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Subject: New Non-Carnivore Trait Ideas! rss

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Matt Parker
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Saint Charles
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Just some more thoughts I had for cards. Would love your critiques.

Grazing: Whenever this species takes food from the Watering Hole, take an additional Plant Food from the Food Bank.

Similiar to Foraging, but mix diversifies food source.

Hoarding: This species may store Plant Food on this card equal to it's population. Each feeding turn, this species may feed from it's hoard instead of other sources.

Similiar to Fat Tissue, but amount stored is equal to population rather than body size and taking from the hoard is optional. Pairs strongly with Burrowing.

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Pierre Beri
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I’m not too sure.

Grazing is strange because it ensures you more food, but you also ensure more food to your opponents. So it feels like it’s the same as Foraging, except that everyone possibly gets more food.

Fat tissue induces the fun gameplay of encouraging to increase body size for another reason than protection. Since it entices you to get fat, your opponents do not know if you’re getting fat for fat tissue or to become carnivore later. Hoarding doesnt have that, so feels less fun.
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Chet C.
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beri2 wrote:
I’m not too sure.

Grazing is strange because it ensures you more food, but you also ensure more food to your opponents. So it feels like it’s the same as Foraging, except that everyone possibly gets more food.

Fat tissue induces the fun gameplay of encouraging to increase body size for another reason than protection. Since it entices you to get fat, your opponents do not know if you’re getting fat for fat tissue or to become carnivore later. Hoarding doesnt have that, so feels less fun.


I'll agree regarding Hoarding. I think the purpose of Grazing would be identical to Foraging, except you can take the second card from the Food Bank when strategically optimal, such as when there is only 1 food left at the Watering Hole or when your opponent is already done feeding from the Watering Hole but you need to stretch the food further. I think the card makes sense and would lead to unique game play.
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Matt Parker
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More thoughts on Grazing:

Since thematically, grazing is a specialist behavior (as opposed to a generalist trait) it should play as such. A species is focusing on grazing to the exclusion of other food sources, but is more efficient as a grazer than any other species. So, what about:

Grazing:When feeding, if there is food in the Watering Hole, this species may instead take two plant food from the Food Bank. Long Neck has no effect on this species.

Basically, this species is giving up the browsing lifestyle to focus on grazing. Long Neck is a very strong and heavily used card and this trait would balance it a bit better. A grazer can have a long neck, but it won't get the benefit that a long necked generalist would have. A grazer could also eat normally from the Watering Hole or choose to instead take two from the Food Bank (as long as there is food in the Watering Hole). So if food runs out, the grazer is as out of luck as anyone, but if food is available, the grazer is more efficient at using it.

Thoughts?
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Pierre Beri
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This version may look more interesting. Like, if there is one food left in the Hole that nobody will take, the grazer can get 6 (if not 12!) food from the bank. Might be a bit powerful actually – flood the Hole with plants and feast from the bank.

And I am still not sure it is really that fun compared to the similar Foraging.

Let us know if you test it.
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David A
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CenozoicMatt wrote:
A grazer can have a long neck, but it won't get the benefit that a long necked generalist would have.

Interestingly enough, there is a current-held theory that Diplodocid sauropods (like Diplodocus) were efficient grazers. Not all the long-necked sauropod dinosaurs held their heads up as is commonly believed and depicted in art and movies. Diplodocids actually held their necks out forward like a drawbridge and, rather than move their bodies around, simply swung their necks from side-to-side allowing them to clear whole swathes of land!

Here's a shortened paper on the topic from several years ago --> http://ix.cs.uoregon.edu/~kent/paleontology/Science/
and
here's a link to some of the latest info on the concept --> https://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2016/04/160420151830.h...
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Matt Parker
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Yes, I'm aware of that theory. I think it's cool, but it would be hard to work that into the game. I certainly wouldn't want to say a grazer couldn't have a long neck, just that for a dedicated grazer a long neck wouldn't offer the same benefits for browsing. Diplodocus and Brachiosaurus were both long necked herbivores, but the position of the neck likely made the latter a better browser.

From a game mechanics standpoint, I offered the latest idea for grazer to reflect the specialist vs generalist idea, but also to limit Long Neck a bit. Allowing a creature to have both Grazing and Long Neck (and perhaps Foraging) would result in an over powered plant eater in my opinion.
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Matt Parker
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Still love the idea of Hoarding. Is this better balanced?

Hoarding: May store Plant Food on this card up to its Population. This species may eat food from its hoard or the hoard of another species instead of other sources.
At the end of the Feeding Phase, decrease hoard by one food. Population loss does not decrease the hoard food, but all food is discarded when this species goes extinct.


So, basically, it works like Fat Tissue except you can store up to your population size. That is strong. Also, the strength of the card is in the optional nature. You don't have to eat from it.

The drawbacks of Hoarding is that other hoarders can eat from your stash and some of the food you hoard is either lost or rots away. Since it isn't eaten, just collected, a species that dies out does not get to bag its food.

I think it adds a lot of fun to the game, especially if there is more than one hoarder on the table. I think it is well balanced too.
 
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Matt Parker
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GeneralGerbil (who posts on the Evolution forums occasionally) and I tinkered with the text of the Hoarding card and found some art and he, being a graphic designer, built these cards for us to play around with. What do you all think? We are going to playtest them later today. I'll let you all know how they play. My feeling is that they might be a bit underpowered except in certain circumstances or when paired with certain other feeding cards. We'll see.

NOTE: I do not own the art or card format in these images. I am not affiliated with North Star Games in any way. Just a fan having some fun. These are custom cards made for my amusement only. Neither GeneralGerbil nor myself will sell or trade these cards to you or build other custom cards for you, so do not ask.

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Matt Parker
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So, we playtested hoarding a few times.

Overall, it wasn't a very powerful card. In fact, for the purpose of playtesting, we almost had to force ourselves to use it. As it stands, I don't think it would get much play. It is most easy to hoard when food is plentiful, but that is when hoarding is the least necessary. And since your hoard slowly disintegrates even if you don't eat from it, any advantage it provides doesn't last long.

We also discovered two issues with the card. When there are two Hoarding species, they can feed from each others' hoards, but this created a endless feedback loop. I steal from yours, you steal from mine, I steal from yours, etc. For play purposes, we decided that you could only take from a hoard if you were hungry which would need to be changed on the card if we played with it further. There was also the question of what to do with hoarded food at the end of the game. We decided not to count it towards the final score since it was technically not yet eaten (unlike Fat Tissue).

The strength of this card was in combination with traits like Migratory, Long Neck and Foraging. However, in that situation, it wasn't acting all that much different from Fat Tissue.

So, all in all, not a fantastic card. It would need tweaking before more play and really needs a boost to make itself more useful and a revision to make it stand out from Fat Tissue more.
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Dominic Crapuchettes
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