Dune Wars

Joined
Jun 5, 2010
Messages
394
Location
Houma, LA
This thread is for discussion about Dune Wars, a BTS mod for desert warfare based on the Dune novels by Frank Herbert.

Downloads

Required:
Latest Version: 1.9.1
Current Patch: 1.9.6 (Release Notes)
Feedback? Post on the latest feedback thread here in the Dune Wars sub-forum.

Optional:
Dune Wars Music Pack

Documentation:
See the Dune Wars Concepts tab in the civilopedia

He who controls the spice, controls the universe.

 

Attachments

  • worm-rider.jpg
    worm-rider.jpg
    100.4 KB · Views: 17,543

Ahriman

Tyrant
Joined
Jun 8, 2008
Messages
13,266
Location
Washington, DC
Fantastic!

I highly recommend this mod to any civ fan; even if you're no Frank Herbert expert, the mod has a bunch of fun new mechanics.
 

Ahriman

Tyrant
Joined
Jun 8, 2008
Messages
13,266
Location
Washington, DC
Feedback continued.

AH108
I suggest you change the Atreides heir promotion to give a defense bonus rather than a combat bonus. An extra 25% strength on my stack of doom makes conquest much easier than for other factions, whereas I think the intention of the mechanic is kindof a "protect the heir at all costs" rather than a "the Atreides heir will conquer you all, MUAHAHA!".

AH109
Thopters still not displaying combat odds consistently.

AH110
I would merge the bomb shelters into the Force shield building. The force shield should be protecting from air units too.

AH111
Quads, Rollers etc seem actually able to enter peaks/mesa, despite supposedly having a tag which stops them. Its inconsistent; sometimes they can, sometimes they can't. They can if you shift select another unit with them. Maybe give them a mesa combat penalty?
 

Ahriman

Tyrant
Joined
Jun 8, 2008
Messages
13,266
Location
Washington, DC
AH112
Several units are still missing from the unit design.
http://forums.civfanatics.com/showpost.php?p=8378298&postcount=93
The most important one is the Elite Shock Trooper (name can/should be changed); there needs to be another tier of melee troops other than the fedaykin/sardaukar

The minor ones are some of the UUs, which obviously are low priority.

AH113
Missile trooper should upgrade to mongoose trooper.
Wormrider should upgrade to Fedaykin.
Heavy trooper is supposed to upgrade to lasgun trooper (both guardsmen).
Shock trooper is supposed to upgrade to elite shock trooper (both melee).
Firefly (bomber) should upgrade to Dragonfly (bomber)
Wasp (fighter) upgrades to Locust (fighter), but not to Dragonfly (bomber).

AH114
The graphic for salt has disappeared.

AH115
The roles of the mongoose trooper and beesting trooper were somehow split; they were supposed to be combined AT and AA, not one for each. It was supposed to be a 4 tier upgrade path of AT/AA: rocket trooper->missile trooper->mongoose trooper->beesting trooper.
Just like quad->roller->scorpion->heavy scorpion, and
hawk thopter->falcon thopter->buzzard thopter->eagle thopter.

All 4 rocket infantry should have intercept chance, anti-aircraft bonus and anti-tank bonus.

AH116
Guerilla should give 20% hill strength, not defense, or its a bit weak.
For some other promotion suggestions, see:
http://forums.civfanatics.com/showpost.php?p=8448158&postcount=314

AH117
Maybe the Atreides heir mechanic could be adapted for the Reverend Mother; she could give Weirding way or something that gave the stack 1 first strike chance.
 

Ahriman

Tyrant
Joined
Jun 8, 2008
Messages
13,266
Location
Washington, DC
The reductions in water rates mean that population sizes/water rates feel ok for the human player, but AI city sizes are really bad.

Take a look at the attached save in worldbuilder, it highlights some problems.

Ordos have 1 pop in all their cities, I'm guessing because they have been constnatly whipping their population to death (though slavery civic) or drafting them (through imperial fealty).

Other civs also mostly have pretty small cities, partly probably because of whipping/drafting, and partly because of poor city placement; in this game good city spots are much further apart (you need 3-5 water sources for a decent city), and so the AI's tendency to build cities close together is really bad for them. The AI also obviously doesn't understand how to place cities to maximize the number of buildable windtraps.

Fremen are Way of Liet, but haven't built any terraforming; I guess they are too scared to pay that -3 water now that the overall water yields are lower.

