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[Complex] (7-NS) Elephant Units tech swap

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Yngwie

Chieftain
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Feb 21, 2024
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Problem: Current distribution of elephants in tech tree does not seem to be completely fair and logical. That's why it is proposed to swap their tech requirements.

Naga-Mala

Spoiler :

Current:
Cuirassier replacement
UP: Feared Elephant (-10%CS to adjacent Enemies) + Accuracy 1
Available on Gunpowder (Earlier than Cuirassier).
30 CS / 30 ranged CS,

Proposal:
Replacement for a Knight (Melee animation of Naresuan)
UP: Feared Elephant + Add ranged strike at 50% CS before attacking (same as Impi ability "Ranged Support Fire")
Available on Chivalry
24 CS

Rationale:
It’s basically strange that Naga-Mala has only ranged attack and don’t use the power of massive elephants to crush enemies. More than that, the current skirmisher with 3 Movement points is a very confusing Unit. Additionally it replaces a Unit with pistols, but only possesses the simplest bows(however require Gunpowder to unlock).
This proposal will make Naga-Mala a bit logical and more interesting to use.


Naresuan’s Elephant
Spoiler :

Current:
Tech: Chivalry
26 CS
Proposal:
Tech: Metallurgy
39 CS
All abilities stay the same (therefore not mentioned)
Rationale:
Firstly. It is needed to compensate Naga-Mala change and to maintain the current balance of Elephants in tech tree. Secondly, historically it is a Unit of 16 century – therefore closer to Renaissance than to the medieval.


War Elephant
Spoiler :

Current:
16 CS
Tech: Military Strategy
Proposal:
18 CS
Tech Mathematics

Rationale:
To ride elephants the Civ should know both trapping (Camp improvement) and Animal Husbandry. Therefore mathematics is a perfect tech to act as the requirement for this Unit (need both Trapping and Animal Husbandry to be researched). More than that, this Unit is expensive (125 Prod.) and therefore deserve more power, which means later availability.


MAGI: Complex proposal, requires database changes and new animations
 
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ride elephants the Civ should know both trapping (Camp improvement) and Animal Husbandry. Therefore mathematics is a perfect tech to act as the requirement for this Unit (need both Trapping and Animal Husbandry to be researched).
We haven't generally taken this route, but I'd prefer that if we wanted them to require trapping and animal husbandry, we actually gate them to those two techs -- past civ franchise games have gone this way, imo it's more thematically satisfying than to piggy back on the following tech.

Mathematics and elephant riding are probably the two most disparate concepts we've mashed together thus far... At least with calendar archers we can say the archers gotta keep track of the days to know when to, like, string their bows or somethin -- why do I need to know math to ride an elephant?? Not my favorite way to do this stuff

We could have a khedda available at trapping and the unit itself available at husbandry -- must have khedda to build the unit. This was a suggestion from last round, though only lukewarm reception
 
It's already soft gated to both Trapping and Military Strategy. You need Trapping to improve Ivory, or pay a hefty amount to buy the only Ivory copy from someone else.
 
Well, i got the idea that Elephants on Mathematics is too strange. But anyway, Current War Elephants have too high Production Cost to be that weak (125 in Ancient is just too much). If it's better not to move them to next line, but reduce Production Cost then?
 
Replacement for a Knight (Melee animation of Naresuan)
UP: Feared Elephant + Add ranged strike at 50% CS before attacking (same as Impi ability "Ranged Support Fire")
does anyone know how changes to the animations are made? can this be done with database changes only?
 
does anyone know how changes to the animations are made? can this be done with database changes only?
I think it can maybe be done with database only but it's obscure, dark magic level stuff for most of this community. There are all kinds of timing tags and triggers to setup, especially for unit it is complex beyond most database tasks.
 
does anyone know how changes to the animations are made? can this be done with database changes only?
No. It has to be done in the graphics files. Without any modification, a unit with only melee attack animations (as opposed to say gunpowder and armor units that have ranged attack animations) will do [literally nothing]* graphically during their ranged attack, before moving in to do the melee attack.

This currently works on GDR because its melee attack animation works like a ranged attack animation.

* either that or they will use the city attack animation (throwing flaming torches); I can't recall which one.
 
No. It has to be done in the graphics files. Without any modification, a unit with only melee attack animations (as opposed to say gunpowder and armor units that have ranged attack animations) will do [literally nothing]* graphically during their ranged attack, before moving in to do the melee attack.

This currently works on GDR because its melee attack animation works like a ranged attack animation.

* either that or they will use the city attack animation (throwing flaming torches); I can't recall which one.
I think if we made a new unit using the existing assets, it could be done by configuring the extracted ftsxml/fxsxml files correctly.

If you just give the existing unit a different attack type in the units table, doesn't work as noted above. But if you modify the ftsxml stuff, which is a database level task of sorts, something can be accomplished to reassign animations and effects to different units. Its very intricate stuff though, I don't know how to do it for animations, only the particle effects.
 
ftsxml/fxsxml files
this is what I meant as graphical files.

If you just give the existing unit a different attack type in the units table, doesn't work as noted above. But if you modify the ftsxml stuff, which is a database level task of sorts, something can be accomplished to reassign animations and effects to different units. Its very intricate stuff though, I don't know how to do it for animations, only the particle effects.
I should have check a little more closely, but the unit he wants to modify is currently a ranged unit, so the main work is to add a melee attack animation if it doesn't already have one. It already has the ranged attack animation which I think will natively be used for RSF.
 
this is what I meant as graphical files.
yes fair enough, I believe for the built-in units these are all encrypted along with the actual textures and 3d models -- but they are readable and editable much like an xml file. Then there are also gr2 and dds files -- these are moreso what I consider the "graphical" files. Other CF users have demonstrated that it is all within reach to edit, but generally not something we do a lot of even as modders and VP devs. Between modifying the ftsxml/fxsxml files vs gr2/dds, the former is much more database-like and accessible, but even so its very complex, the time involved to swap a melee animation to a ranged animation, line up all the triggers etc., there's lots and lots of fine detail that needs precise adjustment. But its less work than creating a whole new animation within the gr2
 
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