Caveman 2 Cosmos (ideas/discussions thread)

Somebody613

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They had several scenarios that operated e.g. on several moons of an exoplanet, different layers of a fantasy world or different times on Earth, and you could switch between them at least after a certain point during the game. And yes, the maps influenced each other. It was fully working, but because it wasn't as much progress with respect to graphics (compared to regular Civ2), it was derided and became an abandoned branch of the Civ tree.

The "several moons of an expolanet" also contained humans as well as aliens, with certain technologies only accessible to one side, some of them could be traded to the other, and a key technology depended on both a tradable human technology and a tradable alien technology, so if you destroyed the other side too early, a large part of the tech tree became inaccessible. Certain other techs you gained not by research but by events. Perhaps not everyone's cup of tea, but I've rarely seen a scripted scenario of that quality (Lalande 21185 if you are interested).
Damn, should I try finding it and... playing? LOL!!! Sounds rather interesting.
 

pi4t

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I'm not sure why you want it so badly, since building all the cultures is less a question of efficiency (some cultural units are WAY better than some others) and more a question of "get them all".
Which is strictly a "player" thing (and not everyone, either), whereas AI probably wouldn't bother building all the available cultures anyways, ever.
So you'd have "priority cultures", yes, but not everyone is so strongly inclined on "building absolutely everything".
I am, of course, but I've spoken with people around here who very much are NOT like that.
Especially if you play a slow and hard game, where it's much more efficient to spend all those resources on something you already can build, instead of mindlessly hoarding cultures.
Just to be clear, I'm not particularly passionate about this either. Tone is hard to convey over text. It's only a minor irritation, it just grabbed my imagination and I began wondering how it could be improved.

The problems I see with the current system are essentially the flavour. Mechanically, there aren't any balance issues, or at least none that I'm familiar enough with the mod to identify.

These are the key flavour issues I see with it, in no particular order.

1) It means your civilisation's is arbitrarily restricted from developing certain cultures, especially early on. This is best seen by imagining what would happen on an Earth map with randomised start locations. For the vast majority of cultures, it would be impossible for them to appear in their real-life locations. Some cultures, such as the Aborigine, would probably not appear at all, because whoever started in Australia probably wouldn't be Oceanian. This applies similarly in random maps, although it's less obvious: why can one civ generate the Aborigine if it's on an island with a kangaroo, but its neighbour can't? This is, of course, something that happens with Civilisation's mechanics in general and isn't unique to the mod, but C2C (with the right game options) removes every other instance of that and starts every civilisation equally with nothing, so this one remaining element stands out rather glaringly.

2) The mechanics for gaining new continental cultures (which, as I understand it, are basically "conquer enough cities with that culture") make sense at first glance, but are actually kind of incoherent. In most civ games, you'll get civilisations of different continents butting heads far more often than in real life. Even if culturally linked start does its thing (which is unreliable) you'll probably share borders with someone outside your culture group just because there aren't many civilisations playing. This means it becomes way easier to gain a second culture, to the point that it's apparently a basis for going to war for some players. Also, in real history, countries didn't generally become continental hybrids by simply taking over land in another area; it had to become part of the country's core. Take Britain as an example. The British Empire stretched across the globe, but the people back at home certainly didn't take on the characteristics of the Native Americans, or of the other areas they colonised. The settlers in America began to consider themselves both American and European, but no one else did, even though in civ terms America soon contained a lot more cities than the British Isles.

3) The "hybrid" cultures (i.e. those requiring two continents) are based on real-world history. This means, in practice, that an awful lot of the ones from the colonial era onwards require a hybrid of European culture, and that of some other continent. Implying that there's something special about European culture which makes it suitable for mixing with other cultures in a way which other continents aren't! Which is just inaccurate: the thing that led to these "hybrid cultures" was that Europe happened to be the first to research technologies allowing colonies.
 

