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Ages of Man: the GENERAL DISCUSSION thread

Discussion in 'Crazy Spatz's Alpha Centauri Mod' started by Spatzimaus, Sep 21, 2011.

  1. Spatzimaus

    Spatzimaus Mad Scientist

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    This is the catch-all thread intended to replace the old 1400-post old thread from the Modpacks forum. That old thread contained a year's worth of patch notes, random discussions, and feedback from players, and was not something a new player could ever hope to get rhough. Anything that isn't strategy-related, bug-related, or explicitly related to the design of one of the three Content mods should go in here. Feel free to go off-topic in here.
     
  2. dinobot386

    dinobot386 Prince

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    Alright, heres a question. Are you open to the idea of having an ethnic units mod? Or adding it to one of your mods like AoM? I never really liked using european looking units as the Aztecs or Songhai, would it be easy to cannibalize new models from existing mods? R.E.D. for example, since people keep asking about it and it is incompatible with your mod. I'd even buy some of the DLCs for you if you'd make/transfer units for each one
     
  3. Spatzimaus

    Spatzimaus Mad Scientist

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    The only real incompatibility with things like RED is a single overlapping art definition file. (Or two, I think.) So as soon as everything's somewhat stable, what I'll do is create alternate versions of the XML and Lua files that directly conflict with certain other popular mods. So there'll be the standard Art Defines file packed into the mod, but over in the Player Pack I'll provide an RED-compatible alternate one that you can just replace my "official" version with.

    Actually, you should be able to do this for yourself pretty easily; all of my custom units are at the end of both unit art defines files. So just cut-n-paste my stuff right into the RED version... just remember that you have to replace the art defines files in BOTH mods with this merged version, since you don't have much control over the load order.

    Beyond that, I don't want to try merging my content with someone else's if I can avoid it; too many logistical problems.
     
  4. Scrambles

    Scrambles Chieftain

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    On the subject of DLC... will the new civs, wonders etc work with the mod? They do "seem" to but this might be another thing where I just haven't noticed the break yet.
     
  5. Spatzimaus

    Spatzimaus Mad Scientist

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    I do not buy DLCs. Therefore, I have no idea what's in them, and they're not taken into account in any way in the design of these mods.

    DLCs that simply add content SHOULD work, but I can't guarantee anything about their balance. If a DLC civ has a UU or UB corresponding to one of the entities I've heavily modified in these mods, then the unit likely won't get the corresponding adjustment and will be overpowered relative to the other civs' unique bonuses.

    Beyond that, I can't tell anything without the specifics of a DLC you're trying to verify. And there'll be a few other balance issues: if you buy the Ancient Wonder DLC, then it beefs up the content of the early-era techs. This'll make those techs more valuable relative to the religious techs I'm adding. Again, no real way to adjust that without knowing all of the specifics of a DLC.
     
  6. Spatzimaus

    Spatzimaus Mad Scientist

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    I still haven't found a workable solution to the naval resources problem yet, but there are a couple more things I thought of that might work. I'm going to try them out tonight; if they don't work, though, then I'm going to put in a temporary fix in 1.09 that doesn't involve Work Boats at all. Fair warning, some of these ideas involve some significant changes to how workers will work in the future eras; one of them was basically to combine the Former and Combat Engineer into a single unit, an all-terrain worker that unlocks in the late Nuclear Era (probably at Advanced Ballistics). If I do this, then it'll make a BIG difference in terms of balance.

    What this means for all of you players is that 1.09 WILL be out within the next couple of days, despite not having a lot of changes added in the MONTH since 1.08 came out. (I've been spending a lot of time on the Mythology mod, as you can guess, but there also just hasn't been a whole lot that needed tweaking in the AC content.) 1.09 will be the final version that uses the old two-mod design; 1.10 will be shifted to the new Ascension/Empire/Mythology/Base split design, assuming I can get certain bits to work right in that alignment. And for those of you wondering, once Mythology is ready to be moved up to "beta" status then I'll bump version numbers to 2.00.

    Now, I haven't added any new AC unit models since the previous version; once I get the core Mythology mod out for feedback I'll shift my efforts to that. I'm hoping that within the next month I can finally complete the Ascension mod and have a fully playable Mythology mod to pair it with.

    ---------------------

    Now I'm sure you're asking questions like "Spatz, how can I help?", "Spatz, why aren't you wearing any pants?" or "Spatz, what if I wanted to add X to the Mythology mod?". While the second question would take a while, the answers to the first and third question are the same: I need content ideas for the Mythology mod. Ideas for this should be posted in the Mythology thread, but I'll list what I need here because a similar issue's going to come up with the Empire mod in a month or two.

