Wonder Building

By on December 29, 2008 11:25:20 PM from Elemental Forums Elemental Forums

Rillafane

Join Date 07/2004
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I don't know if this has been mentioned, but Wonders proved to be a successful feature in Civ series.

Could we build wonder buildings (that cost enormous resources) in this game that offer chanellers certain traits? 

For example,  Jafar's Alchemist Lab would offer "alchemist trait" that can conver different crystals in a 1-1 rate. Fire to Air, water to earth...etc.

The Great library (increaes research and offer random spells...), Summoner's Altar(reducce summoning and maintenance cost....)........

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December 30, 2008 2:26:59 AM from Elemental Forums Elemental Forums

A feature like this would be cool. But it should have a big random factor attached. If it is too predictable it will often become rather boring.

In the game Alpha Centauri there are a bunch of secret projects you can complete. Each of these grants powerful bonuses for as long as you can hold onto the completed item. One of the first you have access to is called the Weather Paragdim. It basically doubles the speed of all terraforming. This is a HUGE advantage because you can get it early in the game and you will do plenty of work with terrain. Problem is it almost made the game boring to a degree. In games where I failed to get it, terraforming seemed like a big drag. Early games felt like they were "always" about rushing to my favorite secret projects.

I would like to avoid that here if possible.

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December 30, 2008 2:50:48 AM from Elemental Forums Elemental Forums

Havn't played Alpha Centauri, but the Wonder building must be difficult to get and make you consider if it worthy to put resources into it when your enemy has rush their troops into your front door.

I personally like what are implemented in Civ series, where wonder buildings are unique and located in various branches of tech trees. There, unless you are good enough(or the AI dummy enough), it's quite difficult to build all of them before your opponents. Of course the balance between the tech tree and wonders must be well done so that the choice won't be too obvious.

 

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December 30, 2008 2:54:48 AM from Elemental Forums Elemental Forums

Quoting Tamren,
A feature like this would be cool. But it should have a big random factor attached. If it is too predictable it will often become rather boring.

In the game Alpha Centauri there are a bunch of secret projects you can complete. Each of these grants powerful bonuses for as long as you can hold onto the completed item. One of the first you have access to is called the Weather Paragdim. It basically doubles the speed of all terraforming. This is a HUGE advantage because you can get it early in the game and you will do plenty of work with terrain. Problem is it almost made the game boring to a degree. In games where I failed to get it, terraforming seemed like a big drag. Early games felt like they were "always" about rushing to my favorite secret projects.

I would like to avoid that here if possible.
I'd oppose Wonders/Secret Projects having "a big random factor", since it'd somewhat defeat the purpose of the wonders themselves. If your bonus is somehow random, the huge investment resources or turns could easily feel worthless to you. I can see what your saying, though, using SMAC as an example.

SMAC had a great diversity of Secret Projects, but I feel that this worked well with the research system of SMAC itself. No-one were ever guarenteed to be able to beeline for a certain project. There were certain projects that were plainly overpowered though, that just didn't lend themselves to being well-made for the reasearch style - the Weather Paradigm is one.

Quoting Rillafane,
[...]
Of course the balance between the tech tree and wonders must be well done so that the choice won't be too obvious.
That's exactly why I feel that the Weather Paradigm in SMAC is quite possibly the worst example. It's early, it's widly overpowered, and it's insane for -anyone- to have. As soon as resource restrictions start to come off, there you have boreholes and condensers. Everywhere.

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December 30, 2008 9:58:43 AM from Elemental Forums Elemental Forums

I remember putting a condenser atop every single farm. Never did like boreholes but at this point I don't remember much. Great game though, wish it worked better with XP.

To start with I think the order of the Wonders should not depend entirely on technology. Its okay to have a tech race but it just makes the Wonder problem worse in a way. Making a beeline for key technologies every time sort of defeats the purpose of diverse tech trees.

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December 30, 2008 10:58:48 AM from Elemental Forums Elemental Forums

Quoting Tamren,
I remember putting a condenser atop every single farm. Never did like boreholes but at this point I don't remember much. Great game though, wish it worked better with XP.

