1. We have added a Gift Upgrades feature that allows you to gift an account upgrade to another member, just in time for the holiday season. You can see the gift option when going to the Account Upgrades screen, or on any user profile screen.
    Dismiss Notice

[Idea] Land gatherbots

Discussion in 'Civ4Col - We The People' started by Elirector, Jun 2, 2021.

  1. Elirector

    Elirector Chieftain

    Joined:
    May 21, 2021
    Messages:
    49
    Gender:
    Male
    If we already have fishing and whaling ships, why not having land units, gathering resources from unused resource tiles? Something like trapper expedition, moving to the depth of the forest and returning after few turns with a load of furs or hunters, bringing food after hunting bison/turkey. May be it would be profession for expert hunter/trapper/prospector (panning for gold sand). Of course, it would be less effective compared with organized work in colony
     
  2. raystuttgart

    raystuttgart Civ4Col Modder

    Joined:
    Jan 24, 2011
    Messages:
    7,227
    Gender:
    Male
    Location:
    Stuttgart, Germany
    The main problem is that Professions currently have no "Cargo Space".
    And I do not want to build further "Human Units" - by Carpenters. (It feels unimmersive for me.)

    So once we give / gave Professions "Cargo Space", we can talk about that. :thumbsup:

    Then we can make Professions that fulfill these conditions:
    • Require Equipment to become an "Expedition" (as Profession) for Mining / Hunting / Gathering / Lumberjacking / Live Stock Breeding.
    • Expeditions should only be allowed to gather on Bonus Ressources outside of City Radius. (incl. Native Vilages)
    • Expeditions have Cargo Space to actually also gather the Yields and bring them back.
    • Their Cargo Space must be forbidden to carry anything else than the Yield(s) they gather
    • The Units in the "Expedition" Professions can become Experts (same as normal Professions for the Yields) using LbD
    • Equipping / Buying of such Expeditions / Expeditions with Experts will also be possible in Europe
    • We could also allow Expeditions to build new Improvements outside City Radius (e.g. Mining Camp, Lumberjack Camp, "Cowboy Camp" ...)
    Be aware that this is extremely difficult to teach AI - it would be easy with Units but it is difficult with Professions.
    (Because you need to avoid that it uses those when it should better use the Yields and Experts for other things.)

    -----

    I have an old rough concept for something like that as well ... but never fully thought it through ...
    (I considered it too much impact on performance to suggest it ....)

    I was also not sure if it was a good idea for gameplay ... :dunno:
    It sometimes felt overpowered ...

    Bascially it could e.g. technically have these Types of "Expeditions":
    • Lumberjack Expedition (using according Expert and Improvement) --> Lumber / Valuable Wood
    • Hunters Expedition (using according Expert and Improvement) --> Fur / Food from hunting
    • Trappers Expedition (using according Expert and Improvement) --> Premium Fur from trapping
    • Miners Expedition (using according Expert and Improvement) --> Ore / Salt from mining
    • Prospectors Expedition (using according Expert and Improvement) --> Gold / Silver / Gems from prospecting
    • Stonecutters Expedition (using according Expert and Improvement) --> Stone from stone cutting
    • "Cowboy Expedition" (using according Expert and Improvement) --> Horses / Sheep / Cattle
    Remark:

    I would not do anything considering Plants because it is not immersive.
    (The rest above sounds immersive to me.)

    -----

    @Nightinggale Maybe we dould do some tricks as well here using your InfoArrays to handle performance? :think:

    -----

    Considering gameplay I still need to think about balancing ...

    -----

    Considering effort something like this is massive !!!
    (Especially to teach it AI ...)
     
    Last edited: Jun 2, 2021
    HobyMorgan likes this.
  3. raystuttgart

    raystuttgart Civ4Col Modder

    Joined:
    Jan 24, 2011
    Messages:
    7,227
    Gender:
    Male
    Location:
    Stuttgart, Germany
    Comment to the post above:

    It may sound much easier than it actually is to implement something like that techncially.
    There are several technical challenges in there that first need to be taken to make it possible ...

    Gameplay value is there, I agree.
    But effort and risk are huge ...
     
    Last edited: Jun 2, 2021
  4. Elirector

    Elirector Chieftain

    Joined:
    May 21, 2021
    Messages:
    49
    Gender:
    Male
    I am sure you moders will some day develop WTP engine up to the point it becomes possible :)
     
  5. raystuttgart

    raystuttgart Civ4Col Modder

    Joined:
    Jan 24, 2011
    Messages:
    7,227
    Gender:
    Male
    Location:
    Stuttgart, Germany
    It is possible if we put enough energy and time into it.
    (Probably about 10 weekends of modding for the complete feature as described here.)

