Army discussion

(thunder) #1

I just want to talk about units,armies, squad editor ect.

(tjwhale) #2

One possibility I really like is that to make an army you have to pull pop’s out your cities. This means there’s a tradeoff between productivity and military strength. Also it means that pops in armies can gain new cultural traits or diseases in far away lands and then bring them back when they are disbanded.

It also means you can found new cities and forcibly move pops there, though they may not like that.

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(thunder) #3

Good idea. And it also would be good to have class system and it would pull out people from that class. And then you could pring that class to other cities,towns…

Edit1: and it would be nice when you upgrade units it would fill out the rest of soldiers, only if you would retrain them. It would be more expensive then upgrade, but you would have more soldiers, if it the town had enough population.

Edit 2: weapons! What weapons are would you create?

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(The Mask Knight) #4

if nukes or nuke-like weapons are created, I could see the possibility of playing as one of the surviving species of the fallout. maybe new sentient life could even get an invention boost from digging up the old species’ technology.

(thunder) #5

I like your idea I ve actually been thinking about this.

(He who abuses the search function) #6

IIRC some ideas were thrown around on the older forums of storing tech in building like libraries. If you don’t, you can ‘forget’ about a tech if you don’t use it for a while (because your species didn’t think it was necessary to teach it to their offspring). However, if one of those tech-storage buildings get destroyed you might also lose the techs stored there, making it a good idea to have multiple building, creating a system where you have to choose between how many of those building you want to build vs using the resources someplace else.

Maybe you could even give the building a maximum storage capability, making it even more difficult to spam them everywhere.

(tjwhale) #7

I like the idea of apocalypses and pushing the player back. I am also aware that most players really don’t like it, people want their numbers to go up and not down. Sid Meier tried putting “Dark Ages” into original CIV and the testers really didn’t like it and would often quit at that point.

So it’s something I think would be great to have and will need a lot of testing and to maybe be optional.


I disagree; strategy games right now desperately need an alternative to endless growth. As someone who just came off multiple dozen-hour EUIV playthroughs, I can tell you that there are definite limits to the sort of fun that can be had from map painters. I start off with grand ambitions - as the Mamluks, conquering/colonizing East Africa down to Zimbabwe, then going into India and the East Indies, locking the Europeans out and maybe taking Australia to boot. But I gave up halfway through, mostly because the first part went off as planned but it seemed like all the rest would just be more sending colonists to unsettled provinces and more opponents swallowed up with war after war. Same thing happened in my Vijayanagar playthrough.

But on the other hand, being crippled in the early game by a larger power or alliance makes me quit as well. Why is there no fun in surviving it and working my way back into some position of power? I don’t really have a problem starting off as a weak nation. I think the reason is because the very goal of the game, becoming stronger and controlling more provinces or a higher percentage of global trade, creates a feeling of pointlessness when the momentum is against you rather than with you. Once you’re on the retreat, it’s just an endless grind where you have to wait decades for even the smallest opportunity to get a leg up on your opponents. The ultra-deterministic tech system is also part of the problem. So think the design of certain games, like Civilization, may be the reason for any sort of regression mechanic being unfun.

But try a game like Frostpunk, for instance, which is about building civilization in a post-apocalyptic environment that gets worse as the game goes on - victory is about creating a city that can survive the endgame, which is going to trash your economy, progressively render many of your buildings useless (you just survive on your stockpiles at a certain point), and kill a lot of citizens. The tradeoffs are choosing between penalties rather than bonuses, but somehow it remains both fun and engaging to play. This is why I think the 4x model may not be good one for the post-Aware stages.

And of course there is Dwarf Fortress, which spits in the eye of Meier’s philosophy (and then tears the eye out to sauté and eat it). Much more of a roleplay experience than an empire-building one. Maybe that approach is better?

(tjwhale) #9

Yeah these are good points. I guess one aspect is there are many different types of player, some like only success, some like a richer experience with more struggle.

Rimworld is an interesting example of where struggling and losing can be really fun. I really like CK2 and sometimes bad things happening in that game is great, when your insane king starts acting out it becomes really interesting.

One thing re map painting is I’m very keen that it should be possible to play in many different ways. For example if you want to be a city state and just trade that should be possible, or if you want to be the pope, only work on religion and try to run the world that way that should be possible. Map painters are boring I agree.

