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Old Jul 29, 2011, 04:10 PM   #1
ChrisAdams3997
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1.9.6 Feedback

>>>Download Patch 1.9.6<<<

This is only a patch and requires 1.9.1. As with the previous patches, this includes all post 1.9.1 patches in it and can be installed directly on a fresh 1.9.1 Installation, or any previously patched version of it.

1.9.6 Patch Notes
  • Major tech value and worker AI improvements that should further increase AI performance
  • Great Houses (CHOAM tech) part of the tech tree reorganized (see here)
    • Should now be much more likely they will be founded by different Civs
  • Great Nobleman when founding Imperial for leaders with Political or Imperial Trait
  • Great Merchant when founding Choam for leaders with Political or Mercantilist Trait
  • Fixed issues with Spice Decay at slower game speeds
  • Added game speed scaling for religion spread
  • Added moderate scaling of numbers of worms and storms based on game speed
  • Implemented Spice Civic decisions based on leader, each leader has a defined probability to aim for spice industry or arrakis paradise each game
    • Included two game options, one that allows more unpredictability for all leaders, and one that makes the decision completely random for all leaders
    • Default option follows cannon personalities as close as possible, should lead to a similar makeup of pro-spice and pro-paradise civs as before this patch
    • Also forces vassals to keep spice civics demanded by their masters, they shouldn't flip back a few turns later as could happen before.
  • Several Changes to the polar areas:
    • Polar Ice Resources, in addition to water, also give large amounts of commerce when improved
    • Polar Water Shipper unavailable to Polar cities
    • Polar Terrain terraforms slower than before, Polar Sink Terrain can now terraform slowly as well.
  • Modified how City Visibility/Investigate espionage costs are calculated so that it shouldn't become as unattainable in the very late game
  • To make up for the lack of missionaries, Mahdi can spread internally to your own cities (by normal religion spread) even if they have another religion already as long as you own the Mahdi holy city and adopt Mahdi as your state religion.

While it's only one line, the first one in bold above represents the bulk of the work that's gone into this patch. The Worker AI had a lot of code carried over from vanilla that was highly counterproductive because of a number of the changes in DuneWars. It's been rewritten almost entirely and is now (I believe) perhaps the best worker AI for any vanilla or modded version of Civ4 period (of course I might be slightly biased ). For the first time ever I'm actually automating some of my workers, and for me, that's saying a lot .

The tech values as calculated by the AI have also been overhauled so that many common mistakes made by the AI before have been avoided, especially in the early game when it can really hurt. It's still not as smart as an experienced human, but with the additional help of the difficulty handicaps, and the better job of developing both their territory and spice fields, it's the most economically competitive AI DuneWars has had to date and a big step up I think even from the earlier AI work.

The shifts in the tech tree I'm also confident was a great step, as it's now a much more strategic choice if you want to shoot for Feudalism or Choam, if either, in the early game. And it's not a particularly good idea to piddle around if you want to found one of them either, as the AI is much more willing to take a shot at getting there first, especially those leaders who tend towards a particular religion.
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Old Jul 30, 2011, 06:22 AM   #2
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As I just got "back" to this mod on v1.94 and just got like 10 full games on 1,94 and 1.95, I'll try to keep giving feedback to c

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Old Jul 30, 2011, 08:13 AM   #3
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Well I'll be looking forward to it. But most of all, I hope you have fun with it .
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Old Jul 30, 2011, 08:38 PM   #4
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Hello,
I'm a civ/dune addict/fanatic and i want to thank you for all the work you've put into making this mod

I've started playing dune wars from ver 1.9.5
Today I installed patch 1.9.6 and started a game about 20 minutes ago and something weird happened

Thinking machines got invented by bene geserit on turn 36 and after a couple of turns spread to the fremen and atreides who both adopted the religion at once

It's also the first time that i've seen fremen adopt any religion other than shai hulud or mahdi
in one of my 1.9.5 games the fremen being a vassal of my corrino empire refused to adopt a religion of choam/imperial/thinking machines even after i've planted those religions in all of their cities...they even refused to adopt shai hulud that eventually spread to one of their cities

also the computer player has a lot of trouble staying alive with "raging barbarians" on

keep up the good work and thank you for this wonderful mod
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Old Jul 30, 2011, 09:38 PM   #5
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Weird, definitely a bug . What settings were you using, in particular what options do you normally play with. What it sounds like is, alright, let me back up just a second. The game saves the options you use when you go to custom game in an array the size of the number of game options in your ini file. If you insert a new option or two as this patch did into the game it shifts what options you have saved as 'on'. My guess is that this caused the 'pick religion' option to get turned on, so when the BG learned the tech to found Shia'Halud, they instead picked Technocracy.

