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Caribbean Question

Discussion in 'Civ4 - Rhye's and Fall of Civilization' started by Corm, Aug 18, 2007.

  1. dr arlox

    dr arlox Chieftain

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    I'm not a big fan of making the West Indies more desirable through corporations. First off, I have yet to turn a profit through corps and second it isn't always feasible to have the Corporations tech researched by the mid 1700s on top of having the requisite great person (probly a great merchant) waiting in the wings ready to found the sugar corp. Then even if you do have the corp founded by the mid 1700s, you have to build the exec (probly in Europe b/c the caribean industrial base will always be weak) and ship it over there. IMO that's too much work to make the caribean more desirable.

    So, here's an idea for making the West Indies more valuable:

    Grant cities founded in the West Indies extra trade routes.

    This will make the cities more profitable (esp with customs houses compounding the intercontinental trade bonus). It's also consistent with the history Aeon221 cites. The value of holding the West Indies came from trade and apparently primarily from the trade of sugar. AFAIK the sugar (and rum) trade in the carribean prior to 1800 was neither industrialized nor corporatized. Sure there was the large sugar plantation run by the wealthy land owner, but I don't think there was a corp with sugar holdings throughout the region. Rum production I believe was also largely (and maybe even exclusively) a cottage industry.

    Adding the extra trade routes can be done many different ways. Here's the three I find most attractive:
    (1) new building(s) that when supplied with the appropriate resource(s) like spices, bananas and sugar grant extra trade route(s). For instance, a distillery that when supplied with sugar generates an extra trade route (from the sale of rum). A possible problem with this approach for some people is that it will make all tropical regions more desirable without putting the emphasis solely on the West Indies. Also the extra trade routes can be made to appear in non-tropical regions like North America by trading for tropical resources like sugar.
    (2) events that automatically trigger and grant extra trade route(s) to caribean cities. This allows the West Indies to be targeted. It also allows the importance of the caribean to be diminished later in the modern era through events that take those extra trade routes away.
    (3) a combo of #1 and #2 - buildings that can't be built the traditional way with hammers, but are granted to caribean cities through events. These buildings could then be made obsolete through the discovery or later techs.

    I have to admit that my only attraction to #1 is that I think I'm capable of doing it myself; my ability to mod ends with xml. However, I think #2 or #3 is the way to go for reasons of game balance. It doesn't feel right having the caribean retain the economic importance of the 1700s in the 1900s. Having the discovery of certain techs reduce the number of extra caribean trade routes (eg the emergence of sacharine and other artificial sweetners when the tech Composites is discovered, or the emergence of corn syrup and other non sugar based sweetners when the tech Biology is discovered) is probably the best way to gradually reduce the region's economic importance. However, I have no idea how feasible it would be to actually implement #2 or #3 in RFC or a mod of RFC. The only thing I know is that event modding is out of my league.

    Anyway that's my two cents worth. I have to admit that I'm not terribly concerned about the desirability of founding cities in the west indies (since I don't usually play historically colonial empires), but I thought it was a fun problem to think about in terms of how to manipulate the existing game mechanics in RFC and BtS. If someone feels really strongly about making the west indies more significant, maybe they'll find this idea interesting enough to actually implement. I know I'd love to see how it'd be done.
     
  2. Aeon221

    Aeon221 Lord of the Cheese Helmet

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    I've always liked the idea of adding in local resource specific buildings ever since El Justo's Cold War scenario.

    I can probably do it myself (ended up doing that with a lot of weird stuff on the civ3 version), but I'd rather not have to self update every time a new version gets released.
     
  3. dr arlox

    dr arlox Chieftain

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    Might the BtS feature of modular mods mitigate the self-modding problem a bit?

    I've only dabbled a little with my own private mods that are pretty much limited to editing or adding new units (xml only and very modular friendly). So, I don't know what would go into making new resource specific buildings. There are already a couple resource specific buildings in civ4 (mass transit w/oil and power plant w/coal come to mind), so it might be within my limited ability and even do-able as a modular mod. I'll have to poke around the Building_Infos file and find out.

    BTW, I dig your sig. Cato was a bad ass (plus the passive periphrastic is just sweet).
     
  4. dr arlox

    dr arlox Chieftain

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    Looks do-able in an xml only mod. Here's the code that could be used in the BuildingInfos file:

    Code:
    <BonusYieldModifiers>
    <BonusYieldModifier>
    <BonusType>BONUS_SPICE</BonusType>
    <YieldModifiers> 
    <iYield>0</iYield>
    <iYield>0</iYield>
    <iYield>20</iYield>
    </YieldModifiers>
    </BonusYieldModifier>
    </BonusYieldModifiers>
    I haven't tested it out, but according to the Civ4 Wiki, this should increase commerce 20% when the spice resource is present in the city (just like the Ironworks increases production 50% when coal is present in the city).

