[NFP] Are Barbarian Quadriremes a longstanding bug no-one realizes?

Tomice

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I'm an eager naval explorer. As such, I'm extremely annoyed to see barbarian Quadriremes extremely early, often before it would be technically possible to research sailing, let alone shipbuilding as a player.
A bit later, packs of 2 or more Quads act as disproportionate roadblocks for naval exploration and settling - rarely will we need 3+ of our own units to remove other barb camps (not counting the embarked land unit that actually clears it).

I've done a bit of research here and on Reddit, and most people explain that barbs get quads as soon as a major civ unlocks them. The early appearance is further explained by free AI techs and free Shipbuilding for the Maori.

But I doubt that's true!
  • Barbs should get the tech level 50% of the major civs unlocked. But I see barbarian quads exclusively even on lower difficulties without free AI techs and without Maori.
  • The only exception I've seen is Biremes in the new Barbarian Clans mode, which is interesting. Barbarian Galleys seem to never appear, but the derived unique unit does.
  • Looking through the files, Quads shouldn't replace Galleys in the Barbarian unit compositions. They should use only 35% ranged units. Also, there are several predefined attack forces that should consist of half melee, half ranged and siege units. The practically total absence of melee units is weird!
Code from Barbarian clans:
Code:
<Row TribeType="TRIBE_CLAN_NAVAL"                ScoutTag="CLASS_NAVAL_MELEE" MeleeTag="CLASS_NAVAL_MELEE" RangedTag="CLASS_NAVAL_RANGED" SiegeTag="CLASS_NAVAL_RANGED" DefenderTag="CLASS_ANTI_CAVALRY" IsCoastal="true"        PercentRangedUnits="35" TurnsToWarriorSpawn="10" ScoutingBehaviorTree="Barbarian Found City" RaidingBehaviorTree="Barbarian Attack" RaidingBoldness="10" CityAttackOperation="Barbarian City Assault" CityAttackBoldness="25"/>

Code:
        <Row AttackForceType="LowDifficultyNavalAttack" MaxTargetDifficulty="DIFFICULTY_CHIEFTAIN" SpawnRate="2" MeleeTag="CLASS_NAVAL_MELEE" NumMeleeUnits="2" RangeTag="CLASS_NAVAL_RANGED" NumRangeUnits="1" SiegeTag="CLASS_NAVAL_RANGED" NumSiegeUnits="1"/>
        <Row AttackForceType="NavalAttack" MinTargetDifficulty="DIFFICULTY_WARLORD" MaxTargetDifficulty="DIFFICULTY_EMPEROR" SpawnRate="2" MeleeTag="CLASS_NAVAL_MELEE" NumMeleeUnits="3" RangeTag="CLASS_NAVAL_RANGED" NumRangeUnits="2" SiegeTag="CLASS_NAVAL_RANGED" NumSiegeUnits="1"/>
        <Row AttackForceType="HighDifficultyNavalAttack" MinTargetDifficulty="DIFFICULTY_IMMORTAL" SpawnRate="1" MeleeTag="CLASS_NAVAL_MELEE" NumMeleeUnits="4" RangeTag="CLASS_NAVAL_RANGED" NumRangeUnits="3" SiegeTag="CLASS_NAVAL_RANGED" NumSiegeUnits="2"/>


There has to be something wrong here!
My theory:
Barbarian have unique Galleys that are tagged as "Naval Raider" class, even though they replace a "Naval Melee" class unit (the Galley major civs get). Since the replacement unit means that Barbs can't build a naval melee class unit before caravels, all slots are given to quadriremes!
This would explain why Biremes do appear as barbarian UU's, because they have the right "naval melee" tag. This would also explain why the assumed bug haunts both normal GS games and the new Barbarian clans game mode, even though much of the code gets completely replaced.

Could anyone with more (recent) gameplay experience than me confirm those observations?
Also, could someone please check the code to see if this is truly a bug or intentional?
 

Tech Osen

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Don't know if it's a bug or not but I agree that they are bloody annoying.
 