Thunderbrd

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There actually is some coding (or was last I knew) to establish a culture combat class whenever the unit is created - it was functioning but then tons of cultures were added and I think it stopped working. A unitcombat alone can provide most of what a promotion can in terms of modifiers and it was able to stand as the representation of the culture from which it came that you could at least see with the shift hover. A promo for each wouldn't be hard to establish as long as you could determine how the unit's 'culture' is, which again I think was left as a loose end project at the moment. It was close to a form of implementation I think and wouldn't be hard to go much further with but right now there's not really a declared culture for the city either so when the unit is made, it has nothing to draw from to say what culture it is unless its a cultural specific unit.
It was fully working, but because it wasn't as much progress with respect to graphics (compared to regular Civ2), it was derided and became an abandoned branch of the Civ tree.
The market was way too focused on graphic improvements back then. I was among the many who felt it was an unhealthy obsession by company developers. The fantasy 4 map version of this was really really really fun for its day.
 

Thunderbrd

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3) The "hybrid" cultures (i.e. those requiring two continents) are based on real-world history. This means, in practice, that an awful lot of the ones from the colonial era onwards require a hybrid of European culture, and that of some other continent. Implying that there's something special about European culture which makes it suitable for mixing with other cultures in a way which other continents aren't! Which is just inaccurate: the thing that led to these "hybrid cultures" was that Europe happened to be the first to research technologies allowing colonies.
This historical focus does create some problems with the perception of favoritism at times doesn't it? It'd be nice to do a full cultural tree and I've seen some mapped out properly here in preparation for that - but this problem becomes all the more stark in doing so and it feels like we may well need to start opening up some 'made up' possibilities to flesh out the tree of potential cultures, or setup a random system to fill gaps that exist, much like I was hoping to do with some leader systems.
 

Somebody613

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1. I just found and installed ToT. Played for a while, got bored, cheated right to Spaceship, and took off. Where is the SECOND MAP, though? How do I get there? Unless it's because I foolishly chose to CONTINUE after the landing, maybe?

2. I do think there might be a problem of "context balance" between "unique cultural units" and "units with unique cultures", loool. Haven't thought about that problem, honestly. The main issue is with naming/graphics, obviously. The stat shifts can be easily affected via unicombats, even in multiple ways at once. It's the "who this guy is" that raises a serious problem, lol.
 

Thunderbrd

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1) It means your civilisation's is arbitrarily restricted from developing certain cultures, especially early on. This is best seen by imagining what would happen on an Earth map with randomised start locations. For the vast majority of cultures, it would be impossible for them to appear in their real-life locations. Some cultures, such as the Aborigine, would probably not appear at all, because whoever started in Australia probably wouldn't be Oceanian. This applies similarly in random maps, although it's less obvious: why can one civ generate the Aborigine if it's on an island with a kangaroo, but its neighbour can't? This is, of course, something that happens with Civilisation's mechanics in general and isn't unique to the mod, but C2C (with the right game options) removes every other instance of that and starts every civilisation equally with nothing, so this one remaining element stands out rather glaringly.
This was a matter of wanting to retain, for now, SOME element of the game setup civ choice somewhat mattering and to ensure it was possible to become the very culture that you chose as your civ. Our longer term goal was likely to remove that selection and leave you with something like a basic color selection as your first civ or something - something very generic to then establish a base continental culture then on from there in a trunk-branch fashion.

2) The mechanics for gaining new continental cultures (which, as I understand it, are basically "conquer enough cities with that culture") make sense at first glance, but are actually kind of incoherent. In most civ games, you'll get civilisations of different continents butting heads far more often than in real life. Even if culturally linked start does its thing (which is unreliable) you'll probably share borders with someone outside your culture group just because there aren't many civilisations playing. This means it becomes way easier to gain a second culture, to the point that it's apparently a basis for going to war for some players. Also, in real history, countries didn't generally become continental hybrids by simply taking over land in another area; it had to become part of the country's core. Take Britain as an example. The British Empire stretched across the globe, but the people back at home certainly didn't take on the characteristics of the Native Americans, or of the other areas they colonised. The settlers in America began to consider themselves both American and European, but no one else did, even though in civ terms America soon contained a lot more cities than the British Isles.
Yeah, I get this - I've really always felt this way about it too. That said, the ideas project was how I figured we'd answer to that better. I kinda figured that meeting the right conditions to start a culture would be more organic and automatic and wouldn't be an active choice at all if we did it right. Who you choose to think of yourself or identify yourself as would then be a matter of which culture you adopt as your 'civilization's culture' as a civic selection limited to the cultures with enough influence throughout your nation - and there could be possible revolutionary fragmentation that could stem from your cities disagreeing with your national identity.
 

