Terraform Exobot colonies

Describe your experience with the latest version of FreeOrion to help us improve it.
Forum rules
Always mention the exact version of FreeOrion you are testing.

When reporting an issue regarding the AI, if possible provide the relevant AI log file and a save game file that demonstrates the issue.
Message
Author
User avatar
EricF
Space Dragon
Posts: 266
Joined: Fri Jul 29, 2016 10:12 am

Re: Terraform Exobot colonies

#16 Post by EricF » Mon Aug 22, 2016 8:27 pm

The easiest option to understand for the player would be a building for each species.
called Terraform 'species'

So if I wanted to make a planet more habitable for humans I would select the
Terraform Human option in the build queue.
This would automatically terraform the planet to the next best level for humans.
You wouldn't need the un-terraform buildings at all.
I don't understand the un-terraform option anyway unless it is to make the planet more habitable for a different species, but with this method you wouldn't need it as each species would have its own 'Terraform toward good' option.
I think this would keep build queue clutter to a minimum. There aren't THAT many different species that you would potentially control.

I also second the idea to be able to terraform Outposts.

Furthermore, you could make all planet types 'Adequate' for Exobots and remove teraforming for them entirely.

User avatar
Vezzra
Release Manager, Design
Posts: 4606
Joined: Wed Nov 16, 2011 12:56 pm
Location: Sol III

Re: Terraform Exobot colonies

#17 Post by Vezzra » Tue Aug 23, 2016 7:40 am

EricF wrote:The easiest option to understand for the player would be a building for each species.
called Terraform 'species'
The problem with that approach is you need a building for each species instead of e.g. one building for each environment. As there are far more species than environments, that has the potential to clutter up the list of producible items on the production screen a lot (we have already a colony building for each species that can colonize). Maintaining the required content scripts also gets much more difficult.

All that for only a limited improvement, as e.g. providing buildings for each environment should be easy enough to understand and use. IMO not worth the hassle.

rkupke
Space Floater
Posts: 19
Joined: Tue Feb 01, 2011 4:09 pm

Re: Terraform Exobot colonies

#18 Post by rkupke » Fri Mar 10, 2017 10:36 am

Could you simply allow construction of terraforming buildings on outposts?

A building on an outpost simply does nothing (waits for settlers).

Thus the player can "preload" a planet with terraforming buildings that wait for settlers to arrive.

Heracliton
Space Floater
Posts: 22
Joined: Wed Apr 13, 2016 12:57 pm
Location: UK

Re: Terraform Exobot colonies

#19 Post by Heracliton » Sat Mar 11, 2017 7:32 pm

Stars! had the "Claim Adjuster" race that, amongst other advantages, had robots that could terraform planets from orbit. A very powerful diplomatic tool because friendly races might expect a fleet of these to visit and terraform any of their planets towards the optimum for that race (extent depending on tech level of the CA).

Enemy races could expect a CA fleet to terraform their planet towards uninhabitability.

In FO I imagine that exobots could be programmed to work on terraforming the planet towards a player-chosen habitat.
Main conceptual issue is how to make this progressive depending on tech level without introducing excessive complexity in the tech tree (OTOH, for 4X freaks like me that's one of the attractions of FO). In FO terraforming is a one-off tech advance (not very realistic in terms of how science/tech progresses).

A biotech 'tree' could coordinate advances variously relevant to organic hulls, biowarfare/defense, terraforming, xenological genetics, monster taming, etc. If that seems interesting I could sketch out some potential flow chats/trees.

Suppertime, woo! (Where's that damn corkscrew?!)

User avatar
Dilvish
AI Lead, Programmer
Posts: 4683
Joined: Sat Sep 22, 2012 6:25 pm

Re: Terraform Exobot colonies

#20 Post by Dilvish » Sat Mar 11, 2017 10:39 pm

Vezzra wrote:(we have already a colony building for each species that can colonize).
I like Mat's suggestion of an enviroforming project which must be at least enqueued before the more specific Terraforming projects show up, and a similar 'colony preparation project' could be used to reduce build list clutter from all the colony buildings.
If I provided any code, scripts or other content here, it's released under GPL 2.0 and CC-BY-SA 3.0

User avatar
mem359
Dyson Forest
Posts: 214
Joined: Sun Jun 08, 2014 1:18 am

Re: Terraform Exobot colonies

#21 Post by mem359 » Sun Mar 12, 2017 1:28 pm

Counter-argument: If a planet can be terraformed using outposts, then that neuters the majority of the Growth technologies. I would only research up to Terraform, and ignore the others (unless forced to get them for other technologies). While Pure-Energy Metabolism is nice, I would only need to research 4 Growth techs (Planetary Ecology, Subterranean Habitation, Advanced Eco-Manipulation, Terraforming).

