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Advanced Civ

Discussion in 'Civ4 - Modpacks' started by f1rpo, Apr 16, 2017.

  1. FrozenShadows

    FrozenShadows Chieftain

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    Thankyou again. I appreciate it greatly. I personally wont be bothered by the turn timers that much so I really appreciate it. I understand the limitations for the game and it all boils down to it only running on a single core processor even if you have more. ...Which would require a complete rewriting of the code from the ground up in order to resolve and thats just not something I think anyone wants to do. Especially for free. Personally I hope they remaster the game with that much needed change.
    Ive been trying to work on a Earth map for myself to make it further accurate compared to what ive seen and I just need the dll for civ placements and its been driving me nuts cause of the aformentioned problem of not knowing how to code C++.

    I wait in anticipation!
     
  2. f1rpo

    f1rpo plastics

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    Edit (Dec 2018): DLL for v0.94 with 48 civs
    Edit (Aug 2018): DLL for v0.93 with 48 civs

    Well, in this case, it would be simplest to use this DLL, which only increases the civ limit. Also, the coding is just changing a single number, but if you wanted to do it by yourself, you'd have to download and configure the proper compiler in order to generate the DLL file, and that's a bit of a hassle.

    Anyway, I've put v0.89 on GitHub. I need to test it some more before putting it in the CFC database, but it's mostly the new "Rise & Fall" option that I haven't tested enough; I'm cautiously optimistic about the other changes. If you want to download this preliminary version and use more than 18 civs, you'll need to download the v0.89 master branch, unzip it, rename the AdvCiv-ee... folder to just AdvCiv and replace the DLL in the Assets folder with this one (to be renamed to CvGameCoreDLL.dll).
    (I've set the limit to 48 instead of 50 because that's what the Better AI mod used to do. I don't suppose it makes a difference really.)

    A warning: When I tried playing a scenario with the 48-civ DLL, I noticed that all 48 civs have to be defined in the scenario file (as it's done in the vanilla Civ 4 Earth.Civ4WorldBuilderSave), otherwise, the game crashes when the scenario starts. Of course the two DLLs are also incompatible when it comes to ordinary savegames.
    As for the limited number of civilizations, the problem appears to be that the civs are stored in a fixed-size array, meaning that each time that the code iterates over all civs, it goes through all 18 (or 48) even if only 7 of them are actually alive. And these iterations happen all the time because the game doesn't keep any frequently used subsets of civs in memory. Wanna do something for all members of a team? You'll have to go through all civs and check which ones are part of the team. Or all war enemies of a given civ, all its vassals ... But, yes, if multiple cores were used, performance would be less of an issue overall.
     
    Last edited: Dec 4, 2018
  3. devolution

    devolution Prince

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    @f1rpo : Great job :goodjob:
    I have been working on a K-mod modmod as well, but you beat me to it. It's great that you are picking up where K-mod ended, in particular with respect to the diplomatic AI.

    The changes that I had in mind though, was mostly about nerfing features that were too powerful and boosting those who were underpowered. My inspiration for these balancing
    changes came primarily from the following mods hosted @ realmsbeyond (A multi-player focused Civ4 site). Since I'm nore sure if you're aware of these mods, I've put them here for reference:

    Tides of War (Minimal rebalance mod)
    http://www.realmsbeyond.net/forums/showthread.php?tid=6632

    Rebalance the Realms (More ambitious rebalancing)
    http://www.realmsbeyond.net/forums/showthread.php?tid=7703

    I was wondering about your opinion of these balancing tweaks since they are the result of countless high-level multiplayer games.

    Keep up the good work!
     
    AbsintheRed likes this.
  4. f1rpo

    f1rpo plastics

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    Thanks; also for the links. I had been aware of RtR, but not ToW. And sorry for taking a few days to respond; I had meant to write a post about this topic for some time.
    One tiny cosmetic change from RtR is already in AdvCiv: Great Lighthouse at Masonry. There are some other things I'd like to adopt, but I wouldn't want to use RtR (or ToW) as the basis for a balance mod.

