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Terraforming Faction

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  • Terraforming Faction

    I'd like to play a "terraforming faction" as envisioned below. Has anyone already made one and if so, is it downloadable? If not, can you help me finish this one:

    The leader is formerly the Chief Geologist of the mission. Though an accomplished natural scientist, he has an engineering background as well, and a keen interest in fine arts. For some reason, I see him as a Frenchman.

    "Frenchie" styles himself a "Sculptor of Worlds" or the "Architect of the Planet" and has a very definite vision of what Chiron should be made into. He sees his work as an artistic enterprise though also of tremendous practical importance. He is joined by people who share his vision, as well as "can-do" engineering types up for the challenge, and people with a pioneering attitude who want his help making the planet as inhabitable and bountiful as possible.

    Obviously, this faction gets a PLANET penalty (-2). But I think "Frenchie" should have the option of gaining respect for the native landscape/lifeforms and integrating them into his grand design (i.e., Green Economics is not a forbidden choice).

    The bonuses are harder to figure. I could justify a bonus for almost anything except ECONOMY and PROBE: +1 MORALE (hardy pioneering spirit); +1/+2 SUPPORT (for all the former units); +1 INDUSTRY (experienced in utilizing byproducts of terraforming and/or squeezing extra out of natural resources); +1 RESEARCH (natural science background and interest); +1 GROWTH (need more people to tame the land).

    My current thinking is +1 RESEARCH and +1 MORALE. Bonuses to GROWTH and INDUSTRY would then be a matter of social engineering, such as Demo/Planned. SUPPORT would be reflected in an immunity to the penalty from Demo or perhaps the total immunity like the Hive has with efficiency.

    Starting technology = Centauri Ecology. A second tech (a la SMAC-X factions), if any, would either be Biogenics (recycling tanks), Info Systems (computer modeling of geologic/climactic conditions), or perhaps most appropriately, Applied Physics (remember the Mining Laser?)

    Starts with a free former unit, maybe a Mining Laser.

    Maybe gets a free Recycling Tanks with every base.

    Gets the Terraforming Bonus (half-price for raise/lower terrain). Better if it got the abilities of the Weather Paradigm right away but this doesn't appear to be possible with the Faction Editor.

    Any suggestions on completing this faction or where to download a similar faction?

  • #2
    (+1 Research / +1 Morale / + terraforming bonuses / + free Recycling Tanks) needs more than -2 Planet to counterbalance this faction. It's overpowered.


    • #3
      I think a -1 GROWTH would make it more balanced, and more plausible. When you are terraforming the land, you are by definition restricting certain areas for certain activities, therby limiting your room for expansion.


      • #4
        I like that idea. Although I see this faction as (eventually) a very populous faction with the potential for a diplomatic or economic victory, it makes sense that its growth would be a function of expanding its territory (particularly into areas where other factions would not prosper) and an emphasis on greater productivity (through terraforming) from fewer tiles (while others are developed for the leader's aesthetic purposes, not for exploitation).


        • #5
          Are any of the SE choices forbidden to this faction?


          • #6
            Hmm.. the best idea for this faction to my mind, and I don't think its possible unfortunately, is that no former unit requires support.

            As for bonuses, I think +1 research is just wrong. THey are farmers not scientist. For the same reason, I see any growth penalty as wrong (how many farmers have only 1 kid!?)

            Maybe something along these lines would work..

            +2 support(many formers)
            +1 growth (large families)
            -1 planet (its theirs to sculpt)
            -2 police (support for formers not military)

            -1 Commerce
            free former, free recycling tank!!!
            +1 nutrient in fungus

            Starting tech: Cent ecology

            The free recycling tank is ultra powerful, so it needs some heavy penalties. I would say 'no' to free market economics. Maybe you can make them immune to Fundamentalism. (love of the land, etc).



            • #7
              Omega describes these guys as mostly engineering types and not farmer types. That being said definitely a minus in the growth area b/c as already stated they are out in the field but moreso due to the Dilbert factor (Blurb: Nerdy Engineers can't get dates )

              Along with this I would envision this faction as being horrified by the wilderness (i.e. so strong fungus/Environment penalties apply) and feel the need to tailor the environment to their own "vision" of planet.
              "Just puttin on the foil" - Jeff Hanson

              “In a democracy, I realize you don’t need to talk to the top leader to know how the country feels. When I go to a dictatorship, I only have to talk to one person and that’s the dictator, because he speaks for all the people.” - Jimmy Carter


              • #8
                Thanks for the ideas and please keep them coming. "No support cost for formers" would definitely be the best perk if it were possible.

