A new beginning
The story of Galactic Civilizations is the story of the future. Our future.
Galactic Civilizations III is actually our 6th edition that provides you with the framework to tell that story (we made 3 OS/2 versions back in the 1990s).
With each iteration, we get a little bit better at it. Sometimes, like when we change engines, it takes awhile to surpass where we were in previous editions. For instance, the OS/2 version of Galactic Civilizations was, in most respects, better than Galactic Civilizations II until we made the Dark Avatar expansion for it.
For Galactic Civilizations III, it probably wasn't until we made the Crusade expansion that we finally surpassed GalCiv II.
Galactic Civilizations III: Retribution takes us in a direction that the series has never touched before. It's a new beginning.
The Grognard's Guide to Galactic Civilizations III
From a sheer major feature point of view, Galactic Civilizations III had more than previous versions when it arrived in 2015. But it was lacking certain features that were a real sore point to players, which we began to address with the expansions. Namely:
This is my quickie non-marketing evaluation of each expansion. You can kind of see why Mercenaries was the least beloved. This is, by no means, a comprehensive list of features for each one. Just the ones that I think most players would agree were important. For instance, Crusade re-did the Invasion system. I don't think that feature is any better or worse than what was there before, so I didn't count it.
Crusade is widely considered to be "the big one," and it's easy to understand why: citizens.
This was a game-changer. It re-did the game's economy in a way that is both a lot easier to understand, and yet a lot more nuanced. It's one of those rare features that greatly simplifies the presentation of the game without dumbing it down. In fact, it makes the game a lot more sophisticated.
The other two features I mentioned, Espionage and the Civ Builder, are pretty big deals - depending on how you play. The Civ Builder is almost as important to me as the Citizen feature. The espionage part is fine. But it's not on par with the other features.
So let's take a second shot at this chart, this time assigning a value to each feature:
Now, this doesn't mean that I don't think Intrigue wasn't a really good expansion. It just means that Crusade was monstrously good.
So what about Retribution? As you can see, I don't think any of the new features of Retribution match the importance of the Citizens feature. Moreover, if you don't really care about the new species (Drath and Korath) or the new campaign, then Retribution only has 15 to Crusade's 16 points.
Of course, this is just my own rating system, yours might be totally different.
Right from the Start
The final version of Retribution should look better. We're still working on the visuals. But you will notice, right away, some changes. First, you start with an Artifact. You always start with one.
Your home planets are much different game to game. And if you look closely, you will notice that what's available to construct on turn 1 has changed.
Sometimes, there will be artifacts that can be enhanced so cheaply that you may want to use them immediately rather than building that shipyard.
The other thing you may notice is that there's a Colonization Center improvement. This is a new, one-time improvement that will increase production, population, and growth.
This will be the most controversial change in Retribution. Default growth has been reduced from 0.1 per turn to 0.01.
Population growth can be increased (especially later in the game via the new immigration technologies), but simply colony rushing early on is going to have consequences.
Here's the next thing you're going to notice:
The stars are substantially further apart. This makes the star systems feel more vast (before we had them practically on top of each other) and makes Hypergates interesting. You can still choose to go up the engine tech tree to make your ships faster, but investing in Hypergates provides an interesting alternative.
Same number of techs, more meaning
You'll also notice that most of the optimization techs (where you would choose one of three) are gone. Instead, there are new techs that help flesh out your strategic choices. For instance, you don't simply get Space Elevators - you research them. Spatial Manipulation gets you onto the Hypergate tech path. Ignore my spelling mistakes btw, they'll get fixed.
There are many more things you can choose to build than before (potentially), but they are delivered now via the tech tree moreso than before.
Space Elevators are important in the true Sci-Fi sense that we just kind of brushed off in previous expansions. The ability to cheaply get things into space is going to be a pretty big deal. Besides being able to build space elevators, you'll also be able to build supply ships that can send raw materials to your colonies. I'll talk about that in a second.
Building scouts is a lot more useful now that stars are actually separated by quite a bit of space.
