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Civ4 style civics

Discussion in 'Civ4Col - We The People' started by Nightinggale, Jan 3, 2020.

  1. Commander Bello

    Commander Bello Say No 2 Net Validations

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    Btw, if I remember correctly there are two (or maybe even three?) different functionalities of calculating combat odds in the standard code. Once in getBestDefender or so and the other in getCombatOdds. Of course both deliver different values... :)

    Edit: I don't know if you have touched the combat system yet. I had once completely rewritten it as the internal logic was so strange that a prediction of the outcome of changes was almost impossible, even when calculating the odds per Excel.
     
    Last edited: Jan 8, 2020
  2. Lib.Spi't

    Lib.Spi't Overlord of the Wasteland

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    I actually like the civic upkeep costs, I think they make even more sense in the Col Engine as you have so many resources you can produce including the non-physical concepts of bells and crosses. Giving you a great trade off of larger civic bonus vs lower liberty cross production. M:C illustrates the concept really well in Col..I think M:C also scales upkeep with empire size as well. They also had an initial cost and time for implementation like in Civ. M:C also has gold production as well, so you can produce a small amount of income per turn, which could also then be used to support high end civics too.

    The simplest and best punishment for not maintaining the upkeep is simply a reset back to 'no bonus/basic' starting civics. This has the penalties of time to re-implement, cost to re-implement and the potential impact (which could be minimal up to catastrophic) to your finally tuned and boosted economy.

    You could also add physical yields to upkeep by taking them from your capitals warehouse.

    I am still working on specific civic ideas/thoughts.

    I also second rays comment on avoiding random discussions of AI in places, there is a reason threads have titles, discussion about AI improvements is welcome, but it is a different thread and topic, people watching this thread are watching for discussion around civics, topic discipline is important so that ideas don't get lost and concepts don't get derailed. :)
     
  3. Nightinggale

    Nightinggale Deity

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    I completely disagree. For a start it wouldn't be balanced for both 1 plot and 2 plot radius. Secondly I think it's balanced for number of cities rather than sizes, which makes more sense in a game where you need tech and buildings to increase a population limit. Last, but not least I disagree that it feels balanced in M:C.

    In a WTP setting, if one civic cost more, but is more beneficial, then it's even more beneficial to have a good income meaning starting with silver becomes even more rewarding. If the upkeep is expensive enough to counter this, then it's too expensive in most cases.

    The idea that a civic gives a bonus and a penalty to a specific unit (like increasing slave production while increasing the risk of slaves running away) is a whole lot easier to balance because you can isolate the balance issue way better. Not isolating balance issues, but viewing them as an overall (which we still need to do) means the risk of making the feature unbalanced becomes noteworthy greater. In some games you have plenty of money, in others not so much. Being able to "buy" civic bonuses makes the low money cases even worse.
     
  4. Lib.Spi't

    Lib.Spi't Overlord of the Wasteland

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    Well I said illustrates the concept, not that is was perfectly balanced and fully finished final product..
    (because it was never finished due to moving everything into the new civeffect system, so further work polishing/balancing/tinkering stopped, it was only ever a Mk1 implementation, but it showed the possibility for a number of features.Including upkeep.)

    Initial Costs:

    The point of gold cost or other yield costs as an opening fee is to illustrate the initial impact of transition. As well as not being able to just jump around the civic choices each turn to suit a specific moment..You have to plan longer term because the cost will likely mean you are stuck with the choice for a while.It also places it in the same 'league' as buying a boat or a specialist or rushing a specific building. Do you civic now or get your new boat first, etc.

    Certain civics could have particular costs specific to it that are not just gold,..like wood or cloth. So it would not just be a silver rush, but you might rush the resource you want for your specific civic choice..

    As to 'buying' the civic choices, the part you neglected is the upkeep cost per turn, in M:C as mentioned you can have different yields be part of the upkeep, so for example a particularly excellent religious civic could have a high 'cross' upkeep, meaning in order to sustain it you need a well developed religious infrastructure.