To start with I think the order of the Wonders should not depend entirely on technology. Its okay to have a tech race but it just makes the Wonder problem worse in a way. Making a beeline for key technologies every time sort of defeats the purpose of diverse tech trees.
As a sidenote, you can easily run SMAC in XP. You just have to edit a file. I can't remember which, but if you look around a bit, you really shouldn't have any real issues with it.

And I feel that Wonders works great if they're based on technology, IF you're using a somewhat random SMAC-like system, and the wonders themselves aren't greatly overpowered (like the Weather Paradigm). Having overpowered wonders somewhat forces people towards a Civ/GalCiv tech research, out of fear of loosing, well, the Weather Paradigm.

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December 30, 2008 11:53:14 AM from Elemental Forums Elemental Forums

It just doesn't make much sense to me. So you discover writing and some other guy discovers writing. Now you are in a race to construct some library or other. You finish first, and the other guy with his 99% complete library is showered with debrit as it explodes into a pile of rubble then vanishes. I don't get it at all why there can only be one.

I think a better way to handle it is to make wonders a one time bonus sort of thing. The first person to build the great library gets the best great library, not the only one. This makes sense in a way because the first will be the most well known and attract the most/better people.

For SMAC I only own the original version. If I try to install from a cd it just bugs out on me, I don't get a chance to change any files. The installer runs on a TINY screen and the only colours it uses are magenta white and grey.

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December 30, 2008 12:23:05 PM from Elemental Forums Elemental Forums

Quoting Tamren,
It just doesn't make much sense to me. So you discover writing and some other guy discovers writing. Now you are in a race to construct some library or other. You finish first, and the other guy with his 99% complete library is showered with debrit as it explodes into a pile of rubble then vanishes. I don't get it at all why there can only be one.
I can go along with that and easily see your point. For gameplay though, I'd prefer there only to be the one Wonder, to make it unique. I don't want to do a full investment for something that may not be worth it, because someone else already built it first. For game purposes though, I hope that the "lost" investments doesn't just poof up into a pink cloud when someone beats you to the punsch.

Quoting Tamren,
I think a better way to handle it is to make wonders a one time bonus sort of thing. The first person to build the great library gets the best great library, not the only one. This makes sense in a way because the first will be the most well known and attract the most/better people.
I think we need to change our line of thought. If we stop thinking of it as unique Wonders, and instead think of it like GalCiv2-like 'Super Projects', where the first one to build a specific Super Project gets a -special- building of that kind - then we have (at least I do) have a completely different attitude to it (and thus we balance "Wonders" after the cost of Super Projects; We buff the original building, rather than nerf everyone elses). And that would actually be an awesome way to work around the issues of Wonders, in my opinion.

For example, let's say there's a "Great Library" 'Super Project'; The first one to build a Great Library Super Project gets "The Great Library of <name of city>" instead, conferring additional bonuses.

Quoting Tamren,
For SMAC I only own the original version. If I try to install from a cd it just bugs out on me, I don't get a chance to change any files. The installer runs on a TINY screen and the only colours it uses are magenta white and grey.
Damn, Tamren, when I listen to the problems you have with your computer (Mass Effect, etc), I can only conclude that you have a magical computer.

Try downloading it off PirateBay or somesuch, for a newer release (if that's truly the issue) since I doubt you can readily find it available anywhere (nor should you have to buy the same game, when you already have one). I don't know what else to say, except that I have no issues with installing it.

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December 30, 2008 12:50:42 PM from Elemental Forums Elemental Forums

Heh I have plenty of other stuff to play. I figure I will wait until GoG.com comes out with it and the expansion. At the rate they are digging up dead games it probably won't take long.

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December 30, 2008 1:11:57 PM from Elemental Forums Elemental Forums

Quoting Tamren,
Heh I have plenty of other stuff to play. I figure I will wait until GoG.com comes out with it and the expansion. At the rate they are digging up dead games it probably won't take long.
Wow, GoG sounds awesome. Thanks a lot for that suggestion!

