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5 major changes coming to Galactic Civilizations in 2023
Published on December 22, 2022 By Frogboy In GalCiv IV Dev Journals

So this Spring will mark the one year anniversary of the release of Galactic Civilizations IV.  And we have some really big plans for it.  We've been working hard on a major revamp of the entire game.

Here are some of the areas we are making big changes:

  1. Totally new combat system. Beam vs. Kinetic vs. Missile as a rock paper scissors mechanic against shields, armor and point defense is going away.  Instead, various types of weapons will have their own pros and cons in areas like costs, sizes, effectiveness, and on map benefits.  This will give us a lot more nuance and open the door to having a lot of new types of weapons and defenses in the future.  
  2. New ship design system.  You won't be choosing Hulls anymore. You will choose a general class of ship which will determine how much mass you have available.  This will eventually let us have many types of classes (Frigates, Cruisers, Battleships, Dreadnoughts, and other types) rather than be limited to a number of types based on what words we can think of to describe sizes (uh, so um super gigantic mega hull?).
  3. New invasion system.  We are going to move a bit away from the binary "you need a transport" system of invading plants that I've had in GalCiv since I was in college.  Instead, the time it takes to invade a system will be affected based on the conquest rating of your fleet.  So having an invasion transport with you would greatly increase that obviously.  But you won't need one to conquer some piddly little world just because of "the rules".
  4. New ideology system.  Your choices will no longer give you points in a particular ideology.  They will simply make certain ideological choices less expensive to acquire.  So if you always play as an evil bastard, the evil bastard ideology choices will be cheaper to get but you can still go against the grain and live a life of self-deception.
  5. Updated research system.  So instead of only having N techs you can research, you instead will be able to research any tech you want.  HOWEVER, you will be presented with N techs that scientists are on the verge of breakthroughs of which will be 50% cheaper to research than other techs.  So while you can choose any tech, it'll be very tempting to go with the ones that are on the verge of breakthroughs.

This is only a small list of changes that we think players will really like.  We're also doing things like adding a tutorial, improving the graphics further, making performance improvements, new map setup changes, etc.  We'll have more news soon.

What changes would you like to see?

________________________________________________________

GalCiv IV Journals


Comments (Page 2)
4 Pages1 2 3 4 
on Dec 22, 2022

Is there any chance we will see GalCiv IV support for Nividia's GeForce NOW in 2023? My computer sucks, and I can't afford a new one. If I want to play great games, I have to stream them through GeForce Now. I can currently stream GalCiv III and other Stardock games linked to my Epic account on Geforce, just not IV. I would gladly buy GalCiv IV in the Epic Game Store at the full price if I could stream it through GeForce Now. 

on Dec 22, 2022

Document, document, document.  As mentioned, you have a number of people prioritizing, coding, and testing and all the other stuff those tech wizards do.  However, a document/wiki/web page/coded hologram explaining fully the all the changes goes a loooong way. No sense in making cool changes if the target audience doesn't understand. I've done enough of these to know they're tedious as haggling with Jawas but it'll help reduce follow up questions/explanations.

Love the game 

on Dec 22, 2022

valkdrvr

Document, document, document.  As mentioned, you have a number of people prioritizing, coding, and testing and all the other stuff those tech wizards do.  However, a document/wiki/web page/coded hologram explaining fully the all the changes goes a loooong way. No sense in making cool changes if the target audience doesn't understand. I've done enough of these to know they're tedious as haggling with Jawas but it'll help reduce follow up questions/explanations.

Love the game 

Thanks and I totally agree.  Any volunteers who want to put our documentation up on the Wiki or Confluence?

 

 

on Dec 22, 2022

Frogboy

Thanks and I agree.   This is the way we get the kind of fleet combat we want.  Getting away from ahem, "medium" hulls and instead into classes (Eventually, lots of classes) that have very specific behaviors (nothing fancy just very specific) will solve so many frustrations.

So let me use this opportunity to opine my thoughts on this: (and as a reminder you guys asked for this so if anything, I'm the victim here <g>)


Class / Tag


Hull Type to use under the covers


 


Rules


Unlocked by


Requirements


Colony


Cargo


 


Colony Module


 


1 Citizen


Survey


Medium


 


Survey Module


 


1 Citizen


Probe


Tiny


 


Ignored by pirates, monsters


 


 


Constructor


Cargo


 


Starbase Module


Starbases tech


1 Citizen


Fighter


Tiny


·        


·       Defense +300% when fighting Battleships, Dreadnoughts,

·       Weapon range is +25% in

·       Start with +1 defense.

