A long post in answer to a whole lot of other posts...
2) Every game does not end by giving a precursor more power in a galaxy.
No, but it expands the number of galaxies the precursors are active in, a species that is active in 1000 galaxies is logically much more advanced and powerful than one active in 1 or 5.
3) And even if it did, most of the precursor's power is directed towards/against other precursors, so the change in the amount left over for messing with backwards Galaxies is negligible.
Not really, as their technology and power increases every individual ship gets stronger, the tiny portion of their power they spend affecting lesser races would go up.
Sorry, this doesn't make logical sense. There's a difference between displaying
power and gaining
If Precursor A, takes 100 ships from Galaxy A and uses them to mess around with some upstart species in Galaxy B, the Precursor hasn't necessarily gained anything. In fact he may become slightly weaker, since he's weakened his hold on Galaxy A, and even if the he only looses 1 ship, in wiping out or conquering the upstart, that's still 1 ship less than he had before. The question is, does the upstart have anything that the precursor actually needs to make up for the loss of that ship? Not necessarily. The upstart certainly doesn't have any technology that would advance the precursor.
As i've described them the Precursors have advanced in size and technology, that simply grabbing more territory is of negligible value to them. They've passed the point of diminishing returns for population, territory, and raw materials. They no longer struggle for their species/civilization's survival, except against other precursors, and that contest is effectively a stale-mate Their reasons for occasionally involving themselves in the affairs of lesser galaxy-bound species are ideological
. The dealings each has with lesser races is on the whole a drain on each precursor's considerable resources.
No doubt from the Unifier's perspective absorbing hive minds would require different technique, but i don't think the results would effect gameplay.
Could those techniques be subverted? I think it would make a great plot point if knowing of a pending unifier crusade a bunch of races donate planets and food to their local hive mind with the plan of getting it large enough fight the unifiers from within.
I want to avoid giving certain species special advantages against particular precursors.
I'm suspect that having a super-science race selling techs would mess up gameplay, or else seem unfairly gimped. Also i don't know what their motivation could be.
I was thinking less tech, more stuff like maps and fleet details.
Again, it seems sorta petty. I suppose you could make a precursor with an odd prankster mentality, who for some reason like selling little secrets for money they don't need. Essentially you're proposing a precursor who you can pay to perform espionage for you. Maybe something to consider when we get to really implementing spying.
I like the basic story idea with one key exception
This should not necessarily affect the Race's backstory
Some races got some type of precursor contact to obtain starlane travel
Some races figured out starlane travel on their own
Some races had starlane travel before the game starts (their empires collapsed due to some event, precursor caused in some cases, 'natural' in others)
Some races were transfered to their current homeworld and remember it
Some races were created by precursors and know it
Some races are just like us have been on this world for as long as they can remember [no precursor involvement at all]
Some races are just like us have been on this world for as long as they can remember [but precursors WERE involved either in transferring them or creating them]
You aren't giving any reasons, just stating an opinion in detail.
In the campaigns
, there will be plenty of room to craft specific stories about a species history In all likelihood (assuming the stories are deep and interesting) different campaigns will have somewhat different backstories for the same species. But in a "standard" game it is silly and unnecessary to give the player all this highly varied background and then completely ignore it by starting out each player at the exact same time with the exact same power (excluding possible slight variations in starting tech).
Each species reason
for going into space would generally be the same however, and that to me is the more important part anyway. The trader species still goes out to get rich, the bloodthirsty species still goes out to slay, and the weird telepathic species still goes out to silence the incredibly annoying noise of everybody else's thoughts.
Also by adding some variability in racial history, you allow for "splinter colonies" of your own race... or other races
Should we choose to have something like "splinter colonies", my backstory will easily support it. If a Precursor can transplant a species to one planet another (or the same) precursor can easily transplant them on two planets.
I like the idea of 'potentially' Multiple Precursor types/Precursor incursions
[Caretaker Incursions would occur too... "prunings" to maintain greater diversity... probably tending to hit big/technologically advanced empires that might disturb the garden]
Interesting idea... I think their behavior and tactics should be significantly different that either the Unifiers or the Final Ones, in order to avoid redundancy. The Caretakers are not Luddites, they aren't anti-technology (I want to avoid the overused "Gaian" "technology is evil" archetype, especially since it doesn't make much sense for a super-technological civ). The Caretakers might un-terraform worlds in places where everything was the same EP, or redistribute/cull from a large population of the same species. In any case their goal shouldn't be conquest or annihilation.
