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canals?

Discussion in 'Civ - Ideas & Suggestions' started by noowanda, Apr 29, 2005.

  1. Rohirrim

    Rohirrim Chieftain

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    As far as historical accuracy, canals are a must. They really changed the early industrial era (think Erie) and even into the 20th Century (Panama, Suez) they had a huge impact on world commerce. They should definitely be in the game. Also, those towns along the canal should have their commerce raised considerably, although ships in canals should move slower than they do at sea. I also love the idea of bridges. Of course, in the modern era, that allows for the precision bombing of bridges and canals. ;D
     
  2. Komoda

    Komoda Chieftain

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    If one was to look to the history of france, much of its landscape is accessed via canals. The other plus of being able to build canals, is that you could alter terrain by one step. I know, workers can already do this once they become engineers, but before their were engineers, there were a lot of workers building canals. One only needs to look to daVinci to see his drawings of locks for canals. Without those drawings, I am sure the canal system for the panama or the great lakes/st.lawrence would not be possible.
    Canals and Walls should have a more physical appearance on the map.
     
  3. GenMarshall

    GenMarshall Night Elven Ghost Agent

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    I feel that canals are not needed. Reason being is how would the AI handle the canal system?

    Personaly, I feel that canals should not be included.
     
  4. xlz

    xlz Chieftain

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    Yep, bridges and canals would do good. Especialy bridges, witch were essential in wars (example WWII). Tanks could not cross the river anywhere, so troops and aviation could gain more advantage.

    AI's not the problem. That's why programmer has to have head on his shoulders. :) There should be some kind of rules, which desides when and where cannals and bridges should be built or destroyed.
     
  5. Gregski

    Gregski Mostly Harmless

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    An alternative to canals would be the port facility. Now I don't mean the civ 2 improvement, I am thinking along the lines of a radar tower in PTW. You can build a port facility on any flat square (no forest/jungle, hill, mountains etc) that is coastal and next to a city. That square would be accessible to ships and the city would be able to build coastal improvements. This would be painless and easy way to go and if the operation consumes the worker (like the radar tower), it would have good balance. Implementing for the AI should not be rocket science either.
     
  6. searcheagle

    searcheagle Emperor

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    You are getting your versions of Civ confused. Civ 3 has no major modification of terrain or no unit known as engineers. However, Civ 2 did have engineers that could transform the earth.
     
  7. Komoda

    Komoda Chieftain

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    Oops!

    Its easy to get confused, with so many mods and stuff like that within the forum.
    Still perhaps instead of a port facility for a squares outside the city proper, perhaps small wonders. Though the Great Canal of China is no small wonder, as it took 2000 years to build and the terrain around that same canal is one of the most plentiful green belts of inland China.
    As for other small wonders: Panama Canal, Suez Canal, and the St.Lawrence Seaway.
    Conceivably other similar wonders would be the dike system of Holland, to which the pump houses are the so many windmills that dot the Holland Landscape. And, of course, lets not forget the canals surrounding Paris,France.

    As a worker can create roads, and then railroads. Why not allso allow the option for workers to be able to convert roads to waterways when the tech comes available?
     
  8. Horus Kol

    Horus Kol Chieftain

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    Workers in CivIII do get faster once you discover Replaceable Parts...

    As for a canal system - I think the roads will suffice... instead of just thinking of them as roads, they are just an indicator that there is a transport route there... why confuse matters with two terrain mods that perform the same thing?


    As for the port facility... why is it that I can build a hydro power plant in a city where there is a river in any square - but harbours can only be built on the coastline... if we are saying that the city is sprawled into the neighbouring squares, then why can't the harbour be away from the centre?
     
  9. Symphony D.

    Symphony D. Deity

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    Although I personally am in favor of the idea of some sort of limited canal system, CivGeneral does raise a good point: it would be rather difficult to get the AI to recognize the utility of such a thing and the proper places in which to put it.

    That said, it'd be very useful for those instances when the game puts a large inalnd sea somewhere and it never gets near enough to the oceans to plunk down a city as a "canal".

    It'd also be interesting if, as terrain improvements, they were usable by all civs (like Suez), and might become strategic targets.
     
  10. stormbind

    stormbind Retenta personam!

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    Birmingham (UK) is an old industrial powerhouse, now transformed into an world exhibition center, with more miles of canal than venice. This gave a big boost to industry & trade; canals were responsible for the growth of inland cities.

    These canals go all over the city but are very rarely used. I do not think they have much impact in the modern age. Perhaps they could give a small boost to tourism that is, if considering inflation, equal in currency to the original purpose.

