New Native Species (patch)

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yandonman
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New Native Species (patch)

#1 Post by yandonman » Tue Sep 30, 2014 9:20 pm

Name: Katakun (irrelevant)
Attributes: Telepathic, Self Sustaining

No Industry*
No Science

Cannot build ships
Cannot colonize

Special ability: The sum of all Happiness within range is this planet's Production Points. This range is 1 starlane jump plus 1 additional starlane jump for each species within the empire.
(variation 1: Max PP and Max RP are the sum of all Happiness within range, would allow for industry and research foci)

Lore: The Katakun are a telepathic, energy based race that feed off of other species's euphoria. The ability to harness this energy and convert it into physical objects has convinced many species that the Katakun are a race of gods. The Katakun will often play to this image and encourage the building of temples to increase a population's happiness. (what goes on in the temples, stays in the temples)


Unlocks Building: Katakun Temple
- Add 1 to the range of the Katakun special ability. (once per species)
- Adds a Worship* focus to all planets with the same species as the planet this temple is built on
* The Worship focus gives 0.2 Happiness per population point.



Design considerations:
* Allows races with an industry (or research - see variation 1) malus to be more viable, if the empire chooses to acquire the Katakun.
* Allows an all-eggs-in-one-basket mechanism, where an empire's main Production Point generation could be through the single Katakun world. Defending or destroying such a high value target could add some interesting strategic decisions and trade-offs.
* Adds a touch of religion into the universe for flavor.
* Another use for Happiness
Last edited by yandonman on Sun Oct 19, 2014 8:43 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Vezzra
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Re: New Native Species (brainstorming)

#2 Post by Vezzra » Wed Oct 01, 2014 12:58 pm

This idea certainly sounds interesting.

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Re: New Native Species (brainstorming)

#3 Post by yandonman » Thu Oct 02, 2014 8:33 am

Progress so far. Comments welcome.

C++
* Enabled Sum in the parser. This could independently be submitted. See below for an example of its usage. (note: Mode syntax works exactly the same way, and is already enabled in the parser)

Content
* Gave the <yet to be named species> a species specific industry focus (looks like industry focus, but it's not so that it doesn't get affected by the tech industry bonuses)
* Made Xenophobia (Other) industry malus only affect planets with industry focus (debatable - was useful for troubleshooting, not sure if it makes sense or not, lore or gameplay wise)
* No strings yet
* No variable StarLaneDistance yet

Notes
* Summation of Happiness within 3 StarLaneJumps was 90 in my test game. That's a big number, and it will get really big with decent range. But I'm not sure if the Kobuntura would still work out to be better...
* Using SetTargetIndustry means industry production grows slow - kind of annoying at first, but I think it makes the most sense. This means one can't switch between immediately between a large number of PP to RP, or the other way around.
* The intent of this species is to supplant (or partially supplant) the normal industry with a happiness based industry (that is slightly better in some cases). The "Worship" focus was suppose to be the means to do that (by focusing on Happiness and NOT focusing on Industry), however that's going to lead to a LOT of micromanagement (setting of foci on planets) that I don't like. Perhaps for planets that are in range of this effect, their TargetIndustry is automatically set to 0, so long as this <yet to be named> species is focusing on Happiness to Industry or Happiness to Research. That way, if the player doesn't want to play this Happiness to Industry/Research feature, they can easily turn it off, and if they want it, they can control it by building Temples.
* Temples should probably just add 1 range (StarLaneJump) for each Temple building in the empire (+ maybe the area near the Temple to give the placement of Temples some meaning) and drop the adding of a Worship focus. (see previous point on micromanagement issues)


Example Sum usage:

Code: Select all

effects = SetTargetIndustry Sum Happiness condition = And [	
                    PopulationCenter
                    WithinStarlaneJumps 3 Source
                    OwnedBy TheEmpire Source.Owner
                    Not OR [ 
                        Species Source.Species
                        Species "SP_EXOBOT"
                    ]
                    Not Population high = 0
                ]

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Geoff the Medio
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Re: New Native Species (brainstorming)

#4 Post by Geoff the Medio » Thu Oct 02, 2014 12:53 pm

yandonman wrote:* Enabled Sum in the parser.
What does the sum of a non-numeric value mean?

If you intend to enable summing int or double valued statistics, you don't need to, as it's already enabled, along with various other numeric statistic types in enum_parser<ValueRef::StatisticType>() and your change wouldn't accomplish that anyway.

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Re: New Native Species (brainstorming)

#5 Post by yandonman » Thu Oct 02, 2014 4:27 pm

Can you give an example of usage of the already enabled summation? I looked through code/forums/existing content and couldn't find anything that worked. I tried various usage of Count/Number/NumberOf, none of which worked. Without the patch, the content I provided won't work.
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Dilvish
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Re: New Native Species (brainstorming)

#6 Post by Dilvish » Thu Oct 02, 2014 9:15 pm

yandonman wrote:Can you give an example of usage of the already enabled summation?
You can find various examples in empire_statistics.txt, like

Code: Select all

Statistic name = "RP_OUTPUT" value =
    Sum property = Research condition = And [
        Planet
        OwnedBy TheEmpire Source.Owner
    ]
Of course, for your purpose you'd ignore the 'Statistic name = "RP_OUTPUT" value =' part of that, use Happiness instead of Research and have your additional requirement conditions besides just these two
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Re: New Native Species (brainstorming)

#7 Post by vincele » Fri Oct 03, 2014 12:27 pm

yandonman wrote:however that's going to lead to a LOT of micromanagement (setting of foci on planets) that I don't like.
That point could be mitigated (a lot) with objectswnd multiselection and multiple-set-value-at-once. This is something I have on my TODO list and will be generally useful for a lot of things, I hope.

