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Final Fixes Reborn

Discussion in 'Rise from Erebus Modmod' started by Ronkhar, Apr 17, 2013.

  1. scutarii

    scutarii King

    Jun 10, 2008
    Civilized orcs priests of bhall are the epitome of OP: ring of fire, fireballs and pillar of fire. All this at fanatism.

    My proposition: priests of bhall as orcs UU for druids. starts with fire I promotion, and fire affinity, but not nature affinity. Yes, with fire III - fire elemental but still not as strong as dwarven druids.
  2. riuminkd

    riuminkd Chieftain

    Feb 7, 2016
    I have troble with models - my own units have different models if unselected. Enemy units have changed models (looks like it's their basic models) until interaction by AI (such as AI moving them) or me (bombarding them). However they soon revert to their unnatural model.
    Like, skeleton archer have model of archer. When attacked, his model changes to skeleton archer, and after fight it changes back to generic archer.

    On screenshots:
    Demonic archer model shift after being bombarded.

    EDIT: resolved, it's "frozen animations" turned on.

    One more queston: what's wrong with civlopedia? Some subvindows are too big, and some are so small so i can't read anything.

    Attached Files:

  3. MagisterCultuum

    MagisterCultuum Great Sage

    Feb 14, 2007
    Kael's head
    It sounds like you have the "Animations Frozen" option activated under the Graphics tab of the Options menu. Most custom unit art in FfH2 does not have any associated frozen animation version, so it must default to a standard unit art instead.
  4. black_imperator

    black_imperator Emperor

    Dec 4, 2005
    I'm not sure what you mean, can you explain in more details and/or show a screenshot ?
  5. BanTingyun

    BanTingyun Chieftain

    Jan 24, 2016
    Played around with some emergent leaders. For the ones where the civilpedia doesn't list anything for their higher level emergent traits, are they simply unfinished or does the civilpedia just not show it?

    Tried playing Tya Kiri...seems very difficult, what with the 8% per turn barbarian chance, and needing to create adepts to level up, basically everything was going barbarian on me. My understanding is the unreadyblock should kick in at tier 3 units, but at lower tech I'm not sure what she is supposed to do? Just make adepts and wait for them to go crazy since they can't be upgraded to tier 3? Granted, unreadyblock with its double cast ability seems crazy powerful, just strange that she doesn't seem able to do much with magic units until late in the tech tree, which seems to conflict with her emergent trait xp gain incentives (unless I am completely misunderstanding how I should be playing her).

    EDIT: forgot to say--cool, thanks for explaining all the allignment choices to me. All your reasoning makes sense, especially on white hand. I do wonder if making fellowship of the leaves give +3 until 0 to alignment might be better than the straight shift to neutral, allowing leaders like arrendal phaedra to retain their distinctive good alignment, and it might fit with the slightly good aligned succulus orientation. Not sure, just a thought.
  6. black_imperator

    black_imperator Emperor

    Dec 4, 2005
    Unfinished. As of now, the finalized ones are Lorelei, Naxus and Gaius mainly, with reorx and yakut almost finished.
    yeah she needs some balancing, her higher trait levels will also provide help to manage that
    that's a possibility, yeah.
  7. BanTingyun

    BanTingyun Chieftain

    Jan 24, 2016
    Cool, then I'll focus on ones that already are somewhat developed. Here are the reports from today's testing session:

    1) As a quick followup I don't think higher trait levels alone will fix Tya Kiri, as the problem is that Tya Kiri gains XP from doing things that she is kind strategically of locked out of reasonably doing at lower levels. You implied other changes were coming, but if I can suggest one, maybe if her adepts became enraged rather than barbarian (ie, use the same alcinius mechanic from the scions, where they go autocontrol hunting combat until they win one, but stay on your team)? The smaller percentage chance seems right as well. At least then some chance they win their combat and return to you, or at least don't attack you, and you lose less.

    2) Yakut for the kuriotates seems very well done, nice mix of bonuses in different areas. I would say she starts out a bit more powerful than the other leaders even at level 1 though, since the happiness boost per city of 3 is really powerful when combined with the farm bonus. Maybe move the happiness component of her level 1 trait to the level 2 trait, which would make her significantly weaker at level 1 but with the same great potential?

    3) The "assassination attempt on you" event gives +1 permanent unhappiness if you execute the would-be killer (at least from the tool tip)? Seems harsh, both because I doubt a city population would be seriously angry for eternity because someone trying to kill the lord was put to death, and also because it becomes a way too easy choice to pick the alternative (50-50 shot of gaining or losing 1 relation point)

    4) On scaling of emergent traits xp to game speed, it is currently set to go to 3x xp required at marathon, or 900 instead of 300 (just using marathon as example), but the things you do to gain xp generally already scale at some level to become slower, (ie, on marathon, building units are 2x cost, techs and growth are 3x). So it becomes double counting to then require 3x the xp, because it takes me twice as long to build a unit, and the unit only gives 1/3 the progress towards the next emergent trait level (so, in that example, it would then take me 6x as long to increase my emergent trait level, rather than the desired 3x).

