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Age of Empires

Discussion in 'Crazy Spatz's Alpha Centauri Mod' started by Spatzimaus, Sep 19, 2011.

  1. dinobot386

    dinobot386 Prince

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    Not sure what thread this belongs in, but there are new promotions in each of the DLCs, would this effect the cap of promotions? Also, it should be something to take into consideration
     
  2. Spatzimaus

    Spatzimaus Mad Scientist

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    Yes, although some of the promotions added by each DLC were actually added to the core game, and are just only used by units from the DLC. They kind of had to do this, since the new XML stubs had to be placed in the vanilla game's schema to enable the DLC.

    There's quite a bit of dead weight I can trim if I continue to run up against the limit. For instance, the game includes a full set of "cargo" promotions for carriers or missile subs... but there are no units in the game that have only one cargo slot, AFAIK. The same goes for quite a few of the other "inherent" promotion lines, like Evasion, Extra Sight, and so on. And then there are the duplications; something like three promotions exist solely to provide the <CanMoveImpassable> promotion ability, and a couple more exist to provide the "all terrain costs 1 MP" ability. It shouldn't be hard to trim a few off there to stay below the limit.

    But really, we just need the devs to raise the limit; they'd HAVE to, if they ever released an expansion or any more DLCs. There are a LOT of abilities that I want to handle through promotions (the Phoenix's rebirth ability, the Healing 4 unit's healing aura, Nuke Interception modifiers, the extra starting XP of the Ranger, Troll, etc.) that are just currently using explicit Lua checks. If I could make them be promotions, then they'd be shown on the civilopedia page and the unit panel, instead of forcing me to explain them in help text.
     
  3. dinobot386

    dinobot386 Prince

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    you might be able to take advantage of some of the DLC promotions then. Haka War Dance (-10% combat for ajacent enemies), Withdraw Before Melee (moves to a nearby tile if meleed and not cornered), and Statue of Zeus (+10% against cities) all seem like ones you could do alot with


    BTW, I LOVE the idea of merging drill/shock with barrage/accuracy, since it makes alot of upgrades more viable, Specifically Horseman>Keshik>Cavalry, where the keshik being a ranged unit really messed with the upgrade process
     
  4. Spatzimaus

    Spatzimaus Mad Scientist

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    If the promotions are in the core game then yes, those'd be nice features to have. But if the devs DID place those promotions within the DLCs themselves, then even if the stubs are in place it's not worth it for me to add another.

    There are quite a few of these, anything involving horse archers for instance, and the crossbow -> Rifleman transition has been a problem from the start, but what I'm REALLY trying to do here is make the AI better at picking promotions for its own units. You'll see a submarine pick the anti-land promotion, so given that precedent I knew there'd be problems with both my future Titan units and the early-game Myth units, both of which mix ranged and melee.

    Because of this, the merging of these promotions will have to be in the BASE mod, meaning it'd be required for any of my three mods. I couldn't let it be an optional thing. But since I don't have a thread for the Base mod, we might as well keep talking about it here. Now, the only remaining question is, which way do I do it:

    A> Merge the Rough melee promotion line with the Rough ranged attack line, and same for the Open lines.
    or
    B> Flip it. The Rough melee line merges with the Open ranged attack line, and vice versa.

    I'm currently leaning towards B. The melee line governs both melee attacks and all defense, which means that option B would at first seem kind of strange, but it'd do two things that I really like:
    1> Right now I find myself picking the Rough promotions every single time, regardless of whether a unit is ranged or melee. After all, you don't really NEED help killing a unit in open terrain. One exception: Isles of the Deep, like all Psi units, use the Open/Rough split instead of the Land/Sea split of other naval units. Since nearly all water is classified as "open", that one's a no-brainer, which is ANOTHER reason to use option B. Also, I'm trying to get Atolls to be classified as a Rough feature.
    2> It'd make for a distinct difference in optimal playstyles for melee vs. ranged; melee units with Drill would defend best in Rough AND attack best in Rough, which means you'd want to keep them deep in the forests and hills whenever possible to get both bonuses; similarly, units with Shock would want to stay in open terrain and fight units in open terrain. Very polarized.
    But ranged units with Drill would defend best in Rough while attacking best against units in Open terrains, which means THEY would be best served emplaced on a lone hill or at the edge of a forest, while those with Shock would be the other way around, wanting to hit units just leaving a forest or sitting on that lone hill. I like the changed dynamic, since it screws up the player more than the AI. (AIs don't pay nearly as much attention to the terrain near the hex they're moving to/fortifying in.)