Finally, the AI's improvement construction patterns are poor. They tend to build very few improvements, and mostly either spam turbines or mines, depending on whether or not they are in slavery. The AI builds no cottages.
The AI places a higher value on hammers than on other resources, and so the AI tends to put almost its entire population into engineers (under Faufreluches civic) and to emphasize placing mines on hills rather than windtraps (especialyl with slavery).

So, we need to:
a) Get the AI to spread its cities out more, and only build in places with decent water income.
b) remove the ability to build mines on flatland.
c) buff cottages by 1 commerce (I know, I know, many patches ago I told you to drop them... I changed my mind), so that they are not outclassed by turbines (build a 1 commerce improvement, or a 1 hammer 1 commerce improvement? The AI doesn't understand the growth factor very well).
d) Make the AI somehow like windtraps more, and hammers less. Maybe boost windtrap commerce yield or something, though thats not a great solution.
e) Get the AI to stop whipping/drafting its population to death.
f) Remove the Qanat improvement, 1 water alone isn't enough to justify working the tile, its never worth building and it just weakens the AI. Or boost it to +2 water, maybe. But removal is probably safer.
 

Attachments

  • Atreides.CivBeyondSwordSave
    418.4 KB · Views: 233

Ahriman

Tyrant
Joined
Jun 8, 2008
Messages
13,266
Location
Washington, DC
We should consider trying to find a way to remove a spice corp from a conquered city. The income advantages from a spice corp are huge; if you take the enemy capital, you already get lots of advantages; they are seriously weakened, you get a good city with lots of infrastructure, and potentially captured wonders, and you are expanding your territory which lets you capture more spice tiles. If you take a second spice corp, you gain a *huge* economy advantage (usually much larger than capturing a religious shrine), and that pretty much makes you unstoppable.

My suggestion would be:
a) Make a python method that removes the corporation automatically when a city with a spice corp is conquered.
b) Make the house spice firm national wonder building be eliminated when conquered.

So if you conquer an enemy's spice corp city (their capital) you don't get a second spice corp, and they can rebuild their one elsewhere.

* * *
Another thing; would it be possible for a sandstorm damage or pillage on turbines, wells or mines to reduce the turbine/well to the level below it, rather than destroy them entirely? Those things take a lot of worker time, and you lose terraforming progress too.
 

Deliverator

Graphical Hackificator
Joined
Feb 12, 2008
Messages
4,773
Location
London, UK
This thread needs screenshots! :) Feel free to rip these off for the opening post if you like.

Exploiting the natural resources of Arrakis is vital to your survival and growth. Water, minerals and (of course) the spice melange.



In the later game, you can build force shields to protect your cities. However, highly trained bladesmen will always be a force to reckoned with.




There are many different commodities to trade on Arrakis. Some trade deals will allow you to build powerful units or provide some other benefit.



You can pay the Spacing Guild to ship units from your homeworld. Unfortunately there are no available units at the moment...



"Where there is spice and spice mining, there are always worms." - Liet-Kynes

 

davidlallen

Deity
Joined
Apr 28, 2008
Messages
4,743
Location
California
AH109. Thopters still not displaying combat odds consistently.

This turns out to be the cause of the assertion you were seeing this morning. The original bug is that in vanilla, ocean units and land units can never attack each other, so the combat odds display routine checks for mismatching domains and returns early. I attempted to fix that in the 1.5 release, but apparently not correctly. It worked for units on land, but right clicking to move units in desert caused the assertion. The dll which is currently in the 1.5 release is one without this fix. Therefore you will never see odds on cross-domain attacks. I will try to fix this differently.

ahriman said:
AH117. Maybe the Atreides heir mechanic could be adapted for the Reverend Mother; she could give Weirding way or something that gave the stack 1 first strike chance.

As described in the "Unique Abillities" topic in the Dune Concepts pedia entry, the Reverend Mother trains units. Leave the RM stacked with a unit for a few turns, and you will see that it gets combat and drill promotions. This is a little slower, but ultimately more powerful than the Atreides Heir ability. The Heir provides no long term benefit, only while stacked.

ahriman said:
My suggestion would be: ... b) Make the house spice firm national wonder building be eliminated when conquered.

There is a field in the buildings file which sets the destruction percentage upon capture. It should be easy to set that to 100%, and then this should always happen.

I agree most of your other suggestions sound good, but the only way to be sure is to try them out. This could be a one person operation, but in practice it seems to be a two person operation.
 

Ahriman

Tyrant
Joined
Jun 8, 2008
Messages
13,266
Location
Washington, DC
There is a field in the buildings file which sets the destruction percentage upon capture. It should be easy to set that to 100%, and then this should always happen.