I actually intended to completely remove the 'pick religion' option (since it makes no sense what-so-ever in DuneWars), but instead for now just made it invisible by way of XML. Unfortunately that means if it 'accidentally' got turned on by the patch's game options shift, you won't actually be able to see it to turn it off in the custom game screen. If you go to the 'My Documents/My Games/Beyond The Sword' folder and find CivilizationIV.ini then search for 'Game Options' you'll see this:



Change all the '1's to '0's then start a new game and pick the options you want on, should avoid this issue (assuming it's the cause, but it's a good bet)

I guess I'll make it visible until I get around to removing it so at least it can be turned off easily when this kind of thing happens.

As far as raging barbarians, I never test with it on, but I know that the AI tends to be pretty lightly defending the first 100 or so turns (on epic) before they get in a position to build up. I might have to give them some special 'privileges' in the early game when raging barbarians is turned on to deal with this. Shifting them too heavily that early (when all they have is soldiers) towards defenses will invariably hurt their economic growth in the long run without additional help in one form or another (I've already got a few ideas).
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Old Jul 31, 2011, 01:50 AM   #6
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I do add a couple of settings in the custom game such as aggressive AI etc,
but playing with the .ini file did the trick as you said

Also the background music returned the the default civ4 one once i updated to 1.9.6 so i reinstalled the music-dune-addon and things are ok.
I still can't hear any sounds from suspensor craft battles though but who cares when I can ride the worms
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Old Jul 31, 2011, 08:07 AM   #7
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Quote:
I do add a couple of settings in the custom game such as aggressive AI etc,
but playing with the .ini file did the trick as you said
Great . I'll probably systematically remove 'pick religions' from the code for the next release, make sure that kind of issue doesn't happen.

Quote:
Also the background music returned the the default civ4 one once i updated to 1.9.6 so i reinstalled the music-dune-addon and things are ok.
I still can't hear any sounds from suspensor craft battles though but who cares when I can ride the worms
Thanks, I don't install the music pack so it doesn't get mixed up with the developement files for patches, so I didn't know about that issue. Sounds like I need to add the new sound defines into it so those missing sounds work with it installed.
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Old Aug 01, 2011, 09:42 AM   #8
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Finished 2 games, played a couple until ~turn 400ish on Epic (=50% of time) this weekend.

Settings for all games: Epic game speed, no tech brokering, Cities can convert back from culture, Monarch difficulty, Standard Arrakis map (all settings standard)


- Sandworms seem to grow into a mature form (i.e. 40 or 60 str) alot faster - at least they are no longer huge chunks of exp when getting early-ish 12str-Mahdi.
Still killable with Thumper promotion, but happily not exp-farms anymore w/o.

- Polar Ice extractor seems to have gotten cheaper (just 150 hammers on epic now). Not sure if that's WAI. If it is, I like it. I always liked to build those in 1.95 b/c it basically allows 1-2 free specialists or worked tile per Polar city in EACH of my cities, now its even cheaper to get those.
Also it was quite a "wow" that you get tons of commerce out of worked Ice tiles now.

- I can confirm the mess-up with the Music pack.
Installing the pack again after upgrading to 1.96 did the trick though.

- Enjoying taht you actually have to choose between Imperialism or CHOAM now - although I feel not experienced enough to comment if the tech tree to reach those religions is balanced. It "feels" alright though.

- I was concerned that with the improved economic AI I would fall behind in the tech race if I stayed at my normal difficulty setting.... mostly b/c I'm playing a diversity of mods (Planetfall, MasterofMana, RoM AND, TaM) and thus are not a specialist for all those "in and outs" of the different economy systems... but I was still fine.
With Fremen I got 2 religions first (shai-hulud an dmahdi), b/c I was beelining, but with every other faction I just got either Choam or Imperial - which kinda feels great.
As Harkonnen I still could rush to Fanatiscm/Bladesman and kill an opponent and cripple another, before they got Guardsmen up... but that feels quite balanced now.
So for me the AI seems to be abit more competitive than before, mostly researching the "right" stuff , too.
But as said, I'm not expert in this , I guess other can analyse this alot better.

