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DW2 Suggestion for Improving Planets

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DW2 Suggestion for Improving Planets - 7/25/2021 2:26:26 AM   


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Good day everyone! Just like everyone here I am super looking forward to DW2. I would say that DW series in general has a lot of what I’ve always looked for in a game but there's something that I have felt is generally lacking, especially with DW1: lack of tall play via improving planets other than non-unique buildings here and there. From what Ive read in FAQ, it seems they've increased facility amounts but since we dont know what effect they'll have its hard to know whether this will be all that significant. The idea of not being forced into an indefinite wide expansion to cement my existence in these games allows for a wider range of roleplay than otherwise would be capable. So I wondered, what would allow for tall play in DW that would make use of the game’s systems to make it fun to play with, a choice to make, and not a chore?

So the suggestion/feature I have considered and felt would best fit for the ability of playing tall is quite simple but versatile. The ability to slowly convert planets into an Ecumenopolis. Imagine eventually turning your planet into something resembling Coruscant from Star Wars with a population of over three trillion, or the hive worlds from WH40k with populations of 10-100billion.

To start with, the status of a planet as an ecumenopolis would be measured as index ranging from 0,I imagine something like an Earth with no cities/minimal which a quick google search shows 3% of the Earth is covered in urban areas of course this would not be in the realm of what we would imagine in an ecumenopolis. With 100 the end being Coruscant-like. Any habitable planet could or would be capable of this. Furthermore, this would be locked behind its own tech tree where most will start with no techs, a planet cannot begin construction or maybe minimally to 5% to model high density urbanization/cities at no tech’s.

The construction rate itself would be based on the planet’s population, so a planet with 5 million population would not have anywhere near the rate of construction of a planet with max pop of 10b. Furthermore, the rate of construction will determine the rate of materials consumption, which itself should be modifiable to allow for players/AI to not destroy/overburden their economies in pursuit of this. Construction rate itself could also be modified with the Economopoulos tech tree as the game progresses to allow for more-rapid construction as resource stockpile/supply increases. Construction demands should be substantial, enough that even if you intend on playing tall you will have to go wide to be able to sustain construction or engage in inter-empire trade while also having enough left-over to perform other tasks, such as building ships/stations. Maintenance materials should also be required and related to the index level, of course not as much as what's required to construct. This would have the nice effect of increasing trade between empires and planets to keep things looking lively for a good reason.

Now to what end would you be doing this? What are the bonuses? Just increasing the max pop of the planet? I think this would be largely too simplistic and boring and pointless for such a system. Theres a lot to be gained from centralizing your population vs having it days/weeks apart via the FTL systems available in game. As you increase the index, of course population capacity would increase in-line with it along with increased consumer good demands but we could also add other nifty bonuses, such as increased science capacity limits compared to non-economopoulos planets, bonuses to station size orbiting the planet, which will be important to maintain the required throughput of resource trade for the construction/maintenance of these planet-types. At certain index levels you could add in static bonuses. For example, parallel unit training,instead of one ground unit being built at a time, you can recruit two ground units at a time instead. To be honest, there are many bonuses that could be reasonably attached to this to make it a decent alternative to just purely wide. Whats even more alluring is the idea that these bonuses could themselves be specific/better/lower to certain race types. Such as the insectoid races having higher population cap bonuses but lower science gains in comparison to say the Securan who would gain more science than population and so on so forth. Every race could have their own set of bonuses/mechanics behind how their planets develop into these types of worlds and has many possibilities.

I am aware though that this runs into the problem that tall empires would not be the only ones that could benefit from this since a wide empire may in fact be better at it and thus would grow even stronger in comparison. Its hard to think of ways to balance it that wouldn't be arbitrary and whether its even necessary. But the core idea of creating city worlds could be an intriguing mechanic to give players another goal for growing their empires that is not just going wide.

Tl;dr Give the ability in DW2 to make City Worlds akin to something like Coruscant for tall play as its lacking in DW1

Thanks for reading!
Post #: 1
RE: DW2 Suggestion for Improving Planets - 7/25/2021 4:07:27 AM   

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Playing "tall" is already a thing in Distant Worlds, it's just the player has less control over what planets are "tall" compared to other games (Stellaris, for instance.)

For example, my last game in DW:U another empire's capital nearly had 1500 GDP. My best planet, out of over 30+ planets, only had 600~ GDP. Whether planets end up being "tall" is dependent on their quality, luxury resources, population, etc. Some of which can be influenced by a player's decisions, and some not.

Distant Worlds has never offered a great deal of planetary management, and for good reason too. I'm not trying to micro-manage upwards of a hundred planets in a huge galaxy. Managing planets is done by the local governments, private businesses, etc.

And lastly, no, a single planet should typically not be able to match the economic power of a galaxy-spanning empire. It's just not realistic.

