Race Techs

For what's not in 'Top Priority Game Design'. Post your ideas, visions, suggestions for the game, rules, modifications, etc.

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Daveybaby
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#16 Post by Daveybaby » Thu Sep 28, 2006 2:44 pm

Geoff the Medio wrote:The FO tech system has a few advantages that Civ's doesn't... In particular, we have both cost and minimum time to research, while Civ has just cost (and arguably a fairly low fixed minimum research time in some cases). So, by making the starting bonus techs available to all, but take a long time to research if you don't start with them, then a significant barrier to entry to other tech groups can be established, even for research-heavy empires (which produce many RP, but still take 40 turns to research a 40 turn tech).

I think the comparison isn't that relevant though, as Civ didn't intend to create long-term distinctions between the different civs. Had such been intended, it could have been achived within the Civ tech system by having the starting techs be a several-techs-deep tree, with various semi-redundant trees to choose from, etc. such that there's little reason to get all other civ's starting techs in addition to your own, and doing so would be relatively expensive and time consuming...
I wasnt implying that they were the same, just using it as an example to show that giving away cheap initial techs doesnt have any lasting outcome on your tech progression.

Your method of making initial techs expensive, then giving some of them away at the start of the game creates more of a barrier to entry than a continual advantage/disadvantage in a certain area.

If the barrier to entry is very high then youre effectively forbidding the player from using it in the early game. If it takes 40 turns to research then all your saying is 'races x,y and z cant use this tech until at least turn 40'. However if they get lucky and steal or capture the tech from another empire then they get a disproportionate advantage compared to stealing a 'normal' tech. Unless youre planning to make them unstealable and untradable.

And presumably the rest of the techs in that area are 'normal' cost to research. So once that initial barrier to entry is broken everyone's tech tree will start to look the same again. So this is just delaying what happens in civ.

I'd rather some races were better at beam weapons, and others better at missiles. You can definitely still research the other weapons, but if youre going to be able to pull ahead in one category youre probably going to want to exploit that advantage. Youre not constraining the players choices, but youre still encouraging diversity in gameplay.
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#17 Post by Geoff the Medio » Thu Sep 28, 2006 6:54 pm

Daveybaby wrote:...making initial techs expensive, then giving some of them away at the start of the game creates more of a barrier to entry than a continual advantage/disadvantage in a certain area.
That was what I was attempting to achieve. I was essentially proposing a way to support utilae's desired system where, at the start of the game, each empire has a prarticular ship type (biological, metal, etc.), and can chose to either focus on that type, or get more than one type and combine them.
If the barrier to entry is very high then youre effectively forbidding the player from using it in the early game. If it takes 40 turns to research then all your saying is 'races x,y and z cant use this tech until at least turn 40'.
There's a built in assumption here that an empire has less RP than it needs to research everything... so it's not just that you can't use the tech for 40 turns, but rather than it is a very time consuming and expensive choice at the start of the game to spend most of your RP for 40 turns on a tech that you already have an alternative for, when you could instead by spending that RP on multiple faster and cheaper techs elsewhere in the tree.
However if they get lucky and steal or capture the tech from another empire then they get a disproportionate advantage compared to stealing a 'normal' tech. Unless youre planning to make them unstealable and untradable.
They would be stealable and tradable, but within a more involved tech trade and steal system than the standard all or nothing system. Realistically, if a tech took 40 turns to research, it's probably not something you could steal and know all about or be taught all about in one turn. Strategically, doing your own research is made more viable, without the concern of having it immediately be stolen by espionage, while still making espionage viable (though it must be maintained over time to work). Even more importantly, espionage would be made not so one-shot win/lose random as is often the case with instant steal / instant trade.
And presumably the rest of the techs in that area are 'normal' cost to research. So once that initial barrier to entry is broken everyone's tech tree will start to look the same again. So this is just delaying what happens in civ.
It delays what happens in Civ if an empire choses to research redundant tech lines, though this might not be the case, at least near the start or middle of the game when doing so has significant cost in lost access to other techs you could have been researching instead.
I'd rather some races were better at beam weapons, and others better at missiles. You can definitely still research the other weapons, but if youre going to be able to pull ahead in one category youre probably going to want to exploit that advantage. Youre not constraining the players choices, but youre still encouraging diversity in gameplay.
This is a reasonable preference, though not universally held, AFAIK.

