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A mod-mod: "Dune Wars Reduced"

Discussion in 'Civ4 - Dune Wars' started by davidlallen, Aug 1, 2009.

  1. keldath

    keldath LivE LonG AnD PrOsPeR

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    mmm....not fun.

    what else flaws the combat in the mod?
     
  2. Ahriman

    Ahriman Tyrant

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    Its hard to tell when the movement rate issue is so dominating.
    It used to be the necessity of strategic resources for so many units (being without crystal was crippling) and the fact that hovers were better than any other units of their tech-tier, but you guys have improved those significantly.

    AH27
    Btw: can I also make a call for increasing groundwater spawn rate in the mapscripts and/or adding some +water buildings? Most of the map is unuseable for decent cities (which hurts the AI badly since it is so bad at city placement and tries to build cities dense enough to work every available tile) and even decent cities are hard to grow to a significant level.

    Also:
    AH28
    Little maker seems very strange. It gives no tile yield bonus, and is a strategic resource that allows a single resource for a single faction. I'd cut it, its purpose is too narrow (and those while whales look weird).
    Sandtrout should also give a tile yield bonus with the improvement.
     
  3. davidlallen

    davidlallen Deity

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    (numbering ... issue loss ...)

    In 1.4.2 there are roads. Do you still feel that movement is the crippling problem? Then roads did not help. We (hopefully koma) will work to fix the load/pillage/reload exploit. Specifically what else should we add?

    I am adding some +water% buildings in 1.4.4 tomorrow. I can also bump up the groundwater rate. Do you feel that there are too many basic plant resources? There are six, with almost all the same in-game effect. If we bump up groundwater there will be slightly less of anything else, and percentage-wise, these six plant types are not adding much.

    Sandtrout and little maker have been in since the initial "repaint". I agree they do not do much now, but I would like to leave them there for now until we can focus on adding a little more of the "spice lifecycle" to the game.
     
  4. Ahriman

    Ahriman Tyrant

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    The roads definitely help. I just haven't had time to play it enough yet. And in Keldath's modified version at least, roads are buildable on desert tiles, so they start getting weird.

    It will be easier to evaluate once they are more limited.

    No, I like these.
     
  5. Deliverator

    Deliverator Graphical Hackificator

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    I should have said - I'm doing a fixed and polished version of the spice. I'll put it in the Art Thread tomorrow.
     
  6. keldath

    keldath LivE LonG AnD PrOsPeR

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    Deliverator.......took me 2 hours...oh well :)
     
  7. Deliverator

    Deliverator Graphical Hackificator

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    Sorry. :blush: It is a pain to work with that spice.

    The version I've got now is completely flicker free I'm pleased to say, and I've fixed a few other things with it.
     
  8. keldath

    keldath LivE LonG AnD PrOsPeR

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    no worries buddy, whats 2 hours in the hundreds of hours that we are swimming in civ huh?

    :)
     
  9. davidlallen

    davidlallen Deity

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    I highly advise you use civcheck, or some other method, to avoid undefined names in your files. There are five undefined names in your techinfos file: TECH_DESERT_PLAMTATION, TECH_MIND_LOGIC, TECH_SADN_FARMS, TECH_WEIRDING_WAYY, TECH_WINDS_OF_ARRAKIS. Also I see you have added back many of the techs I deleted, even though they are empty.

    I have most of the building rewrite done on paper. After I enter it and test it a little, I am going to do a *strong* pruning of the tech tree. It is way too complicated and too empty. I will try to balance out the total costs so that you cannot research everything in the tree too easily. But fair warning, it is about to get a lot smaller.
     
  10. Ahriman

    Ahriman Tyrant

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    I think shrinking the tech tree is fine, but you should probably also increase tech beaker costs at the same time, to make sure that there really is enough time with each tier of units before they become obsolete.
     
  11. Kjara

    Kjara Warlord

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    On the whole roads issue-You could have a promotion only gained in cultural borders that gives a move boost(on the order of the homeland ffh promotion--call it familiar ground or something) to avoid having roads but still give the defender an advantage.

    Edit: this would let you limit it to infantry and perhaps wheeled vehicles if wanted as well.

