View Full Version : Reworking Fixed Borders (for V19)


Koshling
Oct 15, 2011, 04:54 PM
As I have indicated, I plan to rework fixed borders before V19 is released, to make it less of a complete defense against culture (i.e. - it's too powerful currently).

Broadly speaking I can see two ways I could go to address this, and I'd like feedback on both which overall direction is preferred, and any details. The two directions are:


Reduce it in power slightly, but leave it doing basically what it does now, but less effectively; and
Adding downsides to holding territory via fixed borders that you otherwise would not hold, so that there is a counter-balancing penalty.


Specifically the lines I am thinking along in each case are as follows.

Option 1 - Reduced Effectiveness

Possible mechanisms:

Tiles can still be won by culture EVEN over fixed borders, but the fixed border owner of a tile will continue to own it so long as no other player has twice the culture value they do in that tile (instead of regardles of cultrure with FB today, and any amount more than others without FB)
Fixed border owner only holds tiles where they do not have the dominant culture for so long as they keep a unit stationed there
Other suggestions welcome...


This approach of weakening, but not introducing anything radically new is the easiest to implement.

Option 2 - Introduce a penalty

The idea here is that for each tile held without cultural dominance a penalty is paid. This might be any of:

Financial cost
Instability in local cities (but that only works with REV on)
Unhappiness in local cities
Other suggestions welcome...


The main problem with this approach (and the thing that complicates it) is that you have to then provide a way to cede tiles to their 'rightful' owner to relieve the penalties, or else FB becomes an outright liability. That requires a new UI mechanism of some sort (shift-right-click a tile or smething and get an action menu for that tile, which for now only really has that one poossibility) and teaching the AI when to cede.

For the complexity reason I lean towards the simpler first approach, but I'm open to discussion...

steampunk1880
Oct 15, 2011, 05:07 PM
You could give a button to military units called cede territory and tell the AI to do it on tiles where someone else has 75% of the culture.

um... applicable only when not inside cities. It would be funny but bad to have cities flipping to you suddenly not through the usual system of revolt but because a city defender decided to "cede territory"

EldrinFal
Oct 15, 2011, 05:26 PM
Option 2 seems much more complicated and requires a ton of extra work I don't feel is needed-- new mechanics, more work to get the AI to understand it, followed by many revisions from differing perspectives of how effective it is and effectiveness of AI using it. Also not sure I like the idea of cultures on the far fringes of territory causing city riots. Actually, I'm not even sure I like the idea of units being able to expand culture by "capturing tiles" but I'll set that reservation aside.

I think one of the things that needs to be defined as part of this discussion is how FB works currently and why one Gov't or Civic would have it and another not. My understanding of FB isn't great, but it seems like it would be something that is either always on or always off, irregardless of Civic. Why would the culture of one Gov't become "locked" and another not?

Dancing Hoskuld
Oct 15, 2011, 05:26 PM
Option 1 looks good. How will unoccupied forts be handled? Should they go into ruin, ie disappear if they switch culture and no unit of the new culture is in them?

bill2505
Oct 15, 2011, 06:00 PM
at first do the first one and if this is inefficient we see about 2

Koshling
Oct 15, 2011, 06:27 PM
Option 2 seems much more complicated and requires a ton of extra work I don't feel is needed-- new mechanics, more work to get the AI to understand it, followed by many revisions from differing perspectives of how effective it is and effectiveness of AI using it. Also not sure I like the idea of cultures on the far fringes of territory causing city riots. Actually, I'm not even sure I like the idea of units being able to expand culture by "capturing tiles" but I'll set that reservation aside.

I think one of the things that needs to be defined as part of this discussion is how FB works currently and why one Gov't or Civic would have it and another not. My understanding of FB isn't great, but it seems like it would be something that is either always on or always off, irregardless of Civic. Why would the culture of one Gov't become "locked" and another not?

For me the key aspects of FB are:


Provides at least some resistance to a highly cultural neighbour encroaching easily
Allows neutral territory to be claimed by military units (you should just think of this as claim staking, not as actually expanding culture there - operationally it gives a single point of culture simplybecause that is necessary to hold territory the way the game works)


Currently it also has some effect on city capture (I need to look at the code to exactly what), but for me at least, that's not a key aspect.

Civic-wise it's the ability to claim neutral territory militarily that I think should determine which civics have it (so expansive or militaristic ones). Also it's not about
Locking culture, it's about locking territorial ownership. Just because the base game mechanic defines territory in terms of culture does not make them the same concept.

EldrinFal
Oct 15, 2011, 06:51 PM
For me the key aspects of FB are:


Provides at least some resistance to a highly cultural neighbour encroaching easily
Allows neutral territory to be claimed by military units (you should just think of this as claim staking, not as actually expanding culture there - operationally it gives a single point of culture simplybecause that is necessary to hold territory the way the game works)


Civic-wise it's the ability to claim neutral territory militarily that I think should determine which civics have it (so expansive or militaristic ones). Also it's not about
Locking culture, it's about locking territorial ownership. Just because the base game mechanic defines territory in terms of culture does not make them the same concept.

