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Feedback: Buildings and Wonders

Discussion in '[MAC+WIN] Civ4 - History Rewritten' started by Xyth, Jul 16, 2011.

  1. Xyth

    Xyth History Rewritten

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    :hammers: Buildings and Wonders
    Feedback and Development
     
  2. Xyth

    Xyth History Rewritten

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    Wells, Aqueducts and Irrigation

    Continuing the discussion from the old thread I'd thought I sum up the proposed scheme for 0.9.4 and present the options for when everything gets unlocked. Basically I'm adding a 4th step in how irrigation progresses in HR:


    1) Irrigation happens only by natural fresh water sources, the city tile can get the health benefits of fresh water by building a Well.
    2) Aqueducts transport fresh water from rivers/aquifers/etc to the city and its environs, providing health the the city tile and allowing adjacent tiles to be irrigated
    3) The Irrigation systems themselves carry fresh water to more remote farms - tiles not adjacent to natural fresh water sources or the city itself
    4) Farms are able to source their own fresh water and do so reliably enough to produce enough food to feed that tile (citizen working it) and still have surplus.​


    I think this scheme works well and the issue is deciding when each becomes available. In BTS, step 1 is with the starting tech Agriculture, step 2 doesn't exist, step 3 becomes available in the early Middle Ages, step 4 becomes available in the late Renaissance. In HR 0.9.3 step 1 is with the starting tech Agriculture, step 2 is available via the Well via the starting tech Mining (far too early), and steps 3 and 4 are similar in era to BTS.

    Working with the HR tech tree there are a few options that I can see. Step 1 obviously doesn't change so it's omitted.


    • Option A: Step 2 at Engineering (Classical), Step 3 at Hydraulics (Medieval), Step 4 at Ecology* (Renaissance/Industrial)
    • Option B: Step 2 at Hydraulics (Medieval), Step 3 at Ecology* (Renaissance/Industrial), Step 4 at Sustainability* (Modern)
    • Option C: Some combination of the above​


    * Or another tech near these

    Let me know which makes the most sense to you in terms of historicity and balancing city growth.


    After 0.9.4 is done remind me to tidy up and publish my techtree planning diagram as a PDF. I also have a leader traits chart that I should also finish and make available to everyone.
     
  3. Azoth

    Azoth Inscrutable

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    Reversing the positions of steps 2 and 3 makes the most sense to me, in terms of both historicity and balancing city growth. Chaining irrigation from neighbouring farms by way of dams and canals was possible at a much earlier date than carrying fresh water hundreds of kilometers from its source to the farms outside a remote city. At the same time, I prefer the current interpretation of Wells and Aqueducts: Wells provide irrigation to the countryside and Aqueducts bring fresh water to a city.

    So I suggest Option D:
    Step 1: Irrigation is available at Agriculture. Settling next to a river or a lake provides +2 health. This bonus health is also unlocked by building an Aqueduct, available at Construction (early Classical).
    Step 3: The ability to carry irrigation from neighbouring farms is available at Engineering (late Classical-early Medieval).
    Step 2: The ability to irrigate the tiles adjacent to city is unlocked by building an Artisan Well, available at Hydraulics (late Medieval-early Renaissance).
    Step 4: The ability for farms to source their own water is available at Ecology (late Renaissance-early Industrial).
     
  4. civ_king

    civ_king Deus Caritas Est

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    Artesian Wells are actually from the early High Middle Ages (starting in 1126), step three started in the BCs
     
  5. Azoth

    Azoth Inscrutable

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    I know you're planning to release 0.9.4 tomorrow. (I'm looking forward to it!)
    I wonder if you had the chance to rebalance the resource buildings.

    In particular, to restore some buildings to their original 0.9.2 state:

    And delay others now that resources once again provide passive health and happiness:

    I know I suggested these changes a while ago.
    Still, you might be able to remove the commerce bonus on Hit resources (and return +1 happy with Dyes to Theatres) in time for 0.9.4.
    Reviewing the rest of the resources, especially any bonus percentage yields, should be a priority for 0.9.5.
     