Linklite

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But I doubt that's true!...Barbs should get the tech level 50% of the major civs unlocked. But I see barbarian quads exclusively even on lower difficulties without free AI techs and without Maori.
Well, the 50% thing, if true, is bugged, or at least is for my game I'm currently playing. I'm leading in Science (OK, I'm only a little ahead of the Incans, but I'm pretty far ahead of the other civs), and the Barbs got muskets way earlier than me. Not by just a few turns, but way earlier, probably 30-50 turns. I've had to do elaborate run arounds on the map so my swordsmen can get goody huts and have squads of crossbows to push them back.

It's the first time I've noticed them so far ahead of me, most of the time they're behind, and occasionally they're slightly ahead (as in I'll see them use a unit that I'm a few turns away from researching). I'm not sure what happened, but I'm dubious that 4 of the other 7 civs, all of whom have lower science output than me, managed to get to muskets so much quicker than me.
 

Uberfrog

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My theory:
Barbarian have unique Galleys that are tagged as "Naval Raider" class, even though they replace a "Naval Melee" class unit (the Galley major civs get). Since the replacement unit means that Barbs can't build a naval melee class unit before caravels, all slots are given to quadriremes!

If this isn't how things are supposed to work, Firaxis should definitely steal the idea and make it so!
 

Tomice

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I tried various changes to the files (I don't know how to mod properly) and still, I've never seen a barbarian galley spawn.
Neither changing galleys to naval melee nor changing the barbarian unit composition to include naval raider units had the desired effect (I used the console to reveal the map, only quadriremes to be found)

This is so frustrating :sad: the files surely don't look like this is the intended behavior...
 

Tomice

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I think I found something! :woohoo:
In the file "technologies.xml", Barbarians get 3 free techs:
  • Bronze Working
  • Sailing
  • Shipbuilding
This explains why they have Spearmen and Quadriremes at the game start!
I disabled the free Shipbuilding tech as an experiment. Interestingly, this prevents any barbarian ship from appearing until turn 25 (that's when I stopped testing, because in other test games, I've found 2-3 barbarian quadriremes after the cheat code map reveal at this point!)
I'm really curious what blocks barbarian galleys from appearing...

One benefit is Quadriemes can’t raze cities. Barbarian galleys would be a pain in the butt.
This may be the case, but there are other ways to balance the (possible) issue IMO, for instance, a delay of naval raids until turn 25 or 50.
 
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My theory:
Barbarian have unique Galleys that are tagged as "Naval Raider" class, even though they replace a "Naval Melee" class unit (the Galley major civs get). Since the replacement unit means that Barbs can't build a naval melee class unit before caravels, all slots are given to quadriremes!
This would explain why Biremes do appear as barbarian UU's, because they have the right "naval melee" tag. This would also explain why the assumed bug haunts both normal GS games and the new Barbarian clans game mode, even though much of the code gets completely replaced.
Maybe in the base game they were basically going to give them "Viking Long ships" similar to how horse camps got the "Saka Horse Archer", and Norway was supposed to come later in the Vikings DLC. Then for whatever reason they decided to scrap that idea. :mischief:

I've always found it weird that naval barbarians could never spawn naval raider units like privateers and submarines. You would think they would want too. :crazyeye:
 

Tomice

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:banana: Eureka!

I removed this entry from the Barbarian Galley:
TraitType="TRAIT_BARBARIAN"
This unlocks the unit for major civs.

Strangely, this made 7 (!) galleys owned by the barbarians appear as early as turn 12.
I deliberately didn't say "Barbarian Galley" because they seem to spawn the normal version.
The "Barbarian Galley can now be built by major civs, but uses a land unit model.

This supports my theory that this is a bug!
Gotta test what happens if I delete the Barbarian Galley altogether.
 

ThunderLizard2

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:banana: Eureka!

I removed this entry from the Barbarian Galley:
TraitType="TRAIT_BARBARIAN"
This unlocks the unit for major civs.

Strangely, this made 7 (!) galleys owned by the barbarians appear as early as turn 12.
I deliberately didn't say "Barbarian Galley" because they seem to spawn the normal version.
The "Barbarian Galley can now be built by major civs, but uses a land unit model.

This supports my theory that this is a bug!
Gotta test what happens if I delete the Barbarian Galley altogether.

