New DLC

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zolobolo
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Re: New DLC

Postby zolobolo » Fri Dec 04, 2020 5:23 pm

bjg wrote:I enjoy the game, the terraforming doesn't specially annoy me - so I do enjoy the current system.

The two doesnt necesseraly exclude one another: I enjoy the game too but dont enjoy the current terraforming system

If a separate forum entry is needed with brilliant inforgraphics to understand a system, that system can be improved upon ;)

zolobolo
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Re: New DLC

Postby zolobolo » Sun Dec 06, 2020 8:43 am

Suggest Patrol Cruiser and Battlecruiser to have shorter tail drives so the overall length of each warship is in line with their level Dreadnought should be the longest

Did you plan out a planet degredation mechanic for the DLC?

In my opinion the largest advantage the player has ove the AI currently is the ability to control their range and when/where battles take place by bombing enemy planets into oblivion and then establishing outposts fter buildup of forces. Teaching the AI to do the same should be very tricky but by increasing the "cost" of boming planets in hte first palce should go al ong way of blaancing out these actions

The deterioration of planets should thus ideally be permanent and not removable at all even with late game tech (othewsie the above player advatange returns). If so, gaming the AI in early mid and even late games and sparse systems is not taht advantageous as planets bombed will e less valuable even after terraofrming

How terraforming should not outweight bombing "fallout" has not been clarified of course :)
Maybe the penalty for bombing could run parallel to planet types causing a metric designated fallout or somethign else that results in a flat decrease to max pop and improvememt count

e.g:
1. Each time a bomb is dropped there is an x% chance to increase Fallout by 1 unit (not persentage otherwsie it doesnt make sense with terraforming)
2. Each unit of fallout decreases max population AND improvement count by 1 :)
3. When player hits bombardment button, this potential effect if displayed as casualty estimate making player think twice bombing ANY planet :) For larger well defneded planets they will likely still risk this effect especially in late game which is ok but will not extenesively game the systme and jsut bomb each and every planet untill pop drops to 1 and they can take any planet with a single tank division. Even better: bombing small planets would likely be out of the question altogether forcing the player to amass more ground forces before an invasion OR risk getting completely useless planets that cannot be terraformed anymore to get better ones. This is a win on reducing bombardemnt misues and/ora win in reducing terraforming targets (as no pop and bulding can be hosted on these planets anymore to terraform them)
4. When fallout is applied to a planet, a small amount of temp or even permanent diploamtic penalty could be applied to the player causing it (you have permanently scarred the galaxy). This would not be casued whener bombing only when the special negative effect is rolled causing this balancing mexchanic to kick in even at late game where the player does not need additional planets anymore but can still loose all of its allies in quick order when not carefull with extensive bombing (a good amount of bombing would still be possible on late game though)
5. When terraformed, the bonuses are applied but fallout remains unchanged. Thus terraforming always gives a flat out bonus that does not decrease with this mechanic BUT it does not elavate the penalty and can be blocked by it if too extensive (3-4 on small planets)

Visually I owuld love to see an icon on that with devastated scorched eath or something next to the metric and the same texture splattered around the planets in numbers in line with the level of fallout/devastation that planet has suffered. If a planet has been flatlines fallout/devastation=initial max pop, then the entire planet could be covered with this texture

Optionally, a few of such completely devastated planets could be scattered around galaxies to have some more variety withouht havign too many habitabel planets to manage. Shipwrecks could also be placed next to these planets and logicaly leftovers from the ancient battles fought there and ther hulks stil orbiting the devastated planets

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Arioch
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Re: New DLC

Postby Arioch » Sun Dec 06, 2020 8:06 pm

zolobolo wrote:Did you plan out a planet degredation mechanic for the DLC?

The way it's currently planned, fallout reduces the habitability (max pop) of the planet independently of planet type and terraforming, scaling with the severity of the bombardment, and at maximum severity reducing habitability to the equivalent of a Barren world for that race. Fallout will need to be cleaned up to restore the lost habitability. This will be done as a production project, with the cost scaling with the amount of fallout, and habitability being gradually restored as the fallout is reduced. I'm not sure at this stage whether this would be treated as a terraforming project; it probably makes sense that it would.