·       Target larger ships first (larger the ship the higher the priority)

·       Tactical Move Speed N + 5

 


 


 


Destroyer


Small


·        


·       Attack + 200% when fighting fighter

·       Weapon range is +33% in normal combat.

·       Start with +1 defense.

·       Targets fighters first.

 


Space Doctrine


 


Cruiser


Medium


·        


·       Attack + 100% when fighting frigates

·       Weapon range is 50% when in normal combat.

·       Start with +1 defense.


Orbital Manufacturing


 


Siege


Medium


·        


·       Increases fleet siege effectiveness by 25% (stacks).

·       Weapon damage is 25% against other ships.

·       Provides +3 to siege ability.

·       Start with +1 defense.


Space Doctrine


 


Invader


Cargo


·        


·       Increases fleet siege effectiveness by 100%. Stacks.

·       Provides + 10 to siege rating.


Planetary Invasion


1 Citizen


Battleship


Large


 


Tactical  Move Speed: N - 5


Capital Ships


1 Citizen


Dreadnought


Huge


 


Tactical Move Speed: N - 10


Advanced Capital Ships


1 Citizen


 


Gigantic


 


Removed distribute these to the huge class]


 


 


Freighter


Cargo


 


Can create a trade route


Interstellar Trade


 


 

We'll be putting in additional types but you can look at the "rules" and as long as they are simple we can look at putting them in.  

 

 

Looking at where fighters would target the largest ship first, but there's value in having your fighters take out their fighters first.  What about adding an "order of battle" to the ship designer?  E.G., you end up with fighters and attackers.   You could also build Capital ships whose role is basically anti-fighter (The Imperial Lancer-class Frigate).

One thing that might actually both enhance and nerf the carriers:  Don't make carriers build their own fighters.  They can repair them, but new ones would have to be built and sent to the carriers.  The enhancement is designing your own style of air wing (space wing?) and the nerf would be that a carrier that blows it's load in a single battle won't be immediately effective the next turn.  Instead of using tiny hulls, a carrier fighter type could be created that is limited in range and dependent on larger ships to move anywhere......or just hard cap the range on tiny hulls?

 

 

on Dec 22, 2022

Frogboy

Thanks and I agree.   This is the way we get the kind of fleet combat we want.  Getting away from ahem, "medium" hulls and instead into classes (Eventually, lots of classes) that have very specific behaviors (nothing fancy just very specific) will solve so many frustrations.

So let me use this opportunity to opine my thoughts on this: (and as a reminder you guys asked for this so if anything, I'm the victim here <g>)


Class / Tag


Hull Type to use under the covers


 


Rules


Unlocked by


Requirements


Colony


Cargo


 


Colony Module


 


1 Citizen


Survey


Medium


 


Survey Module


 


1 Citizen


Probe


Tiny


 


Ignored by pirates, monsters


 


 


Constructor


Cargo


 


Starbase Module


Starbases tech


1 Citizen


Fighter


Tiny


·        


·       Defense +300% when fighting Battleships, Dreadnoughts,

·       Weapon range is +25% in

·       Start with +1 defense.

·       Target larger ships first (larger the ship the higher the priority)

·       Tactical Move Speed N + 5

 


 


 


Destroyer


Small


·        


·       Attack + 200% when fighting fighter

·       Weapon range is +33% in normal combat.

·       Start with +1 defense.

·       Targets fighters first.

 


Space Doctrine


 


Cruiser


Medium


·        


·       Attack + 100% when fighting frigates

·       Weapon range is 50% when in normal combat.

·       Start with +1 defense.


Orbital Manufacturing


 


Siege


Medium


·        


·       Increases fleet siege effectiveness by 25% (stacks).

·       Weapon damage is 25% against other ships.

·       Provides +3 to siege ability.

·       Start with +1 defense.


Space Doctrine


 


Invader


Cargo


·        


·       Increases fleet siege effectiveness by 100%. Stacks.

·       Provides + 10 to siege rating.


Planetary Invasion


1 Citizen


Battleship


Large


 


Tactical  Move Speed: N - 5


Capital Ships


1 Citizen


Dreadnought


Huge


 


Tactical Move Speed: N - 10


Advanced Capital Ships


1 Citizen


 


Gigantic


 


Removed distribute these to the huge class]


 


 


Freighter


Cargo


 


Can create a trade route


Interstellar Trade


 


 

We'll be putting in additional types but you can look at the "rules" and as long as they are simple we can look at putting them in.  

