I suspect work on GC4 will begin in the next year if not sooner... I know everyone has their wish list... but I just felt I should list out five broad changes that would make GC4 stand out from GC3 for me.
1) Change how the map functions. Frankly, the ol' completely flat and completely open map has gotten stale and I think it creates some technical issues. I think some very interesting hybrid map styles could be designed.
2) Differentiate between races and their functionality more. Have the abilities for races parsed out better and selectable. Having two ability points and then 50 abilities, many of which are extremely weak and some extremely strong has gotten a bit silly.
3) Diplomacy in most 4Xs is a extremely simple and largely risk-free mini-game. Make diplomacy a higher-stakes activity, with the potential for failure. An example could be... that if I ask for a trade deal and I have pretty outrageous terms, I have a low chance of success and TRYING and FAILING causes a penalty to relations for X turns. Succeeding could also be very lucky, and also come with a relations penalty for X turns because they feel cheated.
4) Combat needs a serious overhaul and serious attention this time.
5) Have mod support through Steam. GC3's modding has been a shadow of what it could have and should have been. I also highly recommend you allow people to import ship designs from GC3 to 4, and allow us to save designs as any hull type freely.
Well a couple of ideas.
First I think the tech trees could have done better. They need to be more specialized. Also hubs needs to be specialized again. I know I'm talking about abilities not arbitrary trees.
How about anomolies helping you finish tech research. How about they have specialized research.
Being able upload, and download factions, and ships great, but losing the same for mods was a mistake. Let's have both.
In galactic civilizations 2 they had a scenario editor. They gave us a map editor instead. Can't we have both.
Galactic civilizations started out with 2000 planets, and shrank down to 600. Let's bring it back to 2000.
Bring back the jagged knife only fix it.
I always add this bigger maps. More civs.
When I think of GCIV, I wonder what should be changed to make it a new game and not just an expansion of GCIII. Don't get me wrong, I think it should expand on what is best in GCIII, but my thoughts go to what makes it a newer, better game.
And in that, I generally agree with the OP here.
The entire feel--and strategic depth--of the game could be improved with changes to how the map works. More than just distances that separate, I'd like to see a greater level of player vs. environment and a strategic use of the environment.
Also, what about ongoing negotiations? Counter offers? Make diplomacy not just a screen the player opens, but a vibrant part of the game that carries strategic importance and risk.
So much could be said about this, and I'm sure everybody has an opinion... for me, I don't really want any combat micromanagement, but I want a robust system that requires some macro-level strategic decision making... a system that makes all hull types valuable in certain circumstances; a system that doesn't result in 100% victory or 100% loss; a system that allows ships to be disabled and potentially captured; a system that allows the player to use the galactic geography to his or her advantage; a system that allows more than just peace or war (e.g., seizing ships that violate your territory, establishing blockades, etc.)... I would love to see a system emerge in which everyone argues about what works best and no one is 100% correct because it is so nuanced. Whatever form individual battles end up taking (I know there is a discussion taking place about some level of control of individual fleets/battles), my hope is that players are given more strategic choices in ship design, fleet composition, and "policy".
In general, mod support and documentation is fairly poor in GCIII (in my opinion). What can and cannot be done is opaque, and figuring things out requires a lot of trial and error (and a high degree of patience). I've all but given up modding because I've found less and less enjoyment in it (and I have less time for it)--and I'm in some ways surprised with how much Gauntlet and Horemvore, among others, have stuck with it... between the game's constant, sometime major changes, the virtually nonexistent support, and the significant limitations. For GCIV, I hope data structure/management and modding is given a lot more careful planning up front to avoid a lot of the issues in GCIII.
I agree with this, too. Overall, the approach is good, and the current tech tree iteration does offer meaningful choices. But I do see an opportunity to do something new and better. I don't like specializations that remove choices (why can I not research how to colonize frozen worlds after I've learned how to live on barren wastelands?), but I do like the idea of focusing research on certain priorities that, by focusing on those priorities, preclude a focus on other priorities. For example, focusing on capacity rather than hull strength.