    Apart from traits, unique units and nukes, it doesn't really nerf the most obviously overpowered elements of the game, such as Slavery, Bureaucracy, collateral damage, Rifleman, Liberalism and some of the +100% national wonders. I'd prefer to nerf all the powerful stuff because this reduces the overall economic output and thus the number of units on the map. I'd also like to move abilities from the overpowered to the underpowered options whenever possible. If things are just shuffled around, the game's original identity is mostly preserved and players don't have to evaluate novel abilities. RtR and ToW are probably very effective in balancing the civilizations and leaders, but I don't find that so crucial because players normally don't min-max the civ/leader choice in single-player.

    The historicity aspect would also be important to me, and in that regard, some of the RtR changes are quite jarring (e.g. the swaps between Pasture/Camp and map/OB trading, or Liberalism being required for Electricity and Mercantilism). I'd see balance changes as an opportunity to make the game a bit more historically accurate. I like that about Imp. Knoedel's mods, although they're too far-reaching for me (and lack documentation).

    I'm attaching two PDFs with gameplay changes that I've been contemplating. I don't expect anyone to read much of that, it's just to give an impression of what I have in mind. I'll never find the time to implement all that either. Edit (Jan 2018): I've updated the files and added footnotes with rationales. That's the jan2018 zip file. I'm keeping the earlier file (nov2017) uploaded, but it's out of date now.
    Edit (May 2018): I've put the latest version (not much changed since January) on GitHub so that I can track further changes there. link
    Edit (Mar 2021): updated the GitHub link

    A problem with any major balance overhaul is that the bulk of it can't be done in increments, e.g. first the civics, then another update with the traits ... Too many of the changes are coupled, and players (myself included) wouldn't want to fundamentally readjust their strategies with each version. A few of my ideas could be implemented separately though, e.g. the changes to nukes and religions. These are the only large balance changes that I could realistically see in AdvCiv in the near future. (And what remote future is there for Civ 4 mods?)

    Another consideration are minor buffs that don't force players to adjust their strategies, akin to the changes inherited from K-Mod/PIG. Things like:
    Spoiler :
    * Priest +1 culture
    * Musketman -5 cost, 1 first strike, +25% vs. Melee, upgrades to Grenadier (and Rifleman); Crossbow upgrades to Musketman
    * Ironclad: doesn't require Steel, +1 move (=4), 3 first strikes; Galleon, Privateer, Frigate upgrade to Ironclad (in addition to their other upgrades)
    * Red Cross -350 cost
    * Fighter req. Rifling
    * +1 commerce from Silk Plantation and Fur Camp
    * Whaling Boats at Compass and +1 production
    * Levee affects only flat riverside tiles (not corners and hills)
    * Jail -25% colony maintenance
    * Winery at Monotheism
    I could find a few dozen more like these by sifting through my notes. But is this really worth adding another page to the manual that players would kind of feel compelled to read? Perhaps it needs to be winnowed down to changes with a real impact, like the Musketman change.
     

    Attached Files:

    Last edited: Mar 21, 2021
  5. f1rpo

    f1rpo plastics

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    By the way, I'm hoping to upload v0.90 next week. A test version is already on GitHub. Some graphical changes along with the usual AI stuff; see attached screenshots: Original textures vs. Blue Marble vs. AdvCiv.

    Edit (Aug 2018): Uploading another set of three screenshots (04 to 06).
     

    Attached Files:

    Last edited: Aug 31, 2018
  6. devolution

    devolution Prince

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    Thanks for the pdfs (impressive effort btw, in particular with respect to the tech tree), those were very interesting. I can see that you have put a lot of thought into rebalancing.
    I see now that you're contemplating some fairly major changes, like adding techs, changing the tech tree and redoing the traits. My apprach is rather minimalistic compared to this and resembled and blend of the Pig mod, ToW and some of RtR (The minimalist stuff, not the removal of tech trade etc.)