So if you have FB as is now could you use military units to create a "barrier" of territory to block the AI from moving units to certain portions of the map? (Assuming you don't have any Open Borders / Right of Passage treaties)

Why not just make FB apply like a +100% defensive modifier to the held territory so it takes twice the normal culture to claim it? Maybe that was you top suggestion in option 1... ?

Koshling
Oct 15, 2011, 07:31 PM
So if you have FB as is now could you use military units to create a "barrier" of territory to block the AI from moving units to certain portions of the map? (Assuming you don't have any Open Borders / Right of Passage treaties)

Why not just make FB apply like a +100% defensive modifier to the held territory so it takes twice the normal culture to claim it? Maybe that was you top suggestion in option 1... ?

Yes (in principal), and yes essentially.

Koshling
Oct 18, 2011, 01:07 PM
Just pushed to SVN the first revision to FB. Depending on feedback there may be more changes - lert me know how this works out for you.

The change is a very simple one - a fixed borders civ that owns a tile will not now hold that tile unconditionally against a non-FB civ. Holding it through FB requires either:

A military unit on the tile (this will prevent it flipping); or
At least half as much cultrure as the would-be cultural owner


Hence FB civ borders are now susceptible to cultural erosion, but it needs to be a fairly strong cultural attack. The benefits of FB when capturing cities (when the captor has FB that is) remain as before (the nearby tiles flip to the captor).

Further adjustments will be made based on feedback if needed.

Necratoid
Oct 20, 2011, 10:44 PM
Concidering there are so many culture teirs (Control ring size/level) make FB give a plus to what teir your control ring counts as. +3 for the city tile it self, +2 for worked tiles around the city (first 8 ring and then the 12 ring then 3rd teir with whatever mechanics give thrid ring workability) and plus one teir level for the rest of the spaces. Small cities don't have enough population to avoid being bulture crushed. Big and/or old established border cities will be annyoingly entrenched as the culture police prevent other nations from taking over.

Basically you have to massively over culture a fixed border city to gain ground on it, unlike now in which a new pop one or 2 city just plopps down and takes over ground as normal... as if your culture failed to exist.

A unit fortifing on a square gives +1 teir of control up to +2 for three units fortified on the square. This will let you make temporarily controlled squares to make unit heal faster... without letting a stone thrower in the galactic age just steal your iron mine because it can. Though maybe make it so you only get tile control of resources if your reach would normally extend that far and you have touch squares connected to teritory you actually (at least a square diagonal to the resource square must be connected for supply lines.)

Personally I'd also make it so a minimum sized city that gets culture crushed has a chance of destroying itself and the populate wanders off and joins the culture thatt so attracted them.

Ocean and coastal water squares should offer protection of +2 and +1 teirs respectively... future techs (starting with radio) should reduce this protective bonus.

In short, trying to over power a city with legendary culture is futile with new 2-3 population settlements... no matter the level of culture bomb you use. Two new settlements trying to out culture each other is a actual battle of trying to out awesome each other. Public v17 current I get issues where the AI plops down on a square touching my border and the current established... even near legendary city loses ground to a 1000 people squating in a valley in a hut. Once those idiots are there the AI civs berserks at me for our border dispute.

strategyonly
Oct 20, 2011, 11:42 PM
Just pushed to SVN the first revision to FB. Depending on feedback there may be more changes - let me know how this works out for you.

The change is a very simple one - a fixed borders civ that owns a tile will not now hold that tile unconditionally against a non-FB civ. Holding it through FB requires either:

A military unit on the tile (this will prevent it flipping); or
At least half as much culture as the would-be cultural owner


Hence FB civ borders are now susceptible to cultural erosion, but it needs to be a fairly strong cultural attack. The benefits of FB when capturing cities (when the captor has FB that is) remain as before (the nearby tiles flip to the captor).

Further adjustments will be made based on feedback if needed.

Now i really like this idea, and implementation alot, nice work.

Koshling
Oct 21, 2011, 08:08 AM
Concidering there are so many culture teirs (Control ring size/level) make FB give a plus to what teir your control ring counts as. +3 for the city tile it self, +2 for worked tiles around the city (first 8 ring and then the 12 ring then 3rd teir with whatever mechanics give thrid ring workability) and plus one teir level for the rest of the spaces. Small cities don't have enough population to avoid being bulture crushed. Big and/or old established border cities will be annyoingly entrenched as the culture police prevent other nations from taking over.

Basically you have to massively over culture a fixed border city to gain ground on it, unlike now in which a new pop one or 2 city just plopps down and takes over ground as normal... as if your culture failed to exist.

A unit fortifing on a square gives +1 teir of control up to +2 for three units fortified on the square. This will let you make temporarily controlled squares to make unit heal faster... without letting a stone thrower in the galactic age just steal your iron mine because it can. Though maybe make it so you only get tile control of resources if your reach would normally extend that far and you have touch squares connected to teritory you actually (at least a square diagonal to the resource square must be connected for supply lines.)

Personally I'd also make it so a minimum sized city that gets culture crushed has a chance of destroying itself and the populate wanders off and joins the culture thatt so attracted them.

