I’ve seen a lot of complaints about the lack of bio-diversity. While this is inherently an auto-evo issue, a nice band-aid to the issue would be making LUCA toggleable. If it is turned off, random creatures (within a set fitness range as determined by autoevo) are generated and distributed around patches. This should add a lot of early game diversity for the players that wish to have it.
Hmm, that is an interesting idea.
The only thing is I worry that ideally we should not even need such a setting, because then we could lean on that crutch instead of solving the actual Auto-Evo problem.
I would first offer that we try to do a quick-fix of Auto-Evo. Does Auto-Evo choose 5 (or some random number, let’s say 5) random mutations for the species, analyze the best one, and assign that one? Because if so, we could increase the “intelligence” of Auto-Evo by increasing that number to 10, 15, or whatever, so that species evolve more intelligently more quickly.
This does rely on Auto-Evo being intelligent in the first place though. It could just be that the current Auto-Evo system has some limits in what it’s able to recognize as useful mutations.
Even if the game doesn’t need such a setting, I am willing to bet there are groups of players that would like it, and I’m all for giving them that choice. As far as the quick fix for autoevo, changes to it are slow and often need lots of testing to make sure we got everything right. This would be easier to implement right now, while we work on such a fix.
It’s currently 3, if I remember right. Checking the auto-evo exploring tool should show that.
The slight problem with this approach is that this increases the time required to compute auto-evo.
One thing that is now possible with the difficulty slider is to supercharge the mutation rate, which means each mutation can have more changes in it. We could crank up the default for that if it results in better competition. Though I think if we fix auto-evo to favour the nucleus more (I think there’s at least one or two nucleus benefits that aren’t really calculated) it would make more interesting species even without cranking up the mutation rate. One other thing to do would be to make it so that a nucleus mutation is always accompanied by one newly unlocked organelle, that should make nucleus mutations much more likely.
They can play freebuild. Okay, I admit it is not exactly the same.
If this kind of setting is added, it needs to be out of the way because the tutorial text etc. won’t know about it (and I absolutely don’t want to maintain multiple tutorials just for this change to make sense). So that new players don’t pick it and get a weird first experience.
We have the auto-evo exploring tool now, though it is not fully featured:
Yeah if what I suggested is not possible and there are no quick auto-evo fixes available, I would support such a toggleable setting.
Yeah true that we can increase the MP limit for AI, or reduce their MP costs, but ideally we should not be making the AI evolve more per generation, we should just make them evolve better. I would personally prefer to take the performance hit and increase the number of alternatives chosen from 3 to like 6. Then we can look at how that affects performance and AI intelligence.
This is also true. We could assign an additional weight to evolving a nucleus. We could also reduce the osmoregulation cost of the nucleus even more. I personally support introducing a new endosymbiosis system, where a nucleus is granted for free after you successfully endosymbioze something for the first time, but that would be a large feature to code and would take a while so would not be a quick-fix.
I am for giving players as many choices as possible, but just chucking options at players is a bad idea. You need appropriate menus and warning popups and the like (AKA, you crash the game with this setting, fixing it is not going to be our #1 priority.)
Honestly, though this could just be in the standard new game settings as it’s easy to explain and unlikely to affect the game too much.
As far as worrying about new players, we should lock this and a few other settings for the first game (with an option to disable this lock in the settings)
You should be able to actually test this with the auto-evo exploring tool right now to compare how long it takes to reach 20-30 generations.
There’s the misc tab where I think this alternative mode could be thrown in, but explained that the game science and lore makes less sense if the option is selected.
I don’t think this kind of locking really makes sense until we have all the stages. Then we could consider making it so that players need to beat the game once before they can change all settings. Though it needs to be considered if that actually just makes the game worse overall with the annoyance.