Ancients - more than dust and ruins?

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

Moderators: Oberlus, Oberlus

Message
Author
theBlind
Space Krill
Posts: 9
Joined: Mon Aug 18, 2003 8:28 pm
Location: Germany

Ancients - more than dust and ruins?

#1 Post by theBlind » Wed Aug 20, 2003 7:27 pm

Should there be ancient (as in already developed but no longer expanding) races out there in the universe or should everyone start in the same situation every time?

One of those reasons Babylon5s universe was so nice was the inclusion of the Mimbary as a (semi) ancient race, already set in their ways, no longer neeeding to expand and seemingly almighty to the other races.
So I suppose a (optional) playstyle “ancients” were the players race is a young one, emerging into the galaxy and meeting many other young races as well as some old ones (or their relics) this would give a strong incentive to be diplomatical in some cases (maybe even going some way to reduce cookie cutter builds of pure mining/research/production races [Meklar / Cynoids anyone?]) and could lead to the formation of some kind of gathering (the orion senate was one of the ideas I liked most about MOO3, although it was poorly implemented, imho – the random bills <-- why please call it bill? There are other systems out there as well :( )

So if the option is turned off, everything would be MOOish, while with the option active there would be a few (3-4 maximum more like 1 or 2) ancient races somewhere out in the galaxy (number denpending on galaxy size) and sooner or later you make contact with them (or they could seek you out).

This idea needs some fleshing out and some discussion, so post away.
on wings of destiny
through virgin skies
to far horizons I will fly

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

#2 Post by utilae » Wed Aug 20, 2003 8:04 pm

That would be cool. 8) A game option called Ancients. It would also prove to be a good challenge without cheating, since those ancient races are allowed to start the game with all of that advanced tech, etc.

Pembroke
Space Floater
Posts: 25
Joined: Thu Aug 07, 2003 9:37 am

#3 Post by Pembroke » Thu Aug 21, 2003 8:35 am

Actually, this idea could be expanded even more. Make it a part of the difficulty level setting. You could set up the starting tech level of your empire (exactly what you set) and also the starting level of the AI players (a random range).

E.g. you set your starting tech level as 1 and that of the others to 1-5. This would mean that you start at the level 1 (fixed) and the AI races start at tech levels 1-5 (random range) meaning that the lucky AI starting at level 5 is the "ancient" race in this game.

If you wanted it _really_ tough you'd set the AI races to start at levels 15-20... :)

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

#4 Post by utilae » Thu Aug 21, 2003 8:48 am

Why not set min tech and max tech, you could have very fine control then. :lol:

discord
Space Kraken
Posts: 199
Joined: Fri Jul 25, 2003 12:00 am

#5 Post by discord » Thu Aug 21, 2003 9:52 am

or in multiplayer, set different tech levels for each species, could be just another race pick.

//discord

theBlind
Space Krill
Posts: 9
Joined: Mon Aug 18, 2003 8:28 pm
Location: Germany

#6 Post by theBlind » Thu Aug 21, 2003 9:53 am

Pembroke wrote:
E.g. you set your starting tech level as 1 and that of the others to 1-5. This would mean that you start at the level 1 (fixed) and the AI races start at tech levels 1-5 (random range) meaning that the lucky AI starting at level 5 is the "ancient" race in this game.

If you wanted it _really_ tough you'd set the AI races to start at levels 15-20... :)
The way I though was not the player being a little behind, but the ancient race having a massive headstart in tech, as well as having colonized and developed quiet a chunk of the galaxy, maybe something like 15-20%.[1]
And they should have a race-pick ancient that tells them not to expand any more or rather very slow (like the New Orions in MOO3, but with several systems and a nicer attitude)
And this would be more of an athmosphere and immersion setting depending very much on a well done diplomacy than a pure raising of the difficulty level. Although, if it can be coded (or there is enough scape anyway) to make sure that a little advanced race does not stomp everything down, it would surely be nice to have some races a little more advanced than others.

Maybe the player race could even be discovered by another races scouts and after some diplomatic discussions, the other race could give FTL travel to the player. (Yeah, I know I watch to much Babylon 5, but hey, it´s a good one 8) )

[1] This must be balanced with the size of the galaxy as well as the number of planets / colonies / outposts needed to build up a sizeable empire.
on wings of destiny
through virgin skies
to far horizons I will fly

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

#7 Post by utilae » Sun Aug 24, 2003 3:34 am

This ancient race idea would be great. And then you could tick the 'minor races' check box. And you would be in the middle, tech wise.

Note:
Minor races should be behind in tech, so they have to research through 'ages' (like age of empires, they have a mini tech tree, where they research 10 techs from stone age to information age
) to catch up, finally getting space travel techs and the techs we get.

