Special elements

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

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marhawkman
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Special elements

#1 Post by marhawkman »

I've mentioned the idea a few times but never really started a discussion about it.

Premise1: there are certain rare substances in the universe that aren't found everywhere and are relatively hard to acquire a supply of.

Premise2: having a supply of one or more of these substances allows you to research way to utilize them in your technology to produce effects that are more potent than you would otherwise get.

effect1: some planets/moons/asteroids might have minable concentrations of these substances. I kinda don't think it'd make much game sense for planetary supplies to be "as good as" moon/asteroid supplies simply because they'd be almost free to develop(add colony here, done), maybe have planetary supplies tend toward the quickly exhausted type? (only get x units by mining this rare mineral) The obvious exception here would be races who have this as a racial advantage, they happen to have originated on a planet where the stuff is relatively common.

effect2: tech created with these substances needs to be in some way superior to normal tech to compensate for the greater cost of building it.

effect3: races that don't start with any can find and mine it in order to use it for research and construct things with it.

effect4: all supplies of these substances in a game would exist as specials associated with solar system objects.
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eleazar
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Re: Special elements

#2 Post by eleazar »

eleazar previously wrote:IMHO "strategic resources" belong squarely in the category of "something that might be nice to have, but is certainly unnecessary to the core game, and therefore should be tabled until after 1.0."

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Bigjoe5
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Re: Special elements

#3 Post by Bigjoe5 »

eleazar previously wrote:IMHO "strategic resources" belong squarely in the category of "something that might be nice to have, but is certainly unnecessary to the core game, and therefore should be tabled until after 1.0."
Well, if it's something that isn't going to be implemented soon, then this is the right place to talk about it. I would consider it unwise to stifle brainstorming threads, as they might provide valuable ideas to greatly increase the fun value of the game. It may, in fact, be possible to develope this idea to such an extent that we can determine that it's implementation may be valuable enough and easy enough to implement to be implemented before v1.0.

That said, I think a certain valuable resource that could be found in random planets or asteroid belts would be a good idea. First, though, we would need to find a tangible benefit to attribute to such a mineral. I think one special mineral type would be sufficient as a special. An idea is forming in my mind now....... 8)

Xentronium, the legendary element. Ages ago, the Orions discovered this rare element and discovered it's great power. As soon as they discovered it, they set their researchers to work on synthesizing it. The FO empires would have insufficient technological capabilities to synthesize Xentronium until the very late game. This doesn't, however, mean that they can't utilize it in their ships.

In addition to automatically having the strongest armor type, ships built with Xentronium have increased firing power and faster engines, due to the ability of Xentronium to focus energy more efficiently, and increased stealth, due to Xentronium's natural sensor scrambling properties.

When a deposit of Xentronium is discovered, either on a planet or asteroid belt, the player would mine the way he normally would, except that instead of regular minerals, he gets Xentronium. A planet or asteroid belt with Xentronium would be extremely valuable, so enemies will certainly try to capture it if they find out where it is.

Xentronium goes to the empire resource pool like normal minerals. It can be traded like normal minerals. But it's much more valuable than normal minerals. To build a ship using Xentronium, the player will select a Xentronium option when putting a ship in the build queue for a shipyard. (This option is, of course, invisible if the player has no Xentronium.) The ship is built using the available Xentronium instead of minerals.

Ships cannot be built with a combination of Xentronium and regular minerals because this would result in different degrees of excellence in Xentronium ships, which is unKISS and uncool because Xentronium ships should be pwnsome. If a player's Xentronium supply is blockaded/taken before the ship is finished, the ship will sit there until construction can continue due to the supply of Xentronium being continued, or until the player scraps the project, recovering his Xentronium (maybe not quite all of it?), but losing all the labor he invested into the project. The player building the ship should guard that shipyard well, though, since that ship may be the target of enemy strikes.

A late game building called "Xentronium Synthesizer" could be implemented, with a pre-requisite of you actually having come in contact with Xentronium, either by mining it, trading for it, or capturing an enemy ship made of Xentronium. This building would have the effect of turning regular minerals into Xentronium at a 1:2 ratio.

