Poll: Habitability Techs/Policies

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How should we do Habitability?

Poll ended at Mon Sep 09, 2019 1:41 pm

Keep the current system: a single tech directly unlocks habitability for all metabolism types
5
56%
A single tech which unlocks multiple habitability policies for different metabolism types
1
11%
Multiple techs that directly unlock habitability for different metabolism types
3
33%
Multiple techs that each unlock a single policy for different metabolism types
0
No votes
 
Total votes: 9

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labgnome
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Poll: Habitability Techs/Policies

#1 Post by labgnome » Sat Aug 10, 2019 1:41 pm

Currently the way habitability works is that a single technology unlocks extra habitability for all species at each level of habitability, adequate, poor and hostile. It has been pointed out that with the different metabolism types this is a bit immersion-breaking currently. Also that the habitability techs are quite powerful this way and could possibly use a nerf, with the habitability techs being "must haves" and eventually any species getting all planet types. It has been suggested, for several years now, to break up habitability by metabolism type. Initially this was suggested to be done through technologies, but recently I thought that this might could be done through policies in a post here. My intent is that this would make increasing habitability much more of a strategic choice. With major work currently being done on the tech tree I decided to open a poll on the subject to get people's opinion.
Last edited by labgnome on Thu Aug 15, 2019 6:41 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Poll: Habitability Techs/Policies

#2 Post by Oberlus » Sat Aug 10, 2019 3:52 pm

immersion breaking
That's a subjective impression. If you see improvements of habitability as interchange of characteristics between metabolisms, It makes sense that you improve all of them simultaneously.
So that is not a reason to prefer one way.
the habitability techs are quite powerful this way and could possibly use a nerf
That's not true, at all. You give preference to growth techs against AI or human player and tell me.
Plus every way is equally ballanceable .

The separation of metabolisms among techs brings a new game: the more metabolisms you hace, the more techs you need. Do we like that? That's the question.
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Re: Poll: Habitability Techs/Policies

#3 Post by Vezzra » Thu Aug 15, 2019 2:00 pm

Oberlus wrote:
Sat Aug 10, 2019 3:52 pm
immersion breaking
That's a subjective impression. If you see improvements of habitability as interchange of characteristics between metabolisms, It makes sense that you improve all of them simultaneously.
So that is not a reason to prefer one way.
As I pointed out in the other thread, with the current fluff names and explanations, it actually is immersion breaking, because the fluff originally had been tailored toward organic species (hence all the biology/genetic/etc. stuff), which is quite silly when applied to lithic or robotic species.

However, that can be easily addressed by changing the fluff, and is, as Oberlus pointed out, no reason to prefer one mechanic over the other.
The separation of metabolisms among techs brings a new game: the more metabolisms you hace, the more techs you need. Do we like that? That's the question.
That's more or less it, and probably depends a lot on personal preference. Personally I'd prefer the separate techs for each metabolism approach, although I certainly can live with the single tech approach as well (provided we change the fluff to address the current silliness).

Another approach could be to have some techs that improve habitability for all metabolisms, while other techs apply only to specific metabolisms. Probably what I'd like the most (I mean, N-Dimensional Structures, Subterranean Habitation etc. would provide more room regardless of metabolism, right?).

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Re: Poll: Habitability Techs/Policies

#4 Post by Oberlus » Thu Aug 15, 2019 4:42 pm

I imagine playable robotic species as living metallic beings that are able to grow, that have a metabolism (you can't call "metabolism" to what our current robots do) and, why not, a metallic-based genome.
Similarly, I imagine lithic as species with a silicate- (or something else) based genome.

Re. immersion:

How come we can avoid invasion of a planet thanks to some clouds or volcanic ashes? That totally breaks me. I have that in mind because yesterday I was working on planetary stealth techs and took me some effort to accept it as it is. Should I not dismiss my innate tendencies for hard sci-fi and give more relevance on to immersion and credibility? Off-topic: OMG braindead basterds who made Another Life, what a crappy series for the budget they have.


