No wonders, just places

For what's not in 'Top Priority Game Design'. Post your ideas, visions, suggestions for the game, rules, modifications, etc.

Moderators: Oberlus, Oberlus

Post Reply
Message
Author
User avatar
Dreamer
Dyson Forest
Posts: 228
Joined: Sun Mar 13, 2005 6:44 am
Location: Santiago, Chile

No wonders, just places

#1 Post by Dreamer » Sat Jan 21, 2006 3:49 am

I was reading a post and I came to the conclusion that, in general, wonders don't really make much sense. Even in Civs 1-4 there is no real reason why a wonder should have the advantages it does, and no wonder was ever made hoping to get weird advantages from it. On the bottom of things the piramids were tombs and didn't had any real bonuses. Things like the great library sound more useful but there is no real restriction on why the other empire can build the same. Most wonders are important because they represent amazing works of art, construction, philosophy, etc. But they don't have real impact other than tourism.

I know it's a realism argument but I really do think that wonders don't make much sense. And in fact I do have counter-proposals :-)

How about having "natural" wonders. Places, energies, rare animals or plants, spice melange, etc that are wonders by themselves and only exist in certain places. Then it's not about who "builds" the wonder but who control it (and profit from it in one way or another). Let's face it, if I can build something any place I like so can others.

This stuff doesn't have to be on a planet from the start, it can appear or be descovered latter as a random event.

On the other hand, maybe you NEED to construct a certain big thing to make a tech discovery or such, and when you do no other empire needs to try the same... ok, they COULD, but it would be just stupid. In this case the wonder is a mean to and end and has no other reward than the end itself. It can have a minor, touristic bonus but nothing more.

All and all, I think we are taking wonders for granted and not explored other options enought... (AFAIK).

User avatar
Geoff the Medio
Programming, Design, Admin
Posts: 12381
Joined: Wed Oct 08, 2003 1:33 am
Location: Munich

#2 Post by Geoff the Medio » Sat Jan 21, 2006 5:00 am

What you propose sounds like specials. They would grant some interesting bonus, similar to what wonders might grant.

A wonder or building might require a particular special to be built at a particular location. Or, strategic resources could fall under the "specials" umbrella as well, allowing one to build something anywhere in the empire if the resource is controlled.

Techs (particularly applications) could be made that have no particular use unless you have access to the special that is required to build the building they unlock, or which only give bonuses on plantes / systems where the relevant special is located. This would be a bit like an "asteroid mining" tech that only gives bonuses to mining on planets in systems that have an asteroid belt. But in this case, it'd be something like a "Spice Harvesting" tech that gives bonuses to trade in systems that have the "Spice" special.

Specials could be defined with rarity flags, like </common>, </rare>, </unique> that would determine how many can appear per galaxy.

As for requiring a building or particular special or other non-tech condition to unlock a tech, I'm not sure if this has been ruled acceptable or not. Perhaps check the design archive or wait for Aq or skdiw to declare what was decided in some nebulous discussion in the misty times long past...

User avatar
utilae
Cosmic Dragon
Posts: 2175
Joined: Fri Jun 27, 2003 12:37 am
Location: Auckland, New Zealand

#3 Post by utilae » Sat Jan 21, 2006 9:08 pm

I think wonders should only provide a morale bonus to your population and as a result, it would make sense that if another race built the same wonder, their people would not get as high a morale bonus, because it is just a copy.

Some wonders may have some actual uses, eg building a crystal to store all the free energy in the universe providing the only source of ultimate power (cause there would be no more free energy in the universe to store in a copy).

Natural wonders, like the spice melange would only have to be discovered and controlled and would provide some resource or actual use.

User avatar
Geoff the Medio
Programming, Design, Admin
Posts: 12381
Joined: Wed Oct 08, 2003 1:33 am
Location: Munich

Re: No wonders, just places

#4 Post by Geoff the Medio » Sat Jan 21, 2006 9:40 pm

Dreamer wrote:Even in Civs 1-4 there is no real reason why a wonder should have the advantages it does, and no wonder was ever made hoping to get weird advantages from it. On the bottom of things the piramids were tombs and didn't had any real bonuses. Things like the great library sound more useful but there is no real restriction on why the other empire can build the same. Most wonders are important because they represent amazing works of art, construction, philosophy, etc. But they don't have real impact other than tourism.
Just to clarify and expand, since we're doing a space opera sci-fi setting, we can have buildings or wonders or techs or natural phenomena that do just about anything plausibly. It doesn't really make sense in Civ that pyramids act like granaries or let you pick any government. But in FO, it's entirely possible to make a Political Resonance Beakon that makes any government system acceptable to your population, and that can only be built once due to its effect preventing another from coming online, or due to it requiring some special resourse that's only available in one place in the galaxy.
utilae wrote:I think wonders should only provide a morale bonus to your population and as a result, it would make sense that if another race built the same wonder, their people would not get as high a morale bonus, because it is just a copy.
Just giving morale bonuses and no other effects is a very limited role for wonders in the game... Would it even be worth having them as a separate game concept if that's all they did?

