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 Post subject: Occupation and Terraforming
PostPosted: Thu Oct 03, 2013 11:28 am 
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Hello,

Will there be an option to occupied a planet inhabited instead of eliminating the entire race? And for the alien race that has been occupied can they rebel or get liberated by another? Also can planets such as Toxic, Metallic, Ice and Desert worlds be terraformed into terran and/or ocean planets by using late stage terraforming tech?


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 Post subject: Re: Occupation and Terraforming
PostPosted: Thu Oct 10, 2013 11:01 am 
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From what I have seen, the terraforming tech just allows you to live on less hospitable worlds, while its not particularly realistic, its likely easier then making the terraforming tech turn every world into a terran like on MoO2.

When it comes to conquering other races, I have done so several times and you can capture populated worlds and have 3 choices, assimilate them into your empire, enslave them or exterminate them.

I do not know about liberating conquered races, it would be cool if you could save colonies from corrupt regimes, but i think i would want them to get the game done, instead of adding more and more features in that they didn't intend to do, well not until in later content patches.


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 Post subject: Re: Occupation and Terraforming
PostPosted: Thu Oct 10, 2013 3:33 pm 
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The option to Liberate another race will show in cases where the native race was conquered. This is already available in game.

As for terraforming, realistically we know it is a very difficult process where a planet changes slowly and likely in small areas at a time toward a races natural habitat. This is the approach we have taken, when you discover terraforming tech, based on it's level it raises Habitable Area, Farming, Population Growth and so on terraforming up to a maximum of 100% of your natural home environment.

What Moo2 does is not hard to do, also not very realistic. I have a Moo2 game with the Silicoids and they can only terraform toward Terran/Gaia ? Why ? Is that their natural and preferred environment?

With that in mind, we have races with different native planet types. Varaians prefer Volcanic, Gargals Oceanic, etc. Each of these races would terraform toward their ideal type. So if human conquers a planet and terraforms to Terran, then is conquered by Varaian they should be able to terraform Terran to Volcanic.

We want and have a system that can handle this! Now we don't display the planet texture changes true. This is easy to do from one state to another (like moo2) but not so easy to do 20% terran 80% volcanic (when terraformed only 20%) which is what we really would like to do (and remain aesthetically pleasing).

If we can't show partial terraforming progression (in a reasonable amount of time) then we can go back to the tried and expected method. What do you think? Have any suggestions, do tell..

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 Post subject: Re: Occupation and Terraforming
PostPosted: Thu Oct 10, 2013 9:31 pm 
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Zaimat wrote:
The option to Liberate another race will show in cases where the native race was conquered. This is already available in game.

As for terraforming, realistically we know it is a very difficult process where a planet changes slowly and likely in small areas at a time toward a races natural habitat. This is the approach we have taken, when you discover terraforming tech, based on it's level it raises Habitable Area, Farming, Population Growth and so on terraforming up to a maximum of 100% of your natural home environment.

What Moo2 does is not hard to do, also not very realistic. I have a Moo2 game with the Silicoids and they can only terraform toward Terran/Gaia ? Why ? Is that their natural and preferred environment?

With that in mind, we have races with different native planet types. Varaians prefer Volcanic, Gargals Oceanic, etc. Each of these races would terraform toward their ideal type. So if human conquers a planet and terraforms to Terran, then is conquered by Varaian they should be able to terraform Terran to Volcanic.

We want and have a system that can handle this! Now we don't display the planet texture changes true. This is easy to do from one state to another (like moo2) but not so easy to do 20% terran 80% volcanic (when terraformed only 20%) which is what we really would like to do (and remain aesthetically pleasing).

If we can't show partial terraforming progression (in a reasonable amount of time) then we can go back to the tried and expected method. What do you think? Have any suggestions, do tell..


I find that having terraforming be instant and linked directly to colonization is very different the many of the main stream 4x space games. I personally don't like it for a couple reasons. One it puts colonization of harsh worlds all into 1 tech that you might not be able to get until deep into the game at a time when colonization of a new and harsh planet wont be so appealing. The tech being instant and free also seems to make it a little over powered. With the tech all of your worlds are drastically increased in potential and it is the only tech you need to get for colonization. Almost all other games have Terra forming be a very costly expense to do and it didn't enhance your already good worlds.

My suggestion would be to make it a thing you can do to a planet once you get the tech and what happens is it drains an amount of money per turn and gives a slowly growing bonus that builds up to a cap based on your Level in the tech. Also allow to have different upgrades/downgrades (depending on your race) kinda like how Endless Space allows you to do it by having a couple options based on what the planet type already is.