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December 30, 2008 11:14:26 PM from Elemental Forums Elemental Forums

mmm, I like the idea of Wonders but maybe they should be toned down from the SMAC level. Also, we should aslways be able to tell what a wonder does (maybe not in exact figures, maybe the use of language; Wonderous Temple gives a major/minor/lesser bonus to xxxx. But you would know that major falls within +11-15, minor +6-10, lesser +5-1 with the cost of an improvement giving a better idea). And, although i do like the idea of being able to build many xxxx, with the first xxxx being better, i think the game would work better if there "can be only one"! Also, you get to keep most, not all of the resources you spent on it (or can only put them towards another Wonder) if someone beats you to the ... punsch?

How about the inclusion of Wonders that have no immediate impact but can affect the game later both in adding flavour and bonuses. For example, you build the 'Library of (xxxxfaction)' which supplies both a bonus to research (lesser) and a resource specific to this building. Once you've accumulated enough of the specific resources, all players get to see a short movie of some famous sage joining your faction ( who can be used either as a hero or as a bonus to research). The thing is anybody can build the Library but its a race to collect hte specific resources.

Can buildings be sabotaged in this game?

Or a Wonder that only comes into effect once a specific major global random effect comes into play to mitigate (not counter) the ill-effects?

What is GoG?

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December 30, 2008 11:24:41 PM from Elemental Forums Elemental Forums

Its a company called Good Old Games. They sell the old classis such as Fallout and Freespace 2 for reasonable prices. Most games are 6$, a few of the newer ones are 10$. None of them have DRM of any sort and they are *guaranteed* to work under XP and Vista. (some require a lot of tweaks).

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December 31, 2008 12:31:21 AM from Elemental Forums Elemental Forums

cheers, i'll give that a look see

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December 31, 2008 6:01:44 AM from Elemental Forums Elemental Forums

Unlike in 1999, developers these days have the balls to tweak things like wonders after release, through patches. If a weather paradigm or something equivalent in power makes it into Elemental and people start kicking up a shit about it on the forums, it will be nerfed, just like, for instance, cristo redentor in Civ4. Based on this fact I think that the "fixed wonders are a bad idea because they can end up overpowered" argument is weak.

As for how the tech system influences wonder balance, well, we don't know what the tech system is like. Given how (sadly) heavy support was for either blind research or a middle ground between blind and targeted, we might end up with something like that. Who knows?

And again, blind research =/= 'SMAC-style." That was an optional ticker that defaulted to off, and this forum is the first one I've been to that contains anyone that used it.

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December 31, 2008 6:30:23 AM from Elemental Forums Elemental Forums

Quoting Lavitage,
[...]

And again, blind research =/= 'SMAC-style." That was an optional ticker that defaulted to off, and this forum is the first one I've been to that contains anyone that used it.
You're right that Blind Research ≠ 'SMAC-style', but the conclusion is wrong. The key word is 'optional', and turning the SMAC-style research off results in 'normal' research style.

When people use the word 'SMAC-style', it's obviously a reference to what was unique about the research, since there's nothing inherently SMAC about the optional style. "Blind Research" and 'SMAC-style' isn't interchangable. 'Blind Research' is a general term, while 'SMAC-style' is a specific one.

And most I know that played SMAC/X used the original SMAC-style. At first I didn't, but after a while I figured out that the semi-random factor of the SMAC-styled research was a lot more fun, even if it rebelled against my sense of order.

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December 31, 2008 11:12:26 AM from Elemental Forums Elemental Forums

Idea: the research system of Master of Orion 2.

You have 8 linear trees, 10 sections in each one. In every section, there are up to three different research option. You can only pick ONE of them, and the other are lost to you.You can get the inventions you missed through diplomacy, war and espianoge (sp?).

In this system, every game is different, since your decisions are based on the situation at hand.It's not perfect, but it's an interesting system. Go give it a try.