Yes, but destroying the building alone is not enough. The building creates the corporation, but the corporation does not then need the building to sustain it; the corp doesn't care what happens to the building. And the income is coming from the corporation, not the building.
So you will also need some Python to remove the corporation.
 

Ahriman

Tyrant
Joined
Jun 8, 2008
Messages
13,266
Location
Washington, DC
You may pursue the dream of the Imperial Planetologist-turned-Fremen Liet-Kynes, and being to transform the harsh arrakis landscape into a thriving eden, with plentiful water, but give up the wealth of spice.



Or you may harvest the spice Melange and reap great wealth, while leaving Arrakis a desert hellhole.

 

Attachments

  • Terraform.jpg
    Terraform.jpg
    71.6 KB · Views: 20,073
  • spice.jpg
    spice.jpg
    114.6 KB · Views: 20,258

davidlallen

Deity
Joined
Apr 28, 2008
Messages
4,743
Location
California
Several of Ahriman's recent comments deal with the yields of various improvements. This is not an obvious tradeoff. Today, the main early game improvements are:

* Surface mine, buildable anywhere, +1 hammer, +1 extra hammer with slavery
* Turbine, buildable on flat, +1 hammer +1 commerce
* Solar farm, buildable on flat, -1 water +2 hammer
* Windtrap, buildable on hill/peak, +1 water +2 commerce
* Cottage, buildable on flat, +1 commerce, grows over time
* Qanat, buildable on flat, +1 water

It seems that the AI really likes hammers, so it really likes surface mines especially with slavery. Second best is qanat, and cottage comes in last. Several solutions were suggested. The problem is that we are kind of going in circles and it is not clear what is really the "right answer".

* Increase the commerce bonus for cottages by 1. It was this way in 1.2 and the feedback was that this was too high.
* Remove the commerce bonus from turbine. I added the commerce bonus to turbines in 1.4.x based on feedback that the AI wasn't building them enough.
* Make surface mines no longer buildable on flat. The motivation for making surface mines buildable on flat was to compensate, in an indirect way, for removing forest terrain and the related chop bonus.
* Remove the qanat altogether. This isn't directly circular, but it is the only thing that depends on fresh water; we should have "more" dependency on fresh water, not less.

How can we find the right balance for improvements without going in more circles?
 

davidlallen

Deity
Joined
Apr 28, 2008
Messages
4,743
Location
California
I tried a couple of experiments on improvements. First I removed the turbine commerce bonus and made the qanat yield zero. I did an autoplay of 250 turns and counted the total population and total commerce; it made little difference. There were fewer turbines and no qanats, but surface mines were still getting spammed.

Then I made surface mines no longer buildable on flat. Now there is nothing left to build on flat except towns, except for solar farm and the nerfed turbine. This did show about a 10% improvement in total population, which is a little surprising; the total commerce went up about 30% into a range which seems slightly too high. I did not measure the total hammer production either before or after, but I imagine it is substantially less.

If anybody is interested in experimenting with this change, please find attached the civ4improvementinfos.xml file, which you can put into ...dune wars/assets/xml/terrain.
 

Attachments

  • CIV4ImprovementInfos.zip
    3.4 KB · Views: 192

Ahriman

Tyrant
Joined
Jun 8, 2008
Messages
13,266
Location
Washington, DC
* Increase the commerce bonus for cottages by 1. It was this way in 1.2 and the feedback was that this was too high.

This wasn't because cottages were too high, this was just feeling that the general tech rate/economy growth was too high. I think cottages *do* need the bonus commerce, otherwise they are outclassed by specialists, particularly with the specialist civics.
Compare, vanilla: cottage plains = 1 food, 1 hammer, 1->4 commerce, +1 gold with tech, +1 hammer with civic, +1commerce with river.
Here: Cottage rock = 1 hammer, 1->4 commerce, +1 gold with civic, +1 hammer with civic.
While base specialist yields remain unchanged (and there a nice specialist boosting civics in Dunewars, and specialists are easier to get because water is more concentrated in a few files.
So, I changed my mind about my own 1.2 feedback, cottage yields weren't the problem with economy size, low tech costs were the problem.
* Remove the commerce bonus from turbine. I added the commerce bonus to turbines in 1.4.x based on feedback that the AI wasn't building them enough.
If turbines don't have the commerce, then they are vastly inferior to solar farms, since the -1 water only ever has any impact if you build them on terraformed tiles.
Remember that solar farms instantly upgrade yield with tech, while turbines must be reconstructed with workers, so they are already somewhat inferior.

* Make surface mines no longer buildable on flat. The motivation for making surface mines buildable on flat was to compensate, in an indirect way, for removing forest terrain and the related chop bonus.

