Biome specalists

By on November 24, 2009 11:28:42 AM from Elemental Forums Elemental Forums

pillsbur

Join Date 04/2003
+10

Biomes are large geographic areas of basically the same type of terrain/vegetation like forrests or deserts or mountains.  One thing that I would like to see in this game would be the ability to develop a special affinity to a certain biome.  Most human culltures historically have been tied into a certain biome.  Either through initial trait selection, research, or magic I would really like to see (if they want to go this route over being more of a generalist) fractions have the ability to really specialize in using and developing a certain biome. 

The effect of this for the game is more differences/opions between nations.  And more of the chance of growing and surviving as a weaker nation in a land of larger nations since you might have an inate advantage in your specific biome. 

i think it would be great to have thoughts like this during a typical game:

"The bear-clan has reached the forrest, I won't chase them any farther since now they have the advantage"

"I will march to the gap rather than enter enter the mountains of the hill people"

What sort of biomes should have specialities?  Here are some quick ideas:

Mountains, Wetlands, Forrests, Plains, Coasts, others?

Advantages: better ability to grather food in forrests.  Better fight ability in your home biome.  easier to build a city in this particular biome (this may allow for cities in landscapes that would otherwise be hard to support them -like fabled mountain cites or hidden wetland cities), maybe special building options?, faster movment through certain biomes, nomral monsters from these biomes might not attach people adapted from that biome "we have learned how to make peace with the mountain trolls", better defences for cities build in your favored biome, being able to see farther than normal within your favored biome (this represents better tracking ability)

What do you think?

 

 

 

 

Locked Post 12 Replies +2
Search this post
Subscription Options


Reason for Karma (Optional)
Successfully updated karma reason!
November 24, 2009 12:52:41 PM from Elemental Forums Elemental Forums

I like it.   I would like to make a desert tribe.

Reason for Karma (Optional)
Successfully updated karma reason!
November 24, 2009 12:59:38 PM from Elemental Forums Elemental Forums

I intend to do this sort of thing with the mod race I'm creating. So yeah, I support this idea. Plus the more tools they can give me for it the better.

Reason for Karma (Optional)
Successfully updated karma reason!
November 24, 2009 1:01:16 PM from Elemental Forums Elemental Forums

I think that this is a very good idea. It would really add a lot of flavor to each faction and to each game you play. It should also be fairly easy to implement using the tile system. Each tile has a certain biome, and the advantages your faction has only applies if the tile a unit or city is on is of that biome.

Reason for Karma (Optional)
Successfully updated karma reason!
November 24, 2009 1:03:21 PM from Elemental Forums Elemental Forums

i like everything about this idea. it would add a lot to the depth of the game. 

i also read another post akin to this one about being able to build cities on adverse terrain, mountain towns, tree villages, ect.

as the original post says this would give the specialist in these areas an advantage and that would include technologies that were developed and work in a given environment.

Reason for Karma (Optional)
Successfully updated karma reason!
November 24, 2009 1:09:42 PM from Elemental Forums Elemental Forums

What if in addition to mountain towns you could have underground cities? How cool would that be? Of course I have no idea how you implement such a system and it probably wouldn't be worth the myriad difficulties that arise. But it would be awesome.

Reason for Karma (Optional)
Successfully updated karma reason!
November 24, 2009 2:51:22 PM from Elemental Forums Elemental Forums

Quoting Ratya48,
What if in addition to mountain towns you could have underground cities? How cool would that be? Of course I have no idea how you implement such a system and it probably wouldn't be worth the myriad difficulties that arise. But it would be awesome.


I think you could do it in a simple way by having invisible buildings, just as markings on the ground or small holes as entrances - fairly indestructable but providing no impedence to a marching army. You'd still know where they were though, unless you could mask enemy vision within your borders.

Reason for Karma (Optional)
Successfully updated karma reason!
November 24, 2009 7:17:12 PM from Elemental Forums Elemental Forums

I like it!  From where I'm standing, though, culture development seems to already be tied to biome in the game to some extent. Resource availability is determined by the terrain type that you build your cities in (as I understand it), so if you have a lot of cities in mountains you'll theoretically have more iron, for instance.  The military side ("'I will march to the gap rather than enter enter the mountains of the hill people'") has already been addressed a little with the concept of military tech that makes your units better in certain terrain.  If resource gathering and military tech tied to terrain are well developed, I don't think you'd need much more biome-specific specialization.  Maybe just a couple of civilization research branches to allow more efficient resource gathering in your biome/terrain type of choice.

I don't know if I'm saying that really detailed specialization should be left to mods or that Stardock should put at least a basic framework for this in the game.  Maybe both.    

Reason for Karma (Optional)
Successfully updated karma reason!
November 25, 2009 12:10:32 AM from Elemental Forums Elemental Forums

I, likewise, intend to do this with the mod I'm making, except you need to equip the soldiers with the survival packs to go out and survive in the hostile areas, or special training, or something.

Reason for Karma (Optional)
Successfully updated karma reason!
November 26, 2009 4:43:35 AM from Elemental Forums Elemental Forums

I really like it. My favorites would be an Ice tribe, a Mountain Tribe, a Jungle Tribe, and a Desert Tribe.