    Canals depreciate and the game would need to represent this somehow, perhaps through inflation.

    One of the millenium projects in Scotland joins two canals.
     
  11. stormbind

    stormbind Retenta personam!

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  12. stormbind

    stormbind Retenta personam!

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    No more difficult than figuring out where to put a road.
     
  13. Symphony D.

    Symphony D. Deity

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    Untrue. Roads can be built anywhere - canals cannot, or, at the least, should not be. The real problem is there's two types of canals: strategic, and local.

    Local canals are things like the Erie Canal, the Canals in France, the Great Canal in China, and so on. Representing that in Civ does little because it's the same thing as a river (which, in itself, acts just like a road for movement - basically they'd just be manmade rivers). I guess it could increase the commerce bonus of a tile by 1 or have a movement bonus greater than that of a road, but then you've got the same problem with railroads that increase shield bonuses by 1 too and enable quicker movement- they'll get built everywhere. Having the ability to send your navy wantonly anywhere inland would be silly, and most local canals are for the movement of goods, not ships - roads already handle this. There's not much point in modeling local canal systems on the Civ scale.

    Strategic canal systems like the Panama or Suez Canals are a wholly different affair, as they do have a very big impact on force movement globally that is not already handled by say, roads. Since commerce at sea is an abstracted thing, they would mostly be useful for the way they change military naval strategy. Since they are large undertakings, and would enable a special movement (naval ships over land between large bodies of water) they would need to be limited in scope so you couldn't just canal your way across the whole continent, and by limiting their size, you resign them to being useful only in specific geographic locations.

    Getting the AI to recognize such locations intelligently, short of some sort of map-tagging system, would be very difficult. Similarly, including intelligent map-tags on randomized maps would also be very difficult. Hence the difficulty in getting the AI to use strategic canals, which would, at least in my estimation, be the best of the two types to bother with.
     
  14. stormbind

    stormbind Retenta personam!

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    What kind of canal do you call those that were dug all over Britain and powered the industrial empire?

    I would have thought those canals were slightly more influencial in civilisation development.
     
  15. Symphony D.

    Symphony D. Deity

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    They are. But what would they achieve in terms of the game?

    Linking cities for commerce? Done by roads. It's true that throughout most of history it was easier to move freight by water than by land, but in terms of the game, where all of this is abstracted, what's the real difference?

    In civ, a road connects cities and freight is abstracted - there are no units in the trade network. The only things that move, really, are military units and workers. Canals are not terribly important in respect to the military, only really to commerce.

    So you have something that does, in civ terms, the exact same thing as a road. That should be enough to write it off as is. But lets assume you could make it do something. What else does it do? Your average local canal can't support the movement of naval vessels or ships of the sort you build in Civ. So it's worthless for that.

    It could improve commerce or shields? Well then it's going to get built in every single tile just like railroads. Although canals have been built throughout history, a very large percentage of them were built in the industrial age - which is right when railroads come along, making them worthless for shields because that's already covered (unless you want doubling which could be very unbalanced).

    So really I guess you could make them boost commerce in a square, but again, they'll get built everywhere unless you put limits on them (sort of like the farm / mine / solar collector system of SMAC maybe?) but even then, it's just another tile improvement, nothing really special.

    Basically: small-scale canals are redundant in the civ world for trade purposes, because what they do in the real world is already covered by civ's abstract trade system. Basically, including local canal systems might be useful if you wanted to make the player do a lot more work with his workers to get a bit more gold per turn. That means any real use should be in terms of unit movement and hence, on large-scale strategic projects, eg: Suez and Panama.
     
  16. stormbind

    stormbind Retenta personam!

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    Maybe roads, rail, canals, rivers should all be less influencial to encourage mixed usage of them?

    Early roads were not built. They were just flattened by repeated use and you still see the result if you go rambling. Over time, hard elements (rock, stones and shells) were trodden into muddy paths. Other stuff is trodden in too but rots away so eventually you end up with a natural road created by people who just walk.

    Built-roads like those of Roman militaries were similar but with accelerated production. Although this isn't cited in history books, I think their biggest influence was in helping people to not get lost (like a full sized map)! :lol:

    Canals were built to move heavy freight before steam. You could not do this on a road. Water was more important, and it is possible that steam engines would never have been built if raw materials needed to build them could not be brought together by canals.

    Railways appeared after steam. The earliest rail networks I have seen emphasised linking only coastal cities (Brunel); those cities which did not enjoy reliable canals between each other and had to relly on the ocean for freight. Before that, local rail was used to increase production at mines &c.