- Normally I manually command every Worker,too, but gave it a try for testing, this time:
In the beginning I'm quite happy with the worker AI, also works nice when you don't want to rebuild every crawler after a sandworm just ate some Spice crawlers...
So in general I'm quite surprised that it works ok.
Some nudges:
*If you capture a city containing a worker and automate that worker, it starts improving other cities first. (I guess b/c the freshly city has no culture ring yet.) Any way to teach them to wait until they can improve their "home city" ?
*Workers really like to spam solar farms, even on moistured rocks - not sure if it's me/my misunderstanding of a good economy, but I'd prefer them to build cottages instead. (Works on graben, but does not work on rocks) Especially as Wind traps/turbines normally solve all your needs for hammers...
*Upgrading Shallow Wells etc. - Workers then to upgrade those last - I guess b/c they don't quite understand that +1 Water on that tile is quite valuable ? Right now they rather build even more solar collectors/turbines/forts
*When connecting resources outside of the BFC of cities they really like to spam Forts. It's quite ok, because it still counts as connected then, but is there any way to teach them to just build the regular improvment (dew collector, eg.) ? That way it would be easier to plant new cities w/o needing to raze all those forts...

Overall, I wouldn't dwell on those nudges alot though - I'm always unhappy with worker AI in Civ


-Can't comment on religions spread or spice decay... it feels the same in 1.96 as in 1.95 - on Epic speed though.
What I'm wondering if it's WAI - if I'm not actually working the tile with the spice harvester (e.g. b/c it's outside the BFC), it does not seem to vanish at all. (?)

- Spice civic game options seem to work.
Had one game with random Spice civic, resulting in Harkonnes going for paradise and Ix going for Paradise
Haven't checked if everyone changes Spice civic as soon as possible though.


That's it, thanks for updating

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Old Aug 01, 2011, 12:27 PM   #9
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The only XML file included in the Music pack is CIV4EraInfos.xml so there is no need to change the music pack if new audio defines are added. Presumably, CIV4EraInfos.xml is included in the patch which is why people are needing to re-install the music pack after applying it.

The Suspensor laser combat sounds work fine for me on a fresh install of 1.9.6 so I'm not sure what the issue is. Check that Laser-000.wav, Laser-001.wav, PulseCannon-000.wav and PulseCannon-001.wav are in Dune Wars/Assets/Sounds/Units and the corresponding entries are in AudioDefines.xml and Audio3DScripts.xml, but as I say everything seems OK on a fresh 1.9.6. Even with the latest music pack it still works for me.
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Old Aug 01, 2011, 12:58 PM   #10
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Hey Shakiko, really appreciate the writeup.

Quote:
- Polar Ice extractor seems to have gotten cheaper (just 150 hammers on epic now). Not sure if that's WAI. If it is, I like it. I always liked to build those in 1.95 b/c it basically allows 1-2 free specialists or worked tile per Polar city in EACH of my cities, now its even cheaper to get those.
Also it was quite a "wow" that you get tons of commerce out of worked Ice tiles now.
Yeah, I think both are these were positive steps. They (Polar Water Shippers) could be a little out of reach for small cities that really needed the boost before, which took a lot of the fun out of it and only really made them practical in the cities that needed them the least. The Commerce on ice is also very logical (water was the next most valuable thing on arrakis after spice) and gives a great incentive to own polar real estate without having to build giant cities there.

Quote:
- I can confirm the mess-up with the Music pack.
Installing the pack again after upgrading to 1.96 did the trick though.
Yeah, the 'eras' XML that says which music to play accidentally got included which overwrote this XML file from the Music Pack. I'll fix this in the download today, but for anyone else that's already downloaded it, all that's needed is to reinstall the pack (it shouldn't mess up any of the other sounds added in since 1.9.1 either, I checked and it doesn't alter those files)

Quote:
As Harkonnen I still could rush to Fanatiscm/Bladesman and kill an opponent and cripple another, before they got Guardsmen up... but that feels quite balanced now.
Going for master guardsmen early on means passing on a important economy and growth techs, so if they tend to reach for it too early they'll always fall behind a good human player, so it's tough to balance this stuff. I've been playing on Emperor, no tech trading, and the leading AI's are often able to keep up nicely or even get ahead in military tech at least through the first half of the game.