User avatar
Dreamer
Dyson Forest
Posts: 228
Joined: Sun Mar 13, 2005 6:44 am
Location: Santiago, Chile

Re: No wonders, just places

#5 Post by Dreamer » Sat Jan 21, 2006 10:19 pm

Geoff the Medio wrote:Just to clarify and expand, since we're doing a space opera sci-fi setting, we can have buildings or wonders or techs or natural phenomena that do just about anything plausibly. It doesn't really make sense in Civ that pyramids act like granaries or let you pick any government. But in FO, it's entirely possible to make a Political Resonance Beakon that makes any government system acceptable to your population, and that can only be built once due to its effect preventing another from coming online, or due to it requiring some special resourse that's only available in one place in the galaxy.
I do like that. What I think is that we do have so many posibilities here that we CAN presind of pyramids working like granaries.
Geoff the Medio wrote:Just giving morale bonuses and no other effects is a very limited role for wonders in the game... Would it even be worth having them as a separate game concept if that's all they did?
Maybe wonders can give temporary bonuses instead of permanent ones. Representing huge breakthroughts or golden ages. Then it's not about what the wonder does, it's about what it represents.

User avatar
Geoff the Medio
Programming, Design, Admin
Posts: 12381
Joined: Wed Oct 08, 2003 1:33 am
Location: Munich

Re: No wonders, just places

#6 Post by Geoff the Medio » Sun Jan 22, 2006 1:56 am

Dreamer wrote:Maybe wonders can give temporary bonuses instead of permanent ones. Representing huge breakthroughts or golden ages. Then it's not about what the wonder does, it's about what it represents.
If you mean temporary in the sense that Civ wonders sometimes become obsolete because of later tech advances, then perhaps. They (or regular buildings or techs or specials or anything) could also probably give limited duration effects after being built, discovered, activated, etc, if doing so is interesting or strategically significant.

But none of that requires a new explanation for how wonders work in general. Some wonders can be explained by social effects such as "wow, look at that in the brochure, let's go on a vacation there" or "wow, my empire is great, let's agree to whatever government system they want to use!" or appeals to technobabble. doing this doesn't mean anything different in practice for the actual game though, unless you're leaving some assumptions unstated...

User avatar
Dreamer
Dyson Forest
Posts: 228
Joined: Sun Mar 13, 2005 6:44 am
Location: Santiago, Chile

Re: No wonders, just places

#7 Post by Dreamer » Sun Jan 22, 2006 3:41 pm

Geoff the Medio wrote:doing this doesn't mean anything different in practice for the actual game though, unless you're leaving some assumptions unstated...
I'm not stating that the actual system cannot be done, what I mean as that seems like a lot of bullshit in the game that doesn't need to be there (even technobabble can't magically make it right everytime). I will try to summarize:

1.- There is no reason why a wonder can't be constructed more than once. Only the "Universal energy collector" or something like this sound reasonable, but I sincerelly think most of them would be too powerful and difficult to balance. If I build a death star (wich would be a wonder I think) there is no reason why there couldn't be 2 more of them.

2.- There is no real reason for a lot of wonders to have the advantages it does. If the wonder is the pyramids you should get a tomb, not granaries everywhere. If it is a cannon, you should get the firepower for wich it was built but not extra tech.

Possible sound solutions:

1.- Make the wonders deppendand on special resources or phenomena so the one that controls it can rip it's effects. Uniqueness can be reasonable this way.

2.- Make the wonder's construction mark a historic event with some mild temporary benefits, after wich the wonder still retains the purpose for wich it was built but not any galaxy-wide effects. Of course other empires can build their own replicas to get this funcion, but that doesn't triggers the temporary benefits.

I like the first more since it allows for tactical places in the galaxy. You can not build all wonders in the tranquility of your home planet, you need to do it on the spot (and defend it).