Re. themed tiered tech tree:

If we split environment improvement among different metabolisms (and then, why not between different species? some of them are really different from others, e.g. Cray and Beigegoo), will we be happy with some themes being evidently better than others depending on the metabolism of my starting species?
More wordly: I start Eaxaw, organic, and most/all organic metabolism boosts are in Biotec, so I must pick up Biotec. And since I'm Eaxaw and won't be acquiring many species in my empire but Exobots for sure, optionally, I can go also for Cybernetic (with most robotic metabolism boosts). So I guess I'll be playing robotic hulls with drones or Organic hulls with their thing. Summing up, my starting species determined my gameplay. I know for sure that would bother many (but not all) players here.

To avoid that, if we spread each metabolism boosts among several themes, it breaks immersion with the few-big themes approach (Biotech, Crystal, Cybertech, Energy and Mech). Maybe only for robotic it will make sense to put some boost on Mech and the resto on Cybertec, but organic only fits in Biotech and lithic on Crystal.
With the many-small themes approaches it could probably work, if we can come up with the right micro-themes, but I've been struggling to improve that suggestion, and when I try to turn it into a table full of actual techs for each theme, I find it impossible to balance, or better said much much harder than with the few-big themes.

If we come up with a fluff for inter-metabolism xenegenetics blahblah, having differently-themed environment tolerance boosts on different themes but that all affect (maybe on different way) all metabolisms, that removes the problem of my-starting-species-determines-my-starting-tech-branch.
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Re: Poll: Habitability Techs/Policies

#5 Post by Krikkitone » Thu Aug 15, 2019 5:36 pm

As for which theme habitability boosts are in... fluff wise it depends on what you are doing to allow habitation.
For a Real world example...
Air Conditioning... increases the habitability of equatorial areas for Humans... NOT a biotech

So some could be Metabolism specific..(and probably with a corresponding theme) if they involve a fluff of modifying the actual species

Some others could be Environment Specific (Pressure domes/Radiation shields/Heat suits)... and they could be in any theme. (Robots that want to survive on Earth may use biotech to produce an "oxygen scrubbing fungus" for their survival suits that allows them to survive the toxic atmosphere)

Splitting some among Environments (say a group of 3 environments, in whichever themes), some among Metabolisms (in corresponding theme with self modification fluff), and some as all Encompassing (say "Self-Sustaining Arcology logistics".. boosting all..in whichever theme works)

That way Theme would be partly influenced by your Starting species (metabolism) and also by what planets you wanted to colonize early (Environment). But you could always go with Generic techs to improve/survive any environment

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Re: Poll: Habitability Techs/Policies

#6 Post by labgnome » Thu Aug 15, 2019 6:39 pm

Krikkitone wrote:
Thu Aug 15, 2019 5:36 pm
So some could be Metabolism specific..(and probably with a corresponding theme) if they involve a fluff of modifying the actual species

Some others could be Environment Specific (Pressure domes/Radiation shields/Heat suits)... and they could be in any theme. (Robots that want to survive on Earth may use biotech to produce an "oxygen scrubbing fungus" for their survival suits that allows them to survive the toxic atmosphere)

Splitting some among Environments (say a group of 3 environments, in whichever themes), some among Metabolisms (in corresponding theme with self modification fluff), and some as all Encompassing (say "Self-Sustaining Arcology logistics".. boosting all..in whichever theme works)

That way Theme would be partly influenced by your Starting species (metabolism) and also by what planets you wanted to colonize early (Environment). But you could always go with Generic techs to improve/survive any environment
If that is the case I think I would prefer having to use policies to at least gate habitability strategy, that way you aren't getting everything and actually have to make a strategic choice.
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Re: Poll: Habitability Techs/Policies

#7 Post by labgnome » Thu Aug 15, 2019 6:47 pm

Oberlus wrote:
Thu Aug 15, 2019 4:42 pm
If we come up with a fluff for inter-metabolism xenegenetics blahblah, having differently-themed environment tolerance boosts on different themes but that all affect (maybe on different way) all metabolisms, that removes the problem of my-starting-species-determines-my-starting-tech-branch.
So what about locking it into policies, and having the multiple policies be unlocked by a single tech? That way you still need to be strategic, and it makes it more challenging to manage a more diverse empire, but you don't have the problem of starting species determining starting tech branch.
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Re: Poll: Habitability Techs/Policies

#8 Post by Krikkitone » Thu Aug 15, 2019 9:46 pm

I think an important idea here is on how we want the themes to differ in terms of habitability techs/policies.

