Wheel of EP Thoughts

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

Moderator: Oberlus

Message
Author
drek
Designer Emeritus
Posts: 935
Joined: Thu Jun 26, 2003 8:07 am

#31 Post by drek »

Travel along along the wheel doesn't have to be chunky.

Terraforming could be an automatic function of the Construction meter. Each turn, the enviroment of the planet moves X degrees towards the inhabitant's preferred enviroment; the number of degrees computed based on the Construction meter.

Classfication (Optimal, Poor, etc. etc.) would be maintained for human digestion, but the actual numbers for EP's effect would be generated by a function based on distance from enviroment to preferred enviroment.

The end result: any race will slowly and automatically change a planet to a type more suitable for that race.

There could be a maximum effect; the maximum distance a planet's enviroment can travel from it's base enviroment. Perhaps one-half of an enviroment step away? The max distance could be a special empire meter, and therefore improveable via technology or racial picks. For example, a race of nanobots might be able to improve a planet all the way to their natural Barren.

The moo2-esque terraforming project would change the planet's base type. Then, the planet's actual enviroment would slowly move towards it's new base type.

User avatar
Geoff the Medio
Programming, Design, Admin
Posts: 12725
Joined: Wed Oct 08, 2003 1:33 am
Location: Munich

#32 Post by Geoff the Medio »

drek wrote:Terraforming could be an automatic function of the Construction meter. Each turn, the enviroment of the planet moves X degrees towards the inhabitant's preferred enviroment; the number of degrees computed based on the Construction meter.
I'm not too keen on using the construction meter for this purpose. IMO intentional terraforming should be done with specific terraforming projects. (There could be some unintended terraforming, ala global warming, but for any race / envirnoment that's overpopulated or over developed).
Classfication (Optimal, Poor, etc. etc.) would be maintained for human digestion, but the actual numbers for EP's effect would be generated by a function based on distance from enviroment to preferred enviroment.
I personally like the idea of making the "real" environment classification of a planet much less granular than the spokes on the EP wheel, but I figured this was quite against the purposes of the wheel as it was intended to function...
The end result: any race will slowly and automatically change a planet to a type more suitable for that race.
Again, terraforming shouldn't be automatic in your favour.
The moo2-esque terraforming project would change the planet's base type. Then, the planet's actual enviroment would slowly move towards it's new base type.
IMO it'd be better to have terraforming projects cause the change in environment directly. Depending on your level of advancement in whatever relevant environment / terraforming techs there are, the rate at which you can change a planet would vary.

The "official" environment classifiaction of a planet would depend where its actual environment "angle" is relative to the nearest "pure" environments (the current classes like Toxic, Terran, Barren). Assuming even spacing between environments around the wheel, anything within 1/3 of the distance between environments on either side of a pure environment would be classified as that environment. The stuff in the middle 1/3 would be labelled as transitional environments... like "Toxic-Swamp Transitional" for the player.

IMO, planets should also remember their original / natural environment, and the maximum distance away from the original environment you could terraform with a given technology would be a hard limit. As well, the rate of change of angle/environment would fall off as you moved a planet further from its natural environment. Further, terraforming would need to be maintained, and the cost of doing this would increase with distance from the natural environment, and the rate of decay back towards natural would increase as you move a planet further from its natural state.

Wolverine
Space Floater
Posts: 44
Joined: Wed Apr 13, 2005 6:07 pm
Location: Warsaw, Poland

#33 Post by Wolverine »

Geoff the Medio wrote: IMO, planets should also remember their original / natural environment, and the maximum distance away from the original environment you could terraform with a given technology would be a hard limit. As well, the rate of change of angle/environment would fall off as you moved a planet further from its natural environment. Further, terraforming would need to be maintained, and the cost of doing this would increase with distance from the natural environment, and the rate of decay back towards natural would increase as you move a planet further from its natural state.
Too much micromanagement. I would prefer to have one project like Terraforming that shifts the planet distance of one on EP wheel towards the environment suitable to particular race. You could then restart this project to move further on EP wheel.

Things should be kept simple, but no simpler.
The emperor wants to control outer space. Yoda wants to control inner space. That's the fundamental difference between the good and the bad sides of the force... - Mof, Human Traffic ;)

User avatar
Geoff the Medio
Programming, Design, Admin
Posts: 12725
Joined: Wed Oct 08, 2003 1:33 am
Location: Munich

#34 Post by Geoff the Medio »

How does that which you quoted of my suggestion, which proposes costs, limits and rate of terraforming, but says nothing about how the player makes this happen, imply more micromanagement than your suggestion, which says the player will have to repeatedly start terraforming projects to move the planet successive steps around the wheel?