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December 31, 2008 5:31:53 PM from Elemental Forums Elemental Forums

I hated that to a degree. I always played Psylons and rampaged over the galaxy with my supertech hordes.

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December 31, 2008 7:01:26 PM from Elemental Forums Elemental Forums

I can see a wonder that is somesort of demensional gateway network that is a plane of existance constructed by the channeler specifically for his own use, magically 'encrypted' in such a way that other channelers have no way of accessing it since they don't know the correct incantations (or whatever).  Like a dimensional pocket used by many D&D powerful wizards.  It would allow him easy access to many teleportation technologies and spells for less and opens up the city building 'gateway portal' that lets him tap his towns into the network, connecting trade, influence, and most importantly armies.

Another wonder I could imagine being possible is some sort of great magical focus.   Using the power and crystals found in the captured magic nodes (I'm not sure what they are called in this game yet) the channeler creates a spire that he can use to channel his magic globally.  It will extend the reach of his spells to span the entire map (or most of the entire map) virtually eliminating any penelty for casting spells too far away (like the 'channeler' feature did in MoM, but maybe limited to only 1 world). 

Wonder Idea #3:  the flying city.  The wizard builds a machine that feeds on the soul of a very special kind of person, and somehow tracks down said person to power it.  Then the machine (which can convienently be placed at the bottom of a random well for no reason.   Kudo's to those who get the reference) will lift up the entire city once powered.  The city becomes a flying force of destruction as people can build armnements and such along the castle walls and litterally fly to other cities and bomb the crap out of them,

or land on them .  Intentionally sabotaging one's own wonderous construction and dropping the city down upon the old city.   The wonder would be lost as the person required for the mahcine to function would surely die once being drawn from support of the machine, but the benifit would be the new location and the complete destruction of the poor souls forever trapped below the town.

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December 31, 2008 8:08:23 PM from Elemental Forums Elemental Forums

Oo you just touched on an interesting idea, Landisaurus! Buildings that require magic to build (along with other mundane resources)! I'm not talking about enchanting an armory to produce magical armor and weapons, but buildings that are partially constructed of magic, and producing (possibly among other things) some sort of magical effects or bonuses. Landisaurus' three wonder ideas are good examples.

The advantage of building a magical building to aid with some magical endeavor (like Landisaurus' dimensional gateway network example) could be that it requires less effort on the part of the channeler, because he's being aided by the physical construction itself; the disadvantages would be that it requires space in your city to build, and is also destructable. If you lose the city tile housing the building, you lose the entire network.

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December 31, 2008 8:16:03 PM from Elemental Forums Elemental Forums

well, this is a war of magic.  Wonders shouldn't just be like 'the hanging gardens' or 'great library' (I mean those are both great since they would spread culture and knowledge respectivly) but there should be magic wonders as well.   When I think 'how will a wonder in a magical world act?' I imagine things like the great light tower that can be seen from almost the entire world in world of tolken (until it fell over) or the great trees from the same setting.   Perhaps the great dark portal that managed to let another planet be invaded by another.

the other problem is it could also be captured by somebody else, so if you have a great wonderous spire that lets you channel power through the world can be captured by another wizard who'd just as likely be happy to turn its power back at you.

I'm glad you like it pigeonx2

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January 1, 2009 12:22:46 AM from Elemental Forums Elemental Forums

Wonder Idea #3: the flying city. The wizard builds a machine that feeds on the soul of a very special kind of person, and somehow tracks down said person to power it. Then the machine (which can convienently be placed at the bottom of a random well for no reason. Kudo's to those who get the reference) will lift up the entire city once powered...

Breath of Fire 2?

________________

Anyways, my opinion about wonders is, I don't like the idea. I always seem to rationalize why I should be able to build more than one. For instance, was the "Great Libary" anything more than a serious effort to gather the collective knowledge of man, and to store it so it scholars might learn from it. To put it another way, it was an effort grander than anything done at the time, but nothing about it was something that could only be done once. There might be some prestige for being the first to make a wonder, but having one built shouldn't deny it to anyone else.