    If we wanted the real emergent trait rate of level gain to scale with tech/growth (ie, take 3x as long), and most of the mechanics for gaining XP are tied to units and the building unit rate, then I think the proper rate for increasing the XP level requirements should be 3/2 (tech scaling factor divided by unit scaling factor), ie if 300 xp required on normal then 450 xp on marathon. If many are tied to growth or tech, then the average between that and the 300, or around 375, would make sense.

    On quick and epic the unit construction and tech/growth scaling factors are the same, 2x and .67x, so emergent trait xp requirements should probably be left the same as at normal, at 300. Of course if simplicity were desired, even setting marathon to just be 300 would be more justified than the current 900, and probably get the number about right, eliminating the need to ever change emergent trait xp requirements per level based on game speed.

    5) Followup to your answer regarding the deepening of a few days ago: What about canceling the effects of the deepening on killing illians? To the extent the deepening represents some growing influence of winter on the world from auric, then it would make sense to go away with his demise. Obviously doesn't matter much from a game mechanic perspective, given the ease of terraforming.

    6) Something my wife asked me to report: she was playing the sheiam, running ashen veil, and because she had vassalized some civs, it constituted a declaration of war on the demons (the civs she vassalized were ashen veil, but hadn't completed pax diabolis I guess). Not sure if intended, and I imagine this happens in more ways than that (ie, clan of embers declaring war on barbarians by vassalizing). I imagine it also happens if the infernals vassalize a civ. Maybe something to allowing ashen veil civs that are at peace with the demons vassalize other ashen veil civs and bring them into peace as well, or perhaps not possible or otherwise undesirable? Just thought I'd report it for consideration.
  8. Calavente

    Calavente Richard's voice

    Jun 4, 2006
    While I'm a veteran player at FFH, I'm not really very very good.

    But I'll still say 1 thing: when I played civ, granary and smokehouse primary function was clearly "food": to get those 50% food saved.

    However, regarding FFH, there is no mod, or modmod in which I build those buildings for the food % bonus. The only reason I build them is for the :health:.

    The food kept is too small to be worth the hammers, moreoften that +20%food stored upon growing up is a welcome bonus of gathering :health: : My cities have rarely a problem of growing too slowly, I reach the happy cap soon enough.

    However, it is true that when you play using mechanisms that decreases population, this food stored is much more useful than for my usual gameplay (ie:for calabim, or when using the whip ...etc)

    However I can really go with that : cheaper building that give the same health but without the food effect (or maybe the food effect could be replaced by a +10% for building Awaken/Reborn ?? if that is possible code-wise?)
    You could have the lighthouse UB give +1 :commerce: from water tiles: the fishing ships go more easily at sea and human servant are placated and exchange more money for those ships (or maybe have it give : +1:commerce: to fishing boats in range??)

    I can totally agree with that :D

    I disagree :
    in FFH, Evil / Good is "are you against the old "gods" or are you with them" ? It is independant on murder and deception.
    Normaly the OO should already have a shift toward evil ; but a slight one : Lore wise, the OO think they are followers of Daladin ; an Old God (so a good God) but in fact they follow the nightmares of Daladin .. which nightmares are created by IIRC the fallen God of Mind (ie: they are manipulated into following an Evil Good).

    normally it should be that by vassalizing a civ her "team" score-point reached above the threshold at which barbarians are friendly with the Clan.
  9. Calavente

    Calavente Richard's voice

    Jun 4, 2006
    I removed this from the above post as I can't find the modmod... so maybe it was only that I played a bit of Realism Invictus once upon a time... but I could have sweared that I never played any other mod of Civ4 than Sevo's and FFH ...
  10. black_imperator

    black_imperator Emperor

    Dec 4, 2005
    Yeah that's a possibility. We'll rebalance that when we get to her
    It's a bit intended to have some leaders with high first level and slightly weaker additional levels.
    Agreed, need to be rewritten
    Yeah, still need to balance the speed variation, i just linked it to the usual speed calculation at the moment.
    That would be nice but we can't really track which plots were effected by the Deepening.

    Yeah, that's a known issue i need to tackle.

    i think i remember something like that, i'll look into my archives.

    and to conclude, a little teasing in attachment

    Attached Files:

  11. BanTingyun

    BanTingyun Chieftain

    Jan 24, 2016
    Black_Imperator: Looks exciting, I look forward to trying the new mechanic out! Question: aside from the hiring cost and maintence, will there be a contractual fee for losing the unit (a death penalty clause paid to the civ that originally built the unit)? I'm not sure if that makes sense in the context of the rest of the implementation, but if the building civ has the potential to get the unit back at the end of the contract should it survive, then it would make sense to have compensation built in for the loss, as well as to give the renting civ an incentive to protect it. I remember playing rhyes and fall of civ mod years ago which allowed hiring mercs, and I would always treat them as expendable cannon-fodder, rather than a more long term investment in a unique unit that I wouldn't otherwise have access to. Or perhaps a "survival refund" of a portion of the original cost should the unit be returned unharmed at the end?

