Classifying species levels

Obviously, we’ll have species from all the stages. We’ll need a way to classify them in-game. I know what you would think, but the Kardashev Scale it too focused on Space stage civilizations. This is a game about chemical, biological, cultural and technological evolution. We should have classes based on the stages or the universal requirements for ascension (motile body, engines, etc.). Each species or their home planet will have detail in their database that tells what class they are in the evolutionary chart. I have a simple class chart for this that might need some improvements:
0 = Abiotic class (chemical life)
I = Microbe Class
II = Multicellular Class
III = Aware Class
IV = Awakening Class
V = Society Class
VI = Industrial Class
VII = Space Class
VIII = Ascended Class
We should improve on this chart based on said restrictions to ascendence. If you have suggestions or your own approach, just let me know on this thread.

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I wouldn’t classify them with post-biological stages. It’d need to be purely biological classification, since it’s about species…
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Perhaps not this exact system, but I think that a system on a similar basis might work. Upon opening the Thrivonomicon, the species could have a series of classifications that would tell you everything you need to know without actually having to use text. I imagine there would be things like what element are they based on, the complexity of the organism, the level of sentience, the level of sapience, the level of technology and so on. I will try to put together at least a few criteria upon which the classification would depend.


Determines the chemical composition of the organism
Template – Base-# (where # is the element they are composed of)
Example – Base-C (basically all the life we know), Base-Si (one of the non-LAWK options)
Note: All LAWK organisms would probalby be Base-C


Determines the biological complexity of the organism (Abiotic-Aware)
Tempalte – Class-# (classes for # below)
0 – Abiotic
I – Microbial
II – Multicellular
III – “Aware” (the stage would correspond to aware, but the organism doesn’t have to really be aware, just with a similar complexity, for example a tree)
Example – Base-C Class-III (that’s for example you, me, your doggo, your tree)


Determines the cognitive capabilities
0 – No sapience, sentience or reactions to stimuli
1 – Reactions to basic stimuli
2 – Low cognitive functions (insects)
3 – Basic cognitive functions (most animals)
4 – Higher cognitive functions (dolphins, octopi)
5 – Basic sapience (us?)
6 – ? …


Determines the level of technology (Awakening - Ascension)
A – No use of tools or technology
B – Basic use of tools (magpies, ravens, octopi)
C – Basic crafting of tools (chimps?, prehistorical humans)
D – Agriculture?
E – Metalurgy?
F – Partial automation (circa industrial revolution)
G – Electricity
H – G.R.AI.N.?
I – ? …

You get the point. If you select a species in the Thrivonomicon, along the stats and so on you get something like this:

  • Base-C; Class-III; Neuro-5; Stage-G (that’s us humans)

or something like

  • Base-Si; Class-III; Neuro-7; Stage-O (for some sort of ascended god-like civ)

or perhaps something like

  • Base-C; Class-III; Neuro-4; Stage-B

This is just a very basic proof of concept, but I think this might be fleshed out and used to communicate information effectively. I would definitely change the words used for the classification (neuro sounds really weird), but I had no idea what to name them. Feel free to improve this system!


It could be used inside the Thrive Universe!

More criteria species could be sorted on could be physical statistics (weight [kg], size [m to some power], top or avg. speed [m/s], max power [N*m], potentially an abstract “combat stat” used for auto-evo determinations), or abilities (diet, movement, chemical or other outputs)
Civilizations could be classified based on primary power source, which would be slightly more specific than the current stage boundaries, and not mutually exclusive - hunter-gatherer, agricultural, environmental/green energy, fossil fuels such as coal/peat/oil, steam engines, electricity, nuclear fission reactors, nuclear fusion (currently unattainable), or something beyond fusion that is mere speculation.
The Kardashev scale is another classic way to classify civs, this time in a space-empire context. Since it’s very much an orders-of-magnitude scale (each level is using 100% of a cosmic system from planet, solar system, to galaxy and hopefully not beyond), it can’t be used for fine comparisons, but it’s a nice thing to have around.