    I'm holding off on this change until after the next release (tomorrow or Saturday, barring a catastrophe), since it's just going to affect so many things at once, and I'm worried that it'll break something else. Like the DLCs; if Accuracy and Barrage are listed in any way in the DLCs, such as a free promotion for certain units, then there's going to be a problem.
    My plan is, release the next version within the next day or so, tweaking a few things but mainly fixing the remaining bugs in the Ascension transition. Then, release a Thanksgiving version on Wednesday/Thursday that includes this promotion change the last of the Mythology icon work, and the missing Events, then spend the long weekend playing games. (I haven't bought Skyrim yet, and Minecraft's official release is tomorrow.) A little Civ5 will be mixed in here and there, I'm sure, since I get new ideas for my mods at the strangest times, but I want to actually PLAY my own mods at some point...

    Now, this assumes that deleting the Accuracy/Barrage promotions does in fact open up those slots, internally, to be used by my own promotions. If doing this deletion doesn't actually help me avoid the soft promotion cap, then there's not nearly as much of a rush to do this. (Although I'll probably do it anyway, because I think it's just a necessity at this point.)
     
  5. dinobot386

    dinobot386 Prince

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    You could change Survivalism (+1 healing every turn outside your territory) to just +1 every turn and use it to replace another promotion

    Also I think one of the scouting promotions is identical to sentry
     
  6. dinobot386

    dinobot386 Prince

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    So with all the talk of events etc. on your AoM thread, I came up with an idea.

    Would you want to add a second Mandalia (or something simular in function) to the Empires mod? Something that determines your civs identity and how it functions aside from policies, with events such as how you deal with a riot or protest, etc. Simular to AoM events except in a more real world context.

    Perhaps even where you are on the Mandalia could effect your relationships with other civs, and Policies could also shoot you in a direction on it if you take them.
     
  7. Spatzimaus

    Spatzimaus Mad Scientist

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    No, I wouldn't.

    The thing is, each of the three content mods is supposed to FEEL different. The Mythology mod has a metric buttload of content (that's 1.2 English buttloads, for those of you who prefer the classical units), but it's all centered around that single screen, the Mandala, and the new yield, Favor. Everything revolves around your choices there, so you need to be in the habit of regularly checking that screen.
    At the other extreme, the Alpha Centauri content focuses the units and buildings down to a relatively small number of chains, but has no central interface or mechanics at all (although I'd originally thought to have the ten extra policies use a SMAC-like Social Engineering interface); it adds no yields, but does add new resources.

    The Empires mod is supposed to fall somewhere in between; I don't WANT it to all focus around a single Mandala-type system. Expanded diplomacy options might require their own interface, something that'll make it easier to tell at a glance what the power blocs are, but won't be some kind of diplomacy mini-game you have to play to do so. The Espionage system will also have its own interface screen, where you select what espionage actions to take, but I'm trying to design it such that you can simply ignore this aspect of the game if you want, setting all of your spies to defensive efforts if you want. Depending on exactly what goes into this mod, there might be a third interface window as well, but these'd be far less dominating than the Mandala was in its eras.

    Also, remember that the Empires content is going to apply to all eras. There's not a clean Enlightenment-like cutoff at the end, and there's not a space-race-like initialization, so these extra windows will appear in all eras of the game. You won't need to USE the Diplomacy and Espionage windows much in the early game (when you haven't met everyone and don't have the resources to divert to spying) and in the post-spacerace Eras diplomacy is not going to be too effective as everyone's alliances are pretty much locked in at that point, but these are not the absolute cutoffs you see in the other mods.
    I don't intend to have any sort of Alignment system for this mod; you'll naturally be moved into the various diplomatic groups by your in-game actions, but you won't have nearly as much control over that as you did your mythological alignments, where you could deliberately move yourself in one direction.

    And finally, the Events for this mod are intended to be pretty much non-interactive. A Dark Age happens, affects all players equally, and will last for ten turns. There's no decision involved, no question of what action you take; it just happens, period. The unpredictability is a big part of the point of doing this; a human player won't be able to finely orchestrate some complex strategy (complete that national wonder that gives a free tech in 13 turns, because 12 turns from now you'll finish the current research) because you won't know when some event will come along and disrupt it. The goal of this mod is to change the underlying game experience in ways that breaks up some of the mid-era monotony in the core game, so I don't want things to be too predictable.