I don't think its bad at all the way it is but defiantly just feels a bit off maybe because other games do it different and Im just use to that idea behind Terraforming. I think I also feel like when I get new techs they don't really feel like they open up new options depending on the tech they just make you better by some %. For me due to how late you get the tech some times I feel like its just another % boost to my civ rather then giving me some options to play with like it normally does.

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 Post subject: Re: Occupation and Terraforming
PostPosted: Fri Oct 11, 2013 7:27 pm 
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i would belive realistically terraforming would be a time consuming and 1 big chunk of change to buy the facility (think aliens) then a lower turn by turn maintainence for the people working it (since concieveably the planet cant support your population)

i am all for changing the graphic of the planet at certian thresholds even if it doesnt show gradually. i dont think anyone zooms into tactical view to look at their planets anyway like we did in moo2 ... (can has more usefullness there? zoom out please? =)

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 Post subject: Re: Occupation and Terraforming
PostPosted: Fri Oct 11, 2013 8:28 pm 
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Fairin wrote:
i would belive realistically terraforming would be a time consuming and 1 big chunk of change to buy the facility (think aliens) then a lower turn by turn maintainence for the people working it (since concieveably the planet cant support your population)

i am all for changing the graphic of the planet at certian thresholds even if it doesnt show gradually. i dont think anyone zooms into tactical view to look at their planets anyway like we did in moo2 ... (can has more usefullness there? zoom out please? =)


100% agree with this

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 Post subject: Re: Occupation and Terraforming
PostPosted: Fri Oct 11, 2013 11:03 pm 
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Most definitely see Terraforming be more meaningful and more visually represented, however I can see where the original logic to the current system.

I think we need to keep in mind not all aliens would Terraform to the same direction. Some races with Volcaform a planet or even Deserform a world. The process should be gradual, pronbably expensive or not easy, and harder based on just how extreme the change is. Terraforming an Ocean planet to Terran is not as bad (build special structure to act places to grow food and build aqua-logies, and find a way to maximise their production in their own environment) as trying to pacify a Volcanic world. Or turning an Ocean world into a Desert World or vice versa will also be more of a challenge.

This also mean different races will have different hurdles to succumb on their path to their own ideal habitat, which won't always be towards Terran norm.

In many ways I like the current system over going with something that might lead to the traditional pitfalls. This said, doesn't mean we can consider alternatives or find way to improve the current one to give both a more meaningful feel to colonisation and a sense of accomplishment for successfully taming an inhospitable world (so probably with more visual representation of you achievement).


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 Post subject: Re: Occupation and Terraforming
PostPosted: Fri Oct 11, 2013 11:41 pm 
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Zaimat wrote:
If we can't show partial terraforming progression (in a reasonable amount of time) then we can go back to the tried and expected method. What do you think? Have any suggestions, do tell..

I agree that terraforming should cost the player some space bucks. I have a quick suggestion and it's simply controlled like we control pollution ...

Since the terraforming tech (when discovered) is forced upon the player, it's important that the player now activate this tech on a colony manually. Using the same abstraction for pollution control, the player can adjust the level of funding towards terraforming using the same UI mechanic. The advancement in the technology will simply reduce the cost per % of terraforming the player wants to perform.

With regards to displaying a change to the planet ... Well, I'm thinking that terraforming a planet involves many mechanics instead of just a "face lift". If we decide on a graphic face lift then the player needs to be aware of the planets original condition beforehand. Perhaps there was a reason why that planet was barren in the first place, so the player would not only terraform the planet but they would also have to maintain that planet to keep it terran. Basically, the player would be fighting a natural tendancy for the planet to return to it's original state ... of course it could stabilize but who knows. A good example would be the planet Mercury ... The darn thing sits next to the sun, good luck trying to maintain a terran planet. It could be possible but hey, who knows ;) .

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 Post subject: Re: Occupation and Terraforming
PostPosted: Sat Oct 12, 2013 4:51 am 
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CellNav wrote:
I agree that terraforming should cost the player some space bucks. I have a quick suggestion and it's simply controlled like we control pollution ...

Since the terraforming tech (when discovered) is forced upon the player, it's important that the player now activate this tech on a colony manually. Using the same abstraction for pollution control, the player can adjust the level of funding towards terraforming using the same UI mechanic. The advancement in the technology will simply reduce the cost per % of terraforming the player wants to perform.

