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CaT - Cultures and Traits Mod

Discussion in 'Civ3 - Completed Modpacks' started by Lamabreeder, May 24, 2013.

  1. Lamabreeder

    Lamabreeder Chieftain

    Joined:
    May 11, 2004
    Messages:
    45
    Welcome to CaT - Cultures and Traits Mod - which presents you with a complete overhaul of the standard epic game. CaT focuses on differences between civilizations to make each one more unique and to heighten the replay value. Special care was taken to ensure a strong AI. A number of annoying features from the standard epic game have been smoothed over or removed completely. This mod is something like a builder's dream, because you can build big cities early and efficiently and buildings are generally very cheap - which is offset by expensive units, especially later in the game. I have already played numerous games with this mod, and while it is not completely balanced and still has a few (minor) issues, I consider it quite playable.

    This mod does not feature graphical enhancements. I was forced to nevertheless incorporate some graphics files (taken directly from RAR) to accomodate for the increased number of Wonders and Buildings. Should anyone find this mod interesting enough to want to prettify it, s/he is invited to either make a prettified version alone (and to branch out) or to contact me to collaborate for a next version.

    A lot of ideas came from other Mods, especially RAR, MEM and Plotinus' Desert scenario. My thanks goes to the creators of these works.

    The following posts give you an introduction to CaT. For now, let me just give you the download and installation details.

    Download and Installation

    Spoiler :

    The needed files are for now attached to this post. You need to download both, CaT.zip (ca. 10 MB) and CaT_V0.17.biq.zip (ca. 33 KB). You can either unzip them (i.e. with 7zip) into a directory of your choice and then move them or unzip them directly into your scenario folder. This folder is, if you did not change the default path:

    C:\Program Files\Infogrames\Civilization III\Conquests\Scenarios

    Make sure this folder contains after your operation a folder named "CaT" which in turn contains a folder named "Text" (and some others). This check ensures that no additional folders were created during unzipping which happens quite often and prevents this mod from working.

    This folder should also contain the file CaT_V0.17.biq. This is the file you select in the game to start this mod on a random map.

    After this you can either directly start playing and learn by doing and reading the Civilopedia or you can gain a good overview by reading the following introduction.
     

    Attached Files:

  2. Lamabreeder

    Lamabreeder Chieftain

    Joined:
    May 11, 2004
    Messages:
    45
    Introduction

    Content
    1 Cultures and Traits
    1.1 Culture Groups
    1.2 Traits
    2 AI Considerations
    3 Reduction and Removal of Annoying Features
    4 Big Cities
    5 A Number of Things
    5.1 Eras
    5.2 Workers
    5.3 Roads and Railroads
    5.4 Governments
    5.5 RBBs
    5.6 Culture vs Control
    5.7 Terrain
    5.8 Units
    5.9 Golden Age
    5.10 Victory Conditions
    5.11 Start Positions
    6 Tips for Starting a Random Game
    7 Known Issues

    1 Cultures and Traits
    Spoiler :

    Every Civilization belongs to two culture groups and possesses two traits. This follows the original ideas of Civilization and a more pronounced version in the RAR mod. Like RAR, CaT goes further, i.e. the traits add more to a civilization than a (more or less) minor feature. Unlike RAR, the traits of CaT do not try to match those of the standard game although there is of course a great deal of overlapping. Generally, culture groups and traits allow for additional buildings. A more detailed overview follows.


    1.1 Culture Groups
    Spoiler :

    Every Civilization belongs to two culture groups - one culture group during the first era, and one culture group for the following two eras. The last era is identical for all civs. For more information on CaT's eras see below.

    Every culture group contains a few techs available only to this culture group, containing a few buildings, Small Wonders and Wonders of the World. Almost all Wonders of the World are culture group specific. The one exception is the Great Wall, because Great Walls have been built by numerous civilizations, even if the best known, largest and most famous one is the one in China. This means that i.e. the Lighthouse can only be built by a Mediterranean civ, never by the Japanese or the Mali. This also means that in case you are the only civ in your culture group in the game, you will have all these Wonders for yourself but have also no partner to trade culture group specific techs with wich can be quite a disadvantage. The cost of technologies available to specific culture groups have been calculted to match possibly increased science output. In other words: Culture groups with additional science buildings will have more expensive techs. These additional costs will be carried through the following eras with certain exceptions where single civs do not follow the standard culture group progression. The African culture group has the general disadvantage that they will later be in a culture groups that have expensive techs while not having been provided with science buildings. However, most of them possess the commercial trait (CaT, not standard game), which is very powerful.