    So you could buy the initial outlay for it with gold (if gold were the only cost which it doesn't have to be), but if you do not have the clergy to maintain it, everything goes boom!
    .
    Balancing:

    Your point about balancing contradicts itself immediately. Isolate balance to a single thing, rather than viewing it as a whole, but we have to also view it as a whole.
    I am not even entirely sure what this point was speaking to, other than the fact that balancing things has to be done and less things to balance means less balancing, but the lack of certain counter balances could in itself lead to something being unbalanced or exploitable..

    To your specific point though, if you only added a bonus to a specific thing and not a negative, this would further reduce the need for balancing as you only need to balance one positive against other alternate positives, with no negatives needing to be balanced at all.

    Also your specific negative of increased chance to run away is very difficult to balance as chance has an inherently random element to it, so the increased production could be completely offset by the fact all the slaves have just run away.

    Upkeep Scaling:

    The upkeep costs scaling, could potentially be based on anything. Not just number of cities. It could even potentially be different depending on the civic branch. Military could scale with the number of military units/professions. Land rights could be based on the number of tiles you can work, or everything could be tied to say total population.

    The upkeep costs could use only the 'internal' city yields, bells/crosses/etc. as costs, then 1-2 plot would not effect the balance, as these productions are only effected by number of cities, not number of production land tiles.

    You could argue that 2 plot can support larger pops, making internal production easier in every city, with every city producing everything rather than having to choose which one yield type to produce, but you still have to bring in the people to produce the yields and make the buildings to produce those yields, so the amount of work is still the same, just perhaps more concentrated in 2 plot, or capable of supporting more undeveloped locations maybe. However this would balance itself as the two version are different game modes, so it would just be an additional/modified difficulty, rather than unbalancing anyone play through. (1-2 plot system could be argued that nothing can really be balanced with it as 2 plot and 1 plot just change production scales.By more than 2x.)
     
  5. Lord Chambers

    Lord Chambers Emperor

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    I think this caution is very good. I am wildly uninterested in seeing features of this mod grow when it's so illegible I couldn't show it to a life-long Colonization fan and have them keep playing. I suspect there's insufficient influence in its design which asks "what does this add for the player?" A lot seems proposed because its possible to add it, and adding it might allow a simulationist to imagine even more detail like the most recent history they read. I don't see what gets added under the rationale "the core game is _____, and feature x ties two expressions of that core gameplay together, while being historically accurate." I see civics, tech trees, and other highly immersive stuff that doesn't immerse me, because it joins the founding father system, terrain exploitation, colony management, and combat as something the player does and the AI does not. I see I'm in a sandbox with unequal European powers and Indians there to give verisimilitude but not a strategu challenge. I'm playing with my imagination more than the game systems. The game systems are just hurdles to leap while I meet my own goals of role playing.
     
    OzzyKP likes this.
  6. OzzyKP

    OzzyKP Emperor

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    I agree with Lord Chambers. But I think Civics would fit a bit better than tech. If civics are being added to add another level of realism/immersion, then how does the King factor in? In the base game you pick civics after you declare independence since you are finally independent and able to make governmental decisions on your own. If we are looking for realism, then it seems to me that before the revolution the King would have a lot of power over your civics/government.
     
  7. Nightinggale

    Nightinggale Deity

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    The idea is that we have two kinds of civics: those you set for WOI and those you set earlier, which are also changeable during the game. While they are technically the same internally, we can make them different by the way we set up each civic. The king didn't micro manage everything. The governor had to figure out a whole lot of stuff on his own. That's where "early civics" comes into play.

    Think of the colonies in Australia. If the governor wanted to ask London for advice, it would take more than 12 months to get a reply. In most cases that was way too long to wait and he just had to govern on his own.

    I wonder if it would make sense to have the king ask the colonies to switch civic at random. Your answer would change the king's attitude, which in turn would affect the king's other actions. Maybe the relationship with the king would affect how frequently he will request changed civics.
    Then again would it become annoying rather than interesting?
     
  8. Drunk-Monk

    Drunk-Monk Chieftain

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  9. raystuttgart

    raystuttgart Civ4Col Modder

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    Why not simply have all civics to be activatable before WOI. :dunno:
    I personally do not see any need to have some civics depend on Declaration of Independence as prerequisite.

    Once you have WOI the whole game is pretty much just focussed on combat anyways.
    All the rest of the game features become just background activities.