    Probably the best way to implement this would be in a modified lighthouse that is unique to only England, France, Spain, Portugal and Holland since they were the main players in the west indies of the 1700s.

    Attaching the commerce bonus to a UB lighthouse will make the two spice resources in the west indies worth fighting over, since most European cities will already have a lighthouse by the 1700s. Lose your access to the spice and your economy will take a 20% hit. A naval blockade of your carribean spice city could be devastating to your GPT (and consequently your stability), so better maintain a strong enough navy in the west indies!

    Limiting the UB lighthouse to England, France, Spain, Portugal and Holland should somewhat target the West Indies since it is the closest source of spice to Europe. However, it doesn't completely target the West Indies. England and Holland may find it easier to get their spices from sub-equatorial asia, if they can't get to it first in the Caribean. Also it is possible for any of these European powers to ignore the spices in the west indies altogether and secure the resource through trade with whatever Middle Eastern power controls the spices in Persia.

    Another issue I see with making this modification is that the commercial benefit doesn't expire. Consequently the west indies will be commercially very significant into the 1900s, 2000s and beyond (which just doesn't seem right). It would be nice if there was a way to obsolete just part of a building's benefits.

    The biggest issue, though, is that there'll certainly be balancing issues in making this extra 20% boost to commerce available only to a limited number of European powers.
     
  5. vra379971

    vra379971 Deity

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    I'm still for the Civ3 solution.

    Tresure units and naval warfare. Buildings can easily be made to obsolete.
     
  6. dr arlox

    dr arlox Chieftain

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    Never having played Civ3, I can't really comment on the treasure units. But I'm interested in hearing how they worked in RFC.

    You can easily make it so that the buildings don't obsolete though. I also like the idea of making them resource specific. You can also limit the latitude within which they can appear. But buildings may be a dead end for reasons other than gameplay.

    I just discovered the other night that adding buildings is a bit of a pain in RFC.

    If I add them in a module, RFC treats them as though they are embassies. If I add them at the front of the core BuildingInfos file, then the buildings preceding the embassies are treated as such.

    My modding facility ends at xml, so I can't even begin to speculate what python or SDK would be involved to make additional buildings work. I now understand what Aeon221 was getting at when he said he didn't want to do a self update with the release of every new version.

    Oh well.
     
  7. Gunner

    Gunner Emperor

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    Its pretty easy to remove resources with python. I'm pretty sure Rhye already uses python to add in resources (like horses in NA).
     
  8. vra379971

    vra379971 Deity

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    Here's how it worked in Civ 3.

    You build a building of a certain resource type (Sugar Plantation) for every city that has access to a certain resource. (Sugar)

    Then, every X turns that city generates a treasure unit, and you'd have to go and pick it up and return it to your capital for a cash bonus. Very realistic, and you could just make the buildings stop producing gold units at one point.
     
  9. say1988

    say1988 Deity

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    That sounds like a great method.
    You could have fun trying to hunt down you enemy treasure fleets.
     
  10. Mewtarthio

    Mewtarthio Emperor

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    From C3C's Age of Discovery scenario, right? As I recall, said building could only be built if the resource was in the city's fat cross. Also, correct me if I'm wrong, but wasn't there a chance that, if a Privateer killed the unit transporting the gold, it could Enslave the unit as a transport on the Privateer's team (note that other ships could be Enslaved in this manner as well, but only as Privateers)?
     
  11. onedreamer

    onedreamer Dragon

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    actually just moving the existing resources a bit so that more than one would be in a city fat cross would do the trick IMHO.
     
  12. vra379971

    vra379971 Deity

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    Exactly, on all counts.
     
  13. Lokolus

    Lokolus Retired...

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    How about making the East India Company as a corporation? I know its not connected to the carribeans but it can take sugar, silk, dye and maybe cotton. it can also be founded as a wonder instead and require astronomy\banking
     
  14. Theodorick

    Theodorick King

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    It'll probably be built by China, just like a lot of key European wonders are.
     
  15. vra379971

    vra379971 Deity

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    Which would kill the entire point of having a chance to really improve naval warfare.
     
  16. LuKo

    LuKo The Royal Guard

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    I beg your pardon? To be rich you would have to control some resources so you will have to improve your naval warfare to be able transport your troops to conquer cities/protect your cities.
     
  17. Theodorick

    Theodorick King

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    I think he's saying it would be far more devastating to blockade your cities, cutting off oversea trade routes, resources, and population, than to try and deal with a cooperation, who's motivation would be a lot different than just having to settle the cities, and make them an economic powerhouse. In other words, you could get rich off the east Indies without a navy or even any cities there if you play your cards right, which isn't realistic at all.
     

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