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FfH2 0.34 Change log

Discussion in 'Civ4 - Fall from Heaven' started by Kael, Oct 2, 2008.

  1. xienwolf

    xienwolf Chieftain

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    That is the very definition of AI with levels. Either you have the AI Cheat at the higher levels, or you have the player cheat at lower levels (by making the AI intentionally make bad choices).


    Writing an AI is a delicate thing, you have to leave enough room for "mistakes" as you can or you wind up with a numerically flawless gameplay which nobody can beat.

    AI doesn't have a learning curve, nor can it adapt. You give it a formula and it will make all decisions based on that. You COULD make it scale difficulty levels by nesting IF statements to have a settler level AI only consider the "Black and White Picture" (does this building cost more hammers than the other building? If yes, then build it first because more hammers MUST mean better), while a Diety AI will consider a broad range of "grey" (Do I need to reduce my maintenance more than I need to increase my food storage, or would it be better to enable new troops due to intentions of starting a war to gain Iron so that I can upgrade my existing troops due to fear of a war from another faction?)

    Writing such ultra-nested conditionals though can get very complex, and would NOT allow you to expose any control over various AI levels to XML because it would be a rather delicate process to set it all up.
     
  2. Nikis-Knight

    Nikis-Knight Chieftain

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    It would also probably be slow to play.
    Another thing free XP accounts for is the players generally being better at preserving advanced units, which we do intuitively but involves several factors that would be coded individually and vary by situation.
    Also, the ai never reloads when losing high level units. Some players do. This isn't specifically to address that, but will somewhat.

    I look at it like this, Civ designers gave ai a production advantage at high difficulty levels, but in FfH XP can count for more than numbers, so since high levels ais cheat anyway, might as well have them cheat efficiently.
     
  3. Demus

    Demus Chieftain

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    this could make immortal - diety a true nightmare to play, expecially against a leader like charadon or tasunke... imagine their warriors having shock 1 from the get-go
     
  4. kumquatelvis

    kumquatelvis Chieftain

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    How about a ritual that allows them to combine a wolf with a regular unit to make a werewolf? Make it require a mid level tech so it's not too powerful, and make the werewolf type depend on the starting unit (warrior -> ravenous, axeman -> bloodied, champion -> greater).
     
  5. Demus

    Demus Chieftain

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    i'd rather allow the wolves to attach themselves to a unit (like a great commander), increasing the strenght of the unit, aswell as possibly the sight range (wolves make great scouts).
     
  6. MaxAstro

    MaxAstro Spiral Knight

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    That is a GREAT idea! Sacrifice a wolf using a sort of "add to flesh golem" mechanic, giving a "Wolf Companion" promotion; +20% strength and +1 vision or something along those lines.

    I really, really, really like that idea, and if you don't mind am going to mercilessly steal it from you for my personal mod. ^_^
     
  7. Blackmantle

    Blackmantle Chieftain

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    @ Zechnophobe: Since you are really kind enough to do the maths instead of conveniently ignoring them and other factors + don't call me an evil conspirative team-influencing Lanun-fanboy i will take the time to discuss it (in spite of me thinking it whould be a waste of time but maybe im proven wrong here) since i feel it might not be a waste of time and you might actually be willing to argue on facts (no matter if you agree in the end or not).


    My experience is mainly with the worker-Lanun from playing quite some games (of highly intensive micromanagement and tests from early-midgame to somewhat around Turn 500. And yes, it was tendious + extremely heavy in planning before coving.
    With 10-20 cities being all connected to the ocean as well as sorounded by large lakes of freshwater and quite some ports in the end of the game. Not much land left and also not needed. Lanun Navy is neat. And the overlords kick butt out there on the Sea. :p).
    The work-boat lanun is a simple-maths affair (i couldn't possibly reach on a global scale what i had been able to reach with cove-terraforming lanun. In all stages expept perhapse some minor! spots in early game around turn 50-80. But those don't stretch for more than 10-20 Turns, the difference in yields is minimal during that time and turn sour all to fast in comparison because of roughly turn 30-50 and roughly turn 80 to games end.).


    But what you depict as disadvantages are actually mostly advantages.


