Advanced Terraforming

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lorkey
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Advanced Terraforming

Post by lorkey » Sun Nov 10, 2013 5:12 pm

Pandora First Contact is an already enjoyable game. Of course there is always room for improvement, but I especially found the terraforming options lacking... and no, building a road, farm or mine is no terraforming for me. Things like the already implemented change of an entire ecosphere are.

So as a big fan of Alpha Centauri's terraforming possibilities I would like to see those returning. I know that if not implemented properly terraforming is a double edged blade. If the AI cannot use it decently or at all, only human controlled factions will benefit.
Finally the engine must of course be capable to realise (and visualise) certain terrain changes.
Nevertheless, below are some ideas that the devs might deem worth considering.

All options should be available from the start but formers need considerable more time until certain technologies (one in each tier) are researched.

Improve/Worsen ecosphere (Arctic/Desert<-->Tundra/Savanna<-->Grasslands/Tropical):
Already possible and basically fine as is.
Only influences food production. Factions starting in favorable areas with special tiles next to them will not need to make use of it too soon.
Factions starting in less good spots can use it to catch up.
Build time: Medium (Short with appropriate "White Tech")
Possible AI handling: Always improve if tile is within own border. Invading forces include formers to devastate ecospheres within borders of enemy factions.

Increase/Decrease rockiness (Plains<-->Hills<-->Mountains):
Currently plains with farms and mountains with mines excel in food and mineral production. Hills are somewhat in between and offer both resources (less in any case and also depending on the ecosphere).
Factions having access to an equal amount of all terrain types are possibly fine without ever using this option. It can still be used to "min/max" or settle a nice spot blocked by a mountain.
However, if the starting location and the surrounding terrain is mostly of two or even only one type this becomes valuable.
Build time: Long (Medium with appropriate tech "Blue Tech")
Possible AI handling: Prefer plains for food and mountains for minerals. Check ratio within own border every couple of turns and order formers to change accordingly.

Raise/Lower land (Plains<-->Coast):
Currently all factions are land based and water tiles cannot be improved. Raising terrain for more producivity is a good idea... as is doing the opposite in enemy territory.
The ability to create (or destroy) land bridges also paves the way for new strategies.
If a tile ends up being completely surrounded by water it will of course not become a coast but an ocean.
Build time: Tremendous (Long with appropriate "Gold Tech")
Possible AI handling: Always raise if tile is within own border or next to it and neutral. Never raise if tile contains special water resource or is next to other factions border. Invading forces include formers to drown tiles within borders of enemy factions.
Should water based factions ever be introduced they certainly will have different view...

With terraforming there is always something to do even during peace times.

Starbuck11
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Re: Advanced Terraforming

Post by Starbuck11 » Wed Nov 13, 2013 12:10 pm

Vegetation random growth should also be added. Especially in areas with large concentration of forests or fungi.
Terraforming land mass may not have much of an impact on climate (only mountains and large tropical forests would really affect rains), but turning artic terrains into lush grasslands (or worse deserts) should randomly affect the climate.
for example : coastlines being submerged by rising sea-levels, savannah and lakes turning into deserts, grasslands turning into savannah or plains next to lakes being flooded ...

dalves
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Re: Advanced Terraforming

Post by dalves » Wed Nov 13, 2013 4:27 pm

I don't know if random growth makes sense, as turns are equivalent to months. Forests in Earth usually take years to grow.

Starbuck11
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Re: Advanced Terraforming

Post by Starbuck11 » Wed Nov 13, 2013 9:03 pm

by that standard, it doesn't make sense to grow multiple forests every month with enough formers either ;)
when I play Eco faction, "building" forests is my option by default.

here is how I would see the randomization :
a base % worldwide x how many forests are already active
if forest is "created", then it has to be next to an already existing one, on a tile grassland/savannah plain/hill

fungi same process but should be allowed to be "created" on any types of terrain (except sea/lakes and special).
and even to replace forests/terraformed terrains (native vegetation contamination)

dalves
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Re: Advanced Terraforming

Post by dalves » Wed Nov 13, 2013 10:10 pm

Artificial growth is a lot faster, specially with future technology.

By the way, why not sea fungi (except by the fact that the game doesn't have sea fungi as it is now)?

mllange
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Re: Advanced Terraforming

Post by mllange » Thu Nov 14, 2013 3:02 am

dalves wrote:I don't know if random growth makes sense, as turns are equivalent to months. Forests in Earth usually take years to grow.
Cities also take years to grow to multi-million populations; such is not the case in Pandora! :lol:

dalves
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Re: Advanced Terraforming

Post by dalves » Thu Nov 14, 2013 10:29 am

Those future kids grow so fast now, don't they?

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