    The culture groups I differentiate are a compromise between what I found out about actual history and gameplay necessities. For the first era there are the following culture groups: Mediterranean/Middle Eastern, Celtic/Germanic, Central Asian, African, East Asian, Middle/South American, North American. For the later eras there are the following culture groups: Byzantine, European, Central Asian, Islamic, East Asian, Generic.

    Culture Groups of the first era:

    The Mediterranean/Middle Eastern culture group contains civilizations such as Greeks, Romans, Persians, Babylonians and Egyptians. They have a large selection of Wonders available as well as two additional governments, bonus research and happiness buildings. For the ancient era they are probably the most fun to play but take a bit longer to enter the next era. Civs of this culture group will later be Byzantine or Islamic.

    The Celtic/Germanic are primitive barbarians like the Germans, English, French and the like that have weak wonders like Stonehenge at their disposal. They will later be European.

    The Central Asian culture group in the first era contains people like the Ottomans, the Mongols and the Parthians. They have better mounted units. They will later be Central Asian or Islamic.

    The African culture group contains civs like Mali and Ethiopia, and have been largely taken from Plotinus' superb Africa scenario. They will later be Byzantine or Islamic.

    The East Asian culture group in the first era contains civs like China, India and Japan. They have bonus research and bonus happiness buildings at their disposal, as well as a large number or Wonders. They will be East Asian in later eras.

    The Middle/South American culture groups contains civs like Atztecs, Inca and Maya who have a nice selection of Wonders available. They do not have early mounted units. They will later be Generic.

    The North American culture group contains civs like Sioux and Iroquis and have not much in terms of Western style civilization going for them, being nomadic as they were. They cannot build the first mounted unit, but are compensated with the stronger version of the later mounted unit which is available only to Central Asians otherwise. They will later be Generic.

    Culture groups of the later eras:

    The Byzantine culture group encompasses civilizations that did not enter either the European or the Islamic culture group but stayed in between. Most notable and logical members are Byzantine, Rome and Greece. They will be orthodox christians and have some nice Wonders.

    The European culture group is the most powerful one, following real life, where they matter of factly conquered most of the globe. They have some powerful commercial buildings availabe, especially in conjunction with coast and water, and are the only ones who can build Ships of the Line - and as long as these are the pinnacle of shipbuilding, they will rule the seas. They also have an additional government, Absolutism, that further drives home the European supremacy, as well as some production buildings, reflecting the advent of Industrialization. By the way, the Americans are, of course, part of the European culture group. Because history starts a few years before 1776.

    The Central Asian culture group contains the few civilizations of the Central Asian Steppes. Well, the Mongols. They have extremely little to offer in terms of western civilization, but they have superior mounted units and a wonder that allows them barracks in every city and triggers a Golden Age. If you want pure, undiluted conquest then you want them.

    The Islamic culture group encompasses civilizations from Africa and Middle East and offers some commercial opportunities as well as, in most cases, superior cavalry.

    The East Asian culture group contains the same civs that already were East Asian in the first era. They have a huge number of wonders at their disposal (see Known Issues).

    The Generic culture group contains all Native American civilizations, because those were all completely wiped out by the Europeans, or at least altered beyond recognition, so nothing can be said how they would have fared if they had survived independently into later eras. They do not have additional technologies on their own, no bonus buildings, no wonders. However, they do not need to do the additional research for those technologies, and this does indeed make them quite strong in my experience.


    1.2 Traits
    Spoiler :

    Every civilization has two traits, similar to the standard game. CaT traits open up a few technologies that grant additional buildings, sometimes Small Wonders. Some CaT traits are also associated with standard game traits. Some traits are expressed differently depending on the culture group of the civ. An overview follows.

    The Seapower trait opens up a technology which allows the construction of a building which gives extra commerce in salt water tiles, which is obviously very powerful. Mediterranean civs gain this advantage in the first era in the form of the Cothon, European civs only during the second era in the form of the Kontor. For other culture groups the seapower trait is not (yet) implemented. (Which is as well, since no civs from other culture groups have been given this trait.) Civs with the CaT Seapower trait also have the standard Seafaring trait set which allows the few coastal buildings to be built faster and the almost meaningless plus one trade for coastal cities. The Seapower trait has potential synergy with the Commercial, Centralist and Knowledgable traits.

    The Commercial trait opens up up to two buildings per city that give extra tax income, which makes this perhaps the most powerful trait. The first building is available in the first, the second in the second era. The second building can only be built in cities with river tiles, just to lessen the power of this trait a bit. Civs with the CaT Commercial trait also have the standard Commercial trait set so they experience a little less corruption. The Commercial trait has potential synergy with the Seapower and Centralist traits. I want to point out that obviously civs that run the science slider as high as possible profit less from this trait. Even then they make significantly more money than civs without this trait. This trait is very powerful when used to buy techs as opposed to research them yourself.