TL;DR: DW already allows players to play "tall." However, how tall planets can be is realistic. Seldom should single planets amass the power of entire sectors.

< Message edited by Galaxy227 -- 7/25/2021 4:08:01 AM >

(in reply to hiohosilver)
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RE: DW2 Suggestion for Improving Planets - 7/25/2021 10:51:56 AM   


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I would also chime in and say I really hate the tall versus wide debate and that a game need to have both these extremes in some form to actually work.

In reality you should always look for obtaining both for an empire to be strong and a game that allows for that is a game I would like to play. I do think that "Distant Worlds" actually do this fairly well with quality. You need to expand in order to find resources and conduct trade you need a good logistical infrastructure. You then need a few good core planets with which you can then try to focus all those luxury resources on to gain a powerhouse of a planet base.

I never really liked the growth mechanic of population in DW as I don't see how low government tax would magically increase population growth... immigration sure but not actual population growth... that should be a function of culture more than anything. I hope they changed this mechanic in DW2.

But an empire who expands to quickly and to violently should be punished by a broken economy... an empire that expands wisely and manage trade well should be able to build up high quality high population planets and reap the benefit of that. If that will be possible in DW2 then I would be happy... and please no artificial tall or wide play just for the sake of having them, that is stupid in my opinion.

< Message edited by Jorgen_CAB -- 7/25/2021 10:55:29 AM >

(in reply to Galaxy227)
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RE: DW2 Suggestion for Improving Planets - 7/25/2021 12:23:49 PM   


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A tall Luxembourg (city state) will never match a tall USA (empire).
playing tall has alway been a pseudo proposition.

< Message edited by Amoebanzai -- 7/25/2021 12:24:34 PM >

(in reply to Jorgen_CAB)
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RE: DW2 Suggestion for Improving Planets - 7/25/2021 12:57:48 PM   


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My frequent desire to play tall in games like Stellaris stems from the fact that I find the detailed planetary management in it to be extremely tedious after a while, so I want as few planets as possible. I play tall to avoid some of the game's boring mechanics.

Distant Worlds, on the other hand, is the sweet spot for me. It lets me make decisions about what special buildings to construct, and what policies to apply to the races living on the planet. It does not burden me with having to worry about building the 5th Research Complex, and figuring out if there's a "pop" with the optimal characteristics to staff it, and if not, how to migrate one to the planet.

As a result, for me, Distant Worlds never needed to come up with any sort of artificial mechanic to make a tall playstyle viable. I was perfectly happy to acquire more territory, because managing it was fun, never a chore.

(in reply to Amoebanzai)
Post #: 5
RE: DW2 Suggestion for Improving Planets - 7/25/2021 5:35:46 PM   


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The problem with most games, Stellaris in particular, is that there is no real consolidation phase to any expansion at all... more is always better.

A good game would have a hard choice to make between expanding/conquering and consolidation. Too much expansion should lead to a collapsed empire eventually.

Therefore a good balance of expansion and quality should be the focus in most 4x or grand strategy games. Different species or empire type could tweak the balance to some degree as that is fun too.

Here on Earth we have always seen that more is not always better over time... unless there is a consolidation of territory and focus on cultural matters things eventually blows up. Many large empires have imploded in history while some have endured as they managed to focus on internal consolidation. To many game developers turn to the more is always better mantra as most players can't deal with more realistic simulations. The attention span sometimes is too short and they start throwing tantrums when things seemingly break apart for "no good" reason internally. Paradox is a good example who are hell bent on always rewarding the player and rarely penalize them which just feed the snowball and most often just give the player a huge unfair advantage over even half decent AI. Stellaris in particular is a perfect example of this strategy from Paradox, the vanilla game are simply pointless (in my opinion) to play past 100 years because of the snowball mechanics.

(in reply to Cauldyth)
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RE: DW2 Suggestion for Improving Planets - 7/26/2021 6:23:52 AM   


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Tall vs Wide isn't a coherent dichotomy. It comes from CivV BNW, where you make a conscious decision to improve your capability by building fewer cities with more population each, or more cities with less population each.

It doesn't translate into any other game. It doesn't translate into Stellaris, especially, where you often have the "Tall is good" crowd boasting about how they have >9000 colonies in as few systems as possible.

If the complaint, the core problem, that tall is addressing is the fact that late game gets overwhelming, then I'd much rather the developer and designer spent time giving the player automation tools to manage the overwhelming complexity and size of the game loops, rather than just making those game loops go away.

(in reply to Jorgen_CAB)
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RE: DW2 Suggestion for Improving Planets - 7/26/2021 8:46:44 AM   


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Automation tools are one thing we don't have to worry about in DW2 at least... ;)

(in reply to StormingKiwi)
Post #: 8
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