Graphically, the idea is to represent the fallout on the planet with black clouds, and perhaps some surface features like burning craters, similar to what is seen on the Inferno world.

zolobolo
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Re: New DLC

Postby zolobolo » Thu Dec 10, 2020 10:21 am

Arioch wrote:The way it's currently planned, fallout reduces the habitability (max pop) of the planet independently of planet type and terraforming, scaling with the severity of the bombardment, and at maximum severity reducing habitability to the equivalent of a Barren world for that race. Fallout will need to be cleaned up to restore the lost habitability. This will be done as a production project, with the cost scaling with the amount of fallout, and habitability being gradually restored as the fallout is reduced. I'm not sure at this stage whether this would be treated as a terraforming project; it probably makes sense that it would.

Reduction sounds great
If there is a way to clean up fallout a project seems the best way to do it as it will then generate an alert when done and prompt for new build order but suggest to make it costly while running AND require large amount of shovels AND require research to prevent the removal of this penalty to be simple and worth doing for valuable planets

If I udnerstand correctly it will be possible to glass a planet into an uninhabitable state and thus colonisation would not be possible anymore and thus neither cleanup correct?

Arioch wrote:Graphically, the idea is to represent the fallout on the planet with black clouds, and perhaps some surface features like burning craters, similar to what is seen on the Inferno world.

Sounds good

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Re: New DLC

Postby Arioch » Sat Dec 12, 2020 2:02 am

zolobolo wrote:If there is a way to clean up fallout a project seems the best way to do it as it will then generate an alert when done and prompt for new build order

As with any other production project or terraforming project, there is a notification when it is completed. But unlike the production queue (which can't be idle; the AI will choose something for you if you don't), the terraforming task can be idle (and it will start the game that way).

The idea is that the terraforming task is separate from the production queue, and it runs off of the local shovel yield. Certain techs will unlock terraforming projects that you can run actively in the production queue, which will add more shovels per turn to the terraforming task. So you'll have both passive sources of shovels (ground and orbital infrastructure, and some population bonuses) as well as the option to boost shovel output with an active production project (like using your factories to blast greenhouse gases into the atmosphere, etc.).

zolobolo wrote: but suggest to make it costly while running AND require large amount of shovels AND require research to prevent the removal of this penalty to be simple and worth doing for valuable planets

I'm not sure I understand the latter part of this sentence. I can imagine techs that reduce the amount of fallout created with bombardment, and techs which speed cleanup, but I don't envision a tech that lets you ignore fallout. Though I suppose some extreme races (like perhaps the Tarib) may be less affected by fallout than others.

My gameplay goal is that a moderate bombardment before invasion should not present much of a penalty, but bombing the planet to the point where the colony on it is destroyed should present a significant penalty.

zolobolo wrote:If I udnerstand correctly it will be possible to glass a planet into an uninhabitable state and thus colonisation would not be possible anymore and thus neither cleanup correct?

I don't think bombardment could reduce the habitability of a planet to be worse than a Barren or Inferno, so as long as you have the proper tech, it should be possible to recolonize.

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Re: New DLC

Postby zolobolo » Sat Dec 12, 2020 10:45 am

Arioch wrote:
zolobolo wrote: but suggest to make it costly while running AND require large amount of shovels AND require research to prevent the removal of this penalty to be simple and worth doing for valuable planets

I'm not sure I understand the latter part of this sentence. I can imagine techs that reduce the amount of fallout created with bombardment, and techs which speed cleanup, but I don't envision a tech that lets you ignore fallout. Though I suppose some extreme races (like perhaps the Tarib) may be less affected by fallout than others.

