Author Topic: Spire, Spire, and more Spire  (Read 764 times)

Offline Elestan

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Spire, Spire, and more Spire
« on: November 01, 2017, 12:04:15 PM »
In my current AIW1 game, there are Spirecraft, Fallen Spire, and Spire Civilians, and it occurred to me that it would be nice if there was more interactivity between them.  Since AIW1 seems out to pasture, perhaps this would be in line for AIW2, or an expansion to it.

A few such ideas might be:

* Once you build Spire cities, you can bring back one Spire Civilian to each city to become its "Focuser" [translation uncertain].  This removes its normal AI pacifier effect, but allows the city to grow to Level 3.  Level 3 cities can have up to six Habitation Centers that do not count toward the six structure limit (normal generator requirements still apply).  So a level 3 city could have up to 12 total structures, as long as at least six of them were Habitation Centers.

* Spire shipyards could have an area-repair field that works on normally irreparable Spirecraft ships (for a suitably exorbitant cost).

* Spire mining ships could build a mining enclosure around a rescued Spire Civilian Output.  This (plus a suitably large quantity of minerals) converts the Civilian into a Spire Refugee Ship, which can be used to create additional Refugee Outposts like the one in the Fallen Spire plotline.

I'm sure people can come up with plenty more like these.

Offline tadrinth

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Re: Spire, Spire, and more Spire
« Reply #1 on: November 01, 2017, 06:45:27 PM »
These kinds of cross-minor-faction interactions have turned out to be a lot of work for not a lot of reward, unfortunately.  The idea is cool, but given the limited dev capacity at Arcen, I think focusing on emergent interactions is more efficient than hard-coding a bunch of stuff. 

I think Spire Civ Leaders are due for a major rework anyway.  They encourage you to sit around and do nothing and wait for the AIP to go down, pretty much forever. 

I would probably instead make them into a mini-side-quest, where you free them, the AI throws some exos at them, and if you keep them alive for a while, they grant a large chunk of AIP reduction and turn into a production facility or a powerful unit. 

Offline Elestan

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Re: Spire, Spire, and more Spire
« Reply #2 on: November 02, 2017, 12:33:08 AM »
These kinds of cross-minor-faction interactions have turned out to be a lot of work for not a lot of reward, unfortunately.  The idea is cool, but given the limited dev capacity at Arcen, I think focusing on emergent interactions is more efficient than hard-coding a bunch of stuff.

I get the limited resources, but the current game feels very patchwork because these elements, which are highly thematically related, have no interactions with each other.  It seems silly for the Spire Civilians to be left floating in deep space when their brethren are building these huge cities all over the place, and shouldn't the Spire have at least something to say about "Spirecraft" ships?  For the game to feel cohesive, these seams and cracks need to be filled and polished.  It's like AIW1 created all the pieces, but because they were introduced piecemeal, they don't all fit together they way they should....so one of my hopes for AIW2 is that it can meld them more smoothly into a coherent experience.

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I think Spire Civ Leaders are due for a major rework anyway.  They encourage you to sit around and do nothing and wait for the AIP to go down, pretty much forever.

Not forever; just until the AIP hits the floor.  And from what I can tell, they're really the only way in the game to get the long-term AIP reduction that's needed to play a completionist-style game (where you actually take over the whole galaxy).  There are players who prefer that kind of game, after all.

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I would probably instead make them into a mini-side-quest, where you free them, the AI throws some exos at them, and if you keep them alive for a while, they grant a large chunk of AIP reduction and turn into a production facility or a powerful unit.

I'll note that two of my suggestions were along those lines.  :-)

Offline WolfWhiteFire

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Re: Spire, Spire, and more Spire
« Reply #3 on: November 02, 2017, 07:30:43 AM »
I'll note that two of my suggestions were along those lines.  :-)
Not really, that suggestion had nothing to do with making more or stronger spire refugee outposts, as yours were. Also, I am not sure building a mining enclosure around it and paying a bunch of money or bringing a civilian to cities really count as "mini-side-quests." I do agree that there could be at least some little bit of interaction between similar minor factions though.

Offline Elestan

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Re: Spire, Spire, and more Spire
« Reply #4 on: November 02, 2017, 12:24:56 PM »
Not really, that suggestion had nothing to do with making more or stronger spire refugee outposts, as yours were.