Of course the other 'limit' on early rushes besides the AI's military technology is the economic ability of the player to absorb the territory (unless you burn most of it ). Often going for an early rush means passing on economy techs yourself and the extra cities can cripple an economy (just see Jester Fool's Dune University game where exactly this happened )

Now, worker AI
Quote:
*If you capture a city containing a worker and automate that worker, it starts improving other cities first. (I guess b/c the freshly city has no culture ring yet.) Any way to teach them to wait until they can improve their "home city" ?
*Workers really like to spam solar farms, even on moistured rocks - not sure if it's me/my misunderstanding of a good economy, but I'd prefer them to build cottages instead. (Works on graben, but does not work on rocks) Especially as Wind traps/turbines normally solve all your needs for hammers...
*Upgrading Shallow Wells etc. - Workers then to upgrade those last - I guess b/c they don't quite understand that +1 Water on that tile is quite valuable ? Right now they rather build even more solar collectors/turbines/forts
*When connecting resources outside of the BFC of cities they really like to spam Forts. It's quite ok, because it still counts as connected then, but is there any way to teach them to just build the regular improvment (dew collector, eg.) ? That way it would be easier to plant new cities w/o needing to raze all those forts...
Long story short, automated workers use the exact same AI code as, well, the AI uses. So a lot of how it operates and what it decides is based around what is good for the AI, but might not be the same priorities a human has. In particular the issue of wether you'd rather solar farms or cottages around a certain city is something automated workers don't know, because, well, they can't read minds obviously. What they decide in these cases depends on how much emphasis the working city thinks (based on city AI code) it needs to place on hammers vs. commerce, but that doesn't always agree with what a human will decided.

What I do think I'll do is make the fort building part (which is a fair choice for the AI's as it makes the resource more defendable) check to see if the worker is owned by a human and build the improvement instead.

In the case of the newly captured city/worker scenario, you can use 'Automate City' and they'll stick with that city only.

Something else I'm going to do, and since you brought up the worker automation I'll mention it, is make an 'Automate Spice' automation for normal workers. This is planned for the next patch and I think will be quite appreciated by players

Again, really appreciate hearing back from players on their experiences, it helps make the mod even better.

Chris
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Old Aug 01, 2011, 01:07 PM   #11
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Hey Deliverator, always good to see you around. I can confirm (noted in the above post) that the 'eras' XML, by accident, was included in the latest patch (I'm about to remove it from it to fix the conflict), and that the Music Pack doesn't change the AudioScript files and so shouldn't cause any problems or require any updates.
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Old Aug 02, 2011, 02:44 PM   #12
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Are there any 'big picture plans' for this mod and a potential 2.0 release?
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Old Aug 03, 2011, 01:01 PM   #13
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The mod is actually getting very close to what I'd tentatively call 'complete' in terms of what I'd like to do with it. There are three 'big' things left on my list really:

- redoing the axlotl tanks code
- rewriting the espionage AI
- several additions to the espionage system to flesh it out a bit more, particularly for those civs that are a little lacking in useful options.

I'm pretty much considering the AI work to be finished except maybe small tweaks, and the espionage AI as mentioned. At present it almost certainly has the best AI of any 'total conversion' mod for Civ4, and I think even better than Better BTS AI that it's largely built on. It also has one of the most fleshed out and balanced set of mechanics of any mod out there as well.

So basically you're looking at the list above being done along with a few smaller things and any bugs, then a new pass over all the concepts and such to make sure the documentation of the game mechanics, etc. is all up to date.

I'm actually likely to be taking a break from the development for a month or two as I've been pretty focused on it for a while and would like to take a little detour for a bit before getting into those things, so the current version is likely to stand for a bit. I feel really good about where it is right now and the planned additions are really just polish on what's already a very good game.
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Old Aug 04, 2011, 12:58 AM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ChrisAdams3997 View Post
The mod is actually getting very close to what I'd tentatively call 'complete' in terms of what I'd like to do with it. There are three 'big' things left on my list really:

- redoing the axlotl tanks code
- rewriting the espionage AI
- several additions to the espionage system to flesh it out a bit more, particularly for those civs that are a little lacking in useful options.

I'm pretty much considering the AI work to be finished except maybe small tweaks, and the espionage AI as mentioned. At present it almost certainly has the best AI of any 'total conversion' mod for Civ4, and I think even better than Better BTS AI that it's largely built on. It also has one of the most fleshed out and balanced set of mechanics of any mod out there as well.

So basically you're looking at the list above being done along with a few smaller things and any bugs, then a new pass over all the concepts and such to make sure the documentation of the game mechanics, etc. is all up to date.

