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By Land and Sea - Ocean Colonies for BE

Discussion in 'CivBE - Released Mods' started by lilgamefreek, Mar 31, 2015.

  1. lilgamefreek

    lilgamefreek Chieftain

    Joined:
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    "By Land and Sea" implements fully functional Ocean Colonies into the game. Players can embark with colonists onto the ocean to exploit bountiful resources, build new improvements, and wage savage naval war in an altered theater.

    How to Set Sail



    Currently, Ocean Colonies can be founded immediately upon researching Planetary Survey. There are no stipulations as to where Colonists can and can't settle. When Colonists settle, they go through a standard outpost phase before the city is founded. All ocean cities begin with a default building, the Pressure Dome, that will help the city grow. You may have to compete for spots with the AI who can be very prolific when settling the seas.

    New Trinkets and Booty



    To make the mod well rounded, the mod also adds several new improvements and buildings tied to the ocean. Embarked workers can improve ocean tiles without resources with Artificial Reefs, Deep-Sea Vent Wells, and Marine Habitation Domes. A total of 4 new buildings can be constructed. The Hydronursery and Floating Yard can be built in Ocean and Coastal Cities, while the Deep-Sea Lab and Solarium are limited only to Ocean Colonies. All buildings come with Building Quest support using Modular Building Quests.

    Important Notes



    In an effort to provide a solid playing experience, this mod severly pushes the boundries on what the game expects. The mod behaves rock-solid with vanilla Beyond Earth, but certain assumptions about game states and data no longer hold true and may affect the behaviours of other mods or future updates. I can make few garuantees about compatibility, though issues are unlikely to occur.

    Other things to note:
    - The mod renames Coastal tiles to "Ocean" and adapts all bodies of water to this single tile. This was done for the sake of both resource balance as well as technical workarounds to make Ocean Colonies fully fleshed out. Reintroducing the distinction between Coastal and Deep-Ocean tiles is not in the cards at the moment. As such, all units that were once restricted to Deep-Ocean are now free to roam instead. Everywhere be Monsters.

    - This mod is work in progress and is being released now to test for balance and playability. I am looking for opinions on things such as "How good is the AI at taking advantage of the new colonies?", "How powerful are ocean cities compared to land cities", or "Do ocean colonies make a meaningful difference in the way the game plays?". If you have any bugs, ideas, or suggestions to report that would help me make the mod better and funner to play, please voice your opinion in the comments or on the CivFanatics forum.

    - New Art Assets are still in the works and will be added to the mod at a later date when gameplay elements are more finalized.

    History


    _________________________
    initial upload (v1):
    - Colonists and other settling units can now found their structures on the Ocean
    - 3 new improvements: The Artificial Reef, Deep-Sea Vent Well, and Marine Dome
    - 4 new buildings: The Hydronursery, Floating Yard, Deep-Sea Lab, and Solarium
    - Ocean cities start with a default building, the Pressure Dome, that increases food generated from water tiles.
    - There is no longer a distinction between Coastal and Ocean tiles. As such, resources like Oil, Algae, and Coral can be found through out the ocean and in greater quantities.
    _________________________
    update (v2):
    - Artificial Reef has been moved to Alien Lifeforms tech.
    - Deep-Sea Vent Well has been moved to Fabrication tech.
    - Marine Dome has been giving +1 energy to match the change in Domes from tech Biospheres.
    - The Pressure Dome no longer gives any bonus to Ocean Cities.
    - Default City Strength lowered to 10. All land cities start with a free building "Solid Foundations" that add's the difference back.
    - Fixed an issue where naval units were receiving a defense penalty on ocean tiles.
    - Fixed an issue where the AI could walk on water.
    - Fixed an issue where settler units could drive boats on land
    - Fixed an issue that affected unit sight and range when looking out over ocean.
    - Fixed an issue where the AI would not settle ocean cities after loading a save game.
    - Fixed an issue where coral barely appeared on archipelego and tiny island maps.
    - Fixed an issue where alien units might sometimes spawn in the middle of the ocean.
    _________________________
    update (v3):
    - Added Building Quests to the 4 buildable buildings (will not appear in old save games).
    _________________________
    Planned future changes: .
    - Custom Art Assets for the buildings and improvements added by the mod.
    - Balance changes as feedback is received.

    Known Issues



    This mod suffers from a serious issue that affects all mods that add new unit promotions or build options (such as improvements) to the game. Upon first loading a game after initializing the mod, the Unit Panel in the games lower left-hand corner will appear buggy. There is an easy but annoying workaround. When after activating your mods for the first time, exit back to the mod selection window and reactivate your mods a second time. This will fix the issue for the remainder of your game session. You can do your part by notifying Firaxis of this widespread issue.

