Ok, the verbosity is getting out of hand, I'll try
(big emphasis on the "try part here
) to cut straight to what I think is the core issue here:
LienRag wrote: ↑Fri Sep 04, 2020 1:06 am
Well, here is the point. Yes, you should be able to follow through these paths, but not just because you like them, because they are the right paths for the situation at hand.
I think we finally managed to arrive at the heart of the issue: because this is exactly where I disagree, at least to a certain degree.
What kind of victory I go for (conquest, diplomacy, tech, and whatever else we might cook up in the future) must not
depend on my starting position. Or, more realistically, as less as possible, it won't be possible to balance everything so perfectly that your starting position hasn't any effect at all, but it should not be enough to actually impact your choosen path so negatively it's no more a viable option.
Playing a hidden distributed empire is definitely one of the choices included here.
To restate what I've said before: if the game forces me to quit and restart several times (and that after having to play a couple of turns before things become clear) because my starting position makes it impossible to play e.g. peaceful scientists, then that is to be considered bad design.
That does not mean
that a player should not be able to change their fundamental strategy/path to victory they've choosen before, for whatever reason (one of them realising that their particular starting position offers certain opportunities/other options which make such a reconsideration a good idea). It should come with a certain cost of course to do so, but it definitely must
be a viable option.
But it also must
be a viable option to stick with your original plan.
The finer details, how
to actually follow through with your choosen path/strategy/plan of course will depend on your starting position.
It should also be a viable option to have some kind of "neutral" start, where your choice of starting species and Origin doesn't prefer any particular path, and let the player decide on their path based entirely on what they find within the first turns.
But making it so that a player can only play a hidden distributed empire if they are lucky enough so that the starting position allows for it, then I completely fail to see how that is a good idea...
it's entirely fine with me if one path (like research victory as you suggested) is not possible depending on the initial situation, as long as many other choices are still possible
For the reasons cited I'm not fine with that idea at all, especially if some of the (fundamental) paths/strategies require quite some luck to get the right circumstances to be able to play them.
basically, one may like Dark Templars, but if the opponent is Zerg, it's a big no - at least until later in the game if he's able to muster a strike force capable of quickly killing Overlords and Spore colonies.
I don't know Starcraft (beside the name), so I don't know about the specifics of Dark templars and Zerg, but what I got from your description so far looks like those Dark Templars isn't something you can start with, but a path you at some point in the game can choose to follow. However, those Dark Templar are not always a viable option, it depends on the in-game situation (if confronted with Zerg, it's obviously a bad idea to go Dark Templar).
Having such elements in the game is totally fine. I'm certainly not opposed to have certain strategies/paths that only open up later in the game, and which are only viable under certain circumstances, on the contrary, I like that.
, whether I want to play peaceful scientist, ruthless conqueror or cunning diplomat is not
among those options. But e.g. becoming a psionic collective at some point would be, and there could be situations where that might not be a particularly good idea (e.g. when your opponent is an empire with strong anti-psi tech).
What I meant is that a player should be able to try a strategy (like stealthy disconnected empire) and then discard it in favor of another if he finds that this strategy is not the best for the situation - of course he'll take a hit by switching strategies, but this hit is (in a well-designed game) lower than pursuing an unadapted strategy.
We clearly have different ideas what a well-designed game is in that regard. For me, in a well-designed game, switching strategies should be a viable
switching strategies, but sticking to your choosen one (and we're talking about choices like peaceful scientist vs. ruthless conqueror here), should also
Of course, given a certain situation, one might be better than the other (achieving perfect balance for all possible combinations is not a realistic goal), but both options need to be viable
But I also fear (maybe without basis) that you envision a gameplay where stealthy disconnected empire (for example) is a specific strategy, which needs commitment, rather than a tool that can be incorporated in different strategies (although always while having to think hard about the global coherence of the strategy).
Why has that to be mutually exclusive? Stealthy supply disconnected in itself is only a tool you can use for a number of different strategies (which of course have some things in common, the stealthy supply disconnected part in particular...
You can go full hidden distributed empire: A strategy where, if you succeed, the other empires don't know where you actually are, because they never got to see your colonies, ships and other assets. You secretely exists among them, completely under the radar. As I've said repeatedly already, that can only be achieved if you go down that road from turn 1. You can't really disappear after you made contact with your neighbors. Because even if you manage to completely stealth all your assets, your neighbors know you've been there, and know what's going on, and will of course commit to defeat your going into hiding.
I see no possibility to craft game mechanics in a way that even that scenario works out for all involved parties, while still maintaining fun and KISS gameplay. The only way that I can see will work at all is if you are hidden from the start. Hence Origins which make that possible.
Or you can use stealthy supply disconnected to secretely expand into your neighbors territory without them noticing (instead of waging war). That's probably an example for a strategy you adopt at a certain point, and which will not be a viable option in all scenarios.
So I fear that your Origins would be a way to make a player choose amongst a small number of railroads, and that later the only skills required would be in the execution of these strategies, rather than having a player delicately crafting a unique strategy by combining the resources and constraints offered by the Galaxy with the resources (techs, buildings) and constraints (the restrictions ingrained in the tech tree) offered by the game rules.
I get the impression that you only see two possibilities: Either the start is more or less neutral, even the most fundamental choices (peaceful scientist vs. ruthless conqueror etc.) basically depend on starting position, and you can't expect all (fundamental) options being viable.
Or the player can make the fundamental decisions already at game start, but then it's a "the player has to choose the fundamental path at game start and is then stuck with it".
What I envision is "you can choose a path at start if you want, but you don't have to, and you also can change your mind later".
Vezzra wrote: ↑Fri Aug 28, 2020 12:39 pm
Origins is an attempt to decouple some of the stuff that's currently packed into the species definition from said species to maintain the species!=empire concept.
I agree with the idea, I have yet to see an implementation of it that I like.
Maybe it's just my lack of imagination ?
Depends on what you mean by "implementation". The technical aspect is simple enough: Right now the universe generation scripts pre-unlock certain techs and items, and place certain starting buildings on your homeworld and create certain starting fleets. What these techs, items, buildings and fleets are is defined is some FOCS files.
Technically Origins would just turn that into a list of several different options, from which you can choose one at game setup. The FOCS files, instead of having only one set of stuff unlocked/created at game start, would have several sets. Depending on the players choice, the universe generation scripts would pre-unlock and create starting stuff based on that choice.
That would be the technical framework. What you do with that is an entirely different matter, very much depending on what you let the different Origins pre-unlock and create. I assume that part is what you're talking about?