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The king dino controversy.

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  • The king dino controversy.

    Melodramatic thread titles aside what about this King (Queen?) Dinosaur idea?

    So far as I see it and from the comments of others there are a couple of main pros and cons to having one extra powerful 'King' unit.


    It's an extra element to game strategy, you have a potent weapon which is damaging to you if you lose it / costs a lot to replace. That gives you an added dimension to your dino battle tactics and overall strategy.

    Gives a focus of the player's attention, possibly can tell how well they are doing by how well the king's doing.


    Player attention focusing on the king dino means they care less about the development / care of their lesser dinosaurs, that's not only likely but would be a tactical and strategic necessity. You have to protect your king so the game revolves around him.

    That's my take at a very generalised level. My worry is that the main innovation in dinos so far as expressed by the designer diaries is the idea of evolving and developing your dinosaurs and getting the player to care about the individuals involved. I think that the extra strategic element that the king would bring could be served just as well by something else. eg Capture the dino's nest could be a real blow to production or the child rearing herd (if there is such a thing). As an example you could have it so that the child rearing herd needs a lot of food so is constantly on the move and needs strong protection or stealth to avoid massacre by enemy predators.

    Something like that would appeal a lot more to me than a King dinosaur which seems to me to serve the purpose of adding a strategic element to the game without having any logical backing behind it. When has there ever been a dinosaur culture with a King figure? I'd like to see dinosaur society as more of a group driven endeavour. Maybe like an ant colony, you have workers, warriors, breeders and the trick is to get them working together. That way the player is the guide of their dino community and their godlikeness isn't challenged by a mortal dinosaur king.

    Maybe I'm way off here, what does everyone else think?
    Jon Miller: MikeH speaks the truth
    Jon Miller: MikeH is a shockingly revolting dolt and a masturbatory urine-reeking sideshow freak whose word is as valuable as an aging cow paddy.
    We've got both kinds

  • #2
    Mike- Different kind of Dino's living together in a heard? Player choses evolutionary "improvements"? Let's face it, anally correct details have never been the forte of Sid Meier, and quite rightly so, it does not make for a fun game.

    The ultimate (toned down) King Dino would be the "Alpha Male" dinosaur. Mimicking the pattern found in nature with a single male and many females living in a flock, heard or pride together, The AMD (working title) would be a slightly stronger individual, only one per herd. It would look markedly different from other dinosaurs, and be slightly larger on screen (We have the "indentify" bit right here). One of them would always be needed for reproduction, and his genetic code would dominate that of the heard. Male offspring, once they reach maturity, would either try to challenge the AMD and most likely be killed or driven off, or leave the tribe and form roaming bands of Single Males.

    In the game these would serve a triple purpose. First, they would be a threat to your tribe, especially if they are of other species, and could act as an intermediate level "barbarian" between other heards and MRLs. Second, they would periodically come in and challenge your AMD, and replacing him if they win (meaning you each time can have a choice of whether you want to keep your AMD (kill them off using your tribe, lose a genetic change), or get a new one (Let them fight it out with your AMD, leaving the "stronger" male left, possibly seriously injured...)). Thirdly, they would be the source of a new AMD if your old one is lost in battle.

    A heard without an AMD will be weak and cannot replenish itself, thus making the search for a new AMD vital to its current tasks. An interesting strategic decision will therefore be if you should try to kill off Single Male groups or not...

    This gives an interesting alternative to the King Dino idea. It retains most of the advantages (Strategic/Tactical Change, a symbol to identify with) and even adds new ones, while removing the overreliance on a single dinosaur and continually having to protect him (he can and should be replaced, often).

    And remember, ant life centers around protecting the Queen...


    • #3
      I like those ideas a lot, makes a lot more sense than the King Dino as some kind of ruler. The penalty would still be there but it's something you could recover from.

