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Thread: Potential Future DLC Item: Negative Resources

  1. #1

    Potential Future DLC Item: Negative Resources

    Heya,

    From a previous thread Aaron wrote:

    Now, I also want to say that I honestly like the idea of negative resources if they were handled properly. Leaving the difficulty argument to the side for the moment, I think they could add some interesting gameplay elements. Having given it a bit of thought I feel it might be a good idea if negative resources could be corrected with a labor option from within the city (keep in mind that I've been playing MoO2 this week and I'm a huge terraforming fan). However, I think the topic is a bit too much to discuss here and I honestly feel it's DLC material. Troy, could you start another thread about it so we can weigh the pros and cons?
    My original proposal was this:

    Basic Negative Resources

    -Locust Colony: -1 food (desert, plains, forest)
    -Soggy Ground: -1 production (swamp, plains, forest)
    -Null Stones: -1 power (hills, mountains)
    -Pyrite: -1 gold (hills, mountains, desert)
    -Mosquito Swarm: -5 population growth (swamp, forest)
    -Quicksand: -1 movement to units [to a minimum of 1] (desert, swamp, forest)

    Mixed Negative Resources

    -Lead: -10 population growth, +1 production, +1 gold (hills, mountains, swamp)
    -Tobacco: -10 population grown, +1 to happiness/-1 unrest (plains)
    -Alligators: -5 population growth, +1 food, +1 gold (swamp, shore)
    -Puffer Fish: -15 population growth, +1 food, +1 gold, +1 happiness/-1 unrest (shore, ocean)
    -Wild Boars: -1 production, +1 food
    -Kelp Forest: -1 movement to naval units [to a minimum of 1], +1 food (shore)
    -Coral Reef: -2 movement to naval units [to a minimum of 1], +1 gold (shore)
    -Peat Moss: -1 food, +1 production (swamp, plains)
    -Radium: -5 population growth, -1 food, +2 power (all except shore and ocean)
    -Poisonwood: -1 food, +1 power (forest, swamp)
    -Thickened Vines: -1 production, +1 food (plains, forest, swamp)
    -Magpies: -2 power, +1 food (forest, swamp)

    I now also want to add these, since it was a pretty major oversight IMO:

    -Dark Ademantine: As Ademantine Ore, except -5 population growth.
    -Dark Mithril: As Mithril Ore, except -2 power
    -Charbones: As Boneyard, except -1 production
    -Felwood: As Darkwood, except -1 food
    -Dark Ethrerium: As Etherium, except -1 happiness (+1 Unrest)
    -Bleedstone: As Heartsone, except -5 population growth.
    -Darkshade: As Nightshade, except -1 food.
    -Dark Obsidian: As Obsidian, except -1 production.
    -Slowsilver: As Quicksilver, except -2 power.

    I feel the above aught to be included so sorcerer-lords still have access to those materials and buildings like the Alchemists' Guild serve a purpose.

    Anyway, on to why I feel these are a good idea.

    1. Negative Resources do increase difficulty. In the previous thread, people had a tendency to get way too hung up on equating Difficulty with Sorcerer-Lord AI. There are other AI's at work such as neutral cities, titans, wandering monsters, and by extension- world features. All of these must be taken into account when thinking about difficulty. Negative resources will slow a player's expansion which increases the dangers from wandering monsters, world feature spawns, titans, and neutral city units.

    2. Negative Resources provide a tangible and visual change to the game at the upper difficulty levels. This really increases the depth of the game. The style and strategies and feel of the game on easy and normal modes would be demonstrably different from the very hard and impossible modes. The game would provide a visual cue that things are changed and the player should expect a far more dangerous and thrilling experience- not just the AI cranked up to 11. Any time a game can provide a visual marker that the total experience will be different, that's a plus.