    Mainly workers building with food actually makes Workers (from early-midgame until conquest / slavery or some other way to rush / utilize food as production) a faster build than boats for some time (in the old best city-setup which is different from what is now) despite their way higher cost (also note that workers can be captured from other civs while workboats cannot. And quite improtantly for early coves beeing able to be pre-built and pre-used for other things as seen fit. As soon as you get fishing you can build your first cove. I belive even earlier / that you didn't need to work them actively. But that might have been a bug and wasn't all that viable really because workers could do other valuable things.).
    You clearly seem to underestimate how easy it was (as worker-cove Lanun) to get to the point were you could build a worker in 1-3 turns. I mean it! Firsthand experience.


    Happycap and Healthcap are hard limits (which were very easy to reach as Lanun with the old coves and freshwater yields + early-cove output) so utilizing food as production is soo good that conquest and slavery (which are also not very late civics especially for a civ with a heavy focus on economy.) have been very viable for them. (unlike now and unlike quite some other civs).
    In a way that xp-giving civics are for Sidar and aristocracy + agriculture + farm-economy are for quite some financial civs.


    Also note that for Lanun lakes with coves were rather 5/1/5 squares (base 2, Lanun 1, port 1, Lighthouse 1) quite fast thanks to lighthouses (and the first cove or 2 comes earlier since you can't pre-build or pre-capture a workboat.) which are an early build for lanun (at least for the old lanun.).


    You might be right that in some rare instances a city might be able to run more ports or at least with much less investment (which whould hard-force you to settle there which i belive should be clearly weaker than free-choice settling and still having all! the benefits of costal cities + lots of water).


    But on Empire scale you could overall run 3-4 Ports per city (yes i mean every single city in your whole empire. Yes this takes very very long to get realized and is extremely intensive in micromanagement and planning, hence me saying i can see quite some sensible reasons for a change both from AI-perspective as from player-perspective) instead of a bit less than 2 on average (unless you strongly let your settling been dictated by outline of terrain which is a disadvantage in and of itself unlike an actual advantage of terrain before). Roughly a bit less than double the ammount of ports per city overall possible in max + all the terraformed lakes which are produced after razing ports.
    (which all offer an additional food makeing those tiles 4/0/2 tiles (with lighthouses) modified by trait even without a cove (so 4/0/3 with Hannah). All in all yielding an additional food per tile at least.) + offer all! the additional advantages of costal cities (like Harbors + Lighthouses).


    Then add that you can't conveniently pick on a single tile-yield but have to substract the measly yield of non-lake water-tiles on a whole-city tile-yield as well. Especially those not adjacent to Land which can easily make the additional commerce-yield of one full port moot (for example in case of Hannah and 3 Ocean-Tiles Which means 6 commerce! and 3 Food lost in comparison to worker-coves. Or in a more average case of 2 ocean-squares still 4 commerce and 2 Food. Which is roughly the difference between an old port and a new one.).


    Is it easier to utilize the new coves (not in terms of power / net yields but by sheer time)? Clearly yes (you needed really lots of workers with the old coves. But with one built a turn or 2 (in bigger improved cities 3-4 in nonimproved) quite fast that is not taking a long time. Also note that non-costal cities can't build workboats. While inland-cities can. Further enhancing the number of workers which can be build in a comparable time.).


    Is it stronger overall? Very very rarely it might in case of some few cities. On Empire Scale? Clearly no.
    On experience with the old lanun. Their economy easily trumphed most other civs. That it was possible with the new coves still (as per 0.33.) is nice (i whould have liked to see further improvements like the new wonder without making the new coves weaker. But many other players seem to disagree for various reasons. Sadly.).
    But that doesn't mean its better than with the old coves (+ the old coves also added quite a hefty tactical value which is completely gone.) now with the new values that doesn't seem all so much true anymore. (In fact i can't really see a huge incentive anymore to go much costal (costal cities still seem somewhat viable unlike for other civs. But not exeptional anymore) now with those new values. Especially with Hannah.)