    The Centralist trait opens up two Small wonders which increase the output of one city (not necessarily but most likely your capital) significantly. The first one is available in the first Era and increases tax, science and shield output by 50%. The shield output modifier is also useful during expansion. The second one gives one additional trade in every worked tile, which obviously has already synergy with the first. The Centralist trait has potential synergy with the Seapower, Commercial and Knowledgable traits. It is most useful when trying to build a super city by amassing wonders in the city with the Centralist small wonders.

    The Religious trait opens up additional happiness buildings and Small Wonders. In the first era a happiness building is available, in the second era a Small Wonder, depending on the culture group. This Small Wonder gives between one and three happy faces per city. The Religious trait potentially allows a civ to reduce its luxury slider and raise its tax or science slider, so the Religious trait has potential synergy with all traits that increase commerce or one of its derivates in one form or another. This trait is less powerful for civs that are in the Generic culture group because they will not have access to a Small wonder.

    The Agricultural trait opens up a building that works similar to the granary, but only in the second era. If this building was available during the expansion phase it would be gamebreakingly strong (because some civs would have it and others not). Civs with the CaT Agricultural trait also have the standard Industrial trait set so their workers are a bit faster. Of all CaT traits this one relies most strongly on its standard game trait. Please note that this trait is not associated with the standard game Agricultural trait because as much as I like it if I have it myself I consider it a broken trait.

    The Productive trait opens up two production buildings (+25% each), in the first and second era one each. The Productive trait has potential synergy with the Militaristic trait.

    The Militaristic trait opens up one of three possible barracks buildings (see below) at the end of the first era. Civs with the CaT Militaristic trait also have the standard Militaristic trait set which increases the probability for unit promotions and appearances of Great Leaders. The Militaristic trait has potential synergy with the Productive trait.

    The Knowledgable trait opens up a Small Wonder in the first era that increases science output of one city by 100%. Civs with the CaT Knowledgable trait also have the standard Scientific trait set so all research buildings can be built faster and at the beginning of each era a free tech is received. The Knowledgable trait has potential synergy with the Seapower and Centralist traits. Please note that this trait does not open up additional research buildings since I think that would be much too powerful. This trait however gives you free techs at the start of new eras which is an immense advantage for the experienced technology broker. The Small Wonder gives you a smaller boost which can become larger if you build more trade boosting improvements in the city.

    All civilizations receive the standard Religious trait which gives all civilizations the ability to have revolutions of minimum duration (2 turns for the player). This is done to eliminate randomness and to make revolutions in later stages of the game actually viable.

    Here an overview of the current civilizations, their culture groups and traits:

    Rome: Mediterranean, Byzantine; Centralist, Militaristic
    Egypt: Mediterranean, Islamic; Agricultural, Religious
    Greece: Mediterranean, Byzantine; Seapower, Knowledgable
    Babylon: Mediterranean, Islamic; Agricultural, Knowledgable
    Germany: Celtic, European; Productive, Militaristic
    Russia: Celtic, European; Militaristic, Agricultural
    China: East Asia, East Asia; Agricultural, Centralist
    America: Celtic, European; Commercial, Productive
    Japan: East Asian, East Asian; Militaristic, Productive
    France: Celtic, European; Centralist, Agricultural
    India: East Asian, East Asian; Religious, Agricultural
    Persia: Mediterranean, Islamic; Knowledgable, Militaristic
    Atztecs: South American, Generic; Militaristic, Centralist
    Kanem-Bornu: African, Islamic; Commercial, Militaristic
    Iroquis: North American, Generic; Commercial, Militaristic
    England: Celtic, European; Centralist, Seapower
    Mongols: Central Asian, Central Asian; Militaristic, Religious
    Spain: Celtic, European; Militaristic, Religious
    Norse: Celtic, European; Militaristic, Seapower
    Ottomans: Central Asian, Islamic; Commercial, Religious
    Sioux: North American, Generic; Religious, Agricultural
    Arabia: Mediterranean, Islamic; Religious, Knowledgable
    Carthage: Mediteranean, Byzantine; Centralist, Seapower
    Korea: East Asian, East Asian; Commercial, Knowledgable
    Mali: African, Islamic; Commercial, Agricultural
    Parthia: Central Asian, Central Asian; Commercial, Militaristic
    Netherlands: Celtic, European; Commercial, Seapower
    Ethiopia: African, Byzantine; Productive, Religious
    Byzantines: Mediterranean, Byzantine; Religious, Seapower
    Inca: South American, Generic; Agricultural, Commercial
    Maya: South American, Generic; Knowledgable, Religious



    2 AI Considerations
    Spoiler :

    The AI of Civ 3 is unfortunately not that good. It is in fact not even able to handle all aspects of the standard game. As soon as the standard rules are changed considerably the modder runs the risk to put the AI before unsolvable problems. One chief aspect of this mod was to make it easily available to the AI, to change things in favor of the (limited) programming of the AI.