Hmm...I would say that a spire output counts as a "production facility" (it makes four frigates), and spire habitation centers count as "powerful units" (they have big shields and beam cannons), but you're welcome to differ.  :-)

Offline tadrinth

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Re: Spire, Spire, and more Spire
« Reply #5 on: November 02, 2017, 05:40:50 PM »
There's definitely room for improvement in terms of having all the minor factions fit together both thematically and mechanically, but it might be easier to fix that on the lore side than the gameplay side. EG, by keeping Civ Leader mechanics the same, but calling them an 'AI Network Node'.  On the other hand, the nice thing about AIW2 is that all this stuff will be moddable. If you want more interactions, you can add them yourself, and then if people like them, they can be promoted to the main game.  Up to and including porting minor factions from AIWC to AIW2 yourself, if the devs haven't gotten around to a particular minor faction yet.


Online BadgerBadger

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Re: Spire, Spire, and more Spire
« Reply #6 on: November 02, 2017, 05:50:34 PM »
Yeah, as it stands the AIWC Spire Civilian Leader concept could be straightforwardly implemented in AIW2. A couple hours work. If it's felt that we actually want something like this (I for one like preserving the ability to do a long, slow completionist game) then I can look into doing it at some point. Or anyone else who wants to try it.

It would actually be a more interesting concept in AIW2 since the AI can recapture the structures.

Offline tadrinth

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Re: Spire, Spire, and more Spire
« Reply #7 on: November 02, 2017, 06:35:32 PM »
Having each rescued civ leader give a bonus to the AI's reconquer budget might be an interesting counterbalance. 

Online BadgerBadger

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Re: Spire, Spire, and more Spire
« Reply #8 on: November 02, 2017, 07:01:12 PM »
If we change the flavour from Spire Civilian Leader to be "AI assimilation node" or something like that then we could also have recaptured Nodes produce extra defenses for the AI, or spawn ships to go out and attack you.

Online BadgerBadger

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Re: Spire, Spire, and more Spire
« Reply #9 on: November 03, 2017, 09:41:34 PM »
Okay, so proposal. Spire Civilian Leaders are renamed to "AI Research Lab" or something to that effect.
Behaviour:
At game start, each research lab increases X AIP/hour while owned by the AI
If conquered by the humans, each research lab decreases Y AIP/hour
If on an independent planet, the research lab goes haywire and <does something>. No progress change, but maybe it spawns anti-everyone zombies or something.
If a Research Center is destroyed there's a minor decrease to AIP
If the AI recaptures a Research Lab, the research lab begins to steadily spawn guardians that will either go straight for the human throat or join the threat fleet or something. Basically, if you take a Research Lab, you don't want to lose it. The more times a Lab is recaptured the more ships it spawns at you.

How do people feel about this?
« Last Edit: November 03, 2017, 09:51:19 PM by BadgerBadger »

Offline Elestan

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Re: Spire, Spire, and more Spire
« Reply #10 on: November 05, 2017, 01:33:27 AM »
Okay, so proposal. Spire Civilian Leaders are renamed to "AI Research Lab" or something to that effect.
Behaviour:
At game start, each research lab increases X AIP/hour while owned by the AI
If conquered by the humans, each research lab decreases Y AIP/hour
If on an independent planet, the research lab goes haywire and <does something>. No progress change, but maybe it spawns anti-everyone zombies or something.
If a Research Center is destroyed there's a minor decrease to AIP
If the AI recaptures a Research Lab, the research lab begins to steadily spawn guardians that will either go straight for the human throat or join the threat fleet or something. Basically, if you take a Research Lab, you don't want to lose it. The more times a Lab is recaptured the more ships it spawns at you.

How do people feel about this?

If it's a "research" lab, I would expect it to be generating or using Knowledge, not AIP.  AIP should be more hacking related.

I like the name "Intergalactic Assimilation Matrix" (I-AM).  How about these effects?:
* Under AI control, it slowly (1/hr?) generates AIP (which also generates an equal number of Hacking Points).
* Under Human control, while active, it slowly (1/20min?) spends Hacking Points to lower AIP on a 1-1 basis.  This makes it a priority target for the AI, but does not generate a hacking response style counterattack unless the Hacking Points go negative.  Alternatively, maybe it just stops when HP reaches zero.
* Cannot be uncontrolled; its control does not change when the Command Station is destroyed.  Alternatively, could do nothing when the system isn't controlled.

This seems more straightforward, and makes it more like a saner version of the Superterminal, which I never liked anyway and wouldn't mind seeing removed.  It's a little weaker than the current Spire Civilians, because it's costing you HP.  This also puts a limit on how long you'd want to use it.
« Last Edit: November 05, 2017, 11:49:40 AM by Elestan »