    Production is taken care of by Slavery or Undercouncil Slave-Rushing.
    And no, i never had serious production-problems as Lanun. The stop on groth might seem an issue (and is the one point im willing to concede is a clear disadvantage) and is quite micro-intensive. But for me it worked out very well.
    I never had serious problems with getting either my units or my buildings build from early midgame on.
    Also since getting acess to coast without beeing tied to geography made it easier to settle in production-heavy terrain. No need to convert 3-4 hills each city because you need some strips of land to prevent your lakes from turning ocean anyways (more than 7 tiles for a body of water turn it to an ocean i belive).
    My output of buildings and units was on-par with a normal empire from early-midgame on. Exept perhaps for production heavy civs like dwarves or runes-orcs.
    Add Guild of the nine into the mix (which i never used intensively since i never really needed it but other players used quite intensively with the lanun) and you get quite some very viable sources of units and buildings even without all so much hammers.


    Flat Tile-Yields alone work not so well because you have to take into account all the other sea-tiles which offer less yield than land-tiles (thats the real payoff for the new coves). And Lanun cities do grow quite fast with old ports as they should do with new ones as in 0.33. still.


    And yes im all fine with strong civs across! the board. And cities beeing self-sustained early (which was not really hard before).
    Im also completely! fine with the economy of the elves and FoL + guardian (for example 5% growth rate whould have really been enough of a nerf. 3 i think is another instance of balance-nerfing gone over the top. Even though im fine with a reduction from 10% which did sound a bit hefty.).

    That may be the point were we have to agree to disagree on (and likely have quite different tastes regarding the importance of a game having a really good balance.) since i doubt we whould be able to convince each other here. And i find both opinions / tastes rather valid. If different.
    Balance in my opinion is grossly overvalued by many players / testers here. Especially with the AI not fully done. To much balance can indeed impede on fun for quite a number of players. Including me.


    If the new wonder on the other hand whouldn't be a wonder but a regular building (able to be built in each city) instead i might change my mind about that change. (or if something additional like that is added for lanun exclusively. a half hammer for such an additional building whould sound ok as well.)

    Otherwise i will play the Lanun as just a regular (financial) civ with some possibilities to settle on coast. And be a bit sad about them rather losing their strong flavor. FFH2 will remain playable for sure. But for me the game will overall be less fun. If not on a huge scale. And in my opinion without any! dire need.


    PS: Also note that the Turn numbers are not only dependent on initial commoerce but also on spot you settle (Plains-hill and the likes) and difficulty.
    In Emperor and above the time to reach fishing could be a bit longer even with good initial commerce and cities usually have been size 5 or 6 (or even right at the cap) before a second worker was churned out (because unlike work-boats additional workers right away werent all so hot for about another 15-30 Turns depending on lay of the land. Hence the advantage of the new coves in about turns 50-80. But those are not all so huge as you seem to belive.).
    So you seem to impose the new circumstances on the old strategy for Lanun.
    But circumstances have been radically different enough to allow for a different style to build, settle and grow back then. You can't really compare the situation of the old Lanun to that of the new ones. You have to play them utterly different. (Up to the point were by luck the old lanun could cut off bridges radically reducing barb-incursions and thus the need to defend.)

    A small example of this beeing that those old lanun could still build a workboat for hooking up a seafood resource while at the same time running a cove. With the new ones you have to decide for the first work-boat (which builds the first cove a bit later as well) if you want a cove or the seafood-resource (or you have to pass on the seafood if the lay of the land demands to build a cove on top of it.) which likely usually means the first cove wins (perhaps even the second one) resulting in the seafood-resource/s (quite often 2 for erebus mapscript) beeing used quite some time later usually. And its far from the only situation were the basics are radically different.


    Now what i could see some sense in (if the early advantage is really beeing seen as 'oh so hefty') is reducing the first one or 2 Levels of coves beeing reduced in yields a bit (at worst!).
    But i definately think that reducing the yield of the final stage (ports) is a rather major mistake. The cap is also quite important for overall strength of a civ.
     
  8. Nor'easter

    Nor'easter Chieftain

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  9. Breunor

    Breunor Chieftain

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    I'm awed by the changes!

    My first impression is to disagree with the posters, I do like that assassins are strongly limited. Maybe the change to allow a guardsman promotion makes it less important, but I do think massing 5-10 assassins to kill the enemy archmages is too much; and we have to stop people from taking workers and the like to protect from assassins.