    Civics should definitely have at least some impact on King's Attitude (or Archbishop's Attitude). :thumbsup:
    But I don't think we necessarily need DLL-Diplo-Events where they ask you to switch to specific Civics. :dunno:
     
    Last edited: Jan 23, 2020
  10. raystuttgart

    raystuttgart Civ4Col Modder

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    Hi guys,

    I thought a bit about a full game concept of Civics now (as a first draft suggestion).
    (It is a little bit similar to our Founding Father System but still has fundamental differences.)

    Here is with what I have come up. :)

    A) Civics are a social aspect and thus should be "mainly" unlocked by "SocialCivicPoints"
    (I feel it is better than unlocking them by a Tech System which is more "scientific".)

    Thus we would have "SocialCivicPoints" that are mainly calculated from Yield Culture generated by Cities.
    (Which themselves generate it from Buildings and Population.)

    But we could also add a new Profession (Philosopher) and Expert (Great Philosopher) to generate Yield Culture (which we already have).
    That Profession could work in the current Tavern (and its upgrades) which would simply get Profession Slots.

    B) However different Civic Categories (in total 10) should also require an additional second category of "CivicPoints"
    1. Socal Civics: Just "SocialCivicPoints"
    2. Political Civics: "SocialCivicPoints" + "PoliticalCivicPoints"
    3. Military Civics: "SocialCivicPoints" + "MilitaryCivicPoints"
    4. Expansion Civics: "SocialCivicPoints" + "ExpansionCivicPoints"
    5. Religious Civics: "SocialCivicPoints" + "RelgiousCivicPoints"
    6. Trade Civics: "SocialCivicPoints" + "TradeCivicPoints"
    7. Domestic Civics: "SocialCivicPoints" + "DomesticCivicPoints"
    8. Slavery Civics: "SocialCivicPoints" + "SlaveryCivicPoints"
    9. Native Relation Civics: "SocialCivicPoints" + "NativeRelCivicPoints"
    10. Education Civics: "SocialCivicPoints" + "EducationCivicPoints"
    C) Calculation of Civic Points
    1. "SocialCivicPoints" --> see A)
    2. "PoliticalCivicPoints" --> calculated just as "PoliticalFounderFatherPoints"
    3. "MilitaryCivicPoints" --> calculated just as "MilitaryFounderFatherPoints"
    4. "ExpansionCivicPoints" --> Number from Plots Owned, Number of Improvements built, Number of Pioneers owned, Number of WagonTrains/Coastal Ships owned
    5. "RelgiousCivicPoints" --> calculated just as "ReligiousFounderFatherPoints"
    6. "TradeCivicPoints" --> calculated just as "TradeFounderFatherPoints"
    7. "DomesticCivicPoints" --> calculated from Buildings owned, Yield Health per turn, Domestic Market Sale amount per turn
    8. "SlaveryCivicPoints" --> calculated from Number of Slaves owned, "Slaves becoming Free" and DLL-Diplo-Events related to Slaves
    9. "NativeRelCivicPoints" --> calculated from Native Contacts (Trading, Missioning, DLL-Diplo-Events with Natives, Relations with Natives)
    10. "EducationCivicPoints" --> calculated from Yield Education and "Learning by Doing"
    D) Number of Civics per Category, Unlocking and Switching
    • Every Civic Category will have at least 3 Civics to unlock or switch in between. (More could be possible but 3 is a good value to start with.)
    • You can however select freely which Civics you want to unlock first (and spend your "SocialCivicPoints" on - because they will limit everything)
    • You can also switch back and forth again between Civics if you like or if game situation changes (but that will also cost "SocialCivicPoints")
    • Switching a Civic in the same Civic Category can however only be done every 20 turns (with modifier of Game Speed considered) - it will be displaye when you can do again
    • The Civics in every category will have an order (1, 2, 3) - you can not directly jump from 1 to 3 or from 3 to 1 - you need to go through 2 first.
    • You start with Level 1 Civic and once you acquired enough Civics you can unlock Level 2 Civic, then Level 3 Civic.
    • Level 1 / 2 / 3 are however not always better or worse - they just have completely different modifiers - and thus could be useful for specific game situations or not
    E) User Interface Concept - Civic Screen
    • The Civic Screen shows 10 separate sub-areas (1 for each Category) with the specific Civics in there.
    • The current amount of Civic Points to unlock next Civiv in every Category will be displayed as Bars (similar to Founding Father Screen)
    • Civic Screen will always display all Civics in every Category but those not yet unlocked will be greyed-out.
    • For Unlocking (if you have enoug Civic Points) you will see a Button (Unlock Civic) in every Category
    • If all Civics are unlocked a Category the Button for the Category will not be displaye anymore.
    • Once unlocked you will also get the choice to directly set the new Civic
    F) Specific Civics per Category and their game effects (first draft)

