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[Discussion] The "Too Much Money Problem" (aka "Late Game Boredom")


Civ4Col Modder
Jan 24, 2011
Stuttgart, Germany
... as genuinely trying to understand what excites you when you play ...

That is actually pretty simple:

1) Extrinsic Challenge:
Being better than AI and winning the game in WOI
2) Intrinsic Challenge: Building the largest and most efficient Empire I can.
3) Surprise and Diversity: e.g. during Exploration, Events, Diplomacy, ...

Thus most of the features I implement also intend to "increase the challenge" and "add more suprise and diversity". :)
I also care about immersion and story of course, but it is more of a "nice to have" in a 4X to me.
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Sep 26, 2010
Seeing how the mod has evolved during years, agree with the first post and would advise to put all efforts on polishing the current mod in its state instead of adding more and more features, unless those features address an specific problem/hole. Obviously this is just an opinion, as a team you do whatever you want.

Not saying it's equal, but other mods on Civ4 have been adding more and more things, just for the shake of doing it, without any real roadmap or a clear design. And that had lead to such mods being incomplete after years, full of late-game problems, AI inconsistencies, etc.

I think the reason to create most mods is to offer a experience different to the vanilla game, BUT if the final result is just the same vanilla game with a different flavor... I see no point for that. (not saying WTP is at such point now heh). AdvCiv for example is a counterexample, it does not try to offer something different but to improve it. And it does. There is also a multiplayer mod which is clearly focused on a player vs player experience, and it works.

With this; I mean a mod should not only address thematic points and add new features, but also really give a different experience from start to end of the game. Have seen a lot of mods who are advertised as such and then when you reach the late era it's just more of the same.

Some questions -and thoughts- which may help the team to think about a roadmap:
  • Is the late game just the same than vanilla but with more units/layers?
  • Maybe the entire game has offered a different experience, but how the late game differs?
  • Did the "road" end at the same point even if the travel was totally different?
  • How could the early game experience or sensation of discovery be translated to the late game?
  • Are there any surprise on the late game? Is always the same?
  • Is this a single-player focused mod? Multi-player? Improvement of vanilla? Redesign? A cake?
  • Are thematic changes really adding depth to the game or just cosmetic varnish? Which ones?
    • Depth here can be considered as writing an story. I have seen many events added lately but most of them are just placeholders to fill holes "create X of Y element, you win Z", applied to a list of Y elements. Wether they are buildings, units, .... they are pretty generic if you abstract the logic.
    • What about chains of events? Is there some kind of story going from start to end re-defining your nation?
    • Are nations really different? Or just the same abstraction with different flag and x bonuses? (ex. Fall from Heaven gives a great of example here)
    • Slavery could play a role here. I have seen a lot of events which incentivize slaves as rewards... what about leting the player to go against it with real gameplay impact and events? (not just a non relevant player choice)
    • What is the role of natives in this game?
  • Do you fear changing the late-game?
    • Events with real impact, multi-nations wars, different scoring challenges, etc. could be added. But maybe you are afraid of adding real changes to late-game and just want it to behave like early game but with more of everything and ad-hoc patches. Spoiler: that leads to the 4x paradox. Challenges are not scaling with that design.
    • Slavery or natives could easily point to new endgame possibilities if you take some min to think about it.
Sure some changes require more work but at some point you have to consider the years put on this... spending more years to patch a problem instead of facing its root could be more work on the end.
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Civ4Col Modder
Jan 24, 2011
Stuttgart, Germany
... without any real roadmap or a clear design.
Actually there is a roadmap for the mod although it might not be that visible or known to everybody. :)
And also I personally have a very clear vision of the mod and the game design I would like to achieve.

Here I had once posted my personal long term plans. (Although the post is not 100% up to date anymore, it still kind of my orientation.)
Most of the features I implemented were originally on that list and were removed once implemented. (It used to be almost twice as long.)

I have never been implementing features "just to add something new" or without considering its impact.
All of the features that have been implemented were to enhance the vision and were carefully integrated in existing gameplay.