Perhaps instead of only researching individual technologies, perhaps more could be done with the concept of "capstone research"--allowing players to spend time researching certain focus areas and increasing bonuses to those focuses (e.g., instead of researching a specialization in hull capacity that results in +10% and leads to the next tech, researching hull capacity for a number of turns that allows capacity to get better by some small percentage per turn). That's just one idea among many possibilities of how to transform the tech tree from something that feels generic--even though it has merits--into something new and with new potential. And maybe that idea is bunk. But taking a fresh look at how research works would be good, I think.
I'll add that the concept of ideology could use an overhaul (or done away with). I think choices made by players (and AI) should reflect faction personality, which may be a mix of things. When given the option to use military force, some civilizations will do that always. Others might do that under the right circumstances. Others might never use military force apart from defense. Making ideology more nuanced could tremendously impact many areas of the game--from colonization to combat. Instead of arbitrary rewards for accumulating points in a category, why not make ideology about pursuing goals--undertaking massive projects that reflect a faction's underlying personality. Maybe once you acquire a certain number of points in a category, special projects, citizen types, research/techs, governments, etc., become available. This is present in a small way in GCIII, but I think this could be taken further... Just thinking out loud on this--I'm sure there are many great ideas on how to make "ideology" and/or faction "personality" a better game mechanic than what currently exists.
That's it for now... I've spent a lot of time enjoying GCIII, and I hope that the development team for GCIV keeps much of what makes GCIII so good, improves on that, and turns the few things that don't work as well into something much better.
Diplomacy and some sort of VR integration along with Steam integration.
The game needs to be more immersive and engaging; not just more.
Doing this would make the specs
i7 quad core, and DX 12 and of course 64 bit.
I'd like to see an option to retreat from an attack, assuming of course that my ships have superior speed and more leftover movement points than the attacker. Naturally, retreating may not always be successful - fleet and/or commander experience might allow for "outmaneuvering" which would prevent any retreat at all or cause retreating with losses.
Ambushes from a gas cloud would give the attacker a free first round without any defender actions. Also, gas clouds and/or dead planets would be great spots to place spy bases. Counter-espionage could triangulate if detectors are able to form an appropriate-sized triangle around the spy base (i.e. you can't just put three detectors at your furthest borders to cover your entire territory).
Invasion troops should have to be trained for the specific planet types. Desert troops would suffer a large penalty on aquatic worlds, for example.
I really this thread guys. Two of the core concepts I personally cam getting out of this and agree on is the idea of more asymmetric race designs and improvements on the diplomacy mechanics to make them more meaningful.
Combat might be a trickier one. I feel like it's pretty standard for a 4X game to not really force in depth tactical choices on people but there is definitely room to improve. How would you guys feel about turn based combat though?
I think there are many people on many sides of the combat divide... where I think there is consistency though... is wanting depth for design.
What does that mean?
It means your fans want to design ships that specialize and perform duties as part of an effective fleet. Currently, GC doesn't have this... it's generally fine to go with an entire fleet based on tiny or huge hulls or of any mono-hull... weapon choices generally don't favor diversity... defenses often don't make sense to spread out amongst all the ships...
It's very chess like... but in a way that is surprisingly unsatisfying. Player's spend hundreds (or thousands) of hours designing ships that any real (or imagined) navy would likely need... but then these designs are practically irellevant in the mechanics.
So... there doesn't neccessarily need to be tactical combat, but there does need to be instances where an all-fighter fleet will wreck an all-massive ship fleet that isn't equipped to deal with tiny ships.
I highly recommend you take a look at the Homeworld games... the "Rock Paper Scissors" they developed for "Fighters, Corvettes, Frigates, Destroyers, Battleships" wasn't completely perfect, but it's likely the most perfect your going to find.
One way to develop these items, is to create environments where one ship type is favored over another... for example, Atmosphere VS Orbit VS Deep Space. In deep space, massive ships shine, because maneuvering becomes irellevant... those massive ships can't participate in "Atmosphere" where transports need defense from enemy fighters, and the best atmospheric fighters perform less well against orbital based fighters participating in a blockade... etc.