Tall (ie boosts for optimum environments) v. Wide (boosts/ability to colonize for hostile environments)
and
Rapid (boosts apply immdeiately) v. Slow (boosts apply over time/investment ie terraforming)

Some differences Could be for special boosts for certain metabolisms, but I would keep those to a minimum

I would have the habitability techs spread around to the different themes (1 with terraforming, 3 with a "metabolism specific modification for survival" Policy-one for each metabolism, 3 with "allows colonization of adequate/hostile" techs, 2 with boosts for good environment, 2 with boosts for hostile+adequate)

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Re: Poll: Habitability Techs/Policies

#9 Post by labgnome » Fri Aug 16, 2019 2:19 pm

Krikkitone wrote:
Thu Aug 15, 2019 9:46 pm
I would have the habitability techs spread around to the different themes (1 with terraforming, 3 with a "metabolism specific modification for survival" Policy-one for each metabolism, 3 with "allows colonization of adequate/hostile" techs, 2 with boosts for good environment, 2 with boosts for hostile+adequate)
You are forgetting phototrophic and self-sustaining metabolisms so you would need 5 for metabolism specific, if you are going to spread it out across themes.
That's 13 themes, and right now we have 5 main themes and 2 bonus themes. Plus I think some consolidation is possible. Plus I'm not sure what the difference is supposed to be between "allows colonization of adequate/hostile" and "boosts for hostile+adequate". I also don't think that something like "boosts for good environment" needs two themes. I see two possible ways to split this up with what we currently have.

1.
  • Biotech: habitability boosts for organic
  • Crystal: habitability boosts for lithic
  • Cybernetic: habitability boosts for robotic
  • Energy: habitability boosts for phototrophic
  • Mechanical: good environment boosts & terraforming
  • Void: habitability boosts for self-sustaining
This system works fine without policies, but does heavily bias your starting species and your starting theme together, which might be undesirable.

2.
  • Biotech: terraforming (possibly with reductions to time and cost)
  • Crystal: environment specific boosts (possibly separated by policies)
  • Cybernetic: metabolism specific habitability boosts (separated by policies)
  • Energy: habitable environment boosts (for synergy with other themes)
  • Mechanical: metabolism specific good environment boosts (separated by policies)
In this system your colonization strategy is determined by your theme, and is unaffected by starting species metabolism. However in order to make your choices strategic we can use policies so that you are not getting all metabolism types (or possibly all environments). So far this is the idea that I think I like the best, and I'm changing my vote to reflect it.

I'd also like to remind everyone that you can change your vote in this poll, so that hopefully we can arrive at a general consensus.
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Re: Poll: Habitability Techs/Policies

#10 Post by Krikkitone » Fri Aug 16, 2019 4:28 pm

labgnome wrote:
Fri Aug 16, 2019 2:19 pm
2.
  • Biotech: terraforming (possibly with reductions to time and cost)
  • Crystal: environment specific boosts (possibly separated by policies)
  • Cybernetic: metabolism specific habitability boosts (separated by policies)
  • Energy: habitable environment boosts (for synergy with other themes)
  • Mechanical: metabolism specific good environment boosts (separated by policies)
In this system your colonization strategy is determined by your theme, and is unaffected by starting species metabolism. However in order to make your choices strategic we can use policies so that you are not getting all metabolism types (or possibly all environments). So far this is the idea that I think I like the best, and I'm changing my vote to reflect it.