    I have a fairly long (google docs) document with my rebalancing ideas, I'll clean it up a bit so that I can share it.
    My modmod (tentatively called "koddy") is actually complete, along with some SDK changes, but seeing as K-mod is rarely being updated, I am looking for another mod to base my mod on and I think that AdvCiv may fit the bill.

    I'll see if I can't merge my stuff with AdvCiv (this will be the first modmod I suppose :lol:) so that we can get a feel for my overhaul.
     
    Last edited: Nov 13, 2017
  7. f1rpo

    f1rpo plastics

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    Cool.
    My file for free-form notes is still called "small balance changes.txt", but at some point they became so numerous that I thought I might as well scrutinize everything. It's the same number of techs and traits, but, unfortunately, without an obvious 1:1 correspondence in a few cases – abilities and flavor just wouldn't align. More to the point:
    Another DLL modder with a stake in AdvCiv sounds like an asset. The war simulation part (class InvasionGraph) is fairly byzantine, but would probably be unaffected by the changes we're talking about. I'm still not sure if koddy ( :think: ) is intended for multiplayer. If so, well, I don't see a fundamental problem, but would expect some bugs to crop up.
     
  8. Akbarthegreat

    Akbarthegreat Angel of Junil

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    Hi, I'm getting a python exception on starting games. Because of which the game interface is missing. I tried Alt+I but it doesn't work. Screenshots attached.

    Spoiler :


     
  9. f1rpo

    f1rpo plastics

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    Thanks and sorry; bad first impression. :blush: I've tested a fresh installation of the mod on my notebook now and got the same error there. I'm uploading v0.90b with a hotfix later today (edit: done). For the moment, unzipping the attached file and (re-)placing CvMainInterface.py in AdvCiv\Assets\Python\Screens should fix the issue.
     

    Attached Files:

    Last edited: Nov 21, 2017
  10. TheUnderNoticed

    TheUnderNoticed Chieftain

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    Mod version 0.91 doesn't start, returns cache memory allocation error when loading. I'm running the Steam version, and have tried both the patched and unpatched version.

    (I have yet to play your mod, but the premises on the manual are great! Keep up the good work! )
     
  11. f1rpo

    f1rpo plastics

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    I've just realized that the half sentence about that patch in the manual and on the download page is misleading. Apparently, one needs to revert to the Game Spy version ("Original Release"). Sorry about that. Anyway, I understand that you've tried both versions to no avail. And I take it that there is no such problem with Civ 4 Reimagined (saw your posts in that thread), so something's gotta be wrong with AdvCiv. I don't have the Steam version and I've never even read of a memory allocation failure when loading a mod, so I'm at a bit of loss.

    Could you try again after removing the BML.fpk under Assets? But that's groping in the dark. I could also take a look at your logs, though that would take some work on your part, namely to enable logging in My Games\Beyond the Sword\CivilizationIV.ini (LoggingEnabled = 1), attempt to load the mod and copy-paste the last few lines from the resulting init.log and xml.log in My Games\Beyond the Sword\Logs.

    Does the mod work for anyone else with a steam installation? (Or does anyone have the same issue?)
     
  12. TheUnderNoticed

    TheUnderNoticed Chieftain

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    Don't worry about that. It did the job ;)

    Unfortunately no result changes.

    init.log really looks fine to me, on the contrary xml.log shows the type of errors I get. Please do notice that it is a long series of errors, all concerning the xml cache memory allocation, and maybe various files other than CivLeaderHeadInfos (I didn't run the whole broken setup so the log might not be thorough). The last few meaningful, i.e. not repeated, lines were:

    [311869.234] info type NONE not found, Current XML file is: xml\Civilizations/CIV4LeaderHeadInfos.xml
    [311869.250] info type NONE not found, Current XML file is: xml\Civilizations/CIV4LeaderHeadInfos.xml
    [311878.468] info type NONE not found, Current XML file is: xml\Civilizations/CIV4LeaderHeadInfos.xml

    Could that be related to the <FavoriteReligion> tag?

    Thank you for your work.
     