So what do you think? Intriguing way of implementing Xentronium and strategic resource in one fell swoop, eh? I think it's fairly KISS as long as the player knows what's going on. Thoughts?
Last edited by Bigjoe5 on Sun Mar 02, 2008 1:48 am, edited 1 time in total.
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eleazar
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Re: Special elements

#4 Post by eleazar »

Bigjoe5 wrote:I would consider it unwise to stifle brainstorming threads, as they might provide valuable ideas to greatly increase the fun value of the game. It may, in fact, be possible to develope this idea to such an extent that we can determine that it's implementation may be valuable enough and easy enough to implement to be implemented before v1.0.
I'm not preventing anyone from discussing whatever they want. I'm presenting my opinion on the topic, which is not one that geoff currently agrees with, so it's in no way an "official" opinion.

While it's possible that discussion of an idea very unlikely to be included in 1.0 (assuming for argument that this is one) could "provide valuable ideas to greatly increase the fun value of the game"... it's actually much more likely that it will distract from discussion of something more certain to go into the game... or frustrate new contributors who don't understand that the elaborate care they are spending on an idea is almost certainly wasted since the base idea is unlikely to be part of the game.
Last edited by eleazar on Wed Mar 05, 2008 2:29 am, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: Special elements

#5 Post by Bigjoe5 »

What on earth did you do to those quote boxes? :shock:

Anyway, you must admit that your comment was not conducive to the discussion of this topic. Actually, had I not responded, I rather doubt that anyone would have. But that's what I'm here for. :lol: You should be careful that you're high status doesn't intimidate people into not discussing things! :)

As for new contributers, their effort in developing an idea just makes it that much more likely that it'll be in the game, doesn't it?
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Re: Special elements

#6 Post by marhawkman »

I just KNEW someone would mention Xentronium.... :lol:

But anyways, I was thinking of doing the "synthesizer" idea. It makes sense. It doesn't make sense for the special elements to give ships set stats. But giving large performance boosts makes sense.

The main flaw to the version bigjoe presented is that it's a bit too much of a "I have it therefore I win" sort of thing. I figure you should at least have to spend some time researching it.

Also I'm kinda thinking it'd get dull if there was only one. I'd have at least two. Xentronium would make sense as something good for potent defense. Maybe have the other be more offense oriented?
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eleazar
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Re: Special elements

#7 Post by eleazar »

Bigjoe5 wrote:What on earth did you do to those quote boxes? :shock:
Hmm, sorry. I think i understand how it looked to you now.

I used a quote because i recently expressed that opinion in another thread, and thought that someone might be interested in the first thread. But in isolation it looked to you like i was quoting some official source.

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Re: Special elements

#8 Post by Bigjoe5 »

Actually, I was talking about your second post where it says that I said that you previously said something even though it was I that actually said it.

But yeah, it did look that way.

Anyway, as for the Xentronium thing, I think maybe we could incorporate some kind of initial research time after a player discovers Xentronium. There are other ways we could balance it, of course. We could have it produce more slowly than normal minerals, or have a longer build time for ships that are being built with Xentronium.

I kind of think that having two would be a bit redundant. As an high level strategic game effect, it's pretty much the same thing: It makes ships more effective in battle. I'm open to the possibility of having more than one that do different things. We could have them affect all kinds of things like buildings....
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Re: Special elements

#9 Post by eleazar »

Bigjoe5 wrote:Actually, I was talking about your second post where it says that I said that you previously said something even though it was I that actually said it.
err, that was a copy/paste error. fixed.

