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History Rewritten (Original Thread)

Discussion in '[MAC+WIN] Civ4 - History Rewritten' started by Xyth, Feb 9, 2010.

  1. Xyth

    Xyth History Rewritten

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    Yep, these are the two causes I was thinking of. Early Scientist, Merchant and Artist slots are most probably being (re)introduced in 0.9.4 and this will go a long way towards mixing it up a little.

    Number of religions seems to be a personal preference, which is why I hope to make it player customizable. I can make a setting in one of the xml files that the player can edit as they like but that's messy. I'd love to add a slider to the custom game setup screen but it's unfortunately unmoddable even with the SDK.

    However, what I might be able to do is to 'hijack' the Choose Religions option (which no longer does anything in HR), rename it "Fewer Religions" and provide an alternate, lower limit that still scales with mapsize.

    Each leader has their own settings/personality for this, independent of their traits. I've coded the Spiritual trait (Theocracy and Fundamentalism civics too) to get a bit madder than most when inquisitions happen but that's a completely separate mechanic.
     
  2. Howard Mahler

    Howard Mahler Since Civ 1

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    As has been discussed before, yes it is a personal preference and allowing player option(s) would be good.

    If it is not possible to allow a player option, then perhaps player feedback would help to choose a good ratio of civs to religions.

    If it is possible to allow a player option(s), then such feedback will help choose a good default and the possibilities.

    "Number of religions seems to be a personal preference, which is why I hope to make it player customizable. I can make a setting in one of the xml files that the player can edit as they like but that's messy. I'd love to add a slider to the custom game setup screen but it's unfortunately unmoddable even with the SDK.

    However, what I might be able to do is to 'hijack' the Choose Religions option (which no longer does anything in HR), rename it "Fewer Religions" and provide an alternate, lower limit that still scales with mapsize."
     
  3. Azoth

    Azoth Inscrutable

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    More points for discussion:

    Wells: Howard is right to point out that Wells are too strong when compared to Aqueducts. I would add that the ability to irrigate from Wells seriously distorts the early game. You are supposed to found your early cities along rivers and freshwater lakes for access to irrigation; the better to simulate historical patterns of settlement along the major rivers of Europe, Asia, and Africa. As it stands, you can build Wells anywhere and enable irrigation immediately; in BtS, you could not do so until Biology in the Industrial Era. So I would suggest keeping these buildings' effects the same (on the theory that Aqueducts bring fresh water to cities while Wells are more common in the countryside) while moving Wells far, far forward in the tech tree, so that they arrive a few techs after Cultivation, which allows the intermediate step of irrigation chains from adjacent farms. If you keep the passive health bonuses from resources, I would also strip the health bonus from Wells, such that they only "act as a fresh water source," i.e. provide 2 health only to those cities that are not already situated along a river or freshwater lake. Baths would then take Aqueducts as a prerequisite.

    Kiln: I'm afraid I don't really see the point of the Kiln building. Most of the other new buildings either interact with the new resources (Tanner, Tavern) or add some colour to the more barren stretches of the extended tech tree (Cinema, News Press.) The Kiln comes at time when cities already have plenty to build (Granary, Monument, Cemetery, Theatre, Library, Harbour, Lighthouse, etc.) so I wonder if they are truly necessary. I know you want to avoid the slippery slope to (in your words) "kitchen sink mods," and I think limiting the number of extraneous buildings is crucial in that regard.

    School: You have renamed some of the BtS research buildings: Oxford University to Academy, Academy to University, and University to School. These are all reasonable changes, except in the case of Schools. Beware the trap of Civilization V: a School makes little sense as research building, especially one with a +25% beaker bonus. Whether you mean modern public schools or more traditional elite finishing schools, the fact is that no research is conducted by the teaching staff and students are taught general job market skills. (Actual research training inevitably happens at universities.) Schools are also a rather recent invention, closer to Labour Unions than The Scientific Method, i.e. the age of Marx not Newton. I suggest changing the name of the School to either College (enabled at Scientific Method) or Publishing House (enabled at Printing Press.) Both functioned as actual engines of research; and they can keep the Library requirement. Schools could be moved to somewhere around Welfare, with a more appropriate +5% worker speed bonus, along with a slight production or commerce boost.