  6. Xyth

    Xyth History Rewritten

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    That's the plan, just doing last minute checks now. As with most releases I didn't get everything on the todo list done but 0.9.4 easily has more changes and fixes than any other version ever released.

    I've removed those bonuses from the Stadium and Theatre but not the Cinema (since that building doesn't work without it). I want to review how the Hit Resources and related buildings/wonders work in 0.9.5.

    And delay others now that resources once again provide passive health and happiness:

    I haven't made any changes here yet, I decided to wait until I've gone over Howard's proposals for the early era and see how/if the tech tree changes. Priority for 0.9.5.

    I prefer to leave it with the Weaver for now.

    Yes.
     
  7. Azoth

    Azoth Inscrutable

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    A modest proposal, before we look at the Wonders in full:

    Cemetery ---> Town Council or Elder Council
    requires Ritual
    +1 free specialist, +1 priest slot, +1 happy with Tradition
    (+1 health removed, double production speed for Spiritual leaders removed)

    The Cemetery was recently changed from +1 free priest specialist to +1 free specialist and +1 priest slot. As a result, the Cemetery will often support a free Scientist, Merchant, or Engineer specialist, depending on your leader trait and the other buildings in the city. Thus, I suggest you rename this building as a Town Council or Elder Council; the idea being that the council would be dominated by priests in the BC years (hence the priest specialist slot) while scientists, merchants, and engineers would take more interest in city affairs in later eras. The building graphics will need to change. Here's one suggestion. (Ignore the name "Dwarf Hall." It looks like an Ancient Era hall and fits every ethnic cityscape.) Spiritual leaders would no longer get a production bonus on Town Councils; but they already have double production Great Temples (300 hammers, more expensive than a School or Bank, can build multiple copies in one city), so it's a small loss.

    Royal Cemetery ---> Parliament
    requires Law
    +100% Great Person birth rate, requires X Town Councils, double production speed with Marble
    (+1 priest GPP removed)

    What do you get when you combine X Town Councils? A Parliament! Parliaments have been around for a long time: assemblies with the power to address the monarch were established in ancient Mesopotamia, India, and Greece. A Parliament is also a better fit for the +100% GPP bonus, as compared to a Royal Cemetery. Note that the Parliament would no longer provide any passive GPP points. (It's always frustrating when your Royal Cemetery GPP farm produces a Great Prophet instead of the Scientist or Engineer you were hoping for, thanks to that passive GPP point.) There is no parliament building compatible with all ethnic cityscapes. (The National Museum and National Theatre look European, too.) So here's my pick; apparently, it's a cathedral in Helsinki.

    National Monument ---> Royal Cemetery
    requires Property
    -25% War Wariness, +1 priest GPP, double production speed with Stone

    "National Monument" is such a boring name; and it has Mount Rushmore graphics, which make no sense for the Ancient Era. "Royal Cemetery" is interesting, evocative, and a good fit for the -25% War Wariness bonus. (The great and the good are buried there; and the people fight in their memory.) Note the passive priest GPP, in place of the National Monument's artist GPP.
     
  8. Xyth

    Xyth History Rewritten

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    I don't like these changes sorry. The change to the Cemetery was purely to solve an later imbalance, for all intents and purposes the role of the building hasn't changed. Indeed if a more elegant solution comes up I will revert it to a free priest slot. I'd actually like to give the Royal Cemetery different stats too.


    The National Monument only appears as Mount Rushmore for America and England, and as the default in the pedia (which I should change). All the other civs have different graphics for it. I'll might also move it back to being later in the tech tree.

    Something I've been pondering is allowing the Unique Wonders to be made available at different techs from the National Wonder they replace. May be some small balance implications by doing so though so I'll need to be careful.
     