And just to clarify:

1. WTP currently does not have any "incomplete features" and WTP also does not have any AI problems.
2. Every 4X game in history has the problem to keep late game interesting, it is nothing that WTP suffers explicitly from.
3. About 50% of the changes we have implemented were not adding new content but overhauling existing gameplay.


.... on polishing the current mod ...

Ah yeah ... polishing the mod is also happening in each release ... so I am not really sure what you want to say with that.
Like e.g. performance improvements, better advisor screens, pedia improvements, better texts, balancing improvements, overhauled game mechanics ...


And that had lead to such mods being incomplete after years, ...

WTP offers a full and fun game play experience without suffering from anything missing. So it is "complete".
But the mod development is still not "finished" in my eyes because there is still gameplay that we want to add or improve.

But questioning the vision of the mod just by the fact that not eveything has yet been implemented is complete non-sense.
Especially not if we look at the simple fact that this mod is by far the most successful Civ4Col mod ever created ...

To summarize:
The mod is "complete" but it is not finished".
But each release brings us a bit closer ...


Sure some changes require more work but at some point you have to consider the years put on this ...

I am very much aware how much effort modding is and I am not really afraid of investing time and effort into a mod.
I have already invested about 15 years into it and intend to invest ever more years into it.

I implement new features and overhauls as fast as I can, but I still mod in my spare time only.
To fully achieve my vision it may need further 15 years probably ... but I was always aware of that and can live with it.

Also I am fully ware that not all of my suggestions and ideas will make it into the WTP core mod. Personal tastes are just too different.
So my goal for the core mod is just to get the "biggest common nominator" done together and then implement the rest in my private version.


... but also really give a different experience from start to end of the game ...
Fully agree with that and I am actually convinced that WTP gives a different gameplay experience than any other mod out there.
It has much deeper gameplay mechanics for building your empire is much more complex than anything else ever created for Civ4Col.

But still we always wanted to implement "Colonization 3" - meaning to build and improve on a good gameplay foundation.
We never set out to turn a 4X empire builder into something totally different like a war game or whatever.

Also modding is about personal taste - so the stuff we implement is the stuff we acually agreed on that we like it.
And quite frankly in modding the game experiences that matter most are the game experience of the people contributing.


Some questions -and thoughts- which may help the team ...
Honestly none of those questions have really helped me anything because they are completely unrelated to my vision for the mod.
Also most fo the time it is just vague talk of problems that I don't see this mod has without offering any real solution or actual active contribution.

Our problem is that the people that are actually motivated to work do not have enough time to implement all their good concepts.
There is no lack of ideas that never get worked on and there is no lack of people that talk but don't have enough motivation to invest effort.

The WTP core mod basically intends to serve as a "biggest common nominator" base for team and community to implement / customize their private modmods.
All the features in the mod are basically designed to be easily customized or even deactivated if people don't like it. It is what people contributing to it want.

So endless talking does not really help anybody anything, since modders will always implement their own ideas and their own private taste.
The only thing that will shape the mod is to actually contributing to it ... because then you can really decide what is implemented and how.


Seeing how the mod has evolved during years, ...

I am not really sure what you want to say with this, but in my opinion WTP 4.0 is the best version of RaR / WTP we ever had.
So when I myself am "seeing how the mod evolved during these last years" I am extremely proud of its evolutionary development.

So seriously, I am a bit confused about what I read up there ... because it feels to me like you and I talk about different mods. :undecide:
And honestly it sounds like you accuse us of bloating the mod without having any plan of what we are doing ...

So I really hope I misunderstood a lot of the things I kind of read between the lines.
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Sep 26, 2010
So I really hope I misunderstood a lot of the things I kind of read between the lines.
Wow? Definitely, not sure what did you read on my post, but I would suggest you to re-read it. Really. Take it easy. If you are tired of modding or you think people are not giving you enough praise for all your work, I could understand it.. but please next time think twice before writing such essay towards someone. It's really passive agressive and unnecessary.

None of my comments were explicitly focused "against" WTP. Like you have chosen to read my comments as something against the mod/the team/you(?) instead of just some random thoughts which apply to mods in general ;) And some improvements which may apply to WTP.