The point is... you don't need to have tactical combat per-se to give us a feeling that we need to design fleets and specialist ship types for our empire... which I think is something almost everyone wants universally.
Civilian Ship Roles: (Missing roles in italics) (Note: Roles and Hull are not always synonymous)
Combat Ship Roles: (Missing ships and Concepts/Traits in italics) (Note: Hull size is currently irrelevant to performance in most metrics and has little impact other than to favor larger=better, that should really be changed).
I firmly believe GC3 has the greatest ship designer ever (from a aesthetic point of view) but the number of valid ship designs is relatively low. There is little in-game reward for spending time in the editor and combat basically boils down to producing a greater number of ships with a greater number of weapons and a single meat-shield ship to tank everything that can game the system's simplistic mechanics.
Turn-based combat worked well for the old Renegade Legion: Interceptor game. Possibly the modern graphics options would allow for kill markers under the bridge/cockpit windows? Might be asking too much there, but it would be pretty cool to have aces or commanders that gain reputations among the factions.......
AoW3 has turn-based combat, and I am playing that to death. However, it is very time-consuming. It would also be very time-consuming for Stardock. While I would love more in-depth planetary invasion, I would rather see something much shorter and more innovative/out-of-the-box than just another turn-based combat.
My Galciv4 wishes involve a combination think-out-of-the-box and stick-with-what-works:
1) Keep up with the new technology. Galciv is not a mobile game, but currently my desktop has 3x 27" 4K monitors. I could even plug my HDMI into my humongous 4K TV screen if I wanted to. For once, I would like to see a strategy game truly take advantage of that and do it right. Galciv has multiple views, and I would like to choose each of my monitors to display one of those views. Say: 1) galactic view, 2) planet screen, 3) diplomacy/trade 4) government, 5) tech.... So that I can look at my galaxy at the same time as I figure out whether I need to immediately research life support or not.
Also, 4K has a LOT of resolution, and our TV screens are very large. It would be good to display the galaxy, detailed view, on my 4K and see a LOT of galaxy at once. Plus, the big TV screen lets me play the same game with my friends & family, so I can teach others how to play or we can play the same game together, as the same player.
2) More rewarding cut-scenes for each of the victories for each of the races, that I would want to play on my big TV screen. Just having a little dialog pop up that says, "You won!" is a bit anticlimactic.
3) Add a third dimension to planetary invasion: ship-to-planet interaction. Currently there's just ship combat--and there is land combat. What about land-to-ship, or satellite-to-ship? Orbiting starships don't count.
4) Radically increase modders' power. To the tune of, a modder can ask Stardock and say, "I would like to try this in the game instead, and the XML files don't really support that," and Stardock can make them sign NDA and let them git pull some source code modules and build their own dev build. Then, based on whether the modders actually did what they said they would, Stardock could decide whether to approve future requests. Stardock would also decide whether to accept their changes into the main branch, or to release a new branch. And if they release a new branch then...hey...free QA!
Because let's face it: Stardock has to fund its development. Meanwhile, their customer base has no shortage of expert, but frustrated users who believe--correctly so--that a few changes would substantially increase the game quality; and those changes just don't occur. Enthusiasm for Galciv exceeds its funding; and as a result that ends up curbing its enthusiasm. I am proposing a radically new licensing model to try and change that. Back in the days of MUD (one of the first text-based internet games of the 90's), they used to have Wizards, who were expert players who had a lot of coding privileges to implement the game. They may not have had privileges to re-code the core drivers, but...it was very successful. However, MUD was open-source and non-profit.
5) Metaverse needs to matter. Prestige tends to make games very addictive. The rest of the world pays almost no attention to my Steam Achievements. I played Galciv3 vs. all Incredible AI. Does anybody care?
corollary: give out prestige instead of money for the "Wizards" who improve the game. Prestige just for trying, but more prestige if Stardock ends up accepting their edits. It's cheaper. And you never know...that guy may end up getting a job offer later.