    So it seems to me that freight is a major cause and effect in locomotion, and rail is more concerned with increasing production.

    In the medieval and industrial ages: Harbours could move freight, but roads could not. Rail was not always available.

    Also, rail increases polution which canals don't. Not noticeably anyway, so the canals are not instantly obsolete on discovering rail. It also takes time to lay railways and linking coastal cities first is a good idea from the perspective of military defense.
     
  17. stormbind

    stormbind Retenta personam!

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    Maybe building canals should come really early in the game.

    Here is an idea:
    1. Roads move freight to/from towns (sizes 1 - 6)
    2. Canals move freght to/from cities (size 6+)
    3. Units use the roads only.

    Now you have a reason for building both! I think it's pretty realistic too, because a size 7 ancient city would need canals to get sufficient resources & luxuries in for it's people.

    Industrial age:
    Rail does the same job as road + canal, increases shield production, and is also faster.

    As an additional effect, early in the game you would be settling along the coast where freight is readilly available. There is a thread in OT(or History) which points out that people colonised coastlines before moving inland.
     
  18. Symphony D.

    Symphony D. Deity

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    I can see the utility in such a system, but the question becomes "although it's realistic, is it fun?" - to which the answer may be yes or no, as it's not extremely involved or anything, just a little more redundant but also more fleshed out than the current system. I'm ambivalent about it the way you describe it, so I'll let it lie with a tentative "try it and see" recommendation.

    It still leaves open the strategic side of canals though, which would be hard to get the AI to acknowledge.
     
  19. Komoda

    Komoda Chieftain

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    Another interesting factor to remember about the canals that network the Parisian landscape, is that without their presence. Paris could not have built the first known sewer system. As the canals also served another purpose, they were a link between the country settlements and main industry along the coastline. As a military strategy, think of the bridges that were used to cross them. If on strategy stand point. One only needs to destroy certain bridges, to prevent the enemy from moving forward against your settlements by limiting its route. Also, by setting up fortifications along said route.
    Also, I agree, that canal should only be used to link one settlement to another, not web across the terrain as the game allows with the use of roads.

    If you remember, in Civ1, a player could use rivers much like roads, it helped to aid scouts and settlers, and even units to get from one area to the next very quickly. In Civ2 and 3, they negated that option, which made progress of the civ development very limited to traverse terrain until a civ discovered the wheel.

    Progress of civ development, was limited first done along rivers and near large inland bodies of water. The coastline was not developed because of a fear to ocean storms that would occasionally strike against the coastline. It was not until the fabrication of sea walls, that allowed for settlements along the coastline, and even then, those settlements were either within the boundaries of a bay, natural or man-made.

    Perhaps, a worker trait could be the, alteration of terrain. A worker could, alter plains,floodplain,desert to a coastline tile. A coastline tile to a plain.
    With the discovery of the wheel, and the use of roads, the process would be the removal of a hill, to the coastline.
    Without removing a hill to a coastline, with the tech of gearworks or milling, a worker could perform land reclaimation, which is what Holland did with its windmills.
    Also with the tech of gearworks, it could also lend access to the idea, of canals, by converting a terrain tile to coastline.

    Mind you, perhaps the old game ability to traverse rivers could be re-established, and have a worker able to alter the course of a river, or add a tributary onto an existing river. eg: altering the course of the river that created Niagara Falls, to source the HydroElectric Dam.

    With Canals (or River creation option for a worker), one could connect a city with coastline, where hills exist between your settlement and the coast.
     
  20. searcheagle

    searcheagle Emperor

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    Actually, the addition to treat rivers as roads did not exist in Civ I, it was added in Civ 2 and taken out in Civ 3.

    This idea was found to be very overpowerful, especially in Civ 2.

    Canals have had too much of an impact on the world and have so much potential that they should not be added. Strategic cannals, such as the Panama, Seuz, St. Lawrence Seaway, effective global policy.

    They can lead to diplomatic issues, income, speed, combat factors in the game of Civ IV.

    Here's what I'd like to see added to add cannals:
    1. Major Rivers- Allow sea going ships to travel on there. Minor rivers would be like current rivers.
    2. Cannals could be built on any grassland, swamp, plain, hill, etc square. Certain terrain would be banned- Mountains, Jungles, etc.
    3. Cannals could connect through the continnent could be joined with major rivers, inland seas, cities and so forth.
    4. ROP agreements could be set for Canals, which where income would be collected frequently.
    5. This would allow cities to grow because of increased travel.

    There is so much potential for canals- THEY MUST be added.
     

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