You understood correctly the first part: having cleanup be a multi-step process that takes time and money. This is needed so that fallout canot be ignored by having jsut tech, money or time alone and thus slipping back to the current exploits of just boming everything into peaces (including hte blob pops :)).
The second part you didnt catch as there is no second part just the first one ;)
I dont propose ignoring fallout in the contrary: I propose makin it permanent as much as possible so that it realy make player think twice before boming cutting down both on exploits AND micro-mgmt. If the playser want a pristine planet even if its small, they should wait for starvation a bit or attempt invasion multiple times taking losses instead of just boming down the pop into a state whee it can be conquered in one go and withouth any real losses

Arioch wrote:My gameplay goal is that a moderate bombardment before invasion should not present much of a penalty, but bombing the planet to the point where the colony on it is destroyed should present a significant penalty.

Exactly: If by not much you mean there is still a chance to have fallout even with a single bombardemnt I fully agree :)
If so, the player feels a clear balance of pros and cons with EACH bomb dropped. At the end of that scale I think there needs to be an outcome which renders a planet completely uninhabitable othewise there is no real deterrant to do it from id-game on when player has money and tech and time and again it becomes the most viable strategy to just fully bombard and then resettle as it:
1. Takes minimal time to deny planets and thereby valuable resource to the enemy
2. No unhappy population when planet is captured and risk of revolt thereby
3. Denies range for enemy immidiately AND denies the option for the neemy to retake the planet AND pose a serios threat later by reachin player palnets (this point in itself is already a killer reason to completely eliminate a colony all the time when up against a stronger force or one that is roughly equalt to the player) aka: scourched earth tactic

If it is too easy to work around the fallout mechanic, it will be ignored as a temp loss of max pop is no loss due to how pops only gradualy increase.
If there is no total loss of habitability due to excessive boming, the above 3 points make fallout irrelevant from mid-game onward.

Basically, if the player has a stable ecoomy with room to grow, they will logically come to the conclusion that purging all other planets will put them in a defacto advantage on all accounts, so rapid expansion with even minimal bombing needs to have a palpable slowdown effect and also recommend having universal diplomatic penalty whenever a planet is made completely uninhabitable so that the AIs gang up against the player when utilizing excessive scourched earth tactics

To sum up my advice is:
1. Chance for even a single bomb to trigger fallout (it can be low like 10% but displayed and sometimes occur)
2. Total devastation of a planet preventing colonisation altogheter (unless maybe some very late game tech is used)
3. Scaling universal diplomatic penalty towards factions that have totall devastated a planet (the penalty could trigger already from generating any amount of fallout as well but total devastation is a more concrete and transparent metric. e.g.: "-20: You have completely devastated planets: Arcturus II and Arcuturs III")

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Re: New DLC

Postby Arioch » Sat Dec 12, 2020 9:47 pm

My goal is not to eliminate glassing planets as a viable strategy; it's to give it a significant opportunity cost, since right now the costs of recolonizing from scratch are trivial. I also think it hurts the sense of immersion and internal consistency when you can unleash a life-exterminating bombardment on a planet and then set up shop there as if nothing had happened.

Whether cleanup is implemented as a terraforming task or a production project (or both), it can't be rush-built, so having tons of cash won't let you completely avoid the cleanup time.

Making a glassed planet permanently uncolonizable doesn't make sense to me either in gameplay terms or in the internal logic of the setting. Completely removing the option to glass a planet is not my goal, as I don't think that's fun; if a player really wants to smash planets flat and is willing to accept the resulting costs, that's fine with me. From an internal logic point of view, I don't think bombardment of a planet could make it less colonizable than a Barren or Inferno world, which require pressure domes that isolate the colonists completely from the environment outside. A bombardment that strips off the atmosphere and destroys all life would essentially make the planet a Barren world, and a bombardment that turned the planet into a radioactive cloud-socked hellscape would functionally be the same as an Inferno world.

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Re: New DLC

Postby zolobolo » Sun Dec 13, 2020 9:11 am

Arioch wrote:My goal is not to eliminate glassing planets as a viable strategy; it's to give it a significant opportunity cost, since right now the costs of recolonizing from scratch are trivial. I also think it hurts the sense of immersion and internal consistency when you can unleash a life-exterminating bombardment on a planet and then set up shop there as if nothing had happened.

