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Cookbook University games discussion thread

Discussion in 'Civ4 - Strategy & Tips' started by Gliese 581, Nov 23, 2008.

  1. Gliese 581

    Gliese 581 Your average civ junkie

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    This is a discussion thread for everyone interested in playing and experimenting with online games such as the cookbook series, the immortal university and deity challenge series.

    Good idea to move this to its own thread Dirk, I don't want to highjack an ongoing game either if it can be avoided. I actually took part in the first immortal cookbook game which featured Roosevelt. However I felt a lack of time and a lack of interest after a while since it was played on epic speed, also the updates where a bit infrequent and the player base dropped for each round.

    Now there's been a couple suggestions for another take on an online series of this kind.
    I guess a good place to start however would be to try to gauge the general interest in the community for another game of this sort. Please make a post if you're interested in partaking in an immortal or deity level challenge of this kind and what your preferences for such a game is, normal immortal, difficult immortal, or deity? (please don't say difficult deity :lol: ). JK, you can say whatever you want of course. :)
    It would also be good to know what speed people prefer and if they want any special map settings or such.

    I would personally like a cookbook style deity challenge (where there's a vote at the end of each round) given that there's enough interest and time to get a group of at least 6-8 people that can se the series through. I believe that a collective game like this would lower the difficulty a bit since some people should succeed where other fail and perhaps vice versa the next round so that the game is kept alive.
    However, I'm certainly willing to partake of some sort of immortal cookbook challenge as well if people don't want to make it a deity level game.
    My preference is normal speed, I used to play epic but actually changed it to be better able to keep up with silverbullet's rapidfire succession of immortal university threads a while ago, and I never looked back. I also tend to favour fractal or other random maps as they present another hurdle for the player to overcome in terms of what strategy to employ.

    So, feel free to join the discussion!
     
  2. Rusten

    Rusten Deity

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    Good for you! I tried an epic speed game once, but I fell asleep somewhere between 1500 and 2000 BC! :lol:

    I'd participate in a deity version. Preferrably not an easy/designed map.

    Edit: If the goal is discussion playing a SG is more optimal and in-depth, but both are fine.
     
  3. Dirk1302

    Dirk1302 Deity

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    Count me in as well. Since there already is an immortal cookbook i'd say we play deity on a fractal map, everything random. There should always be some one who survies a possible early rush.

    As for the exact format we play in, i've never played something like this before so ultimately every format is fine with me, i like the format Gliese suggested in the ic thread.

    @Rusten, once i'm finished with the ultimate thread and my own walk through i'll probably start a deity SG game if there's enough interest.
     
  4. CellKu

    CellKu Emperor

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    Gliese, great idea! :goodjob: Since there already is an immortal cookbook, I think a deity cookbook would be preferable.

    Now a few (not so brief) sidenotes: ;)
    To get as much attention as possible I would suggest that you keep it as open as possible. So if someone wants to join in later and is not on the roaster from the beginning he/she should be allowed to do so (playing from the best save chosen during the previous turnset). Thus, people who are a bit late still have a chance to join. I am not sure whether this will raise the no. of players, but in any case the more open the game is the better.

    Moreover, what makes the cookbook-style appealing (at least to me ;) ) is the set no.'s of turns after which the players have to report -thus, making the saves easier to compare. What I would certainly support is Dirk's rule suggestion in the other thread about playing from you own save or the best. A certain strategy might need a no. of turns to unfold (thus, one turnset might not be enough), so people should not be forced to always take the best, but should have the opportunity to continue from their save for one more turnset if their save has not been chosen as the best. However, players should revert to the best save after this second turnset if their save has once more not been elected to be the best.

    What I would also suggest - for learning purposes - is that, while the first turnset may last for example until 1 AD, people should report at a certain point in time before - when they have discovered most of the land to make plans about their city placement. I found it rather worthwhile to read the discussion in the immortal cookbook thread about the city placement. So, it would be nice to have that here as well.

    Moreover, in general discussion and reasoning should be encouraged. Especially with regard to the "soft skills" diplomacy and trading. Your game, Gliese is IMO excellent in that regard as it keeps people informed about what you trade and with whom and who has which attitude towards you and why. So I think that many non-deity players would be very interested in getting a bit more details about that. Moreover, other players could give there opinion on certain trades being good or not (e.g. "cheap" trades) etc.

    With regard to maps: as long as it is a world map - EXCEPT archipelago!!! - I am fine with everything. For the first installment, however, I would prefer a map that is a bit easier. That might encourage more people to participate, even if they have not yet played deity.

    Finally, an SG is something to consider and I do like this format as well, since it encourages even more discussion. If time permits I would gladly join it.
     
  5. Snaaty

    Snaaty Deity

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    If time allows me, I would join a deity game:)
     
  6. ABigCivFan

    ABigCivFan Emperor

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    I am all for a Deity cookbook series. My preferred settings are: Normal speed/Fractal/Standard size/default. We prob don't want huts.

    Cellku and Gliese raised some good points about the format.

    I totally agree that we should make a "cookbook" series with flexibility to encourage participation.

    1. Many good players play with very different styles, some styles only start to payoff in later eras. We should not force anyone to play from the best saves, anyone should be permitted to play from the best save or own save for any round. That in my mind will be the best learning experience. Since for each round/era, you can stick with your own style and then compare to the "best" save to identify your own strength/weakness.

    2. Anyone can participate from any round, if you join late or will miss a round, simply pick up the best save and start there.

    3. Have a voting process to pick the next leader

    4. Sometimes can perhaps play certain scenarios with picked AIs/settings

    An ensuthiastic host will be great who can coordinate the voting process and promoting strategy discussions.
     
  7. Gliese 581

    Gliese 581 Your average civ junkie

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    Alright, deity seems to be the consensus then so far though it would be great to hear from more players. I've seen three suggestions of the format.

    1. Everyone can play from any save. Dispense with voting (At least might as well).
    2. Have a vote after each round and select one save as the winner, everyone plays from this save or own save. Players can only play own save for two consecutive rounds in which it was not chosen as the winner.
    So round 1, not chosen as winner, round 2 ditto, round 3 now the winning save must be used.
    3. Have a vote each round and elect top 3 saves, players can choose to play any of those saves but can never choose their own save.
    4. A succession game where players take turns playing rounds of the same game with discussions in-between. Examples of these can be found in the Civ4 - Succession Games subforum of the Civ4 - Stories & Tales section.

    I proposed number 3 and so that's my suggestion for format. I would also be interested in an SG, especially if there's a lack of players since the university and cookbook concepts benefit from a larger playerbase.

    Cellku: Good idea about encouraging participation and having players discussing general settling strategy and the thoughts behind it. I agree on both.

    I agree on not having huts, I would also suggest we disable events.

    Edit: My suggestion for first round (unless it's a SG perhaps) is 100 turns, to 375 BC.
     
  8. DMOC

    DMOC Mathematician

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    I would propose:

    No huts
    No random events
    Normal speed (I play both Normal and Epic -- typically Normal speed is best for me in GROUP games like these and epic is best for my PERSONAL games).
     
  9. CellKu

    CellKu Emperor

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    I am also for disabling events and huts. Makes it easier to compare the saves.

    With regard to the format (as per Gliese's post):

    A minor side note first:
    Spoiler :

    While all of them are possible, I think all players should be aware that the "cookbook"-style (at least as I understand it, please correct me if I am wrong) is to facilitate turnset comparison by having only ONE initial save for each turnset. So, whatever format we chose, if it deviates too much from this basic structure we should give it another name, not "cookbook".


    I am in favor of the variant 2 as it facilitates comparing the various turnsets. It also accomodates players who like to pursue their own course - at least for a while. Moreover, it might help to keep as much people in the game as possible, because even if a player abandons his/her game he/she could still continue with the "winner" save.

    I think variant 1 should be discarded. Even though some people may feel uneasy about voting, the voting process encourages reasoning and discussion because people will want to justify their vote.

    Variant 4 is something completely different, so not really a format for a cookbook/university-type of game. So, I would not see it as a rule variant, but a completely different type of game which could be chosen if there is not enough interest in a cookbook/university-format.

    Finally (and against variant 3), I think many players are committed to their own game. Thus, a rule that caters to that need/wish will be more attractive than a rule that prohibits taking up his own save. While I would play a game with that rule, I am not sure if it attracts a lot of attention. So, for the sake of the game and to raise the no. of players, I would vote against variant 3.
     
  10. CellKu

    CellKu Emperor

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    Since I am now into this, let me advance a few ideas about the reports. Perhaps one or two will make it into the "rule-book" for this cookbook/university type deity game. The reason for these suggestions are that I think most players that participate would like to learn a bit more or help/teach others to improve their game (I certainly belong to the "learning"-type people). So, it would be most helpful to get ideas about the various strategies and tactics of the various participants. Moreover, not all players always have access to their Civ, because they travel or whatnot. To facilitate voting for them I think a summary of each turnset for each save would be most helpful.

    Here, the ideas of what could be added to the "rule-book":
    Spoiler :

    1.) Details are appreciated. Make the reports as detailed as possible, especially with regard to diplomacy, trading and gambits.

    2.) Every report should at least contain a screenshot of your empire (with ressource flags on)

    3.) Every report should contain at least a summary with important information about the current turnset. The format could be as follows:

    a.) Techs
    aa.) Tech order (what you researched yourself):
    bb.) Techs traded (and what you gave in exchange)
    (it would be good if you also provided information about the year/turn when you made this trade; that could, however, also be done in the report):
    cc.) Your beakers at 100% / beakers when breaking even:
    dd.) Reasons why you can run deficit research (e.g. "built Mids, but didn't make it, so hammers were converted to gold")

    b.) Your civics changes during the turnset (in the report you could elaborate a bit why you changed your civics)

    c.) Cities
    aa.) No. of cities:
    bb.) Their accumulated size:
    cc.) Size of your capital:

    d.) For the first two turnsets:
    aa.) Cities founded during this turnset (it would be good if you provided a screenshot in your report where you founded them and/or where you plan to found more cities)
    bb.) Build order in your capital and newly founded cities (in the report you could elaborate on why you choose this way)
    cc.) No. of workers
    dd.) No. and types of units

    e.) Neighbors: e.g. whether there is a friendly or annoyed AI around, WHEOOHRN.

    These are only ideas. Feel free to add more or tear them apart.

    Finally, with regard to BtS: I assume we play with patch 3.17 and Dresden's 0.21 patch. What about BUG (I think its current version is 3.5)?
     
  11. Diamondeye

    Diamondeye So Happy I Could Die

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    Would you like me to link your Deity Cookbook in the Monarchist Cookbook Bullpen?
    If so please state when settings and mods are being used as well as who provides the map.

    Good luck people :thumbsup:
     
  12. RRRaskolnikov

    RRRaskolnikov Goldfish

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    Hi everyone :)

    I would be interested as well... I have never played deity before but I am willing to try to learn from your games guys ;)

    I like ABCfan's idea about saves: we elect a save each round considered as "best" (it's more the discussion and the argumentation which matters) but all players can continue from their saves or the elected save for all rounds. This way, new takers at deity can compare what they do at each stage of the game, and continue the game if they get barbed in the BC :lol: . Experienced people can make long term plans and still implement them even if their save is not the overall best at each round.

    Any speed (I play marathon offline :lol: so epic or normal feel the same way to me), maps fractal or the excellent random script made by Refar... I like some randomness...

    Leaders: well I play random at home, but will probably nead a good leader to at least compete in deity... so I agree with discussion on the leader for each game...

    And if you want a noob in an SG, I am all sold ;)

    Cheers,
    Raskolnikov
     
  13. shyuhe

    shyuhe Deity

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    I would also join a deity cookbook game. However I don't think people should restrict themselves to one save until 1 AD because of the uncertain nature of early deity games. We don't all want to pick up a 1500 BC game with a dow coming!

    @CellKu - what's Dresden's patch?
     
  14. CellKu

    CellKu Emperor

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    @shyuhe: I meant the following: http://forums.civfanatics.com/showthread.php?t=297754 (it is for 3.17 what Solver and Bhruic did for the previous official patches, so AFAIK it follows their tradition in terms of (solely!) bug-hunting)

    If - with your 1 AD remark - you refer to my comment on 1AD, I didn't mean to argue for setting this date for the first report. I think we should discuss more which dates would be good for a deity game. To facilitate the understanding of what the various player do, an earlier reporting date might certainly be useful (e.g. to understand things such as city planning, initial research etc.).
     
  15. Gliese 581

    Gliese 581 Your average civ junkie

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    Cellku: Right you are, I suppose it's time to update the BUG and unofficial patches. Well the patches are more important I reckon as they pertain to bugs. I have the 0.19.1 version of Dresden/Solver's but I see they have released 0.21.

    RRRaskolnikov: We're certainly interested in getting a big group of people for this. The good thing about this kind of game is that even if you fail there's likely a bunch of other people succeeding and you can continue from their game, I think it's very educational and fun.

    Diamondeye: Thanks for the offer, we'll have to see if it becomes a cookbook game or if it deviates enough to have little resemblance to a cookbook game as Cellku discussed.

    shyuhe: That's a good point about not having a single save, at least early for the dreaded deity BCs dow.

    Thus far it seems me and ABigCivfan has proposed two extremes as suggestion for the format. Always play own save or never play own save. Perhaps Dirk's suggestion is a good compromise if people are divided on this, letting players play two consecutive rounds at least if they didn't win the vote but feel that they have a good enough game that they'd be in contention if they got another round to develop their game.
    A SG would be fun as well I think, I've never played one myself but I've read a couple. It seems we are getting enough interest however to warrant a more cookbook-style type of game as we initially planned.
     
  16. ABigCivFan

    ABigCivFan Emperor

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    At Deity, some subtle aspects (diplomacy, religion, city improvements) of the game are very important in addition to City counts/beaker counts/unit counts and etc.

    Human will be at extreme military disadvantage for at least the first 5000 years of the game, so managing the soft skills and long-term planning become imperative to ensure early survival and late success.

    This means more experienced players will have slight advantage in analysing each save and being able to pick truly superior saves. Some saves might have a little more land than other, but each city is less developped; some saves might have a few more unit counts but bad relations with an extremely powerful AI neighbor. These are the easily over-looked aspects when it comes to voting. That is why the "best" save picked at each round might not always be the most superior save given the overall situiation. A "best" save which recieved highest vote might get DOWed by that powerful AI neighbor and lose within the next turn set.

    That is way I suggested more flexibility by allowing best save or own save for all rounds. So some players can see through their long term planning. Many people here are capable of winning on Deity, I suspect this system will encourage the most creative playing styles and stimulate a great deal of strategy discussions since each save can be so different for each round yet many have the potential of winning.
     
  17. Bleys

    Bleys Deity

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    I recommend against random leaders. It can be MUCH more educational and constructive to actually pick leaders and maps for specific reasons. To make sure the game is going to be challenging, your map-maker should check for "gamebreaking" features, like Marble, Stone, Gems and Copper in a single city right near the Capitol, heh.

    This suggestions ROCKS, and I think we should use it in the Emp-Immortal-and Deity Cookbooks:
     
  18. Gliese 581

    Gliese 581 Your average civ junkie

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    ABigCivFan: My concern with your suggestion is that everyone will want to stick to their own game as long as they're doing alright. That's of course perfectly fine for a university style game but the thing I like about the cookbook series is that players get more involved in other's saves and thus have to force themselves to view strategy from other player's perspectives and thus get a more integrated experience and also generate more discussions since everyone has a stake in it.

    In contrast only playing own save will yield some interesting comparisons early but it's my experience that it becomes less and less cohesive as the game progresses and the different players diversify.
    Dirk's suggestion will give players some freedom to pursue/fix/correct their own agenda and demonstrate it well but they get back on the same page as everyone else sooner or later, whether it's their own save being elected or they miss out on two consecutive rounds and then join the others.

    While it's true that some voters will have more experience than others and some will look more closely than others before deciding, it's a deity level game and so I expect that most if not all players will have some experience with the game and be able to make reasoned evaluations of saves and not just take them at face value or be distracted by single details like wonders, #of cities etc.
     
  19. OJimiJam

    OJimiJam Warlord

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    Im really only an immortal player (on my good days) but id be interested in a cookbook style game as proposed, i love the SGs thread for learning but i would be unlikely to participate for fear of letting the group down with shoddy play.

    A coobook style would let people like me play learn and discuss without crippling the groups game.
     
  20. Abegweit

    Abegweit Anarchist trader

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    Yet another Deity newb here. This should be fun. I'm on for it.
     

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