    Edit2:VV I may not have been clear, I meant a free promotion(that doesn't take exp), that is automatically added when you are inside your own borders and automatically removed once you leave them.
     
  12. keldath

    keldath LivE LonG AnD PrOsPeR

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    Ahriman,

    yeah, either make the cost of the techs higher to compensate for the shrinking.

    i rather have the extra techs, with lower cost, i think its less boring - think about it,
    what would you prefer when playing, learning a tech in a 100 turns, or learn 2 in 50 each?
    i think is more interesting and less boring.

    Kjara,
    i agree with this, ive suggested promotions also for movement boost, can be done by special buildings that gives these promotions also instead of combat.
     
  13. davidlallen

    davidlallen Deity

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    OK, I made a lot of progress tonight but I am not quite ready to release. 12 hours from now I am going offline for the weekend, I will try to put up my changes before then.

    New building tree

    Lots of changes. I deleted about 20 buildings. The total number of buildings is slightly less than vanilla. It turns out almost all of the wonders in DW were "repaints" of the original wonders, with a few random ones added. I removed most of the random ones unless they had a good concept. I reused a lot of the good names. I have not tried very hard with the building art yet. There are a lot of copies of courthouse and factory buildings, and a lot of copies of the spaceport button.

    I have attached a spreadsheet which I found very helpful. The grey color lines are vanilla buildings, the other ones are DW buildings. They are grouped by tier, with page breaks. The first section is vanilla buildings tier 1-5, then DW buildings tier 1-5. Then 6-10, 11-15, 16-20. Then all the wonders, tiers 1-10 and then 11-20; the vanilla ones have the names of the "repainted" DW ones. At the end are the buildings popped by GP. This makes it as easy as possible to compare the vanilla buildings to the DW set.

    One thing I notice is that vanilla has three bonuses that give "double production speed" usually of wonders: marble, stone, iron. DW has one, iron, except that stravidium slipped in there once. I'd like to get another resource like that. I was thinking of adding an unlimited offworld contract for marble, since Arrakis isn't likely to have any of that, and it's helpful for building all sorts of monuments. Maybe we could add stone as a resource, that shouldn't be hard to find.

    Several of the buildings are underpowered, but I'm a little stuck how to give them more: spice refinery, market, and spaceport.

    Any feedback is welcome.

    Comments on "1.4.3"

    Today keldath put up a modified units and techs files, which I have called "1.4.3" so we can keep in order. The unit tree seems mostly the same as 1.4.2, which is fine. I did not carefully check all the relative unit strengths. The upgrade tree seems a little odd. It is possible to upgrade to Ginaz Warrior, which definitely seems wrong. Several of the units are missing from the upgrade tree, notably the Bee Sting and suspensor gunship. It may be worthwhile to cross-check.

    I am very frightened by the tech tree. Keldath has said he is very happy with it, so I am reluctant to change it. However, it is huge, and very empty. Granted I have made it a little emptier by removing 20 buildings. But still! It has 109 techs in it. By comparison, vanilla has 92, HOTK has 94, and FFH has 85. The FFH tech tree is shaped very differently, but it is clearly a popular mod and that indicates a large number of techs is not required. It may argue that a large number of techs is bad.

    I would be in favor of cutting down the number of techs by at least 20. But I do not plan to touch it.

    Comments on roads

    I have done a little more research. Ahriman has pointed out that you can build roads on desert waste. Actually, a worker can build a road anywhere he can walk, and there are no xml or python hooks to control that. So a midgame worker can build roads on deep desert also. This is not good. Also, there is no way to remove fast movement for thopters and carryalls on roads, unless we include JRouteNative.

    So I am leaning towards taking roads out again. In exchange, I propose:

    * Add two roller units low in the tech tree, with a setup similar to the light scorp (move 2, + vs suspensor, - city atk)

    * Decrease suspensor strength till they are painfully weak. I had not intended to have "cruiser" class units, the strength seems to have crept upwards.

    * Add the flag "cannot pillage" to all thopters.

    * I had thought about reducing suspensor movement by half, and then giving them double move on desert. But the two lowest suspensors only have move 2, so that does not quite seem right. So I guess we would leave those the same.
     