Glassing planets would still be possible and used as part of a strategy but the consequences would be higher:
1. Making affected planets uncolonisable for the rest of the game
2. Having neutral factions and even your allies turn against you if pushed too far (I think this just makes sense logically and mechanically)

Arioch wrote: it can't be rush-built, so having tons of cash won't let you completely avoid the cleanup time.

Yes that was my understanding if its done via projects (continuous effect untill there is something to do and no rushing) - If implemented I believe this is the best way as far as micro goes. Buildings should only contribute to shovel production and thus have an indirect effect instead of being necessary to terraform/cleanup at all

Arioch wrote:Making a glassed planet permanently uncolonizable doesn't make sense to me either in gameplay terms or in the internal logic of the setting. Completely removing the option to glass a planet is not my goal, as I don't think that's fun; if a player really wants to smash planets flat and is willing to accept the resulting costs, that's fine with me.

The option would not be removed comletely only the scale of the cost would be extended to an endpoint which did not yet exist. This both serves variety and a larger scale of negative effects leaves more room for nuances of the mechanic.
Similarly to enslaving: if we enslave eveyone in a medium sized empire, the moral of our citizens will not jsut drop to neutral :) Their moral will keep dropping untill the player is pushing for more enslavements. In case of planets it doesnt make sense to have negatvie habitabiltiy of course but there can be similar diplomatic precautions and the area around the player could be made effectively unusable. Its up to the player how far they push it, but if the worst case scenario is bascialyl getting the lowest tier (but still valuable) planet, then it is not that much of a deterrent to be overused in early game and absolutely no deterrent in mid to late game

I believe that mechanically the ideal scneario would be to even have negative habitability cascading beyond a point which in this case I guess would mean that planets close by would also get their habitabiltiy reduced (on top of making the bombarded planet uninhabitable) but such a mechanic is defintively too complex for the current system. It would of course be able to throttle usefullness of excessive bombardement a the player woul effectviely reduce the habitabiltiy of their existing colonies... but diplomatic penalty and unusable but visually engaging planets shoudl also do the trick to some extent :) This is likely the reason why we didnt have WW3: the detterant to reduce the hability of your own county worked wonders when conteplating if another country on another continent should be bomded ;)

Arioch wrote: From an internal logic point of view, I don't think bombardment of a planet could make it less colonizable than a Barren or Inferno world, which require pressure domes that isolate the colonists completely from the environment outside. A bombardment that strips off the atmosphere and destroys all life would essentially make the planet a Barren world, and a bombardment that turned the planet into a radioactive cloud-socked hellscape would functionally be the same as an Inferno world.

They would be worse as having massive clouds of nuclear fallout is bad condition for operating electronic devices needed to build anything (as well as biological ones :)) But we can of course rationalise both viewpoints

To be clear: I do think glass bombing should be viable and should be used but I also think it should only be used in small quantities
It should be a real decision instead of a reflex: deciding to glassbomb a planet should be contemplated across the entrie game: Can I afford to have a useless planet here and the permanent diplomatic penalty that goes with that till the netire game? I already glass-bombed 2 planets which lefft a hole on the easert border egion making progress lower there... and my ally might leave our alliance if I glass-bomb one more planet... Then agan this enemy faction is very strong. If I glass-bomb just one more planet, which one should be it? Which one brings the highest busst to the war effort? Or shall I leave it for another enemy that might be even worse to tackle?

If there are no permanent downsides to this, the effect can be ignored and the above equiation changes to:
Can I produce a new colony ship to colonise the barren world? How long will it take to build up the colony again? In early game the loss of time for both might be enough to not trivialize glass-bombing but as soon as the player has some god productio nand icome going on (from early mid game on) the answer is likely yes, and not too long :)

Also consider: Colonising barren worlds is already a not very fun aspect of the game as they are barely worth something and micro-intensive to build up (colonise, move suitable pops regularly mostly minor species) and then manually building the relevant districts to squeeze value out of them. The problem is that it is still worth doing so ignoring barren planets wil lput oyu in a relative disadvantage. Would not create new planets like these to micro-manage for some minimal value where the only reason not to do it if we are lazy and want ot avoid micro :)
Last edited by zolobolo on Sun Dec 13, 2020 9:30 am, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: New DLC