    There is no artillery. The AI simply does not understand it, so it's gone. If you want to conquer a city, you have to use the same brute force method that the AI does. Even then you can be smarter by sending a stack that is guaranteed sufficiently powerful to get the job done.

    Workers are fast and efficient. The AI loves to build roads in jungles and mines in mountain and desert tiles it cannot or will not work, instead of irrigating and mining the grassland directly next to the city. While this really stupid behavior cannot be cured, the effect can be lessened a bit by making the workers fast and efficient. My personal recommendation for the player is to (eventually) build roughly one worker per city.


    3 Reduction and Removal of Annoying Features
    Spoiler :

    The standard game contains a number of annoying features that either force the player into mind-numbing and avoidable micro-management or introduce a level of randomness into a strategy game that I deem counterproductive. Here an overview of the things that were changed to reduce annoyance:

    • There is no pollution. There are no buildings that produce pollution nor are cities allowed to grow to city size level three. City size level two already allows cities to grow as large as they want. There are also no diseases which I found one of the worst "improvements" ever in Conquest. The only source of pollution that cannot be supressed completely stems from volcanos on random maps. However, the chance for volcanos to erupt has been reduced to a very small number, so while it still can occur, it is highly unlikely.
    • All hitpoints are doubled. Civ 3 combats are very random and it is unfortunately not that unlikely to lose an attacking veteran Longbowman against a badly damaged warrior. On grassland. Not across a river. Or a battlehip against a galley. By simply doubling all hitpoints all relative strengths remain intact, but the chances of actually losing a unit due to total randomness is less. In effect this means that conscripts now have 4, regulars 6, veterans 8 and elite units 10 hitpoints. It looks a bit strange at first. Later on the standard game looks strange.
    • Resources never relocate. That was simply very very bad design, even while the underlying idea (depletion of resources) had some merit. This is a strategy game, not a simulation.
    • No terrain has disease. Ever started a game in floodplains and experienced being hit by a disease one turn before sending out your first settler? Twice in a row? This cannot happen here.



    4 Big Cities
    Spoiler :

    In CaT cities can grow into big powerful metropolises almost as soon as you wish. This makes it actually a good strategy to place cities on optimal locations and not on a dense grid that gives cities only 12 tiles to work on. Or only 6. Being a builder myself this was a design goal. It is also beneficial to the AI which tries to implement an optimal city placing algorithm (and fails miserably due to a short-sighted greedy algorithm but still leaves too much space wasted for the standard game).

    This is achieved through a multitude of rules. The Aqueduct which allows to grow beyond city size level one (city size six) is available with Masonry which can be researched as the very first technology. City size level two allows for unlimited city sizes. City size level three is not used because it is inextricably tied with pollution which this mod tries to eliminate. Your starting government does not have the despotism malus (no government has it in CaT), meaning that every tile produces its maximum food right from the moment it has been improved. No government gives you unit support per city, thus eliminating the strategy to build as many cities as possible just to lessen the financial burden of your army. Au contraire, since you have to pay maintanance for your buildings, have to pay for the city garrison and have to suffer higher overall corruption due to a high number of cities it is in many cases preferably to place cities in optimal spots, nicely spaced apart. There is not even the need to put cities in short distances to each other so that defenders may easily reinforce suddenly threatened cities because roads have been improved to allow a movement factor of six (see below).


    continued in the next post
     
  3. Lamabreeder

    Lamabreeder Chieftain

    Joined:
    May 11, 2004
    Messages:
    45
    5 A Number of Things

    5.1 Eras
    Spoiler :

    The eras have been slightly reworked in CaT in favor of ancient and medieval times. The general duration of eras is longer than in the standard game, both in terms of actual technology cost and in terms of how many turns you effectively stay in them. Consequently it will take much longer to reach the end of the technology tree than in the standard game. It also happens quite often that the transition of eras happens roughly around their real life dates, even for the latest eras (whereas in the standard game I often enter the Industrial Age around 1000 AD). This was at least often true in my games which almost always happened on pangaea standards sized map with 60% ocean and 8 civs. Technology progression speeds up the more civs there are and the earlier they meet and trade techs.