  14. keldath

    keldath LivE LonG AnD PrOsPeR

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    hey david,

    tech tree - well if you removed 20 buildings...then we can vut down techs....
    its just that i wanted to give a longer life span to the units.
    there isnt a rule that states that we have to shape the mod just like hotk ot ffh or the rest.

    the bee sting - i made a rocket trooper - missile trooper - be sting upgrade tree - hence they all aa troopers.


    personally, i rather not skim the buildings, but...im going with the flow.

    upgrade tree of units - i did my best to make everything consistent, i made the ginaz w to be upgraded to a moongoose)ive also made him as a defensive unit - cause i didnt want to make the lasgun units as defensive - this is probably wrong, but later on i think ill add a defensive unit instead of the ginaz, and the ginaz it self will be changed back to an attacker as should be), theres two upgrade trees for infantries - one - defensive troops, and second the attacking troops.
    as for their strengths, i walked carefully on all of them.


    *****
    as for art:
    i strongly suggest, that we keep a standard art type to the buildings - building art isnt that important, and the bigger the mod is, the more art it contains - the slower the game gets on late stages.
    i know this from exp, and its my modding motto. theres no need to have tons of buildings art - its something we can pass cause it will reduce mod size.
    buttons are ok to change, they weight nothing..


    at this point i want to note, that im working on a modmod to this modmod ...
    after we will release 1.4 of davids, ill release a modmod of my own, that just adds extra stuff,
    hope no one is objecting, im just making something that i like a bit more,
    it wont impair y work on davids mod, since im building mine ontop of this current.

    anyway, david, good job,
    i see what techs i can chop down.

    *****david - the grayed parts of the excel sheet - are the buildings removed?
     
  15. Ahriman

    Ahriman Tyrant

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    I would rather play a mod where most of the techs actually make sense in being technological/organizational/philosophical (re)discoveries of Dune stuff in the Shaddam IV-era of Dune. Lots of the current techs really don't fit this. Why is Cycle of Dune a tech - the Cycle is the recreation of sand worms from sand trout? Why is Diaspora a tech - this takes place 3500 years later? Lots of similar things like this.

    * * * * *

    Building comments:
    Why does the Monument need to become obsolete? I see no reason for this. Its particularly lame that the monument that gives it becomes obsolete before the monument itself does.
    Why does the defense grid need to become obsolete? Its easier just to make lasgun troops ignore city walls. Its annoying because sometimes you want to be able to build citadels for the bonus trade route, but you can't because they required the defense grid which you can't build anymore.

    I like having buildings that give +water, but +50% water during the first age (low-tech buildings) might be too much.
    I don't understand why the weather scanner would increase water yield; my idea of a weather scanner and why it increased desert tile bonuses was that this was something that scanned for sandstorms and such out in the desert, and so people listening to their radio-equivalents would be able to avoid storms more easily, and so commerce would be more effective (less risk of dying in a sandstorm).
    I also think that +water buildings can easily start with a lower bonus (15%) and then gain a higher one with a new tech.

    Market seems fine to me; if you think its weak then reduce its hammer cost to say 120.

    The Reservoir of Liet needs a higher tech requirement; push it into a later Age.

    What is a space center? And how does it differ from a spaceport? And why does it give a beaker yield? We could just call it Observatory, since those do show up in the book.

    Why does the Desert Dock only show up in the 3rd age? there are suspensor units from pretty early on. Can its description be changed so that it says Suspensor units, rather than Deep Desert units, which doesn't show up as a describer anywhere else?

    Can the espionage buildings be spread out more across the ages? It seems strange to me that there is nothing, then the tribunal, then 3 buildings that all have massive espionage point yields.

    Ecology research center seems very over-priced, it should give some other bonus or be much cheaper.

    I don't understand why Frigate tranportation is a building, or why it gives health bonuses, or why it has synergy with Water Discipline civic.

    Water refinery sounds good. I guess the idea here is that you can learn to get even more water content out of the vegetation that grows.
    If the greenhouse building gives +15% water and a further +10% with a higher tech, and then this one gives +25%, for a total of +50%, and you tweak up the spawn rate of groundwater and maybe a few of the other water-producing bonuses, that will probably be sufficient. Put the weather scanner back to its old purpose.