Nice work. No excuse that Firaxis have failed to fix this after 5 years.
 

kaspergm

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While I never did any research into the source of the early barb quads - and would be glad to find them a bug, if they are fixed - this has been discussed before, at least indirectly. I remember having talked about this nuisance because of the poor balancing between the Galley and the Quadriremes, the Quadrireme is not only appearing too early, it's also too powerful to be countered effectively by the Galley.
 

Tomice

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SUMMARY:
  • Removing the entries associated with the "Barbarian Raider" AKA "Barbarian Galley" from "units.txt" restores a behavior I'd consider intentional (judging from the other game files). It leads to a situation where 12 barbarian Galleys, 2 Quadriremes, and 1 Bireme exist in the world by turn 25 (large continents and islands map, Barbarian Clans game mode ON). Galleys fill the "scout" and "melee" roles, while Quads fill the "ranged" and "siege" roles and are thus less numerous, especially early on. The Bireme is unique and exist due to the new Barbarian Clans game mode.
  • Removing the free "Shipbuilding" tech would probably delay Quads until 50% of the major civs research "Shipbuilding".

DISCUSSION:
  • Do you agree that all this can't be intentional? Even if they wanted to get rid of early barbarian galleys, they probably wouldn't have done this by leaving traces of old code in the game.
  • Is there any problem to be expected from more galleys? Sure, they could theoretically conquer cities as Unmitigated Gaul pointed out, but they'd also be much more manageable in combat compared to Quads.
  • Where should I best place the bug report? It's a pity we might see the "final update" next week, so I guess I'm too late (NOTE: this was only hinted, not confirmed)
 

fy00sh

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Is there any problem to be expected from more galleys? Sure, they could theoretically conquer cities as Unmitigated Gaul pointed out, but they'd also be much more manageable in combat compared to Quads.
I think honestly that naval barbarian outposts should make more quadriremes than galleys, but they should still make galleys. Maybe 60%-70% quadriremes, with the rest galleys? My concern is that naval outposts will become way too easy to clear out if barbarians are primarily making non-ranged naval units. Just get a single warrior nearby and there's nothing the barbs could do. At least the way it currently is, naval barbarian outposts make more than just one unit that's capable of counterattacking a land-based attacker.
Others have said that maybe Longships were supposed to originally interact with barbarians the way Horse Archers do, and I think that'd be a good system. As is, there's no way for naval barbarians to perform coastal raids, which seems INCREDIBLY wrong tbh. I'm guessing Firaxis didn't wanna give the Longship to barbarians so they tried making a copy of the Galley that's only different in that it can coastal raid, but then they scrapped that too and tried just giving them the regular Galley, and it just ended up bugged.
I'm pretty sure the coding of the game counts barbarians as a civ, so maybe the part of Harald Hardrada's code that gives all naval melee units the ability to coastal raid can be copy-pasted over to barbarians? I think that'd be good.
 
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I've always assumed that the game gave Barbarians very early Quadiremes, Spearmen and Horsemen because of the incompetence of the regular AI Civs at warfare, in the hope that the Barbarian Camps will provide some kind of opposition to the player early in the game.

If in fact it's just a Screw-Up, they've sure left it in place long enough.

The Barbarian Quadiremes particularly bug me because no 'Barbarian' or 'Pirate' EVER used a polyreme - the quadiremes, quinqueremes and such required crews of 300 men and more and were too big and heavy to be profitable raiders. The 'Barbarian' ships were always smaller and lighter - in the Mediterranean frequently Liburnians that combined a half-hull-length double bank of oars with a good sailing rig for distances. And at least until the late Medieval Era, 'Barbarian' ships were always most dangerous to coastal communities, since the towns and villages were nice, fixed targets compared to merchant ships and had more loot in the form of people (slave-trading was a Barbarian Naval specialty), valuables, food, etc.

I do hope that Civ VII does a rework of Barbarians in general, but specifically they need a separate line of Naval Raider barbarian ships . . .
 
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I do hope that Civ VII does a rework of Barbarians in general, but specifically they need a separate line of Naval Raider barbarian ships . . .