 

 

Not no, but heck no on needing a Citizen for a survey ship.

Population comes much to slow as is.

Increase pop growth by 500% then we can revisit this conversation.

Already hate the Constructor for this very reason. 

on Dec 22, 2022

Vehement26


Quoting Frogboy,

Thanks and I agree.   This is the way we get the kind of fleet combat we want.  Getting away from ahem, "medium" hulls and instead into classes (Eventually, lots of classes) that have very specific behaviors (nothing fancy just very specific) will solve so many frustrations.

So let me use this opportunity to opine my thoughts on this: (and as a reminder you guys asked for this so if anything, I'm the victim here <g>)




Class / Tag


Hull Type to use under the covers


 


Rules


Unlocked by


Requirements


Colony


Cargo


 


Colony Module


 


1 Citizen


Survey


Medium


 


Survey Module


 


1 Citizen


Probe


Tiny


 


Ignored by pirates, monsters


 


 


Constructor


Cargo


 


Starbase Module


Starbases tech


1 Citizen


Fighter


Tiny


·        


·       Defense +300% when fighting Battleships, Dreadnoughts,

·       Weapon range is +25% in

·       Start with +1 defense.

·       Target larger ships first (larger the ship the higher the priority)

·       Tactical Move Speed N + 5

 


 


 


Destroyer


Small


·        


·       Attack + 200% when fighting fighter

·       Weapon range is +33% in normal combat.

·       Start with +1 defense.

·       Targets fighters first.

 


Space Doctrine


 


Cruiser


Medium


·        


·       Attack + 100% when fighting frigates

·       Weapon range is 50% when in normal combat.

·       Start with +1 defense.


Orbital Manufacturing


 


Siege


Medium


·        


·       Increases fleet siege effectiveness by 25% (stacks).

·       Weapon damage is 25% against other ships.

·       Provides +3 to siege ability.

·       Start with +1 defense.


Space Doctrine


 


Invader


Cargo


·        


·       Increases fleet siege effectiveness by 100%. Stacks.

·       Provides + 10 to siege rating.


Planetary Invasion


1 Citizen


Battleship


Large


 


Tactical  Move Speed: N - 5


Capital Ships


1 Citizen


Dreadnought


Huge


 


Tactical Move Speed: N - 10


Advanced Capital Ships


1 Citizen


 


Gigantic


 


Removed distribute these to the huge class]


 


 


Freighter


Cargo


 


Can create a trade route


Interstellar Trade


 



 

We'll be putting in additional types but you can look at the "rules" and as long as they are simple we can look at putting them in.  

 

 



Looking at where fighters would target the largest ship first, but there's value in having your fighters take out their fighters first.  What about adding an "order of battle" to the ship designer?  E.G., you end up with fighters and attackers.   You could also build Capital ships whose role is basically anti-fighter (The Imperial Lancer-class Frigate).

One thing that might actually both enhance and nerf the carriers:  Don't make carriers build their own fighters.  They can repair them, but new ones would have to be built and sent to the carriers.  The enhancement is designing your own style of air wing (space wing?) and the nerf would be that a carrier that blows it's load in a single battle won't be immediately effective the next turn.  Instead of using tiny hulls, a carrier fighter type could be created that is limited in range and dependent on larger ships to move anywhere......or just hard cap the range on tiny hulls?

 

 

Also, IMHO the only realistic use for railguns as unless all combat is fought at less than a few light seconds they are going to be very inaccurate. Like rifles fired at supersonic fighter inaccurate. Rapid fire railguns fired at incoming missiles and eggshell fighter/bombers should hit 25% if not more of them per combat turn. Coupled with counter missiles and fast firing lasers and fighters get back to being what they would be in Space distractions.

Neither of those weapon types would stand a snowball's chance in Pheonix of surviving more than a pass or two.

I guess you can tell I would not lose a second of sleep if Railguns were taken of the Space Combat list, now for a target that moves in a predictable pattern at super slow speeds like a planet or Space Station. 

on Dec 22, 2022

I believe that, before you can talk about ships and their capabilities, you have to determine how combat works.  The following are some basic factors that have to be decided on:

  1. Distance
    1. how far apart are ships when combat starts?
      1. are they all the same distance apart or are some types of ships closer and others farther away?
    2. at what range can the various weapons begin to be used?
      1. will all types of weapons have the same maximum range?
      2. is there going to be an accuracy penalty that is inversely proportional to the distance at which a weapon is fired?
    3. how fast do ships move in combat?
      1. to move closer
      2. to move farther away
      3. to maintain their current distance
      4. to zig-zag (dodge) to make harder to hit
  2. Rate of fire
    1. how long does it take before each type of weapon can fire again?
    2. should weapons have a maximum ammunition load or infinite ammunition?
  3. Passage of time
    1. there has to be a mechanism for determining which weapon on which ship fires next
    2. there should be a mechanism for determining when the ammunition that was fired arrives at the target
      1. should the target be able to fire a weapon after an enemy fires at it, but before it arrives?
    3. given the speed and trajectory of each ship, where are they when the next ship fires?
  4. Effect of a shot
    1. did the shot hit the target?
      1. how will you determine hit or miss?
      2. if the shot hit the target, what damage was done?
        1. did it lower defenses?
          1. by how much?
        2. did it damage weapons?
          1. by how much?
        3. did it reduce hit points?
          1. by how much?

In short, there are a lot of decisions that need to be made about how combat works before you can start designing weapons and the ships that will carry those weapons.

on Dec 22, 2022

That looks like a great start to ship classes Draginol. When you start running the simulations, I'm sure some numbers will change for balancing, but I like the overall ideas shown here.

Why do ships target things that they aren't strong against first?  I.e. Fighters target larger ships first.

Thanks for listening to us, I really hope to see this work.

Other ship class ideas:

Interdictor-Large-Slows enemy fleets nearby

Superweapon- Huge- increased damage against larger enemy ship classes

Wraith\Shade\Predator- Medium\Small\tiny - Ships in these classes would be hidden on the main map if the fleet is made up only of these ships.  They only show up if they are within 2 spaces from an enemy fleet.  They deal increased damage to cargo hulls like freighters.  They could even spawn behind the enemy fleet.  These could be exclusive to certain races/ideologies.

Pathfinder- Medium/large - This ship has 200% range and increased movement, but lacks in mass compared to ships of similar size.  Used for long range scout and warfare missions.

Skyguard - large - Dedicated to removing fighters, bombers, and other small craft, this ship has high fire rate, but low damage against anything larger.

Raptor- tiny - improved high end fighter that has more mass than it should, increased damage to tiny and small classes.

Heavy assault ship- small- Improves seige rating, weak against smaller ship classes 

Raider/marauder/tracker - Large/medium/small - these ships have 1.5X the normal ship movement acting as hit and run to destroy enemy fleets, starbases, and shipyards.  They do have reduced mass however.  They have a negative siege rating to prevent them from conquering planets alone.  When enemy ships are destroyed these ships give credits to their civ based on the ship sizes destroyed.  Each class does better against a different ship sizes.  This could be exclusive to Xeloxi, and other pirate races.

The possibilities are nearly endless if this is set up and balanced correctly.

on Dec 22, 2022

PaulLach
I hope you fix the issue where a planet that has "Guardian Drones" cannot be invaded successfully because, after you destroy the drones and start the invasion, the drones regenerate after 3 turns causing the game to terminate the invasion due to the planet now being defended.

I'm pretty sure they fixed that. I made sure they fixed it.

on Dec 22, 2022

I happen to like the rock paper scissors system for weapons and defense that we had since GalCiv 2. I'm a little sad you are trying to replace it. However, I'll try to keep an open mind for the new system that develops.

Some thoughts.

I don't think you should allow one weapon type to get a range advantage and get to kill the enemy before they get to fire back. That just encourages stacking that weapon type. I'm a known offender.

Another factor to consider is whether all hull types or just some get a maintenance cost. It determines whether you can have an infinitely large navy. In GalCiv 3, tiny hulls and cargo hulls had no maintenance, so I would make large fleets of tiny hulls for combat, and use cargo hulls for carriers. GalCiv 4 increased it to cover small and medium hulls, so I favor medium hulls. In GalCiv 2, any hull that had weapons or constructor modules had maintenance, so there really wasn't any exploits for this. Mind you you had a lot more cash to throw around. It is quite common for the maintenance costs of your military to grow to 1000s of bc.

on Dec 23, 2022

The combat system in the game won't be that complicated otherwise turn times would get huge.

But each class of ship does have a distance before they can fire.  For example:

Fighters have to get closer than other ships before they can attack but their defense is much much higher against bigger ships.  

Ships don't miss (evasion and accuracy are not in as they are very hard to communicate to players and are one of the biggest causes for late game turn times).  Thus, we will be beefing up attack and defense ratings to communicate better.