    External Links



    CivFanatics download page
    CivFanatics forum thread
    Steam Workshop link

    Additional Credits


    Lua - FramedArchitect for a solid code base to work off of.
     
  2. thecrazyscot

    thecrazyscot Spiffy

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    This is brilliant. Brilliant.
     
  3. Gritf

    Gritf Chieftain

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    Your mod looks awesome. I'm trying it right now. One question thought, how do you capture a city on water? Does it need a melee unit embarked or do I have to get enough affinity to build a hover tank?
     
  4. soulthirst

    soulthirst Chieftain

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    +1

    Will definitely try this.

    edit:
    I noticed that if you didn't plan your tile improvements, you may end up not being able to improve certain tiles because of the "cannot place same improvement beside each other" rule. Although I think its part of the strategy, so no complains here.

    edit edit:
    Dunno if this is a bug caused by this mod, but I saw a siege worm in an ocean tile beside my city. It looked like it was trapped (it wasn't moving, I even improved the tile beside it), so it was an easy kill for me.
     
  5. lilgamefreek

    lilgamefreek Chieftain

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    Cities are capturable by embarked melee units. The AI isn't very good at doing this though (it never has been), so they won't be that effective until hover tanks usually.

    Was the siege worm next to any land tiles or was it just out in the middle of the ocean? It's something I failed to consider, as the game "tricks" the AI into thinking many ocean tiles are land and I never noticed it spawning siege worms in the ocean (though thinking about it I don't see why it wouldn't). If it's next to land, it may be a pathing error that I need to investigate differently.
     
  6. Delnar_Ersike

    Delnar_Ersike Chieftain

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    As with the Civ5 ocean cities mod, keep in mind that the AI is built to only ever consider cities on land tiles, eg. when it looks for places to settle or cities to target or cities to relocate workers to or cities to act as rally points for military operations, it *will* misbehave if any city is located on a water tile. If it's possible to have the ocean city spawn a land tile under itself when it's built, that should help the AI, as it can deal with cities built on one-tile islands, even ones spawned after the game has begun (I think, I might need to double check).
     
  7. lilgamefreek

    lilgamefreek Chieftain

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    I've done some added trickery among all of this to help the AI adapt as such. From the computer's stand point, the entire ocean is dotted with one tile islands. There are other edits that try to work around the added complexity that requires to provide as seamless an experience as possible. From my ovservations, the AI still values land colonies over sea, as it would normal single tile islands, but it seeks them out voluntarily and is as competent at defending/attacking them as the ai has ever been at navy. The most heavily developed screenshots from the steam workshop page are of AI vs. AI matches (including the one of the earthling settler).
     
  8. Delnar_Ersike

    Delnar_Ersike Chieftain

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    Having the ocean dotted with one tile islands might screw up some of the AI's macro-strategy checks (eg. how many scouts, land units, and naval units it wants), but it's definitely a better solution than just having cities be on top ocean tiles. It certainly a good enough of a solution for a non-DLL mod.
    It also helps that unlike Civ5, CivBE only really has one type of ship (carriers kind of count and kind of don't, since they're technically handled as transport units in the C++ code, not like naval military units), so the AI doesn't really have problems with poor naval unit composition like in Civ5.

    In case you don't know though, the AI actually has a much higher chance of settling one-tile islands than normal due to the way the AI handles potential yields/fertility of unexplored tiles. The AI assumes that any unexplored tiles have a fertility of 0, so it will rate a one-tile island, whose city radius it has completely explored with a sea scout, higher than a small uninhabited continent with only its coastal tiles explored with the sea explorer, even if, statistically speaking, land tiles will tend to have better yields than water tiles.
     
  9. lilgamefreek

    lilgamefreek Chieftain

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    The increased number of units that hover also help smooth out the wrinkles a lot as well. Make's poor decisions on the AI's part a little less noticeable late game.
     
  10. soulthirst

    soulthirst Chieftain

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    It was in the middle of the ocean.

    As for balancing issues, I think the ocean cities give too much energy and food. I got 5 cities feeding my main city with trade routes, and my ocean cities still outgrew my main city (purity farm) (although it depends on the main city's location, the lack of variation from ocean tiles makes the ocean cities a little imba).
     
  11. lilgamefreek

    lilgamefreek Chieftain

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    I do agree. I have a couple of gameplay changes in mind that will be pushed out once they become a little more substantial. Nerfing the food you can get from ocean cities is definitely one of them.
     