Considering the difference in population between an outpost and a viable colony, the outpost Terraform should be hideously expensive and/or take a lot longer. At the least, enough to make people consider researching the Xenological techs instead.

What I would like (instead) is to be able to build Terraform on colonized planets, even if the population is decreasing towards zero (or below). If the population will survive long enough (8 turns) to convert it to a livable planet, then why not?

User avatar
Vezzra
Release Manager, Design
Posts: 4606
Joined: Wed Nov 16, 2011 12:56 pm
Location: Sol III

Re: Terraform Exobot colonies

#22 Post by Vezzra » Sun Mar 12, 2017 3:59 pm

mem359 wrote:Counter-argument: If a planet can be terraformed using outposts, then that neuters the majority of the Growth technologies.
If I understand correctly, that's actually the idea: having two alternatives on how to increase the pop on your colonies. One would be to research techs that enable your population to thrive better in less than optimal environments, the other to actually transform the environment to fit your pop. When you have one, it should be coounter-productive to reseach the other alternative too.

Of course that has to be balanced accordingly, with distinct advantages and disadvantages for both paths, so the player actually has to make an interesting choice.

User avatar
MatGB
Creative Contributor
Posts: 3310
Joined: Fri Jun 28, 2013 11:45 pm

Re: Terraform Exobot colonies

#23 Post by MatGB » Sun Mar 12, 2017 6:31 pm

Vezzra wrote:
mem359 wrote:Counter-argument: If a planet can be terraformed using outposts, then that neuters the majority of the Growth technologies.
If I understand correctly, that's actually the idea: having two alternatives on how to increase the pop on your colonies. One would be to research techs that enable your population to thrive better in less than optimal environments, the other to actually transform the environment to fit your pop. When you have one, it should be coounter-productive to reseach the other alternative too.

Of course that has to be balanced accordingly, with distinct advantages and disadvantages for both paths, so the player actually has to make an interesting choice.
Exactly, it doesn't need to be a very hard Either/Or exclusionary choice, but as/when we redo the tech tree properly it'd be good if there was a more obvious choice with advantages to just going down one line or the other: this'll probably be tied to making a LOT of mid to late game techs more expensive, it's fairly obvious that they don't ramp up in cost enough over time.

I'd like it so the player makes a deliberate choice to either adapt planets to suit species or adapt species to suit planets with neither being obviously always better but that some species/circumstances/strategies favour one over the other.
Mat Bowles

Any code or patches in anything posted here is released under the CC and GPL licences in use for the FO project.

User avatar
mem359
Dyson Forest
Posts: 214
Joined: Sun Jun 08, 2014 1:18 am

Re: Terraform Exobot colonies

#24 Post by mem359 » Mon Mar 13, 2017 2:50 am

Vezzra wrote:
mem359 wrote:Counter-argument: If a planet can be terraformed using outposts, then that neuters the majority of the Growth technologies.
If I understand correctly, that's actually the idea: having two alternatives on how to increase the pop on your colonies. One would be to research techs that enable your population to thrive better in less than optimal environments, the other to actually transform the environment to fit your pop. When you have one, it should be coounter-productive to reseach the other alternative too.

Of course that has to be balanced accordingly, with distinct advantages and disadvantages for both paths, so the player actually has to make an interesting choice.
Currently, the advantage of getting the techs up to Xenological Genetics is that I can get a foothold on even hostile planets, and then Terraform them. The current system is what you are talking about (spend resources on tech like Cyborgs, or choose instead to produce Terraform). Some of the other posters are suggesting to eliminate this necessity by letting Outposts build Terraform.

I am pointing out that currently there are 18 techs under Growth, and allowing outposts to Terraform (unless some serious balancing is done) will likely result in only 4 Growth techs being used. That is not simply choosing a different branch. That is more like cutting down the whole tree.

