potentially to be added to the last Strawberry mod patch. Diplomatic random events could really shape events. Random events would increase or lower your influence, or even the desire for war among other empires. Having a diplomatic scandal and suddenly two or three of your allies cancel your non-aggression treaties makes the game take a very sudden turn.
>> - In summary an example: New race with hulls that have per-configured flak cannons
The Sandbag Cannon was actually the first weapon I modded into MoO3.
I think the main drawback is that there are weapon attack "drawers" (sound and graphic models), and weapons are assigned a drawer with a color overlay. The Flack Cannon would need a new drawer. It would be short range (only 6 or even 3), fast rate of fire, moderate accuracy, very low damage.
I there was a downside to the Sandbag Cannon in MoO3, which may be an issue here. Because of the way the AI chooses weapons based on raw damage and rate of fire, the AI *really* liked the Sandbag Cannon because of the high RoF. There may be a limitation with the Flack Cannon that the AI likes it too much because it is fast. (And, yes, a Spinal Mount Sandbag Cannon was fun.)
>> or advanced science stations, a building that produces science as well as influence, and thus geared towards Alliance victory using the enhanced mechanics.
>> The Phidi would not loose out on this, as they focus is on trade and only secondary focus on Influence
More robust Outposts would be really cool. I've been using the trick with dropping the generators once you get Solar Panels and adding a science station.
I would add:
Mercantile Outpost Module: Counts as an additional trade point for all races in range. Produces +2 Coins per turn, +1 Coin for each alien race with a trade treaty within range. For Phidi, +2 Coins for each alien race within range, treaty or not.
Diplomatic Outpost Module: Generates +1 influence per turn for each alien race within range, but with a maximum bonus of +1 influence per race. (So, you can't spam them.) For Phidi, it is +1 influence and +1 Coin.
Military Module: This would be the most difficult to code, but the military module would give +1 sensor range, -10 unrest to all pops within that system, and +10% to hit on all attack rolls within that system. If we bring back the Phidi Sales Commandos, then once the Sales Commandos is researched, all Phidi Market structures in a system with a Military Orbital gain +1 Coin per turn.
>> How does this translate into the original published roadmap?
>> It would mean these elements:
I essentially agree with the list.