Under the covers, we've modified our galaxy generation system so that what's near players when they start is a lot more balanced. So you won't have to deal with games where one player has tons of great planets near them, while you get nothing. Everyone will have a reasonably equally good (or crappy) start.
Building your civilization in Retribution
So now I have a class 12 (Earth is class 10) planet. Wow. That's great! can't wait right?
If you look closely, you will see that its raw production is only 3, so it takes forever for anything to get built. This has been a challenge in all the GalCiv games. This is why some players find the game a little boring at this stage. Sure, your capital planet is doing just fine, but your other planets just are a grind to get going.
Before Retribution, you'd just wait for the population to grow, build a bunch of cities and eventually, hours later, it's kicking butt. But from our logs, we know we lose a lot of players during that period because it's just not interesting.
Moreover, if anything, Retribution would aggravate this problem because population growth is 10X slower by default. So you can't just turn-time your way out of this problem. This is where Supply Ships come in.
Players can build Supply Ships that carry 100 production with them. When they get to a colony, it's quickly unloaded and used. If there's nothing to build at that moment, it stores that production for later. This is a game-changer because previously, if there was some boon to production, it was wasted after a given planetary improvement was constructed. Now, it gets stored and used later.
Having planets store excess production materials was crucial to add to the game because we didn't want players to have to micro-manage sending out supply ships.
Supplying your civilization
So now you can build up your worlds a lot faster thanks to sending Supply Ships. However, there's that tricky distance issue.
Do you design each Supply Ship (which is consumed when it reaches its destination) to have a bunch of engines? That's expensive but it'll get them there.
Do you build a Hypergate?
The Stellar Architect is a new type of ship which allows for the construction of Hypergates. It takes two hypergates to create a hyperlane between them. But doing so will double the speed of any ship on that lane.
Now you build a Stellar Architect who can construct a Hypergate. You will need to build a second one to create the other end.
Once you build that second Hypergate, it will ask where you want to link it.
And now you can fast-track supply ships.
Using hyperlanes is automatic. You don't have to do anything - just click on a destination and your ship will find the fastest route there, using hyperlanes whenever available.
Meanwhile, my planet is still slowly building up, thanks to having some asteroids nearby to help. It's still very slow going, but help is on the way.
The Supply ship arrives with goods from Earth. Each turn, it will use whatever it takes (until it runs out) to finish the current planetary improvement being constructed.
So instead of it taking 12 turn to get through the Factory, Space Elevator, and Shipyard projects, it only takes 3 with the Farm being finished on turn 5 (instead of it adding an additional 14 turns).
Hypergates also make it a lot more viable to send citizens around your territory because they get there twice as fast, which makes traveling far less dangerous.
To conclude: sending a Supply ship built at Earth to Viola drastically reduced construction time.
Now this planet is built up enough to be reasonably self-sustaining.
Pacing Pacing Pacing
Hypergates and Supply ships not only expand on your strategic options, but allow you to customize your civilization a lot more specifically while simultaneously reducing the mid-game doldrums of waiting for your planets and ships to be worthwhile.
Let me know your thoughts in the comments! Still lots to talk about.
Journal #1 (Current)
Journal #9 (Coming Soon)
From the thread below I understand it's rather soon:
Over all I love change. These changes look good. I agree with some here that the 'colony rush' is usually the optimum way to win the game.
So part of our problem is production. Production is tied to population which now has a huge hamstring on growth. I am fine with the change. Nerfing both the ability to rush colonies and keep population growing fast is ok. However, I think you need to give players a path to bypass these nerfs at the expense of something else.
I would take a stolen idea from Civ VI and add a new citizen or two that can boost growth of a planets population to its cap. Make this back up to the .1 rate but that planets net research and/or money contribution to the empire stays stagnant at zero until that citizen is recalled. The recall should be free or cost much lower than other specialized citizens. This gives the Player again a choice to live with his hamstrung growth or go on a month long love/procreation festival to boost a planets population while negating its intrinsic value as an empire resource.
I am on the fence on hyper-lanes. On insane maps the travel time is snail pace and double a slow to a plod may make a change, Ill have to see.