    The standard game offers the eras Ancient, Medieval, Industrial and Modern. I have put Industrial and Modern into one era, and divided the standard game "Medieval" era into what it actually consists of: Medieval and Early Modern Times. The CaT eras have now the following intentional corner dates: Ancient (4000 BC - ca. 700 AD), Medieval (ca. 700 AD - ca. 1500 AD), Early Modern Times (ca. 1500 - ca. 1800), Modern (ca. 1800 - 1950). (Notes: Instead of 1500 AD you can also take 1492; Disovery of the Americas by the Europeans, or 1553; Conquest of Constantinople by the Ottoman Empire, and instead of 1800 you can also take 1776; Declaration of Independence of the USA, or 1789; French Revolution.)

    As a result in CaT you will stay longer in earlier ages and for instance can actually do things in the Ancient era besides expand. Units will also take longer to become obsolete so you will have a chance of building full armies at different times and not just bridge the time until you can build the latest one(s). On the downside the modern era is comparatively short and also offers a less diverse set of units than the standard game. If modern warfare is all you care about and earlier eras are only a precursor for your WWII enactment, CaT is not for you. If on the other hand you like the ancient or medieval eras, CaT might offer you a bit more than the standard game.

    All in all CaT plays a bit slower than the standard game, with all advantages and disadvantes this entails.


    5.2 Workers
    Spoiler :

    Workers cost 40 shields and one population unit. They have a movement factor of two and most worker tasks are faster than in the standard game, except road building. This means on the one hand that workers are a very expensive investment that cannot be efficiently done in your border cities without noteworthy shield output. It also means that in the very early game it is a difficult decision to either build a 40 shield worker or a 100 shield settler. On the other hand it means that a worker is very powerful and gets his jobs done very quickly. This was done mostly for the benefit of the AI as explained above. But also to reduce tedium for the player.


    5.3 Roads and Railroads
    Spoiler :

    Roads have a movement factor of six. This has two reasons.

    The first reason is that I think a defender should be able to manouver quickly within his own territory. I find it ridiculous how long it takes troops even on standard sized maps before the advent of railroads to relocate within their own territory. This has another advantage in that it is no longer a tactical issue to place cities within 3 tiles of each other to be able to move foot units within one turn from one into the other. A disadvantage of this is that roads can also be used offensively by using the road network of a third party to attack a target. This disadvantage is lessened by the fact that right of passage agreements can in CaT only be formed at the beginning of the second era.

    The second reason is that there are no railroads. Units can never relocate faster than with roads.

    CaT does not invoke railroads - even though there is a technology of that name - because railroads in Civ3 are overpowered, at least for CaT. They are overpowered because they have not one, but two functions. The first function is that they allow for instantaneous movement. Actually, I have nothing, or at least not much, against that because movement in Civ3 is ridiculously slow in most cases anyway. The second function, however, is to increase the effect of any improvement on the same tile by one. And that effect makes railroads for CaT simply too strong. I think. If you feel differently, feel free to add railroads back to the game - available with the technology of the same name, requiring no resources.


    5.4 Governments
    Spoiler :

    Changes of government in CaT require the player to suffer only two turns of anarchy because all civilizations have the standard game religious trait. This means long revolutions are no longer that big of a counter-argument against switching to a slightly better government.

    No government has the despotism trait, not even anarchy, which means that cities do not starve that much (they still do not get luxuries from the luxuries slider) during two turns of anarchy. It also means that the starting government is much more useful and a Despotism Golden Age is quite doable in CaT.

    All governments also have a constant unit support of ten, and no support per city. This is done to eliminate the need for an infinite city sprawl just to not pay for your army. Now you must always pay for your army, and the way to support it is not to build even more villages but to actually earn money and invest it wisely - or pay for your useless brutes whose only ability is to bully the neighborhood.

    The main differences between governments now are how much corruption and waste they suffer, how much military police they allow, if you can rush production via pay or pop, and the set of buildings they allow you to construct. The value for waste and corruption aims mainly at the AI - I have read somewhere that this is a major factor for it to decide which gov to choose. Most governments are relatively similar with their standard attributes, and just get slightly better with waste and corruption and military police. However, they may allow for different buildings which may have greater overall effects on their respective empires than the standard attributes of the government. Let's have a look at the governments Empire (only available for Mediterranean/Middle Eastern Civs) and Feudalism: They are virtually identical, but Empire allows construction of the Buraucracy which increases tax and science in the capital whereas Feudalism allows construction of the Winter Palace which acts like the Forbidden Palace. If you are constructing a super city and/or have the Centralist trait (like Rome for instance) Empire might be much more useful for you than Feudalism. A far flung empire without a super city will probably benefit more from a Forbidden Palace, however.