As for the general storyline Your race arising to the level of actually being able to challenge a Precursor race sounds like a key point. probably having your race essentially joining the struggles between the Precursors. (including discovering plans the different precursors had for your race)... probably based on the idea of destiny (whether the precursors involved 'prepared' your race by extensive involvement or minimal twitches)
Yeah, i think that's important for the player to feel like he's really made progress. But the player really isn't challenging a precursor power as a whole, but simply the part of the precursor's power invested in the player's galaxy. But the precursors can no longer simply ignore the end-game player.
And what comes to the direct involvement of these ancient races to the gameplay, I think that their involvement should mainly be focused on the later stages of the game, as this way the younger races would have time to develop closer to these ancient races and so these encounters could be more equal. Also contacting/joining these very advanced ancient races could be one of the highest technological achievements and possibly even a way to win the game.
This however doesn`t mean that all contact with these ancient races should be left only for the late game, as I would strongly support things like the Antaran attacks on MOO 2 and Borg attacks on Birth Of The Federation as these attacks give you a taste of the power that these older/more advanced races have and could also affect galactic balance of power.
That's the idea, a couple smaller (but significant) incursions towards the middle of the game, just to give the player a taste of what's coming in the big end-game incursion.
As for reasons why these ancient species left the galaxy, I think we could simply say that they left this galaxy as they developed ways to travel further into space and/or reached some other form of existence. So they left because it suited their own purposes to leave.
In most cases i'm assuming that the precursors had intergalactic travel before they came to the player's galaxy. They were just sorta "visiting", either there wasn't anything there to hold their interest, and/or they preferred to use the galaxy as a "fallow" galaxy. The stuff they left behind was stuff they didn't consider worth packing, or stuff that they wanted somebody to later find.
I've been rethinking a alternate backstory quite a bit, I think that I have a plausible backstory that will allow for all species to attain TFL at the same time.
Also, we should probably have a Orion system or atleast a planet named Orion at the center of the galaxy.
Now here's my idea.
Hundreds of years ago there were many species capable of spacetravel. However they could only use FTL because they managed to built drives that would allow them to travel across starlanes. However, these starlanes were soon used to create empires and to subjugate other civilizations.
The original creators (the Orions) of the starlanes felt that their creation was abused, so they created a device that would disrupt all the starlanes in the galaxy. This essentially defeated all the empires in one fell swoop. It was unforeseen by the Orions that this would also alert other ancient races with to their position (they didn't rely on starlane travel).
Six mighty ancient races travelled to the Orion Galaxy and saw what the Orions had done. After a few battles a agreement was reached. The Orions were to leave their galaxy and had to vow to never interfere with younger races again. Though the Orions had one demand before they would leave. The other ancients were to influence the younger races so that they would all have similar techlevels, only then were they to disable starlane disruptor.
How's that for a first draft?
I don't understand why anybody is doing anything. Why do the 6 ancients care that the Orions turned off the starlane system that the Orions built? What is banishment from one galaxy supposed to solve? Why do the 6 ancients agree to oversee this galaxy?
I think i've already explained why i don't want to have a another species called "the Orions", and thus no planet labled "Orion", especially since my scheme allows for multiple "orion-like" planets per galaxy. "Orions" is one of the most overused species name in all of sci-fi.
The more practical issue is this set-up implies precursors who "micro-manage" the lesser species to a much greater degree than in my set-up. I.E. they are actively and continually directly each species development. This doesn't mesh well into the game where the player and NPCs are generally left alone by the Precursors.
I'm assuming a race to some degree does not know what future technologies are available to research, except the ones you are on the verge of discovering.
One advantage of ancient artifacts could be to add some kind of "enlightenment" into future technologies. Maybe even changing the attributes of specific techs to "near completed".
The Tech-tree is always the same, so there's no point in hiding it from the player... that would just annoy him or force him to make an off-line tree for reference.
The way techs are planned to work includes the ability to steal/trade/reverse engineer techs partially
. And yes, i'd like to have certain artifacts provide some sort of bonus in developing similar technology.