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Re: Special elements

#10 Post by marhawkman »

Bigjoe5 wrote:Anyway, as for the Xentronium thing, I think maybe we could incorporate some kind of initial research time after a player discovers Xentronium. There are other ways we could balance it, of course. We could have it produce more slowly than normal minerals, or have a longer build time for ships that are being built with Xentronium.
that sounds about right. Although I really think it needs research time. The other two, maybe.
I kind of think that having two would be a bit redundant. As an high level strategic game effect, it's pretty much the same thing: It makes ships more effective in battle. I'm open to the possibility of having more than one that do different things. We could have them affect all kinds of things like buildings....
Now you're getting the idea. :) Having Xentronium wouldn't give you benefits across the board. It'd give you awesome armor on your ships, and several other things, but it wouldn't benefit your weapons tech or boost non-combat techs. There'd be at least one more that gives you boosts to your weapons. Maybe one that supercharges biotech and gives normal tech some of the properties of biotech.
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Re: Special elements

#11 Post by Bigjoe5 »

The problem with having more than one is that you have to balance how many there are with their rarity. If you want special elements in general to be rare, but you don't want each element to be too rare, then it's difficult to have a lot.

Anyway, if we have Xentronium metal from asteroids/planets for armor and stealth and, say, Zeon gas from gas giants to supercharge weapons and engines, then we can have something else for regular buildings.
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Re: Special elements

#12 Post by yaromir »

The only thing about Strategic Resources is they shouldn't be required.

They should enhance (armor, weapons, production, research...etc).

I found it extremely annoying in Civ IV that you HAD to have a mine with copper/iron to build units.

----

I think value of SR is overlooked. They would breakup monotony of the worlds. They would make remote worlds worth colonizing/conquering.

I also think Civ IV was far too generous with placing them. Holding a SR should confer a noticeable advantage.
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Re: Special elements

#13 Post by marhawkman »

yaromir wrote:The only thing about Strategic Resources is they shouldn't be required.
yes.
They should enhance (armor, weapons, production, research...etc).
quite right
I found it extremely annoying in Civ IV that you HAD to have a mine with copper/iron to build units.
Age of empires was somewhat better, you at least had options that didn't require metal. (like spears men who use wooden spears in battle. sure they suck compared to the guys with swords, but in a pinch you can make them to pad out your army.)
----

I think value of SR is overlooked. They would breakup monotony of the worlds. They would make remote worlds worth colonizing/conquering.
that's the general idea. It gives you a tangible benefit for controlling a certain planet.
I also think Civ IV was far too generous with placing them. Holding a SR should confer a noticeable advantage.
Hence the tech upgrade idea. :)
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Re: Special elements

#14 Post by Krikkitone »

To be fair, in Civ IV resources aren't required either...

An Axeman, spearman or chariot could just be looked at as an improved version of a warrior/archer (massively improved but still)


and that I think is the key factor, the improvement should be significant, but Not super massively significant.

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Re: Special elements

#15 Post by marhawkman »

Yes, something valuable enough to fight over, but not so powerful that you absolutaely have to have it.

So far we have:
Xentronium: Primary use: augments armor; Secondary uses: maybe something to do with stealth, and/or having it could allow you to research damper fields. :D Needless to say you'd only be able to build Damper fields if you had a supply of Xentronium available.

Q-Zeon(zeon was a smidge too already used): Primary use: augments weapons power/accuracy; Secondary uses: increase efficiency of engines, allows you to use it to add "kills crew" to your beam(?) weapons(maybe seperate research projects for various weapon types?)

Surillium: primary uses: Increase industrial efficiency; Secondary uses: improve shielding, improve ship power conservation

Those would be basic items that anyone can use effectively. Next are special elements that are primarily beneficial to specific race types. Four to be precise. :)

Biomethium: Primary use: augments biotech; secondary use: allows non-biotech structures/devices to mimic the properties of biotech(at the unaugmented level).

Trinatrium: Primary use: augment crystalline tech; secondary use: allows non-crystal tech structures/devices to mimic the properties of crystal tech(at the unaugmented level).

Syntritium: Primary use: augment solid energy tech; Secondary use: (see above)

Voldium-X: Primary use: Augment Transphasic tech; secondary use: ditto...

Yeah the last four would only have a reason to exist if we added those types of technology to the game(most likely as racial techs).
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