Regarding the specific example of weapons though, I think we could find better ways to distinguish races / empires... Weapons seem like they'd be somewhat independent of racial characteristics... a fish or a living rock can both fire a laser on their ship... but the fish and rock wouldn't like the same planets, and would have different ground combat abilities in different situations, and might have different ship crew morale properties, etc. All these would persist throughout the game, independent of tech... which might be a better way to distinguish races anyway... intrinsic properties of the race, not how well it can use a commonly-knowable technology that doesn't inherently depend on the race for its operation... (though obviously technobabble could explain any arrangement...)

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#18 Post by eleazar » Thu Sep 28, 2006 7:15 pm

Geoff the Medio wrote:Regarding the specific example of weapons though, I think we could find better ways to distinguish races / empires... Weapons seem like they'd be somewhat independent of racial characteristics... a fish or a living rock can both fire a laser on their ship... but the fish and rock wouldn't like the same planets, and would have different ground combat abilities in different situations, and might have different ship crew morale properties, etc. All these would persist throughout the game, independent of tech... which might be a better way to distinguish races anyway... intrinsic properties of the race, not how well it can use a commonly-knowable technology that doesn't inherently depend on the race for its operation... (though obviously technobabble could explain any arrangement...)
I agree with Geoff here. I think a better way to distinguish races, is not by changing the ease at which they can research certain kinds of tech, but by changing the ease at which they can utilize certain kinds of techs (or better) how well they can perform basic types of game actions. I.E. advantages or disadvantages at ground combat, diplomacy, research, population growth etc.

The player would have 2 basic research options with this kind of set up, instead of being pullled along a certain research path.
1) research the techs like mad that could help make up for his species natural deficiencies.
2) Or focus on his strengths, and try to avoid competing in areas where he is at a disadvantage.

Imagine you were playing a race of small, feeble telepaths. You could research for them awesome powered battle armor, so they could a juggernaught in ground battle. (which would appeal to twisted sense of humor) Or your could focus on using their mind-reading skills for espionage, to maintain their place in the galaxy. Simply giving them and advantage to researching spy-stuff, allows fewer interesting choices.

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#19 Post by Daveybaby » Fri Sep 29, 2006 9:01 am

Geoff the Medio wrote:Regarding the specific example of weapons though...
Yeah, that wasnt necessarily a good example of what i'd like to see in the game, it was just the first 2 things that popped into my head.
eleazar wrote:I think a better way to distinguish races, is not by changing the ease at which they can research certain kinds of tech, but by changing the ease at which they can utilize certain kinds of techs (or better) how well they can perform basic types of game actions.
Yeah, having thought about it this probably is better.
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#20 Post by eleazar » Mon Oct 02, 2006 9:15 pm

Since the roadmap indicates we'll have SMAC style governements, and both govs and aliens will be added in 0.8, it seems reasonable that alien "distinctives" will be part of the same system of bonuses and maluses.

"SMAC" is Alpha Centauri, by the way, the 4X game with the best government simulator that i've ever played. Over time you discover the tech to IIRC unlock 12-16 government options in 4 catagories. Each option has a unique set of bonuses or maluses in catagories such as industry, research, espionage, etc. In SMAC your "faction" (equivalent to race in FO) also had some of these +/- effects.

So it was relatively simply to understand the combined effect of your race and governance choices because they translated into +3 industry, -4 research, +6 espionage, etc. You didn't have to know exacly the in game difference between +3 and +4 research to make intelligent choices, (though that info was there out of the way). There weren't (usually) any special rules attached to government choices/factions, just easy to understand +/-s.