  12. Valessa

    Valessa Communistress

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    I've played (or at least started ^^) 5 matches with that mod now and haven't actually come across that siege worm bug yet. Everything seems to work fine so far.

    You asked for feedback, so here's my opinion:
    First of all - really nice idea, really fun mod -> great job!

    What I find a bit problematic are the yields you can get on ocean tiles. A LOT of food to grow really big cities (probably too much food) ... but (unless I've missed something) a pure ocean city cannot get the health to support that population. ...and then there's not really that much that you can do with all of that population except for generating a LOT of energy.

    The other problem is that, to make complete use of ocean cities you need to get techs from all 3 ideologies. That's probably by design, but at least in a somewhat "Rush-oriented" strategy it doesn't really seem to work.

    Pure ocean cities are also lacking a source of Health if I've not missed something - I think a strategy that involves growing big cities really needs a "spamable" source of health equivalent to the Biowell.

    And the third thing I feel like it's missing is some sort of end goal to work towards - at the moment the "chain" seems to end at being able to produce a ton of energy, but that energy can't really be "converted" into anything else, at least not by that city. That may be a design decision and can work (1-2 ocean cities seems to allow be to mostly skip solar satellites in my other cities, so there's an indirect conversion), but I feel like the fact that these cities can grow really big should have some more direct reward in terms of science - I'd actually say at an improvement that generates science for a hefty energy maintenance - and add a building that gives a nice %-boost to science - that way growing these cities big is rewarded.

    ...overall you'd then have a nice triangle of improvements for that kind of cities - get reefs to grow the city (would also need to add health), get Ocean Vent Wells to support the Science Improvements.

    I'm not sure about the domes though. Culture just doesn't seem worth it to be used as an tile improvement in the mid- and late game.
     
  13. GeoModder

    GeoModder Chieftain

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    Nice ideas there, only too bad the art assets aren't on par yet.
    Ryika talked about strategy, and there's nothing I could add there atm, so I'll chime in the 'bugs', or what seem like bugs. ;)

    I played for 130 turns on minimum graphics, small map, 7 players, archipelago, and with the Frozen Lands mod.

    • Besides the promotions graphic bug, I had it that Élodie asked me for a cooperation agreement, but the button bar to accept it was gone. There was an empty space there while the button below (to ignore it) was still there. First time ever I encountered this in the game, so I gather it comes from the mod.
    • I settled an outpost in a bay (adjacent to three land hexes) near a nest. The bugs pouring out were able to attack the outpost and destroy it. I assume that's a consequence of the sea outpost hex not really being an ocean hex anymore.
    • Ranged unit ranges, and overall distance units can 'look', are affected. A land ranged unit really need a hill outlook to have its full 2 hex attack range. And land units on the coast can't look out over the 'sea' for two hexes anymore.
    • The colonist graphic stays on the hoverboat after leaving the city that built it, even if the unit goes over land.
    Despite following the Prosperity virtue track, and having gone as far as the virtue giving you +7 health, I ran in the red while only having 3 cities, from which 2 were fully outfitted with the available health buildings (pharma, clinic, cytonursery). I had choosen the +2 food/city colonist type though, but hadn't built food-enhancing buildings like the vivarium. Only the available sea-enhancing buildings.
     
  14. lilgamefreek

    lilgamefreek Chieftain

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    Thanks a bunch for the feedback, I love it all. I was reminded of a design goal I had early on that I realized I'd kinda forgotten about. I wanted to make Ocean Cities act closer to jungle cities in Civ5. That was sort of the intention of the Deep-Sea Lab building, but I kind of lost sight of things part way through development. I'll definitely be examining the tech placement of things as it's been a commonly iterated opinion, as well as pay closer attention to health (though that may become more manageble when I make the food nerf).

    I'll take a look at the unit sight ranges. I was a little worried that might get screwy but haven't looked closely at it yet. Land units being able to attack ocean cities that are directly adjacent to the coast is sadly something I can't fix. On the flipside, it means that such cities can connect to other's with land trade routes as well. The settler embark issue is something I'm looking at as well. Thanks for the reports!
     
  15. Dellan

    Dellan Chieftain

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    Hi :)

    I don't have to repeat all the stuff that's already been said - I agree with all of them.

    I just wonder how is an ocean city supposed to gain production? There are improvements for Food, Energy and Culture but nothing that substitutes for the lack of mines and manufactories. Do you have anything planned for that?

    I know there are buildings that boost your city's production but an ocean city won't ever come close to a city which is surrounded by mines and manufactories.