Can we improve the travel times of hyper-lanes without having to research faster engines? If so than that is good.
I can see Horemvore making fleets of engine-less ships with zero defense but 100 missile attack boats, fleeting them up and 'tubing' them to the target. Just a thought.
I like the changes proposed and look forward to seeing how they change the games pacing.
I like the slow down to colony rush because, as Frogboy said well, the rush is generally mindless and about getting the most planets--who cares if they are good or not. I like to play wide empires sometimes--but I would love for it to be possible to play tall. And this seems to be a step in that direction, as does the introduction of artifacts.
Are there other changes that will help with creating a tall empire? For example, are there tech tree changes you can elaborate on that will influence a civ's direction (tall or wide)?
Also, with the changes to population growth, will there be changes to some of the population-related mercenaries (and for that matter, are mercenaries ever going to be rebalanced?) or ideology choices? I could see a free 5 population colony ship as a major advantage early game--or +2 population per colony as likewise a huge--perhaps overpowered--boon.
Just some thoughts.
Looking forward to the expansion!
Can we get some information on Artifacts and what some do?
This approach ignores the other variables at play; spatial/geographic considerations, borders, influence, resources, position on the map. Colonization isn't just about raw production for an empire; that's an overly simplistic view. There's a strategy involved - at least for some of us who have put 1600+ hours into your game Frog. Where am I on the galactic map? Which direction do I want to focus colonization efforts toward? Am I near a wall or the center? Is a hostile faction close by (thus shared borders will become an issue)? Does it make more sense to focus survey and colony ships in one direction or another? It usually does, especially to put some distance between you and any hostile factions (which is one reason Eyes of the Universe is so valuable). Geography often matters and this is something that, until now, has given the game a lot of replay value. Never having the same map twice, and having the map matter, has been a fun factor. Planet quality was already important when it came to prioritizing colonization efforts; you want the Precursor worlds before anything else; food takes priority for a biological race; certain resources (Epimethius Pollen, Armor Spice) can make one planet more favorable than another.
But at the end of all of this, it's still basic math. Real estate is finite and you don't want to give away worlds to other factions. And you especially don't want to give away worlds inside your "borders" to other factions. That's where the geography comes into play. Leaving those worlds to other factions, because now the population has been nerfed, and now you end up with worlds mixed together, borders smashed all over the place, a lot more anger, influence is a total P.I.T.A.... it's messy and frustrating (not fun, just to be clear). There's absolutely NOTHING fun about staring at an uncolonized world in your "borders" that you cannot colonize because of what really amount to artificial restraints. Nothing fun about any way you slice that. The idea that it should be a superior strategy to ignore worlds and not colonize them and thus allow other factions to colonize them flies in the face of math, logic and reason.
You can play with elements that make one planet more desirable than another, but you can't escape the math or geography of the real estate.
In the end - colonization is a zero-sum game. You can make some planets more desirable than others, but it's still a zero-sum game, and any person with a modicum of thinking skills is intuitively going to understand that and want to colonize as many planets as possible. To not do that flies in the face of reason.
cbholmes, reading that last post ... the volume level seems high. Maybe that's based on assumptions, but I don't think this has to be a yelling match about ideas--we can all talk about what we like and don't like, what we want and don't want, etc., in a civil way.
This sounds like, "If you don't agree with me, you're stupid." Kind of a non-starter for a dialogue.
Anyhow, if I misread your attitude, I apologize.
I won't speak for anyone but myself, but I don't think the issue at hand is necessarily about colonizing as many planets as possible--ultimately. I think it is about the pace at which this happens in the game. So I politely disagree that what Frogboy is saying is overly simplistic. The colony rush is about grab everything you can as quick as you can, and I look forward to something more meaningful that requires me to make hard choices.
Do I take the nearby Class 8 planet with Harmony Crystals or do I take the much more distant Class 13 planet that has 2 food? Right now, I'd just take both and not bat an eye. Where is the strategy in that? I know--I can't get administrator blocked/etc. But still, right now, I don't feel like the initial colony rush offers much in terms of meaningful choices. It involves prioritizing all of the planets and getting them right away (relative to the distance of your shipyard to the planet).
I agree that starting location matters. I agree that where other races (particularly hostile ones) start also matters. I agree that geography matters. And I really think the game is doing a good job of that--though there is always room to make things more interesting/add features.
I don't know that in the new system this will mean giving away worlds inside your borders to other factions. They'll have the same limitations and have to make careful decisions, too. This isn't 100% certain to prevent them from taking planets you want, but I am fine with that, personally. I do understand your opinion and respect it, though, because I hate it when another civ takes a planet in my borders.
The whole game is artificial. All of the restraints and everything that is allowed is arbitrary and ultimately at the desire of the developers. Why can't I colonize a Class 0 world? That's an artificial restraint--build a bunch of domes or whatever. Why can't I use asteroids as a weapon against a planet and totally decimate it from space (e.g., in B5 the Narn homeworld). Everything in the game is constrained in some way by how it has been developed. Having an uncolonized world that you cannot colonize because you don't have the population or resources to do so safely--that is not an artificial constraint, necessarily. It would just represent a change in the way things currently work.
I politely disagree with the idea that the strategy is to ignore worlds and not colonize them. Again, I think the issue is pacing. And every civ will be on the same footing fighting the same constraints--so it is still a rush to get to those remaining uncolonized worlds. It just requires deeper and longer-term planning, careful prioritization, and some luck.
Any person with a modicum of thinking skills is intuitively going to agree with you? That's a bit arrogant--not necessarily wrong--but in this case, I think your argument has some room for discussion before concluding definitively that you know everything and that anyone who doesn't agree is a simpleton.
I think your points have some merit, but I see some flaws, too. And I'm sure you'll see flaws in my thinking. That's fine--and I welcome your response (be it polite or otherwise).
At the end of the day, I look forward to seeing what the dev team comes up with. I may disagree with some choices, but I don't expect any given choice to ruin what has been and continues to be a great game.
You left off part of Frogboy's post:
Again, I don't think this is about colonization and real estate so much as it is about pacing. And that will affect all players. Adding nuance here (new techs/immigration/improvements/etc.) is welcomed, in my opinion. Maybe I'll finally see a need for growth-boosting improvements...
Trust me, it's a lot more fun.
If that is the sole reason for nerfing the colony rush the way you have, why on earth would you not reduce the RP?
<GlobalTriggers> <OnEvent>OnColonisePlanet</OnEvent> <Target> <TargetType>Planet</TargetType> </Target> <RandomDurationMin>15</RandomDurationMin> <RandomDurationMax>25</RandomDurationMax> <Modifier> <EffectType>ProductionPoints</EffectType> <Target> <TargetType>Colony</TargetType> </Target> <BonusType>Multiplier</BonusType> <Value>-0.75</Value> </Modifier> </GlobalTriggers>
So simple. Yes I hate the idea of the way the game seems to be going for the next expansion in regards to explore and expand. I am a simple guy, simple solutions usually work the best.
I don't see your solution as totally wrong-minded, Horemvore, but I am not sure I agree that exploration and expansion will be less fun as a result of the proposed change--just different. Now, that depends on play style and whatnot, so I'm not saying you are wrong, nor am I trying to invalidate your opinion on it. I'm just speaking for myself that I like the idea of exploring and looking for a planet that is just right for my next colony--not just whatever I happen upon. This makes exploration more meaningful, to me, and makes expansion more strategic.
Again--that's just me. I also like to play with sparser galaxies, and I know a lot of people like a lot (a lot a lot) of planets.
There are three ways to solve the "mindless colony rush":
1) Make most planets uninhabitable without improved colonization technology. This makes the initial colony rush short and sweet, then empires pivot to researching colonization techs to get otherwise uninhabitable worlds. This can spread the colonization phase well into the late game. It also makes the mid game more interesting because you have to balance continued colonization efforts with not getting blown up.