    Calavente: Interesting points on the scions. I would agree with your proposal of a small reborn production bonus from food buildings, and I have proposed it myself as well (it is number 9 on my 14 point scion rebalancing suggestion list 2 pages back in this thread). Mainly because it allows the buildings to retain some usefulness post necropolis, and it fits the theme.

    However, I wouldn't agree with buffing the lighthouse to provide the scions a commerce boost per water square. Your reasoning in isolation is sound--why not have the scions get commerce instead of food out of fishing squares, to represent sales related to fishing?--but it conflicts with the overall current implementation of the scions. They create farms on food resources, with huge food potential, and then don't work them, same thing with certain kinds of pastures and fishing resources, and in that context, creating an exception for scion population fishing on water squares would introduce glaring inconsistency into their mechanics. Now, if this dynamic were dramatically changed (say, "the gift" tech granting a large commerce boost corresponding to the foregone food from farms, pastures, fishing boat improvements, or even coast tiles in general) in such a way to consistently represent the scions engaging in commercial food production, licensing, or secondary sales of equipment (all logical rationales), and consistent with how the aristocracy civic food and commerce changes are conceptualized (only more dramatic), then it would make sense for the lighthouse to operate similarly. However, to do so would represent a significant boost to the scions commercial power, adding to much of their production advantage with an easy commerce advantage (many of these tiles essentially then representing full blown instant towns without the wait to develop them from cottages/village/etc), while at the same time tipping the scales in the currently interestingly calibrated godking (special units, capital bonus) vs aristocracy (awakened bonus) scion civic balance. I spent some time considering it when I wrote my scion suggestion list, and ultimatelly rejected it as requiring too much rebalancing to be worth it (though I could see how reasonable people could disagree on that point).
  12. black_imperator

    black_imperator Emperor

    Dec 4, 2005
    right now, the mercenaries break at 10% health and leave (back to their own civ if they have one, back to the mercenary pool otherwise). If they go back to their own civ, it's with the 10% health ^^. Though that's only the initial implem, we'll probably change it a bit in the end. The death fee could be an interesting other possibilty.
  13. BanTingyun

    BanTingyun Chieftain

    Jan 24, 2016
    The 10% idea sounds great, much better than a death fee! Keeps the incentive for a civ to put a good unit into the pool (money can never realy make up for the loss) and seems sensible lorewise given mercenary morale and tendency to break off if things get too heavy.

    How do you handle the strategic power of getting access to new spell spheres/khazad hiring mages/divine magic etc? Cost multiples for magic users or something else? And do mercenaries count against the national unit limits of either their own civ or the renter?

    Eh, perhaps I'd better just wait and see rather than pester you with these questions--feel free to ignore for now. Really excited about the new mechanic,and the interface looks great!
  14. black_imperator

    black_imperator Emperor

    Dec 4, 2005
    Currently nothing specific, but i'll probably increase cost of the magic units (currently the cost is based on the production cost plus something for the current level of the merc)
    haven't checked yet, the objective was to allow renter to have more, but not the own civ (otherwise, it would be easy to break the limit with almost no cost). I'm pretty sure it actually does the reverse at the moment ^^.

    Please continue to ask, that may make me think of missing stuff ( the cost of magic units for example ^^)

    To sum up the system a bit with a few indicative balance questions :
    The mercenary menu unlocks for everyone (minus restricted Civs : Currently D'Tesh) whenever one player reaches Trade.

    It generates a pool of random trained mercenaries (common to everyone) amongst a pool of units considered valid ( QUESTION1:what units should be considered valid) at a certain rate. (QUESTION2: What rate ? i'm currently thing an average of one every two turns) (QUESTION3: what limit to the size of the random pool?) (QUESTION4: Do the random mercs disappear after a while, if yes how to determine when?)

    The Mercenaries have a Contract Cost (QUESTION5:How to compute it) and a maintenance cost of 1% the initial contract cost per turn.

    The mercenary menu will also give you a list of the mercenaries you hired and allow you to fire them at any time.

    Once hired, the mercenary will be yours to use until it gets to 10%Health or is fired, at which point it will break and go back to the pool ( keeping its xp and promos, including Equipment ^^).

