[Vote] (6-28) Changes to Ivory Distribution and/or War Elephants

Approval Vote (select all options you'd be okay with)


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axatin

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Proposal (6-28): Add Ivory to Additional Tiles and Change Distribution

Proposal:

-Ivory is allowed to spawn on featureless plains, jungle plains, jungle grassland, or featureless grassland (if other types aren't available)
-Ivory will continue to flatten any tiles it spawns on, but will not remove jungle.
-Ivory is spread out across the map similarly to marble, with similar frequency.

Reasoning:
Gameplay:
-Ivory is rarely seen when playing Communitu_79a, the officially supported map. This is believed to be due to it's restrictive spawn requirements.
-Ivory is unique among luxury resources in that the ability to create a unit depends on access to it. Therefore, it makes more sense to treat Ivory like marble (a luxury resource that provides a localized benefit) and have it spread out across the map rather than clustered. This has the effect of increasing the number of civs with access to War Elephants.

Realism:
-Indian elephants are not well represented by Ivory appearing only in plains.

Intended outcome:
-Ivory appears in more types of terrain and is more commonly found on maps
-Ivory is spread out across the map like marble rather than grouped like other Luxury resources

Considerations:
-Ivory is a camp luxury, which are somewhat less common.
-Ivory currently forces the terrain it spawns on to become plains. This may no longer be desired, but I'm not clear on the code as to whether this should be part of the proposal.
-Some improvements may not look good if they are built on Jungle tiles, particularly those from civ mods (Scotland). Needs testing.
-Extra production/gold on jungle tiles will help remedy the perceived lack of production for Jungle heavy cities, but may unbalance/overpower jungle starts.
-(underlying issues) The AI may not understand that Ivory is a requirement for the War Elephant, and may not properly prioritize War Elephant production. The AI may trade away it's only Ivory resource even if it is building or plans to build War Elephants. Do War Elephants lose the ability to heal if the source of Ivory is lost (possible unique behavior vs units that require strategics)?
-War Elephants may not be well balanced or competitive in their current design and requirements. This is a separate issue that can be better reviewed and addressed after Ivory is more prevalent.
-Barbarians can now spawn War Elephants. Making Ivory more prevalent may lead to stronger barbarians in general.

Original thread: Add Ivory to Additional Tiles and Change Distribution by @dostillevi


Proposal (6-28a): Make War Elephant Only Gifted By City-States

Proposal:

Remove the War Elephant as a unit that can be normally trained and make it a unit that can only be gifted by city-states (like for example the Ballista).

Rationale: As mentioned in the OP, the fact that War Elephants require Ivory to be built makes Ivory unique compared to all other luxuries and creates problems regarding its distribution on the map and the AI valuation of the resource. However, it's an inconsistency to begin with that out of all units in the game we have that one unit that requires a luxury resource and not a strategic one in order to be constructed. The Ivory isn't consumed when the unit is built, making the requirement even more inconsistent compared to the regular resource requirements.

Instead of trying to change resource distributions to support that one marginal unit, it's easier and more consistent to just remove it altogether. It can be a unit that's given only by city-states, which is a solution that's also only used for some other units.

Original thread: Make War Elephant Only Gifted By City-States by @axatin


Proposal (6-28b): Distribute Ivory Like Marble and Allow It To Spawn In Grassland Jungle

Proposal:

Ivory spawns clumped together like a monopoly luxury --> Ivory is scattered across the map (like marble is)
Ivory spawns on open plains only --> Ivory spawns on open plains and also on grassland jungle, and when it does so it removes the tile's trees (and also flattens the hill if needed. this flattening is not new behavior)

Rationale:
Ivory is not balanced around having trees on its tile, so the trees should be removed.
This is also a good opportunity to help even out the anomaly of grassland jungle's lack of production.

The rest of the rationale is similar to the original proposal:
Having ivory spawn in singles across the map instead of needing a large swath of plains to spawn a full group makes it much more likely to actually appear on the map. This also makes it much more possible for war elephants to exist.

Original thread: Distribute Ivory Like Marble and Allow It To Spawn In Grassland Jungle by @rkkn


Proposal (6-28c): Move Ivory to the Special Placement List Like Marble

On game start, all luxuries are classified into 5 lists.

Special list: Marble always goes here. Each luxury in this list has its special function for placement.
Regional list: Each player's monopoly. All of them are to be placed within a single region.
City-State exclusive list: Only appears within CS. One of them has a 75% chance to appear in each CS's territory (otherwise a regional/random one is used).
Random list: These are scattered randomly around the world.
Disabled list: The rest. Not available on the map.

Ivory has 2.5% chance to appear in CS list, 4% chance to appear in grass region's regional list, and 14.3% chance to appear in plains region's regional list. Without hitting any of these, it falls right into the Disabled list since it can't be in the Random list.

Proposal:
Since it offers a unique benefit like Marble, I propose to move it to the Special list which will make it available every game, distributed across the map.

Amount will be 0.75 * number of civs, same as Marble.

Original thread: Move Ivory to the Special Placement List Like Marble by @azum4roll
 
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As I read it, 6-28c is exactly the same as 6-28, but without changes to which tiles Ivory can spawn on. Is that correct?
 
6-28c is exactly the same as 6-28b, but doesn't spawn on and remove jungles.
 
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