Beyond Earth – Xenomass & Aliens
I’m collecting some of my thoughts here while I continue playing. 🙂
While this game looks similar on the surface to Civ 5, there’s an incredible amount of changes and depth in the details, things you can’t see in a quick gameplay video. I covered some of the most obvious things in my earlier review. One small thing I noticed today is alien nest balance.
Xenomass is the resource used by Harmony, the relatively peaceful part at the top-right of the tech web. So you might naturally think, when starting near xenomass, you’ll have a peaceful harmony game. Right? Hold on!
Now consider the fact alien nests appear most often on tiles with both miasma+xenomass. That tile regularly respawns nests. This gives you a constant early source of farmable experience for military games.
So while techs favor peaceful Harmony, the world favors warlike Harmony. These two factors combine to create a balance so players can choose which route they want to take. Brilliant!
I also figured out some details about alien thought patterns.
They will always attack if you approach their children. This is typically within 2 tiles of a nest, so you might not see the nest. If you’re not threatening their kids, and alien aggression levels are low, they will almost never attack you.
Siege worms think differently. They remain docile, wandering around the map, and won’t directly go for your units. However, if you tempt them by standing right under their mouth at the end of a turn, they WILL eat you. They won’t pass up a free lunch.
Since the aliens are closer to wild animals than sentient beings, knowing their behavior patterns helps you manage them. You can control which units they attack if farming them for experience. If you’re trying to play a peaceful game, and know how to avoid their territory, they will leave you alone.
These skills are very important for early game exploration. Explorers are extremely vulnerable, and will rarely survive a battle with aliens.