    That's for the basic system available for everyone. The Hippus (and any leader you want to, it's handled by trait) will get a bit more. First, they get a discount on both contract cost and maintenance cost. Second, they are able to contract out their units.
    You'll get a similar menu to the mercenary one where you'll be able to see your available units(those that could be a mercenary) and put them in the main pool ( they will then disappear from the map). When they get hired, both the contract cost and the maintenance cost get paid to you. When they leave their job, they come back directly to you ( and not to the pool).

    You can also recall them whenever you want, freely if they aren't currently hired, with a cost otherwise (currently ContractCost -turns*maintenance cost)

    I think that's all.

    As for the release schedule, i'm almost done with the basic testing for the base system ( minus AI ) and will put it to the svn soon for further testing. After that, i'll add the AI and then the Hippus part.

    Edit: the units come in the valid pool as soon as anyone gets their prereq techs

    Edit2: I forgot to mention that it's adapted from a modcomp by Thelopez and Stragegyonly, which i've rewritten in c++, the interface is mostly coming from that modcomp)
  15. BanTingyun

    BanTingyun Chieftain

    Jan 24, 2016
    Interesting! I'll brainstorm as many possible answers to your questions as I can come up with, in the hopes that among the many poor ones some of them end up being helpful.

    Question 1: (looking at your edit stating that units enter pool with prereq tech) I worry about following this approach in the fall from heaven universe. The reason being that one of the major strategic constraints in FFH vs normal civ iv is supposed to be some choice about which tech paths to pursue, say focussing on combat instead of magic, and then if you can turn around and pick up state of the art units of the other lines when someone else gets their prereq, even at a cost, it seems to blunt the implications and tradeoffs of such decisions. (I tend to pursue a generalist path myself, but I gather from the intro video's constant message of "which path do you choose" and some comments online that a lot of people specialize). Of course at the same time some ability to make up for your weaknesses is desired, so it shouldn't just be player tech tier, but it shouldn't be absolute equal tier to top opponents.

    To address this difference between civ iv and FFH tech options, perhaps (assuming from your edit that you have already seperated out the cavalry/infantry/recon/divine/mage lines, each with their own qualifying techs) and then take highest player or ai tier and subtract 1 to determine the random unit pool. So if someone in the world has the tech for mages, others can get random mercenary adepts, and if someone has archmage tech, then the random pool has mercenary mages (the top tier archmages never appearing but when another player offers them). Add some basic units, horsemen, axemen, hunters, that always appear.That should keep the pool useful for supplementing your weaknesses at high cost, but not allow you access to absolute state-of-the-art units in fields you haven't been pursuing (unless offered by a player as the hippus or with the trait)

    On unit types: I'd say one interesting thing should be to give access to other races. So the random units should have some chance of coming with any racial trait appropriate (ie any race that isn't entirely supplanted by unique units at that tier). Unique units should be available, but at a much lower chance to appear, making the renegades particularly interesting and unique hires.

    So I'd say standard units for every tier but the top one, coming one tier later than the most advanced player, but with the basic infantry/recon/cavalry line coming right at the start with trade. UUs at much lower chance, but following same tier rules. All mercs should start with randomized low levels, maybe 1-3, making them work for higher levels through contracts.

    Also, shouldn't forget to block mercenaries from automatically getting racial traits of the civ (ie, mercenaries hired by scions shouldn't become undead instantly)

    Question 2: The only thought I have here is, as much as it seems counterintuitive, it would be best to have available unit rosters change in large clumps every many turns rather than continously every few turns. The reason is some players (me and my wife at least) hate having incentives to frequently check a menu screen every couple of turns, as it pulls the player out of the main action on the world view (this is why we play without tech trading on, among other reasons, the constant checking of a separate screen to look for deals).

    So taking your suggested rate of 1 every 2 turns, I would change it to mechanically be 5 new units in a clump every 10 turns, preferably calculated to occur on the date multiple itself rather than from when trade was discovered (so whenever a 0 appears at the date end, time to look for new random contracts). Also, an option to display a message when an ai hippus player posts a new unit or a unit returns from a contract would be nice (just saying "The ______ have offered a unit of ______ as a new mercenary contract" or "a company of ________s has ended its contract and returned for hire" or some such), so if some generous ai decides to sell a druid I will know to check and immediately jump on the deal. Would have to make sure the ai isn't offering so often that it becomes spam, but shouldn't be much of a problem if just the hippus and a few others with the trait are doing this.

    As for the raw rate itself ignoring possible clumping, your suggestion of 1 every 2 turns as a general rate seems right for normal map size normal speed. I'd increase the rate for changes in map size, in direct proportion to number of land squares (for this, may I suggest you borrow the idea for the scions awakening spawn in customfunctions.py, it uses a formula with a function to get the total number of land squares and then figure how much large or smaller it is than a standard map:

    iTotalLand = int(CyMap().getLandPlots())
    iTPopLmt = (iTotalLand / 40) + 6

    Land squares in the map being a better proxy than map size, to even out high sea level maps and the like.