    I MIGHT, on some of them, give you a couple options for how to deal with it, but it won't be anywhere close to the four alignment-based options of the Myth Events. It's more likely to be a 2-option setup where you decide whether or not to do something. Something like
    "Civ X had a massive earthquake. Do you:
    (A) send support (donate 100 gold and 10 food from every city, gain +100 relations)
    (B) do nothing (-50 relations)"
    or possibly a 3-outcome setup like Galactic Civilizations had where there's an inefficient middle outcome that directly falls between those two (donate 50 gold and 10 food from your capital, gain +25 relations). Part of the purpose of these events is to help break up the stasis where alliances have become so rigid that nothing can ever change, so quite a few of them will involve altering relationships.
    That above event would be "paired" as well; maybe the game picks one civ to suffer the earthquake, with a random city losing 2 population, and the above choice is given to every OTHER civ at the same time. So if you were the one hit, you wouldn't make any choices, but you might get a massive amount of gold and food from other civs as they choose which outcome they prefer. Depending on how many civs donate, you might actually come out ahead on the deal, food-wise, and any relationship changes work both ways.

    Now, some of this I can implement before the DLL, and once the Mythology mod's a bit more stable I'll probably do so. Hopefully, once I have something in place it'll be easier to illustrate my points.
     
  8. dinobot386

    dinobot386 Prince

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    Heres an idea, although not really effecting gameplay, it would be nice to see some custome unit models added for each of the civs in this mod
     
  9. dinobot386

    dinobot386 Prince

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    Heres an interesting idea for when you start doing big things on this mod; Would it be possible for cities to be able to trade food/production with eachother? For example you have a city on flood plains with a whole lot of wheat near it, it makes more than enough food for itself, but you could somehow make a way for it to send some of the food to another city connected to it by trade route, say a new city you just ploped down. Same goes for production.

    Maybe even make it so you can import or export food and production with other civs via trade agreements

    What are your thoughts?
     
  10. Spatzimaus

    Spatzimaus Mad Scientist

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    Easily. I've already got hidden buildings to add and subtract any yields as necessary, so all I'd need is a mechanism to control that. If you wanted it to be an automatic process (cities with higher-than-average yields donating their excess to the lower ones) it'd be fairly easy to do, but if it's something that needs conscious control then I'd need to add a whole new interface, along with AI logic to drive it.

    There's already a mod that allows food resources to be traded. But yes, I fully intend to do something along these lines; I've mentioned before that I want to overhaul the progression of diplomacy, to where you can't make things like a research agreement unless you already have a Declaration of Friendship with that other player, and I intend to expand this chain a bit. The idea would be that the DoF (and its inverse, the Denunciation) are prerequisites for the more advanced options in either direction, and that you'd need something stronger (like a mutual defense pact) to unlock the really good stuff. This'd encourage players to fortify a small number of alliances, instead of trying to stay friends with everyone, which'd lead to the voting blocs I've discussed previously.

    So yes, I'm intending to add commercial agreements (like RAs but that add production and gold instead of research), cultural exchanges (culture and Happiness), or medical support (food and Happiness). I'd consider allowing you to sell food, but I'm afraid simply adding it as a gold-like exchange medium is too abuseable. It's too hard to teach the AI that giving away some of its food would be a good idea but that giving ALL of its food away would be bad; the only reason RAs really work is that they're nearly always a good idea and have a clearly defined effect.

    I'm also looking at expanding this into the diplomacy linkages, creating things like a "vassal state" setup (where the weaker members of an alliance could agree to give their "patron" political support in the U.N. in exchange for money, military protection, etc.). But that'd require a lot more DLL control, to teach the AI when to use it. I'd prefer to keep things a bit simpler, where the relationships are modified steadily in a way that leads inevitably to the sort of bloc-on-bloc wars we've seen.
     
  11. Catalonia

    Catalonia Warlord

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    How can I do to download it?
     
  12. Spatzimaus

    Spatzimaus Mad Scientist

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    At the top of this forum is stickied a thread labeled FILES. In there, attached to the first post, are the modpack's zip files. You have to install the contents of each zip file into your mods directory by hand.

    The latest "official" version of each mod will be attached to that post. When I release a new version, I'll replace the attachments. If you see a zip file in any other thread, it's an "unofficial" version I've released to test out some new feature and will probably get removed after the next official release. (At the moment, only the Mythology mod has an unofficial version in its thread.)