I'd also like to remind everyone that you can change your vote in this poll, so that hopefully we can arrive at a general consensus.
I like it.... I would switch Mechanical and biotech though. (Terraforming seems more 'mechanical ie massive construction project...Biotech seems like it would be more into "optimizing your ecosystem" boost for good environment)

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Re: Poll: Habitability Techs/Policies

#11 Post by labgnome » Fri Aug 16, 2019 4:49 pm

Krikkitone wrote:
Fri Aug 16, 2019 4:28 pm
labgnome wrote:
Fri Aug 16, 2019 2:19 pm
2.
  • Biotech: terraforming (possibly with reductions to time and cost)
  • Crystal: environment specific boosts (possibly separated by policies)
  • Cybernetic: metabolism specific habitability boosts (separated by policies)
  • Energy: habitable environment boosts (for synergy with other themes)
  • Mechanical: metabolism specific good environment boosts (separated by policies)
In this system your colonization strategy is determined by your theme, and is unaffected by starting species metabolism. However in order to make your choices strategic we can use policies so that you are not getting all metabolism types (or possibly all environments). So far this is the idea that I think I like the best, and I'm changing my vote to reflect it.

I'd also like to remind everyone that you can change your vote in this poll, so that hopefully we can arrive at a general consensus.
I like it.... I would switch Mechanical and biotech though. (Terraforming seems more 'mechanical ie massive construction project...Biotech seems like it would be more into "optimizing your ecosystem" boost for good environment)
Well that's honestly minutia to me, I think Oberlus already has terraforming slotted for the biotechnology theme, and that's something I was trying to accommodate. Plus the "opposite" policies for environmental adaptation were "civil engineering", but it could be changed to something like "ecological management", since that's just fluff.

Over-all the idea is to separate strategies by theme and then enforce strategic choices through policies. The different policies could all be unlocked by a single technology to avoid crowding the technology tree, and ensuring everyone gets the available policies at the same time.
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Re: Poll: Habitability Techs/Policies

#12 Post by Oberlus » Fri Aug 16, 2019 5:43 pm

Wonderful discussion. Keep It up. I'm on a road trip. I'll answer properly some day.
I have in mind two forms of terraforming, slow-cheap for bio and fast-expensive for mech. Nothing set in stone.
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Re: Poll: Habitability Techs/Policies

#13 Post by Krikkitone » Fri Aug 16, 2019 6:03 pm

So perhaps

Bio, Mechanical->Terraforming (Slow v. Expensive)
Cybernetic->selfModification (Metabolism based policies) for habitability
Crystal->Environment based techs [thinking Terran/Ocean/Swamp + Tundra/Desert/Barren + Radiated/Inferno/Toxic] allow habitability/boost pop
Energy->pop boosts to good environment (going to need another theme if you want to go Wide)

(any theme could have some additional pop boosts for good/adequate/hostile environments)

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Re: Poll: Habitability Techs/Policies

#14 Post by labgnome » Tue Aug 20, 2019 4:49 pm

Krikkitone wrote:
Fri Aug 16, 2019 6:03 pm
Bio, Mechanical->Terraforming (Slow v. Expensive)
I'd prefer one form of terraforming myself, but that gets into things that might be off-topic, like wanting to be able to mod-in new planet classes in FOCS.
Cybernetic->selfModification (Metabolism based policies) for habitability
I'm thinking "Environmental Adaptations" as a tech that will unlock the various environmental adaptation policies that will make adequate environments available, then "Environmental Enhancements" as a tech that will modify the policies to also make poor environments available, and finally "Environmental Augmentations" as a tech that will make hostile environments available.
Crystal->Environment based techs [thinking Terran/Ocean/Swamp + Tundra/Desert/Barren + Radiated/Inferno/Toxic] allow habitability/boost pop
For the Terran/Ocean/Swamp, I am thinking "Hydrophobic Construction Materials" that will open up colonization of those planets.

For Tundra/Desert/Barren, I am thinking "Self-Pressurizing Construction Materials" that will open up colonization of those planets.

For Radiated/Inferno/Toxic I am thinking "Environmentally Resistant Construction Materials" that will open up colonization of those planets.

The maximum populations on planets for the environment-based techs should probably be lower then if you go for the policies for the sake of balance.
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Re: Poll: Habitability Techs/Policies

#15 Post by Oberlus » Wed Aug 21, 2019 7:16 pm

I think we can't use policies for stuff like unlocking environments, because that could lead to micromanagement or shoots on one's foot. If you unlock say poor environments, they should be unlocked for good.
Same could happen with targetPopulation increases, although to a lesser degree.
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