User avatar
Geoff the Medio
Programming, Design, Admin
Posts: 12381
Joined: Wed Oct 08, 2003 1:33 am
Location: Munich

#8 Post by Geoff the Medio » Sun Jan 22, 2006 8:41 pm

If wonders can be constructed more than once, then they're not really "wonders" anymore... The only-once part is sort of a defining feature of a "wonder" which separates it from buildings in general that can be built everywhere in many copies, and "small wonders" in Civ3 that can be built once per empire. So that part of what you propose could be a general content design goal, but if so, any such buildings shouldn't be called "wonders" anymore... "mild temporary benefits" aren't as "wonderous" as larger permanent ones...

The main problem with having many actual wonders depend on scarce / unique resources is that it significantly limits player choice in the matter. You can't make any strategies about what wonder to build or where to build it if the resource it requires is limited to a particular location, or if the resource allows the wonder to be built anywhere but can only be controlled by one player at a time.

Then again, having a few wonders that require a resource to function might be interesting, as several players could have copies of the wonder, but only one could function at a time, so players could get in battles to control the single source of the resource with which to make their wonder function and to stop everyone else's copies from working.

Really, I suspect we'll want to have some variety... with some wonders working like Civ-wonders, and others being location limited, and others resource limited. We can also have a few limited duration effect buildings that any player can build.

User avatar
utilae
Cosmic Dragon
Posts: 2175
Joined: Fri Jun 27, 2003 12:37 am
Location: Auckland, New Zealand

#9 Post by utilae » Mon Jan 23, 2006 6:53 am

Geoff the Medio wrote: If wonders can be constructed more than once, then they're not really "wonders" anymore... The only-once part is sort of a defining feature of a "wonder" which separates it from buildings in general that can be built everywhere in many copies, and "small wonders" in Civ3 that can be built once per empire.
What about the pyramids. They are wonders. They are constructed more than once and are all the same. They are wonders still. Your rule does not work.

User avatar
Geoff the Medio
Programming, Design, Admin
Posts: 12381
Joined: Wed Oct 08, 2003 1:33 am
Location: Munich

#10 Post by Geoff the Medio » Mon Jan 23, 2006 7:04 am

utilae wrote:What about the pyramids. They are wonders. They are constructed more than once and are all the same. They are wonders still. Your rule does not work.
The rule applies in the game. Not in the real world.

Trekker
Space Krill
Posts: 6
Joined: Wed Jan 18, 2006 9:05 am

#11 Post by Trekker » Mon Jan 23, 2006 10:43 am

I'm against one-per-galaxy wonders. Wonders are the main reason I don't play civ for to long at a time. From my perspective, they are to unbalancing - they simply give to great an advantage to the empire that gets them. I like the idea of small wonders - one per empire.
Either the great wonders should be nerfed a great deal, to the point where you have to decide wheter they are worth the effort to build, or they should be scratchd alltogether, like in the MOO series.

User avatar
Dreamer
Dyson Forest
Posts: 228
Joined: Sun Mar 13, 2005 6:44 am
Location: Santiago, Chile

#12 Post by Dreamer » Wed Jan 25, 2006 2:06 am

Well, at least wonders based on place can make a player go out of it's comfty area behind few, well-protected starlanes to get an advantage. This can make the game more agile. Kind of like the race in Moo to get the orion star.

User avatar
marhawkman
Large Juggernaut
Posts: 938
Joined: Fri Jan 20, 2006 9:34 pm
Location: GA

#13 Post by marhawkman » Wed Jan 25, 2006 2:43 am

that's an idea. a race of ancient warrior types who died off. Leaving a few systems behind that still hold a few remnants of their civilization. But what bonuses would they provide? Orion has the "ancient Artifacts" feature. Maybe make a list of unresearchable tech?I'm not really sure whether this is the best approach. Another possibility is to have these ancient planets have Buildings you can't build located on them. The buildings could provide bonuses of a variety of types. Maybe have one be an automated shipyard?
Computer programming is fun.

solrac776
Space Floater
Posts: 33
Joined: Sat Aug 14, 2004 1:01 am
Location: Dublin, Ireland

#14 Post by solrac776 » Sun Feb 26, 2006 2:32 pm

Or like the orichalcum that is in so many Atlantis myths. To run the Atlantis tech, you need to have a source of orichalcum, which (it just so happens) you can only get at Atlantis. So we'd have a unique resource that opens up new paths for technology, but that once lost makes that researched technology useless (or more limited). Also, not having that resource means that you can no longer progress down that technology/design path.

User avatar
marhawkman
Large Juggernaut
Posts: 938
Joined: Fri Jan 20, 2006 9:34 pm
Location: GA

#15 Post by marhawkman » Sun Feb 26, 2006 10:38 pm

There actually has been some discussion of that idea already. But the way the game in set up now it'd only really be viable as variations of stuff. IE better versions of existing techs.
Computer programming is fun.

Post Reply