The only thing i'm not sure that this kind of system could support is an intuitive amount of distinction between organic and machine life, even highly abstracted rules about population growth and moral don't seem to make sense for machines and organic beings. But i suppose that's something for after 1.0.

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#21 Post by Geoff the Medio » Tue Oct 03, 2006 5:36 am

eleazar wrote:[In SMAC] Over time you discover the tech to IIRC unlock 12-16 government options in 4 catagories. Each option has a unique set of bonuses or maluses in catagories such as industry, research, espionage, etc. In SMAC your "faction" (equivalent to race in FO) also had some of these +/- effects.
See also Civ4 Civics.

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#22 Post by eleazar » Tue Oct 03, 2006 11:53 am

Geoff the Medio wrote:
eleazar wrote:[In SMAC] Over time you discover the tech to IIRC unlock 12-16 government options in 4 catagories. Each option has a unique set of bonuses or maluses in catagories such as industry, research, espionage, etc. In SMAC your "faction" (equivalent to race in FO) also had some of these +/- effects.
See also Civ4 Civics.
It's somewhat the same idea, but each choice has it's own unique rule to be remembered, instead of a +/- to a catagory. Which is IMHO less KISS and not trivially extendable to define racial distinctives.

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#23 Post by Geoff the Medio » Tue Oct 03, 2006 7:16 pm

eleazar wrote:...each choice has it's own unique rule to be remembered, instead of a +/- to a catagory. Which is IMHO less KISS...
Why is SMAC +/- is simpler...? There is a lot of semi-hidden complexity, in that there are arbitrary rules about the effects that depend on your ratings, like having a threshold for an effect... eg. +2 to Economy gives +1 trade per worked tile. This means that the ratings don't really correspond numerically to the magnitude of effects, making the ratings essentially arbitrary and numerically useless for comparing bonuses in different ratings. Also, you can get this +2 from a combination of sources, including using Free Market economics (+2), being Morganites (+1), having Wealth values (+1) or Eudaimonic society model (+2), and can have penalties that lower the rating from being Hive (-2) or Cult of Planet (-1). So any particular effect could be activated or deactivated or altered by a variety of different social choices, and combinations thereof.

IMO the Civ4 system is simpler. As far as I know, each civics choice has a single specific set of effects. It's clear what the effect will be from picking any particular choice. Picking some other civic might counteract that effect, but the net effect of each individual civic is always the same.
...and not trivially extendable to define racial distinctives.
How are unique bonuses/penalties for social choices different from those for races...?

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#24 Post by eleazar » Tue Oct 03, 2006 10:19 pm

Geoff the Medio wrote:
eleazar wrote:...each choice has it's own unique rule to be remembered, instead of a +/- to a catagory. Which is IMHO less KISS...
Why is SMAC +/- is simpler...? There is a lot of semi-hidden complexity, in that there are arbitrary rules about the effects that depend on your ratings, like having a threshold for an effect... eg. +2 to Economy gives +1 trade per worked tile. This means that the ratings don't really correspond numerically to the magnitude of effects...
(emphasis mine)
Yes, in SMAC the complexity is hidden under a veneer of + & -. "Hiding complexity" is the mark of a good UI. You can read the precise in game effect if you want, but you don't have to. Most of the time, you'll change governnments with a goal in mind, such as "i need to speed production". You don't have to read 25 unique descriptions, just look for the green industry symbols.

