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    Real Strategy Requires Cunning

MichaelJanuary

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I would like to expand of the current model of features and blockers to encompass hab and terraforming. Some existing blockers can have a negative hab associated with them (volcanoes, kelp forests, quicksand), so that when you remove the blocker, you also slightly increase the hab of the planet (besides unlocking the districts).

We could also add new features (like Poisonous atmospheric gases), which could be removed after you research atmospheric filtering. The idea being that as you remove blockers, you also improve the affected planets hab, instead of just getting a flat +5% on researching the tech.

We could also have required features on all planets (ozone layer, magnetic field) which can be generated or repaired to improve the hab of a planet once the required technologies have been researched.

By extending this idea (planetary features, blockers) to habitats and ecosystems, you can end up going as far as terraforming a planet through the existing feature/blocker system. It would require no new mechanics in the game, just addition of new features, and attributes, linked to some of the current technologies which are already used to manage those features/blockers.
 
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Deshiba

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I see no way of this actually being an addition unless the planetary system gets reworked. I'd have a counter suggestion, but I feel that'd get off topic real fast.
 
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I know, to some the game is just about ships and fleets and combat. But some of us like to manage a space empire with a diverse range of planets and an array of challenging problems :)
Personally I love managing my stuff more then I do the combat, which is just uninspiring in my opinion.

I'd like to see a planetary feature driven system myself. https://stellaris.paradoxwikis.com/Planetary_features Each planet would have a size, and each planetary feature takes advantage of the size allotted. The feature itself would determine not just the district type but also the habitability of the planet for that type. Each point of planet size of a particular planetary feature type would relate to 10% habitability. So a size 25 planet could be 100% jungle, 100% desert and 50% ocean habitable, depending on the features themselves.

This would also mean that a planet would have a base habitability of 0% for everyone and that the features determine habitability, it would get rid of a shared base habitability. I don't know if its a particularily good idea, but I do think it would open up more gameplay options
 
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MichaelJanuary

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I dont see this as a major change in gameplay, though the UI can be somewhat improved.

Personally I would like to see Planetary Features as a TAB on the PLANET SCREEN. This TAB would include options to remove blockers, modify features, or fix anomalies. The features could be grouped in TIERS with clear indication of the techs required.

Rough wireframe for a planetary features TAB

Planet ClassDetermines base hab for various speciesTropicalTerraform To ....
Planetary EngineeringMajor planetary modifiers (5% to 10% affect on hab)Ozone Layer
Orbital Debris
Magnetic Field
Meteor Showers
Tidally locked
Atmospheric Modifications
Axial Tilt
Rotational Speed
Actions
Requires Tier 3 techs to unlock
Major BlockersAffects Hab% (-2% to -5%)Volcanoes
Electrical Storms
Major fault lines
Trace gases (noxious)
Actions
Requires Tier 2 techs to unlock.
Simple BlockersBlocks district construction until removedWildlife
Slums
etc.
Actions
Requires Tier 1 techs to unlock.
Basic FeaturesDetermines district composition and simple modifiers (minerals, energy, etc.)Hills, Mineral rich caverns, Arable land, etc.


i.e., you might have a planet with an extreme rotational speed resulting in a rapid day/night cycle. It would take a major planetary engineering tech and a construction to fix this, and would significantly improve the hab of the planet.

Alternately, the planet might be suffering from Kessler syndrome, and needs a major orbital cleanup. (This might be causing a significant increase in upkeep costs, or can be converted into a ready source of additional minerals).
 

Lykus Cerebros

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I like your suggestions a lot. Would make the planets feel much more unique. There could also be events based on the blockers like volcanic eruptions, animal attacks (maybe not killing pops but reducing output/growth).
 
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MichaelJanuary

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Been thinking a bit more about this, and would add the following to the above .... (doesn't change the model i proposed, just cements it).

All planets should start with a base 90 hab!