    3. Negative Resources explore design space that has been only touched at the surface level in previous 4x games. Here is a chance for Worlds of Magic to break some new ground (in addition to its awesome magic system). Almost all the resources currently on the Wiki are also in games like Civ5. The rare exception being fantasy-specific resources like Mithril or Nightshade (which were in MoM, of course). But Negative Resources give Wastelands/Lucid Dreamers a chance to show they are striking out and exploring new and original design ideas. For this reason alone, I wish they could be in the core game at launch. But I imagine that the art team is already pressed hard to get the final factions done and throwing on a ton of new icons would probably not go over well, LOL!

    Anyway, this is why I really like negative resources. I think they'd be very good for the game both in the long run and in the short term by increasing the depth of play and truly challenging players in the very top difficulty settings.

    Peace,

    -Troy
    Last edited by Troy_Costisick; 03-13-2015 at 01:20 AM.
    My RPG Design and Theory Blog: http://socratesrpg.blogspot.com/

  2. #2
    Good post Troy! (Sorry it took me so long to get to it, but the weekend was a little busy.)

    I like the idea of negative resources because it allows us to add another handicap to the game, especially at the high difficulty levels.

    However, we have to make them interesting and compelling if they're going to work. They need to encourage a player rather than discourage them.

    Take for example star systems with asteroid fields or gas giants in MoO2. Now, asteroid fields and gas giants we absolutely useless in the early (and maybe even mid) game. However, they had serious potential. You wanted to find systems that had them for the long game. Why? You could make them into planets. And those planets were usually large (or huge). They would start out as barren and could be terraformed all the way up to Gaia-class. That meant that even though they were bad you wanted them.

    We can also look at MoO2 for a contrasting example. That is toxic planets or systems with only gas giants and/or asteroid fields. Both of these drove me crazy. A toxic planet had to be blown up (which you could only do if an enemy had a colony on it) and then remade from the resulting asteroid field if you wanted to terraform it. And you couldn't construct a planet with a ship, you had to have a colony in the system. So, systems with only gas giants and/or asteroid fields could only ever have an outpost in them. That wasn't fun, it was just annoying.

    So, the negative resources need to feel “Some day that going to be very useful, so I better get it now”. That is point one.

    Point two is that we may want to allow the player to overcome the negative (or make it a positive) with labor. Again, this is how MoO2 did it. If the player can use the labor generated by the city to fix the issue then it makes fixing it less annoying, but still fun. You had to defend planets you were terraforming in MoO2 and you would need to defend cities you were improving in WoM. I can see it adding a real element of fun.

    In my opinion the “negative resources system” needs to make the negative resources useful in the long run. That adds fun rather than frustration.

    I also think that allowing a city to convert these negatives into positives themselves would reduce annoyance and encourage the player to invest labor (and gold) into cities that will really shine once the negative resources have been dealt with.

    Thoughts?
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  3. #3
    THE GRAND BACKER zdsdead's Avatar
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    Not sure im on the right track, but what about flooded tiles that require dams, etc (gold/production/labour), to become productive, land again.

    same could go, for overgrown, areas, (wild growth)that require cultivation, of some kind
    Last edited by zdsdead; 10-13-2014 at 02:19 PM.
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  4. #4
    Abecedarian Mage
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    I like the mixed resources.
    With the common positive resources, it's a no-brainer to try to get them for the city. Similarly, but harder, it's clearly best to avoid the bad ones.
    But the mixed ones directly call for a strategic decision: Is the bonus worth the price? Now, within the next few turns, long term?

    BTW, I notice that there is nothing that gives a population growth bonus in exchange for a (severe) economic penalty.
    Say +5 pop growth, +1 happiness, -2 gold, -1 production for a field of aphrodisiac flowers.
    Or maybe units from a city there should have -1 attack - they'd much rather make love than war?

  5. #5
    Archmage of the Inner Ring ampoliros's Avatar
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    I definitely like what Aaron has written as a direction to move in much better than what Troy was proposing back in the other thread.
    While I do like the idea of mixed resources like mmilleder has proposed, I feel those only work in a game like Civ where you place each civilian on a tile.

  6. #6
    Mage of the Inner Tower Endless Rain's Avatar
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    I like negative resources. I'd recommend checking out how Endless Space did them, as I think it's the best implementation I've seen so far. (I haven't bought Endless Legend yet, so I don't know if they improved it there.)
    I am waiting for the relaunch before playing Worlds of Magic, so I don't check the forums as often as I used to. In the meantime, the main forum I post at is RPG.net, if anyone here needs to contact me.