    1) Socal Civics: Hard but Fair, Basic Comforts, Taken Care Of
    --> Affects "City Needs", Health Produced, Growth Limit, Prices on Domestic Market, Demands on Domestic Market, ...

    2) Political Civics: Dependent Colony, First Self Government, Partial Autonomy
    --> Affects Taxes, DLL-Diplo-Events with King, Generally Kings Attitude, unlocking Diplomatic Options, ...

    3) Military Civics: Defensive only, Ready for Everything, full Militarization
    --> Affects Upkeep, Costs of Military Units in Europe, Combat Modifiers (in specific game situations), ...

    4) Expansion Civics: First Exploration, Increased Expansion, To the Pacific
    --> Affects Prices and Yields needed for Pioneers, Scouts, Wagon Trains, "Profession Settler", ...

    5) Religious Civics: State Religion, Tolerated Other Religions, Free Religion
    --> Affects Immigration Limits, "Religions of the New World", ...

    6) Trade Civics: Full Protectionism, Limitted Protected Goods, Open Markets
    --> Affects Prices in Europe, Probability of Price Changes in Europe, Prices for Sales in Custom Houses, ...

    7) Domestic Civics: Planned Production, Strategic Subventionism, Capitalism
    --> Affects Production Speed, Cost for Tools/Lumber/Stone, Hurrying Costs, ...

    8) Slavery Civics: Slavery is Gods Will, Freedom by Hard Work, All Men are Equal
    --> Affects Slaves Production Modifiers, Costs of Slaves in Africa, Slaves Running away, Slaves becoming Free by Hard Word, Slaves all becoming Free / Acquiring Slaves no more allowed

    9) Native Relation Civics: We are the Conquerors, We are Neighbours, We are Brothers
    --> Affects all interactions with Natives: Conversion of Natives by Missions, Success Chances of Missions, Chances for Bargaining, DLL-Diplo-Events, ...

    10) Education Civics: Teach yourself, Public Elementary Schools, Free Education
    --> Affects Education Costs and Times (of Plot Professions vs. Building Professions), Learning by Doing Chances, ...

    G) AI concept

    tbd

    -----------

    Summary:
    • Civics is independent of Techs and should stay that.
    • Civics works a bit similar than Founding Fathers but has totally different effects.
    • Civics is a very "high tier" feature that interacts with lots of base features (some would first need to be implemented)
    • This is really a lot of effort to implement (specifically all the ties into the effects) and has relatively high risks of bugs
    • Impact on performance needs to be considered as well but should be ok (most of the calculations however either already exist or juest need to be modified slightly)
     
    Last edited: Jan 23, 2020
    Schmiddie and lyciummusic like this.
  11. Nightinggale

    Nightinggale Deity

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    Not that I disagree with you, but shouldn't we have a better argument for removing something, which has been part of the game for so long? For all we know there might be people who love the constitution choices. I wouldn't remove them as long as they are not broken and it takes little to no effort to keep.

    If it becomes a hassle to keep or otherwise non-trivial to keep, then it's a different issue and I will consider removal again if that happens. I don't mind it being around even if it isn't particularly useful. Personally I'm not a big fan of WOI anyway and usually aim for other victory conditions.

    CivEffects can already provide free promotions. As a result, from a programming point of view, this could be trivial to add. If it needs extra code, I would prefer it to be in promotions.

    Using promotions will also have the benefit of better help text in the sense that the player can see the unit being better at something because it has a mobilized promotion or whatever.

