From: California, USA
lol, the hyper-aggressive Haakonish... Arrogant species, alright!
Anyway, returning to topic and in response to Data:
I don't think this is a matter of 'we all have different ideas about what should be worked on'. The solution I'm requesting to the problem is a 'need to have', not a 'nice to have'. That war is the only way to win breaks the logical consistency of the game premise and as such is a major flaw. It is a huge problem that ultimately, it doesn't matter if you're psychotic Boskara or peaceful, laid-back Sekuran because regardless of your specific faction's traits, you MUST war to win. Understand? It is logically inconsistent for a game to have peaceful-based factions when war is the only option.
To explain the problem from a different angle: When war is the only way to win, it means that every special trait of each species boils down to the ability to wage war:
** You are the Boskara? You have low war weariness and a special weapon. This sets up up to wage war. <--- this one makes sense
** You are Teekans? You have strong economy bonuses. However, because you can't win economically and must wage war, you are converting your strong economy into the ability to field more warships. <--- this one doesn't make sense
** You are Sekurans? You have excellent happiness and fast growth. However, because you can't win by having a large and happy population (even if it is large, it can't become that large without conquest), you are converting your happiness and growth (income) into the ability to field more warships. <-- practically same as Teekans obviously - and doesn't make sense.
Peaceful species, you say? Sorry - there is no such thing as 'peaceful' in this game under the current rule set.
Of course, you can circumvent this issue: You can setup games with ridiculous settings, such as 'GNP must reach 5% of galaxy total'. Then it will be possible to win without going to war - but a such game will undoubtedly last less than 10 years game time, and where is the fun in that? An example along the same lines could be made for the '% population' victory condition. But, of course, this would bar you from playing any 'real' games with sensible settings - such as the entire 'quick start' option set - because these use identical % control victory conditions for GNP/colonies/population (example: 38%/38%/38%, for the 'epic' quick start scenario). In these scenarios, the only way to reach that magical 38% of either of the three condtions is conquest.
When the AI can't play a game, that game has a major problem. But when the basic rules of a game themselves are flawed, that game has a giant problem.
So. I don't see a problem with having many paths to a single or a few victory conditions. Each race has it's unique bonuses that helps them get to the victory condition their own way. Maybe that was the designers idea and you might be viewing it a different way.
Also, I've always been hesitant accepting, for role playing/lore considerations, unique or varying victory conditions and unique, race specific technologies. If your empire is great and powerful and suddenly some smaller empire mines a certain amount of minerals, reaches a certain happiness, or gains much diplomatic approval then it doesn't make sense that your empire suddenly loses and the game is over.
Thus, back to the war victory condition; unless all AI's accept your rule, which would be a good design.
Of course, if the PLAYER wins in one of those ways we often think it is just and well deserved. If an AI wins in one of those ways we might start to feel the game is not proper. Again, a design where you can choose to oppose the victory condition or require the other empire to request you submit is a good design.
Thus, if you refuse, the other empire can choose to continue competing with you or to war against you. It makes sense if your empire is comparable to them. If it is not you might just accept the loss and start over.
Apply a diplomatic victory to real life Earth. There never can be one as long as there are comparable sovereign nations competing in many ways, that refuse to submit to another authority.
Any United Nations type organization and leader will only be to help keep an extended peace among sovereign nations. Nations on Earth will continue to prepare and research for war and defense until an ultimate war confined here where some future technologies lesson nuclear weapons; or the ultimate war will be out among our stars. One possible way to avoid the ultimate war would be for one nation to race to the pie in the sky(asteroid and other planet minerals and real estate) and become so mega awesome that nations still confined on earth submit peacefully.
Wow, that could be a peaceful victory, if they ALL accept your rule. (Bee lining research and expansion. Heh) I suppose you would have to request that they each submit to you.
The other nations will still have the choices of accepting or opposing your rule. If one refuses then you have the choice to continue on competing with them having a chance to catch up or just war against them.
Similiar thoughts on unique technologies. My mega awesome empire with mega awesome research should be able to, eventually, research any advance that any other race can. Especially if it's just some other sort of missile, beam weapon, or engine.
True that some alien races could have biologies or cultures that let them have their special technology but any thing can be examined, studied, and understood with enough effort and time.
I can accept special racial bonuses to speed up research of certain technologies but not accept total restrictions to certain technologies.
I think I'm writing much of philosophy in this...heh.
< Message edited by Wade1000 -- 4/29/2011 9:25:56 PM >
Wish list:population centers beyond planetary(http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Culture):Ships,Ring Orbitals,Sphere Orbitals,Ringworlds,Sphereworlds;ability to create & destroy planets,population centers,stars;AI competently using all advances & features.