There's a big difference between imperfect correspondence and no correspondence. If the game is ballanced well, the correspondence will be close enough.
Geoff the Medio wrote:Also, you can get this +2 from a combination of sources....So any particular effect could be activated or deactivated or altered by a variety of different social choices, and combinations thereof....
So? It happens in an obvious and transparent way. So there are more than one combination of governments that give you a +2 to whatever. I don't see what the problem is.
Geoff the Medio wrote:IMO the Civ4 system is simpler. As far as I know, each civics choice has a single specific set of effects. It's clear what the effect will be from picking any particular choice. Picking some other civic might counteract that effect, but the net effect of each individual civic is always the same.
Civ4 is simpler in one sense, that there are fewer pieces of information the player must deal with, however there is no order or structure to that information. Each of the civics is an additional independant rule.
SMAC however is simpler to grasp and use, (if you ignore the weird interface) because each "civic" follows the same basic pattern of +/-.

How is the italicized quote any different in substance from "...any particular effect could be activated or deactivated or altered by a variety..."
Geoff the Medio wrote:How are unique bonuses/penalties for social choices different from those for races...?
I think it would be obvious.
The Klackons under a SMAC-like system could be given a +2 to industry, and a -1 one in something else, and it would seamlessly stack with the +/- of your governance choices. Nothing new for the player to learn. It would also be relatively easy to create unique user defined races, by placing reasonable restraints on how modified the race can be.

With a Civ4-like system you either have to invent new rules for each race or make a certain civic choice redundant, by granting it's benefit automatically to a certain race.



I should probably declare my bias, SMAC is my favorite 4X. Especially with the Alien Crossfire expansion. I do think there are some things they did horribly wrong. Some of the "futuristic" terminology they use cleverly masks simple concepts. Parts of the UI were incredibly annoying to use such as the UI to managing and creating different units. But i love the distinct personalities of each faction, the cool descriptions that come with each tech, the ability to terraform in 3 dimensions, and the distinct ways that the game may be won.

I'm not going to try to turn FO into an interplanetary SMAC clone, but i strongly agree with the Design Doc, that a SMAC approach to governments should work great.

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#25 Post by Geoff the Medio » Wed Oct 04, 2006 4:53 am

eleazar wrote:"Hiding complexity" is the mark of a good UI.
This is not (primarily) a UI issue... it's a game mechanic design issue. The UI should be designed around whatever system is chosen, not (primarily) the other way around. The ease of UI representation can be a factor in the decision, but there are other factors including making things easy-to-understand, modify and balance, and supporting good strategic dilemmas / decisions for the player, etc. IMO these are the more important considerations; making things appear neat and tidy by hiding the complexity at first glace is not.
You can read the precise in game effect if you want, but you don't have to.
That's not true; in SMAC the precise effect is usually the whole point. For example, nobody will care as much about getting from +2 economy to +3 economy as they do about getting from +1 to +2, because the effect of 1-to-2 is much bigger than 2-to-3. Placing that +1 somewhere else might be much more beneficial, as the numbers are meaningless to compare the importance of +1 between different categories at any given time / current numerical level.

If we use a numerical system, then we need the equal bonuses to be strategically as equivalent as possible. Obviously each game and empire and player will have different strategic needs, so a +1 here is never quite the same as a +1 there, and will not be the same between games / situations, but on average they should be roughly the same. Doing this with thresholded effects (eg. +2 for big bonus) would probably require similar-importance effects kick in at the same threshold level in all ratings. If we can do this, then a numerical ratings system might be better, as players can usefully compare the bonuses in the different ratings for strategic value, rather than dealing with separate ratings.

However, with social picks directly giving effects (not indirectly through a rating), understanding choices is simplified to picking between the available options in each category (mostly) independently. You're picking between the bonuses and penalties that each choice in a category gives, and don't need to consider what combination of choices across multiple categories will be sufficient to give you the minimum threshold to get some desired effect, while also considering what penalties and other bonuses the multi-category combination will produce, and what thresholds those other categories have and what effects will result, and what other choices you need to make to offset penalties to get other thresholdes, etc...