If there was some reason why to justify only a few, or even just one could be built, I might be willing to accept the idea. For instance, an artifact of considerable power and complexity is needed for the construction of a given wonder might restrict the construction of the wonder to whom ever owned the artifact. In fact, if the wonder was captured, the wonder could potentially be razed, and the wonder could be rebuilt else where that is more convient to the victor.

Another idea is a wonder might require a rare form of fuel, maybe black mana crystals, that would restrict its construction for practical reasons. You could power a single wonder indefinately, or you could make several of these wonders and keep them offline until needed.

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January 1, 2009 2:20:08 AM from Elemental Forums Elemental Forums

If there was some reason why to justify only a few, or even just one could be built, I might be willing to accept the idea. For instance, an artifact of considerable power and complexity is needed for the construction of a given wonder might restrict the construction of the wonder to whom ever owned the artifact. In fact, if the wonder was captured, the wonder could potentially be razed, and the wonder could be rebuilt else where that is more convient to the victor.

fantastically excelent idea.   I agree completely.  A spire is nothing special, not even a really tall one.  but a really tall spire with a special magical lense on it that focus's the suns rays into super death-rays even when light shouldn't bend that way could be a 'wonder'.  So, how do you deal with it...  well capturing it would be bad, since its on the enemy side of the iron curtan, so you charge accross, tear down the spire, grab the lense, run back to your safer side fo the wall, and build your own spire to shoot it back.  This sounds both fun and able to encourage people to actually try to go grab relics from other places.

This also sounds like the special projects from GalCiv 2, where you get a special commodity, and the 1st person to get it has exclusive control over its distribution.  I'd imagine in Elemental you could pass these relics around when not in use like the special resources in the game Civilization, so if you have a really powerful death-ray crystal lens, but you have no marble with which you could build a special magic-infused spire, and your buddy has a bunch of rare black-mana crystals that can power a doom-ship, but no metal and other meterials to build a very impressive flying arc (marble arcs are no good good), so you trade.  Since you are both on the same team it hardly matters (or maybe you are not, but secretly he's building anti-air guns that instantly melt metal, and you have the plans for a magical death-ray be gone tower that will project a shield around your entire kingdom)

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January 1, 2009 7:26:29 AM from Elemental Forums Elemental Forums

Why havn't you mentioned Sauron's all-seeing eye yet?

Or say, The Hunt for  the Horn of Valer (Wheel of Time Chronicles), which is not a building, but a project. The first who completes it gets the Horn of Valer Artifact.

 

Half magical buildings is a great idea. You can turn your stone walls into force filds (insanely hard to breach but insanely expansive), or build half your city in a pocket dimention (doubeling the amount of building the city can support) and so on.

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January 1, 2009 8:58:27 AM from Elemental Forums Elemental Forums

Quoting Gazing,
Idea: the research system of Master of Orion 2.

You have 8 linear trees, 10 sections in each one. In every section, there are up to three different research option. You can only pick ONE of them, and the other are lost to you.You can get the inventions you missed through diplomacy, war and espianoge (sp?).

In this system, every game is different, since your decisions are based on the situation at hand.It's not perfect, but it's an interesting system. Go give it a try.
I know this isn't the thread for another research discussion, but I'd love that system for spell research, if not for tech research.

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January 1, 2009 11:58:19 AM from Elemental Forums Elemental Forums

I like this thread of ideas!!  Maybe moveable artifacts could be found that, once placed inside a city, would allow for the constructions of such buildings.  That would limit the number of such buildings and encourages scouting.  I also like the idea of razing the city to obtain these artifacts for your own buildings.

Great Idea.

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January 1, 2009 5:35:08 PM from Elemental Forums Elemental Forums

Why havn't you mentioned Sauron's all-seeing eye yet?

I actually kept typing it and then deleting it for one reason or another (forgetting name or feeling that the description I was giving was vague or not very in-sync with how I imagine gameplay to run)

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