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Acharis

Robotic race

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I look for some sort of robotic race for a 4X game. I want them to be at least a bit unusual, they should be hostile and dangerous, but they can't have a goal of galactic conquest. Generally, they could/should have some weird patterns of behaviour (like not taking some planets, being limited to a part of space, etc).

It's an NPC race so don't worry with victory conditions and things like that (they just live in the same galaxy the player lives).

 

I look for:

- overall description who they are and how they behave (and possibly why) [on strategic level]

- it's less important but if you have some gameplay mechanic (what they attack and why) that would fit them, post

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How about they are the machine slaves of a long dead culture.

Their creators died out millions of years ago and they just want to be left alone. They are extremely xenophobic, and require planets with certain properties to exist on, so they are very selective and it is rare for them to undergo an expansion.

They require planets with certain solar properties as they are solar powered converting solar energy into fusion.

If they feel threatened they attack with nanotechnology which is easily mistaken for a biological threat until it is too late. They view military action as a last resort and a waste of resources unless required to prevent extinction.

While they are able to create billions of nanites relatively quickly, these are generally unintelligent machines which just.reproduce until instructed to stop.
The AI machines lost the ability to create more of themselves when their creators died so they spend a large portion of their time examining their long lost homeworlds for clues about how to create more of themselves but bluntly, They are a slowly dying race unable to easily repair themselves or make new iterations of their form.

Each robot has a chess master like mind, and strong individuality, planning many thousands of moves ahead so their actions may seem unpredictable and strange but there is always an end game based upon cold, hard logic and analysis...

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It just reminded me "Glitch" of Starbound ( http://starbound.wikia.com/wiki/Glitch ) , a robotic race ironically living in medieval age :)

 

Other than that their actions might be related to corruption of original "1544C 451MOV's three laws of robotics" dictating hostile actions for the survival of robot kind.

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I look for some sort of robotic race for a 4X game. I want them to be at least a bit unusual, they should be hostile and dangerous, but they can't have a goal of galactic conquest. Generally, they could/should have some weird patterns of behaviour (like not taking some planets, being limited to a part of space, etc).

 

I think insects (real ones) will help you. For an unusual robotic appearance, just Google "unusual insects" images. For unusual behavior that is hostile and dangerous, stay with the insects. By that I mean consider what motivates an insect - search for specific resources (especially food/fuel), things needed for reproduction (certain kind of land, plants, minerals, etc), shelter/defense/compulsion to protect territory against intrusions. 

 

Since these are robots, you could also consider another motive - a damaged or warped compulsion to "repair" everything... and humans break a lot of stuff, so....

Edited by WECole

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Expanding on braindigitalis' idea: let the 'AI' be the only one who can upgrade a robotic colony, let it move around, and when the player attacks the colony the AI is on they will offer the planet in exchange for a safe retreat. Let the robots also evacuate some defenses(infantry,drones, ...) making them harder to conquer when they have fewer planets.

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Let the robots also evacuate some defenses(infantry,drones, ...) making them harder to conquer when they have fewer planets.


Oh man, I used to HATE it when the starcraft AI did that. You'd think you'd defeated them and they'd sneak one unit out the back to build a whole base again within minutes.

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What if the robots were low on resources that were used to build them.

Their only way of reproducing is to craft more of themselves, but since they are low on resource x, this is unfeasible, and in the last 100 years they have been using all of their last resources to sustain themselves. They have a lot of weaponry that in the past they used primarily for defense, but they are now motivated to go and use it to acquire those resources wherever they can in order to ensure their racial survival.

Unfortunately, what they need is an ore, which happens to exist most plentifully beneath the major cities on planets of some other races. 

Then let's say that the resource is extraordinarily heavy and can only be moved short distances unless broken down which takes a ton of time and energy.

So every time they run out (last time they peacefully took this current planet, which had been empty) they up and move to the new place (and currently in full military force). 

So why can't they negotiate at all? Sure they need something the natives of the cities can't give up, but why no communication?

Simple. They can't talk. Their form of communication in neural and only on a frequency that one another can pick up, so they would need to learn another language from scratch and still then be mute. 

Strategically: From a native (human or otherwise) perspective, these robots are attacking without proper declarations of war (think pearl harbor, ignoring the attempt to send one that failed-- more the backlash) and hitting target cities/planets where there are loads of civilians but do not appear to have massive strategic value. 

(The humans don't know about the ore).

This would give them an odd strike pattern and seemingly unintelligent migratory patterns that have perfectly logical yet incommunicable  reasons that would alter gameplay accordingly.

Edited by The_Saddest_Walrus

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So what you are not looking for is The Borg, but an interesting way to go would be this. Hostile robots who only favor alien races and not humans and vice versa. Then there could be robots fighting robots for various purposes. Another would be robots with strict moral codes for others, and they become aggressive when they see people breaking the rules. I will get back to you on this, as it is interesting.