    Separately, it might be a good idea to move the University earlier (to, say, Education) for both gameplay and historical reasons. Great Scientists really need something to do in the mid-game: they can be settled early on, but by the time the Scientific Method comes around, you are better off lightbulbing techs directly or launching a Golden Age. The oldest universities also predated the scientific method; in fact, the scientific method was developed by various scientists working in major European universities during the Scientific Revolution.

    Industrialism: I agree with Simon Jester's suggested changes to the Industrial Era tech tree. (I also support his late game naval reforms, though I'm not one to judge, having never fought a major naval war in Civilization IV after the Age of Sail.) I just want to add that the Industrialism civic itself should be unlocked well before Labour Unions, since these were formed largely in response to industrialism. (Oliver Twist sure could have used union support.) As part of a broader rework of the Labour Unions to Explosives branch, I would move Industrialism to, say, Railroads.

    Resources: As you know, I favour keeping the health and happiness bonus from resources. I have lots of ideas for how to keep such bonuses balanced (in general, I agree with Simon Jester, who suggests increasing the heath and happiness penalties from buildings and civics, instead of base population) but I will wait until you make a final decision on resources before elaborating further.

    Religion: If you can manage to hijack the 'Choose Religions' custom option, then I agree that allowing players to play games with fewer religions is a good idea.
     
  4. Simon_Jester

    Simon_Jester Prince

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    A distinct point. Irrigation works on the sheer scale it would take to irrigate such a large territory would be difficult to operate without industrial machinery to tap the aquifers. Though I like the idea of supplying water through wells; it would help deal with situations where for reasons of geography there's a large fertile territory that can't be irrigated because you can't get fresh water over the hills and don't want to chop down forest tiles.

    As I see it, it's for the sake of adding diversity and reducing the size of the enormous jump from sailing ships to oil-fired destroyers, with effectively nothing in between since ironclads aren't all that relevant strategically due to their low speed and coastal limitations.

    I mean, if the period of the game for which ironclads were available was longer, they'd make sense as coast defense fleets, but as it is by the time you've built many of them, you might as well upgrade to (vastly more powerful, vastly faster, vastly more capable) destroyers anyway. Inserting the Cruiser and downgrading the Destroyer to its historical role as a support platform for larger fleets would rebalance the tree somewhat, I think.

    It also gives you at least some means of defending yourself in a naval war that don't rely on oil or force you to wait until nuclear fission to build a functioning navy- historically, coal-fired warships remained competitive up through World War One, and while oil was superior in many ways it wouldn't have been impossible for a nation with plenty of coal and no oil to at least try to fight using coal-fired warships for longer.

    As it stands, the naval situation in the industrial era is in stark contrast to the situation on land; on land there are always units you can build to defend yourself even with no strategic resources at all, though perhaps not to defend yourself well. At sea, there are no resource requirements whatsoever for the major warship classes until you hit destroyers (again, ironclads hardly count as far as I can tell)... at which point every single ship requires oil or uranium and you can't build anything capable of winning a fight even against a troop transport without oil.
     
  5. Xyth

    Xyth History Rewritten

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    Good points on the Well, nothing to add to that atm but on my todo list to address for 0.9.4.

    My plan for the Kiln was that it would improve with the discovery of new techs. I didn't get that mechanic working properly for 0.9.3 though. I agree that its a bit superfluous without that aspect.

    Careful, I'm a teacher by profession! Hehe. Schools don't do research directly but they significantly increase the rate of literacy, numeracy, etc, in a population. The more educated a population the greater the pool of talented researchers to draw upon and new ideas and technologies can be adopted much more efficiently.

    Schools (even in the modern sense) have been around a very long time, just not so much in Europe: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/History_of_education. I'm deliberately avoiding making the techtree too Eurocentric.

    Yep, if I manage to move Labour Unions later I will certainly won't shift Industrialism with it.

    Final decision is that the change will be reverted. Let me know your ideas. One I'm working on atm is making Mines, Quarries, Oil Wells, Offshore Platforms and maybe Workshops cause unhealthiness.
     
  6. Howard Mahler

    Howard Mahler Since Civ 1

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    I think the Kiln adds something, a way to get hammers very early in the game.
    It is another option of something to build.
    I would leave it in, although the increase with techs would make it more interesting.