6) Similar opportunities for artists. "Yes, we can use your musical score for the new Tealian race. We'll give you credit for it."
Diplomacy in my opinion should be way more connected with Espionage. That means, not only more "alive" diplomacy negotiations, but also espionage bringing you informations about diplomacy in between others, about secret stuff, and it is up to you if you use it as leverage in your negotiations. More "false flag" operations as well, not only in combat, but also in espionage, sabotages, and stuff. And espionage being able to detect it with some chance. Then that information can make some civ to give you treats if you don't release it to the public.
United planets need to be highly tied to diplomatic stuff as well. The vote should be started with info what is voted on, then diplomatic window for bribing people to vote for your idea, then actual vote. Even make it as some sort of minigame, when you for example give gift to Terrans to vote for you, that will have value of 500. But Thallans come and give them bigger offer of value 600 and you won't know about it if you won't have good espionage or luck, thus terrans won't vote with you at the end.
Modding should have to be in some generally friendly language and easy to both write and install. Look at Factorio. Lua , modportal directly in the game, huge possibilities.
Combat is very sensitive area, and while we have quite nice stuff already, many don't get the roles and stuff. This needs to be simplified (let's say support/capital/escort/assault) so everyone gets the idea. Carrier modules should allow designing our own drones. Big ships should be able to fit way more stuff while they should be more vulnerable to small ships and vice versa. There should be some sort of interactive part in the battle to appease people who don't like hands off combat. For example some one-time use modules on few buttons. Like....when you press button, EMP pulse gets launched, making all incoming rockets lose target and destroy jamming of enemy. Or something like that. Limited use so it has small significance, while you still have to design ships with it in the first place.
Unlimited money. Honestly, I reach 1 million credits cap in every single game and it sux
Population that will know their race. Aka when I play drengin and capture terran planet with 3B population, I get 3B of slaves, not 3B of drengins. Then I have to work for either asimilating the population, genociding it, or whatever. Espionage should have big role in it as well. Civ 4 as an example there.
Otherwise I agree with already mentioned stuff, there should be more variety of races, there should be usage for dead planets, there should be habitable starbases (so you can just make some limited colonies in deep space, very limited compared to planets, but let's think about needing it for special resource mining, hmmm...), having the game to be played on multiple monitors at once would be AWESOME. More specialized tech trees based on racial traits (and let us choose like 10 of them so we can construct the races more fluidly, and thus also tech trees would vary way more).
Gauntlet's entire post, summed up in the quoted paragraph, above, is dead on the money as far as I'm concerned. Make everything have a purpose--not just a race to the biggest hull/guns/carrier/whatever and a tank to absorb enemy fire. Far too simplistic and too few meaningful choices.
I'm not sure I care a bunch about whether turn-based combat is implemented, but if it is, I think it would be nice to have an auto-finish option or something so it doesn't have to be so time-consuming. To me, combat depth isn't about turn-by-turn strategic choices, its about fleet priorities (e.g., Fleet A, attack this ship and disable/capture it; Fleet B, blockade this planet; Fleet C, repair and resupply Fleet A; Fleet D, execute hit and run attacks on enemy star bases; etc.)
Good thoughts. I hope the dev team takes this into consideration.
Everything here about diplomacy, UP, and espionage would add great depth to the diplomacy system and to non-combat victory paths.
Ideology: Remove it or make it meaningful.Increasing Ideology Points needed to buy from Pragmatic once you buy from Malevolent is a start, but you can still zig-zag through the Ideology Tree without real consequence. So: you can grab the 1 free frigate from Malevolent after the 3 free constructors from Pragmatic, but your party will lose the next election and your galactic neighbours will start wars with you or diplomatically punish you. Get rid of the "Can't Be Invaded for 50 Turns" choice and other choices that allow players to do what they want for a certain period without any consequence. Your fellow races should bestow those things upon you for being a Good Civilization, however they define good. Play as Malevolent and the Drengin will promise at some point not to Declare War For 50 Turns. The Alterians, however, are at the same time sending their ships in your direction.