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It could be a 'sorceror's apprentice' situation: Millenia ago somebody instructed a self replicating, learning robot to retrieve some gifts for his wife's anniversary and then promptly died. Now there's a planet deep in space with mountains of jewelry, dead flowers, chocolate boxes... The robots descend on a new planet, severely interupting commerce as they steal gifts and natural resources for replication. Then they leave to deliver it home.

 

They could be police bots, designed by a long dead race to prevent intestellar warfare. Ships patrol the galaxies, if they happen to observe hostilities, in comes the robot armada. As long as you don't happen to be caught, you can war all you want of course.

 

Maybe the robots are just searching for understanding about where they came from, who built them. They have no interest in expansion, but do insist on access to worlds for their archeological digs (even if this means you need to move your cities for them). Something interesting could occur if they succeed.

 

It could be a single, moon sized robot, travelling from planet to planet to trade for or take by force supplies. It doen't conquer or settle or anything, it just floats through space demanding resources and then moving on.

 

The robots could be friendly, scientific minded beings voraciously researching all they can. They seem great, if you're willing to help provide resources for their work, they'll share research or tireless automatons. If you look into what they're doing, the big project seems to be a galactic sized particle accelerator.  If your scientists look into it...hmm...wait, how much energy is going to occur in that collision? No, you don't really think that could cause a vacuum collapse, do you?

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What are your other factions?

sure, we could just brain storm away , but knowing where they fit in the overall design would help.

 

But if you want NPCs that aren't interested in conquest,

 Robotic police force & emergency services:

 

Built for responding  to incidents and keeping the peace on variety of planetary conditions, they were programmed with vast knowledge of laws, procedures, and emergency response techniques. Able to respond quicker and with a higher degree of accuracy, they quickly  assess the situation, cross reference possibilities and contingencies, and act swiftly in each situation. They are also built to last and operate in diverse harsh environments, including direct vacuum.   

 

Their directives and purpose don't contain expansionary efforts because more of them doesn't actually equate to higher efficiency, and in fact might decrease it. In addition, they were originally meant to be directed by human operators, which no longer exist.  

 

This would allow for both hostile and friendly interactions depending on the situation. Furthermore, having them networked or not would be able to be considered.

Edited by GeneralJist

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How about a terraforming swarm?

Long ago a race of creators built a swarm of robots designed to seek out compatible planets which could be converted to being livable by themselves and to convert them.

Converting or terraforming was a destructive process which razed the existing planets biosphere to mould it into the form desired by their creators, namely a planet which is a death world to most others and similar to Venus - strong acid clouds high pressure atmosphere and searing temperatures.

Of course the creators died millions of years ago and lacking any true intelligence or anyone to give them a shutdown command, their creators language and all culture lost millions of years ago, anyone unlucky enough to encounter this swarm near their home world is in for a bad day...

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Idea for a mechanic (without a story).

- those robots live in various parts of the galaxy, scattered, small clusters

- they launch a conquest mission/colonize and establish a "node world", at least 5 sectors away from other nodes

- next they conquer/colonize 1-2 systems neighbouring the node world as "extension worlds"

- from now on they raid neigbour systems (next to their colonized worlds) and assimilate the population/kidnap the population without conquering the planet

- if at any time the node world is conquered its extension worlds cease to function as well

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You should look on difficulties and advantages of living creatures, and difficulties and advantages of "less defecting creatures".

 

Most urgent need of living organic creatures is solved by nourishing on living creatures, and as such, their enviroment is rather stable.

 

This- the enviromental and regenerating difficulty of robots, and exhousted distribution of any possible vital resource upon all robots, would perhaps couse them very hostile towards any source that may benefit this intense issue of theirs. But rather than that, they should yield towards becoming organic creatures the most, since they would want the organic creature's system of regeneration and circular enviroment. They would speculate with samples of Fungus, Florus and Faunus, and they would be respected by organic creatures since they would be considered by them living rather than acting. The player might aid robots, since they would realy be souls/living creations, since this is the basic uncatchable base in universe, not the physical matter.

 

What comes to my mind is some sort of robot queen standing half deep in a pool of red blood during load screen.

 

And this is what I call "player raping story that you cannot aford to screw up on him and force bad" (I did not finish Risen 1 game since I was supposed to keep the poor Titan imprisoned, I had the same intensions as inquisitor Medoza that I had to slay... also, in Risen 2, my hero, when his ship got stolen by betrayer, he said "My ship, My crew, My Patty", and I hated Patty and I was in love with Chani, I was always taking her to accompany me, and when a guy come to me saying "Leave Chani alone" and my stupid hero responded without choice of mine "Calm down, Chani is not my type", I felt like crashing the screen)

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The robots were created by a higher civilization as a terraforming tool.

They terraform all the planets they encounter to the living conditions of their creators, which happen to be hellish to you.

They are tasked to terraform all the planets they see, and you are like a pest to their creators, so any obstruction from you part, such as living in the planet they are going to terraform, is met with violence.

 

There robots look like tools and construction machiery, because thats what they are. They dont have humanoid shapes, most of them look like vehicles. Also, they dont have weapons, they attack you with powerful tools (their creators are so powerful that just their tools are about as much powerful as your weapons of war).

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