Thunderbrd

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1. I just found and installed ToT. Played for a while, got bored, cheated right to Spaceship, and took off. Where is the SECOND MAP, though? How do I get there? Unless it's because I foolishly chose to CONTINUE after the landing, maybe?

2. I do think there might be a problem of "context balance" between "unique cultural units" and "units with unique cultures", loool. Haven't thought about that problem, honestly. The main issue is with naming/graphics, obviously. The stat shifts can be easily affected via unicombats, even in multiple ways at once. It's the "who this guy is" that raises a serious problem, lol.
Not all ToT settings worked with its multimap features. Can't recall how to tell you to setup a game that does atm.

2) With the ideas project it would limit you to training 'culture specific units' only where those cultural influences were strong enough to qualify to do so and they would have an automatic combatclass assignment of their fixed culture, while other units would just inherit the combat class equated to the culture that the city has as its strongest influence.
 

Somebody613

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Not all ToT settings worked with its multimap features. Can't recall how to tell you to setup a game that does atm.

2) With the ideas project it would limit you to training 'culture specific units' only where those cultural influences were strong enough to qualify to do so and they would have an automatic combatclass assignment of their fixed culture, while other units would just inherit the combat class equated to the culture that the city has as its strongest influence.
1. Let's hope you'll remember it, lol.

2. My point is that "cultural units" have distinct NAMES as well, so a "normal" unit with a "cultural influence" should... do what exactly in regards of its naming? Go "cultural"? Ignore it? Dunno.

(Off-topic: Gonna go offline now, see ya later.)
 

Thunderbrd

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1. Let's hope you'll remember it, lol.
I used to play the fantasy version it came with and it had a 4 layer multimap system in it. I think the scifi version also did something cool with multimaps. The whole push here FOR multimaps started with Test of Time.
2. My point is that "cultural units" have distinct NAMES as well, so a "normal" unit with a "cultural influence" should... do what exactly in regards of its naming? Go "cultural"? Ignore it? Dunno.
Well, yeah so now that I realize that nobody would take the time to hit shift and hover to see what combatclasses their unit has, it's likely that a promo attached to the unitcombat would at least help to make it a lot more visible what culture a normal unit was assigned - and if it has a small influence on stats, all the better as long as the number of cultures aren't so overwhelming that no human being could create that many interesting small variations without offending anyone.
 

Somebody613

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I used to play the fantasy version it came with and it had a 4 layer multimap system in it. I think the scifi version also did something cool with multimaps. The whole push here FOR multimaps started with Test of Time.

Well, yeah so now that I realize that nobody would take the time to hit shift and hover to see what combatclasses their unit has, it's likely that a promo attached to the unitcombat would at least help to make it a lot more visible what culture a normal unit was assigned - and if it has a small influence on stats, all the better as long as the number of cultures aren't so overwhelming that no human being could create that many interesting small variations without offending anyone.
1. I really would like if you can recall how to make it work, cause that's just wow.

2. You can make cultural influences mutually incompatible in certain cases, or limited to specific unit groups based on several factors like Era or Class, etc.
That way there won't be units with 50 different cultures in them, yet the feature itself would still work just fine.
My question was that culturally unique units have separate names and even graphics, so it would have to be addressed in some way.
Either eliminate all non-standard units as standalones, instead changing them via their cultures, or... no idea.
I mean, it could be done that way, but it's tedious and problematic for multi-cultural units.
Like I said, dealing with the stats effect is trivial - but dealing with the unit representation is quite confusing.
 

Somebody613

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OOOKKKAAAYYY..!
Tell me more about "the most ever super anti-intuitive UI", loool!
I finally found out how to ACCESS the other multi-maps:
It's literally on the MINI-MAP in the upper-right corner of the screen.
There are ARROWS there, which switch BETWEEN these multi-maps.
So I'm now gonna once again launch a Spaceship and see where it gets me.
But the super idiotic UI aside, this is precisely what I had been thinking of when speaking of multi-maps, INDEED.
Literal real time switching between maps, AND the ability to teleport between them (which I already found in the Fantasy mod, but gonna test now in a "normal" game).
So simple, but so screwed up by dumb UI.

Aaand more.
HOW do I launch a Spaceship via CHEAT?
Because as of now, I can build Apollo, but it DOESN'T unlock any Spaceship Parts.
What's worse, it automatically Future Tech WINS me, which is probably why I can't Spaceship instead.
What am I missing here?
Help, please!
 
