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Goals

Discussion in 'Communitas Expansion Pack' started by Thalassicus, Jul 30, 2011.

  1. Thalassicus

    Thalassicus Bytes and Nibblers

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    This thread exists to discuss the big project goals of intuitive gameplay, balance, rewards matching challenge, and setting a high bar for adding new things.

    If you want to discuss something more specific than these broad goals, please post in the Main Forum. :thumbsup:
     
  2. void_genesis

    void_genesis Prince

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    Just started playing the unofficial patch once I got my puter fixed and I must say a big thanks to Thal and his collaborators for turning what was a so-so game into something that is inconceivably improved.

    My idea of fun resonates with Thal's idea that the most interesting part of the game is having many new real choices each game to make and experimenting with new synergies and feedbacks. I think the fun and replayability factor is greatly increased by not having an exact idea of what lies ahead of you.

    On that idea I would ponder out loud (maybe even suggest) the idea of putting some kind of unpredictability into the tech tree. Either that the tech tree is missing a few sections or buildings/troops/wonders each game but you cannot see ahead until you research to that stage. Another option is making technologies more like wonders- only the first 3 civs for example to research a tech gain its benefits. After that the branch point is opened for all the others but the units/buildings/wonders cannot be built by the trailing civs (maybe with a science/gold point repayment system like the production to gold cash back for wonder build fails). This could add enormous suspense and flavor to the game that is currently limited to wonders.
     
  3. Tomice

    Tomice Passionate Smart-Ass

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    What I particularily like is your effort concerning the militia/vanguard unit, or the ongoing effort to make coastal regions more different from inland cities both by gameplay and flavor. Personally, I don't mind if you add new stuff, since even subtle changes can make it very confusing to change back to vanilla, and I guess few people ever do so. Maybe it's time for a poll about how many of the VEM users consider the similarity of vanilla and VEM an important dogma.

    I do enjoy that you don't try to overstuff the game with unimportant mechanics/elements, though. It's a thin edge to balance on, and I think you do this very well, though I guess there's some leeway to add maybe 1 or 2 additional units or buildings where needed/desirable.

    Since I'm admittedly a great fan of realism, there could also be a poll about which historical elements are missing. For example, the colonial era is not represented overly well. Maybe a fourth type of city state (indigenous tribe or smth) could make terra maps more appealing. As another example, the historical importance of religions is not represented in a sufficient way. Or the huge importance of peaceful expansion by inheritance or forming of unions.

    But let's not lose ourselves in details: My main point is that at this stage you could anticipate the main points if a possible expansion and see what could be done with reasonble effort.
     
  4. Thalassicus

    Thalassicus Bytes and Nibblers

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    @void_genesis, Tomice
    There's planning in progress for an independent "modmod" of VEM that will add lots of new content beyond the vanilla game. It's a seperate mod that would be run in addition to VEM with this mod as a base. I don't want to give away too much, since the person working on it has creative lead on that project. :)
     
  5. GoodRevrnd

    GoodRevrnd Warlord

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    I think it's actually very important that VEM does not significantly depart from vanilla. That said, plugging holes in vanilla such as the "militia" unit are critically important to this mod and well within the scope.

    You do a great job on this mod and I can't believe you spend 100 hours a month on it. That's insane. :o
     
  6. DragonGreen

    DragonGreen Chieftain

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    That all is good to hear...

    I'm convinced that too much changes within VEM make the mod too distinct from vanilla. The current changes are quite good and very reasonable.

    What I miss (regarding to third project: Fun and some UI things), despite most of them were addressed in other threads):
    • Real foreign trade routes. There was a suggestion from you calculating this with nodes etc...
    • More weight of island cities (colonies) - maybe there is the possibility to found a puppet city or sth., a more valuable luxury and/or bonus resource.
    • When a diplomatic trade is run out (e.g. DOF), a left click on the icon should directly open the trade screen (because this is missing, it spoils the party).
    • A -not-only- happiness cap system for the ics strategy. Surely, the policy system is the 2nd one (in an indirect way), so there may be some basic maintenance cost for the cities depending on their number and status (puppet states should not cost so much maintenance).
    • -Not-only- maintenance costs for roads and railroads. My opinion is that the current system is a little bit boring. Maybe roads/railroads generate additional gold/production (+1:c5gold:/+1:c5production:) when they are used as an trading route. So far I know, the status trade road and trade railroad exists and could be used for that. This would generate additional :c5gold:/:c5production: locally in the city, not system wide. On the other side, the effective maintenance costs would lower if the cities are lying close to each other and the trade route fields are used by the cities.
    • More different city state flavors. Since the distribution system of VEM is very different from vanilla, I would suggest some city state flavors which generate :c5production: (industrial/manufacturing), :c5science: (scientific/philosophical) and :c5gold: (commercial/economic). This feature would make much more fun for large maps.
    • More basic hitpoints for every unit (e.g. 15 instead of 10), the hitpoints of a city have to be scaled too. I tried this out and this is much more addicting, going further away from the CIV1-4 unit battle system with regard to the one-hitkill-system. This would emphasize - or in other words - more justify the 1unit-per-tile-rule. I would let the number of healing points you get only increase in the city, but not elsewhere.

