Lithovores vs. Autotrophes

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Bigjoe5
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Lithovores vs. Autotrophes

#1 Post by Bigjoe5 » Wed Mar 18, 2009 8:04 pm

I've noticed that these two words have been used interchangeably to denote a race which does not consume anything to maintain population. I believe these should be separated into two distinct racial picks. Lithovores consume minerals instead of food, and autotrophes consume nothing instead of food.

Thoughts?
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Tortanick
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Re: Lithovores vs. Autotrophes

#2 Post by Tortanick » Wed Mar 18, 2009 11:00 pm

Given its MOO2 history, I would have thought anyone here mentioning Lithovores meant "eats minerals". Also if they eat sunlight wouldn't they be happier with some star types? Both The Chato'matou (Gormoshk don't care) and the Etty are stronger with more sunlight.

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Re: Lithovores vs. Autotrophes

#3 Post by Krikkitone » Thu Mar 19, 2009 12:48 am

It might be useful to have a "Mineralvore" pick [to help differentiate it from Lithovores in previous games]

Although I haven't seen any races that would use it.
I have seen Pollutionvores...

"Production Vores" might be interesting option as well... ie Robots eating production points
You could have "Industry Vores"... they consume Industry rather than production points (Industry+Minerals) [They would have to have Local Industy since it isn't shippable]


So Those are the options I could see for what to eat

Food
Minerals
Production
Industry
Nothing

..Eating pollution (if it is in) would be complicated given it would probably be counter to the entire pollution mechanic.


Although for any race that does not eat food, food becomes worthless. But any world with either the Primary or Secondary Focus Balanced will produce some food. Meaning Balanced Production is a waste for them (unless they get say -X to food and +X to whatever they eat... or if they just produce less for a focus ... instead of +5 and +15 they get +4 and +12.. and can't produce food)

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Re: Lithovores vs. Autotrophes

#4 Post by MathGeek » Thu Mar 19, 2009 12:57 am

I think MoO II is what caused the confusion, because "Lithovores" effectively did not consume anything. I think the MoO designers actually invented the word lithovore form words like carnivore. As I understand it the proper term would be lithotrope or lithoautotrope, but maybe that is just because there arn't any (macroscopic) ones here on earth [Wikipedia].

I favor making the distinction, especially since I am under the impression that mining is distinct from production. Each type could reasonably have different in-game restrictions. Autotrophes could get morale penalties for star types and maybe a slower growth rate or something, while lithovores could consume mining output, and cybernetic would consume production [edit] or industry. We might have halfway points as well (half-lithovore: consumes some mining and some agriculture.)
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Re: Lithovores vs. Autotrophes

#5 Post by marhawkman » Thu Mar 19, 2009 2:05 am

I like that idea, Lithovore was always strange because the people literally ate nothing at all. Having a range of variation around the same concept is really cool.
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Re: Lithovores vs. Autotrophes

#6 Post by francys » Thu Mar 19, 2009 5:16 pm

I agree lithovores and autotrophs should be distinct. Also, if organisms of a race feed on sunlight, they should be called phototrophs. Autotrophs make their own food, so they might make it from other sources.

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Re: Lithovores vs. Autotrophes

#7 Post by Bigjoe5 » Thu Mar 19, 2009 10:02 pm

Tortanick wrote:Both The Chato'matou (Gormoshk don't care) and the Etty are stronger with more sunlight.
Differentiating between star colour and a planet slot (i.e. distance from star) is probably too complicated to be included and probably won't be. If it is, however, then we''l probably need to distinguish that too.
Krikkitone wrote: Although for any race that does not eat food, food becomes worthless. But any world with either the Primary or Secondary Focus Balanced will produce some food. Meaning Balanced Production is a waste for them (unless they get say -X to food and +X to whatever they eat... or if they just produce less for a focus ... instead of +5 and +15 they get +4 and +12.. and can't produce food)
Don't forget about trade and multi-racial empires. Just because a race doesn't eat doesn't mean they'll never need to farm. Although I can see farming simply being removed from their "balanced" settings, or making it optional.... at the risk of making things unbalanced and confusing....? Probably not.
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Re: Lithovores vs. Autotrophes

#8 Post by Krikkitone » Fri Mar 20, 2009 1:43 am

Bigjoe5 wrote:
Tortanick wrote:Both The Chato'matou (Gormoshk don't care) and the Etty are stronger with more sunlight.
Differentiating between star colour and a planet slot (i.e. distance from star) is probably too complicated to be included and probably won't be. If it is, however, then we''l probably need to distinguish that too.
Krikkitone wrote: Although for any race that does not eat food, food becomes worthless. But any world with either the Primary or Secondary Focus Balanced will produce some food. Meaning Balanced Production is a waste for them (unless they get say -X to food and +X to whatever they eat... or if they just produce less for a focus ... instead of +5 and +15 they get +4 and +12.. and can't produce food)
Don't forget about trade and multi-racial empires. Just because a race doesn't eat doesn't mean they'll never need to farm. Although I can see farming simply being removed from their "balanced" settings, or making it optional.... at the risk of making things unbalanced and confusing....? Probably not.
Well Removing it from the Balanced Setting (rather than making it optional) with some bonus to the balanced setting would be the most reasonable. The "Optional" for trade/multiracial would be setting one of the Focuses to Food.