    Note that you also need to download and install the Base mod, regardless of which of the three content mods (Mythology, Empires, Ascension) you intend to use.
     
  13. Catalonia

    Catalonia Warlord

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    Where is it? I can't see this thread labeled files...
     
  14. dinobot386

    dinobot386 Prince

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    Not on this thread, the files thread in this sub forum has them.


    (Also, while I hate to bring politics into discussion here, you guys might want to start contacting congress about the SOPA and PIPA acts, because if those acts pass Civfanatics could go offline forever on grounds of copyright, I dont want to start a debate or flame war on this forum, but people need to know)
     
  15. dinobot386

    dinobot386 Prince

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    Another thing I was wondering, are you planning on making a system where if you leave a barbarian encampment alone for long enough it becomes a city-state? Since you already stated that civs will be able to make city-states.
     
  16. Spatzimaus

    Spatzimaus Mad Scientist

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    Probably not. The logic for placement of barbarian camps is very different than the normal logic for city placement; with an empire (or the player) I can assume that any city they want to found will be in a pretty good spot, no too close to other cities, plenty of resources, etc., which makes those spots a good choice to turn into a city-state. Barbarian camps aren't placed quite so intelligently; you might get one in the middle of an empty desert, or a mountain range, or a 1-hex island in the middle of the ocean, because the only criteria for placement is "not visible by an empire". City-states founded at those locations would be hopelessly weak.

    There's also a balance issue with how the bonuses vs. barbarians work; I'd have to make these city-states not be part of the Barbarian faction, or else you'd get big bonuses against them, but doing so would require a whole bunch of overrides to make sure the barbarians aren't immediately hostile to the city they just founded. (And even if they're not hostile, they wouldn't be able to stay in the city.)

    But the biggest problem? It wouldn't work with the Ascension mod. By the time you get to the future eras, there ARE no normal barbarian camps, because the whole world is generally visible. Hence the Spore Towers and Mind Worms. So I could make a mechanism where Barbarians could create cities from their camps, but it'd effectively shut off about halfway through the game.

    Now, this isn't to say that Barbarians can't gain cities. It could easily be that once you're in the 1600s or so, one or more of those remote island city-states could become a "pirate haven" city, joining the Barbarian civ. It'd get massive bonuses, and you wouldn't be able to ever ally with it. (I'm hoping that this'd allow it to keep its own strategics and create units that can actually threaten you..) This gets around the location issue (since the game would have placed them using its normal city-state logic), and it could easily tie into the diplomacy revisions I'm aiming towards; in the earlier eras when every nation is pretty much hostile to everyone else, there's plenty of room for pirates. But as alliances start developing and superpower-led voting blocs appear, any remaining pirates will just get crushed with ease.

    Anyway, this is all on hold until we get the DLL, of course.
     
  17. Catalonia

    Catalonia Warlord

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    In downloads?
     
  18. Spatzimaus

    Spatzimaus Mad Scientist

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    No. In THIS forum. Civ5 - Creation & Customization/Civ5 - Project & Mod Development/Crazy Spatz's Alpha Centauri Mod/. The forum creating the exact thread we're in; there's no other way to get to this thread than going through that forum. (If you'd posted this in the "old" thread, then it's possible you could have reached this spot through the old link from the Modpacks forum. And I suppose you could get here from Google or something.)

    At the very top of that forum is a thread titled "Ages of Man: the FILES thread", stickied. Can't miss it; but in case you're still confused, here's a link to the thread.
     
  19. Catalonia

    Catalonia Warlord

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    OK, very thanks, I'm new, I don't domine the english...
     
  20. dinobot386

    dinobot386 Prince

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    Heres another Idea I just thought of for your Empires mod; Expanding on Archaeology.

    Instead of just having a museum and a bonus to city ruins (which is still very good imo) How about you add a type of archaeology bonus resource that gives gold/culture/science.

    Heres my idea, opon researching archaeology, a type of bonus resource is revealed called a dig site. Dig sites grant no bonus until improved, workers can dig up the sites in a way simular to how Deep Mines work in Acension, then an improved resource is revealed and possibly a goodie hut bonus is gained. These can be things like Fossil Beds (could look like stone quarries), Ancient Ruins (could look like ancient ruins but permement), Battle Sites (could look like encampments), and Ship Wrecks (could look like a trireime frozen in its sinking animation) on coastal tiles. If you want to make the system even more in depth you can have an lua function where after a unit is killed theres a small chance that a battle site or ship wreck will spawn on that tile.
     

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