Then modify this by adding ECOSYSTEMS, Planetary features, Continental Scale features, Regional Features. See below.

Base Hab: 90
  • Gaia Planet:
    • Gaia: +10
  • Planetary Ecosystems:
    • Wrong temperature: -15
    • Wrong Water: -15
    • Wrong Atmosphere: -15
    • Barren: -20
    • Radioactive: -20
  • Planetary Scale Features (-10 each):
    • Tidally locked
    • Extreme Seasons (Axial Tilt)
    • Kessler Syndrome
  • Continental Scale Features (-5 each):
    • Volcanoes
    • Impassable Mountains
    • Titanic Life
    • Seismically Unstable
  • Local Features (-2 each):
    • Wildlife
    • Kelp forest
    • Glaciers
    • Slums
    • etc.
Example 1:
So if a planet was too hot, too wet, was tidally locked, had two volcanoes, and 3 wildlife 'blockers', it would have a hab of (90-15-15-10-5-5-2-2-2 = 34).
Tier 1 techs would allow you to remove minor blockers, with a 2% increment in hab for each, bringing it up to 40 hab.
Tier 2 techs would allow you to stabilise or remove the two volcanoes, improving the hab to 50.
Tier 3 techs would allow you to clean up the orbital debris, improving the hab to 60.
Then adjusting the temperature and water levels would each improve hab by 15, bringing you to a hab of 90.
Adding the "Gaia" feature would give you +10, bringing your hab to 100.

Voila, through a series of incremental projects or blocker removals or feature additions, you have gradually shifted your planet from 34 hab to a Gaia planet. The features/blockers would be intimately linked to the planet's hab, and terraforming would be accomplished through a series of projects that was proportional to the actual features of the planet, not a blanket generic fee.


Example 2:
The planet is the wrong temperature, radioactive, has extreme seasons and kessler syndrome, plus a number of other blockers. It could have a hab of 10 or 20.
Addressing issues like a barren or radioactive planet could take some serious techs to fix, but it would be part of the same consistent model.

This would effectively give you a consistent model for determining a planets hab, improving it, and terraforming it.
 
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mial42

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Been thinking a bit more about this, and would add the following to the above .... (doesn't change the model i proposed, just cements it).

All planets should start with a base 90 hab!

Then modify this by adding ECOSYSTEMS, Planetary features, Continental Scale features, Regional Features. See below.

Base Hab: 90
  • Gaia Planet:
    • Gaia: +10
  • Planetary Ecosystems:
    • Wrong temperature: -15
    • Wrong Water: -15
    • Wrong Atmosphere: -15
    • Barren: -20
    • Radioactive: -20
  • Planetary Scale Features (-10 each):
    • Tidally locked
    • Extreme Seasons (Axial Tilt)
    • Kessler Syndrome
  • Continental Scale Features (-5 each):
    • Volcanoes
    • Impassable Mountains
    • Titanic Life
    • Seismically Unstable
  • Local Features (-2 each):
    • Wildlife
    • Kelp forest
    • Glaciers
    • Slums
    • etc.
Example 1:
So if a planet was too hot, too wet, was tidally locked, had two volcanoes, and 3 wildlife 'blockers', it would have a hab of (90-15-15-10-5-5-2-2-2 = 34).
Tier 1 techs would allow you to remove minor blockers, with a 2% increment in hab for each, bringing it up to 40 hab.
Tier 2 techs would allow you to stabilise or remove the two volcanoes, improving the hab to 50.
Tier 3 techs would allow you to clean up the orbital debris, improving the hab to 60.
Then adjusting the temperature and water levels would each improve hab by 15, bringing you to a hab of 90.
Adding the "Gaia" feature would give you +10, bringing your hab to 100.

Voila, through a series of incremental projects or blocker removals or feature additions, you have gradually shifted your planet from 34 hab to a Gaia planet. The features/blockers would be intimately linked to the planet's hab, and terraforming would be accomplished through a series of projects that was proportional to the actual features of the planet, not a blanket generic fee.