    Then for game speed you'll want to use 100 divided by the unitbuilding multiplier <iTrainPercent>, rather than the tech/growth one (ie, marathon should be 1/2 as many mercs added, not 1/3).

    Then, on top of that I'd add a modifier for the current size of the pool, making a great many mercs be added if the pool is almost empty, trying to represent the incentives that wars and working mercs place for more farmers to take up the sword.

    Question 3: For the size of the random pool, are we counting currently contracted out units or just ones waiting to be hired? I'd say limit of 15 units in the waiting to be hired pool, modified to world size by the same scion borrowed landplot factor discussed above, but not modified by game speed. No limit to the ones currently hired, if there are a bunch of people hiring mercenaries in the world, then there is every economic incentive for more bands of mercenaries to form, but if there is a backlog of mercenaries unable to find work, then some will return home and take up farming.

    I would say the size of the random pool should be entirely separate from the ai and player provided hippus pool, which should be uncapped and not displace the randoms.

    Question 4: I think the goal should be to allow for the creation of persistent mercenary companies that exist through time and become veterans, while still allowing for room to be made for new units.

    From units currently waiting to be hired, if the pool reaches the cap from units ending their contracts, then it should be whittled down to the cap by kicking off the lowest level units currently present in the pool.

    When new random mercenary units are added, the currently available in the pool units of the lowest level are then kicked out (retire) to make room for new ones that arrive (so new ones keep arriving and are guranteed a spot, potentially at low level, but the most grizzled veterans aren't displaced).

    However, to avoid too much stagnation, whenever a random mercenary unit is defeated in battle (going to 10% health), there is a random chance (maybe around 20%) of the unit retiring from too many casaulties and not returning to the pool.

    Perhaps not having the same death chance for player and ai offered units (them not having the retiring choice logically), but if the mechanic was too easy an unlimitied money machine for the hippus, then some chance of death could be given even for player units to help balance.

    Also, on second thought, maybe having a reduced to 10% health death monetary penalty does make sense, to account for a contractual obligation to provide for the now crippled soldiers and provide some reason to dismiss a mercenary instead of just hurling him against your enemies. Perhaps not paid to the hippus if they rent the unit, instead it represents casaulty pay directly to the injured members of the unit itself.

    Finally, very high level random mercenary units (10?) should be eligible to be automatically upgraded to unit of equal tier to the top tech level of any player upon their return to the pool, bypassing the minus 1 restriction normally in place. Mercenary units could also be eligible for upgrade through the player that currently controlls them, meaning some unique units might even make it into the random mercenary pool representing their long exposure to that civs tactics?

    Question 5: I'd favor backloading much of the mercenary costs onto higher maintence rather than high initial hiring cost. The reason being that mercenaries should be hired for a purpose, a limited war, and then dismissed when the purpose is over, granting fluidity to the mercenary pool with many nations able to hire the same units and also keeping the feeling that the initial investment isn't keeping you from hiring, firing, and rehiring in response to cycles of war and peace. However, if this were done, I think a death penalty is needed again (operating alongside the 10% health rule), to keep them from being shock troops and make you value their use (ie, a cycle of hiring at start of war and firing at peace, rather than hiring at start and then suicide attacking with them)

    So I'd say the commerce cost for hiring should be 50% of the unit build cost (should already be calibrated to speed), but there should be an additional death penalty of say 50% unit cost if it is driven to 10% health, while the maintenance would be much more dramatic, say 5% the unit build cost per turn. So if you hire a merc and use it for 20 turns in battle, then get it killed, you would end up having paid 200% its hammer cost in money, which seems right. Also probably best to have a limit of hiring 1 mercenary per turn for any player, to prevent someone driven to their capital from suddenly hiring a full army, or someone going earlier in turns exhausting the new arrivals to the mercenary pool.

    Alternatively, the maintence cost could be halved and there be a new reverse bounty hunter kind of trait added to mercenary units, where each time they particpate in battle you have to pay an additional cost. Though I'd favor just doing the maintence as simpler.

    I'd also say there should be the following multipliers for special units types, to both maintenance and cost:

    x2 or x3 If Magic or disciple (strategic value already discussed, if you want to pay someone to terraform your land or enchant the blades of your armies they should charge an arm and a leg per turn, but note also magic units would also never be subject to death penalties or loss of unit and need to rehire under normal circumstances, as they don't directly fight, which also justifies additional cost)

    (1+(Level-1)/5) as a multiplier. So a 6th level troop would cost twice as much. It makes 6th level troops much more cost effective, but I think that is how it should be--making you treasure your high level mercs.

    x1.5 if current state of the art (rather than -1, as normal for the random). So if the AI or player hippus develops tech for mages and then immediately offers them for sale, they should get a premium representing scarcity beyond just the cost difference between them and adepts.

    x2 if a national unit limited unit (since you stated it will count against the offering civs limit, but not the renter)

    Other things:

    I'd have the player/ai/hippus recall cost for cancelling a contract always be equal to the contract cost, rather than go down over time. Otherwise there are incentives to recall and then put the mercenaries back out there for another lump sum payment after some times has passed (better to incentivize the player/ai/hippus to want to keep their mercenaries employed at all times). Also I think giving up some control over the unit is a needed counterbalance--perhaps recall should have a 10 turn delay, providing some warning for the player about to lose the unit and some need for the hippus to not rent out their entire army and rely on recalls for defense. The recall sum should of course be based on the initial contract price, not increased by any new levels or upgrades or such the unit has earned.

