Gene-modded style terraforming, and mechanic change

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Spaceception

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Terraforming as a project is a massive undertaking, on the level of small megatructures like Habitats in terms of the scale, and required resources. So why is the only cost for it energy? I want to change Terraforming to be more like a small megastructure, not a simple energy charge, but other costs as well.

Here's how: I would change it to 2 tiers: The first is the "infrastructure" which will have an alloy/energy cost, and energy upkeep. This prepares the planet for actual terraforming. Alloy costs could be comparable to a Battleship.
The 2nd tier is a cost of energy/food, and possibly a food upkeep (I'm imagining it as a general biomass resource here), which is where the actual terraforming happens.
The times taken could be comparable to now, and planets in the process of terraforming will stay in the outliner until complete.

I would also change the way terraforming candidates are spawned to make them more common.

So what's the gene modding part of this? Imagine the portrait as the planet, the traits as planetary modifiers, and the planet preference as what you want to change the planet into; that's what I'm thinking of here. If we're able to terraform, surely we're able to craft the biosphere to our wishes, no? A screen like this would pop up when you click the "terraform" button on a planet, and the apply template would include the cost/time. But after that, it works the same as now, you pay the cost, and a timer sets.

300px-UI_genetic_modification.png


The only "free" modifier I'm thinking of (there could be more) is an "Engineered biosphere" modifier, which is standard for any terraforming done. It adds +5/10% habitability, and +10/15% growth rate.

Tech changes
  • Terrestrial sculpting: All terraformed planets get the unique modifer, and you gain the ability to add a modifier(s?) to the planet.
  • Ecological adaptation: Add the ability to add an additional modifier to the planet, and allows you to terraform inhabited planets.
  • Climate restoration: Allows you to terraform Hive/Machine/Tomb worlds, and candidates. Adds another potential modifier you can add, and gives the ability to "terraform" planets without changing their type. So if you have ocean preference, and have colonized regular ocean worlds, you can modify these planets for an energy/food cost, and keep them as the same type.
World shaper change: Allows you to remove existing modifiers, and add/remove ones that affect districts. Like poor-quality minerals, then you can add high-quality minerals (I'm imagining you overturning the planet's crust to make the planet more attractive to colonize). Or weak magnetic field and strong magnetic field.

There's a pretty limited number of modifiers, so this would be a good reason to add many more.
 
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Tamwin5

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I really like this system, as it makes terraforming more interesting and in depth, while remaining simple and keeping to stellaris flavor. I would make some changes though.

For the "infrastructure" stage, this should be an actual station built around the planet, or maybe a building for inhabited planets. While it could be an alloy cost, I think 1000 minerals (or more) would also work, and I could also see an influence cost for terraforming candidates. Then from this station you could either choose idle, terraforming, or research (significant energy upkeep for society research "By conducting macro-scale ecological experiments, we can further our understanding of life").

Then for the actual terraforming, there are several stages:

Terrestrial Sculpting lets you terraform planets, but doesn't let you control traits ("you don't yet have the requisite mastery to target specific traits of the biosphere"). Generally it would give 1-2 positive traits, with 0-1 negative ones.

Ecological Adaptation would let you terraform inhabited planets, as well as control the modifier added. Just like with species, there would be a limited number of picks and points, and negative traits could be taken to offset expensive choices.

Climate Restoration would allow the terraforming of tomb/hive/machine planets, adds 1 trait point, and allow terraforming to just edit traits (faster and cheaper then normal terraforming)

World Shaper unlocks Gaia World Terraforming, adds 2 points, and unlocks some advanced planetary traits (similar to advanced gene traits).

Mastery of Nature would be changed to -33% Clear blocker cost, -33% terraforming cost, and unlocks other advanced planetary traits (focused on animals and biosphere stuff).

A new Tier 5 rare physics tech would be added "Multi-dimensional shaping", which gives +1 trait pick (only can be rolled with both climate restoration and one of the ascension perks). By shaping aspect of a world across separate quantum planes, then combining them together, we can simultaneously shape multiple aspects of the same ecosystem.

For Planetary traits, there would be two main categories. The first are innate traits, and these can't be changed with terraforming. Stuff like high/low gravity, high/low quality minerals, tidally locked, unstable tectonics, asteroid belt, etc. Things that a surface pass of the world won't be able to change. The second would be the rest of the existing traits, plus some more (some of which are special traits which can't normally spawn).
 

