Brilliance or Madness? You'll have to decide for yourself.
Hide and Seek attempts to capture a deeper sense of strategic realism when it comes to visibility rules in Civ IV.
The primary changes it introduces is to give units not only the potential of possessing multiple invisibility types and multiple visibility types, it also introduces visibility and invisibility intensity levels so that the strength of the visibility or invisibility can be varied. Therefore, with Hide and Seek, units can strive to improve their abilities to hide and spot those hiding.
So how is it determined if a unit is seen or not? First, let me explain a basic ground rule of Civ IV that I have NOT changed for this option: Once a unit is seen by an opponent civilization, ALL of the units of that opponent civilization can see and potentially attack that unit. I say 'potentially' because C2C has also introduced unit states that may make a unit incapable of being attacked by units in other states whereas the original game rules were pretty straightforward that 'if you can see it you can attack it'. But for the sake of visibility alone, the old rule that once a unit is visible to your units, all of your units consider it equally visible, even if those other units had nothing to do with spotting the unit, is still in effect.
So let's say a Trained Dog spots an Ambusher. The Axemen unit 3 squares away but adjacent to the Ambusher can still attack the Ambusher even though it has no personal ability to reveal the Ambusher. In short, revealed is revealed.
However, the rules that govern revealing units within visible plots have changed under this option (but remain the same on the core game.)
- All units with visibility intensities in specific types of invisibles add their types of visibilities to plots within their visible range.
- The intensity of the visibility decreases by 1 per space out from the viewing unit.
- If a visibility intensity has a range extension value, then the incremental decreases as described in the last point begin decreasing after a number of spaces equal to the range extension.
- Therefore, visibility types are strongest closest to the viewing unit.
- If a visibility intensity on a plot is stronger than the invisible unit's invisibility intensity then the unit is revealed unless the unit has any other invisibility types that are not also countered.
Example: if a unit has an intensity of 2 for its Camouflage Invisibility and 1 for its Disguise Invisibility type and the units of the opponent have generated an intensity of 3 to reveal Camouflage on the plot that the unit moves into but has no Disguise Visibility Intensity on that plot, the unit is still invisible because the Disguise Invisibility is still strong enough to hide the unit.
- Visibility on Invisible types cannot extend past the ultimate range of visibility for the viewing unit. If the unit can't see as far as the tapering Invisible Type Visibility Intensity it cuts off any further capacity to reveal that Invisibility.
- Many fundamental unitcombat modifiers exist for both visibilities and invisibilities.
- It is possible to have modifiers for invisibility intensities based on the Terrain, Feature, and even Improvement existing on a plot. Units on Foot, for example, are modified (given a little camouflage invisibility) by many feature types such as forests.
- A unit may develop visibility and invisibility strengths through promotions and many units may begin with additional values on top of its UnitCombat bases.
- Some BuildUps exist to aide some units in gradually enhancing their visibilities and some for units to gradually improve their INvisibilities (while remaining stationary and using that particular BuildUp that is.)
- There is an additional Size Invisibility type for games with Size Matters. In general, the smaller the group and the smaller the size of the entities in that group, the harder the unit is to see based on size alone. Conversely, the higher the quality of the unit, the more visibility the unit has against size invisibility. Both size visibility and invisibility can be further enhanced by promos.
I realize that the first points are difficult to follow in dry explanatory text. So here are some examples:
Let's say the unit in the center of this array of plots has Visibility on Camouflage at an intensity of 1. While it may be able to see 3 spaces out, it won't help to reveal any units with Camouflage Invisibility of 2 intensity or greater and it will only reveal units with Camouflage Invisibility of 1 in a one space radius around it.
The same unit takes a promotion that gives it another +1 to Visibility on Camouflage units. It now reveals units with Camouflage Invisibility of 2 intensity or less in adjacent plots and reveals units with Camouflage Invisibility of 1 up to 2 spaces away. Even though it may be able to see 3 spaces out, it still can't see Camouflaged units of any intensity in the third ring out.
If it gets another +1 Visibility towards Camouflage units, the third rung will have Camouflage 1 Visibility coverage, the 2nd rung Camouflage 2 Visibility coverage and the adjacent plots would have Camouflage 3 Visibility coverage.
If it has, say, 5 Intensity visibility towards Camouflage units but has an ultimate vision range of 3, it still only sees 5 intensity and less in the first rung, 4 and less in the second, 3 and less in the third and does not reveal any Camouflaged units beyond that because it's hit its ultimate range of vision.
Let's say the unit didn't get +1 Intensity Visibility on Camouflage though and instead got +1 Range Visibility on Camouflage. Now, up to 2 spaces out the unit can see units with Camouflage intensity of 1 or less. The third rung he still can't see any Camouflaged units at all.
If the unit then takes a +1 to his Visibility towards Camouflage units, these first two rings will have Camouflage 2 or less revealed and the third will reveal Camouflage 1 units.
And to continue the above examples, if a criminal unit with Camouflage 1 and Disguise 1 wanders into the range where its Camouflage values are revealed, the player of the viewing unit still won't be able to see the criminal unless it ALSO has a unit that is revealing Disguise invisibility on that plot. Two or more different viewing units can create the visibility values on a plot that ultimately reveals a unit with multiple invisibility types - and this is often necessary.