    Random mercenary company names (wrote this before seeing your note about the mercenary modcomp, which seems to have its own system, so the below probably is not useful, just leaving in case): I suggest going with an A and a B list of names that make sense together, A being adjectives or verbs and B being nouns. IE:
    A) western, northern, southern, eastern, black, white, gray, merciless, reckless, wandering, heroic, stoic, fearless, errant, iron-willed, golden, etc

    B) freebooters, brothers, band, wardens, devils, champions, slayers, companions, adventurers, free-spirits, travelers, squires, blades, warriors, dragons, etc

    So then you'd get the western wardens, golden blades, gray slayers, reckless brothers, etc.

    Some goofy names will inevitably come up, but that's part of the fun. ;)

    From referencing mercenary modcomp:you mentioned mercenary units disappearing when hired out by the hippus, from looking over mercenary modcomp changelog I see they added an option to require that any civ wanting to hire a unit out as a mercenary currently have that unit in a city (presumably to fix an exploit involving "my unit is about to die from nearby threats, I'll just send it off to be a mercenary"). Probably best to implement similar restriction if you haven't already, otherwise the implications when combined with the hippus raider trait are quite scary. ;)

    Ok, that is everything I could think of. Hopefully some parts of it provide some useful reference. Please don't feel the need to do your usual, very diligent point by point response (unless useful for your own purposes or because you want input on follow-up thoughts), I was just throwing out everything I can think of and I'm sure a good part of it won't make much sense.

    EDIT player or ai hippus shouldn't get the additional magic using unit profit, lest the hippus turn into a nation that primarilly builds mages as their mercs as their most profitable option.

    EDIT2 did some minor grammer corrections, no changes in any content above

    EDIT3: on further reflection, the maintence cost I proposed above would probably be too harsh given both battlefield healing rates and possible transit time to the campaign. Maybe closer to 3 percent of unit build cost in maintenance seems right. Assuming the mechanic will allow you to hire mercs in any city, if not and you are forced to have them appear at the capital, then even lower might be in order, coupled perhaps with the per battle gold deduction to even out unit costs facing long transport times vs smaller civs fighting near their capital.

    I also think a delay for arrival after hiring mercs makes sense, both to represent travel time and to keep you from being able to hire them for emergency city defense. Maybe 5 turns?

    I also found an interesting paper on mercenaries in western military history: http://www.personal.psu.edu/~dxl31/research/presentations/mercenary.html

    The main points of the article seem to be (not sure of any of these will give you useful ideas, just summarizing):

    1) mercenaries tended to be significantly more skilled than common soldiers, and were often hired to get veteran troops (perhaps counseling higher starting levels)

    2) mercenaries tended to be paid from monthly or annual payments and looting rights. The second is probably not something that could be easily implemented of course.

    3) states tended to purchase mercenaries to cover deficiencies in their own troops (example given was alexander hiring light infantry while darius hired heavy infantry, the opposites of what the greeks and persians themselves had among their own troops)

    4) mercenaries tended to be dismissed at the end of wars

    5) there was no system of paying compensation for the deaths of soldiers, and rulers often did try to use mercenaries in a reckless manner (so maybe the death payment idea is a bad idea, and there is no reason to disincentivize somewhat risky behavior).

    6) However mercenaries would often take independant action to protect themselves, delaying campaigns and prolonging battles.

    7) mercenaries sometimes were quite unreliable abandoning armies in the middle of a siege if they didn't agree to double wages and such (perhaps an event triggered by having mercenaries?)

    8) mercenaries often earned bonuses for victories in battle

    Not sure if any of that historical summary is useful inspiration for gameplay, just since I had read the article anyway (seemed interesting) I thought I might as well share a summary.
  16. Eyestabber

    Eyestabber Chieftain

    Oct 19, 2014
    So I'm at war with the Kazar. Razed 2 of its cities (including the Capital), crushed its entire army...

    leader won't accept peace unless I give him one of my cities. Seems like a bug regarding AI calculating its own odds of winning the war.
  17. Nor'easter

    Nor'easter Emperor

    Feb 25, 2007
    Glad to see that you're planning to incorporate the Mercenaries ModComp. I remember playing an early version of it, probably pre-BtS. And I've played RFC Sword of Islam, which also incorporates it.