                I think that the Believers (who, I think, also have a Planet penalty) already fit the bill as farmers whose primary interest is to "be fruitful and multiply." The leader of this terraforming faction is an engineer, but also a scientist and perhaps most of all, an artist(he likes to think).

                I would expect him to go Demo/Planned while he's creating his masterpiece, but once it's largely finished, he'll crack down on misuse of it and on growth in order to protect it (Police/Green). So the suggestion that Free Market be unavailable is probably right on. One might also rule out Fundamentalist politics on the basis of his background in natural science and his firm belief that humans (particularly himself) are the "Creator" of their new world.


                • #9
                  You used the faction editor? The one that came with SMACX? That thing crashes my game!


                  • #10
                    There already is a Terraforming faction out there, see but that shouldn't stop you from making your own.


                    • #11
                      I don't believe that there is a specific way to give formers clean reactors as opposed to every unit you have, however there are former specific abilities you could give to them. I am thinking along the lines of Super former and Fungicide tanks.

                      One question, when someone talks about "halved terraform costs" does this refer to the energy credits paid to raise/lower terrain or the costs in turns for the formers to build? Halving the cost to raise lower terrain is practically worthless, if this is what this faction ability does then I propose giving this faction advanced ecological engineering- yes- as a STARTING tech.

                      The only reason I am saying this is because all of the exotic land enhancements other than boreholes or the occaisional Mirror farm never appear. It would be cool to have a faction that is REALLY focused on terraforming. The growth would be nice, but rather than free recycling tanks -which makes me think of more of an eco- efficient faction- very large former bonuses make more sense to me. Besides, giving this faction advanced ecological engineering wouldn't be completely unbalancing since in order to research techs after it you need both prerequesites. ITs not like this faction could research Centauri Psi next.

                      I am not sure how this would affect tech cost though...

                      But what I ideally envision is a faction that has all of those nifty exotic enhancements in place (I.E. soil enrichers, etc.) If you have ever played the Morgan vs Deidre scenario you get to see what a continent could look like if it was terraformed to an extreme.

                      I really don't think a support bonus fits. Since this is specific to the whole empire and not just formers it would make it so they would just be another Miriam. This faction needs a different flavor entirely.

                      Of course this faction needs a planet penalty. But also- to make this planet penalty a bit more apparent- a fungus food penalty.


                      • #12
                        Yeah, I added this faction with the Faction Editor last night and scaled it back a bit. For the moment it's now:

                        +1 MORALE/+1 RESEARCH/-2 PLANET

                        Centauri Ecology, Applied Physics

                        Free former

                        Terraforming Bonus


                        • #13
                          I tried this faction again last night on the Huge Map, transcend difficulty, against the original SMAC factions minus the Peacekeepers. My colony pod landed just north of the Unity Wreckage. I colonized my way up both sides of the Pholus Ridge and put a base in the Ruins. I haven't yet done anything with the flat area inbetween except to start clearing the fungus, but eventually I'll raise it up to extend the ridge line.

                          The result looks very pretty -- nice forests on the shores, farms/solar cells on the slopes. But the other factions are pulling ahead. What I learned is that the inability to make formers support-free for this faction (from the start) really hurts. Having at least two formers plus a defender in the base and a scout out pod-hunting for every base takes up two minerals at SUPPORT=0, which hurts when the base is small. If I'd had to fight a major war, it would have gone poorly. But as others have noted, giving this faction a SUPPORT bonus isn't a great solution because it shouldn't have any greater ability to support combat units than anyone else.

                          The other problem is that the Faction Editor allows only eight special abilities. The suggestions about limiting fungus productivity are great. These guys should get little or nothing out of fungus even with the higher techs, since they shouldn't really have any interest in those techs anyway. However, I don't have any special ability fields left over for this. Same goes for giving them additional terraforming technologies to start with.

                          Any programmers out there that have made custom factions beyond the scope of what the Editor allows you to do? I REALLY want to make this faction work.

                          [This message has been edited by Omega (edited March 08, 2000).]


                          • #14
                            how about this

                            advanced ecological engineering as their starting tech...they get two extra formers to start out with...since you are playing with SMACX (the unity wreckage part in your post) so they get free super former ability

                            so maybe this...

                            advanced ecological engineering

                            +1 morale
                            +1 efficency
                            +1 research
                            -1 economy
                            -2 planet

                            Free ability super formers
                            extra starting units three free formers
                            likes planned
                            no fundamentalism

                            this is my version of a faction of civil engineers...think of the Alpha Centauri Army Corps of Engineers



                            • #15
                              'Scuse me if I'm wrong, don't have SMACX, so don't have the editor, but is anything stopping you actually editing the faction file to give more than eight abilities?
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