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I have just purchased Sid Meiers Beyond Earth and am loving it even with its somewhat negative reviews. However, there are some differences that I can't understand. From what I know, aliens are initially indifferent to humanity, or basically neutral. That being said, I have had several instances where I was moving an explorer across the landscape when they were suddenly attacked by several alien units at once and destroyed in one turn. The attacks usually involved at least one Manticore and a pack of Wolf Beetles. In most of the attacks, I was nowhere near an alien nest, and I have never killed or even attacked an alien unit/nest (and have no plans to as I'm pursuing Harmony full force).

In addition, the same thing has happened with one of my settler units. I was moving it through heavy alien territory with a Marine escort (again, no nests within several tiles) and decided to embark to avoid aliens. I embarked the Marine first, and then tried to embark the Settler onto the Marine, stupidly assuming that since they could stack on land they could on water...but no. The Settler remained on land and was promptly destroyed by a Wolf Beetle.

I have been trying to figure out why this has been happening. Yes, I may have come too close to a nest a some point, but that shouldn't remain in effect for a long time, will it? Also, the aliens are still neutral towards me (ie. green). I'm assuming that the aliens can't detect if a unit is a Settler and feel threatened, but it might be possible. If anyone could shed some light on this that would be great!

In general, any information/clarification about aliens and their relations would be great! I have read the Civilopedia, but still cannot find the answer. Thanks!

EDIT:

I can see Firaxis idea that an alien planet would be infested with other life forms that may or may not appreciate being disturbed, but I would have liked a bit more warning. From now on, I will stack at least a Marine with everything, as they always appear to be unmolested this way.

  • I'm just guessing here, but they are probably meant to be more like the barbarians from previous games. There would be absolutely zero challenge early on if the aliens were neutral. – Broots Waymb Aug 18 '15 at 13:23
  • Possibly, but I've seen several sources that infer that aliens lean more towards passive neutrality until attacked. As for the challenge, it's really annoying having 2 alien units within range of a city every turn, and seeing 3 more hovering around outside range getting in the way of other units. I can see why people would attack them at the beginning of the game, but I have chosen Harmony. – Kendall Roth Aug 18 '15 at 13:27
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    I agree, it is annoying. But I guess it would help to reinforce the negative reviews. It's been a while since I tried the game though, which is why I'm not going to post an answer... Personally, I liked Civ V far better. – Broots Waymb Aug 18 '15 at 13:31
  • I really liked Civilization 5 as well, but that was primarily with BNW. I don't think I would play Civ 5 Vanilla anymore, so I'll give Beyond Earth a fair change since it doesn't have DLC yet (not that I'm a fan of needing DLC). Hopefully they'll explain changes more clearly in the future. – Kendall Roth Aug 18 '15 at 13:34
  • Perhaps this is getting a little "chatty"... but I really wasn't a huge fan of the technology "web" over the old tree. That, and mostly every "new" resource and building is basically just a reskin over a resource/building from Civ V. Although there of course a few new ones. – Broots Waymb Aug 18 '15 at 13:37
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I don't know (lore-wise) why the aliens attack your units. From hundreds of hours playing Civ5 and its expansions, I can say that I believe the aliens are an implementation of the barbarian mechanic from Civ5. They spawn from nests, they attack your units, and generally are hostile or cautiously neutral from the start of the game to the end.

Even on the Harmony track, they're a nuisance. They can't be bribed, bought, or moved. They will sit on your owned tiles and keep your citizens from working or your units from passing. I've found in all my games that it was a better idea to kill them than to let them be.

The Ultrasonic Fence is a critical city upgrade for dealing with aliens. It will keep them off the tiles near your city, although you'll have to choose between fully protecting the entire working radius or protecting your trade units from attack. Bear in mind that once the fence is up, you can bombard the aliens from a safe distance to kill them without risk.

In the initial release of the game, there was an early-game affinity bonus that made explorers immune to aliens. You could then use them to occupy tiles or block aliens from moving. You could also use them as shields to move ranged units in for kills. I think this ended up being too powerful, so they patched it to a damage reduction instead.

  • I thought I remembered seeing a video where someone tamed an alien with a "Leash" ability and was able to use it for their own uses, but then remembered that this is in Rising Tide. Maybe this expansion will help with some of the slight issues with aliens? Especially on the Harmony track...I wish for nothing more than to live peacefully alongside nature and aliens...the other nations are another matter, but only if they attack me :) – Kendall Roth Aug 18 '15 at 15:14
  • You can actually befriend the aliens by extending your borders to encompass a nest and then wait several turns. Once they're befriended, they'll turn blue and a lot of their negatives are ignored. The nest will even add the strategic resource it resides on to your stores, although you cannot improve the resource without destroying the nest. Having said that, there are still some annoying qualities that occasionally happen, and your automated units can still accidentally clear out a nest by simply moving into it (this isn't an issue in Rising Tide), which really annoys the aliens. – Ellesedil Oct 28 '15 at 22:06

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