    "My plan for the Kiln was that it would improve with the discovery of new techs. I didn't get that mechanic working properly for 0.9.3 though. I agree that its a bit superfluous without that aspect."

    As far as Wells go, I think again they add something, an option to get health very early.
    As has been mentioned, moving their current special ability to Aqueduct makes sense.
    (The irrigation only effects the eight hexes touching the city, still leaving those two away that can not be irrigated.)

    Having Aqueduct as prerequisite for Bath is not a bad idea.
    Having Wells as prerequisite for Aqueduct is not a bad idea.

    Given the reversion on health and happiness, I think it would be very very worthwhile trying some more to get the double effect from population, unless you have exhausted all possibilities of doing so. Without this, it will be very, very hard to keep things balanced (given all the new resources and buildings.) If it has to be programmed in "by hand" it would be well worth the effort in the long term.

    I am sorry to suggest that the combination of Camps and Redistribution may be just too good for too long. It might be better to find some other bonus for Redistribution than the +1 coin to camp.
     
  7. Azoth

    Azoth Inscrutable

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    In that case, I say we delay Wells until the Industrial Era! (They would still be called wells, right? We could change the name to Water Pump, but I prefer Wells.) In situations where a region of arable land is surrounded by hills and forests, players would be faced with a choice: chop down some forests; or wait for industrial machinery and perhaps settle another site first.

    Sounds like a plan.

    Yikes! :cringe: I don't mean to trivialize the efforts of teachers but (and you knew there was a 'but' coming) I think there's a better way to model the social value of schools.

    This, while undoubtedly true, is perhaps too narrowly drawn. The more educated the population, the greater the pool of talented individuals: artists, entrepreneurs, soldiers, statesmen, etc. And yet the truly great among them would surely find ways to put their talents to use, formally educated or no...

    Thus, given that schools raise the level of literacy and numeracy in the general population, I would argue their chief virtue is that they bring economic opportunity to the average person. In modern society, a basic education is the key to a good standard of living. In Civ terms, I feel this best translates to a blanket commerce boost and worker efficiency bonus, while leaving the research to more specialized Colleges.

    I can't argue with this, except to note that "The Scientific Method" is a rather Eurocentric concept already. (Can you tell that I'm training to be a lawyer by profession? ;))

    That's a brilliant idea! -0.5 health per Mine (or thereabouts) would be just right. Workshops already suffer -1 food, so I wouldn't add another penalty there. (Though perhaps you could replace that -1 food with -0.5 or -1 health; it might make workshops and the Professionalism civic more popular.)

    Well, I'm sorry to say that none my ideas are quite as elegant. But here they are:
    1. Per Simon Jester's suggestion, add health and happiness penalties to various buildings and civics. Possibilities include: Markets (-1 health), Jails (-1 happiness), Forges (-1 health with Copper, Iron), Caste System (-1 happiness in 5 largest cities), Fundamentalism (-1 happiness per non-state religion), Authoritarianism (-2 health), etc.
    2. Move various resource-related buildings to later eras. The Distillery is a fine example; it is currently available at Chemistry even though distillation was practiced in earlier eras. Likewise, the ancient Weaver could become a classical Tailor or renaissance Mill. Similarly, the health bonus from Cows, Deer, Pigs, and Sheep could be returned to the Supermarket, leaving Smokehouses with the percentage bonus from Salt and +25% food stored transferred forward from Supermarkets.
    3. Code the AI such that it will only trade a happiness resource for another happiness resource or two health resources.

    I don't think you need to make many changes beyond that. Though there are now more resources, there will be fewer of each kind of resource on a given map; so even allowing for maximum trading between empires, players will still miss out on some of the rarer resources.

    Thinking more about this, I agree that you could keep the Kiln if you find a way to power it up with later techs. Anything with an interesting mechanism is worth keeping.

    No! I love Redistribution! :p
    But, seriously, I think you may have a point.
    Rather than remove the +1 commerce bonus on Camps (especially now that Cottages have been moved to Employment), might I suggest a penalty to balance it out? How does -25% culture sound?
    (How does that fit with Redistribution? Uh, let me think. How about: state redistribution offends elite culture makers. In the ancient age? Well...)
     
  8. Xyth

    Xyth History Rewritten

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    There doesn't seem to be a way I can code an increase in the unhealthiness from population without creating more problems than it solves. Unhappiness, however, may be possible. I've not explored it in any depth yet as for the time being I'm focusing on balancing health.