    Some quick and random thoughts, in no particular order:

    1) I presume you'll be getting rid of the Guild of the Nine, since there doesn't seem to be a reason to have two different Mercenary mechanics in the game. I always thought the Guild of the Nine was really overpowered in the hands of a human player, anyway. And with the new mechanism for hiring Mercenaries, there's no need for the Guild of the Nine events where they're offering you the services of their members. If you plan to keep the Black Duke, then the event will have to be revised so it's no longer a Guild of the Nine event.

    2) My recollection is that the Mercenaries ModComp isn't based on hiring units from other civs. If you want a system to do that, would be easier to just use the existing trade mechanism, I think. It's been a while, but I remember in earlier versions of RifE being able to pay other civs for Workers and Naval units. I think the Mercenaries are supposed to be soldiers of fortune, veterans, etc., rather than active-duty military personnel of another civ.

    3) BanTingyun raises a good question about National Units. I wouldn't be in favor of the Mercenaries ModComp allowing players to circumvent unit limits. Easiest would be to block National Units (Knights, War Chariots, etc.) from being available for hire as Mercenaries, I think. (Yes, I know you can still circumvent the limits by capturing units via Domination or the Command I-IV promotions or as werewolves, but simply paying for additional Tier 4 units is too easy.)

    3) I would also exclude units that abandon your civ if you change Civics (so no Royal Guards) or Religion (so no top-level priest units), again because this shouldn't be a system to circumvent otherwise valid unit limits.

    4) As for types of units, a basic decision is whether you want to restrict it to unit types reflecting the civilizations in the particular game. I don't think that's necessary: one can certainly imagine small bands of Elves, Dwarves, Lizardmen, etc. living in Erebus but not being sufficiently numerous to settle down into a full-blown civilization, and having some of their people seek their fortune in the wider world by offering their services as mercenaries.

    5) Perhaps units that are non-sentient should be excluded? I'm thinking of things like Golems and Skeletons, and maybe things like Pyre Zombies and Diseased Corpses. I suppose one could imagine paying a Golem-maker to hire a Golem, or an Arcane unit to hire a Skeleton, but I don't know. And I would exclude units that are available only via Summons or via the Sheaim's Planar Gates.

    As I said, just some quick random thoughts. Might come up with more later when I think this through a bit more.
  18. black_imperator

    black_imperator Emperor

    Dec 4, 2005

    I think i saw something like that during one of my earlier runs. Do you have a save of that ? ( what version are you playing by the way, svn or base download ?)

    (Answers to the mercenary posts coming up, need to write them ^^)
  19. Calavente

    Calavente Richard's voice

    Jun 4, 2006
    regarding mercs:

    I thought of a few things that could be interesting :

    - have units "killed" in civ-battle (not against barbs) have a chance to join the mercenary pool (10-20% chance ; added to the pool 10-20 turns after being "killed"). (so When someone razed the Sidar army... there are a lot of Sidar units on the merc pool : defeated units that fled)
    - have units in the mercenary pool have a chance to spawn as barb unit if they are not bought for a long time (50 turns early game pre-trade / 20 turn post trade / 10 turns post merc-wonder)
    (so, after a big frontier war between Sidar and Mazalt : the merc pool has some mazalt & sidar units... and you get some Mazalt & Sidar barb units wandering the world...)
    - when you "kill" a mercenary barb it has 50% chance to go back to the pool (so that it can be re-hired ... and to not deplete too much the "UU mercs".

    --> these mechanics could be one of the way to ramp-up the power of Mercs units, allowing to get more state-of-the-art mercs... but only if those were real units that were defeated.
    --> this would further help hidden who is behind a hidden-nationality unit, by increasing the amount of barb-UU
    --> this would be more realistic: if people buy/sell much much mercs... then brutally stops... there should be many marcs-turning-barbs (we have an history of that in France... of entire country-sides ravaged by un-employed merc companies)

    - Magnadine (Hippus Hero) could either : call cheap mercs ? or "make all surrounding mercs have a chance (50%, variable depending on level of unit vs level of magnadine) to go back to the pool without payment" : if a city is defended only by mercs, Magnadine can make them all leave.
    - the Merc Wonder (Guild of Nine) allow for the civ that build it to get 20% bonus when buying mercs.. and allow to upload units as mercs (like Hippus... but Hippus can do it from the very beginning); mercs get "loyal and courage" and cannot be pushed by Magnadine.