Specializations: Don't limit player's abilities to Research All The Things!, because sometimes there's only one Frozen World, which you know how to colonize, but three Barren Worlds, which you now can't colonize because you researched how to colonize Frozen Worlds. However, make it so while you can research how to colonize Frozen Worlds and Barren Worlds, the research you did second leads to a less effective result than the first. And with the third, it's even less effective.
Citizens: I'd rename them as Units, get rid of the names and faces. So there's a group of your population, like a Graduating Class finishing education and entering the Work Force. Maybe you keep single Citizens for Commanders, Generals to keep the combat side of the game, but if it was me, I'd simply have Attacking Soldiers and Defending Soldiers. I like how Leader units offer a small improvement and can't go on to a Planet as they're basically Interchange players - move 4 Leaders to Research to speed that up for 20 turns, then move them to Military for 10 turns...Keep the every 10 turn cycle and the 3% bonus to Civilization/30% bonus to Planet systems. My only proviso here is what power you want Citizens/Units to have compared to building - who'd want to have a Worker help build a Research Institution when you can simply send Scientist Group 1 to planet AlloAllo IV R (which is your Research planet, as defined by any tile bonuses, resources and Artifacts on that planet), because it's a significantly bigger bonus.
Adjacencies: I'd really like to see these made consistant - giving the same Type of Bonus, whether it's to a building built on that tile or a building built adjacent to it. For example, Cataract offers Manufacturing Bonus if you build on it but Research Bonus to buildings adjacent to it. Make it give both Research Bonuses. That will really lend itself to Planet Specialization and should please those of us who want to work out the maths to the nth degree.
To turn off GNN - or at least stop telling me things that don't make sense: Why would GNN tell me the Top 10 Dating Planets and tell me that my planet of Ezekiel is 3rd and the other 9 are Unknown Planet. They'd know those names even if I didn't.
The ability to move your Colony Capital and rebuid it on a more optimal tile. Except you can't Rush buy it and it takes 10 turns and while your Colony has no Capital, it's nowhere near as effective in terms of all Production (Wealth, Research, Food, Manufacturing) and can't defend itself as well.
More choices for tech brokering/trading in diplomacy. Say you don't want to trade certain techs but you need that laser cannon to shoot down your enemy's armoured ships so you could pay resources for a certain number of derated laser cannons or permission to produce/buy ships with the laser cannon without the other upgrades to it, like selling a F-15 to an ally without the missiles/radar/avionics that go with it. I would say that refitting your ships with the new tech would be prohibited
Espionage on fleets, it somewhat weird that I can see the weapons on the ships when they get into scanner range. Placing spies on my fleets so they cannot see what's in the fleet would make more sense.
Planetary missile bases, i want interstellar missiles or meteors if asteroid fields are nearby stationed on planets to launch at nearby enemy colonies and wreck the surface. Why should my planet just sit there and do nothing all through the war?
> Frozen world
I would love to see only generic tech to be discovered, then having to colonize the planet to unlock the specific colonization mastery (aka you can research frozen world if you colonized some. Then you colonize barren world and it unlocks too , etc. )
In general, unlocking new tech based on what you find in the game would be nice. Imagine not to be able to do some special rocketry techniques until you get your hands on antimatter.
I’m not seeing how a map with height would be easy to make, balance, or code.
I fully agree the ability to relocate your Capital it would take out the pain of a poor spawn.
I do endorse populations being resolved when you invade or acquire a new world. I think racial happiness from AoW 3 could be used as an example. It could have effects on diplomatic situations as well.
also could add unit moral. Units made on worlds after you just committed genocide to their last 5 worlds would have a ridiculously low moral and could possibly desert commit treason if you are fighting against their own race. Also production on that planet would be very slow. Unless you commit genocide again and replace it with your people’s population. These could be ideological choices in the late game instead of just colonization events.
i would also hope carrier modules are looked at. Simply having it required that you need to stock them with built fighters would be enough.
"I’m not seeing how a map with height would be easy to make, balance, or code. "
Well I don't see anyone mentioning making the map 3d? But if you are interested, you can look up an ANCIENT game called Ascendancy. In it, systems are 3d bubbles and planets rotate around their star, the entry points to the system can be below or above the star...
