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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?

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GalCiv IV Journals


Comments (Page 4)
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on Jan 06, 2023

gypsy2299

For me there is nothing wrong or broken with Ideology.

It is just not simple as it was in 1,2, & 3.

Spend your time on combat, invasions, and bugs.

Leave what ain't broke (ideology) for GC5. 

Now the Faction System is as useless as nipples on a Boar Hog, could use a long hard look.

I actually tend to agree with you regarding the ideology system, I don't believe it is broken.  It works and is understandable, I just included it as Brad plans on reworking it as he himself isn't happy with its current state.  

Also agree the faction system is not hugely useful (effectively its a dumping ground for your excess leaders late game).  

Was playing a game last night where I managed to get alliances with both civs in my sector.  It took a good bit of effort and it just felt so anticlimactic whether its part of the upcoming update/expansion or not I really feel diplomacy in general needs more depth.

on Jan 07, 2023

ooh i like that tech idea, i've been playing with that one in my head for a while. Creating a sort of meta properties for techs so they can automatically be associated in a network for adjacency and using simple cyclical graph distance to calculate distance to techs you've already researched. I suppose the one armed bandit approach to extraneous techs would work as an additional zinger too, techs that are just boost techs or esoteric bonuses that appear once a combo of intentionally researched techs have been completed.

on Jan 08, 2023

Love it! Excited to see what you guys come up with!

on Jan 08, 2023

Do these engineers you have understand that a stray unit cannot break a siege by its lonesome?  It has to attack the besieging army.  It can't just fly into the planet and halt the entire operation without a shot fired.  As well, reinforcing the besieging fleet should not halt the siege; nor should splitting units away from the siege.  The conflict in the game is supposed to be symbolic of real conflict.  No single soldier ever halted the siege of Stalingrad by sneaking in when the Germans weren't looking.

 

I get very surprising results in fleet-to-fleet combat as well.  Several enemies with attack strength 1 can defeat a small number of far superior ships in just a few rounds.  Looking at the defense and offense numbers says that should be impossible.

 

These issues combined have me thinking I've been hoodwinked, paying for a game that was slapped together without thought and remains that way months and months after its release date.

on Jan 09, 2023

jephrey641504

Do these engineers you have understand that a stray unit cannot break a siege by its lonesome?  It has to attack the besieging army.  It can't just fly into the planet and halt the entire operation without a shot fired.  As well, reinforcing the besieging fleet should not halt the siege; nor should splitting units away from the siege.  The conflict in the game is supposed to be symbolic of real conflict.  No single soldier ever halted the siege of Stalingrad by sneaking in when the Germans weren't looking.

 

I get very surprising results in fleet-to-fleet combat as well.  Several enemies with attack strength 1 can defeat a small number of far superior ships in just a few rounds.  Looking at the defense and offense numbers says that should be impossible.

 

These issues combined have me thinking I've been hoodwinked, paying for a game that was slapped together without thought and remains that way months and months after its release date.

When worlds are colonized, it's not really massive cityscapes.  Those don't develop for decades if not centuries.  Instead it's a few habitable buildings that are very vulnerable to an attack from space.  A single ship targeting life support systems would be absolutely devastating for a colony and lead to a quick surrender.  That being said, Draginol mentioned they are planning on giving planets seige ratings to reduce single ships taking control of planet.

As explained above, damage is rolled between 1 to the actual combat rating.  If my ship has damage equal to 15. It actually does damage between 1 to 15.  Average of 7.  This can lead to frustrating losses, and surprising wins.

Unfortunately we're trained to always believe the estimated outcome.  If the computer tells us we'll win, we expect to win.  We almost always prefer to pick fights where the computer guarantees victory.  If we lose because of bad rolls, we are frustrated because we were told we would win. 

If you want an example of this, think about Risk where you have 10-30 troops vs 1 enemy troop.  You are pretty much guaranteed to win.  However there is an incredibly small chance they will manage to roll above you every time and somehow come out on top.  This can happen as well in GC4 because the system generates damage randomly.

 

on Jan 09, 2023

I've had battles where I expected to lose at least 3 or 4 medium ships, and come out without a single loss.  In other words, the system can work in our favor as well.

If you're still frustrated, use a custom civ with the proliferate trait.  You'll lose a lot more ships, but it allows you to take these losses without devastating your military 

on Jan 09, 2023

My bad placed on wrong page .....New year hang over.....       

on Jan 10, 2023

Frogboy


Quoting PaulLach,

With respect to the "New ship design system" I have the following suggestions:



 



      1. Larger ships should have weapons and/or defenses against smaller ships.  While I currently take advantage of the fact that a fleet of a large number of small ships that have "Predictive Targeting" (extends weapon range) can destroy a larger ship before the larger ship gets off a shot, I don't think this is "fair". For example:




            1. the range of weapons on a larger ship should be greater than the range of weapons on a smaller ship 







            1. if a larger ship has multiple weapons, players should have the option of targeting each weapon at a specific enemy ship.  Having all weapons on a large ship target a single small ship is not only wasteful, it is incredibly ignorant!