User avatar
Dilvish
AI Lead, Programmer
Posts: 4683
Joined: Sat Sep 22, 2012 6:25 pm

Re: Terraform Exobot colonies

#25 Post by Dilvish » Mon Mar 13, 2017 3:36 am

mem359 wrote:I am pointing out that currently there are 18 techs under Growth, and allowing outposts to Terraform (unless some serious balancing is done) will likely result in only 4 Growth techs being used. That is not simply choosing a different branch. That is more like cutting down the whole tree.
Many of those techs have nothing to do with choosing between terraforming an outpost or relying on the other growth techs to colonize; I don't think you really have even a shred of an argument.
If I provided any code, scripts or other content here, it's released under GPL 2.0 and CC-BY-SA 3.0

User avatar
Vezzra
Release Manager, Design
Posts: 4606
Joined: Wed Nov 16, 2011 12:56 pm
Location: Sol III

Re: Terraform Exobot colonies

#26 Post by Vezzra » Mon Mar 13, 2017 5:44 am

mem359 wrote:I am pointing out that currently there are 18 techs under Growth, and allowing outposts to Terraform (unless some serious balancing is done) will likely result in only 4 Growth techs being used. That is not simply choosing a different branch. That is more like cutting down the whole tree.
Well, revising terraforming and revising the growth techs will have to go hand in hand if our goal is to make these two alternatives paths. So any problem in that regard is going to be addressed anyway.

User avatar
MatGB
Creative Contributor
Posts: 3310
Joined: Fri Jun 28, 2013 11:45 pm

Re: Terraform Exobot colonies

#27 Post by MatGB » Mon Mar 13, 2017 7:58 am

One path: cheap to research (ish), instead costs PP. Other path: time consuming and costly to research, little to no PP.

In addition, the more a planet is terraformed, currently, the higher the cost, and for larger planets that costs (deliberately) grows a LOT. That's part of the overall plan.
Mat Bowles

Any code or patches in anything posted here is released under the CC and GPL licences in use for the FO project.

User avatar
mem359
Dyson Forest
Posts: 214
Joined: Sun Jun 08, 2014 1:18 am

Re: Terraform Exobot colonies

#28 Post by mem359 » Mon Mar 13, 2017 10:12 pm

Dilvish wrote:Many of those techs have nothing to do with choosing between terraforming an outpost or relying on the other growth techs to colonize; I don't think you really have even a shred of an argument.
I'm assuming that "terraforming an outpost or relying on the other growth techs to colonize" is centered around 3 techs: Xeno Genetics, Terraforming, and Cyborgs.

18 Growth techs in total
I never research Bioterror, so I tend to forget it is there.
Orbital Habitation is decoupled from the rest of the Growth tree. (It is also very expensive for its benefits.)

Every other Growth tech is either a prerequisite for those initial 3 techs, or has at least one of those 3 techs as a prereq.

I don't see how 2 out of 18 can be considered as "many" having nothing to do with those 3 techs.

----

Look... do it. Don't do it. I'm (obviously) not running the show, and I won't get upset either way.

There is no need for an attitude. All I'm trying to do is point out a potential drawback to the suggestion, that no one else had mentioned. (If my wording can across as too strong/absolute, consider it retroactively weakened.)

User avatar
mem359
Dyson Forest
Posts: 214
Joined: Sun Jun 08, 2014 1:18 am

Re: Terraform Exobot colonies

#29 Post by mem359 » Mon Mar 13, 2017 10:19 pm

Vezzra wrote:Well, revising terraforming and revising the growth techs will have to go hand in hand if our goal is to make these two alternatives paths. So any problem in that regard is going to be addressed anyway.
Yes.
And sometimes during the test builds, a feature is introduced with the emphasis on minimum disruption to the rest of the game, which can lead to balancing problems in the short term.

All I was suggesting was that it shouldn't be as simple as letting outposts terraform just like colonies do.
(If you reread my initial comment, I wasn't saying it shouldn't happen. But if it happens, the cost should be appropriate.)

User avatar
Vezzra
Release Manager, Design
Posts: 4606
Joined: Wed Nov 16, 2011 12:56 pm
Location: Sol III

Re: Terraform Exobot colonies

#30 Post by Vezzra » Tue Mar 14, 2017 7:42 am

mem359 wrote:But if it happens, the cost should be appropriate.
Of course. Although I expect it to take some trial and error before we get the balance right.

Post Reply