Ocean and coastal water squares should offer protection of +2 and +1 teirs respectively... future techs (starting with radio) should reduce this protective bonus.

In short, trying to over power a city with legendary culture is futile with new 2-3 population settlements... no matter the level of culture bomb you use. Two new settlements trying to out culture each other is a actual battle of trying to out awesome each other. Public v17 current I get issues where the AI plops down on a square touching my border and the current established... even near legendary city loses ground to a 1000 people squating in a valley in a hut. Once those idiots are there the AI civs berserks at me for our border dispute.

All true, but not an FB issue really. The fact is that the basic Civ mechanics mean the inner ring of a city is ALWAYS owned by the city owner. Basically I think you're saying that EVERYTHING apart from the city tile itself maybe should be determined by cultural owenership (with or without FB modifiers), so that plonking a new city on the tile adjacent to your borders would not errode the border, just take previously neutral territory.

We could do this I think, but not sure of all the ramifications. Anyway, IMO not really an FB issue, though a change that has its merits and worth (sepaarte) debate. Suggest you start another thread.

AIAndy
Oct 21, 2011, 08:14 AM
All true, but not an FB issue really. The fact is that the basic Civ mechanics mean the inner ring of a city is ALWAYS owned by the city owner. Basically I think you're saying that EVERYTHING apart from the city tile itself maybe should be determined by cultural owenership (with or without FB modifiers), so that plonking a new city on the tile adjacent to your borders would not errode the border, just take previously neutral territory.

We could do this I think, but not sure of all the ramifications. Anyway, IMO not really an FB issue, though a change that has its merits and worth (sepaarte) debate. Suggest you start another thread.
Iirc vanilla BtS does not always give the inner ring to the city owner. That was especially noticable if you conquered an enemy city near strong culture cities. If you were unlucky the conquered city ended up with no plots to work and starved extremely after anarchy.

BlueGenie
Oct 21, 2011, 08:52 AM
All in all I think the forcing control (though not culture, Necratiod) of the first ring brings more good things than bad things. I'm all for keeping that feature.

As for culture bombing and FB: If BOTH nations have FB then the highest culture wins the plot, barring military units stationed on it.

Cheers

Necratoid
Oct 21, 2011, 09:25 AM
Err... what?

I'm baffled here... my problem is that with Fixed Borders on (at least in v17 I just started playing a v18 game) the fixed borders basically culture crushes because it can. Fixed Borders have a nasty habit of expanding normally and only counting as Fixed Borders against everyone else... at least for the first expansion row... maybe the second. Even with 90+% culture domination of the city core tile Fixed Bordes usually prevents the city from flipping. I end up having to buy the city if I can.

What I mean is that the AI has on fixed borders and starts setting up waves of settlements on the bleeding edge of my borders or in gaps left by the natural culture spread option. Then the newly spawned settlement auto controls the 8 squares surrounding it reguardless of population or of culture percent. Then the new settlement expands without aid (as normal) and automatically controls the new ring of 12 squares... this only works with Fixed borders on. Without Fixed Borders active the new settlement would be culture crushed as normal.

If this was somehow fixed in v18 that would be different and I'll comment once it becomes relivant. However I was commenting on the way I'm use to Fixed Border working and how very much it annoys me.

Koshling
Oct 21, 2011, 11:11 AM
Err... what?

I'm baffled here... my problem is that with Fixed Borders on (at least in v17 I just started playing a v18 game) the fixed borders basically culture crushes because it can. Fixed Borders have a nasty habit of expanding normally and only counting as Fixed Borders against everyone else... at least for the first expansion row... maybe the second. Even with 90+% culture domination of the city core tile Fixed Bordes usually prevents the city from flipping. I end up having to buy the city if I can.

What I mean is that the AI has on fixed borders and starts setting up waves of settlements on the bleeding edge of my borders or in gaps left by the natural culture spread option. Then the newly spawned settlement auto controls the 8 squares surrounding it reguardless of population or of culture percent. Then the new settlement expands without aid (as normal) and automatically controls the new ring of 12 squares... this only works with Fixed borders on. Without Fixed Borders active the new settlement would be culture crushed as normal.

If this was somehow fixed in v18 that would be different and I'll comment once it becomes relivant. However I was commenting on the way I'm use to Fixed Border working and how very much it annoys me.

The inner ring certainly goes to the city owner (irrespective of FB as far as I know) currently. Anything outside the inner ring should NOT toggle to the new city when it expands regardless of FB. If it does that's definately a bug, and a save game that shows the expansion turn doing that would be helpful.

Necratoid
Oct 22, 2011, 12:38 PM
As I said the second ring flip is something from v17 and I don't know if that is currently fixed. I've got Fixed Borders off in the current v18 game I'm playing... though with raging on its turned into a bit of a reinactment of the Birds.

The reason I suggested the FB feature of uprating the teirs ring and only being able to apply FB to a number of tiles equal to the cities populatation without fortifing troops on those squares.

So, again, I was basing my idea on v17 standards, as I have no clue what changes v18 makes I can't comment on v18 at this time.