Baseline point system for custom scenario gameplay balance

Started by Ouroboros, October 19, 2021, 03:19:27 PM

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I would like to propose - if it isn't too much work to do this - an official point system for custom scenario starts as a baseline. It is a rather simple suggestion in concept. If you click "Balanced Start" (off by default) in the custom scenario editor, you start with X points to spend. Any items, tech, research, animals - anything that makes the game easier - cost points. Anything that makes the game harder, gives you points. 
This would serve as a forced balance check for those that want an official baseline for what the devs consider a balanced start. Either for purists like myself, for people that should compete in any way, bragging rights, self-enforced balance rule for those that struggle to stop themselves and end up bored because they made the game too easy. People that want to RP and need specific items, but don't want the game to be easier. The reasons are many.
I also think the prepare carefully mod should be an official vanilla feature. Working much the same way, that you can to self-enforce by toggling such a balance system for yourself. Lastly, seeing a map before deciding where to land should also be a core feature and not through mods imo. Having to quit out and start over for every map you check is incredibly frustrating and lame.


The game is unbalanced RNG by its very nature. You cannot really compare how well you do - your single pawn might just get taken out by a meteorite.

This is because the game isn't mostly about winning, it is about the stories that emerge from the (sometimes unfair) gameplay. I am not saying that this is the objectively better way to play, just explaining what the game focuses on by design.

Additionally, aside from the prepare carefully stuff, I don't think the proposed adjustments make the game much easier overall. It makes the game's start easier - starting with animals to breed, research unlocked und better weapons just give you a head start on what you would aquire anyway after a few years. You will eventually research everything, produce or get via quest the weapons you want and if you really want a tame animal that you haven't encountered by chance, like cows, you can send an otherwise useless colonist to a neutral settlement to buy some. The actual difficulty in the game comes from the Storytellers and the RNG, and for those we already have the difficulty levels.

Another thing: The hardest version of your proposal this already exist as one of the usual starts: Naked brutality. You can also change your starting tech to tribal in this. It doesn't really get much harder than that, so for bragging rights etc. this is already the way to go (and with a decent pawn it is already not super hard, just takes a lot of time).

Just checked prepare carefully: With that, there is already a point system in use. Just use the points of a normal crashlanded start as the "baseline" and take away or add stuff in a way that you don't differ from the original points.