Part of the issue is how complex we want to make the social picks decision making process. Having to consider all the options and thresholds SMAC-like can be fun, though can also take away time and attention from other things that might be more fun for most people. We also need to condisder how to avoid making the "best" choices always the same in each game for a given strategic plan...
So there are more than one combination of governments that give you a +2 to whatever. I don't see what the problem is.
The (possible) problem is that it's not the simplest solution. Simpler is picking one choice to get / not get an effect.
Civ4 is simpler in one sense, that there are fewer pieces of information the player must deal with, however there is no order or structure to that information. Each of the civics is an additional independant rule.
SMAC however is simpler to grasp and use, (if you ignore the weird interface) because each "civic" follows the same basic pattern of +/-.
If all you care about is the +/- values, then yes, SMAC is simpler. But as above, the actual +/- values don't matter... they're a (meaningless) indirection from the actual choices and effects. Instead of "hiding" the effects behind non-obvious thresholds of ratings, Civ4 makes it clear what effect each pick will have. There's just as much non-structure in SMAC's system as there is in Civ4, but Civ4 makes that non-structure obvious. The actual effects in either game are fairly similar... +2 Morale vs. +2 experience to new units, +/-1 happiness for military units in/out of cities/bases, etc.
Geoff the Medio wrote:Picking some other civic might counteract that effect, but the net effect of each individual civic is always the same.
How is the italicized quote any different in substance from "...any particular effect could be activated or deactivated or altered by a variety..."
The difference is that in Civ4, if a civic gives +1 to something, it's a real something that's part of the game, and not an abstracted rating with nonlinear correspondance between rating and in-game effect. So you always get +1 to some real in-game thing from that civic, regardless of what other civics you've picked that affect the same thing. The "+1 to rating" isn't sometimes really like "+4 to in-game thing" but other times "+0 to in-game thing", as happens in SMAC.
Geoff the Medio wrote:How are unique bonuses/penalties for social choices different from those for races...?
The Klackons under a SMAC-like system could be given a +2 to industry, and a -1 one in something else, and it would seamlessly stack with the +/- of your governance choices. Nothing new for the player to learn. It would also be relatively easy to create unique user defined races, by placing reasonable restraints on how modified the race can be. With a Civ4-like system you either have to invent new rules for each race or make a certain civic choice redundant, by granting it's benefit automatically to a certain race.
Not all choices are on/off effects in Civ4. For FO, much like SMAC, if you gave an empire +2 (eg. University with research) to something, they could still get an additional +2 from a social pick that does the same (Knowlege values) without the first +2 being redundant.

Also, I'd want to have the possibility for different bonuses for races and for social picks. SMAC does this, eg. with extra or less drones for University or Peacekeepers, which has no analog from social choice effects. The net change in complexity and amout of things for the player to learn is not much, given that any building or tech can have fairly arbitrary effects in game anyway (like some SMAC wonders).

Ease of automatically balancing player-created races is possibly a good point, but IMO not worth designing the system around, and likely not a simple as you'd suggest... We'd need to weight different race picks either way... or make picks that are combinations of bonus and penalty effects, similar to SMAC or CIV choices. Note that in SMAC you don't just have to maintain +0 total social meters... you always have to pick from the categories, which have seemingly-random combinations of bonuses, which is necessary to maintain balance between the options.

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#26 Post by eleazar » Thu Oct 05, 2006 5:45 am

Honestly, i've read this a couple times, and i can't follow a lot of what you are trying to say.

A lot of it seems to boil down to the idea that a +2 to industry might have a different "weight" than a +2 to research. Since industry and research have distinct rules, it's not possible for them to be perfectly equivalent. By the same token there's no guaranteed parity between different civic choices. If not carefully ballenced either system will rot.
Geoff the Medio wrote:....Also, I'd want to have the possibility for different bonuses for races and for social picks. SMAC does this, eg. with extra or less drones for University or Peacekeepers, which has no analog from social choice effects. The net change in complexity and amout of things for the player to learn is not much, given that any building or tech can have fairly arbitrary effects in game anyway (like some SMAC wonders)...
I want to have lots of things too. But pragmatically, the alien distinctives should be simple, and easy to ballance. Based on my time at Wesnoth, balancing (if done well) will take much more effort than coding special abilities. Perhaps there will be unique rules for certain alien races— or better from a balancing standpoint, groups of alien races. As mentioned previously the differences between mechanical and biological life IMHO deserve some special attention. However, alien creation and ballancing become much more practicable, if you can tie into a +/- system already in place. Basing alien distinctives primarily on unique rules or effects, means that each new alien race must be balanced against all the others from scratch.