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pi4t

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Is there a guide to the religions on the forum? It's hard to understand what each one gives.
 

BlueTemplar

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As it is right now though, assimilating a different culture is quite the challenge.
After all, there are two different kinds of culture in C2C, standard Civ culture and "cultures", which in some capacity (oh boy I'm gonna say it) are more ethnicities than cultures, all things considered.
Yes, it doesn't really make sense to separate these.

Yeah, AFAIK even when you have foreign ethnic pressure in one of your cities, this *still* doesn't allow you to make ethnic units ?

I'm guessing the reason that Civ didn't go with naming them "ethnicities" outright was that as a commercial game trying to find a wide appeal, they were afraid to get even close to the subject matter, as it takes time for the anthropological concept of ethnicity to spread out, and a lot of people *still* seem to confuse it with the r-word ? (See also : the exclusion of Hitler, though Stalin was weirdly still included...)

An even worse issue for a more historical attempt is how in Europe during most of the Middle Ages, the main ethnicity would be "Christian" - the other cultural aspects would matter much, much less. And trying to merge the religion system into both of the other ethnic ones seems to be even harder to pull off ? (And might not necessarily be desirable gameplay-wise ?)

C2C's "Gotta catch'em all" take on ethnicities seems to be very imperialist (which I guess is fair, since they dominated the world with no competition until the very recent invention of nationalism), Revolutions makes it better by allowing secessions, but this modmod has even more issues...

It's funny that Civ III had an ethnicity for each citizen head and you could do some uncool things like whip the foreigners out of existence, or make them all workers... despite Civ IV being a much more complex game, some nuances were lost.
Now *that* seems problematic - AFAIK they were appearance only, and so much more likely to be associated with the r-word ?

Very much like ethnicities, actually.
Heck, your Settlers adopt it on birth, loool.
And I kinda like the way the work now, but I'd like them to have more "steps", like I said above.
Also should be (somehow) made more branched out AND interconnected at the same time, and based on something more varied than plot types and resources.
Not sure HOW to do it differently, though, but it'd be much more fun.
Also, would be a very fun(ny), if tedious, feature to get UNITS adopt "ethnicities" as promotions with qualifiers, too.
I did speak previously about "unit breeding", as bizarre as it sounds, ya know.
But you already can combine different Astrological Signs as unit promotions (when merging units), so why not their ethnicities as well?
The possibilities are quite out there, really.
Kinda like if a 5P city has 2P Asians and 3P Europeans, then your newly built Horseman has a 40/60 chance to be "born" Asian/European, but at random.
And then unit merging wouldn't combine the ethnicities, but rather use them in battle exactly in the same manner: randomly choosing which one gets "represented" at any given moment.
I don't really see how it would be "fun" to take this agency from the player ?

Except for horses I guess, army units are trained, not "bred" ! And trained in accordance to the (more or less) local doctrine, which you might as well call "military ethnicity", considering how (army-)cultural it is !

Though that's when you even have a separate military culture, which I guess requires a high enough level of civilization..?

For instance, the Roman Republic army composition was very much not random :
- two legions of Roman (mostly) heavy infantry
- two wings of "allies" (pretty much subjugated into the empire) providing "ethnic units" of cavalry, light infantry...
 

Somebody613

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A samurai is a swordsman, but a swordsman is not a samurai, though.
Meaning that "culturally unique units" make sense not only as "different stats" (which is what promotions are for, by the way), but also more "real life related" as well.
My idea of "sharing cultural unit uniqueness" can be translated into something like a story:
Imagine that a samurai somehow travels to Africa, joins the Zulu tribe and teaches them to not only wields katanas, but also forge samurai armors.
Would a Zulu dude equipped with a katana and wearing a samurai-style armor be called "Zulu Warrior (Samurai)" or would he be called "Samurai (Zulu)"?
Or maybe something else altogether?
That is precisely the topic I raised above regarding the "problem" of cultural units -vs- cultural influences.
 

Somebody613

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Aha!!!
Had to literally cheat-play (not just cheat-unlock) my way into Space, but now it finally works!!!
Yes, PRECISELY what I was talking about ALL this time!
You have several maps that are both played as separate worlds AND are connected via Teleports.
And you play them all at the SAME time, including the ability to Teleport units from one world to another in "real (turn) time".
Do I need to once again call Firaxis (or whomever else) TOTAL IDIOTS for botching such a SUPERIORLY SUPERB feature???
Daaamn!!!
 