Ah yeah ... polishing the mod is also happening in each release ... so I am not really sure what you want to say with that.
You and me may have different ideas of what 'unfinished' or 'polishing' means. There are tons of features added on last years which could take some revision/polishing, but you programmatically avoid to do so in all cases. And this is a fact. It doesnt' mean such features are "wrong", incomplete or other of your thoughts. It's just that they can be improved and polished.
Anyway I simply stated than having spent so many years... maybe you could revise the roadmap and start spending more time on making sure the game works 'as is' -not your idea of your game, but the actual game- and that it fullfills the aims of such roadmap (or the questions I posted and you discarded so fast ;))

The same for theme. You may approach thematic integration in a way which other people may not agree about it. You asked for feedback, I gave it. I don't find the most thematic thing to have 30 events related to resources, when all of them are essentially get X, win Y. I really like board-games, and I find the theme-approach on some mods (and this does apply here) sometimes the same than the one found on euro-games. It's just a thing pasted over the mechanics, were you could easily swap names/graphics and things would work the same. And it's fine, I know what I play when I play an euro-game.... but then I don't like when someone tells me such game is so thematic when it clearly is not ;)

The same for the slavery events lately added, which essentially are get free slaves. Why? There is zero story about it. Zero moral implications. Zero theme. They could be ships, cows, chairs or gold, I could not care less.

AND THIS IS ACTUALLY pretty anti-thematic. They are people, slaves are humans. Not objects. Not gold. Not ships. But the theme is set in a way I could not care less about getting 5 slaves or 1000 gold, because there is no difference. And here come the "economic sims" vision, slaves currently are just objects. There is no theme attached to it, a real story, real events, decisions, or a moral choice. Player has no choice over it, the entire game incentivizes slaves as a strategy, since the only focus is economics. It's just a math problem to solve. And please don't point me to the "revolt" feature. It's just a countermeasure for the economic sim, there is still zero theme around it. And this is clearly shown in other related-features like the "slave hunter promotions".

Even your words...
This feature totally changes Gameplay with Slaves.
No. Gameplay is the same, this is just another variable in the economic equation to solve. It doesn't change at all gameplay in a thematic sense. And this "problem" is present in many other features.

So one of my suggestion is expanding the game in that sense, adding real stories and quests to WTP with actual moral/political choices. You like economic sims, and that's clearly shown on "your vission". You asked for feedback, and the feedback is stop focusing on that and try expanding the game in other fields which are lacking or refining the features already added and somewhat along the road most of the existing late-game problems would be fixed ;)

Honestly none of those questions have really helped me anything because they are completely unrelated to my vision for the mod.

Actually there is a roadmap for the mod although it might not be that visible or known to everybody. :)
And also I personally have a very clear vision of the mod and the game design I would like to achieve.
I explictly said "other mods in CIv4"... but well, now that you want to take it personally, if you ask about late-game being boring and there is an actual roadmap not visible to the people you are asking... ehm... are you joking? Either you want to impose your vision or you want feedback, but please stop doing both at the same time.

With all due respect but... you asked for feedback, feedback is given and your have to reafirm "YOUR" vision(?). Ok. I really think you should tone down a bit...

Have pointed to some weak points in Col (and WTP) and things which -if discussed- could bring actual solutions to the late-game problems. You have spent thousands of lines replying to something "I still don't understand" and being offended for things I don't get, instead of discussing the topics given.

I don't see slavery as a thing which should be treated only as a workforce on the game, and currently there is not much more to that... well, events which give slaves, great.

There are dozen of possible additions related to slavery which would address gold issue on late game, as said, if people actually spent some time thinking about it.

A different condition victory not focused on the economic sim and/or taking a different approach to WOI would totally change the late-game problems too.

Looking for solutions not involving more and more micromanagement for the gold problem would work too. You usually associate complexity to micromanagement, as if both were the same, but they are not. Micromanagement doesn't necessarily adds any complexity, is just more time spent to get some result. Adding resource-intensive quests also adds to complexity and involves zero micromanagement for ex.