Good luck, balancing that new species (I like the idea a lot) won't be easy.

You should try a game with massive use of exobots, if you never tried. It's kind of a jack-of-all-trades race for massive colonizing. You should consider balancing your new species against that, or at least look how their use interact.
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Re: New Native Species (brainstorming)

#8 Post by yandonman » Sun Oct 05, 2014 9:36 am

@Dilvish - ty for example. Exactly what I needed.

v2.0 ready to submit, barring blocking feedback. Named the species the Kael.

On balancing:
* Exobots are currently excluded from the effect
* Kael Temples provide influence in the local region. Each temple add +1 range to the Kael and Kael Temples. Temples adds a 10% industry malus per temple to the Kael affected colonies
* Practically speaking, with 10 temples, evenly spaced, each with 10 starlane jump range, all systems will be covered by the Kael effect. "Normal" industry will be 100% supplanted by the Kael industry (happiness based).
* Due to meter growth, Kael industry growth is completely linear vs other industry growth which can at times be exponential. In some cases, Kael industry has a higher max PP, but a slower rate of increase.

Play testing feedback appreciated.
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Re: New Native Species (brainstorming)

#9 Post by yandonman » Sat Oct 11, 2014 4:16 am

Bump(?)
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Re: New Native Species (patch)

#10 Post by MatGB » Sun Oct 19, 2014 10:51 pm

Been swamped last few weeks, not played a single game let alone tried any patches, hopefully the two print deadlines are done with so I can give it a go, looks, well, interesting, but making it balanced will also be interesting.
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Re: New Native Species (patch)

#11 Post by Geoff the Medio » Tue Dec 23, 2014 5:21 pm

re-bump?

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Re: New Native Species (patch)

#12 Post by Vezzra » Mon Dec 29, 2014 1:45 pm

Geoff the Medio wrote:re-bump?
Well, as the whole happiness thing isn't really implemented yet (all we have is a meter that does nothing and isn't affected by anything AFAIK), we can't really do any meaningful testing, tweaking and balancing with that species right now. I'd suggest to keep this idea bookmarked and get back to it once we have at least some basic happiness/influence mechanics up and running.

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Re: New Native Species (patch)

#13 Post by yandonman » Wed Dec 31, 2014 11:00 pm

I would suggest we go ahead and put it in. It gives an implementation to happiness. We'd get some feedback from folks on how balanced this is (I don't think it's broken, but if we find that it is, it's a fairly trivial tweak to bump it down a notch).
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Re: New Native Species (patch)

#14 Post by Vezzra » Thu Jan 01, 2015 9:10 am

yandonman wrote:We'd get some feedback from folks on how balanced this is (I don't think it's broken, but if we find that it is, it's a fairly trivial tweak to bump it down a notch).
Well, the problem is, the current values of the happiness meter are completely arbitrary AFAIK, and are going to change (most likely significantly) once we put initial basic mechanics in place that produce something sensible happiness meter levels. So any effort to balance things with the current values will most likely be wasted. Of course, if we feel like it, we can still go ahead and put that patch in to give our playtesters the opportunity to play around with it.

What do they others think?

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Re: New Native Species (brainstorming)

#15 Post by Dilvish » Thu Jan 01, 2015 11:38 am

At least for now, without having seen any reports about playtesting, looking over the patch I'm rather doubtful about putting it in with the current condition of the game and the patch. I haven't actually tested it yet though-- I guess I'll go ahead and add the patch to the content directory I play with and see if I run into the Kaels & then try giving the temples a go. I hope that doesn't take too many games. Has anyone else had a chance to playtest this patch some yet? Yandonman, do you have any estimate of how many games you've played with this where you actually got the Kaels & started building temples, etc.? Perhaps you could post an xml format savegame file of an example game where you've got some Temples deployed, so we could look that over a little.

The effect looks quite powerful -- pretty much all planets can easily have a happiness of 20 (10 basic plus 10 preferred focus) no matter how small, so you'd get that amount of industry plus all the research the planets can generate, which adds up to quite a bit of output per planet without needing any tech at all. Also, since we can't control when the Kael Temple Effects get processed relative to those of other buildings, I don't think we can be sure the affected planets would necessarily even take much of an Industry hit. How has that worked out in the games you've played, Yandonman?

Perhaps somewhat counterbalancing the strength of the effect, it seems to make a rather fragile empire setup-- if your Kael planet gets captured or even just blockaded from your shipbuilders then your empire's usable production output is really whacked (if you have enough temples then even zero) until you destroy all your temples and then it has to build up slowly. Maybe that's a reasonable counterbalance but it's such an extreme fragility I'm doubtful of the fun with it.
yandonman wrote:* Due to meter growth, Kael industry growth is completely linear vs other industry growth which can at times be exponential.
It seems to me that other industry growth is also always completely linear. Am I missing something?
In some cases, Kael industry has a higher max PP, but a slower rate of increase.
It seems to me like Kael Industry would nearly always have a higher max PP (sometimes much higher), plus all the "bonus" research, but I guess the industry growth would in some circumstances be quite a bit slower.

I'll try to give it some testing.
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