    As far as the free XP's go, I like this also. I'd say the single biggest 'problem' I have with FfH is that I usually either lose in the first 100 to 150 turns, or I win, with a commanding lead somewhere around turn 450. The free XP's late in the game may make it more of a challenge once we get to that turn 450 point.

    Also, I really like the idea of changing difficulty levels every 50 turns as an option; it probably addresses this 'get blown of for win' option. It will make the early game easier to survive and the late game much harder.


    Best wishes,

    Breunor
     
  10. MaxAstro

    MaxAstro Spiral Knight

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    It's in the changelog; assassins will no longer target 0-strength units or units of a different domain than them (boats, hawks, etc).
     
  11. Fafnir13

    Fafnir13 Chieftain

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    Yeah, I know. I'm also aware of a few more things like not getting bonus health in your cities, techs not spawning from goody huts, et cetera. The thing about free XP is the way it destroys early game conquest as an option and how it can scale to frightening levels late game. Conventional warfare becomes obsolete once the limitless fodder troops of the AI gain the one advantage of quality that the player's units generally have.
    And some AI's really don't needs this boost. Tasunke is more than capable of taking out the unprepared with his massive horsemen rushes. Starting next to him as an economic Civ is bad enough without his horses starting out even beefier.

    Maybe it would be better for me to say that all difficulty increases should be made optional. I wouldn't mind playing against AI's that got the starting units of Deity but without the production bonus. Or perhaps the production bonus of deity but without the starting techs. Mix and match for fun and profit. :D
    Wouldn't that be better than the arbitrary combinations of cheats and bonuses we have now?
     
  12. MaxAstro

    MaxAstro Spiral Knight

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    The point of high difficulty levels is to be HARD. Beating the game on anything above Noble is supposed to be a challenge. It's not a matter of the AI needing the boost, it's a matter of making the hard difficulties ~harder~. If it knocks your difficulty level down a couple notches, then it is WAD, in my opinion. :)
     
  13. xienwolf

    xienwolf Chieftain

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  14. rusty217

    rusty217 Veil Fanatic

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    Yay!
    :D :D
     
  15. Avahz Darkwood

    Avahz Darkwood Chieftain

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    56. Gaelan can be upgraded to an Archmage.

    Does this take up an Archmage slot or does he get his own?
     
  16. MagisterCultuum

    MagisterCultuum Great Sage

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    I'm pretty sure it would take up an archmage slot, but it is probbaly worth it to get a Heroic, twincasting archmage.
     
  17. Avahz Darkwood

    Avahz Darkwood Chieftain

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    true though I have only ever gotten him and the event once.
     
  18. Blackmantle

    Blackmantle Chieftain

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    I quite have to say that i have to give you kudos for the solution with extra xp on higher difficulties (i assume that either means 1 XP per difficulty above noble or 2 XP per difficulty above noble which whould mean a jump in Level / extra promotion at either monarch and deity or prince, emperor and deity respectively.)


    It should be about the same as the AI starting with archers on the highest difficulties while not beeing dependent on luck with the odd lost battle and giving a finetuning not possible with more free units at start.
    So again you have proven you do it better than even we could imagine. :) Looking forward to the new emperor / immortal and deity levels and to catching some high-xp AI units with commanding priests/druids/Mind3-arcanes.
    The grey are allready rubbing their soulless hands for welcoming more wise shades among their ranks. :p


    One question though: Does that also count for the barbarians / barbarian civ?
    if it does: :eek: *hide and run for the trees* :D

    PS: And big thanks for axing the prospected change Assasins. :)
    All civs with assasin UUs will sigh a breath of relief. (also with the new monster-lairs they will get some additional uses. Which means they are more dearly needed.)
     
  19. Zechnophobe

    Zechnophobe Strategy Lich

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    @Blackmantle: In an attempt to not completely hijack this thread, I'll start a new one in the strategy section.
     
  20. sumit1207

    sumit1207 Chieftain

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    So Raiders totally sucks now, even more than Defender. Heron Throne wonder is SWEET though, especially if it's for all cities. When is it available?
     

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