With regards to displaying a change to the planet ... Well, I'm thinking that terraforming a planet involves many mechanics instead of just a "face lift". If we decide on a graphic face lift then the player needs to be aware of the planets original condition beforehand. Perhaps there was a reason why that planet was barren in the first place, so the player would not only terraform the planet but they would also have to maintain that planet to keep it terran. Basically, the player would be fighting a natural tendancy for the planet to return to it's original state ... of course it could stabilize but who knows. A good example would be the planet Mercury ... The darn thing sits next to the sun, good luck trying to maintain a terran planet. It could be possible but hey, who knows ;) .

I like the idea, though I would add that the tech will determine the maximum effect of terraforming as we'll. So higher the tech, the cheaper (or faster) the process becomes and closer you can get to perfect on worse planets. So a close world won't take a lot to be ideal but a crap world take a whole lot of time and effort (and higher tech to make ideal).

The idea of it being like the pollution control is clever, even have a cost to just maintain it when you reached the cap due to tech or completion (with tech making it cheaper to maintain, and it being more costly the further it is from its natural state).


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 Post subject: Re: Occupation and Terraforming
PostPosted: Mon Oct 14, 2013 4:41 pm 
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I think I now have a pretty solid idea on how to make these changes. Been thinking at different ways for a couple of days on how to expand Terraforming from the current system while taking into account the excellent suggestions.

The important factors:
. Make it an active choice to the player to Terraform specific planets from planet view
. Show planet changing visually at certain intervals
. Tech must also work for non-Terran habitat races (Terraforming based on racial type)
. Tech will dictate (as does now) how much you can terraform a planet
. Decouple Terraforming tech from colonization of hostile planet types

Other possible factors:
. Add maintenance cost to maintain terraformed hostile worlds (+could be based on tech level)
. Terraforming cost increases the more hostile the planet (+could be based on tech level)
. In favor of using the same UI mechanic as pollution control (Terraform/Maintain/Revert)

> Fairin: re: Zoom Out
Not getting the chance to look at that with these other requests ;)

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 Post subject: Re: Occupation and Terraforming
PostPosted: Mon Oct 14, 2013 6:18 pm 
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Zaimat wrote:
I think I now have a pretty solid idea on how to make these changes. Been thinking at different ways for a couple of days on how to expand Terraforming from the current system while taking into account the excellent suggestions.

The important factors:
. Make it an active choice to the player to Terraform specific planets from planet view
. Show planet changing visually at certain intervals
. Tech must also work for non-Terran habitat races (Terraforming based on racial type)
. Tech will dictate (as does now) how much you can terraform a planet
. Decouple Terraforming tech from colonization of hostile planet types

Other possible factors:
. Add maintenance cost to maintain terraformed hostile worlds (+could be based on tech level)
. Terraforming cost increases the more hostile the planet (+could be based on tech level)
. In favor of using the same UI mechanic as pollution control (Terraform/Maintain/Revert)

> Fairin: re: Zoom Out
Not getting the chance to look at that with these other requests ;)


This sounds awesome. I really like the decoupling from colonization. Also think that it would help with Econ, there really needs to be more things to spend stuff on for late game and if Terra forming has a high Maintenance cost for development and to maintain would give us some more options to use our money on and if you need to free up some cash you can stop the Terra Forming or stop maintaining it to lower costs. Really cant wait to play with these changes.

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 Post subject: Re: Occupation and Terraforming
PostPosted: Mon Oct 14, 2013 9:44 pm 
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I have a suggestion towards making the terraforming mechanics as painless as possible, but first I want to understand this "decouple" change. Would it be overpowered if the game begins with terraforming already discovered? Today, humans are performing a low level terraforming process as we try to maintain our habitable areas, including expanding land mass (land fills), etc. So, if terraforming was known from the start (all races), then each level beyond one can begin to "couple" the colonization process on hostile planets ... Or, we can create a "Colony Module" tech that advances colonization on hostile planets, i.e. "Toxic Colony Module". This would go back to the idea that the colony ship "disbands" or scraps itself when it creates a colony. Basically, a normal colony ship wouldn't scrap (can refit) whilst a specialized colony ship would scrap itself upon colonization.

Now, lets talk about a painless way to apply the terraforming process ... When we look at the pollution mechanics, when we clean the environment we lower industrial units (IU's). So, for terraforming, we divert IU's to the process. This will naturally lower our income become the IU's are not being used in the economy because they are being directly used for the terraforming process. You see, the mechanics are painless because the devs don't have to create anything new and it makes sense (to me) that IU's can be directly related to the terraforming project because it's like "building" the habitable area using workers and material to do it. We could use our imagination and say that they are building a magic box that terraforms the planet too except that there isn't really a physical box but just the concept is being constructed.