There really needs to be a Classical Era naval raider unit because piracy has basically always existed. I get why Firaxis did the unit tree upgrades they way the did but there are waaaay too many gaps. The new units in the last patch are a start but there also needs to be Classical Heavy Cavalry unit and some kind of Ranged Cavalry class in addition to an earlier Naval Raider.
 
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There really needs to be a Classical Era naval raider unit because piracy has basically always existed. I get why Firaxis did the unit tree upgrades they way the did but there are waaaay too many gaps. The new units in the last patch are a start but there also needs to be Classical Heavy Cavalry unit and some kind of Ranged Cavalry class in addition to an earlier Naval Raider.

A complete "Barbarian Naval" line might be:
Ancient Era: Galley/Pentekonter
Classical Era: Liburnian
Medieval Era: Xebec
Renaissance Era: Brig or Sloop
Atomic/Contemporary Era: Speedboat

The common denominator among them is that they can all raid coastal Improvements, Cities or Districts, disrupt Sea Trade Routes, and sho ld be slightly faster (+1) compared to the same era's regular Naval units but slightly weaker than that Era's melee Naval units, and they are all Melee units - most pirates were notoriously bad gunners compared to well-drilled professional crews, as the few times the pirates got into an even fight with a warship proved.

Classical Heavy Cavalry was virtually always some kind of Elite unit: Macedonian Hetairoi, Persian Clibanarii or Cataphractii, Roman Equites, the armored lancers of the Scythian Roxoloni, the Huns or Mongols. The are so hidiously expensive to maintain that very few states could do it: Macedon at its height, the Roman Empire, the Tang Dynasty in China - but even then the numbers were tiny: 2000 Hetairoi in an army of 40,000, about 10,000 Equites in an army of 250,000 Legionaries, 1000 Tang lancers in an army of 80,000 +. Most of them are Barbarian (Gothic, Hun, Mongol as mentioned) Nobles or better represented as Unique Units, as the Hetairoi are now in Civ VI.

Most of the Classical light cavalry were ranged, but the huge majority of them with thrown javelins, so very short range better represented as Melee in the game. Horse Archers that had enough range to be Ranged Units were almost all Barbarians - learning to ride a horse while shooting a bow accurately requires, like swordsmen, Full-Time practice and farmers and city-dwellers simply won't ever get the time. When Civilized groups got horse-archers, they did it by hiring the barbarians, as did Imperial Rome, Byzantium and Imperial China
 

Tomice

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The Barbarian Quadiremes particularly bug me because no 'Barbarian' or 'Pirate' EVER used a polyreme - the quadiremes, quinqueremes and such required crews of 300 men and more and were too big and heavy to be profitable raiders. The 'Barbarian' ships were always smaller and lighter .....
......I do hope that Civ VII does a rework of Barbarians in general, but specifically they need a separate line of Naval Raider barbarian ships . . .

Exactly my thoughts, this is why I bothered to check it out in the first place.
 

Aurelesk

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I could have swar that, in french, both the "naval melee" units and the "naval raider" units both used to share the same appelation, as "naval melee". Sadly, I have no proof to back my assersion (no old screenshot). You know I am always complaining about the french translation being lacking, wrong or missing? I have a brand new hypothesis: I believe that the french translation is one of the first done by the team, sometimes even before the final design. Just look at the Portugal translation!

Fellow french players, did you too remember it, or did I just dream it or something?

I was watching the first First Look to see if we could see something or some hints. The one about England is interesting, with some early UI design and icons. When using the Sea Dog, one icon is looking really close to the set-up button of siege unit in Civilization V (edit: it is is "auto-explore": the Japanese Swordsman has it too with in an other FL), and another one is looking close to an arrow into the mountain (edit: it is probably naval raid, something the Japanese Galley doesn't have...And what's the weird icon when the egyptian swordsman is going to hit the japanese samourai at 0:50 in the Japan First Look?). There are a lot to discover on those antic First Look. Like a fabulous Venitian Arsenal on a desert tile, far from any industrial district!

I guess the ability of the Galley to raid was gone really early in game design, so my main hypothesis is even less probable.
 

Pietato

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I have always wondered about this, and had a few discussions on here about the zero galleys barbs have. The galleys are supposed to act like scouts do sea raids, yet they never appeared.
 
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