Slow Start 2.0 for Galactic Civilizations 2 - Twilight of the Arnor
This Mod was written because I've always felt there has been a bit of a problem with too much too soon in this game.
Range - Range has always been too powerful at the start and throughtout the game to the point where it doesn't really mean much at all. Colonzie a planet or two and you can just about reach the whole universe. Life support modules on ships became unnecessary almost immediately.
Because of the above, inital range is now given at -100. I've also given -20 to starting speed. All the life support modules have had their range reduced to the bare minimum. They go 1 up to 6 instead of the rediculously high range numbers they are given in vanilla.
You may notice this limitation is particularly apparent on the smaller maps where you may only have up to a couple of planets for quite some time and you hit your range limitation (about one sector) very quickly. But this is deliberate. For strategy, you can build constructors at the edge of your range limit and thus extend your range that way in early stages of the game.
Stellar Cartography - I feel this technology is a bit of a cheat, being able to see the placement of all the planets relatively early on and therefore doing away with the need for seeing stars on the map. In the vanilla game, I've been inclined to switch the star indicator off because it is just clutter.
However, with this MOD, I have DISABLED this technolgy for all races completely! This means you need to know where all the stars are and actually go explore around them to find out if there are planets there. With the limitation in range, it's now possible you may never know throughout the entire game where everything is or get to fully explore everywhere. Personally, I think this makes things more interesting.
Where Stellar Cartography was on the tech tree, I have replaced with something called "Space Extender". This helps compensate for the starting loss of range and speed by giving half of both attributes back. However, it costs 10 times more than Stellar Cartography did. Furthermore, races that normally began with Stellar Cartography do NOT get this replacement tech instead.
Starting Ships - I really hoped Brad would give the option to switch off starting ships as they are another cheat IMO, especially the survey ship when you don't even have the technology for it yet. Whoever builds a second survey ship anyway? The anomalies are pretty much eaten up by then.
I had to do a workaround by some tricky ship name changing. The upshot of this is that you begin with three ships that are completely gutted and, in fact, you can't even see them. But they are there and the game will find them like any other ship. While you CAN use them to begin exploring, albeit at minimum speed, I suggest you disband them.
To further impede quick expansion early in the game, I have multiplied the cost of various ship modules by 10. This includes colony, constructor, and mining modules. I have also multiplied the cost of star ports by 10.
Universal Translator - This is another example of too much too soon. I think there should be a little bit more time or suspense before you can actually talk to other species. Therefore I have divided the translator into three levels, each level giving it bit more of what the vanilla tech gives all at once such as unlocking buildings and tech branches. Other races can only be directly communicated to after Universal Translator III is discovered.
Now, in an interesting thought concerning the above, I don't know if others races can declare war BEFORE you can talk to them. It would be interesting to see. It would probably mean that you simply can't make peace until Universal Translator III is discovered.
Any feedback is welcomed.
I totally agree with u.