So in this example, when a fighter is attacking a capital ship, its defense is always going to be 4 (1 + 3) even if the player doesn't equip any defenses to the ship.  When we play test, we may even increase this further.

Similarly, the fighters move a lot faster than other ships so while they don't have great weapons range, they do get into range fairly quickly but they will have to deal with capital ships likely getting the first shot.

With regards to rate of fire. Let's talk about that:

For instance, missiles won't fire as often but when they do damage, we increase it by more to make up the difference.

Similarly, when figuring out damage, did they hit, etc. This is how that will work:

There are only 15 rounds in a given turn.  We want big battles to take several turns to finish and this lets us reduce turn times late game.

In all these types of games, we have to balance realism and sophistication with the fact that most people don't want to wait 5 minutes between turns late game when there are thousands of ships on the fleet.  We also have to make sure that we have a clear UI to communicate damage to the player.  This is why missing is always a tough thing in thse games because it's hard to communicate this.

on Dec 23, 2022

Frogboy,

Thank you for posting the information about how you are thinking about making the new combat system work.

I agree with the need to be able to finish every given round of combat quickly to reduce turn times.  I also agree with the desire to be able to explain clearly to players what happened during a battle.

Given your descriptions above, I have a few questions:

  1. With respect to distances, range, and speed:
    1. how will you determine the distance between each of my ships in my fleet and each of the enemy's ships in the enemy's fleet?  In other words, will all ships be equidistant from each other at the start of combat or will the type of ship determine how far away from the enemy ships it is?
    2. Will all weapons on all ships be in range in the first round of combat or will some weapons on some ships not be able to fire until a later round of combat?
    3. Will it be assumed that all ships will always move towards their target or can some ships move away from enemy ships that are shooting at them?  For example, when hit points drop to a certain level can a ship turn tail and run?
  2. With respect to combat rolling:
    1. When you say "max attack rating of all weapons" do you mean the sum of the attack ratings of all weapons or do you mean the largest attack rating of all weapons?  For example, if my ship has attack ratings of 5 for missiles, 10 for beam, and 15 for kinetic, is my "max attack rating of all weapons" 30 (5 + 10 + 15) or 15 (the maximum of 5, 10, and 15)?
    2. Would I be correct in assuming that you will have to apply the combat logic to each weapon on each ship in each combat round?
      1. Is the weapon loaded and ready to fire? If yes,
        1. Is there an enemy ship within range?  If yes,
          1. Is it a ship I want to shoot at?
          2. If there is more than one ship in range, which one (if  any) do I want to shoot at?
    3. Will the damage be applied immediately as each weapon on each ship is fired or will the damage be calculated for all weapons on all ships and the applied in total at the end of the combat round?
      1. the first option has implications for the order in which weapons are fired since a ship low in the firing order could be destroyed before it gets its turn to fire
      2. the second option can result in wasted shots by ships shooting at an enemy ship that is already destroyed like occurs in the current version of the game
    4. In each combat round how will you determine which weapon on which ship will attack an enemy ship?
      1. Do all of my ships that can fire have to fire at the same enemy ship or is there a mechanism to spread my attack across multiple ships each combat round?
      2. If a fighter wants to attack a large ship that is not yet in range, will they not fire at a smaller ship that is in range in order to be able to fire at the large ship when it does get in range?  For example, if a fighter is not in range to fire a missile at a large ship during a combat round, will it not fire at a smaller ship that is in range so that it can fire at the large ship as soon as it gets in range or will it fire it's missile at a smaller ship now and wait 5 rounds before it can fire at a large ship?

I think that is enough for now to get the discussion going.

on Dec 24, 2022

there's some really good changes in there, very nice i esp like the combat changes and the research changes. the random research roll was very frustrating for many ppl, and could be pretty bad if u get very unlucky, but this system where u can pick what u want but get discounts for breakthroughs should solve that problem while still giving the random feel you were going for, very nice.