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Maltazard

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Now *that* seems problematic - AFAIK they were appearance only, and so much more likely to be associated with the r-word ?
They looked different indeed. If I remember right, say you captured a chinese city with 5 pop, you now had 5 asian citizens in it, which had the asian art style. Then, somehow, any new citizen head would be of your culture group instead, or at least 50% of them, again I don't quite remember (after all, if all the people in the city are chinese, wouldn't newborns also be chinese, short of immigration?). One implication was that these chinese citizens would become very unhappy if you were to go to war against China again, claiming to be sad about fighting their motherland - so they were considered foreigners and wouldn't really integrate. This is still present in Civ IV though it's based on culture % instead.
Now on the whipping a specific ethnic group part, I don't believe there was an option to choose exactly which citizens to whip if you had already a mix of two culture groups in a city, but you could whip/draft a conquered city down to one pop and all the new pop would belong to your culture group from there onward. Which again it's quite historically accurate, albeit problematic under modern eyes.
 

Thunderbrd

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You can make cultural influences mutually incompatible in certain cases, or limited to specific unit groups based on several factors like Era or Class, etc.
That way there won't be units with 50 different cultures in them, yet the feature itself would still work just fine.
Since they are all vying for a % of one 100 pt pie, there could be 50 of them but only one would be the dominant and thus official culture possessed by the unit or city, the main influence.

The idea of the ethnic units is they'd still overlap with the standard types and still not be 'replacements'. The cultural special units would just not be subject to the tracking and potential culture flips other units might experience and the main units would be much as they are but more mutable. A samurai would always be japanese but a swordsmen unit with japanese culture would still not be elite enough to be a samurai and could become, in play, a sumerian swordsmen if they were to hang out in a sumerian city long enough. Of course, in the process, they would've imparted some of their japanese nature onto the sumerian city, as would a samurai that happened to be stationed there, though the samurai would never pick up any sumerian influence because its a truly fixed cultural unit. You could only train samurai where japanese culture was strong though, probably 50% or more in that city. Therefore, cities that can train a cultural unit would be unable to train other cultural units, even if other cultures existed there in smaller degrees. Though we could play with the % requirements for elite cultural units just like cultural buildings and such.

As for multimaps, I'm pretty sure the setup we have is currently to swap out which map you are with arrows on the minimap much like it is in ToT. Maybe some hotkeys and some interactive potential in the military advisor. There has been some discussion about setting up an exterior database to store and load off-current map data to allow a LOT more maps than we'd be currently allowed here.
 

Thunderbrd

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They looked different indeed. If I remember right, say you captured a chinese city with 5 pop, you now had 5 asian citizens in it, which had the asian art style. Then, somehow, any new citizen head would be of your culture group instead, or at least 50% of them, again I don't quite remember (after all, if all the people in the city are chinese, wouldn't newborns also be chinese, short of immigration?). One implication was that these chinese citizens would become very unhappy if you were to go to war against China again, claiming to be sad about fighting their motherland - so they were considered foreigners and wouldn't really integrate. This is still present in Civ IV though it's based on culture % instead.
Now on the whipping a specific ethnic group part, I don't believe there was an option to choose exactly which citizens to whip if you had already a mix of two culture groups in a city, but you could whip/draft a conquered city down to one pop and all the new pop would belong to your culture group from there onward. Which again it's quite historically accurate, albeit problematic under modern eyes.
For unit visual variations, it would not be all that difficult to attach the art style to the unit via the combat class that represents the strongest current influence on that unit.


To briefly address - culture won't mean race or ethnicity - that could be a whole different thing but I think we should veer away from that - it would just be an 'idea' generally of what customs and heritage you feel you are attached to as an identity. Various songs, stories, color meanings and associations, customs, social contracts, values etc...

But then language, religions, corporations, political ideas and more would all be other 'idea' categories entirely, though interestingly, they could all influence one another in ways too.
 