If you don't want to treat X topic on the game, good for you. But please don't despise other ideas as "vague" because you don't like it. Most times when specific implementations are given to you you discard them because the "feature is already implemented", so it's a bit hard to give you actual suggestions when the only ones you take into consideration are those which fit in your vision and none of the present features can't be revised.
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Sep 26, 2010
And probably you or other people find it vague and useless but let me quote your mod overview...
In the year 1492, Europeans discovered new unclaimed land. People saw opportunities, took possession and started to build their dreams. As time passed, more and more colonies showed up. All started out with hard work, struggled to keep going and some failed, lost everybody and fated into history as a tale of the old times. Others survived, grew, became more and more attractive and popular as time passed. Eventually disagreements with the founders became so strong that independence and self governing were declared.
Does the actual mod reflect all these nuances and problems? Some of them, I would say.

Eventually disagreements with the founders became so strong that independence and self governing were declared.
Specifically this one. Which disagreements? Economic ones only? ;) Or just that the game is suppose to end at X date and it's built around WOI as the final aim?
Does the player really feel there is a need for WOI during the game? Is there some story around it or just a final pre-defined objective?

To me there is a lot of possibilities on that side if we talk about theme, quests, events, how politics are reflected on game (or not), moral choices, desire of freedom, etc. And that can not be added via more micromanagement or economic features.


Civ4Col Modder
Jan 24, 2011
Stuttgart, Germany
You and me may have different ideas of what 'unfinished' or 'polishing' means.
Actually I also said this mod is not finished yet and that thus polishing still happens ? :think:
We will still need many more releases and a lot of work to "finish" the mod and fully have it "polished".

All I said was: It is "complete" already. (Which does not forbid to add.)
Meaning there is nothing essential missing to play and enjoy it.

We work on both each release:
Finishing ... aka adding planned features or working on other todos from the "roadmap".
Polishing ... aka fixing or improving existing features form previous releases and adding quality of life stuff.

But how or when we do what is simply in the hands of the modders motivated to work.
People from outside the team trying to "advise" us how we should work best is really not needed ...

It's just that they can be improved and polished.
For that it needs people that are motivated to put in their effort to do so. :dunno:
The people that already invest their effort will prioritize themselves what they will do.

There are dozen of possible additions ...
Then go ahead and start to work on them - then I will also be interested to discuss. :)
But otherwise I will hardly care about it because I already have enough todos for many releases to come.

So one of my suggestion is expanding the game in that sense, adding real stories and quests to WTP with actual moral/political choices.
That sounds great, I wish we would have more of that. It just needs a motivated modder. :thumbsup:
So why not work for it instead of complaining that it is not already there?

To me there is a lot of possibilities on that side if we talk ...
Sure why not if you are willing to also invest your own effort for it. If yes, create a specific thread and let's discuss. :thumbsup:
Otherwise talking without having somebody interested to work just wastes time without anything ever happening.

... you asked for feedback ...
Nope, I asked only for feedback specifically to my suggestion or a specific alternative design pattern. I wanted to discuss solutions, not problems.
I also did not ask for feedback to the development on the last years or for questioning the roadmap which you kind of hijacked this thread for. :nono:

But please don't despise other ideas as "vague" because you don't like it ...
If there is no implementable game concept that somebody is actually motivated to work on it is "vague" for me. :dunno:
You may believe that others are just waiting to work on your ideas, but experience has shown that will simply not happen.

Most times when specific implementations are given to you ...
That is argumenting with consumer attitude that players are our "customers" and we need to do what players tell us to do. :rolleyes:
If people do not like what we implemented and want stuff differently they are free to invest their effort for changing it.

If I dont want to consider a change request I usually have very good reasons to do so. My time for modding is not unlimited.
Having to discuss game concepts again and again and again many months or years after implementation is wasting time.

So no, I have absolutely no obligation to invest time that I may simply not have for endlessly repeating discussion - thus at some point things are decided.
Either I discuss endlessly or even worse change endlessly or I actually use the little spare time I have for being productive for fixing or implementing.

