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Fractal or Shuffle?

Discussion in 'Civ6 - General Discussions' started by Tirerndil, Nov 8, 2016.

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So which map do you enjoy more, fractal or shuffle?

Poll closed Nov 16, 2016.
  1. Fractal

    45.1%
  2. Shuffle

    25.5%
  3. I like them both equally

    11.8%
  4. I like neither!

    17.6%
  1. Tirerndil

    Tirerndil Chieftain

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    So I tend to not play on maps like pangaea or archipelago because knowing whether there will be one big landmass or many small ones takes away from the feeling of exploration and the need to discover what style of play will be effect on any given map. So sometimes I play continents because that has a greater amount of uncertainty and surprises in terms of how many continents and how big the size difference between them. Needless to say, my favorite map types are fractal and shuffle since those maps cause me to have the greatest uncertainty about the map and hence greater sense of discovery in exploring the map.

    But I'm having trouble deciding whether I like Fractal or Shuffle better. There is some quality about fractal maps that I really enjoy though I cannot quite say what that quality is whereas the shuffle maps feel even more random but sometimes that overly random quality can break immersion of exploring rather than improve it.

    So lets see what the poll results tell us about the popularity of these maps. Also, if anyone has information about the algorithms or processes that go into generating either of these types of maps I'd be keen to hear about that.
     
    ProMeTheus112 likes this.
  2. steveg700

    steveg700 Warlord

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    I always shuffle. What are fractal maps like?
     
  3. Tirerndil

    Tirerndil Chieftain

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    I don't know precisely how the Fractal maps are generated but there is a tendency towards larger landmasses that tend to be more stretched out and hence have some strange shapes and coastlines that include many peninsulas and large bays and gulfs. Lakes also seem to be more common and larger on fractal maps but not always. Sometimes it can be just one landmass but it will still have this "stretched out" quality rather than one large "lump."

    I'd love to now more details about how the fractal maps are generated.
     
  4. Ravellion

    Ravellion Chieftain

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    I've had three civ 5 style archipelago maps in a row with shuffle. No hills or mountains on the tiny islands either, so no production whatsoever. Without a restart button, I am not going to try shuffle again.
     
  5. Tirerndil

    Tirerndil Chieftain

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    That's too bad. I don't think I've ever had that happen yet. I wonder if that is an indication that the map generation script for shuffle was based off the Civ V shuffle map script? You would think that even in shuffle there would be parameters in place that would exclude map designs that no longer work with the unstacked cities of Civ 6.
     
  6. Barathor

    Barathor Chieftain

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    Ooh, I've been using plain ol' Continents because there's no Small Continents... but, I just took a gander at Civ 6's Fractal and it looks like they've changed it a bit.

    So far, I see that it now uses my favorite continent grain: 3. Also, the default sea levels have all been greatly reduced compared to Civ 5's (another big plus for me) so that it creates fatter landmasses (actually, it looks like all of Civ 6's maps have had sea levels reduced by roughly 10%).

    I'm about to start a new game tonight, I'm definitely rolling it on a Fractal this time to try it out, I may even lower sea levels further for an extra 3%.
     
    Tirerndil likes this.
  7. playshogi

    playshogi Chieftain

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    My one shuffle game featured 2 large continents and 1 2-city sized island. The most interesting thing was I started on the southern part of 1 continent walled off by a long mountain chain with the only 2 passes to the north controlled by scientific city-states. I've been stuck playing it over and over lately because I think it is a cool map.
     
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  8. Balkans

    Balkans Chieftain

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    If you don't mind playing any kind of map you go shuffle. If you mind playing some kind of map you select what you want. Quite simple. I'm shuffle all the way, always. And i like the most if i get fractal from shuffle.
     
  9. smartcanuck1988

    smartcanuck1988 Chieftain

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    I think 50℅ of the time shuffle will give you fractal. But for the variety and not knowing exactly what it is, I choose shuffle.
     
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  10. Seven05

    Seven05 Warmonger

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    What about the generation proccess are you curious about? I'm at work right now so my answers can't be really specific with code example but I have spen some time in the Civ 6 map scripts while "fixing" the continents map and creating a "small continents" script.

    I can tell you that everything except Island Plates uses mostly the same base code with different arguments.
     
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  11. Tirerndil

    Tirerndil Chieftain

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    These are the questions that come to mind:

    What are the main parameters of a Fractal map? The description says "unpredictable" but that doesn't really clue me into what the map is about or what the overall guiding factors are. (contrast this with Continents, Pangaea, Island Plates, Small Continents, etc... where the parameters are obvious: continents map will always have a couple large landmasses etc...) Clearly Fractal must has some parameters because otherwise it would't be any different from Shuffle which I take to be the truly random option.