    One government is quite different from the others: Democracy, unfortunately available only in the Modern Era (as is historically correct, because the early Greek Democracies and also the quasi-representative types of City States during Middle Ages and Early Modern Times were direct Democracies and allowed mostly only the rich to vote; Modern Democracies use Parliaments and are thus able to govern much bigger Communities than before). Democracy is the only Government which gives additional Trade, but has the disadvantages of War Weariness and pays double for its military.

    It should also be noted that some Governments, namely Absolutism and Democracy, have a Corruption and Waste setting of "Communal", meaning all cities have the same corruption. This shall reflect the power of World Empires that are quite capable of (more or less) efficiently governing distant colonies or other parts of their respective empires.


    5.5 RBBs
    Spoiler :

    CaT employs the ingenious concept I hereby refer to as Resource Bound Barracks (RBB) which I first encountered in MEM. This concept means that a building which acts as barracks (and thus allows its city to produce veteran units) can only be constructed in a city which has the needed resource in its city radius.

    CaT has three such RBBs. The needed resources are Iron, Horses and Saltpeter, which are revealed some time before the RBBs become available and which are relatively abundant. The map generator is instructed to generate multiple instances of each of these resources per civilization. These resources are not used by any other improvements or units and are seemingly worthless to the AI - as it should be.

    The first RBB (needing Iron) is the Barracks which is available only for Civs with the CaT Trait Militaristic at the end of the Ancient Era. The second RBB (needing Horses) is the War Academy which is available only under Absolutism which in turn is a government only available for European Civs in the third Era, Early Modern Times. The third RBB is the Military School (needing Saltpeter) which is available only under Dictatorship (which is a standin in CaT for all forms of dictatorial governments like Fascism, Communism or the plain old Military Dictatorship) at the beginning of the Modern Era.

    It is quite possible to never ever being able to build a RBB, for instance by starting a non-militaristic non-european Civ that either wins before the Modern Era or prefers Democracy over Dictatorship.

    It is also possible to have Barracks in all cities, at least for a while, by playing a Central Asian Civ (Mongols or Parthia) and completing the Wonder Steppe Warfare.

    The resources needed for the RBBs are functional, not necessarily logical. They were there, I needed some, so I took them.


    5.6 Culture vs Control
    Spoiler :

    CaT reinterprets the concept of culture. Culture in Civ (3 and onward) determines how far the borders of your cities extend and which city will gain access to contested tiles. This is a mildly interesting concept for a game. With reality this has little to do. Although it would be nice if border conflicts would have been and were to be resolved by some sort of Bard Contest or Border Poetry Slam - and not bloody war.

    In CaT culture is interpreted as control. The ability to factually extend control into the hinterland, either through bureaucratic or latent military control. This means that buildings that traditionally produce culture now produce none - because libraries and universities do not help to extend control. On the other hand military and governmental institutions like barracks, castles, city walls and courthouses now do.

    A "cultural" victory now is of course even more warped than it was before. Since it would now mean "victory through control" it clearly conflicts with a domination victory. I strongly recommend to deactivate or at least not to try to achieve cultural victory.


    5.7 Terrain
    Spoiler :

    Terrain has been slightly altered to increase the necessity of workers and harbors on the one hand and to make water tiles slightly more productive.

    Land terrain, including grassland and flood plains, now produces under no circumstances more than one food if unimproved. If improved, however, most terrain produces as much food and shields as usual.

    It should also be noted that irrigation without access to fresh water is possible from the start. This has advantages for the AI and leads to more balanced starting positions (see below).

    Water terrain produces less trade if no harbor is built. After a harbor is built it produces as much as in the standard game.

    You still can go on a settling spree (I even recommend it) but the value of newfound cities with unimproved terrain is even less than in the standard game.

    Sea tiles now produce one less food but in turn a shield and one more trade. This means that coastal cities with sea tiles (and not only coast tiles) need a bit more surplus food from land tiles than usual.


    5.8 Units
    Spoiler :

    CaT units are limited in diversity. This has advantages for the AI who understands the CaT units perfectly well. This makes it also easier for the human player. CaT fights may not be so much fun than warfare in other mods, but on the other hand, if you mainly want combat then you don't want CaT in the first place.

    CaT units have been designed with a spreadsheet, only a few exceptions have been hand-tailored. I believe that I employed sensible math and that as a consequence these units are balanced quite well. One point that I interpret in my favor is that some unit values (and their progression) coincide with unit values from Civ4 (which I value very highly).

