(6-CP) Recon Unit Line - Swap 'Ignore Terrain Cost' for 'Ignore ZoC' & Adjust Promotions

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Tekamthi

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Counterproposal to: https://forums.civfanatics.com/threads/6-50-movement-scout.685953/page-2#post-16517916

Try-before-you-buy: this is a game-tested proposal, adjusted over several months by several community members for optimal balance; see attachment to this post or this thread.

Rationale
Gameplay-wise, this proposal does only the following, nothing else:

Primary Effects
  • fixes the complaint that recon shouldn't be faster in forest than mounted are in open
  • maintains good mobility for recon in rough terrain (eg. 1 MP per forest plot vs 0.5 in status quo vs 2 for all other units)
  • maintains early mobility balance for pathfinder exploration
Secondary Effects
  • eliminates choice required to obtain all-important ZoC bonus
  • adds option to cross ice with recon 1-tech tier before explorer becomes available
  • fills-in scouting promo branch with naval-equivalents to existing land-based bonuses

Proposed Implementation:

New Promotions:
Ignore ZoC​
  • replaces 'ignore terrain cost' on all recon
  • ignores Zone of Control
  • no other features (ignore terrain recently began adding a combat bonus? is this necessary?)
Pathfinding​
  • free to all pathfinder-equivalent units, not available to any others
  • temporary, 20 turn duration
  • double movement in all rough terrain (ie hills & forest/jungle), snow, desert, marsh
  • can cross rivers without penalty (movement & attack)
Arctician​
  • requires Physics tech
  • requires TB3 or SV3 promos
  • can cross ice
  • +15% combat strength in snow
Adjusted Promotions:
Trailblazer 1​
  • add double move in Marsh
Trailblazer 2​
  • remove 'Ignore ZoC'
  • add double heal in oasis
Trailblazer 3​
  • add double move in hills
Scouting 1​
  • add +1 embark vision
  • add +5% embark defense
Scouting 2​
  • add +1 embark vision
  • add +10% embark defense
Scouting 3​
  • add +1 naval move
  • add +15% embark defense
Embarked Vision Bugfix:
I reported this on github a while ago, here. It will need to be fixed for this proposal to work correctly (embark vision specifically; but there's no downside to fixing it):​
  • In brief, all units that embark currently have '0' embark vision, but the dll/engine doesn't allow 0 to display as 0 in game, so every units gets 1 embark vision effect regardless of their actual assigned integer value. In other words, a unit w/ a defined value of 1 embark vision behaves just as unit w/ 0 value embark vision. So, given that everything has 0 vision, and 0 = 1 vision-effect-wise, to give extra embark vision effect in-game, the bonus promo has to give +2 integer value embark vision -- and if you stack two of these suddenly you're getting extra embark vision that was not intended.
  • Solution: change all the embarkation-granting promos to give 1 embark vision (they currently give 0), and all promos granting extra/bonus embark vision, to also give 1 embark vision (they currently give 2) -- the embark bonus vision promos will stack correctly this way. I think i've caught them all in the attachment but may have overlooked some cases.


Database Changes
 

Attachments

  • Recon Pay Terrain Cost (v 3).civ5mod
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so newly created recon units lose ignore terrain after 20 turns?
 
so newly created scouts have to slog through forests 1 tile at a time if you don't have a barracks
 
So if 20 turn counter ends, unit will be stuck on an island? AI is stupid enough to let it. Humans too if they will not check that from time to time, which means more micro management.
 
unit will be stuck on an island?
I'm not sure I follow here, can you elaborate on the situation you have in mind?

unit still needs TB3 or w/e currently enables embark to get to any islands -- the pathfinder promo simply serves as a stand-in for the ignore terrain (its effects are almost identical to ignore terrain, on its own, in most plots), intended to maintain balance during the very first turns when exploration and goody huts are most critical. w/o the pathfinder promo, I'd still argue the overall movement regime is better, but there will be imbalances for poor terrain starts -- however this promo should only be necessary balance-wise at game start, by twenty turns most 1st & 2nd pathfinders will have several promotions, and thus the opportunity to maintain their terrain movement if desired.

alternatively I had it previously set to last til pathfinder is upgraded -- this is almost as good, however it then creates a dynamic where scout feels like a downgrade, and I had to buff scout base moves to 3 to compensate -- having the pathfinder promo as a temporary, timed thing is less change overall than the alternatives, and selected for that reason.
 