    I would say both yes and no. It requires project management and a plan for which order to implement in order to control the risk of bugs. I would say start with the GUI, make it adapt to xml (I have made such GUIs before. They aren't hard to make once you know how to do it). That way we can add one category at a time and make that category playable. This will reduce the scope of each change, which in turn makes it easier to find and fix bugs, not to mention actually making it easier to plan ahead and avoid bugs in the first place. Depending on how things work out, it might also allow something like making a release with 4 categories for people to start using civics even though we haven't actually added all of them.

    It could very well end up being horribly buggy if we start with the end goal and no plan for how to get there. In fact a poor plan could mean we will never get rid of the bugs. However I'm not concerned with bugs because I haven't seen anything, which would indicate them to be an unfixable problem so far.

    Same as bugs. It shouldn't be an issue if we make a plan and stick to it. My only concern could be the AI trying to figure out which civics to use. However evaluating the AI score for each civic looks like it would to be a good candidate for using more than one CPU core. Right now I'm not too concerned, but we should pay attention to performance (as always).
     
  12. raystuttgart

    raystuttgart Civ4Col Modder

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    Hm, valid point. :think:
    I simply currently have problems matching both with some reasonable explanation.

    Because for me (in my immagination) it is the same basic idea but differently realized.
    We basically still talk about setting up a "Constitution", but instead of waiting for WOI the process starts already earlier in game.

    I also thought that it might make Civics implementation more difficult and maybe we might get contradictions.
    (e.g. "All Men are Free" is in Consitutional Civics as well.)

    That is exacly my point.
    I wanted to get rid of the "old Constitution System" and replace it with the "new Constitution System", which adds more to gameplay.

    Also I always felt that the "old Consitution System" was very poorly fleshed out - just like a lot of other things in Vanilla.
    I hardly ever heard anybody saying anything good about it.

    But maybe somebody has a good idea how to handle that. :dunno:
     
  13. orlanth

    orlanth Storm God. Yarr!

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    I think it’s good to enable more modding flexibility for Civics, but could work best to enable this by taking advantage of the planned Civeffects + Techs systems as simple ways of unlocking them, and continue to reserve some special Constitution civics for independence. E.g. it could be fairly straightforward to have a Civeffect get applied after declaring independence; this then becomes a very versatile tool for modding / game design since you can then use it as an unlock/prereq for anything you want to be unlocked post-rev (including reserving late-game Constituion civics for this period.)

    For pre-revolution civic choices, it does sound good to include at least a few categories with a few options in each (perhaps just a few at first to make sure it’s understandable/ enjoyable before adding more), keeping to relatively subtle ‘focus’ effects rather than overwhelming bonuses to keep manageable for the AI.

    To improve AI challenge level at higher game difficulty settings, it could be a good design strategy to have handicapinfos.xml apply Civeffects to AI civs with benefits similar to some/most of the unlockable civics - this could be a good way to relieve the AI of some of the bottlenecks that are hard for it to plan for (e.g. planning far in advance to supply specific needed Yields for buildings/units/professions), while also paying attention to overall fairness and interesting/challenging options for human players (by making it so that some of the balancing effects/exemptions the AI starts with at higher difficulty levels may still also be attainable by a human player, after strategic investment in Techs or other advances unlocking a particular civic choice.) This would simultaneously help ensure that Civics do not create a disadvantage for AI (since at higher difficulty settings, they could be adjusted to start out with some of the Civeffects that these would apply to humans when unlocked).

    Considering how best to enable unlocking of pre-revolution Civic choices , it may be simpler/cleaner to again take advantage of the existing Civeffects system (just as they can unlock unit/building choices, enabling them to unlock civic choices could be a simple and understandable implementation with great flexibility for modding).

    :)
     
    Last edited: Jan 24, 2020
  14. Schmiddie

    Schmiddie Emperor

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    I like the idea of having civics aleady in the game. It will give the mod definitely more depth. However, what I read and learned from other current threads: It needs to be documented very well in the colopedia. Otherwise player will not understand how to handle them. Just my 2 cents...
     
  15. raystuttgart

    raystuttgart Civ4Col Modder

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    That is why I would like it too.

    Definitely, the game concept needs "Civics/Constitution" to be explained in Colopedia "Game Concepts" and
    every single "Civic/Constitution Paragraph" needs to have an entry in Colopedia Category "Civics" or "Constitution Paragraphs" as well. :thumbsup:
     

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