    CaT units do never require resources. The resource requirements in the Civ series add a nice game mechanic (mostly interesting for war games) but are less important in the real world than you might think. Yes, contemporary economies rely highly on resources, especially and foremost oil. And due to this reason there exists a very powerful city improvement in CaT for which you need oil. The western world wants oil for their tanks, planes and ships, of course. But the western world wants it much more for their cars, medicine and plastic bags. The resource requirements I find often detrimental to my gameplay experience because this often leads to unhistorically and unnessessarily outdated or limited units on my and the AIs side, especially in conjunction with a lack of saltpeter or iron (or both! leaving spearmen defending against Cavalry!) or horses whereas in reality this never was an important issue. Iron is not only one of the most useful elements to make weapons out of before the advent of gunpowder, it is also one of the most commen elements found on earth. Only when you need it in industrial quantities, say for railroads or battleships, it becomes a strategic resource. Gunpowder (and/or components) can be made at home, and many early modern european countries had laws that forced their peasantry to do so, so that gunpowder shortage was not really an issue. Horses, well, you know. They breed. And if you don't have any, steal some.

    CaT units never start a Golden Age. This way you don't need to hold back to prevent accidentally starting a Golden Age when you are not ready yet.


    5.9 Golden Age
    Spoiler :

    Golden Ages last as long as in the standard game. In CaT they are quite powerful because you will have many tiles that produce only one trade or only one shield.

    Golden Ages cannot be started by units as stated above so you need to build wonders if you want one. Incidentally all wonders that are available to any culture group will contain one or more combination that will start a Golden Age for any of the Civs that are part of this culture group. I.e. if you play the Inca who in CaT have the standard game traits Industrial, Religious and Commercial, building either the Temple of the Moon alone (which happens to have been build by the Inca in reality) will start a Golden Age, or the combination of Temple of the Sun and Pyramid of Kukulcan. It helps being either the first to discover the prerequisite technologies or being the only civ of the respective culture group (still) in the game.


    5.10 Victory Conditions
    Spoiler :

    CaT sports the same victory conditions as the standard game. However, as stated above, cultural victories are discouraged. And the spaceship victory needs a small explanation.

    In CaT there is no spaceship. Or to be more precise, there is, but it is no longer named spaceship. You are instead trying to establish yourself as the one and only superpower of the planet - without actually waging war, or at least not so much as to trigger a domination or conquest victory condition.

    Once you research Mass Production you can build your Superpower Doctrine, a renamed Apollo Program. The subsequent technologies of the tech tree enable you to build eight spaceship parts, fittingly renamed into Atomic Weapons Program (needs Research Lab and Uranium), Space Program, Intelligence Network (needs Intelligence Center), Military Headquarters, Mass Media, Naval Bases (needs Harbor and Oil), Air Bases (needs Oil), and Puppet Regimes. In other words, all these nice things the two superpowers did build or achieve during their Cold War.


    5.11 Start Positions
    Spoiler :

    CaT is relatively robust with regards to start positions (with this I refer to a position to produce settlers quickly with, not a geopolitical good position, which for example gives you enough room to expand etc.), and you probably need to reroll much less than in most other mods and the standard game (if you do reroll at all, that is). The main reason for this is that there are almost no food resources visible during the expansion phase (the only ones visible increase food up to two on mountains or tundra). No need to reroll until you get a 3-cattle start position because you cannot get it at all! The three other reasons are that your starting government has no Despotism malus, meaning that irrigation takes full effect, and that you can irrigate without need for fresh water. And a settler costs 100 shields and only one population unit, which means that you want a city of a decent size that is mainly able to produce a lot of shields.


    6 Tips for Starting a Random Game
    Spoiler :

    As explained above CaT is relatively robust with regards to random starts. However, even then there are better and worse starting positions. My experience shows that the best starting positions contain some grassland or floodplain tiles and also some forested tiles. The grassland or floodplain tiles will be irrigated and allow to work the forests. The forests provide the shields you need to produce the very expensive settlers. Hills are good in the long run, too, but unfortunately it takes a long time to discover the technology that allows to mine them. Many grassland tiles but few or no forest tiles are not so good because you need the shields much more than everything else to expand. Lots of forests but few or no grassland tiles is not so good either because you will have a hard time to grow in size to work even some of the forests. Plains provide a balanced mix of food and shields but unfortunately your food surplus is so small that it takes forever to grow to a size where you can compete with a grassland-and-forest-start. Sometimes a floodplains start can be sufficient even if it has only few forests, as long as it has a sufficient quantity of tiles that produce at least one shield. In this case you can use your staggering growth to grow much bigger and work more tiles, in effect having a similar shield output as a much smaller city with more worked forests. This delays your settler growth, but certainly speeds your teching up significantly.