    One little thing I'd like to repeat: I think it'd be better if the improvements weren't tied to affinity related techs. It really hurt my Harmony soul when I researched something Supremacy related. :lol:
    Just an opinion, though.

    Edit: I seriously forgot to say that I love this mod! Now added!
     
  16. lilgamefreek

    lilgamefreek Chieftain

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    It's tempting when modding to create mods that add everything you can to the mix. It's like going to a buffet and trying to eat everything on offer. When you do that, the taste of all the foods will kinda get blanded and washed out on the process. I made it a point early on to make a list of all the things cities can and can't have. Just like how cities with lots of hills will have less farms, cities with lots of forests take longer to develop, or cities with lots of desert are starved for food, ocean tiles were intended to have difficulty acquiring extra production. This is partially offset by things such as corals, oil, or advanced harmony reefs. However production is intentionally chosen as the limiting yield in ocean cities intended to be supported by internal trade routes just like how I imagine it would be in real life.

    Don't worry though, the ocean improvements will be moved from affinity techs in an upcoming update that should be relatively soon, among other things.
     
  17. Dellan

    Dellan Chieftain

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    Okay I understand. :) I guess there are other ways to improve production.

    If you're comfortable with it and if noone does it ahead of me, I can translate the mod into German. I'm currently a little busy with translating Super Power Mod but I'll have it finished soon.
     
  18. Valessa

    Valessa Communistress

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    The problem with internal trade routes is that, if the city itself doesn't have much production, the ocean city will not really gain any production, as trade routes supply the city that already has the higher yield. ^^ A trade route towards a food-heavy, low-production city will give a lot of food for that city, but very low production.

    Overall... if you want all ocean cities to follow the same concept, then that's of course a valid decision, though I think it would feel rather boring relatively fast, as ocean cities have very little variance when it comes to differences in terrain.

    I actually thought about that a bit and I want to suggest an alternative concept - that may go 100% against the idea where you want your mod to go. :D But I'll just explain what I thought about - feel free to completely disregard what follows if it's not what you want. :D

    - For each of the 3 types of sea resources available add a unique National Wonder with that exact resource as a local requirement.
    - Each of these National Wonders should give quite a nice bonus to the Sea Resource that it's associated with (like +2 food +2 production from coral or something like that, for that one city only)
    - These National Wonders could also change the yields of all other ocean tiles worked by that city - so for example the one that is associated with oil could in addition to adding bonus-yields to oil tiles, remove 1 food from all sea tiles and add +1 production, as one can assume that a city that focuses on getting oil from the bottom of the sea is heavily focused around industry.
    - That way, while the general theme of an ocean city is still intact, some ocean cities would play a lot different (and thus require a different strategy when deciding what improvements to build)
    - At the same time, city placement would become so much more interesting for ocean cities - settling next to the 3 algae tiles would suddenly open up very different strategies for that one city. Or do you really build your National Wonder for that one Oil tile when you may just expand to that other spot, where there are 3 oil tiles? Orbital Fabricators/Wheather Satellites would become more useful and would become an interesting tool to buff these cities.
     
  19. lilgamefreek

    lilgamefreek Chieftain

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    I have no problem with that! Go right ahead.

    What you say about trade routes is true and it's not as simple as just sending all your trade routes to your ocean cities. I'll give the production issue some more thought and testing as I tweak the other elements. The national wonder idea seems like a really neat idea to explore! I think it would be implemented better as a seperate mod that affects all the different resources however, not just the ocean ones. It's a cool idea that shouldn't be limited for that reason.
     
  20. lilgamefreek

    lilgamefreek Chieftain

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    Version 2 Update:

    - Artificial Reef has been moved to Alien Lifeforms tech.
    - Deep-Sea Vent Well has been moved to Fabrication tech.
    - Marine Dome has been giving +1 energy to match the change in Domes from tech Biospheres.
    - The Pressure Dome no longer gives any bonus to Ocean Cities.
    - Default City Strength lowered to 10. All land cities start with a free building "Solid Foundations" that add's the difference back.
    - Fixed an issue where naval units were receiving a defense penalty on ocean tiles.
    - Fixed an issue where the AI could walk on water.
    - Fixed an issue where settler units could drive boats on land
    - Fixed an issue that affected unit sight and range when looking out over ocean.
    - Fixed an issue where the AI would not settle ocean cities after loading a save game.
    - Fixed an issue where coral barely appeared on archipelego and tiny island maps.
    - Fixed an issue where alien units might sometimes spawn in the middle of the ocean.
     

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