You’re not having a stroke or a psychotic breakdown quite yet - yes we did mention culture, but it was one of two words SotP had tossed into the void many moons ago. We have unburned all the dictionaries and books that mentioned it through some space wizardry and rediscovered the old ways. While we still had the power of space magic at our fingertips, we decided to make culture better fit our universe and reinvent it as something new.
Imagine culture, now recall how much you hated the AI using it to murder you, now imagine you can no longer use it to murder people and that it can only be used to help your own planets. You can finally reap the benefits of making hypernationalistic societies that are inundated by an unending stream of propaganda. Pump that good stuff right into the veins of your citizens, which then makes them want to pay their taxes and build things faster. Gone are the days of your worlds falling to the Covenant and their sick rap beats.
So, while culture might be reintroduced, we put it in its place so it’s now contained within a purely economic sphere. We accomplished this by utilizing culture spread and having it affect the planetary allegiance system. Your planets’ allegiance directly impacts the tax and mining income of that world and can actually boost it if the allegiance is over 100%. Your colonies won’t start at 100% allegiance, so you can boost it by building culture stations. These structures spread culture, which then affects the allegiance of the planet it was built on and its neighboring systems.
Culture spreads at a geriatric pace, and should it ever reach an enemy planet it will not reduce enemy allegiance beyond the base amount. Repeat: Culture CANNOT kill an enemy planet. There will be no grunt riots in the streets because they can’t get the latest Hello Kitty toy.
The goal is to encourage players to invest in their worlds to get the best economic boosts - boosts that are usually handed to you just from owning the planets and are inherent to a universe without culture. The intent of this system is to slow down economic snowballing in early matches and give players another route of economic advancement while expanding potential decisions for planetary structures.
While we’re on the topic, now is a perfect time to inform you about the changes we’ve made to planetary logistics. Overall, we’ve reduced costs by a factor of four, thus making the base cost of each structure only one logistic slot. There are a few exceptions to this, for example, the UNSC’s Technique & Jotun Civilian R&D Lab costing two slots. The Covenant’s Holy Relic Mausoleum (military research lab) and the Examiner Assembly (capital shipyard) each cost two slots as well.
These outliers exist to better affect the progression of both factions in what we see as their intended strengths and weaknesses. The UNSC has entered a state of total war with an economy built for supporting their massive military-industrial complex, so civilian advancements are almost an afterthought. On the other hand, the Covenant aren’t known for their military technological advancements since what they did make was based on reverse-engineered Forerunner artifacts.
(If you're confused about why the patrol stations are featured here, it's because they're now culture stations and patrol fleets are created via the Unyielding Hierophant starbase.)
This has been another venture into our deep-dive series for v0.90 Warlords, (click here to go read our previous article) with plans for several more touching on additional foundational changes to the mod. Keep on the lookout for more information, and don’t forget to save the date of the release which is on January 17th.
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