    I find it most useful to research Masonry as first tech and build Walls first in every new city. Remember, Walls produce culture/control in CaT. And the defense bonus is also nice.

    Let me also point out that the Warrior unit is the most effective unit in the game with regards to its cost: 3.2.1 for 15 shields. The unit that supersedes the Warrior, the Phalanx, is with 4.3.1 for 40 shields only slightly better but costs almost triple. It can be a good strategy to produce lots of them before they go obsolete to keep the AI in check for a little while.


    7 Known Issues
    Spoiler :

    • The Asian Civs have lots of Wonders at their disposal, and many of them provide commercial and/or scienfific bonuses, making them very powerful. In my experience especially the Koreans pose a great threat to simply run away scientifically if left alone.
    • One wonder links to a wrong Civilopedia entry, I currently do not recall which. I know how to fix this, but it is a bit tricky, so I have left it alone for now. If you encounter it and want to know the real stats of the wonder in question, please consult the Editor.
     
  4. Lamabreeder

    Lamabreeder Chieftain

    Joined:
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    Reserved 03
     
  5. T-mun

    T-mun King Numa

    Joined:
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    France
    Interesting. I will try it for sure, as soon as I can. I also have a project that could work as a ''prettifier'' for it :) I will post about it in the coming weeks.
     
  6. Big Bopper

    Big Bopper Warlord

    Joined:
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    Looks interesting, I'll have to give it a try.

    Just a couple of suggestions to limit the volcano annoyance even more.
    1. Set the worker job to clear forest/wetlands. (The AI won't use this, but it at least allows the player to get rid of them).
    2. Allow cities on Volcanoes, The Ai will build cities on them and with the worker job set to clear forest/wetlands, the tile will become a grassland.
     
  7. Lamabreeder

    Lamabreeder Chieftain

    Joined:
    May 11, 2004
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    45
    @themanuneed: Thanks for your interest. I woud certainly be interested in your prettifer! I would also be interested to hear about your opinion regarding this mod when/if you get to try it.

    @Big Bopper: Thanks for your interest. I didn't know about that neat trick, thank you! I'll very likely integrate it in a next version!
     
  8. Gojira54

    Gojira54 The folly of Man

    Joined:
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    Monster Island black-sand beaches
    I find this quite interesting, as I've been tinkering around for the past year with replacing Culture with Fear in Modzilla, at least for the Kaiju and Xiliens. The idea being that a human city might 'flip' to being a Kaiju or Xilien-worshipping city to avoid eminint destruction. It works, but you need to make the non-human improvements all generate significant Fear to do so. Of course you need to balance that with unit strength - because why fear a kaiju city with no kaiju? The solution for me was to have improvements\wonders that generate units, and the amount of Fear the improvement generates is directly proportional to the strength of the unit.

    Not trying to hijack your thread at all, your mod looks very interesting and I will be trying it out. I just thought my Fear idea was original, seems you've come up with something very similar and made it work here. :D
     
  9. Lamabreeder

    Lamabreeder Chieftain

    Joined:
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    Hi Gojira54,

    fear instead of culture sounds like an interesting idea. Having those fear-inducing buildings auto-build units is a good idea, although I personally find having too much of unit-generating buildings tedious, especially since these units ignore barracks (do not start as veteran) and gathering-points (or what's it called again?) so you have to micro-manage them all from all over your empire. Another idea might be to give those buildings production modifiers, so that in these cities units can be built faster. The downside is obviously that the production multiplier also applies to the production of buildings which may be unwanted.

    I dislike the culture concept in Civ3 as it is being realized. Even if I set aside my "philosopical" issue that it's simply far from being even remotely realistic, culture in Civ3 is one of the worst mechanics the game throws into the player's face. Not only is the generation of culture much too rigid: buildings that generate constant culture no matter the size and importance of the city; the feature of culture-flipping is also either very limited: if trying to culture-flip a foreign city, the city borders must overlap; or it is too powerful, and too random at the same time: if you conquer an enemy city with your main army and it flips "peacefully" back to its previous owner the following turn, destroying your entire army in the process. In Civ4 the developers have learned from these mistakes and there the mechanic is actually playable, even if there are some new issues.

    And thank you for your consideration of thread-hijacking. It is indeed dangerous to introduce new topics in the uncontrollable maelstrom of inumerable users flooding threads with myriads of comments --- wait, you were talking about this thread, weren't you? Well, I'm not sure if hijacking a corpse is considered hijacking at all, but ...thank you anyway.
     

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