  9. Azoth

    Azoth Inscrutable

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    Some more thoughts on Wonders:

    (1)
    Chichen Itza renamed Temple of Kukulkan
    requires Fortification
    +1 food on Jungle
    +1 production on Jungle
    +1 commerce on Jungle


    The actual name of the step pyramid is the Temple of Kukulkan. It was built in the city of Chichen Itza, which is third on the Mayan city list. Its +25% city defense bonus is not particularly useful or relevant. A bonus to jungle tile yields reflects the ability of Mayan civilization to thrive in dense rainforest. It also makes Jungle Camps and Forest Preserves more viable; otherwise, most of the world's jungle is cut down by the Medieval Era.

    (By contrast, Angkor Wat is the name of the temple complex in the city of Angkor. The Khmer/Angkor city list should be updated accordingly. We really shouldn't have wonders and cities with the same names.)


    (2)
    The Oracle
    requires Divination
    enables all Religion civics

    Shwedagon Paya
    requires Theology and Metal Casting
    +1 food per state religion building

    The Large Hadron Collider (New World Wonder)
    requires Particle Physics
    grants one free technology

    Coming so late in the game, the only thing for the LHC to do is grant a free technology. (Not even +100% beakers would do; there just isn't that much left to research.) The Oracle can take the old Shwedagon Paya bonus; it works thematically and will come early enough to make a difference. (The Shwedagon Paya is just one tech away from Fundamentalism and three from Free Religion. By then, it's too late for the "enable all Religion civics" bonus.) That leaves Shwedagon Paya with +1 food per state religion building.


    (3)
    National Wall (New National Wonder)
    requires Construction
    requires X Walls
    +25% defense in all cities
    barbarians cannot enter cultural borders

    The Great Wall
    requires Fortification
    free Walls in every city on the continent
    +100% Great General emergence
    no cap on experience gain from barbarians


    Giving one player immunity to barbarians skews the game. It is incompatible with the Raging Barbarians setting. (It lets the player build in peace while the AI crumbles.) It also directs all barbarian activity toward neighbouring civilizations. (This can be a serious problem if there are only two civilizations on the continent.) I prefer the implementation in the Chinese Unification scenario: create a National Wonder that allows all players to eventually seal their borders against barbarians. It can also represent major non-Chinese walls, notably Hadrian's Wall (Roman), and the Anastasian Wall (Byzantine). The Great Wall of China can remain a World Wonder with better bonuses.


    (4)
    The Three Gorges Dam
    requires Electronics
    -50% hammer cost for all power plants

    Providing power to every city on the continent is both overpowered and unrealistic. (It saves literally thousands of hammers in power plant costs - and thousands more because that power is supplied immediately.) Reduced construction costs for power plants is more balanced. It also makes more sense: city power plants can be smaller and cheaper because the Three Gorges Dam will supply some of the needed power.


    Well, you win some, you lose some. I thought -25% War Wariness was a good fit for Royal Cemetery.
    (Even if you don't like the other changes, you can still replace the National Monument with the Royal Cemetery.) Unless you had something else in mind?
     
  10. Xyth

    Xyth History Rewritten

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    For reference, here's a link to the 'standard' array of bonuses that can be attached to buildings or wonders: Civ4BuildingInfos

    These are the bonuses we can use and trust the AI to understand. I can code new bonuses for Wonders but we'll probably have to pair them with existing bonuses to help the AI understand their value properly. So for example if we want to add a wonder that adds an interesting new mechanic to trade routes it would be a good idea to make that same wonder also give a free trade route.

    Completely agree about the name change, that's been bugging me for ages but I keep forgetting to address it. I like the jungle themed bonuses and I should be able to code that. There possibly still needs to be at least one 'standard' bonus on the wonder to help the AI determine it's valuable. In this case I could prevent the wonder from being buildable if a city has no jungle but I can't tell the AI that it should build it if it does have jungle (not without significant turn time slowdown at least). I'll need to do some experimenting but that's something to keep in mind.

    Both the Khmer and Mayan citylists need an overhaul, they're pretty dodgy. There's a similar problem with the Inca.