Example 2:
The planet is the wrong temperature, radioactive, has extreme seasons and kessler syndrome, plus a number of other blockers. It could have a hab of 10 or 20.
Addressing issues like a barren or radioactive planet could take some serious techs to fix, but it would be part of the same consistent model.

This would effectively give you a consistent model for determining a planets hab, improving it, and terraforming it.
There already is a consistent model for determining a planet's habitability, improving it, and terraforming it. This would be more complicated and gradual, but I don't see what significant advantages it has over the current system such that it would be worth changing.
 
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MichaelJanuary

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There already is a consistent model for determining a planet's habitability, improving it, and terraforming it. This would be more complicated and gradual, but I don't see what significant advantages it has over the current system such that it would be worth changing.
I feel the current model is arbitrary.
Blockers, features and anomalies on planets have near-zero impact on hab. Under this proposal, you would be improving hab by removing blockers, and differences in hab would have meaning.
Currently, you have techs that give you a blanket +5 hab, without you actually doing or fixing anything on any planet. Thats just cheap.
Also, currently, terraforming costs are near arbitrary .... you pay the same fee to terraform Type A to Type B regardless of the features actually on the planet.
Also, i think the idea of introducing 'real' anomalies like tidal locking, axial tilt, radioactivity, kessler syndrome, etc is more immersive.
 
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Pancakelord

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I feel the current model is arbitrary.
Blockers, features and anomalies on planets have near-zero impact on hab. Under this proposal, you would be improving hab by removing blockers, and differences in hab would have meaning.
Currently, you have techs that give you a blanket +5 hab, without you actually doing or fixing anything on any planet. Thats just cheap.
Also, currently, terraforming costs are near arbitrary .... you pay the same fee to terraform Type A to Type B regardless of the features actually on the planet.
Also, i think the idea of introducing 'real' anomalies like tidal locking, axial tilt, radioactivity, kessler syndrome, etc is more immersive.
They only have no impact because they arent scripted to, you can do all sorts of weird shit with script for planetary blockers (.e.g. I made a test "demonic portal" that would deduct 0.5 influence from the colony owner a month unless you used a planetary edict to close it with assault armies).

In practice for your suggestion it would just mean reducing habitability (e.g. from 80%) by 5% per blocker (or more for some) and costing you more CGs till you clear them.
Would this have an effect on the game? Yes, soc-techs would get a bit more important. Would it be interesting? Maybe the first few times you see the blockers but after that youre still going to plaster CG factories down on an industrial world and just eat the extra pop expense till you clear them later.

The problem with habitability is it's a positive-sum game, you just improve it. Nothing dynamically alters it, building industrial districts (coming in 2.9 probs) could reduce it by 2% per district, on non-ecumenopoli, for example and mines by -1%. Youd have to build all kinds of policies in to this to make it dynamic - GC resolutions could de-restrict districts making them pollute more, so you make more, but industrial worlds turn into post-apocalyptic dumps. Environmental policies could reverse this and go the other way. Then there is the need to maek the AI consider this with decent weights etc.
  • Terraforming existing worlds could be handled via a planetary decision which adds "terraformer" tile-blockers/planet-features that improve the planets habitability by 5%/10%/15% (depending on Tier 1-3 terraforming tech), so it's something you build [and it upgrades with tech improvements] rather than something you do to a colonised world - barren worlds would be as they are now.
    • But even this is just the same system with a bit more fluff, nothing mechanically new comes to the table - maybe bombing a world has a chance to knock out it's terraforming arrays, sending it into a hellhole-state till they're fixed ("Repair terraformer grids" planet decision)
  • You can also bring back an old restriction (moddable too) to set the minimum habitability threshold to colonise a world - this definitely makes terraforming more important... or you could just find an alien that can live there to establish the colony and bypass the whole process, I guess.
  • There's also the possibility of extending the scale (so the max habitability is 150% - gaia worlds - rather than 100% - so normal worlds will never be as interesting) but this is just a relative scale change and still doesnt get at habitability just being a multiplier on CG upkeep.
What MIGHT be interesting is changing the upkeep resources for some worlds - so most standard resources need CGs for pop upkeep, but for example, non-tomb-world-pops on tomb worlds might require "radiation equipment" made out of CGs and minerals (so a 3rd order resource) - you could do some weird stuff like let pops live on consecrated/holy worlds, but they cost unity in upkeep or whatever, too - but this would probably just get too fiddly / too micro-ey tbh.
 