Further, are the suggestions even mutually exclusive? I don't see why what you propose (a project that shifts the planet one tick on the EP wheel) could not be implemented with the properties I proposed.

Wolverine
Space Floater
Posts: 44
Joined: Wed Apr 13, 2005 6:07 pm
Location: Warsaw, Poland

#35 Post by Wolverine »

Sorry Geoff. The quote should be:
Geoff the Medio wrote: The "official" environment classifiaction of a planet would depend where its actual environment "angle" is relative to the nearest "pure" environments (the current classes like Toxic, Terran, Barren). Assuming even spacing between environments around the wheel, anything within 1/3 of the distance between environments on either side of a pure environment would be classified as that environment. The stuff in the middle 1/3 would be labelled as transitional environments... like "Toxic-Swamp Transitional" for the player.
I didn't quite get what you were thinking about (I'm not native english speaker). I thought that you'd like to have those transitional environments. I said it's too much micromanagement, because my concern was based on my "what if" thoughts, like: "what if someone attacks transitional planet and halts the terraforming"? How to handle this planet then? Do we have entirely new type then?
The emperor wants to control outer space. Yoda wants to control inner space. That's the fundamental difference between the good and the bad sides of the force... - Mof, Human Traffic ;)

Impaler
Creative Contributor
Posts: 1060
Joined: Sun Jun 29, 2003 12:40 am
Location: Tucson, Arizona USA

#36 Post by Impaler »

I am in favor of Big "chunky" changes in planet type. Descrete easily identifiable information is very desirable and we and already put a lot of work in the GUI for telling the player what the Environment of a planet is, adding minutia of half this half that will confuse the issue unessarily. When a terraforming project reaches completion the effects are simply instantanious, the planet changes type inbetween turns and all the ramifications of that change take effect.

We can justify this kind of Instantanious change with a "The day after torrow" senario, basicaly once climate reaches a critical tipping point between different environments cataclismic changes take place in a matter of days/weeks, millions are killed, cities are destroyed, global pandemonium ensues ect ect....

Our other major desision is maintance of terrafroming, we know we need to make terraforming removable by a second act of terraforming (say by a concoring race with a different EP), but can terraforming "decay" in the absence of active maintance expenditure by the host player? I think is should, each succesive level of terraforming away from initial "natural" state being more expensive to create and to maintain. Active player desision making though should be involved in terraforming as it represents a huge investment of resorces.
Fear is the Mind Killer - Frank Herbert -Dune

marhawkman
Large Juggernaut
Posts: 938
Joined: Fri Jan 20, 2006 9:34 pm
Location: GA

#37 Post by marhawkman »

Hmm... As is the game works with a few types. If the game was gonna have things a different way then it'd probably have some sort of meters like those in Stars!. I'd make it something you put into your emire's build queue much like buildings or ships.
Computer programming is fun.

SowerCleaver
Space Squid
Posts: 54
Joined: Wed Oct 25, 2006 8:59 pm

#38 Post by SowerCleaver »

Another passing thought -

I believe the probability of planet type generated at the beginning of the game is not exactly 1/9 for each planet type, according to the current EP wheel design, correct? If so, a race that has an EP of a planet type that is more prevalent than others has clear advantage in the early game for more habitable planets, and in the mid-late game for savings on terraforming costs.

How much advantage is this exactly? - this could be an headache for race balancing. I didn't play MOO3 that much, but heard gasbags were awesome because of this EP aspect?

User avatar
eleazar
Design & Graphics Lead Emeritus
Posts: 3858
Joined: Sat Sep 23, 2006 7:09 pm
Location: USA — midwest

#39 Post by eleazar »

SowerCleaver wrote:Another passing thought -

I believe the probability of planet type generated at the beginning of the game is not exactly 1/9 for each planet type, according to the current EP wheel design, correct? If so, a race that has an EP of a planet type that is more prevalent than others has clear advantage in the early game for more habitable planets, and in the mid-late game for savings on terraforming costs.

How much advantage is this exactly? - this could be an headache for race balancing. I didn't play MOO3 that much, but heard gasbags were awesome because of this EP aspect?
It's actually more complicated... to be truely fair, a side doesn't need access to an equal number of planets, but since planet's capacity varies, they need access to planets that can hold an equal number of citizens. Also a truly fair planetary ballance would take into account the number of races vying for a particular planet type. Probably a painfully fair system would also take into account how many planets could easily be terriformed to a races specification, and how much competition for those types there is.

I don't believe it's really been determined how to deal with this, since races are a long way from being implemented. It will get attention later.

Post Reply