A cool part about splitting off terraforming from abstraction is that now we can have the terraforming process a target of sabotage! Image a spy flipping the switch from "terraform" to "revert" for several years! Perhaps it could get even uglier and a terran planet becomes a toxic planet!! Oh boy, that would make it a juicy target for a race whose natural habitat is ooze! :lol:

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 Post subject: Re: Occupation and Terraforming
PostPosted: Tue Oct 15, 2013 1:40 am 
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Zaimat wrote:
I think I now have a pretty solid idea on how to make these changes. Been thinking at different ways for a couple of days on how to expand Terraforming from the current system while taking into account the excellent suggestions.

The important factors:
. Make it an active choice to the player to Terraform specific planets from planet view
. Show planet changing visually at certain intervals
. Tech must also work for non-Terran habitat races (Terraforming based on racial type)
. Tech will dictate (as does now) how much you can terraform a planet
. Decouple Terraforming tech from colonization of hostile planet types

Other possible factors:
. Add maintenance cost to maintain terraformed hostile worlds (+could be based on tech level)
. Terraforming cost increases the more hostile the planet (+could be based on tech level)
. In favor of using the same UI mechanic as pollution control (Terraform/Maintain/Revert)

> Fairin: re: Zoom Out
Not getting the chance to look at that with these other requests ;)

I think only The Fonz can express what I think. *gives a cool two thumbs up*


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 Post subject: Re: Occupation and Terraforming
PostPosted: Tue Oct 15, 2013 11:00 pm 
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Well, while its cool if the new info that is in this topic, but when it comes to MoO2, terraforming, races and planet types, all the races' planet type were terran, unless they had the Aquatic racial trait, then all ocean worlds were like Terran, which I think is the case for Horizon also, I mean I conquered the Vaians homeworld, which was a volcanic planet and I assimulated them into my empire and the volcanic world had the max population of a terran world of the same size, so it technically is the same system, except, instead of a single racial trait, it each race has their own planet type.


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 Post subject: Re: Occupation and Terraforming
PostPosted: Wed Oct 16, 2013 2:12 am 
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The game that I think did it best with different planet types was Endless Space. One thing that I found great with Endless Space was different planet types where good for different things. As to why they have a system for upgrading and downgrading a planet with Terraforming they also have some races that started on different planet types although I think Terran Homeworlds are the majority.

The nice thing about having special advantages for different planet types is that it helps make these planet types that are considered bad for population still good for Research or Industry. This really makes me seek out different planet types at the start of the game looking for the cash cows that where Desert and Arid Planets while still seeking out Ice worlds for my research and Terran planets I saw as more my population farming backbones that did ok industry and research but where best at supporting my other planets while still being powerhouses in their own right. I also need to think about what to upgrade to when I got Terraforming as I didn't want to make everything into Terran planets (which was very high up the tree anyways)

Terran, Ocean and Arid planet types got a boost to framing and had high population caps

Dessert plants where better for making money (think because they had a Dune/Dust theme going)

Ice and Barren planets were better for research

Volcano planets were best at Industry

(I could be wrong haven't played in a while but these should be close)

Each of these planets also might give smaller bonuses towards the other areas of farming, econ, research and industry but gave the best bonus to the one they where more specialized at doing. You picked your bonus by picking an Exploit for each of your planets towards one of these areas. I think it would be cool to have something like this added to make those horrible to colonize Metalic planets worth while because even with low pop they have great industry and if you could set a planet to be a Research/Industry/Econ/Farming planet and have bonus for setting different planet types to different set ups based on what the planet is. This could also add more to Terraforming as you might want to move some planets towards different types based on what your looking to do with the planet. This could also fit in well if terraforming worked more like pollution where you could pick to Maintain (if you have it Terraformed it should take some money to keep it in that state), Move towards more what would be considered an "upgraded" planet (just list the planet type its moving towards) and one that would move it towards a "downgraded planet" (which would cost a bit less then "upgrading" a planet) and a 4th option for reverting to its natural state (no cost at all).

One thing that I was wonder if it is possible (or is it already in place) for farming worlds to feed our non farming worlds?