Postby Arioch » Sun Dec 13, 2020 9:20 am

zolobolo wrote: They would be worse as having massive clouds of nuclear fallout is bad condition for operating electronic devices needed to build anything (as well as biological ones :)) But we can of course rationalise both viewpoints

Barren worlds are bare to space, meaning habitat domes have to be able to block potentially intense radiation from the solar wind and cosmic rays. Inferno worlds are characterized by intense heat and acidic gases at crushing atmospheric pressure. This setting has shields that can absorb the effects of thermonuclear and antimatter explosions. I don't think any amount of residual radiation from bombardment would be a problem to mitigate against at the tech level at which habitat domes are available.

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Re: New DLC

Postby zolobolo » Sun Dec 13, 2020 9:36 am

Arioch wrote:This setting has shields that can absorb the effects of thermonuclear and antimatter explosions.

Agree sounds good. Could argue for the opposite but it really comes down mechanics. Your priorities make sense to me I would jsut prefer to have glass-bombing as a meaningfull and heavy decision throughout the game.

Havign a precentual chance for actuall creating fallout would also allow the player to avoid complete destruction of a valauble planet despite dozens of bobmes havign been dropped.

This can give you a sense of gettign away with murder: you were ready to take on both permanenty penalties and found that you actually got away with it...

Would not be the case in a simple linear scale which ends at the loest tier but stil lusefull planet. You just get a slightly more usefull planet at the end but you were never really risking much

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Re: New DLC

Postby nweismuller » Wed Feb 10, 2021 3:42 pm

Any news on how work is going behind the scenes on new updates? I understand things can be slow with just the two of you, but it's been a while since significant updates, and I'm hoping we get more to play around with soon. Keep up the good work, and thanks for a great game that's given me many hours of entertainment.

(But seriously, I am eager for the culture mechanics expansion, because I've always enjoyed strategy game mechanics that reflect the unique aspects of your internal society.

... this is possibly related to my peace-loving Phidi playstyle, where war is almost an afterthought, fought either to liberate Marauder slaves or because it was forced upon me by my competitors.)

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Re: New DLC

Postby Arioch » Wed Feb 10, 2021 9:10 pm

nweismuller wrote:Any news on how work is going behind the scenes on new updates?

We're making progress. Sven coded up the first pass on the new terraforming system, and we're currently doing internal testing on it.
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Re: New DLC

Postby nweismuller » Wed Feb 10, 2021 10:01 pm

What's that? New fertility ratings? Fertility isn't just low, high, or infertile anymore? Tell us more!

(And if this means there's a further incentive to stick agriculture on gaia worlds, I am all for it; it seems appropriate.)

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Re: New DLC

Postby Arioch » Thu Feb 11, 2021 5:53 am

nweismuller wrote:What's that? New fertility ratings? Fertility isn't just low, high, or infertile anymore? Tell us more!

(And if this means there's a further incentive to stick agriculture on gaia worlds, I am all for it; it seems appropriate.)

Things are still in flux, so any explanation is likely to be obsolete by the time I make it. But, hopefully (and if I can get my act together with some needed art assets) a beta test version will be available before too long.

(And no, no specific ETA at present.)

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Re: New DLC

Postby nweismuller » Thu Feb 11, 2021 6:37 am

Arioch wrote:
nweismuller wrote:What's that? New fertility ratings? Fertility isn't just low, high, or infertile anymore? Tell us more!

(And if this means there's a further incentive to stick agriculture on gaia worlds, I am all for it; it seems appropriate.)

Things are still in flux, so any explanation is likely to be obsolete by the time I make it. But, hopefully (and if I can get my act together with some needed art assets) a beta test version will be available before too long.

(And no, no specific ETA at present.)


Well, looking forward to that, whenever it rolls around. Thanks to you and Sven for all your hard work!


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