  7. #7
    Zdsdead, I like those suggestions. They are close to what I would want. For instance Flooded Land might be able to become a Fish Farm (or something less goofy) that restored the land and gave a food bonus to the tile. And overgrown forests (whatever we call it) could be worked until they were normal and had the Wild Game resource.

    Mmilleder, the mixed resources could also work well. Aphrodisiac flowers are an interesting idea, lol.

    Ampoliros, really I just expanded on Troy's concept. I'm glad you like the extended vision.

    Endless Rain, could you share a couple of specific examples from Endless Space?
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  8. #8
    Mage of the Lesser Tower
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    I like the idea of possibly changing tiles through simple physical labor, but... this is Worlds of Magic, and what made... oh, what's a good example? Um... oh! I know. MoM, different from Civ, was, you know, the magic. MoM didn't have a lot of terraforming spells, but except for building roads, magic was your only route to terraforming. In particular, it was often the reason to take Nature magic: Gaia's Blessing and Change Terrain meant you didn't have to worry too much about where you started. (If you tossed in a couple Chaos books and got Raise Volcano, even Tundra could be overcome.) It had a solid impact where the negative terrains crossed with the positive features -- like diamonds and quarx crystals only appearing in deserts. Sure, anybody could claim them; but only a Nature Wizard could claim then and still get a big City out of it.

    If I could have gotten that same effect just by setting my city to Irrigation for a few turns...Nature Magic in particular, and the sense of Magic as a whole, would have been vastly diminished. We don't want to compromise that.

    A DLC that brings in more negative terrains needs to include, along with them, spells that convert them, take advantage of them, or inflict them on your enemies.

  9. #9
    Heya,

    I like the dialogue. I agree that the mixed resources are much cooler, but remember, what I'm proposing is for Impossible level too. On Impossible, I don't feel that any punch needs to be pulled. Just to throw out an idea, what if only negative resources got depleted after a time? They would run out after 100 or so turns of a city being nearby. How does that sound?

    On another note, much like Lintking, I'm not a super huge fan of changing resources through "labor." First, as mentioned above, this is Worlds of Magic, not Civ. Magic should be the heart of the game. Second, I imagine engineer units would be used for this. Many races won't get those. I suppose druidic units could work too, but again many races won't get those either, I can easily envision races that don't get either. Third, we'd be passing up a great opportunity to add 1-3 terraforming spells which seem very popular with the community. I'd hate to pass on that. Finally, since production can be turned to gold and gold into mana, I don't think any player would be without means to change a negative resource. Using spells to change all the relevant resources all at once would be much less frustrating IMO than building a bunch of units and waiting for them to finish their work (which I imagine would take roughly as many turns as building a road).

    Aside from that, mmilleder had a good point. Not having a + pop growth resource was a major oversight. I'm glad this thread got started so we could fill in holes like that!

    Peace,

    -Troy
    My RPG Design and Theory Blog: http://socratesrpg.blogspot.com/

  10. #10
    THE GRAND BACKER zdsdead's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Troy_Costisick View Post

    On another note, much like Lintking, I'm not a super huge fan of changing resources through "labor." First, as mentioned above, this is Worlds of Magic, not Civ. Magic should be the heart of the game. Second, I imagine engineer units would be used for this. Many races won't get those. I suppose druidic units could work too, but again many races won't get those either, I can easily envision races that don't get either.

    Ok, just playing devils advocate here, as Im not really all that bothered what, or if, any system is put in place for this really.

    But I do not see the need to have druids, or engineers, to be able to handle certain "difficult/problem" world tiles. A simple click on the offending tile for instance with a drop down option of repairing/terraforming, or whatever, could be used.

    Like I said, im not really bothered what in the end, if anything is implemented, to be honest, just thought I would point out that special unit types, imho would not be required, so all factions would be fine, and dandy.

    ;-)
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