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 Post subject: Re: Occupation and Terraforming
PostPosted: Thu Oct 17, 2013 1:18 pm 
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My thoughts are I see no reason why we couldn't put a listening post on any planet (non-gaseous) but charge more (time or cash) to turn it into a colony depending on your terraform level. Very low population depending on terraforming capabilities (domed living). Maybe even only clean production since you would have limited resources, but at least you could claim the planet and get it going.


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 Post subject: Re: Occupation and Terraforming
PostPosted: Sat Oct 19, 2013 10:25 pm 
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Zaimat wrote:
I think I now have a pretty solid idea on how to make these changes. Been thinking at different ways for a couple of days on how to expand Terraforming from the current system while taking into account the excellent suggestions.

The important factors:
. Make it an active choice to the player to Terraform specific planets from planet view
. Show planet changing visually at certain intervals
. Tech must also work for non-Terran habitat races (Terraforming based on racial type)
. Tech will dictate (as does now) how much you can terraform a planet
. Decouple Terraforming tech from colonization of hostile planet types

Other possible factors:
. Add maintenance cost to maintain terraformed hostile worlds (+could be based on tech level)
. Terraforming cost increases the more hostile the planet (+could be based on tech level)
. In favor of using the same UI mechanic as pollution control (Terraform/Maintain/Revert)


I think much of what you're considering here would go a long way to reducing the issues with Terraforming, particularly it's overpowered nature at present.

Personally, I'd avoid maintenance costs on Terraforming, going instead for a larger upfront cost for the process itself.

Seems like quite a few good ideas in this thread which is great to see.


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 Post subject: Re: Occupation and Terraforming
PostPosted: Sun Oct 20, 2013 2:42 am 
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Glad you found this thread, I was reading your Feedback and was like, "hope he found this thread already."

Yeah, I guess the approach is the process should be costly. Even if we choose to avoid having maintenance costs, I still think the idea CellNav had of the cost being spread across the process is a very solid one.

In the end it is about the same: pay X now, process takes y turns to get benefit b (per tech milestones); versus: pay z per turn for y turns with the process reaching smaller milestones gradually that leads to the same final result (based on tech) that would cost about the same and take the same amount of time as the previous model.

However, the second method is far more... "organic" (I hate using that word but I can't think of a better one), and allows more gradual control from the player. He can "pause" the process when his economy is stressed, and reinvest into it (or over invest into it if the mechanics allow it and his economy can take it). Since the system has a gradual cost, it is also just as easy for the player to manage.

Actually easier, since you can start managing the process right away. The drop down a tonne of Credit and watch a process for "24" turns roll on its own tends to create the artifact that you have to save your money up even before you can start the process which in turn takes its own time; making the first stage of the process take much longer than it should because nothing happens during the "I am saving up for cash." Once you started you probably start to save money for the next phase, but that first execution will be delayed.

Also, the all or nothing effect, I prefer a gradual change as opposed to you having totally terrible conditions and after a long wait boom... overnight everything just skyrockets to awesome. Even if the stages are broken up into steps, even one shift up the ladder is jarring.

Either case, I do agree maintaining it is not necessary (it adds extra book keeping for the final transformation, which can be sometimes unpleasant for the player to manage); however, as you said, you'd probably raise the cost of it (or cost per turn if the process is gradual) to make sure that the player's economy is still taxed equally by the endeavour. But with the gradual process I find that it is both more "organic" and gives a better feeling that it transitions, and also easier on the player's economy at the start (and he can always pause it if ne needs the money more).


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 Post subject: Re: Occupation and Terraforming
PostPosted: Sun Oct 20, 2013 6:23 am 
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I have a rather different suggestion for enabling terraforming.

Take Venus as an example of a world too hot to colonize. You would need to build a platform in space to deflect a large portion of solar radiation. Therefore, stage one would be to build the space deflector, which over time would reduce the planet's temperature - terraforming could follow this. Where a world is toxic a cleanup facility would need to be landed and again over time the planet would be cleaned to a point that terraforming could be started.

I agree with others that the terraforming process should be gradual and expensive.


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 Post subject: Re: Occupation and Terraforming
PostPosted: Sun Oct 20, 2013 12:57 pm 
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I had some more thoughts about terraforming ... Is it a waste of time? Why do we want to terraform?

Well, we want to convert a hostile planet to our races habitat ... Instead of colonizing perhaps we should look at automation. We don't need to terraform a planet if robot technology exists since we can simply build structures that do the work for us. The only planets that are worth improving (cost wise) would be the alternate planet types ... ocean, desert, artic. Hostile planets with automation controlled by a space station above might work out.

I'm still on the fence about terraforming ... :?

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