2) Racial Preference. If planet environment was a spectrum instead of distinct "good" or "bad", then each race could have it's own preferred environmental niche. This makes colonization a non-zero-sum game.
3) Danger. GC3 splits colonization and warfare into two more or less distinct phases. That's bad. Unbridled colonization has no consequences. If there were bad guys with lasers in the early game, blindly sending out colony ships everywhere would get you into big trouble. I thought the original Master of Orion did a good job of this, where colonization was more toothy and dangerous.
I like all three of these ideas.
#1 and #3 are more easily implemented--#1 is just XML changes and #3 sounds like adding more pirates.
I'm not sure I understand your entire meaning for #2--this could be partly accomplished via XML changes, but depending on what you mean, I think it would take more than changes to the XML to accomplish.
But all are worthy ideas to consider, I think. And I hope the dev team takes time to think about this.
#1 is mostly changing some ratios, yes, but also requires making those late-game colonizations more meaningful. They need to be worth your time.
#3 is not about more pirates. It's about making military options meaningful in the first few turns. Maybe i can't colonize Tau Ceti just yet, but i can shoot you full of holes if you try to settle it first. Or space monsters guard a planet. Or whatever, just... more pew pew. Right now the game is all about turtling until Just The Right Time. I wish it was more of a knife fight from the get-go.
In the original MoO, colonizing in the first few turns is dicey because: 1) Fleets are armed right from the beginning, 2) You can invade planets immediately. Together that means that colony ships get shot down and fledgling colonies are easily swiped if you don't provide air and ground defense. In GC3, you have to research Invasion technology first which means players can colonize with impunity.
#2 would indeed require retooling the system, albeit not a huge change. Basically, each planet exists on a spectrum of adaptation and each race has a preferred spot on the spectrum at which it performs best. That way, you're race's garbage planet is my race's goldmine. This instantly creates dynamism in the galaxy because we not all simply competing for the same resources.
If I play an aquatic race and you play a land-lubber, I know that we are not competing in the same space, so it's okay to relax and be good neighbors. Meanwhile the Torians next door live in the same niche i do, so i need to find a way to "take care of them".
I tried this, the current AI does not handle this very well.
mines- even more necessary with greater distance between planets
Huge aid for any strategy , Isolationists and Pacifists.. defend your territory without declaring war ! Make the mines formidable !
1. Deploy and Remove
**** the minelayer (constructor ship with mine units) would have to expend a unit to lay a mine in a hex and likewise to remove it the sweeper (constructor )would have to expend a removal unit it or sacrifice a ship or two to eliminate it... a special sensor (or SPIDER citizen) is necessary to detect the mines would make the constructor so armed unique ***********
2. effects.. damage
A, B and C strength based on tech level researched with radial effect
a frontier that ships invading take damage depending on the strength of mines or type, chance of damaging certain ship systems like the warp drive etc.. other random effects
invisible to the unfriendly force and detectable with minesweepers , detonates on non-allied or non-friendly ships
mine once layed in a hex, represent a field affecting adjacent hexes as well , lay one every other hex to make your perimeter , with limitations on proximity and making enemies if placed too close to other races
3. purpose..defense...keep out trespassers
when it is not our turn - we dont want to be ravaged !!
prevent a wild transport from wreaking havoc.
used to Isolate a resource or planet until it can be colonized , setting up bases , influence , camping out in your space with attackers
stop ships flying right through your space without penalty. .
Defending your commonwealths and allies too !!
The pirates could defend their bases too.
Just imagine putting a minelayer on auto to lay a minefield around your system !!!
How does that sound ?
I think I proposed that years ago, but do it again now in the light of above discussion:
Why is population (of biological races) growth a fixed value and not a function of current population and housing (cities) like in MoO2? Few people can produce few offspring so population growth is very slow right after colonization because of the low starting population. Growth increases until about half of the existing space is filled and then begins to decrease because of people having difficulties to find a place to live.