    I'm not sure a culture penalty fits but I agree that a penalty is the way to go. The easiest choice is to raise its upkeep to High (makes sense, all that redistribution requires a lot of bureaucracy and transport costs) but I worry that doing so would partially defeat the point of the civic as an early source of commerce. As an alternative, maybea penalty to GPP? (state is firmly controlled, discouraging individualism and entrepreneurship). Let me know what you think.

    I agree that a School would provide broader benefit than just research. I'd like to leave this as is for now, my todo list for 0.9.4 is already massive, but we can revisit the idea later.

    I can make the improvements give whole or fractional unhealthiness but they all need to provide the same amount. I'm tempted to make it -1 health rather than -0.5 health simply because it would require fewer tweaks elsewhere; less to balance and easier for the AI to cope with. I'll have to see how it turns out.

    As for workshops, I too was thinking of replacing the -food with -health. Since I'm messing with them anyway, let me know if you have any suggestions to improve Workshops and Professionalism.

    I like the Forge idea, I think that would work well. Other building suggestions might work too. I'd rather not use the civics as a method of rebalancing happiness/health though; they're situational and thus only balancing it for certain civs at certain times. Better the civics are primarily tuned relative to each other.

    I agree that one of those could move later.

    This is a very good idea and solves several problems at once.

    Unfortunately the diplomacy screen and AI is pretty much completely inaccessible to modders, even with the SDK.

    I can always make certain resources scarcer too if need be.

    Another thing I might do is lower the 'free' health you get from difficulty level. From Warlord up it is 2, I could drop it to 1 or even 0. Random starts are always near forests or health resources so it shouldn't be too harsh and you there's always the Cemetery (and maybe Well) if need be.
     
  9. Howard Mahler

    Howard Mahler Since Civ 1

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    Happiness is much more important than health.

    "There doesn't seem to be a way I can code an increase in the unhealthiness from population without creating more problems than it solves. Unhappiness, however, may be possible. I've not explored it in any depth yet as for the time being I'm focusing on balancing health. "

    Making mines minus one health, will give even more incentive to build a camp on a forested hill.
    Right now I build the camp more often than the mine.
     
  10. civ_king

    civ_king Deus Caritas Est

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    Be forewarned, my comments will probably have to do with the Middle Ages of which I have studied much and will hence be Eurocentric

    Well: You could morph them into artesian wells which would give them a start date of the early 12th century, this coincidences with a massive growth in agriculture in Europe which I think is what you want with artesian wells.

    Kiln: Currently useless, I think there is one that is a tanner or something that gives 2:hammers: also, but it give happy too for around the same cost.

    Education: Schools should have an ETA of the 6th Century because that is when monastic and cathedral schools arouse (in Mediaeval Europe religion and science went hand in hand). Universities started rolling in the 12th century teaching arts, law, medicine, and theology, but mostly theology. So you're probably wondering why if it didn't teach science it should get a science bonus, but au contraire it did because to get a theology degree one needed to learn mathematics and sciences (like I said in Mediaeval Europe religion and science went hand in hand).

    Industrialism: I personally feel it should come at Steam Power because Steam Power provided the power of industrialism (literally and metaphorically) .

    Resources: why not actually have the normal resource bonuses and then the bonuses we have now (with buildings) that way the AI gets it and you can add unhealth and unhappy to improvements

    Religions: fewer religions would be good

    Naval: I agree with Simon Jester's naval commentary

    Aqueduct Baths should come off Aqueducts because that's how it worked, but Aqueducts got their water from rivers, not wells so wells don't make sense (plus wells come after aqueducts).
     
  11. PlaysCiv

    PlaysCiv Chieftain

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    I seem to have the problem that everyone wants to give me all their resources in exchange for nothing... Maybe the AI is having trouble assessing the value of new resources.
     
  12. Xyth

    Xyth History Rewritten

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    Yep. I'm solving health first and once that's done I'll begin focusing on happiness.

    Easy solution for that. I can make camps unable to be built on hills unless there is a resource there.

    I haven't got anything more to add to some of these topics at the moment but your comments are helpful.

    That's one candidate if/when Labour Unions is shifted later. Remember though that Industrialism is a Labour civic and thus is primarily about the workers in an Industrial society.