Planetary defenses could have a lot of range, so it often made sense to time your assault so your ships arrived in-system when the enemy planet was closest to the entry point, so that you were faced with the minimal number of rounds of being fired at.
Anywho... just an example. I personally don't think we need 3d star systems in GC. I just think we need more interesting map mechanics.
SOTS II was also 3d.
I liked the extra thought I had to use to visualize stuff; but lets face it.
Most people understand/like 2d maps.
An in between could be virtual diplomacy so one feels like they are in the room dealing with dif races.
To help de-clutter maps one could make them like GIS maps so every thing is not shown all the time.
Ok I think I misunderstood your original post.
Also if there were options to include disabling certain artifacts or mercenaries.
Also I hope a second market could be implemented with ridiculously high prices and super low sell prices that could be used regardless of government and have endless supplies so you can’t be hard screwed by map spawn. I’m ok with the prices being like 10 or 20k for an item that simply can’t be acquired. Like If there was no antimatter in the market to buy a single unit would be 10 or 20k and if it costed 100 on the regular market it would cost 1000 or 2000 on the black market. You wouldn’t use the black market unless you had to.
SD could add a simple check to see that all resources are available (even if its just one), if 0 available spawn x amount, OR, add x amount to market as a one off. Should not be hard to code.
I think so... I'm not trying to be too specific (I don't think very specific suggestions are super-useful to devs at this early stage... and frankly they have their own ideas they want to try).
But what I AM saying, is that something more Creative needs to be done with the galactic strategic map.
That could be done in many ways... personally... I'm in favor of dedicating each tile as either "in-System" because it around a star, or "out-System" for in-between space. Out-system tiles would base movement off of "Strategic Drives" and In-System tiles would be based on "Tactical Drives". These two different drives would have separate lanes for tech, thus allowing drive technology in general to be a tougher choice, as tactical drives are useful for combat ships especially, but strategic drives dictating overall scope and practicality of reaching systems. Currently, faster drives is both tactically awesome and strategically awesome and I often find that I can win with sub-par weaponry if I just have great drives (and put two-three of them on most ships).
Furthermore, "Out-System" battles could allow for very easy retreat (or not allow battle at all) because it represents a far vaster theatre. It just looks the same size on your screen, but represents a greater amount of physical space.
That's just one idea...
Another could be that certain regions of space are "distorted" and require your empire to research a certain level of technology in order to enter and use this distorted space. Within these areas are high-end artifacts and planets and space monsters. Similar to how Elemental worked, where certain techs unveiled new resources on the map.
Alternatively they could eschew tiles altogether and come up with some other mechanic for the game. My point is... I think they need to shake things up a little on the strategic map in order for the game to feel different.
Feeling different is going to be important, because many players were really not happy with GC3's overall launch and development... with the real dissatisfaction not really dying down until Crusade came out... and most of the dissatisfied having simply moved on most likely.
There is going to be a great deal of grumbling if GC4 looks and plays just like GC3. So feel is important, even if not from a completely pure "gaming" perspective... since players "live" in the strategic map, that is the most effective way to create a new feel.
I can see the point where having a inferior interface to two in the beginning didn't help. Forgetting charts they had in two. That annoyed, but it wasn't game breaking for me. Forgetting about asteroid miners, and ground combat didn't help.
I am late to the party on this thread. Most of my ideas both Guantlet and Admiral touched upon.
I will recap some of the things I'd like in GC IV.
There is a lot more, thanks for ready.
> a lifetime Stardock fan.
"I loved the Hex based map. I am not sure if there is an alternative but are squares better or hexes?"
Hexes are generally considered superior because they allow equal and balanced diagonal movement. Square systems have to come up with little adjustment rules to account for diagonal transit.
In my reading I find that distance form the center to the outside is more even so distance is the same. In a square map the distance form the center to the corner is greater then the distance from the center to the mid of a side.
Make it fallen Enchantress in space.End.
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