    Maybe a simpler way to phrase my basic question is this: How did they code "unpredictable" into the fractal map script and how is that different from the "more random" map script of shuffle?
     
  12. Jart

    Jart Chieftain

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    Almost always shuffle but I have played some fractal starts. Fractal can be very interesting, I have spawned on huge land masses alone and small cramped quarters with other civs.
     
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  13. Onii-chan

    Onii-chan Chieftain

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    I think Fractal statistically tends to produce the most interesting maps, however Shuffle gives more unpredictability and sense of exploring the unknown. So picking Shuffle is like saying "surprise me" which is fun to mix things up every once in a while, even though Fractal is my go-to if I don't have anything else in mind

    Fractal can also be really weird though. Last time I got a whole massive continent all on my own together with 7 city states on it as Brazil, and the other 5 civs all spawned on a separate continent together. I had enough space for like 10 cities on top of being suzerain of every single one of those city states up until like the industrial era when the others started finding them. Needless to say, it was the most one-sided victory I've had in Civ VI thus far lol
     
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  14. Seven05

    Seven05 Warmonger

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    Think of fractal as the base for continents. The difference is that continents/pangaea enforces a few rules onto a fractal map.

    Comtinents, for example, has a rule that the largest landmass can be 64% of the total land tiles and it create an ocean rift that tries to enforce separate landmasses divided by ocean. Pangaea doesn't have the rift and has a minimum landmass size.

    Fractal has no specific rules for continent size so it is free reign of the RNG. :)

    There are other minor specs like fractal grain values but the rules, or lack thereof, are the biggest differences between the three. The underlying terrain generator is the same. Fractal will normally be the fastest since it never has to regen the map if it fails a check.
     
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  15. Tirerndil

    Tirerndil Chieftain

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    Thanks for this explanation. This makes a lot more sense to me now.

    So I have a follow up question: What does the map generator do for shuffle? If Fractal is really the "free reign of the RNG" then what is happening on shuffle? Does shuffle have some rules/parameters it follows that differentiate it from Fractal?
     
  16. Seven05

    Seven05 Warmonger

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    Shuffle has... well it has this:
    Code:
        local mapType = TerrainBuilder.GetRandomNumber(10, "Random World Age - Lua");
        if(mapType < 5) then
            -- Fractal Map
            return FractalGenerator();
        elseif(mapType < 8) then
            -- Island Map
            return IslandPlates();
        else
            -- Continent Map
            return Continents ();
        end
    
    So, assuming Civ 6 random numbers are 1 through X (rather than 0 through X - 1) you have a 40% chance of using the fractal code, 20% chance of island plates, 40% chance of using continents. It literally has all of the code in there for all three map types and picks which code to use.

    So in layman's terms the biggest difference is that shuffle can generate an island plates map, fractal never will (the fractal grain is too low).
     
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  17. bladex

    bladex Chieftain

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    shuffle is crap all you ever get is tiny little islands all clustered together. fractal map is the way to go. you usually get a zig zaggy continent shape with islands hiding off to the sides with great resources :p
     
    Last edited: Nov 8, 2016
  18. Atlas627

    Atlas627 Chieftain

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    This is my current game on *Continents*! I've got a whole huge continent to myself and 8 CS, and I can fit almost 20 cities on it. And I'm Kongo, so each city is getting massive...
     
  19. Mustakrakish

    Mustakrakish In 'Node' We Trust

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    "Fractal or shuffle" is an odd question IMO. Fractal is a script as much as continents or pangeia. Fractal in itself is a script that creates unpredicted results (allegedly). Shuffle just chooses one of the available scripts randomly, which includes fractal, continents, island plates, pangaia and unfortunately inland sea (IIRC).

    I would use shuffle from time to time if I could limit it to continents, pangaia and island plates. Fractal being included is unnecessary IMO and inland sea being included is just maddening.
     
  20. RealHuhn

    RealHuhn Chieftain

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    I don't know if it's true but there's something about Fractal that generates very believable landscapes. Certain terrain types appear in larger clusters like deserts, mountain ranges, rain forests etc. I also like how big land masses always seem to have more access to the coast because I'm personally a big fan of the harbor district.
    However, I wish it wouldn't generate maps where you can meet all the AIs before caravels. Sometimes, it's very close to a dull pangea map. :(

    I haven't tried shuffle yet. So does it only pick a random existing map script or does it also mess with settings like sea level etc?
     
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