Imagine this scenario: In 0.9x it's determined that a govermental choice gives a disproportionate advantage to reseach.
• With a SMAC-like system, the effects of "+3 to research" get rewritten, and the gov choice and all aliens with a research bonus are both equally balanced.
• With a Civ4-like system, the civic can be rewritten as easily as "+3 to research" can, but then each alien who has a special rule for some sort of reasearch bonus, must be considered and probably tweaked. As yet another disadvantage, player created races would get out of balance with "official" races, as the exact effects of gov choices are tweaked.

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#27 Post by marhawkman » Wed Oct 11, 2006 8:59 pm

Geoff the Medio wrote:Regarding the specific example of weapons though, I think we could find better ways to distinguish races / empires... Weapons seem like they'd be somewhat independent of racial characteristics... a fish or a living rock can both fire a laser on their ship... but the fish and rock wouldn't like the same planets, and would have different ground combat abilities in different situations, and might have different ship crew morale properties, etc. All these would persist throughout the game, independent of tech... which might be a better way to distinguish races anyway... intrinsic properties of the race, not how well it can use a commonly-knowable technology that doesn't inherently depend on the race for its operation... (though obviously technobabble could explain any arrangement...)
this is a large part of why I did that weird proposal about removing preset weapon techs entirely. Stagnation occurs because you have "the best" peices of technology. If you write the game so that doing weapons research results in the creation of a weapons technology rather than simply making one available for use, then stagnation will only occur if people quit doing research.
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#28 Post by Geoff the Medio » Sun Oct 15, 2006 8:55 am

eleazar wrote:A lot of it seems to boil down to the idea that a +2 to industry might have a different "weight" than a +2 to research. Since industry and research have distinct rules, it's not possible for them to be perfectly equivalent.
But if you attach numbers to SMAC-like ratings, you're explicity stating that the values are numerically meaningful. However, this is not generally the case in SMAC; specifically: 4 isn't twice as good as +2, and +2 in rating A isn't equally good as +2 in rating B.

Separate effects, not from rating that are presented as numerically comparible, do not have this problem to the same degree. We can give +5 to planet meter A from one civic choice, and +30 to a different meter from choice B, and have these implied to be strategically equal by presenting them as side-by-side options. This can't be done as well with SMAC-like ratings, because even if presented side-by-side, they are still compared numerically, as this numerical comparison is the apparent point of the ratings.
By the same token there's no guaranteed parity between different civic choices. If not carefully ballenced either system will rot.
I suggest that balancing civics would be much easier than balancing SMAC-like ratings. With civics, each effect is either on or off; to first order, there is no dependence of the value of the effect on what other combination of civic choices is being used. With SMAC-ratings, the value of each choice depends on what other choices are being used. If you think that choice X is too good, you can't just lower its bonus to rating Q, because the value of that bonus might depend on whether or not you're also using choice Y.
...alien creation and ballancing become much more practicable, if you can tie into a +/- system already in place.
Tieing into the same system would also make the above balancing of ratings more difficult, due to more variations in the possible values of each bonus or penalty.
Basing alien distinctives primarily on unique rules or effects, means that each new alien race must be balanced against all the others from scratch.
IMO adding races shouldn't be made too simple at the expense of making more varied in-game play experiences for different races. Having unique effects, and perhaps significant rule changes related to races, would be necessary, or at least useful, for such experiences.
Imagine this scenario: In 0.9x it's determined that a govermental choice gives a disproportionate advantage to reseach.
• With a SMAC-like system, the effects of "+3 to research" get rewritten, and the gov choice and all aliens with a research bonus are both equally balanced.
This is a very bad thing, as now all other combinations of social choices or anything else that gives bonuses or penalties to research is affected by the balance change. With a Civics system, changing the effect of one civic doesn't not affect the balancing of other civics between eachother.
• With a Civ4-like system, the civic can be rewritten as easily as "+3 to research" can, but then each alien who has a special rule for some sort of reasearch bonus, must be considered and probably tweaked.
Why would you need to rewrite alien race bonuses due to a government choice being unbalanced? With a civics system, changing one doesn't change the other. With a combined ratings system, they do interact, leading to potential balancing problems from changing the meaning of the ratings, or the bonuses or penalties of social choices that affect the rating.
As yet another disadvantage, player created races would get out of balance with "official" races, as the exact effects of gov choices are tweaked.
Yes, if races and government choices had potentially conflicting effects, this could occur, however I don't see implicit balancing of player-created races as that important...