    That's the basic plan.

    I'll try get it in for 0.9.4 but it will depend how long all other stuff takes. My todo list is getting quite long ><

    It's because I removed the health and happiness from them, the AI used that to work out what category a resource belonged to despite there being definable categories. This will be reverted/fixed in 0.9.4.
     
  13. civ_king

    civ_king Deus Caritas Est

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    I could make a timeline showing approximately when technologies come in and also when buildings come in so we can rearrange the tech tree and buildings to be more historical.
    Would you like this?
     
  14. Azoth

    Azoth Inscrutable

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    Redistribution: I think a GPP penalty would work better than High Upkeep costs, which would really hurt on the higher difficulty levels. It doesn't need to be a very large penalty: Civ4 rounds down, so even -25% GPP would reduce a priest specialist from +3 to +2 GPP, increasing the time to that first Great Prophet from 34 to 50 turns.

    Health Penalty: I would stick to -0.5 health per Mine and Workshop; I feel like -1 health might be too much. I don't know what extra tweaks a fractional health penalty would require. The AI seems to handle the fractional health effects of forests, jungles, and floodplains reasonably well. What's more, I don't think you should attach a health penalty to Quarries; it would only encourage players to settle directly on top of Marble and Stone resources. (It's already very tempting because it adds +1 hammer to the city square, the resources can't be pillaged or sabotaged, and Quarries take a long time to build.) That said, I support adding health penalties to Oil Well and Offshore Platforms; and disabling hilltop Camps (if you want more food, build a Windmill.)

    Workshops: The problem with Workshops is that they are never as productive as other tile improvements. Currently, a Grassland Workshop starts at 1/1/0 (2/1/1 with Professionalism) compared to a 3/0/0 Grassland Farm (3/1/0 with Agrarianism) or a 3/1/0 Grassland Forest Camp (3/1/1 with Redistribution). By the time Workshops get +1 hammer, Farms have +1 food. Replacing the food penalty with a health penalty will help somewhat (though they amount to the same thing when a city is at its health limit) but I think BtS hit upon the best solution: add +1 hammer to Workshops with Caste System. That way, a Caste System-Professionalism workshop economy could better compete with both an Agrarianism-Redistribution farm and mine economy, and a Slavery-Redistribution camp and cottage economy.

    War Elephants: I apologize for extending your to-do list with every post, but this issue has surfaced in so many games that I feel it deserves mention. Simply put, the War Elephant is a seriously imbalanced unit. Let's review its abilities. At Strength 8 and with +50% against mounted units it (a) is stronger than any contemporary unit, arriving much earlier and at a lower cost than the Strength 8 Maceman; (b) requires the Elephant happiness resource, which is not distributed fairly or widely; and (c) handily defeats the Spearman "counter" unit, with its two promotions (Combat I+Shock from the Barracks+Stable) to one. The situation is so bad that War Elephants are frequently banned in BtS multiplayer competitions. In HR, the problem is worse because War Elephants require only Riding: barbarians are no threat if you have Elephants nearby; and AI leaders blessed with Elephants routinely thrash their neighbours who lack them. At the very least, I would add a second tech requirement for War Elephants. (At a guess, Construction in BtS would translate to roughly Engineering in HR.) I might also suggest changing the unit to 7 Strength with +75% against mounted units. That way, it would retain its edge against Knights but typically lose to Spearmen.

    Edit: Scratch that, my math was wrong. A Combat I Spearman can't reliably beat even a Strength 7 Combat I/Shock Elephant:
    Combat I Spearman: 4 + 110% = 8.4
    Combat I/Shock War Elephant: 8 + 35% = 10.8
    Combat I/Shock Strength 7 War Elephant: 7 + 35% = 9.45
     
  15. Howard Mahler

    Howard Mahler Since Civ 1

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    Ignoring the issue of whether or not workshops are balanced in version 9.0.3, changing the -1 Food to -1 health would make them stronger than currently.

    1. Sometimes the -1 health would translate into the equivalent of -1 food for the city when it comes to growth.
    2. Sometimes the player would have enough health in the city that the -1 health from a workshop would not have an effect.
    3. Sometimes the city would not be working the workshop, and would currently not feel the impact of the -1 food, but would feel a -1 health effect under the proposed system.

    situation #1 is a wash with the current situation.
    situation #2 is better for the Civ. than currently.
    situation #3 is worse for the Civ.