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Thank you @Pancakelord for your considered response.

The big 'objectives' for me with this suggestion was Immersion, rather than big gameplay changes. I didn't realise that immersion itself was not a worthwhile goal ;).

I am not averse to hab being more important by either costing CG upkeep, or significantly impacting pop growth rate, or even imposing a penalty on construction costs. I am also not averse to a pollution system (like forge worlds reducing agricultural output, or having a chance to create a 'pollution' blocker that randomly damages a building or reduces hab.

I am quite comfortable to headcanon spacesuits, domed cities, controlled environments. (Did consider whether it was worth actually modelling them). Seriously :). But that would work better on a tile system planet, where you could build domed environments for different habs to accommodate different species. Like a tropical dome for tropical species, etc. But it wouldnt work in current Stellaris where planet development is so heavily abstracted.
 
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mial42

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I feel the current model is arbitrary.
Blockers, features and anomalies on planets have near-zero impact on hab. Under this proposal, you would be improving hab by removing blockers, and differences in hab would have meaning.
Currently, you have techs that give you a blanket +5 hab, without you actually doing or fixing anything on any planet. Thats just cheap.
Also, currently, terraforming costs are near arbitrary .... you pay the same fee to terraform Type A to Type B regardless of the features actually on the planet.
Also, i think the idea of introducing 'real' anomalies like tidal locking, axial tilt, radioactivity, kessler syndrome, etc is more immersive.
Have you tried making a mod that does this? All of this is moddable.
 
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Lorenerd11

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I really like the idea behind this. Habitability and Terraforming are one of these parts of the game that haven't changed much since launch, and are started to feel a bit clunky and dated. Making the entire thing more in-depth with greater player involvement would be interesting.
 

Incompetent

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The issue for me is that habitability is basically an early-game feature; later on, getting to 100% habitability is usually a micromanagement annoyance at worst (and even if you're still taking a habitability penalty, it's swamped by all the positive modifiers you get from other sources), so the decision to colonize is a no-brainer regardless of the climate. Putting habitability penalties on some of the blockers is a good idea, but again, it only makes habitability more interesting in the early game.

I think it would be better if the 9 standard types of habitable planet plus Gaias made up only a minority of planets in the galaxy that have the potential to be colonized. The others would be places with a stunted to nonexistent biosphere, starting from tomb world and getting worse from there. These less hospitable planets would only gradually become viable to colonize with more advanced technology, and even then, you will be managing habitability there for most of the game, with no quick fixes (i.e. you can't just genemod your species to like living there, and terraforming such a planet is slow, expensive and possibly multi-phase). I know we have terraforming candidates, but they don't really capture what I am going for as they are too binary: either you have terraformed them (=> easy to live on) or you haven't (=> cannot be colonized).

It would also be fun (and important for balance) for machine pops to have some analogue of habitability challenges. Obviously, robots don't really care if the planet has a healthy biosphere. But there could be hazards that specifically make a planet difficult for machines to function there, from alloy-eating microbes, to circuit-shorting dust, to electromagnetic storms that give synths migraines, so it's possible for organics to actually be better-adapted to the given planet than machines are. As a machine empire, you'd be able to overcome these problems eventually, but it would take time and science.
 
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