      I shouldn't have chosen ants they were a bad example.
      Jon Miller: MikeH speaks the truth
      Jon Miller: MikeH is a shockingly revolting dolt and a masturbatory urine-reeking sideshow freak whose word is as valuable as an aging cow paddy.
      We've got both kinds


      • #4
        The DinoKing could be a great 'Pro' in the following reguard:

        By some extent focusing the player on a 'lead' Dino it could cut back a lot of the tedious micro-managing indiviuals 'ad-nausium' that can creep into games like CIV and SMAC in the late game (not saying that Dinos is anything like CIV or SMAC, just using this as a example)

        Maybe your group of dinos will have more then one king, with each king 'ruling' a sub-set of the overall group. Or maybe you will not even have to give individual dinos 'commands' Just give your Dinokings 'commands' and the rest of his/her flock will just 'follow his example' This could be a great asset to the game, much better then moving 100 settlers/formers manually every turn It could also put the game on a more stategic level since the player wouldn't have total precision control of every 'unit'.

        I also like the idea that it will hurt to loose the king as I see this as adding a statigic element to the game other then shear numbers and sharper teeth. However, on the flipside the lose of the Dinoking, at least in most circumstances, shouldn't be an unrecoverable lose. It will take some careful play-balanceing to get the benefit/disadvantage of the Dinoking to a 'happy' level.

        "Power does not corrupt; it merely attracts the corruptable"

        [This message has been edited by Bblue (edited March 30, 2000).]
        "Power doesn't corrupt; it merely attracts the corruptable"


        • #5
          Could you not use the same idea (giving universal orders through one 'King') by putting efficient grouping mechanisms in place? One thing that RTS games really need to help you cope is the ability to quickly put units into teams or armies quickly. Wouldn't that give the benefit you are looking for?

          Looks like other people are pro dino kings.
          Jon Miller: MikeH speaks the truth
          Jon Miller: MikeH is a shockingly revolting dolt and a masturbatory urine-reeking sideshow freak whose word is as valuable as an aging cow paddy.
          We've got both kinds


          • #6
            I agree with your hope about a more realistic role of Alpha Dino (well, I'm not sure about a Dino herd, but I watched quite a lot of TV special on current animals who live in herd ).

            We can have Alpha female too, not because of politically correctness but because some species work so today.

            I like the idea of a limited control over your Dinos, but I'm not sure Firaxis is smart enough to follow this path. I played Popolous (1st, not the sequels) a lot some years ago, and I remember I had some weak control only on a main character (a kind of priest).
            He could be killed too, and you needed to replace him quickly to take back the control (quite a mess sometime).

            I suppose Firaxis will not follow the suggestion of a challenged Alpha, because it will be less an opportunity to empathize for the player.

            The Show Biz only like strong continuity (look how Mufasa-Simba alternate in Walt Disney's Lion King, just e.g.), because they know the problem: how can a player like a stranger Dino that kill his/her "avatar"?

            I'm not sure the ants model can fit with dinos, because there the queen is mainly an "eggs builder", very often an almost unmoveable animal.
            In a chess model, ants use the chess King (save it or you lost), when whe are more on the field of chess Queen: really powerful, but if you lost it too early you are in trouble.

            On this chess model vs. dino model match I see the king role as the dino child: protect them because they are your herd future and the weakest (injured animals a part).

            I think that this whole Alpha male/female concept can be far better for Dino than the CopyCIV concept I red here and there on the forum. Let's hope!

            Adm.Naismith AKA mcostant
            "We are reducing all the complexity of billions of people over 6000 years into a Civ box. Let me say: That's not only a PkZip's a real 'picture to Jpeg heavy loss in translation' kind of thing."
            - Admiral Naismith


            • #7
              Yep, good grouping commands would accomplish what I was getting at. My thought was the Dinoking is the method that Firaxis might take to accomplish this.

              Not only would it be a way of making 'group commands' but it also adds an additional element to the game itself since the Dinoking will be a little(?) tougher, quicker, meaner, more virial? then just your run of the mill Dino and that by losing the Dinoking it would have a negitive affect on your game.

              I personally am envisioning Dinosaurs on a more statigic level then something like Starcraft (although I could be totally off base). Something interactive, real-time, but not simply my 'zerglings' vs your 'Marines'(although that should at least be part of the game, just not the only focus). If it turns out that Dinosaurs is nothing but Dinocraft, I'll be dissapointed. Hopefully Sid can find some good ground to stand on somewhere between something like Pharoah (RT infrastrucure development.. nesting ground development, water hole patroling, Dinopup raising, Uranium ore tasting (for those in a real hurry to mutate , etc..) and Starcraft ( RT build stuff from resourses and KILL, KILL, KILL)
              "Power doesn't corrupt; it merely attracts the corruptable"