So seriously coming months or years later after the feature concept has been discussed and agreed is simply too late. Be there when it matters.
Also everything could always be done differenty since everybody has a different personal taste ... so at some point discussions have to stop.


Remarks on modding:

In modding there are no "customers" - there is just community that either just takes or also contributes
Otherwise there are just free modders that voluntarily share their effort and can do whatever they want.

If you want, you can also become one of these modders and shape the mod to your liking
But just continuing critizising and "advising" will not help anybody, quite the contrary, it wastes energy.


On hijacking:

Also, please don't hijack threads with a very specific topic for discussing general "all around advise" and critizism on the mod. :sad:
I consider this thread now dead ... because all the actual constructive discussion on specific implementation is now pointless.

It is much more polite to start a new thread if you want to bring up new topics of your own. Next time maybe. :dunno:
Because originally I wanted to e.g. discuss what I will actually implement and how ... which I now consider futile.

This thread has turned from a constructive discussion for specific solutions into a vague thread about problems and "advises". :shake:
So I have learned again that trying to actually discuss my concepts and plans in community is just wasting time ...

This thread was intended to solve a specific problem with distinct and clear solutions that should actually have created results and agreements.
Now it has become a bloated discussion full of vague problems and advise about the vision and plans for the mod that migth even causes disagreements.


Why we discuss less and less publicly:

Because of pointless threads like this we already moved 90% of our discussions internally. :coffee:
Most likely it is really best that we move completely 100% internally and actually achieve results.

The consequence of "hijacking" is that players have less and less influence of what is actually done and only team and contributors decide.
Simply because some people in community somehow believe that every thread is just there to discuss feedback instead of actually clarifying work.


It is better to participate than complain:

If you want to actually become part of the creation of this mod that is great, you are welcome. :thumbsup:
But if all you want to do is complain or "advise" about how or when we implement stuff, please stop.

If you want to have something: Work for it and convince by investing effort and motivation. :whew:
But don't complain if others don't do what you want because that is just counter productive.


About being "passive aggressive:

Sorry if this sounds "passive aggressive" again, but I just try to prevent the next discussion to end the same. ;)
(Thus honestly I am trying to explain very patiently why you triggered the reaction you got.)

The replies you got is the way I react when people try to "advise" me what I should do in my own spare time.
If they talk about their own plans and the things they will invest their own effort, that is a totally different story.

So yeah, that was the most likely reaction to expect from me considering how you started.
(And also the way you continued in the previous posts ... since it was still just complaints and "advises".)


This here is not necessary at all. It is still less provoking to me however than the statement about "Seeing how the mod developed" ...
It is still neither constructive now nor will it help to make the next discussion constructive. But ok, I will answer to it ...
If you are tired of modding ... people are not giving you enough praise ...
I still like modding, but I am annoyed by people that don't invest effort but still think they know better. :nope:
And I am also annoyed by people that think they are our customers and can tell us what to do.

Praise? Yeah, it is nice and it helps to motivate the people that invest their effort into the mod.
But if you really believe that praise is what I care most to mod, then you simply don't know me ...

I mod to be creative and to be "free". I mod to not get "advises" and to not have to justify how I invest my spare time.
So maybe that also explains a bit why I react pretty negative when people try to "advise" me or start questioning everything.

Am I tired sometimes, of course. Am I busy with real life, yeah sure. So is all the rest of the modders working in their spare time.
So why then bring this to a personal level like that? To waste even more time or to demotivate ... purposely being destructive?


You got me triggered by this here and if you don't understand why we better stop discussing at all. :dunno:
(Because any constructive discussion will instantly be killed by starting a discussion in a tone like that.)
Seeing how the mod has evolved during years ... would advise ... on polishing ... instead of adding more and more features ...

I feel that until now you still did not understand that it was not "What" you said, but "How" you said it. :eek:
Because after the first few words I was hardly interested anymore to read what you actually wanted to say.

In my experience if somebody truly wants to have a constructive discussion he will simply not start like that.
He will not question everything and just pump unasked "advises" but suggests actual solutions and also offers to contribute.