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Somebody613

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@Thunderbrd

You gave me an idea.
Say, all normal units get born "Human", as in with "None" culture.
Then, they slowly absorb the culture(s) from the plot they are currently sitting on (could be limited to cities, and could be limited to full-turn-skip).
And when their personal culture % is high enough (say, 51% for zero possible competition flukes), they actually CHANGE to a cultural unit of that culture.
And after that, they can never change to anything else, no matter how much different culture(s) they carry on them as baggage to influence cities and plots.
In other words, you NEVER build unique cultural units altogether - you TRAIN them via cultural influence over time, and it's a ONE-directional switch as well.
How's THAT for an idea, lol?

Now, multi-maps should still be real-time-ish, but my idea was always BEYOND merely several "surface maps" like in ToT.
I'm hoping for something more like Spore, where you have "planet map" alongside "space map", or even more specifically - separate "star system map" and "interstellar map".
And then a bunch of "planet maps" as well, though the latter would be an issue very directly tied to memory limitations, obviously.
But there's one thing that actually makes this rather easier:
1. The maps would be used only one at a time anyways, since it's turn-based. This drastically reduces the memory issue, compared to real time moving maps, like those of Spore.
2. Basically, you should really go for "load all, use at need", kinda exactly like with viewports right now. Heck, that's most probably HOW you gonna do it to begin with, I guess.
This said, and memory limits aside, what exactly is the current problem with implementing the concept itself?
Like, if you use it on a Duel map, then memory is quite not an issue yet, so what IS?
 

Thunderbrd

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Say, all normal units get born "Human", as in with "None" culture.
Then, they slowly absorb the culture(s) from the plot they are currently sitting on (could be limited to cities, and could be limited to full-turn-skip).
And when their personal culture % is high enough (say, 51% for zero possible competition flukes), they actually CHANGE to a cultural unit of that culture.
And after that, they can never change to anything else, no matter how much different culture(s) they carry on them as baggage to influence cities and plots.
In other words, you NEVER build unique cultural units altogether - you TRAIN them via cultural influence over time, and it's a ONE-directional switch as well.
How's THAT for an idea, lol?
I want all units to start as carrying the influence they began with. Obviously units like immigrants would, when joining back into a city, strongly take that influence into that merger with them. I don't want to make elite culture units replacements for the units they are based on - at this point, not all of them are even based on a given other unit type template. We divorced the idea of them being replacements a while back.

If you send Roman troops to hold Celtic territory, over time, they rub off on each other. This is one reason you get revolutionary sentiments growing on borderlands and so on. Also some pockets of cultural sentiment and differences can emerge from within a nation. There would be units that you could promote to BE influencers - entertainers as a prime example. The idea of any given thing being locked in might apply fine to units that are what they are purely because of their absolute dedication to a given cultural identity, but for most, they should be fluid I think.

And that's just talking culture here. Similar would be special religious units - all other units could have their 'religious unitcombat declaration' vary based on influence %s adopted, but a unit like a Crusader, being a Christian only unit, would only qualify to be trained in a highly Christian city and would remain completely fixed as that religion. Loki Fists, much the same for Asatru, etc...
Now, multi-maps should still be real-time-ish, but my idea was always BEYOND merely several "surface maps" like in ToT.
I'm hoping for something more like Spore, where you have "planet map" alongside "space map", or even more specifically - separate "star system map" and "interstellar map".
And then a bunch of "planet maps" as well, though the latter would be an issue very directly tied to memory limitations, obviously.
But there's one thing that actually makes this rather easier:
1. The maps would be used only one at a time anyways, since it's turn-based. This drastically reduces the memory issue, compared to real time moving maps, like those of Spore.
2. Basically, you should really go for "load all, use at need", kinda exactly like with viewports right now. Heck, that's most probably HOW you gonna do it to begin with, I guess.
This said, and memory limits aside, what exactly is the current problem with implementing the concept itself?
Like, if you use it on a Duel map, then memory is quite not an issue yet, so what IS?
We aren't talking about only having surface maps either, but space maps, even dimensional maps, and even like the fantasy version, subterranean maps (based on the original earth surface map). We'd offstore MOST map info, but if you needed to target another map, we would need the ability to be able to refer to a second map in memory at a time. I'm told modern offloaded data storage could be done pretty quickly to bring in and out. You might feel it some but not intolerably so. How to get the AI to work with it is probably the biggest hitch. Big questions exist as to whether we need a whole new game engine or not.
 
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