And there is an other possibility to counter colony rush: make planets dependent on some resources that initially can only produce the home world and that have to be physically shipped (like with the new supply ships) to colonies until they are able to produce this resource themselves, what would require a certain level of development and thus time. Those resources are necessary to nurture the population and/or fuel production so that without the population will decrease / production tends to go down. That would also make everybody think about placing colonies inside another empires "borders" (apart from diplomatic reasons) when supply ships can be shot down easily.
Btw, that brings me to think that placing a hypergate inside the borders of a foreign empire should have massive negative diplomatic impact if your are not on very friendly terms with that empire.
I can understand the in-game reasons for wanting separate Ages, but I also disagree with that kind of limitation, so I changed them... all better now. The parameters are set in TechAgeDefs.xml in the Game folder; mine are set to zero.
Also, taking credit for proposing stargates in GalCiv? Karma -1.
Firstly... using "ALL CAPS" does not enhance your argument. It emphasizes, but does not clarify. Or rather, it clarifies your emotional state, not, your ideas. Since your emotional state is irrelevant as to whether your ideas have merit... it doesn't really assist you. I resort to all caps on occasion, many of us do, but I also recognize it for what it is... a vice, not a virtue. I highly recommend that people use said vice sparingly... at this point (JJ) your usage is so frequent, it is actually detracting from your points.
Secondly. Space mines are no different than say... orbital defense platforms, or any of a myriad possible ways of passively defending a planet or location. Space mines as a specific idea though... are generally not favored by people as a "Sensible" concept because space is truly vast and it is presumed that most mine fields would not be mobile.
But JJ, your concept has some merit... it would be nice if we had a passive and powerful method for defending our colonies other than ships..... which in my opinion is what Starbases ought to be able to do. However, its largely irrelevant... a minefield... starbase... or a ship... they all get built by production... it just a matter of how much of that production got spent on an engine.
So you could easily build a spaceship with no engines, fill it with weapons, shove it in orbit... and there you go... you have your minefield.
Thirdly, I think Hypergates will be cool, and instantaneous travel for them would probably just be too good... maybe VERY late game? Also perhaps we will get lucky and the Hypergate speed will be scaled by map size. Personally I'd love to see Hypergates be a type of Starbase, complete with upgrades for them, including speed boosts, defenses, etc. If anything perhaps they should replace military Starbases because such an important piece of infrastructure is well worth building into a fortress... it is afterall the most likely place where friendly reinforcements can come from and therefore would be held at all costs.
Fourthly, I think the whole debate about "What players want" is hilarious because none of us has any data about that. I can remember players unloading a lot of hate about the tech tree and its different mutually exclusive technologies... there was a pretty successful and popular mod that got rid of those for quite some time. It doesn't make any sense for technology to be mutually exclusive ... learning how to make ships have more HP does not stop me from learning how to build those ships more efficiently. What could be mutually exclusive is execution... perhaps I cannot apply what I learned about making ships with more HP and keep them efficient to build... but once I've learned both I would have the choice to apply one or the other, as needed. This does not happen... for the most part "learning" and "applying" have been integrated making this choice difficult to realize in-game. Ship components can be an exception to this notably, as can structures.
Ideas that don't make much sense automatically get a down-vote for me, and they need to be very fun, exciting, or thematic to make up for it. This feature is not particularly fun or thematic and so I look forward to it disappearing.
Fifthly, I find it funny how GalCiv treats population and production, and people have made some very good points about population and housing... but production... why does everyone assume more people = more production? It's not going to in real life for much longer (historically speaking) in my opinion. For example... the direct production of food could once be easily linked to the exact number of people farming... this isn't really the case any more, because tools, animal labor, automation, genetic engineering (better crops) continue to mess with this equation. Right now, you could consolidate every mass-farming institution in the mid-west United States into a single corporation, fund its automation, and drastically reduce the number of human beings involved in the process of making that food and I'd wager it'd be enough to feed the entire planet.
Military force too, has for most of human history been strongly linked to population scales... but again, technology weakens this link. Today we are the cusp of automating war to a degree not seen before, the United States is relying more and more on drones and less and less on pilots in a plane. One drone-pilot can manage multiple drones potentially, and very little stops us from fully automating such weapons. Perhaps unwisely to both our material and moral peril, but that hasn't ever really stopped us has it?