It is really pretty easy to differentiate a positive constructive discussion from a negative desctructive discussion.
The first I will happily listen to and try to understand, then latter I will react as I did and to the most part ignore ...

... or the questions I posted and you discarded so fast ...
All the maybe smart and interesting stuff was more or less wasting time to read for me after I read the sentence "Seeing how the mod ..." . :undecide:
Simply because it started with an attitude of criticism and thinking to be in a position to "advise" instead of asking or offering to contribute.

I see little benefit to be drawn into a discussion about the mod that just wants to critizise or "advise". It would waste my time and motivation for nothing. ;)
I have also no obligation to justify my personal taste. Once a feature is done I simply offer it to the team and let them decide if it becomes WTP core mod.

Also I currently do not have time to answer or even discuss 30 or something vague questions that are not specifically aimed at something. :think:
Bring clear and precise suggestions that you want to work on (or contribute) and we can discuss them and actually come to constructive solutions.


But again, if you do then please start a new thread and let the existing thread achieve its purpose. :thumbsup:
Hijacking a thread like you to totally shift the discussion in some other direction was pretty impolite.

Also again do not start the discussion in a negative destructive tone with an "advisor attitude" that is not suited for a constructive discussion. :rolleyes:
Next time if you want to have the things you write been taken seriously or even fully read and discuseed, maybe consider to formulate differently.

This time all it achieved was that the public discussion considering my plans for this concept has ended and continues just internally. :undecide:
Also implying that I will now simply implement it without involving community and then present it to the team for decision when it is done ...


Maybe you consider my words and we may have a more useful discussion next time, maybe you don't. You are free to do what you want. :dunno:
But once I feel that the discussion will just serve as plattform to "advise", critisize and complain there is no reason for me to truly engage in it.

It is up to you if you want to discuss with me or against me next time or maybe not talk to me at all. :dunno:
How you start the discussion will most likely impact how it ends ... the tone matters ... because it suggests intentions. *

* The
intention to advise and give critzism might be well meant, but it still is not necessary the best strategy to actually discuss.
Especially not if they
come from somebody outside the team that does not invest his own effort and motivation for the project.

As I said, maybe
next time when posting consider which reaction you actually want and how to achieve it best. :thumbsup:
Depending on the tone it can result in refusal to engage or actually creating interest to have a constructive discussion.


Otherwise I currently have more important things to do ... e.g. trying to get a release published. :badcomp:
The last ... I don't know how many posts ... have just been an incredible waste for everybody ...

But of course it is a free world and this is a free forum. I can only decide for myself how I react and what I do.
So if you and the rest of community want, feel free to continue discussion without me. :thumbsup:

Sorry, but that is really the last thing I have to say in this thread.
(If you want, you can also start a new thread with your ideas, maybe it will be more constructive.)
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Sep 26, 2010
Ray... enough. English is not my mother language, but I think I'm good enough to be confident about my own words not being offensive or off-topic.

This is a quote from your FIRST POST on this thread.
Well, I wrote this just to explain my current design thoughts on the mod. :)
Would of course be interested to hear what others think about this.
Which many could understand as a generic question.

Then later...
In other words:
I have no interest to damage / remove what makes the mod so successful.
I just want to listen to some player feedback and make it even better.
Which again is a direct request of feedback.

Now you say you didn't ask for a general feedback of the current design of the mod or feedback about late-game. You can put all your discourse in RGB lights, that doesn't help you should revise your attitude and spend more time before pressing reply to be sure you are communicating what you intend to inesead of writing a post full of words which contradict your other replies.

You are actually encouraging the opposite you want to do.
And this has nothing to do with consumer attitudes. Stop putting responsibility on other people instead of focusing on your attitudes and own responsibility of your words.
This attitude, the content and shape of your last posts scares people more than helps to find new modders wanting to help.
I was considering coming back to modding. After your answers, you can be sure I will not spent time helping here. Good work :) (i'm being ironic)

Appreciate your work done until now, but this is going too far and there is no explanation to this verbiage and attitudes. I'm out of these forums.
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