The thing about silicon-based organisms is that they have not been proven to exist, and can’t be studied. Any potential biomechanics or chemistry would be just idle speculation without a couple of relevant Ph.D.s on hand. In the context of Thrive, that means that these would not be an official option, because you can’t balance a whole new set of game elements grounded in realism and fun, meaningful choices when the real part doesn’t even exist. I hate to be overly cynical about this, but the general consensus is that making two completely separate sets (carbon and silicon organelles can’t work together) of game rules and assets for something that won’t fulfill the game’s mission statement (balance realism and fun) is not something that people want to do. The other non-LAWK elements are individual parts (most prominently wheels and thermosynthesis) that aren’t real but could be an interesting choice to enable in addition to the rest of the game’s parts.
It’s totally mod stuff - you don’t have to follow the game’s rules when it’s not officially sanctioned. Maybe you could make an alternatively balanced game, perhaps revolving around a different energy source. Maybe instead of hexes there’s some other tesselating shape.


Definitely! Though, for that maybe the exact number (average value of the species, not all crocodiles are exactly 4,2m) would be more appropriate than a class.

I guess that’s true. I just got mildly carried away. So perhaps we should ditch the “base” thing. But I really like the criteria you proposed for the civilization classes, sounds exciting! As mentioned before, this post served just as a proof of concept for someone to perhaps handle it better, as I was currently gathering information for this behemoth of a post.
I’d really love to see someone come up with a fleshed out system for organic/technological/sociological and-so-on classification, I think it would be really great to have something like that in the game.

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Why not just call it something like ‘awareness’ or ‘intelligence’?

Wasn’t there a bacterium discovered a while back that has a silicon-based membrane or something? This is of course not an entire base, but it does show that the idea is more probable. (Not saying of course that silicon-based organisms should be added, more an offhand remark)

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I think these are called “diatoms”.

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One question. If you will be creature, “transitional link”(like mudskippers) or very simple, to be in that class, where it is, how the classification show that. Can the class getting lower?

I would just wish to point out in regards to civilization classification, what about development on planets or regions which may have more or less availability for given fuels? Even on earth, some regions (such as the island of Japan) are lacking in oil, and admittedly I don’t know off the top of my hand whether the conditions necessary for the formation of petroleum could be avoided in their entirety, could someone not have a civilization skip many of your proposed stages entirely?

First of all, a civilization of intelligent flora would not potentially not need to hunt, making it so they would never exist in a hunter gatherer civilization. An equivalent motus operandi for technological development here is fairly simple to imagine, that being a civilization developing from the necessity of coming up with defensive measures against fauna as opposed to means of finding one’s next meal, but the point remains: Intelligent flora, should it be possible, would not have to hunt, and thus could not truly be hunter-gatherers so much as gatherer-defender/builders, and would lack any incentive for nomadic behavior beyond perhaps resource availability or regional variation in what regions of their home planet can be inhabited.

Second is a situation I hinted at earlier, a lack of petroleum. Any civilization, be it based on flora or fauna, could potentially find itself deprived of oil, in which case numerous different options exist for alternatives, however none are purely ideal. Their technology would be heavier due to a lack of plastics, and they additionally would need to rely upon alternative fuels for the internal combustion engine, if they chose to use it at all instead of attempting to devise ever more efficient steam engine models, something which we have not tried doing to this day.

Civilizations could, possibly, be classified by their energy source as you propose, but since technology can deviate onto one of many branching paths based upon the situation surrounding a growing society, it would likely be far more consistent and less prone to inconsistencies if a civilization was instead classified using an adaptation upon the Kardashev scale, preferably one designed for ranking energy consumption on a scale prior to reaching what is traditionally labeled as a Type 1.

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welcome to thrive forums

Please no

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My apologies I was unaware of the existence on threads relating to the subject of intelligent flora.

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