    I checked and while we can do extra commerces (gold/research/culture/espionage) for state religion buildings we can't easily do yields (food/production/commerce). We can do yields via specific specialists but I suspect using food like that could be too strong.

    The idea I had for the LHC was that could give some sort of bonus for every future-era tech acquired. Future Tech itself would thus give something in addition to +1 health and +1 happiness each time. I'm not sure if this should be a World Wonder or if it should a National Wonder called 'Particle Accelerator'.

    Hmm, I'm not sure on these, I'll think it over.

    Sorry I should have been more clear, I don't mind reviewing/swapping the stats of the Royal Cemetery or the National Monument I just don't wish to rename them or change their art (other than giving the National Monument better default graphics/icon). At the very least I think the Great Person bonus needs to be shifted later.
     
  11. Azoth

    Azoth Inscrutable

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    Some more suggestions for National Wonders:

    Military Academy
    requires Military Strategy
    free Leadership promotion for units built in this city

    More XP for units is boring: buildings and civics and settled Great Generals and Warlords already provide XP. For something as important as a national Military Academy, only a free Leadership promotion will do.

    National Park
    requires Ecology
    +1 specialist per Forest Preserve
    +1 engineer slot
    +1 merchant slot
    +1 scientist slot


    No health penalty from population is redundant thanks to the Environmentalism civic, not to mention all the forests that would normally surround a National Park city. And no access to Coal is irrelevant thanks to the new power plant types in HR. So I've removed those features. In its place, I suggest extra specialist slots; National Park cities can put them to good use.

    Red Cross
    requires Biology
    free March promotion for units built in this city

    Free Medic I promotions are available with the Protective trait. And they are not worth the costs of such an expensive National Wonder. (You only need one Medic per stack.) Free March promotions are a whole different story. As with Medic I promotions, March promotions would only be available to unit classes that could ordinarily take the promotion; we wouldn't see any March Tanks or Gunships.



    And then some responses:

    To be clear, I intended for those jungle bonuses to be applied empire-wide. But now that the food penalty on Jungle tiles might be removed, I support a city-specific Jungle bonus. In that case, we can probably pair them with the old +25% defense in all cities bonus.

    Hmm. I guess I'll have to think up something else.
    (But wait; how does +2 production/state religion building on the Apostolic Palace work?)

    I never thought about a Future Tech bonus. That might be interesting; only, I'm not sure what bonus would be appropriate. Bonus research would be pointless: it would only fuel the discovery of more Future Techs. Bonus commerce (gold, culture, or espionage) would be more easily available by adjusting the sliders instead of researching ever more Future Techs. Likewise, production could be obtained by running a higher gold slider and rush buying; and happiness, from a higher culture (Stadium, Theatre) or espionage (News Press) slider. And bonus health would not matter under the Environmentalism civic. So late in the game, what more could you want? (A free technology would at least save you a few turns in the race to Space Victory.)

    Of the two, I think the Three Gorges Dam change is necessary for balance. The Great Wall changes are less critical.
     
  12. Simon_Jester

    Simon_Jester Prince

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    Experience in the field suggests that once you get up to superconducting accelerators that operate in the TeV range (like the LHC), there really isn't "room" in the scientific world for more than one or maybe two big facilities. The things are so flipping expensive to build, and so much of the work winds up done as international collaborations, that it makes more sense as a unique World Wonder than as an "everyone has one" National Wonder.

    There's a reason why LHC only really started going ahead full-steam when the US called off construction of its own Superconducting Supercollider in the early '90s, and why the Tevatron (the previous record-holder and glory-winner in accelerator research) has now shut down operations only a few years after the LHC demonstrated that it could operate at full beam power.

    Of course, there's tons and tons of smaller accelerators around the world, and you could justify having particle accelerators as national wonders if you want to. But if you mean "Particle Accelerator" as a wonder to allude to 'unique' super-accelerators like the LHC, or like what the old SSC was intended to be, then yes, that should be a World Wonder. There is more than national will preventing every country in the world from building their own; you'd have a hard time sustaining the scientific community large enough to make use of so many big machines.
     