Example: Law Enforcement units are good at detecting units with Disguise but are not very good at seeing units with Camouflage. Canine units are the opposite, good at detecting Camouflaged units but terrible at detecting units with Disguise. So if a plot has both a Law Enforcement unit and Canine unit, a criminal would need to be very skilled at one or both types of Invisibility to evade detection nearby them.
The effect this option has on a game is to give units an entirely new development path giving units new ways to specialize and become useful in fulfilling a specialized role. It adds another strategy layer to consider, as all Combat Mod options do. It makes the wild a lot more... wild - spotting animals becomes another game within the game. In play, you'll likely be commonly surprised by units you did not realize were there and if you're playing to avoid detection, there's certainly a challenge in that as well.
This was designed to answer to many conversations we've had on these forums over the years we've been working on this mod and it also answers to numerous balance issues with criminal units and their capacities to approach and blend into cities.
AI for this mod is still pending but there's natural rudimentary AI built in already at this stage... enough that it shouldn't cripple the AI. Once the full AI work is completed for this, however, the option should really put the balance of power a notch in the AI's favor until the human player truly masters the intricacies of the strategic layer this introduces.
There are many differing ways this option addresses various game elements. The stage of the game can dramatically adjust the visibility and invisibility strategies by gradually introducing new invisibility types and giving different units different strengths and weaknesses where it comes to these visibility and invisibility type intensities. Criminals, for example, start off with disguise and camouflage but somewhere along the way they stop using camouflage so much and start using political invisibility - red tape that keeps the law from being able to take action against them thus making them effectively invisible.
In truth, the full picture of this option has yet to be fully developed but now that it's established, it can be a part of the full tapestry of the mod to be adjusted as further modding takes place. In particular, there are more plans than implementations for the futuristic stuff. Additionally, a much larger picture of this option will emerge as the Equipment project gets fully underway. Example: Differing types of terrain specific camouflage for your soldiers could be assigned depending on where your soldiers are likely to be put to use. Ultimately, this option, while fairly extensive as a package of complex visibility and invisibility factors, is at this point still in its infancy.
Feedback from players is, of course, very welcome here. Any questions, comments, concerns?
The following tags have been added that are specific for this option. The original SeeInvisibility and Invisibility tags are still in place but only apply to the core game without the option in play.
Adds or Removes Visibility Type Intensity to a unit.
Adds or Removes Visibility Type Range Adjustment to a unit.
Adds or Removes Invisibility Type Intensity to a unit.
Base Visibility Type Intensity for a unit. However, it can be valuable to think of this as being an adjustment to all the unit's unitcombat Visibility Intensity Changes though. Many units you might think should have a value here don't because they get those values purely through their UnitCombats.
Base Invisibility Type Intensity for a unit. However, it can be valuable to think of this as being an adjustment to all the unit's unitcombat Invisibility Intensity Changes though. Many units you might think should have a value here don't because they get those values purely through their UnitCombats.
Modifies the unit's invisibility intensity of the defined invisibility type whenever the unit is on a tile with the denoted terrain. With some of the defined base unitcombats, this option establishes many units as having SOME small degree of potential invisibility depending on the type of tile they stand on.
Modifies the unit's invisibility intensity of the defined invisibility type whenever the unit is on a tile with the denoted feature. With some of the defined base unitcombats, this option establishes many units as having SOME small degree of potential invisibility depending on the type of tile they stand on. Units with Mobility (Foot) are difficult to see if in a forest or jungle, for example.
Modifies the unit's invisibility intensity of the defined invisibility type whenever the unit is on a tile with the denoted improvement. With some of the defined base unitcombats, this option establishes many units as having SOME small degree of potential invisibility depending on the type of tile they stand on.
IMPROVEMENT_CITY was added to the improvement list but is not something added to a tile. Instead, this tag checks if there is a city or fort on the tile and applies any programmed modifier through this tag with the use of IMPROVEMENT_CITY. Thus it is added as a proxy for THIS tag only though may be useful to start including for other tags that specify an improvement as well. Let me know if you'd like this kind of functionality on a given tag that utilizes an improvement type.
Establishing the xml for this option was pretty complex and if you understand how it all comes together I'm sure you'll see many potential ways to improve the structure. Just make sure you get a clear picture of all of a unit's visibility or invisibility sources and have determined the ultimate totals before looking to make further adjustments. A lot of thought went into this so while I'm very welcoming to efforts to improve the structure of this option, I'd just ask for such efforts to be well communicated!
You'll have many new Promotions to look forward to working with. They have an artistic scheme that should easily express their purpose. Black background with silver symbol indicates invisibility type manipulation. (Black with gold is Hidden Nationality manipulation and can exist in the game without this option.) White background with Dark Grey to Black symbols represents a promotion used to manipulate a visibility on a unit.
Here's a few of them:
Build Up (Concealment)
Build Up (Checkpoints)
So... feedback on this should be interesting!
Note: some terms have been changed recently, Spot and Veil replace Visibility and Invisibility. I'll further edit the text to reflect that soon.