And Choosing Mineralvore, etc. would enough of a choice that you know that you don't need food [it would just be wierd that on first contact this race of non eaters has this Massive stockpile of food they aren't going to use].

Actually "Food requirements could be even more flexible

ie POP unit Requirements.. decreased requirements need increased race pick points
Food: 2-0 [default 1]
Minerals: 1-0 [default 0]
Industry: 1-0 [default 0]

possibly Count production as just Minerals plus Industry

So you could have a race that can only survive on their Homeworld with some food focus [assuming you were silly enough to do that] or you could design MOO2 Cybernetics.

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Re: Lithovores vs. Autotrophes

#9 Post by Bigjoe5 » Fri Mar 20, 2009 4:03 pm

I actually really like that. Instead of hiding the basic numbers behind an ambiguous made up word, just let the player select what they eat and how much.
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Re: Lithovores vs. Autotrophes

#10 Post by Black_Dawn » Fri Mar 20, 2009 7:50 pm

If you do have a racial pick that allows your race to convert minerals and/or industry into food, you should have a racial pick that allows similar trade-offs in other directions.

The current idea of Lithovore seems to be:
Minerals ~ Food: Lowers industrial potential of a planet, but removes the need for good food conditions.

There could also be a pick called something like "Bio-tech bias", wherein the race uses biological or bio-tech solutions where other races use mechanical or electric solutions. This pick could allow
Food ~ Industry: lowers food production but increases industry on a planet.

It would also be neat to have the option of "thought factories" similar to what Thomas Edison set up, except on a societal scale. This pick would allow
Industry ~ Research: Lowers industrial potential but increases research generated by the planet.

What do you guys think?
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Re: Lithovores vs. Autotrophes

#11 Post by MathGeek » Sun Mar 22, 2009 12:01 am

There could also be a pick called something like "Bio-tech bias", wherein the race uses biological or bio-tech solutions where other races use mechanical or electric solutions. This pick could allow
Food ~ Industry: lowers food production but increases industry on a planet.
That would be perfect for a race idea that I thought up: Phinnerts
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Re: Lithovores vs. Autotrophes

#12 Post by Tortanick » Sun Mar 22, 2009 10:39 am

Bio-tech bias sounds good, we already have biological ships planned and it just makes sense (and its interesting gameplay) that such races would farm rather than mine to feed their industry. It also works for anyone who extracts their building materials from something living.

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Re: Lithovores vs. Autotrophes

#13 Post by Krikkitone » Mon Mar 23, 2009 5:56 am

That would work as a second range of picks

What do you need to make a PP?
1) Food 2-0 (defoult 0)
2) Minerals 2-0 (default 1)


The disadvantage is again...
If either Food or Minerals are not needed for either feeding population or Industry then that resource is worthless except for trade.

Have a race that is very efficient (or inefficient)

You could have race that feeds on minerals with a biotech bias [crystals that bioengineer their industry]

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Re: Lithovores vs. Autotrophes

#14 Post by OllyG » Fri Jul 22, 2011 9:49 pm

Maybe Lithovores farm food grade minerals and mine industrial grade minerals.

Trading food with other species sounds like a way to a quick death anyway. How could a species with a swamp EP trade food with a terran EP species?

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Re: Lithovores vs. Autotrophes

#15 Post by eleazar » Sat Jul 23, 2011 12:34 am

OllyG wrote:Trading food with other species sounds like a way to a quick death anyway. How could a species with a swamp EP trade food with a terran EP species?
Obviously they realistically couldn't. Neither could a Carnivore from a Terran EP eat the "food" of a Herbivore from a Terran EP. I'm not entirely happy with how that works out, but FO isn't about realism.

See this link. Whenever realism starts to get annoying, by for instance indicating that we should have a unique type of food resource for most (or all) species, we throw realism out the window and instead try to make a game that's fun and not overcomplicated.

I hope there's a way to make something like a "Lithovore" trait that works for FO, but if it is accomplished, it will be by keeping an eye on simplicity and gameplay rather than chemistry.

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