    Given the fact that in most situations the Civ. has control over whether or not there is a workshop, situation #2 should occur much more often on average than situation #3.
    Thus the conclusion that this change would make workshops stronger.

    Changing the -1 food to -1/2 health would make workshops even stronger than they currently are.
     
  16. Xyth

    Xyth History Rewritten

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    I'm not likely to do any major rearrangement of the techtree. Certain sections of it (such as the aforementioned Labour Unions through to Explosives and Total War) do need some reworking but I feel the overall structure is reasonably sound in terms of game balance, logic and historicity. As mentioned earlier, I've always found the standard Civ techtrees to be too Eurocentric and have deliberately made some decisions with that in mind (Education being one such example).

    Having said that, my historical expertise diminishes quickly after the Renaissance so I'm sure there some are inaccuracies to be found in the latter part of the tree. At this stage, it would be more useful to have specific problems (such as Labour Unions) identified rather than strive for wider rearrangement.

    -25% GPP was what my instincts were telling me too so I'll go with that.

    I'm actually doing it via an invisible terrain feature "Pollution" that is placed under the improvement (and removed if the improvement is) so it's the exact same mechanic as forests, jungles and floodplains. The AI doesn't know it will happen when it builds the improvement but it will know it needs to compensate once it's there. It should work fine.

    What I was referring to was more about using this as the prime mechanic of rebalancing health so that too many other tweaks aren't needed as well - it's those other tweaks that could potentially have AI issues. It will depend on how many other tweaks make sense and are easy enough to do. If there are enough we could go with --0.5, if there's not many we'll need to go with -1.

    Overall I've added a lot more new sources of health than I've added new sources of happiness so I don't mind being a bit more brutal with unhealthiness. Unhealthiness is not as crippling/annoying as unhappiness and I'd like to keep growth a little slower in the first part of the game, especially now that the Smokehouse will restore another '25% food kept after growth' to the ancient era.

    While it wouldn't do any harm to omit Quarries from the pollution list I wonder if it isn't better to find a solution to the original problem.

    Makes sense to me. I also want to remove the +1 food to workshops that Professionalism has (it was there to counter the -1 food), what do you think it should be replaced with?

    Hmm, revising the War Elephant was on my todo list at one point but it seems to have fallen off accidentally at some point. Completely agree it needs doing. I'm tempted to just give it the same requirements as the Horseman (Iron Working, Riding, Copper or Iron, Elephants instead of Horses) and adjusting its stats to make it similar in power to that unit, just with different strengths/weaknesses/purpose. Suggestions welcomed.
     
  17. Xyth

    Xyth History Rewritten

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    I think they need to be stronger, at least without Professionalism. If they're too strong/weak with Professionalism then I'll adjust the civic. The +1 food it gives is definitely coming off.
     
  18. Xyth

    Xyth History Rewritten

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    Good news! I have successfully hijacked the 'Choose Religions' game option and renamed it 'Fewer Religions'. Selecting it will lower the limit of religions in a game to approximately 2/3 the number of civilizations. Here's a quick rundown of the numbers for the standard mapsizes:

    Duel: 2 civs, 2 religions
    Tiny: 3 civs, 2 religions
    Small: 5 civs, 3 religions
    Standard: 7 civs, 4 religions
    Large: 9 civs, 6 religions
    Huge: 11 civs, 7 religions
    Giant: 13 civs, 8 religions
    Massive: 15 civs, 10 religions

    A full 18 civs would have 12 religions. Let me know if you think these ratios are suitable.
     
  19. Howard Mahler

    Howard Mahler Since Civ 1

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    Sounds good to me.
    Great work.

     
  20. Howard Mahler

    Howard Mahler Since Civ 1

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    I'm in 1440 in a game, in the Renaissance, and looked around to see how many mines and workshops the AIs had per city. For a large sample it was between 0 and 4. The average was a little more than one.

    Granted this is on an Archipeligo map, so the average would be lower due to all of the water. However, I would guess an average of about 2 mines plus workshops per city on a land map. This should give one a first approximation to the effect of unhealth from mines and workshops at this stage of a game.

    Feedback from others appreciated.
     

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