Reason for Karma (Optional)
Successfully updated karma reason!
November 26, 2009 11:31:11 AM from Elemental Forums Elemental Forums

I'm just wondering if these should be done as:
initial traits at setup, with balanced positive and negative like +1 attack in biome, -1 outside... +speed inside -speed outside, +production -production etc.
or should be pure positive (magic or essence to enhance troops/things in selected biome)
or pure negative for opponents in selected biome you control (you still wouldn't want to follow them into their forest but they wouldn't be able to sneak into your forest and really annoy you)
or global positives/negatives - forest fire spell harms everyone in forest biome - except perhaps fallen fire worshipers. Wasting sands causes penalties in sand - except for certain specialists... Living Ice - increases production and benefits in ice - except for fire specialists (those sorts of things)

I'm thinking about this, because in fall further I never liked the ice/sand civs... and the forest civs had wierd advantages... giant elven cities didn't make sense, nor would a production bonus (elves cutting down trees?), really you'd need to select the biome and the type of specialisation. Like forest defender vs lumberjack... Ice tolerant vs Ice crafter... Mountain warrens vs mountain halls... jungle poisons vs jungle foods vs jungle history... Again, with either a trade-off for outside your biome, way of spreading your biome (or some other cost, rather than penalty outside).

Reason for Karma (Optional)
Successfully updated karma reason!
November 26, 2009 8:17:22 PM from Elemental Forums Elemental Forums

I like this idea because:

a) It makes races unique.
It adds some interesting strategy elements into the cloth map.

That said, there are couple of issues regarding the whole proposal and/or the suggested implementation.

First, I don't think that we need more than 5 types of biome. True, the more biome specialists, the more unique races get, but there is a downside: with an increased number of specialities, each one of them will become more similar to others. For example: Mountain biome: +20% to def when fighting in mountains, +10% movement, ..; Forest biome: +15% to def when fighting in forest, +20% to movements, ... If there are 10 races to choose from, you will get aprox. 2 races for each biome, which is ok, at least in my book.

Second, the more biomes spec. you have, the more biomes you will have to implement. That leads to a world that looks like a chess-board (mountains-swamps-plains-xxx-yyy-zzz-mountains-...). On a chess-board every biome had to be represented fairly equally, in order to avoid balance issues. That, on the other hand, would affect the map's feel. In other words: the randomized world would feel very artificial, without large stretches of plains/forests.

Nitty-gritty part is as follows: 5 biome specialists:

  • Mountains
  • Forests
  • Deserts
  • Polar deserts
  • Coasts

I chose these five as carefully as I could, so that they would be balanced. Mountains & forests are a commonplace, however, they are only a part of the terrain - i.e., there might only be packs of them and they won't be always present when you need them. On the other hand deserts & their polar cousins are 'lands', that means they cover the whole 'land', thus if you find a few tiles covered by deserts/pdes. you can assume that there will be more valuable land for you populate. The downside is that deserts aren't as popular, as plains, jungles, etc. The unique category for themselves are the coasts. Coasts can be found everywhere, but it would be foolish of anyone to cap only coasts neglecting vast inner-lands.

I understand that due to game mechanics some specialities would be useful more often (forests) than others (polar deserts), but you can always balance the biomes; e.g., while polar deserts are rarer than forests, the latter doesn't give that great bonuses, while polar desert races would be the only ones to effectively populate polar caps without a danger of being harassed by other races (that would also want to claim the polar caps for themselves).

Reason for Karma (Optional)
Successfully updated karma reason!
November 29, 2009 3:22:28 PM from Elemental Forums Elemental Forums

Great comments!  Especially from Dr Frank and Red.

Red (in my opinion) is right-choosing to specialize in a biome should not be all positive.  Honing your jungle skills to perfection may not help you much out on the open plains and may actually be a disadvantage.  If possible, any advantage a nation has from biome specialization should be balanced with a disadvantage in other biomes (just being not as productive as other nations on the majority of the map might just do it.  In any event, I would like to see a generalist nation (one that is sort of OK in all biomes) to be a viable option.

I like Dr Franks idea of limiting these types of biomes to just a few types.  As he points out this can quickly get out of hand.

One other consideration:   I also think it would be neat if this system could be tied somewhat into diplomancy.  For example, when two nations are at their most friendly level towards each other, it would be neat if many of the biome advantages from one nation (at least movement, line of sight, and fighting) be transferred to the other nation.  I don't mean an instance transfer of technologies but rather reflect the two nations helping each other out.  This would simulate the situation where two nation who are on the best of terms with each other would be trading specialists, guides, and consultants.  So a tribe from the plains would be able to move just as fast as their good friends from the jungle since when the plain army was moving through a jungle they would be accompanied by guides from the jungle tribe.  This could give one a real insentive to maintain the highest level of diplomancy with another nation -even if there is no tech trading between nations or that option has been turned off.  This level of diplomance would be fairly hard to reach and maintain: you must not be on good terms with any nation that your friends are even suspecious of, this may involve the completion of a difficult quest, ect.  Also, if you only have just "warm" relations it another nation -you still could have permission to move through their lands but they would not supply any quides for your army and so you would not receive any additional bonuses.

Reason for Karma (Optional)
Successfully updated karma reason!
Stardock Forums v1.0.0.0    #101114  walnut1   Server Load Time: 00:00:00.0000250   Page Render Time: