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Discussion about Game Options

Discussion in 'Civ4Col - We The People' started by raystuttgart, Nov 14, 2020.

  1. raystuttgart

    raystuttgart Civ4Col Modder

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    Why? :confused:
    Please explain. :thumbsup:

    I really do not think we have too many Game Options.
    Actually there is not one single Game Option that I feel we have to remove.

    I always thought we want to give players more options.
    Are Game Options a problem for AI in your opinion?

    -------

    Agreed, there are several Game Options I personally never ever use.
    But maybe other players do. :dunno:

    Those Game Options I use a lot - they are "my personal deaulfts":
    (But others may not want to turn them on - so it is fine to have the option.)
    • No Settlement Razing
    • Permanent Alliances
    • New Random Seed on Reload
    • Show Hidden Variables
    • Only 1 Colonist per Native Village
    Those Game Options I feel are valid, even though I hardly use them:
    (In 1 out of 10 games I activate them.)
    • Reduced Royal Expeditionary Force
    • Random Settlement Area of Natives
    Those Game Options I never use, but they were explicitly requested by a few people from community:
    (Basically options to deactivate old TAC / RaR features I really like and always play with.)
    • No Wild Animals on Land
    • No Wild Animals in Water
    • Use old Founding Father System
    Those Game Options I also never use because I really like Ancient Ruins and Events.
    (They are by the way also Vanilla. But maybe purists may like to use them from time to time.)
    • No Ancient Ruins
    • No Events
    The Game Options I really feel that they are absolutely pointless:
    (But actually all of them are Vanilla Game Options.)
    • Unrestricted Leaders
    • Always Peace
    • Always Wars
    • 1 City Challenge
    • Lock Modified Assets (maybe needed for MP games?)
    -------

    Summary:

    I really do not feel that we ever added a Game Option without reason. :dunno:
    Thus I also do not think we should remove any of them.

    All the really pointless Game Options are from Vanilla.
    But I also do not think we should remove them.
     
    Last edited: Nov 14, 2020
    nci, ConjurerDragon and Schmiddie like this.
  2. Will The Viking

    Will The Viking Chieftain

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    This is an interesting thread. For my part:

    • No Settlement Razing - I always want to be able to raze settlements
    • Permanent Alliances - never use this. Permanent alliances actually feel like you have annexed the civilization.
    • New Random Seed on Reload - no strong feelings
    • Show Hidden Variables - feels like cheating
    • Only 1 Colonist per Native Village - no! I love training loads of colonists in native villages!
    • Reduced Royal Expeditionary Force - sometimes, if I fancy an easy game.
    • Random Settlement Area of Natives - never used. I prefer 'realistic' native locations
    • No Wild Animals on Land - always turned on. I find wild animals a distraction
    • No Wild Animals in Water - always turned on. I find wild animals a distraction
    Those Game Options I also never use because I really like Ancient Ruins and Events.
    • No Ancient Ruins
    • No Events
    The Game Options I never use as they feel odd.
    • Unrestricted Leaders
    • Always Peace
    • Always Wars
    • 1 City Challenge
    • Lock Modified Assets
    • Use old Founding Father System
     
  3. raystuttgart

    raystuttgart Civ4Col Modder

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    @Will The Viking

    Basically all the 2 of us really agree on is the "pointless Vanilla" Game Options. :)
    (But in order to not anger anybody or cause unexpected side effects, we better also leave them.)

    For all other Game Options we added in TAC / RaR / WTP both of us have totally different preferences.
    (Which is fine because we have Game Options for it.)

    Generally I think that proves my point:
    The Game Options we added in TAC / RaR / WTP were added for a reason.
    I really feel that none of the Game Options we added should be removed. :thumbsup:

    And I bet if we have 10 more people post here, we will get 10 further preferences ... ;)
     
    Last edited: Nov 14, 2020
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  4. Nightinggale

    Nightinggale Deity

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    We really should remove this one. I think the idea is that you can make a savegame and then you can make a competition to see who wins the fastest or something. However it prevents loading if assets have been modified meaning if anybody uses it, then we might not be able to load the savegame included in a bug report.

    Personally I have never encountered a case where it would make sense to use.

    I think we should consider changing bVisible for options we assume nobody will ever touch. That way it's easy to turn back if it turns out that they are in use.

    One option we have at least in the code is advanced start. I think we should officially decide not to support it because I don't think anybody has considered it when balancing modded features. Besides I don't want to waste time on it as I would never use it. It doesn't really appear to me as being in the spirit of the gameplay.

    The issue is that it's not good to give too many options. If you start a game and are asked about 200 settings and you don't really know what most of them does, most people will run away screaming.... or at least run away. Particularly some Linux distributions tend to ask people lots of questions where most people would go "no idea". The issue is if a player look at the list and fears that it is too long. So many decisions. There is research indicating that a number of people don't feel happy about too many options. "You decide for me". In some cases adding more options to a supermarket will make people buy less because they can't decide.

    Another issue is that the more options we have, the more options we have to support.

    On the other hand, options gives us the luxury of not having to agree on every single detail. We can't even agree if 1 or 2 plot radius is the right choice and this is a fairly fundamental question. Ruins spawning enemies (the question, which triggered this thread) is something, which has the power to fundamentally change the game, at least for some people (we have different playing styles). Getting everybody to agree on this could be tricky, but if we can say "if you don't like it, then you can turn it off", then we don't have to get everybody to agree.

    I will say that while we should likely get rid of some vanilla ones, generally we do not have too many yet. It's ok to have a decent number if we make sure people have a reasonable chance of understanding them. "No Wild Animals on Land" is self explaining.

    Looking at this, I wonder if "Use old Founding Father System" is a good name. It would be better to make it something like "Killing a player makes their Founding Fathers become available" (note that I reversed the meaning of on/off in the naming). Technically it's killing the team, not the player, but whatever. Maybe it should say team because we only have the ability to change this on the same page as where we can assign multiple players to one team.
     
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  5. ConjurerDragon

    ConjurerDragon Prince Supporter

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    You still can. By either spreading out to other native villages or/and training one colonist after the previous has finished training. Just not several trainees to one native village at the same time.
    .
     
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  6. ConjurerDragon

    ConjurerDragon Prince Supporter

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    Yes, there has to be a balance. However as long as game options fit on one screen just like they did for e.g. Master of Magic and the choices make a difference and are well documented (e.g. by floating text explaining what the choice does or enables) I´m fine with them.
     
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  7. raystuttgart

    raystuttgart Civ4Col Modder

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    Sounds absolutely fine for me. :)

    Turning the unused ones invisible is probalby the best way.
    But I think there will not be too many that are completely unused (except bad Civ4BTS ports). :dunno:

    Ok that is the first one. :thumbsup:

    As you said, the Option does not even exist outside of the code. It is just a remnant from the bad port of Civ4Col BTS.
    Let us get rid of that pointless code as well. :thumbsup:

    But until now, it is really not that bad, and as you see, our players do use them. :dunno:

    Excactly, they allow us to keep both focus groups our fans:
    "Casual Players" and "Strategical Players". :)

    Fully agree and we never made the decision to add another Game Option too easily. :thumbsup:

    I just named it that way, because the "New Founding Father System" is the default one - you have to actively deactivate it by the Game Option.
    (By the way, the mouse over explains its meaning.)
     
    Last edited: Nov 15, 2020
  8. raystuttgart

    raystuttgart Civ4Col Modder

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    Summary of the Discussion so far:

    For now I guess those are the candidates to turn invisible:
    (Basically it is only badly ported and pointless Game Options from Civ4BTS.)
    • Unrestricted Leaders
    • Always Peace
    • Always Wars
    • 1 City Challenge
    • Lock Modified Assets
    All the other ones I would leave visible. :)
    (Because there are / might be players that use them.)

    ----------

    Everybody ok with that? :think:
    (It will make the list of our Game Options a bit shorter and cleaner.)

    And yes, we will continue to add Game Options carefully. :thumbsup:
    (e.g. by considering effort to implement, technical impact and value for gameplay)
     
    Last edited: Nov 15, 2020
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  9. Schmiddie

    Schmiddie Emperor

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    Agreed
     
  10. HermanHeydt

    HermanHeydt Chieftain

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  11. nci

    nci Chieftain

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    If this feature does not allow more national wonders per city, like in Civilization, then it is indeed pointless. If it does allow more national wonders per city, then it should definitely stay.
     
  12. raystuttgart

    raystuttgart Civ4Col Modder

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    The way this Game Option works and the way WTP was implemented it does not work properly. It will totally ruins your gameplay in WTP.
    (None of our features were ever implemented with "One City Challenge" in mind - because we - mostly myself when implementing features - considered it pointless all the time.)

    And no, it will not allow any national wonders.
    (You can not even build enough "Government Palaces" or other prerequired numbers of buildings.)
     
    Last edited: Nov 15, 2020
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  13. Nightinggale

    Nightinggale Deity

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    I think so. They seem rather pointless.

    We might have to be careful here. Are we sure the game isn't using advanced start code to place native settlements?
     
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  14. raystuttgart

    raystuttgart Civ4Col Modder

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    I am not sure. Never ever cared about "Advanced Start" - the game option is not visible in TAC / RaR / WTP. :dunno:
    Let us simply leave that code untouched then. :thumbsup:
     
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  15. Vaeringjar

    Vaeringjar Chieftain

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    I personally use these all the time right now:

    "No Wild Animals on Land" & "No Wild Animals in Water"
    Because I'm temporarily playing on an older semi-potato. I'd love if there was an option to get rid of weather as well, as my fps increase considerably if I manually purge them (to look at ships ^_^).

    "No Ancient Ruins"
    I've found ancient ruins to be overpowered and give the player yet another advantage over the AI. It also becomes a mindless scout arms-race chasing for them, which just isn't enjoyable.
     
  16. devolution

    devolution Prince

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    In CIV4FeatureInfos.xml you can set the features that have <bGeneratedEveryRound>1</bGeneratedEveryRound> to 0. That will stop weather effects from being generated every turn. Alternatively, just set the <iAppearance>1000</iAppearance> to something improbable (i.e. a very high value).
    Btw, it is actually the texture update (locked inside the EXE) that consumes most of the CPU time. I recently optimized this code (the DLL side) a bit and we're about to merge it into the current RC.
    I agree that human players are far better at exploiting goodies. The same argument applies to events which are arguably even more lopsided since the AI has no way to plan ahead at all to satisfy their requirements. Perhaps we should just expose the No Events option (it actually does exist, it's just hidden!)
     
    Last edited: Jan 7, 2021
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  17. devolution

    devolution Prince

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    I noticed that as well. All that Advanced Start stuff is certainly not used. There's plenty of stuff left-over from when they copy pasted the BTS source code like support for unit upgrades and tons of unused AI functions etc.

    There's actually one more Game Option that we haven't considered so far: Aggressive AI. It seems to be supported by the AI functions, but it may not have been tested at all. Note that it has been removed from AdvCiv and since I am planning on importing most of the War-Peace (i.e. "diplo AI"), I propose that we plan on getting rid of it as well.

    I still want to rework it into meaning AW vs. the colonial powers only (so no mandatory war vs. the natives)
    See https://github.com/We-the-People-civ4col-mod/Mod/issues/125
     
    Last edited: Jan 7, 2021
  18. ConjurerDragon

    ConjurerDragon Prince Supporter

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    Spoiler :

    upload_2021-1-7_22-23-1.png


    When I start a new game using "Custom Scenario" the "No Random Events" option is not hidden?
     
  19. ConjurerDragon

    ConjurerDragon Prince Supporter

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    Don´t you make chasing for ruins easier yourself if you disable Wild Animals? In my games I first have to buy or outfit a scout at the cost of not buying or doing something else and then I have to go out to search for ruins and burial grounds (and future colonization sites with bonus resources) while occasionally having to stop and heal due to animal attacks. Without wild animals it would be much easier to go for ruins so you spoiled your own game there IMHO.

    By disabling Sea Animals you have disabled the later appearance of pirates, too as far as I know. Which makes ships lose one of their major threats on their ways. You might as well say that it becomes a mindless merchant-race bringing goods to Europe...
     
  20. Vaeringjar

    Vaeringjar Chieftain

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    Pirates still spawn, and they're wrecking the AI lol, though my naval game isn't vanilla right now

    Several nations start with a mounted unit (scout/dragoon/cavalry), so at least for these it's a no-brainer. It's also unclear to me if the AI isn't hampered more than the player when it comes to wild animals anyway, so yeah it makes it slightly slower for the player but makes it even worse for the AI. Even with them disabled I've seen a rebelling slave of mine go and conquer another colony's settlement lol, shame attacking "animal" colonists doesn't capture them :/
     

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