This reason became irrelevant with the earlier game turbine and solar farm access; there are already hammer boosters you can get on flatlands relatively early.

* Remove the qanat altogether. This isn't directly circular, but it is the only thing that depends on fresh water; we should have "more" dependency on fresh water, not less.
I find every city is build near a hill and/or groundwater, so fresh water access is never rare. If you don't want to remove the qanat, then increase its yield, and make it have a yield increase with either a tech and/or the water discipline civic.
Mostly though, if you boost them up to the point where they are worth the human player building them you lose some of the "water is scarce" feel, and as long as you *don't* boost them this high the AI will still use them (because it sees water is scarece, so tries to build improvements that increase this) but be weakened by doing so. So removal may be optimal.
Another possibility: have cottages get +1 commerce with fresh water (instead of increasing them by +1 commerce universally). This makes sense to me both logically and balancewise.

the total commerce went up about 30% into a range which seems slightly too high

Keep in mind that the human player can generate *very* high commerce in this mod, particularly with spice. So the solution is not to decline to make adjustments that improve AI performance, it is to lower the relative value of commerce, by increasing tech costs and unit upkeep costs.

Any ideas for reducing the AI's slave whipping/drafting its population away? As you can see in the save in post 8, this is pretty bad.
 

Deliverator

Graphical Hackificator
Joined
Feb 12, 2008
Messages
4,773
Location
London, UK
we should have "more" dependency on fresh water, not less.

Why don't we make fresh water give a tile +1 commerce? Having access to fresh water can be this mod's equivalent of rivers.

...

Just realised Ahriman has suggested a variant on this:

Another possibility: have cottages get +1 commerce with fresh water (instead of increasing them by +1 commerce universally). This makes sense to me both logically and balancewise.
 

davidlallen

Deity
Joined
Apr 28, 2008
Messages
4,743
Location
California
If turbines don't have the commerce, then they are vastly inferior to solar farms, since the -1 water only ever has any impact if you build them on terraformed tiles. Remember that solar farms instantly upgrade yield with tech, while turbines must be reconstructed with workers, so they are already somewhat inferior.

I guess we need something to balance turbines with solar farms. I can try putting back the commerce on turbine; maybe that will lead to a balance between cottages and turbines. I will also try giving a hammer bonus to towns with fresh water, which is odd, but fits the theme.

Also in the category of fresh water bonus, what do you think about reducing the water yield of dew collectors from 2 to 1, and giving an irrigation bonus of 1? So it is the same as today as long as it is on fresh water, otherwise it is less.

Any ideas for reducing the AI's slave whipping/drafting its population away? As you can see in the save in post 8, this is pretty bad.

No idea. I don't think there are any widgets to control how often the AI uses this. Are you sure the low population is due to whipping?

In other news, I compared the commerce breakdown between DW and vanilla archipelago after 250 turns. It is interesting, but it needs more investigation. The categories are commerce from tiles, domestic trade, foreign trade, corporation, specialists, buildings, and total commerce.
Code:
Game	Tiles	DomT 	ForT 	Corps	Spec 	Bldgs	Total
Vanilla	153	49	26	0	0	25	253
DW	145	13	166	37	2	28	391
So there is almost 4x less domestic trade, and almost 5x more foreign trade. Almost half of the total commerce in DW is from foreign trade. I am a little surprised that the corp income is not the majority of the DW income, and I am surprised that foreign trade is such a large percentage of the total.

I will study why there is so much foreign trade.
 

Deliverator

Graphical Hackificator
Joined
Feb 12, 2008
Messages
4,773
Location
London, UK
I will study why there is so much foreign trade.

Isn't every city that you build connected to every visible city on the map due to the trade route changes? Could that be something to do with it?

In general, I think that comparison with vanilla is only valid up to a point. Dune Wars is turning into a very different game system with all the adjustments we have made. The important thing is that the game plays well and is consistent within itself.

Were these figures for all civs in total or just one civ? It will need more runs to establish what the patterns are.
 

davidlallen

Deity
Joined
Apr 28, 2008
Messages
4,743
Location
California
I ran one large game (9 civ) and averaged across all 9 players. So it is a small sample set. I agree we should not slavishly try to match vanilla values, but if two things are getting out of sync, we can use vanilla as a reference to figure out which one has varied in an unexpected direction.

In vanilla archipelago, almost all civs are connected by coast early in the game; I think the connection in DW is the same. I will study it further; one unexpected thing I found is that the spice corp building gives +2 trade routes.
 
Top Bottom