I'm actually likely to be taking a break from the development for a month or two as I've been pretty focused on it for a while and would like to take a little detour for a bit before getting into those things, so the current version is likely to stand for a bit. I feel really good about where it is right now and the planned additions are really just polish on what's already a very good game.
I dare say it is indeed a great game, and a highly enjoyable. Should the artworks of Heavy Troopers be changed to something more 'Dunesque' then one would say this would be the cherry on top of the icing
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Old Aug 04, 2011, 07:10 AM   #15
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Ah, artwork is Deliverator's area. He'd have to take that one on.
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Old Aug 09, 2011, 12:33 PM   #16
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ChrisAdams3997 View Post
Long story short, automated workers use the exact same AI code as, well, the AI uses. So a lot of how it operates and what it decides is based around what is good for the AI, but might not be the same priorities a human has. In particular the issue of wether you'd rather solar farms or cottages around a certain city is something automated workers don't know, because, well, they can't read minds obviously. What they decide in these cases depends on how much emphasis the working city thinks (based on city AI code) it needs to place on hammers vs. commerce, but that doesn't always agree with what a human will decided.
Interesting statement. This makes me curious if automated workers will improve a city based on the city focus selection in the city screen. This being the selection to focus worked tiles on hammers, research, or wealth. In other words, would automated workers know to build more cottages in a resource-focused city and more mines in hammer-focus city?

If so, would automated workers know to do this in vanilla BTS or is this unique to your mod?
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Old Aug 10, 2011, 02:20 PM   #17
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As I recall, the AI workers specifically don't consider city 'emphasis' (that's what focus is refered to in the code), especially since the AI hardly uses it since BTS came out (it seems it was used more prevalently in older versions).

Automated human workers will take it into account, though more specifically this happens at the cityAI level when it's deciding what the best improvement builds in it's worked plots are. The danger in this of course is emphasis is often used as a short term thing (hurry up growing a city or building something), while building an improvement is more of a long term thing (which is why the AI doesn't use it deciding on improvements).

By the way, that should all be standard BTS code, but some of it might be Better BTS AI.
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Old Aug 15, 2011, 08:07 AM   #18
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Looks great guys, I'll try and check it out when I have some time (big backlogs of work to get through at the moment). Did solar farm/cottage construction on polar sink get implemented, as we agreed?

I agree that this is getting pretty close to "finished", and that Espionage is probably the main thing to work on, but I would say that there is also still a fair amount of potential for faction balancing.
See: http://forums.civfanatics.com/showthread.php?t=378226 for some ideas and things.
It would be nice to see Harkonnen as a bit more industrial/polluting, maybe an Atreides Sonic Tank, maybe something else for Bene Gesserit to add some more flavor (though this could work in well with espionage changes). Ecaz could use something else. And we should decide if we're happy forever to leave Fremen as they are, still getting/needing suspensor transports and carryalls to carry around everything that isn't melee.

Playing up the Landsraad mechanic might be fun too, but it would be a ton of coding and AI work, because my understanding is that the vanilla UN code is near useless (eg: aggressive personalities are likely to vote against peace-keeping even when they are militarily outclassed, etc). Also: I've never really understood how the "free trade" vote works. Does it basically mean trade routes act as if you had open borders? So it basically favors someone who is hated and has no open borders (by giving them trade route access), but does little for someone well-liked who already has lots of open borders agreements?

A 2.0 as a final version seems like a good plan.
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Old Aug 16, 2011, 06:49 AM   #19
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This feedback should have belonged to 1.94 oder 1.95, but since the patch didn't change these things it should still be relevant. Was on holidays so I couldn't report it earlier.

I always play at marathon speed. With the latest beta-patches (wich were only beta because of some tweaking) I gave the harkonnens a try, but had to abandon the game due to a weird effect: At Turn 80 or so the first barabarians emerged. Again about 30 turns later (don't remember exactly, but I may check this if needed) Bene Gesserit were wiped off. 110 turns is like nothing at marathon speed. Three turns later, Fremen AND House Atreides were wiped off (both in the same turn), too! Investigation revealed that they all fell to barbarians. House Corrino was still alive but lost their capital to the barbs, so in effect they were dead meat. I was hurt badly by these types, too. Had to reload several times to survive.

I think this is the combined effect of the new AI rules (to bolster their economic progress) AND marathon speed AND the initial strength of barbarians, especially waterstealers. It's hard to have infantry at turn 100 at marathon, but even if you achieve this it's unwise because you fall way behind in economics.

I understand that few players ever test marathon but I got the strong feeling this needs to be adressed...

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Old Aug 16, 2011, 08:18 AM   #20
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Interesting feedback, thanks. Do we know much about barbarian spawning code, and how it varies by game speed?

I've never played Marathon.

I do find that some of the AI changes have weakened the AI's early game military and thus its ability to fight off barbs.

Another possible fix would be to have waterstealers get a city attack penalty. They should be going around pillaging improvements and reducing your water income, we don't really need to have them attacking cities.
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