    re-costs : it should be simpler than that IMO. (otherwise it'll be too expensive : limited number units are always state of the art : so it would be *2*1.5*2 if mage : an archmage (minima lvl6) would be *12 !!!... say you start from 2gpt : it would be 24 gpt ??? )

    for example:
    - they do not count as maintenance unit.
    - they get a fixed cost : depending on tier : 2 gpt(tier2) 3 gpt(tier3) 4gpt(half-tier3: assassin/crusader level) 5gpt (tier 4)
    - they get +0.3 gpt (rife works in decimal no?) per level above 3 : +1 per 3/4 level.
    - +1 for channeling 2 and channeling 3 (to show cost of magic)
    so a mage is a-minima level 4 tier 3 with channeling 2 : 3+0.3+1 : 4.3 gpt : already big IMO !!
    a druid : is a minima tier4+channeling2 + channeling3 : 6+1+1 : 8 gpt at level 1 ???
  20. black_imperator

    black_imperator Emperor

    Dec 4, 2005
    It's very easy to know whether someone has reached a tech, much harder to check what you're proposing systematically ( meaning without hardcoding), especialy with the multiple upgrade paths of ffh. in addition, the state-of-the-art units will merely be added to the pool of possible unittype choices, they won't be replacing their outdated counterparts in the random pick. ( So as more techs are unlocked, you get possibility for higher units but less chances of actually seeing them) (though i could wait until a certain number of civs has the tech instead of 1)

    I'm gonna clarify how a mercenary is generated :
    -First, the game picks a civ at random amongst valid ones ( everyone but D'tesh)
    -Second, it picks a UnitClass at random amongst valid ones
    - if there is a unit for that combination ( ie if the civ isn't blocked from that class), that's our base merc
    -otherwise, we pick another unitclass

    Once we have the base merc, we pick the level and additional promotions at random, and add the racial promo of the civ, and the unitartstyle.
    That's for generation. When it's hired, a unit is created of the correct type, we delete all of its basic promos and then apply the data of the merc (level, promo, artstyle, name,...).

    Remark taken into account, though it won't be in the first version, i don't feel like rewriting that part ^^. Nice idea for the messages

    good idea, the scion land test is a good scaling method

    the size of the random pool is only currently non-hired random mercs, hired mercs don't count and hippus provided mercs don't either.

    good point of the lowest level mercs, currently i'm using the last time it was actually used as a detector for mercs that people aren't interested in. If, after n turns in the pool, no one has bought them, they leave. I'll probably end up using a mix of both.

    not really fond of the death fee, and the death chance i'll use as a nerf option if needed.

    currently no upgrade on player control ( it messes with some code, and i'm not willing to delve into it yet, will do at some point), upgrade on going back could work though.

    no such limit planned yet, will see if needed.
    I like that idea somehow ^^.
    might not use those values, but yeah something similar ( though nothing for state of the art i think)
    good point on the contract, but i've got the feeling that if the unit has already been fighting for a good hundred turns, leaving is not as much a breach of contract than if it leaves the next day. Will try to figure something out for the delay.
    (For stability of code, i tend to avoid having too many intermediate states, they generally tend to mess up the systems, that's why everything is instant at the moment)

    Haven't merged the naming part of the modcomp yet, and we'll probably need to add more text for ffh ^^
    already done, yeah

    i cannot not do that ^^

    will see for balance

    yeah they pop in the capital at the moment.
    as mentioned earlier, i try to avoid delays and intermediary states. what i can do easily is hold the unit for a few turn, but it will still be able to defend. ( and to be honest, emergency city defense is all i used the old mercs for ^^)
    well, they will already be leveled and have bonus
    i could whip up something, but it will probably be a bit foo complex
    The 10% health thing is the main version of this, though i could see some specific mercenary promotion with high withdrawal and an event or too

    Guild of the Nine now gives a discount to contract and maintenance costs. The events stay in for now, because i need a bit more code to make something like the black duke appear randomly properly ^^.

    The Reason i chose this particular version of the modcomp is that they set up a way for hiring other civs units, and i really wanted the Hippus to be able to contract out their units, which is really in tone with their lore. I don't intend to really use that mechanic otherwise. (As i said, perhaps occasionally a specific leader).

    I want to try it for a bit, if it doesn't work, i'll deactivate it. It's an easy xml change. What i will do is amp up the cost for national units for now.

    And yet having a rogue Overlord Priest or ShadowRider coming up to sell its services seem so fun to me. Same answer than the national unit thing, will try it with higher costs

    This one i answered in the beginning of the post, all civs are considered regardless of whether they are in the game.

    Agreed on Golems, Skeletons and mosts of the summons, might leave a few that could still be reasonable.

    That's a nice idea, though a lower chance would probably be better ( there are way too many units dying in this game ^^)
    i like that
    currently a "dying" merc will always go back to the pool.
    i need to look into his lore, my base idea was to 1) allow him to go in the pool 2) allow him to transform mercenary units you hired into regular ones.

    Currently only the discount is planned, though, the bonus promotions are a good idea too. ( i want to let hippus be the only ones contracting out their units)
    good point on the free maintenance, for the rest, we'll see with the balance.

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