 



      1. Larger ships should have weapons and/or defenses available to them that are not available to smaller ships.  For example:




            1. I can put a "Carrier Module" on a tiny hull ship effectively giving me multiple tiny ships on a tiny ship!







            1. In real life,




                  1. a 16 inch gun on a battleship would not fit on a PT boat







                  1. a destroyer could not launch a fighter jet













 





Yea, I think the fixed slot thing was an interesting, but failed, experiment.  A carrier module's mass should be too big for a tiny hull.

on Jan 10, 2023

 So far I am looking forward to that, have enjoyed playing all the Gal Civ games and I see that the upcoming expansion for GC4 is looking really exciting I have one question at the moment is there any chance you could allow more mass for each ship I have found this frustrating at times when designing a ship and unable to make the most of the armaments and defensive systems ect... 

on Jan 20, 2023

I am using Version 1.1

I would like to see these changes/fixes:

1. Predictive Targeting Ship modification does not work properly with the most advanced weapons like doom ray, singularity driver, nightmare torpedoes. Fix Predictive targeting or if its not suppose to work with the most advanced weapons put that in the description.

2. Sometimes when you add a ship to an existing fleet the game changes the fleet name to a generic fleet name. That is annoying because I have to change it back. Fix that somehow.

3. Better cost management screen for ships that cost money to maintain. I don't think this screen currently shows all the ships that cost money. Seems like there is a display limit.

4. The AI needs to make bigger fleet formations otherwise they are easy to defeat.

5. When a new ship is constructed the auto ship naming does not always work for some reason when I make huge and large ships. Example: I made a custom ship called "BOX" every time I make the BOX ship its called BOX. The ship labeling does not appear like S.S. Box 1 , S.S. Box 2 auto naming added to the name. Maybe my saved game is just glitched not sure.

 

on Jan 20, 2023

I'm very excited to see where this goes!

Combat is the weakest part of 4x gaming in general - I'm glad that your tackling this issue early into GC4 development. I like the direction you've taken with the hull changes - feels like the natural progression and should allow much easier customization. I think this will fix one of my biggest issues - early-mid ships that need to be upgraded to a larger hull to be remotely useful at all mid-late game. I'm curious how this is deployed tho - I know it isn't realistic to take a huge hull and slap enough engines and boosters to it, so its faster than fighter - doesn't even work well in GC4 but I do like having that option. More specifically, I don't want to be forced to build a medium hull if I want a surveyor with guns - stuff like that. 

Related to this topic - Carriers. A few carriers with both sets of fighters in a fleet is hard to beat... A max logistics fleet of optimized carriers can beat anything - I may be slightly exaggerating but not by much. I'm not sure how to balance that.

Both of these topics touch on something that I've been thinking a lot about recently - the declining significance of ships, fleets and stations as the game progresses. This is fundamental to every 4x game I've ever played. Early on, ships are expensive and the trade off to an early fleet is a delayed/under-powered mid-game fleet, colony growth is greatly impacted - each ship construction is decision with apparent consequences. I've lost many starts because I had one less basic ship than the other guy and I've exploited that to my advantage many times also. plus, an early war win means dragging along a maxed logistics TINY fleet for the entire game - the Hull revamps may alleviate this a bit.

All of that is obvious - what I want is the feel of those weak early ships when I launch a super expensive, maxed tech, incredibly huge, fleet/planet destroying Capital ship that I just spent 3 hours editing. As I amass more ships, all ships lose value. Eventually T, S, M & even L hulls become insignificant - no matter the upgrades. By the time my OP universe conquerors roll out, I've often sent entire fleets to their doom that if had I lost earlier, I would have loaded an autosave. Personal attachment to a ship I've had for 400 turns < Destroy/Sell for pennies just to decrease my total number of ships... etc.

I want to value my fleets the entire game. I want to sink so much money into them over time that I'm always weighing the financial aspect. As I upgrade ships, win battles and level them up, I want them to improve so much that I might opt to upgrade them rather than build bigger "better" new ones. I think it would be awesome if I recognized individual ships by the end of a game. Even further, I'd like to be able to formally retire a ship that has been in service for like 170 years - that should go to a museum. Think of the Enterprise as example - either one works. The Enterprise is a bigger deal than the Admiral/Captain, crew, armaments, etc - its a part of navel and sci-fi history. As the leader of a Galactic Civilization I should face consequences if I send a similar (or really any) veteran ship/crew to an unnecessary certain doom.

I'm intentionally trying not to be specific with any examples of solutions to this stuff - thats why I focused on how it all feels. Like how CIV4 had stackable units to a tile and CIV5 didn't, I hated it - at first. In CIV4 I had a massive military by the end game - hundreds of units more than possible in CIV5 and although IV is more realistic, V makes for a far better game. The two have a completely different feel despite being almost the same game.

My only actual tip/suggestion:

Separate offensive fleets from Planet/Station defense fleets. Maybe call defensive ships "Police" and don't allow them to clutter up the actual military ships/fleets UI, as I will ideally never move them. I wouldn't mind some sort of auto-generation of defensive ships. I dislike building a ship just to move it once, to an adjacent location - and then repeat. With civilian ships removed, it would mean every time I search for a military ship - only ships I'd actually deploy are visible. Not only less cluttered but also increases my familiarity.

Just my 1000 words 😂

Thanks for everything - keep up the great work!

tl;dr:

I want my ships, fleets and space battles to be a little less Legend of the Galactic Heroes & a little more Star Trek/Andromeda/Orville style.

- Jakksen

on Jan 21, 2023

Great list of upcoming changes, Frogboy - thanks.

I really like the Tech research changes. In too many of my GC4 games, I am stuck without the Survey Ships tech for way too long. This tech should be fairly easy and fast to research for all races.

I hope that this change comes sooner than later, this year.

 

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