    So far my first thoughts.
     
  7. Thalassicus

    Thalassicus Bytes and Nibblers

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    I do intend to implement island importance (first) and foreign trade later. I also like the idea of clickable trade expiration notifications, but without access to the core game I can't change that.

    Your last idea is really interesting. Some other mods like Alpaca's PlayWithMe have increased unit hitpoints. A bump from 10 to 15 would prolong battles, which might help the AI out, giving it more time to respond to quick human tactics. :think:
     
  8. Sneaks

    Sneaks Brooklyn Bum

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    The clickable trade expiration notices should actually be doable now. You'd simply need to disable the vanilla notifications and create separate ones with various click functionality. Its not easy, but certainly doable within the framework of the Custom Notifications alpaca and I built.
     
  9. Zaldron

    Zaldron King

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    This would create a perverse incentive to make long and winding roads for the bonus.
     
  10. DragonGreen

    DragonGreen Chieftain

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    Yes, I noticed first that this change is suitable for the AI tactics. It will do more retreats with injured units and use (this a little bit nasty for the human player, but challenging) use the instant heal promotion more likely (this is my obversation).

    Second, the risk that the human player will loose a veteran unit is more likely, but that the human player will completely destroy an ai unit is less likely (my own observation).

    All in all it gets more strategic depth and is (in my opinion) more challenging for the human player. It seems that the one-hit-kill-system is not suitable for the ai in general. Maybe 20 hitpoints are far better, this would have to been examined. I tested also with oversized hitpoints (30+, may be too difficult for the human player), after that I can say that 15-20 is a good value.

    This would really became a problem, I didn't consider this.
     
  11. DragonGreen

    DragonGreen Chieftain

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    My next two suggestions:

    • Make the Great General more interesting with the policy system. Maybe you could downgrade the general combat bonus to +10% or +15%. Then provide with policies upgrades in defensive and offensive ways (maybe each one +15% attack and defense combat bonus. Another idea is to give combat boni for foreign and inland terroritory. Maybe they could be combined: One policy grants +10% general attack bonus and +10% attack bonus in foreign territory. The second policy grants +10% general defense bonus and +10% defense bonus in friendly territory. This would make the general upgradable, emphasizing the military policy branches.
    • Provide 3 siege promotions for the artillery class, so the units can be more specialized. Instead of one +35% promotion, it would be cool if there are +20%, +20% and +25% (same values as for drill and schock). This is something I miss in CiV from CIV.
     
  12. GoodRevrnd

    GoodRevrnd Warlord

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    I think with a dedicated siege line all the way up to blitz it would become too much of a no-brainer.
     
  13. void_genesis

    void_genesis Prince

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    After playing the latest mod in GOTM2 I would have to admit VEM is as close to perfect as I could imagine, other thank tinkering with wonders to try out some creative effects perhaps.

    To Thal- is the end in sight for the unofficial patch/VEM process? It feels like anything from here would need to be a deeper change to the game, like tinkering with 1UPT or modifying/adding to deep game play mechanisms (many presumably not possible until the full game code is released).
     
  14. Thalassicus

    Thalassicus Bytes and Nibblers

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    Leonardo da Vinci said, "art is never finished, only abandoned." It's true! :lol:

    The todo list is long and I'm always discovering new ideas. The stopping point will probably be just when I don't have free time to work on it anymore, and hopefully someone else will take up the reins at that point.
     
  15. Dunkah

    Dunkah Emperor

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    Every time Thal gets to the point where he thinks he is just about done with a particular project and is sitisfied with his work they come out with another patch that messes it all back up!

    No Jinxes!
     
  16. Thalassicus

    Thalassicus Bytes and Nibblers

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    I've updated the original post with revised goals. :)
     
  17. albie_123

    albie_123 Modding In Secret

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    Love the way you always describe abstract concepts in layman's terms, makes average guys like me feel much more in the loop with the direction the mod is heading.

    Ever considered a career in marketing? ;)
     
  18. Thalassicus

    Thalassicus Bytes and Nibblers

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    I'm glad it's explained well! I've actually been struggling to form these concepts into words for over a year now, so I wouldn't make a great marketer. :lol:
     
  19. Thalassicus

    Thalassicus Bytes and Nibblers

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    I revised the OP again with some new thoughts I had.
     
  20. lindanealmck

    lindanealmck Chieftain

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    Well, I was getting Civ burn out, and played some other games for awhile, but Thal's recent updates are incredible. The game is challenging and addicitive.

    I try to keep a small cash reserve for all the fun random upgrades. I notice that the A.I.s are broke all the time - this may be because I am playing at Prince level. Still, the game is challenging, and it takes a long time to win.

    I did notice that the Hall of Fame does not record modded games. This might be an issue for challenge games.

    Anyway, having fun again!
     

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