    Last edited: Dec 18, 2017
  13. f1rpo

    f1rpo plastics

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    As far as I can tell, unmodded BtS logs one "info type NONE not found" message for every NONE value in the XML files, but these aren't actual errors. K-Mod disables those messages, so it's strange that they're in the log at all.

    If I remove the CvGameCoreDLL.dll from my AdvCiv\Assets folder, I get an "XML Error: There are more siblings than memory allocated for them" (same error on your end?), and, at that point, the last few lines in the xml.log are "info type NONE not found, current XML file is: xml\Civilizations/CIV4LeaderHeadInfos.xml". Is it possible that you're somehow missing the DLL or that it's not in the place where the game looks for it? (Although this wouldn't explain why Civ 4 Reimagined works; the DLL has the same relative path in both mods.)

    Another (probably unhelpful) suggestion: Try clearing the XML cache, e.g. by holding down Shift right after launching the game.
     
  14. TheUnderNoticed

    TheUnderNoticed Chieftain

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    Briliant.

    It was my (side) fault. Norton Antivirus quarantined the CvGameCore.dll so many times and, while I used to exclude and restore the file, it actually recursively banned it :lol::lol:. So ridicolous!

    Unfortunately, I get a new error now while loading: "GFC error: failed to initialize the primary control theme" :shifty:
     
  15. f1rpo

    f1rpo plastics

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    Great, we're getting there. Probably the game doesn't find paths set in AdvCiv\Assets\XML\Art\CIV4ArtDefines_Misc.xml or AdvCiv\Resource. If so, removing that XML file and the Resource folder should fix the problem. These two only increase font sizes.

    That said, to help me figure this out, it would be nice if you could also check if the AdvCiv folder is indeed named "AdvCiv" and placed in steamapps\common\sid meier's civilization iv beyond the sword\Beyond the Sword\Mods (this should be the path according to this thread). Civ 4 Reimagined seems to work when installed in My Games\Beyond the Sword\Mods, but AdvCiv doesn't, or only without the font-size changes.
     
  16. TheUnderNoticed

    TheUnderNoticed Chieftain

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    That was the remaining issue! thank you for pointing that out!

    Now it starts properly!
    Thank you so much!

    Looking forward to review it! :D
     
  17. f1rpo

    f1rpo plastics

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    Thanks for helping me troubleshoot the installation instructions; I'll have to make a few changes there. I hadn't really been aware of the Mods folder under My Games (although I have it on my computer too; unrelated to Steam), and that's a gotcha.
     
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  18. Jorunkun

    Jorunkun Back with a vengeance

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    Excellent work!

    But could you please bring back the No Espionage button - I know not many people use it, but I do, and you're not gaining anything by taking it out, are you?
    Is the brightened Blue Marble tile-set available separately?
     
  19. f1rpo

    f1rpo plastics

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    It's just a matter of setting bVisible to 1 for GAMEOPTION_NO_ESPIONAGE in
    AdvCiv\Assets\XML\GameInfo\CIV4GameOptionInfos.xml. I disabled it after adding the "No Animals" option because I had felt bad about cluttering the Custom Game screen further.
    It's only one file: Assets\BML.fpk
    Should be enough to copy that to the Assets folder of another mod. The tweaks to player colors are also easily copied (Assets\XML\Interface\CIV4ColorVals.xml), though that's really an unrelated change.
    Thanks!

    Edit (Oct 2018): Blue Marble Light screenshots; see change 002i in the manual for a comparison between the BtS and AdvCiv player colors.
     
    Last edited: Oct 14, 2018
  20. pepoluan

    pepoluan Chieftain

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    Just found your mod when perusing the last posts in the K-Mod thread.

    I love K-Mod, and a bit sad that it's no longer in active development. I do understand Karadoc not having the time to keep maintaining K-mod, though.

    Then I saw that post informing of this mod... and I think this is brilliant! Also, love the look of the textures.

    I have not played Civ4 for some time so I think I won't be "caught with my pants down" w.r.t. to changing gameplay. So, here's to again losing my sleep over One More Turn :lol:
     
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