    Why is the airfield so late in the tech tree, when aerial units are avialable so much earlier?

    Fusion plant. Change this so that it adds +25% hammers, rather than giving power, or make the factory give +25% hammers with power.

    Merge bomb shelters with bunekrs, the buildings are too boring otherwise.

    CHOAM commerce exchange underpowered. Have it give +1 free trader.

    A late-game buiding that gives tile yield bonuses to cottages would be pretty good (a replacement for the Levee?), these become weak late-game compared to specialists. The top end is pretty empty anyway, maybe we can brainstorm some more useful ones.

    I have no particular Wonder thoughts, except that the David Lynch museum breaks immersion and isn't that funny.
     
  16. Ahriman

    Ahriman Tyrant

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    Strongly support tech-cutting, particularly at the very empty upper end of the tree.
    Its important to have decent time between eras and unit tiers, but this can be achieved better with higher tech beaker costs than with inclusion of unfocused techs.
    Every tech should be a clearly understandable improvement.
    This is one of the great things about the vanilla tree; we know human history so it is easy to imagine what each tech development represents (we know what a compass is and why it matters for navigation, we understand the importance of gunpowder, etc.). Its more of a challenge to do this for a sci-fi mod, but this should be the goal, to make sure that every tech has a clearly useful purpose. No filler.

    THere is no way to control what type of terrains the road improvement can be built on? surely somewhere you can limit it. You can limit what terrain every other improvement type is built on. Why not allow roads to only be built on mesa, rock, badlands, plains and grassland tiles (and not on hills or peaks)?

    As long as infantry units (and the specialist AA/AT infantrY) are only 1 move in friendly borders, the core problem remains.
     
  17. keldath

    keldath LivE LonG AnD PrOsPeR

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    Ahriman,

    good feedback,

    well, ill wait on davids files and ill do some countdown in the tech tree, ill take out around 15, and raise the cost of others.

    some of the tech names are just made up, i would be happy if you can assist with the tech names and the logical flow.
     
  18. davidlallen

    davidlallen Deity

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    Please recall that the Ginaz warrior is melee, and requires an offworld resource. I do not think it should be in the upgrade tree at all.

    As I wrote above, the grey sections are the vanilla buildings, for comparison.

    I agree that would be a great idea. There are no hooks to do it, short of adding to the sdk. Maniac has confirmed this in this thread, but he has also indicated the sdk function CvPlot::canBuild which would need to be modified. This would be a koma project.

    I like the idea of the automatic double move promotion inside cultural borders suggested by kjara above. This would have to be an sdk thing from the runtime performance standpoint. If we cannot restrict the terrain type for road or add this promotion, how about adding three roller units, one of which is a mobile SAM?

    Your mileage may vary. I think it is an amusing inside reference. But then, I like the two headed cows in Fury Road also.

    I need to think a little more about your other building comments, but in general, some of the things you are commenting about are leftovers from vanilla and the "repainting". For example, monument and defense grid both become obsolete in vanilla. I guess we have to study obsoleteness more carefully; one of your earliest comments is that in the late game, there are too many building choices *because* nothing became obsolete.
     
  19. keldath

    keldath LivE LonG AnD PrOsPeR

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    yeah you right, i forgot its a contracted unit.


    i wanna offer -

    can i add a rover class unit that will act as anti infantry support and later in the tech tree as city defenders?
    3 units to add, what do you think?
     
  20. Ahriman

    Ahriman Tyrant

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    If it is eventually superseded by another melee unit, it should be able to upgrade to that. But nothing should be able to upgrade *to* it.

    But two-headed cows could exist after a nuclear holocaust. David Lynch is never going to show up on Arrakis. The former is plausible (at least in a genre sense) and so doesn't break immersion, the latter isn't. But this is a minor point.

    Maybe. But the AI will still get kneecapped in general by an inability to move its 1 move infantry around its territory at less than a crawl. As long as infantry are 1 move the AI is still pretty crippled.
    Well, you've cut a lot of late-game buildings already. There now aren't many there. And really cheap things like Monuments will have already been built long before.
     

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