  13. Xyth

    Xyth History Rewritten

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    This seems like an interesting and reasonable change to me.

    Well it only affects one city so the population health bonus isn't completely redundant, especially if Environmentalism stays relatively as late as it is. Like Environmentalism itself, decisions on this one will need to wait until we know what is or isn't changing in that part of the tech tree. I don't think the specific specialist slots fits very well thematically though.

    While this change does make sense as a mechanic the problem I have with this is that March is a promotion best used offensively and this somewhat goes against what the Red Cross is about. Not saying no, just not sure at this stage.

    Empire-wide is probably much tougher to code anyway, requiring all sorts of checks for tiles and cities changing ownership. I'll see how it goes when I eventually try to code something.

    The Apostolic Palace doesn't do that does it? It's not in the pedia or the xml.

    How about a free specialist with each tech? Or some GPP? I think it would make sense for the LHC to give a free tech or two as well, it would encourage the AI to build it.

    Yeah I think I'd prefer to leave the Great Wall as is, though maybe its cost needs to be increased further than it already has been? Would be good to do something with the TGD, I'd have to experiment and see if something along the lines of your suggestion is possible.

    Makes sense to me, World Wonder it is.
     
  14. Simon_Jester

    Simon_Jester Prince

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    Yeah. Though in that case we'll want to tone down the XP bonus for the military academy- the accelerated XP gain for units from that city would tend to offset it.

    Or am I forgetting how those work?
     
  15. Xyth

    Xyth History Rewritten

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    The free promotion would replace the xp bonus.
     
  16. KaneofEgypt

    KaneofEgypt Chieftain

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    If world wonders are destroyed along with a city, they are not possible to rebuild. This is one of the basic notions of Civ IV. But I have to wonder, if the city of New York were somehow destroyed, would thousands of Americans sit by and lose Broadway, and the Empire State Building, and the Chrysler Building? No. I have a feeling that there would be an attempt to rebuild our modern wonders, the face of this current America. Maybe this should be reworked, at least for the modern wonders.
     
  17. Simon_Jester

    Simon_Jester Prince

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    I don't really agree. Destruction of a city represents a huge amount of infrastructure loss- if this happened in the modern age, something equivalent to cities being razed to the ground, it would be a practically apocalyptic war, one that 'rebuilding' from would take an insane amount of time and effort. Having a few of the crown jewels of the prewar society be in effect irreplaceable makes sense.

    I mean, big tall skyscrapers are not World Wonders. A civilization that loses a city full of skyscrapers will build more- but if the world's only space elevator is destroyed, the scale of the investment is apt to deter people from replacing it any time soon.
     
  18. KaneofEgypt

    KaneofEgypt Chieftain

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    I do agree with that. Skyscrapers are not the face of the world. My more direct point is finding a way to rebuild Broadway, because it seems to be of less expense, and it is a huge culture generator for America.
     
  19. Xyth

    Xyth History Rewritten

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    Actually, I'd argue that Wonders like Broadway are even less appropriate for rebuilding than more architecturally renown Wonders. Imagine New York was razed by a horde of Aztec Tanks and Broadway was destroyed. The Americans then decides to rebuild Broadway in Seattle. It wouldn't be the same, Broadway's identity and prestige comes from those old theatres, the history of the area, the performers, the shows, the influence on stageshows worldwide. That is where that culture comes from, it's not something you just recreate anywhere you like. By extension, imagine that Broadway was destroyed and the French rebuilt it in Paris. This new Broadway might be a roaring success but it would be very different simply due to being French - and ultimately it is still something inspired by the lost original and it's that lost original that retains the 'wonder'.
     
  20. KaneofEgypt

    KaneofEgypt Chieftain

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    I lost this battle. I completely agree.
     

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