    Specifically, I need the following:
    1> Mythological units. I've got plenty for the Greek, Egyptian, and Norse pantheons, but I could use more ideas for the others. And not just their names, but actual stats; I especially need to know their unique ability. Every myth unit should have one unique attack or ability, something no mundane unit can ever get, and the most powerful myth units should have two. All of these should be something of the form "when this unit kills another unit...", "at the end of each turn...", "at the start of each combat...", and so on. The units can also have the usual mundane stuff, of course.
    Example:
    Hydra (melee attack strength 20, Regeneration I, gains a random promotion every time it kills an enemy or loses more than 5 health in a single fight)

    2> Heroes. I need at least four for each pantheon, and they should be somewhat unique. Each should be similar to an existing unit type, but should start with three extra promotions: 1-2 things available to normal units, and 1-2 special abilities or a flat bonus to one statistic.
    Examples:
    Odysseus (Archer; Amphibious, +2 to Ranged Strength, can move after attacking)
    the Argos (Galleon; +1 movement, +1 visibility, can heal outside of friendly territory)
    Achilles (Swordsman; +2 Strength, Siege I, Faster Healing)
    and so on.

    3> Events. I need events based on the mythology of each pantheon; along with four choices for how to react to each. Each choice should map to one of the four axes (Law, Chaos, Material, Ephemeral), and each should have some tangible benefit. "Gain a Hero" or "Gain 1-2 Myth units" should be common results. I'm aiming to have each player get an event every ~20 turns, with no two events ever being less than 10 turns apart, so the benefits can't be TOO large.
    I've given several examples of these in the Mythology thread.
     
  7. Spatzimaus

    Spatzimaus Mad Scientist

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    Okay, the Work Boat issue is fixed. Sort of.

    Here's what I did:
    1> At the end of each turn, loop over all non-Barbarian players that have the Centauri Ecology or Doctrine:Initiative techs. (It's a quick check because I'm ALREADY looping over all players and getting their tech info, for the Head Start logic.)
    2> If it's a Work Boat or a Former (the only naval units that can make improvements), see if it's on a water tile you own that has a resource but no improvement. (This is a pretty fast check.)
    3> If it's on an unimproved Omnicytes and you have Centauri Ecology, then place a Fishing Boat improvement.
    3A> If it was a Work Boat, kill it. (Formers don't die when they place fishing boats, offshore platforms, etc.)
    4> If it's on an unimproved Dilithium and you have Doctrine:Initiative, then place a Harvester improvement.
    4A> If it was a Work Boat, kill it.

    The reason this method works is that the economic AI DOES recognize the presence of water resources to harvest, so it'll create the work boat just fine. The work boat will even move on top of the resources. It's just the workboat AI that won't allow it to sacrifice itself on the new resources for some reason, so it just sits there.

    I've tested this, and it seemed to work; the city-states I'd allied with DID improve their aquatic Omnicytes and Dilithium, without my prompting, and gave me the resources. So it does seem to be playable, even if it's not pretty. I'm going to clean it up a bit, and I'll upload a new version tomorrow (Wednesday) after I try playing a quick game to make sure the changes I've made really worked.

    Now, what's that "Harvester" thing I mentioned? It's a new improvement type. The only game difference between it and an offshore platform is that it starts off with a high production yield (instead of increasing through tech improvements, but by that era those are all over with anyway), and any policies that boost offshore platforms wouldn't affect it. (Not that there are any of those.)
    More importantly, it uses the Mine graphic. That's right, no more disappearing dilithium! It'll look really strange, with a half-underwater Mine, but it works well enough until we get the ability to alter terrain graphics. The graphical change is really the entire reason for it; the only reason I didn't do something similar for Omnicytes is that it was already using the Pearls graphic for them, so the Fishing Boat still works just fine graphically. Once I get to the point where we can add custom graphics, I'll add the Kelp Farm as a Harvester-like custom Improvement for sea-based Omnicytes, but until then, fishing boat. (I might just switch it to some other graphic and do the change now; I'll decide on that tomorrow.)
     
  8. Scrambles

    Scrambles Chieftain

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    Sounds like a fine work-around for the moment, having a graphic for the improvement will be nice. Was there any update on the other graphics problem? Texture compression etc. Like I said, I'd be happy to try any alt versions of the files out, see if it makes a difference.
     
  9. Spatzimaus

    Spatzimaus Mad Scientist

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    I'm going to upload a few of those at the same time I upload the mod, so that people can see if that's the problem. It's just easier to do it all at once.
     
  10. chrome-rome

    chrome-rome King

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    Not quite sure if this is the type of comment that should go here, but I must say, Spatz, you are amazing. Truly. I've just glanced over your Mythology Project. WOW!! Whenever people say that Civ 5 Modding is dead, I'm going to point them to your forum. :goodjob:
    /fanboyism
     
  11. Spatzimaus

    Spatzimaus Mad Scientist

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    Careful, you might start to give people the impression that modding ISN'T dead, and then we'll be flooded with annoying newbies who'll want to know how to actually create stuff. Where would it end?