Spaceception

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For the "infrastructure" stage, this should be an actual station built around the planet, or maybe a building for inhabited planets. While it could be an alloy cost, I think 1000 minerals (or more) would also work, and I could also see an influence cost for terraforming candidates. Then from this station you could either choose idle, terraforming, or research (significant energy upkeep for society research "By conducting macro-scale ecological experiments, we can further our understanding of life").
A station similar to one you can see in the gigastructures mod would be cool I think, not like a mini starbase or reskinned station akin from the pre-2.0 days.
That society research aspect is very cool! I like it.

Terrestrial Sculpting lets you terraform planets, but doesn't let you control traits ("you don't yet have the requisite mastery to target specific traits of the biosphere"). Generally it would give 1-2 positive traits, with 0-1 negative ones.
I originally had it as being unable to add modifiers but decided against it. It sounds like you remove that ability, but randomize potential modifiers? I like that, there's a bit of unpredictability to your early terraforming. :)

World Shaper unlocks Gaia World Terraforming, adds 2 points, and unlocks some advanced planetary traits (similar to advanced gene traits).
Oh, I like that

Mastery of Nature would be changed to -33% Clear blocker cost, -33% terraforming cost, and unlocks other advanced planetary traits (focused on animals and biosphere stuff).
I didn't even think about this! It would make the perk much better.

A new Tier 5 rare physics tech would be added "Multi-dimensional shaping", which gives +1 trait pick (only can be rolled with both climate restoration and one of the ascension perks). By shaping aspect of a world across separate quantum planes, then combining them together, we can simultaneously shape multiple aspects of the same ecosystem.
This one is cool. Which ascension perk though? If you aren't picky, I could imagine rebranding this for Psionics, where through Shroud interactions they can terraform planets more deeply. But if you wanted this for everyone, do you have to go with either World shaper or Mastery of Nature?

EDIT: I might also lower terraforming time a bit for teach new tech (Eco Adapt, and Clim. Rest.)
 
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G S Palmer

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A station similar to one you can see in the gigastructures mod would be cool I think, not like a mini starbase or reskinned station akin from the pre-2.0 days.
Personally I'd go for a array of terraforming satellites. So 5-10 spaced at intervals around the planet.
 

Tamwin5

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This one is cool. Which ascension perk though? If you aren't picky, I could imagine rebranding this for Psionics, where through Shroud interactions they can terraform planets more deeply. But if you wanted this for everyone, do you have to go with either World shaper or Mastery of Nature?

I was saying either of the two terraforming Ascension perks. I wanted them to be sort of equally viable, and not punish a player who didn't want to or didn't have the space to pick one of them. I flavored the tech as being physics related mainly because physics is the smallest tree, and trans-dimensional terraforming sounds exactly like something stellaris would do. I could see a shroud boon giving you this tech (either directly or as a research option) however, and would be fine with it.

EDIT: I might also lower terraforming time a bit for teach new tech (Eco Adapt, and Clim. Rest.)

I think that we should limit the amount of things each tech does, to avoid information overload. Faster Terraforming would be an appropriate bonus for one of the techs/Ascension perks though. Maybe adding in a new mid-level tech, available directly after terrestrial sculpting?
 

t_b

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I love the ideas already and have a few things to add;
Personally I think it would be more interesting to add additional amount of time and resources for terraforming per trait point expenensially. For example one trait point might increase the terraforming time and cost by 10%, 2 points 25%, 3 points 60%, 4 points 100% and 5 points 150% (these would obviously be different depending on balance). This would represent greater investments being possible and force a trade off between the speed and cost of a terraform and the result e.g can I wait an extra 5 years to get high-mineral quality?

I also agree with the additional benefits of terraforming tech's although it is important they thematically fit. With the ascension perks I think that it would be good to have many original modifiers for each of the ones which fit (and hiveminds/robots)
 

Tamwin5

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I love the ideas already and have a few things to add;
Personally I think it would be more interesting to add additional amount of time and resources for terraforming per trait point expenensially. For example one trait point might increase the terraforming time and cost by 10%, 2 points 25%, 3 points 60%, 4 points 100% and 5 points 150% (these would obviously be different depending on balance). This would represent greater investments being possible and force a trade off between the speed and cost of a terraform and the result e.g can I wait an extra 5 years to get high-mineral quality?

I also agree with the additional benefits of terraforming tech's although it is important they thematically fit. With the ascension perks I think that it would be good to have many original modifiers for each of the ones which fit (and hiveminds/robots)

I like the idea of being able to trade off special perks for time/cost. I think the best way to do that would be every unused point/pick decreases the time and cost by a certain amount (say, 5%). With Ecological adaptation, you'd probably start with 3 picks and 1 point, so a "bland" terraforming would be at a 20% discount. Once you have all the perks and techs, you'd have 4 points and 4 picks, to a total of 40% discount. This seems perfectly reasonable, enough of an incentive to make it worth, without being OP.