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#29 Post by eleazar » Sun Oct 15, 2006 10:10 am

marhawkman wrote:this is a large part of why I did that weird proposal about removing preset weapon techs entirely. Stagnation occurs because you have "the best" peices of technology. If you write the game so that doing weapons research results in the creation of a weapons technology rather than simply making one available for use, then stagnation will only occur if people quit doing research.
Can you elaborate or link? I'm not sure i understand what you're proposing.
Geoff the Medio wrote:But if you attach numbers to SMAC-like ratings, you're explicity stating that the values are numerically meaningful. However, this is not generally the case in SMAC; specifically: 4 isn't twice as good as +2, and +2 in rating A isn't equally good as +2 in rating B.
I don't know if you've assigned some technical meaning to the phrase "numerically meaningful," but the numbers are meaningful to the player unless the effects are terribly balanced. "+4 is better than +2 and not as good as +5" is enough. +2 in A will be equivalent to +2 in B, if the effects are balanced. Whatever your mathematical hangup on this is, i don't think it would impact the vast majority of player's ability to use and enjoy the system.
Geoff the Medio wrote:I suggest that balancing civics would be much easier than balancing SMAC-like ratings.
Presuming an equal number of options, that would probably be true— if there were no unique factions/races to consider.

The mistake that underlies nearly all your points in the previous post is the idea: a government and race modification to the same aspect of the game can be ballanced separately.
They can't, no matter how separate or unified the presentation is. For gameplay it's all part of the same ball of yarn, weather or not the code reflects that. If you change a civic that effects combat, races that have modifications to combat will need to be examined, if ballancing is to be done responsibly.

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#30 Post by Impaler » Wed Oct 18, 2006 1:53 am

Some thoughts on Utilae's proposal:

I like the Moo1 concept of per player randomization of what what Techs are even researchable, SotS which many of you have tried used this to a minor extent but Moo1's tree-less level based implementation was far superior in m opinion. But I digress, the point is that in addition to bonuses to the research RATE in particular catagories Moo1 also modified the random selections. A race would have fewer choices in catagories they were poor in and more in ones they were good at. This would give the player not only more choices and flexibility it also made all their stuff better in that catagory because of the level based feedback system. Players who had fewer choices were discouraged from persuing the few that they did have because the huge gaps ment research times were terribly long and you would be neglecting more profitable research elseware.

Given our Theory/Application split we have a means of combining a Tree Structure with the Moo1 system. All theories are researchable by all players (with varrying degrees of difficulty) but Aplications and refinments would be randomly limited based on racial Tech prowes. The robotitoids have a greater percentage of the Constuction and Enginering trees avalible to them but less of the Growth tree. Its also simpler for the player as both would be rolled into a single value "+2 Enginering Research and -3 Growth Research" etc etc.
Fear is the Mind Killer - Frank Herbert -Dune

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