a couple quick thoughts on the combat... I want to address what i see as a potentially big problem, the targeting. i think the targeting can have default targets, but needs to be able to be chosen by the player and AI each turn if they choose. there could be default choices for targeting for ppl who feel it's set up good and just want to skip that part, but when you have auto targeting like "fighters ALWAYS attack bigger ships first" then once a player recognizes this, they can just build a tank or tanks for your fleet if you see your opponent is using a swarm tactic, and then the opponent's swarm tactic will always be useless because the pilots will be insanely trying to take out a large tank doing no dmg to them while they're getting killed by glass cannons. I think the default should be able to be chosen so that ships can be chosen to attack the most threatening ships first by default,  unless the player/AI can identify better priority targets, such as a large ship with a low defense rating. Autotargeting should be based on hull size as well. since tiny ships have good defenses vs larger ships now (great change btw, love it) it would make sense that the larger ships should autotarget other larger ships whenever they can since they will usually be doing much more dmg to larger targets than smaller ones. this reflects how combat usually works in the movies n stuff as well. big ships are often trying to get into range of, and then target, larger targets, and are not usually focused on fighting swarms of ships. They leave that to their fleet's smaller ships that have more maneuverability and better accuracy and targeting ability. when their ships are so small that they're evading our turbo-lasers, it's time to destroy them ship to ship. get the crews to their fighters. 

I also think that there should be multiple kinds of ships for the same hull size, that can have different tasks and priority targets. for example, instead of just having "fighter", it could be broken up into things like "dogfighter", and "light bomber". Dogfighters could be designed to fight other small ships and target smaller ships first by default, while "light bombers" could be designed to try to just rush to large targets and burst them for a bunch of large dmg that would be very effective vs a med and larger hull, but might have trouble targeting other small craft, esp if it's using something like missiles for large burst dmg but slow regen rate.

so much of combat is decided by targeting. I really think it needs to be a big focus for the expansion. players keep finding out how the AI targeting works, and then making "unfair" fleets against them designed with tanks to absorb all the dmg paired with glass cannons to kill everything fast. all the AI can do is endlessly target the tank because they are apparently insane and have no idea how fleet combat works, so victory is assured almost every time. this gets very boring very quickly, and combat in the game becomes less about designing good fleets that can evolve in how they work over time based off on the universe you encounter which leads to good fights, and more about playing whack-a-mole with a really big stick. the AI needs a way to detect the offensive, defensive, and support rating of a ship, and then use that info to decide any priority targets. stop forcing the AI to target tanks and I think the combat will get a lot more interesting for players

cant quite tell what you're thinking for defense btw... were you going to roll all 3 defenses into just 1 stat? cause i think you should at least keep the armor/shields. armor could be a set dmg reduction to the hull, while shields could absorb a certain amount of dmg each turn. could help add different fun tactics and support items, such as support ships that can increase the effectiveness of shields or armor, or support ships that can give the ships in your fleet things like armor-penetrating and/or shield-penetrating weapons to help get through tanky ships.

Looking good! keep up the great work! 

on Dec 24, 2022

oh, and stuff like giving destroyers "Attack + 200% when fighting fighter" might be a little over-powered. u shouldnt just need to throw in a few of those into your fleet and never have to worry about tiny ships again, cause then no one would want to use tiny ships cause they have way too big of a weakness. I love the idea of smaller ships having more defense vs larger, slower ships. but they're already weak and easy to pick off. designing a class of ship that deals +200% dmg vs them just seems to give them no chance, esp later in game

ship classes need their own balance, otherwise you're just making another rock/paper/scissors combat thing where it's often very one-sided combat where one side wins in a landslide even with equal tech, fleet size, and fleet synergy, rather than a good close fight.

on Dec 24, 2022

I'd like to see underutilized mechanics be brought up to par - like deception, diplomatic capital, ascension crystals... It seems like there is quite a lot of emphasis put on them, with whole culture traits set aside, but no way to apply them effectively to the game. I understand that they are there to be "expanded" upon in the expansions, but as of now they are just traits that you would never consider useful and be inclined to take.

And, as always, the AI... I can only talk about it in very general, dilettante terms. My dream is to see the AI able to competently pursue and achieve any and every type of victory, as well as to determine which one is best for it, given the circumstances. Right now it's really only the Mimots that ever have a decent shot at Conquest, due to their passive bonus, and even so I'm yet to see them win it. If the AI is incapable of winning, what is the point of playing against it? It really demonstrates a fundamental ineptness that even their considerable bonuses (on incredible/godlike) don't seem to offset.

As with most turn-based 4x strategies, the basic game trajectory is: the AI initially gets far ahead due to bonuses, then you INEVITABLY catch up to it and get ahead, due to being "smarter". Is there any chance at all we can finally move past this inevitability?

I hope that as you make it more competent, you will actually be able to LOWER its passive bonuses, substituting them with better abilities to solve the planetary hex minigame (right now I always tear down everything on conquered planets and build anew, because I just can't look at it), better invasion planning, better trade, etc. I feel that the AI should have access to all the tools and mechanics that the player has. Otherwise I feel like I'm the cheater.

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