Population does not automatically = production anymore, or it won't in the future when far greater degrees of automation are available. Population can also be seen as a great liability... population's correlation with production is weakening, but its correlation with consumption is only increasing. Consumption leads to less reserves of important resources, greater strain on limited facilities, more people to police... China, both today and in its long history, has long had to spend an enormous amount of effort controlling and safeguarding its populace... historically speaking, it has been quite a rebellious place. The United States is eating/consuming far more than a fair allotment of the earth's resources and constantly fears upsets in global status quo as a result, making it vulnerable to relatively small events across the entire planet.
If people are not producers, but they are consumers... what purpose do they serve? Well don't worry, they still have some purpose and they still produce something, but I'd argue that they have limits to those things. A colony is likely weak if it only has a 1000 people, but it likely isn't gaining very much once it has a million or ten million people... or say a billion... at some point though, it's going to capsize from a boon to a burden. They don't perform much manual labor, intellectual labor is only so useful (how many "Einsteins per capita" do you realistically get, need, or can't simulate with AI?) and they eventually can start causing a significant drain on resources that could otherwise be spent on infrastructure, military strength, or important projects. Or they get so numerous they cause serious climate problems, political problems, or police problems.
The point is... not that I am perfectly "Right" or such, but that there is plenty of room to consider changing the formulas of population vs production based on these reasons. I'd make a case that colonies should have very low population, a certain flat rate of industrial development based on tech and what you send those people with. The population would still be the primary mover for generating wealth and research, so you still need them to grow.
This would then mean that we could have a very slow growing population (which arguably should be more vulnerable to bombardment, disease, random events, etc.)... still be able to create the level of industry we are used to as players, but suffer a research and economic penalty for going very wide very quickly. Super heavily populated planets should start suffering industrial decline as more and more resources go into keeping the consumers happy, and over-taxing the local resources should have climate/pollution impact. Mitigate these with racial traits and technologies as needed... but the real challenge isn't going to be "how do I get enough people" it is going to be "how do I control this many people... this far away, and how do I stop the locusts (people) from eating all the stuff I need to build to protect their sorry assess".
I think taking a deeper look at population in this way, could lead to a much more sensible set of game features for building Wide and building Tall. Tall empires would focus on that automation, limiting population and consumption, giving them more resources per planet to work with for building orbital constructs, ships, drone armies, Dyson spheres, etc. Wide empires would focus on technologies that allow them to claim more planets, further away, and faster.
The wide empire can win, if it successfully claims more territory and then survives long enough to develop that territory "tall" similar to how the game plays currently. The Tall empire wins, by staying small until it has achieved an advantage in tech and resources and decides to strike out and attack the wide empires when they are still vulnerable.
Talls still become Wides in the long run. That is unavoidable unless you allow for win conditions like "I achieved ascendancy and don't care about material life! Wooo" or "I researched winning!" or "I magically made everyone love me to death, they committed suicide to honor my glory and I win".
Ok... and you can have those in your game they can be thematic, but lets be clear... there is always "I won because I had the military strength and industrial production, technology, and happiness to avoid rebellions and exterminate my opponents directly or indirectly." AKA ... not a super-narrow arbitrary win condition. Domination.
I support introducing Tall strategies, not because they stay tall, but because they give a great variety in play style for the early to mid game... and they can represent a fun challenge (if done right) to those of us who play wide empires early on. Colony rushing is still going to be a thing, its just going to leave your empire more vulnerable to tall empires for a period of time while you catch up. That sounds like a fun challenge that can and should be explored.
Finally... none of that matters if they don't fix Ship Roles or Carriers, or Commanders, and other stuff, because I can always defeat the enemy ships... always. Galactic Civilization means very little if we do not have a working/kinda-fair model of its antithesis:
I informed you, and did so as kindly as I know how to.
There are many great features available to you once you register, including:
Sign in or Create Account