I also don’t particularly like 4x space games, I think they become a bit stale. I think things we could do to mix it up include

  1. Each “universe” could have different “future physics”, for example what is dark matter? We don’t know, what if in one playthrough it’s a particle and you can use it to build wormholes and in another it’s an error in the measurements and a new quantum theory emerges which lets you generate vast amounts of energy from subspace. If there were several possible ways things could work out that would make scientific research interesting in the late space stage, you really would be discovering things.

  2. It could be the case that late game mega projects (like dyson spheres or the ascension gate etc) take a vast amount of resources. For example you have to gather up 10 suns and smash them together to make some kind of ultra-weapon. This would mean you can only do a couple of these big projects per playthrough and depending on which ones people try and build the game comes out very different.

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I’m sorry, but that sounds awful. Not only is it counterintuitive but outright antistrategy. I think the correct approach would be making (soft) mutually exclusive paths, or spheres of knowledge and technology for players to explore. This is what Stellaris tried and failed to do. Their idea was that some species would be psionic, some would focus on technology, and some would manipulate their own biology, and that all three paths would be interwoven with an empire’s unique ethics - but in reality, all empires go for the same tech, develop the same infrastructure, and aside from slavery have little interesting in the way of internal politics. The ascension paths and ethics ended up being little more than a few forgettable bonuses (which was probably inevitable for a 4x game).

One thing that had potential, again squandered, was the tech system. Three distinct trees, but they might as well have been one. When your citizens start embracing psionics, they should care less about technology and maybe even reject it as distracting or profane. A fascist state could use genetic engineering to create a swarm of expendable slave-soldiers, but their reliance on them ends up softening their culture, so the slave-soldiers are all killed and genetic engineering outlawed. Not saying that these are hard tradeoffs - it should be possible to, say, have both advanced technology and psionics if the player really tries for it - but the Stellaris vision of research giving you !moar power! which you then possess forever is inherently goal-oriented and restricting.

What I want to see is an end to strict goal-focused gameplay entirely. In Stellaris you can roleplay as you play the game, but in Thrive, roleplaying should drive the game. Here’s an example: your species is in industrial stage. An alien ship visits, and the encounter goes badly. They leave a third of the planet a radioactive wasteland.

This thrusts the entire world into chaos until a totalitarian state emerges to bring order. The attack also creates a huge upsurge in fear, xenophobia and distrust for aliens, as well as a focus on developing spacefaring technology. The result is a highly militaristic, order-obsessed technocracy that invades and enslaves other races to fuel its industry.

This state of affairs lasts until a new religion begins spreading in the colonies, rejecting the authority of the government and advocating pacifism and nature worship (based on a reading of their species’ old traditional beliefs). The government tries to stamp it out, but a slave revolt distracts them and the persecuted religion is able to escape, winding up in a far-off mercantile empire. There they build an immigrant community and try to lay low. A couple centuries pass, with the community growing wealthy and influential in their new home. Some of them organize an expedition to see what happened to their oppressors. They find only the shattered and broken remnants of their species on a few worlds. A civil war had weakened the empire, and that in combination with foreign resistance had finally put an end to them. Most of them were killed in the genocidal purges that followed as their former slaves sought revenge.

The now wealthy religious community begins to contemplate returning, citing the need to get away from the depredations of capitalism and embrace a natural lifestyle. They begin immigrating back, using their resources to clean the air and water on their homeworld and seeding it with plants. Over the the course of a century the planet becomes a spiritual paradise, with communities living in giant forests genetically engineered to suit them and a council of shamans providing governance. They do not have a military, but their experience as an immigrant group taught them much about diplomacy - they make themselves too useful to be worth attacking to outside empires and serve as a buffer state and neutral territory where hostile leaders can meet.

I mean, that obviously won’t all be modeled ingame, but that’s where the roleplay comes in.

  1. It could be the case that late game mega projects (like dyson spheres or the ascension gate etc) take a vast amount of resources. For example you have to gather up 10 suns and smash them together to make some kind of ultra-weapon. This would mean you can only do a couple of these big projects per playthrough and depending on which ones people try and build the game comes out very different.

That seems to assume that strategy on a grand scale will be what the Space stage is all about.

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