User avatar
Krikkitone
Creative Contributor
Posts: 1498
Joined: Sat Sep 13, 2003 6:52 pm

#8 Post by Krikkitone » Wed Oct 08, 2003 7:04 am

Actually, that seems very like a Civ-type game idea I had (players are classified as Tribes/City-States/Ancient Empires/World Powers/Global Superpowers based on their level of technology and ability to project power. NORMALLY, a player would start in the world as a member of the most advanced group present, but you could start somewhat behind the curve.


Minor Races are an easy inclusion because they are behind the curve and don't affect balance too much.

Ancient Races on the Other Hand that are significantly more advanced than the player...now that requires careful balancing to stay fun...having those races be lax enough to not just accidentally crush a player, but active enough to be something other than a mid-game pushover makes them more complicated... However, If it can be done in a fun balanced way, then it Really Must be done because that is a space scifi staple.

[If it was done well, a 'degree of ancientmess' could be a factor a race gets basically starting position...particularly tech that comes with a 'lethargy'..that keeps them from exploiting that advantage.]

snakechia
Space Floater
Posts: 40
Joined: Mon Jun 30, 2003 8:55 pm

#9 Post by snakechia » Wed Oct 08, 2003 2:03 pm

as long as the player has the ability to play any of these races, they are all really good ideas.

EntropyAvatar
Space Kraken
Posts: 147
Joined: Tue Sep 23, 2003 7:28 pm

#10 Post by EntropyAvatar » Thu Oct 09, 2003 7:40 pm

Krikkitone wrote: [If it was done well, a 'degree of ancientmess' could be a factor a race gets basically starting position...particularly tech that comes with a 'lethargy'..that keeps them from exploiting that advantage.]
I'm not going to be too enthusiastic about this until I see a reasonable way to model lethargy. I think it would be a hard thing to get right.

User avatar
Krikkitone
Creative Contributor
Posts: 1498
Joined: Sat Sep 13, 2003 6:52 pm

#11 Post by Krikkitone » Fri Oct 10, 2003 2:25 pm

I tend to agree. Especially if it was made a player race. This is one of those put it on if we have the time to do it well, otherwise minor races only.

User avatar
Extremepumpkin
Space Kraken
Posts: 125
Joined: Fri Aug 22, 2003 4:02 pm
Location: Here.

#12 Post by Extremepumpkin » Mon Oct 27, 2003 3:47 am

EntropyAvatar wrote: I'm not going to be too enthusiastic about this until I see a reasonable way to model lethargy. I think it would be a hard thing to get right.
Just use the pre patch moo3 AI, they did a pretty good job at that ;)
Only after 14 hours of work, will you realize you can do it in 2.

User avatar
Ablaze
Creative Contributor
Posts: 314
Joined: Tue Aug 26, 2003 6:10 pm
Location: Amidst the Inferno.

#13 Post by Ablaze » Mon Oct 27, 2003 6:41 am

I think that a good way to model lethargy would be similar to how many AIs model corruption. Just take a large portion of the government's income right off the top, something like 90% seems like a good amount to start from. A similar portion could also be taken from generated research points and, depending on the economic model, from industry as well. This penalty should, of course, be taken after upkeep related expenses so an empire doesn’t bankrupt itself.

I think this would effectively create an empire that maintained it's current empire but hardly ever built anything new. There could, of course, be a time when the empire's lethargy would lift (perhaps accompanied by a revolution) and it would start developing like any other empire. Perhaps this could be after one or two empires surpassed it in power.
Time flies like the wind, fruit flies like bananas.

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

#14 Post by utilae » Mon Oct 27, 2003 7:21 am

Maybe we could just say that an ancient race is arrogant and spending more money on luxuries, recreation and entertainment. Furthermore they believe their existing fleets are strong enough and they are not competitive because it is boring to continuously win, so rather than obliterating everyone they decided to let everyone live, maybe study them.

User avatar
Krikkitone
Creative Contributor
Posts: 1498
Joined: Sat Sep 13, 2003 6:52 pm

#15 Post by Krikkitone » Mon Oct 27, 2003 3:19 pm

Acually, good historical examples might be Japan+China. The primary 'limitations' of a stagnant empire would be
beliefs that more territory or more technology is not worth the effort. They would probably also be highly isolationist.
They shouldn't need to have 90% of their wealth just dissapear, especially if we have a model for consumer goods. They just wouldn't invest in technology, expansion, or any fleet other than defensive. (or have those things accompanied by extreme unrest)

And once they get surpassed (as Japan and China did in the 1800s) they would suddenly realize that new technology is useful, that there are threats out there, etc. and would immediately try to get themselves out of the hole they are in (as Japan was able to do by the early twentieeth century and China looks able to do by the 21st.. but both started doing when Europeans showed up with lots of guns)

Things they Might/would do with money that is NOT spent on consumer goods
maintain economic development
increase their defensive fleet
explore
short range limited trade

Post Reply