    Actually, the complexity of a mod like that is deceiving; most of the mechanisms really aren't that unusual, and I'm trying to structure it in a way that won't require major alterations to the AI. The biggest headaches I've had have been UI-related, although once the DLL comes out I can retrofit some more complex systems into it. I've been making lists as I go along of places where I want to add more complexity later on, and a lot of folks have given suggestions as well.

    1.09 will be out tonight, and 0.01 of the Mythology mod will be out by Friday, barring major problems, so by this weekend you'll be able to see for yourself. (Note: 0.01 of the Mythology mod will use a related Base mod, but it will NOT be well-integrated with the Alpha Centauri mod yet. That's waiting for the following version.)
     
  12. Spatzimaus

    Spatzimaus Mad Scientist

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    Slight update: didn't quite get the test case to the point where it's ready. So tomorrow, then, probably tomorrow night unless I have enough time before work.

    One question: has anyone seen the AI ever hook up water-based Oil deposits? I've noticed city-states not hooking those up either, lately. So if they're not doing that, then I can just add it to the override I've emplaced.
     
  13. Scrambles

    Scrambles Chieftain

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    It doesn't look like they know what to do with water based oil. In my current game they have work boats hanging out nearby but none of the AI players have build the improvement.
     
  14. Spatzimaus

    Spatzimaus Mad Scientist

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    That's what I've seen, too. Tonight I'm going to check to see if the vanilla game handles water-based Oil correctly; if it does, then something I did broke it. But if it doesn't, then I have to wonder how the devs missed this one for so long; it seems pretty significant that one of the most important late-game resources isn't being harvested by the AI. (Granted, in vanilla 2/3rds of the Oil is land-based, so it won't make a HUGE difference, but still.)

    Either way, I'm going to add Oil to the list of resources that use this alternate logic. It won't be perfect, since it still assumes that the AI civs will A) make a workboat and B) move it on top of the oil. But it WILL help, which is what matters most.

    ------------------------

    I started an Industrial-start game last night to test this sort of thing in a non-artificial setting. The AI's been hooking up Omnicytes and Dilithium pretty well; the bigger problem has been related to the number of Golden Ages and the amount of money you make during them. I've got some ideas about how to fix this, but that'll have to wait for the next version.

    So new version will be tonight, once I get that Oil fix in and test it.
     
  15. Scrambles

    Scrambles Chieftain

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    Sounds good. I seem to have encountered a weird bug where units will become 'lost' in the fog, they move into an uncovered tile and it stays uncovered... unit icon and model disappear but it still exists and can be used. Has this been reported before? I picked it up in an earlier game but thought it might be a once off.
     
  16. Spatzimaus

    Spatzimaus Mad Scientist

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    Only by me; I don't recall anyone else saying anything like that, but I've seen it in my own games. The culprit, in my experience, is the Geosynchronous Survey Pod; hexes that it reveals get buggy like that since the game apparently isn't resetting things correctly when a unit moves large distances. It's easily possible that other high-visibility units would have a similar effect if you told it to move a large distance instead of stepping hex by hex, but the geosynch is the only one I've confirmed causes problems. (When I'm testing something in a quick game, I often use the survey pods to make contact with everyone else, so it's VERY noticeable in those games.)
     
  17. Scrambles

    Scrambles Chieftain

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    Sounds very likely, it was the survey pod that triggered it for me too.
     
  18. CivOasis

    CivOasis Ahuizotl

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    I've done that with a Modern Armor, but I was using this mod. I kind of thought it was a usual bug, wasn't really that important...
     
  19. Scrambles

    Scrambles Chieftain

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    What do you think about adding the following interface features to the mod:

    Ability to edit AI civ / leader names in the advanced set-up the same way you can edit the player civ.

    Ability to 'name' tiles/features on the map or just add 'signs' as I believe you could do in Civ IV. Can't seem to find an example of any mod that does this at the moment.
     
  20. Spatzimaus

    Spatzimaus Mad Scientist

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    If I wasn't editing the AdvancedSetup.Lua and .xml files, I'd say no, but since I AM modifying that screen already it's an easy enough change to make. I'll look into inserting that when I merge the mods together (this weekend, basically)

    This, however, would take more work. If there are no current Lua functions for something, then we're pretty limited until the DLL comes out.

    It's too bad, because one of the things that made SMAC fun were the landmarks, all the Natural Wonders that had extra yields and such. Having the jungle or the Pholus Ridge near your starting city made a HUGE difference, and if you were the first to find the Unity crash site... well, having those names appear on the map was a big plus.
     

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