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I'm not sure I follow here, can you elaborate on the situation you have in mind?

unit still needs TB3 or w/e currently enables embark to get to any islands -- the pathfinder promo simply serves as a stand-in for the ignore terrain (its effects are almost identical to ignore terrain, on its own, in most plots), intended to maintain balance during the very first turns when exploration and goody huts are most critical. w/o the pathfinder promo, I'd still argue the overall movement regime is better, but there will be imbalances for poor terrain starts -- however this promo should only be necessary balance-wise at game start, by twenty turns most 1st & 2nd pathfinders will have several promotions, and thus the opportunity to maintain their terrain movement if desired.

alternatively I had it previously set to last til pathfinder is upgraded -- this is almost as good, however it then creates a dynamic where scout feels like a downgrade, and I had to buff scout base moves to 3 to compensate -- having the pathfinder promo as a temporary, timed thing is less change overall than the alternatives, and selected for that reason.
Ah, ok. My bad. I though you allow embark for 20 turns. Sorry.
 
So if 20 turn counter ends, unit will be stuck on an island? AI is stupid enough to let it. Humans too if they will not check that from time to time, which means more micro management.
Yeah, the incompatibility with automated and AI units is a problem. I don't see why to make this change.
 
Yeah, the incompatibility with automated and AI units is a problem. I don't see why to make this change.

this is a misconception, already addressed:

So if 20 turn counter ends, unit will be stuck on an island? AI is stupid enough to let it.
unit still needs TB3 or w/e currently enables embark to get to any islands -- the pathfinder promo simply serves as a stand-in for the ignore terrain (its effects are almost identical to ignore terrain, on its own, in most plots), intended to maintain balance during the very first turns when exploration and goody huts are most critical.
Ah, ok. My bad. I though you allow embark for 20 turns. Sorry.


In OP, I mainly listed the specific database changes required to accomplish this proposal, and the confusion is my fault for not clarifying the rationale well here. The core change in this proposal is to remove ignore terrain cost from all recon, in all instances -- that's pretty much all you'll notice as player -- movement bonuses are adjusted to make the result as "samey" as possible.

Out of all the current recon proposals, this one proposes the least change from status quo. This proposal is also the only game-tested proposal this round -- in other congress threads this round I have posted proof-of-concept implementations of some ideas, tested only via IGE/firetuner test cases -- but this one here has been played in full games. Solutions to balance issues have been incrementally added over months: there are certainly no incompatibilities. Recall that a working proto-type of the proposal is attached to OP: play ancient and classical with this mod loaded and investigate any edge case concerns etc, i promise you there are no game-breakers, its 100% game-ready.

Here are what I believe to be the contentious issues potential sponsors/voters should be focused on with this proposal:
  • Underlying assumption with this proposal is that the current long-standing promo structure for the recon line is pretty good, that a complete re-design is NOT needed.
  • Most common complaint about recon, that they move as fast or faster in bad terrain than mounted in good terrain, is 100% fixed.
  • Some say ignore terrain cost MUST remain on recon, as its their key, defining characteristic. Others say its not ignore cost necessarily, but just their general mobility in rough terrain, their easy access to ignore ZoC, and their collection of XP from exploration that defines them as a unique unit line. This proposal strongly favors the latter position.
    • freeing up 'ignore terrain cost' makes room for a return of zeppelins, and/or expansion of helicopter lines whether via modmod or future proposal
    • 'ignore terrain cost' affects movement in water too, should VP or modmodders ever attempt to add water features -- its a very flat and broad effect
  • while really a non-core feature, imported from other proposal, the ice crossing promo is nonetheless included in OP, and this requires a CustomModOption to be enabled that has long been disabled.
edit: updated OP to better summarize proposed change & its purpose
 
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I'll sponsor and let the community decide, I suppose.
 
I appreciate it! If I were to boil it down to one single point, this proposal really just eliminates the too-high-mobility-in-rough while keeping everything else same. Does community want just a fix to the movement wonkiness? If so this is the proposal for that. If community wants bigger re-design of promotion structure, the other proposals do that much better, some more than others.
 
MAGI - This thread is locked to allow all discussions to take place on the poll thread (6-48).
 
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