    The gameplay part is easy:

    - giving Professions the functionality to carry Cargo
    - ensuring that it looks good in UI (which should be the easiest part)
    - configuring all the Units / Professions / Improvements, ... and ensuring that it is balanced well
    - writing Colopedia entries for all of that including an article for Game Concepts

    The "engine upgrade challenge" is extreme:

    - teaching AI how to use it (it would be 10 times easier to do with Units that are completely limited to "Exepeditions" only)
    - ensuring that we do not destroy performance because Professions and Yields are looped a lot by a lot of DLL functions

    - ensuring that we do not accidently break other features related to Professions (autoplay, testing, debugging, ...)

    -----


    Doing something like that with Units (instead of Professions) - strictly limited to be "Expeditions" - it would be 10 times easier.
    But for gameplay and immersion it would be a very poor solution ....

    -----

    Like always this is all about motivation and skills basically. :dunno:
    Except WTP team there is problably currently nobody else that could implement something like that in Civ4Col ...
     
  6. Nightinggale

    Nightinggale Deity

    Joined:
    Feb 2, 2009
    Messages:
    4,908
    I wrote about an idea like this here.

    That would be the least of the problems. There is code to add cargo slots based on promotions. Copy past that to professions and done. It's a get function in CvProfessionInfo and one line in processProfession.

    That's my main concern. Should every single unit scan the entire map each time it tries to figure out which profession to use. It needs some creative thinking, like CvArea caching bonus locations. The code for fishing boats is not particularly fast as it is. I did improve it during the RaR days to make the entire AI 1% faster, but it's still kind of slow and that's mainly to let units figure out that they can't become fishing boats.

    For game balance, I have considered making it only available in plots you own. That might also contain a key to boosted performance as it shouldn't be that difficult to cache a list of bonuses, which are owned by you, but also not too close to one of your colonies. Looping such a list seems more realistic from a performance point of view, though I suppose such a list could be made for the entire area if needed.
     
  7. XSamatan

    XSamatan Warlord

    Joined:
    Sep 4, 2013
    Messages:
    102
    I disagree with you here, ray.

    We already have fishing- and whaling boats as units, so having land based expeditions also as units would stay within this concept.

    A possible middle-ground could be to have an expert required to build such an expedition unit (so for a fur-expedition show up as construction option you would need a hunter (and perhaps a fur trader hut) available in the city).
    Using units instead of experts would also solve the question of combat strength of those expeditions. Regarding to immersion, an expedition to gather gold would probably not venture out in the wilderness without protection.

    Disregarding what the team does with this concept, it is a very neat idea that has a large potential to populate the map outside player borders (like monasteries already do :) )

    Regards
    XSamatan
     
  8. Elirector

    Elirector Chieftain

    Joined:
    May 21, 2021
    Messages:
    49
    Gender:
    Male
    It reminds me. My first idea was adding the ability to generate rum, wine or beer to monasteries built on corresponding resources inside colony range (with missioners being experts, of course :) ) but I don't think it fits well with current game flow, even though it is historically accurate.
     
  9. Vaulter

    Vaulter Chieftain

    Joined:
    Jan 14, 2020
    Messages:
    13
    Gender:
    Male
    I'm torn on this. Units, or maybe even just a "one-size fits all" unit, sounds much easier to work with than professions. Personally however, I would love an expedition profession to give my overflow immigrants something to do instead of just standing idle in my cities. I think this will also give added notoriety to wild animals as they will attack your expeditions. Whatever is decided will be a boon to this already great mod.
     
  10. raystuttgart

    raystuttgart Civ4Col Modder

    Joined:
    Jan 24, 2011
    Messages:
    7,227
    Gender:
    Male
    Location:
    Stuttgart, Germany
    Sorry, almost forgot about that one. :thumbsup:

    Did not remember you were also talking about "Gather Professions". (Because anything else is a poor solution for me.)
    Just remembered that you were talking about "Transforming "Gather Units" into Generic Code".

    Of course not. :thumbsup:

    Did we not just discuss that just yesterday ? :think:

    That is something for a deep core programmer like you. :dunno:
    I could implement the game logic of feature itself but not to make it performant enough ...:blush:

    -----

    Actually I get a great idea now !!!
    We can combine this with Forts and Missions !!!
    It would solve several issues !!!
    1. The feature will not be overpowered !
    2. It will become much easier to teach AI !
    3. The feature will not be too heavy on performance !
    4. Forts and Missions will become more valuable !
    5. To prevent gameplay issue: Directly in City Radius the "Expedition Professions" will not be allowed to harvest

    @Nightinggale:

    Great idea actually ! We seem to have a really working concept for this.
    All conceptual issues and technical issues seem to be solved !

    What do you think? :think:
    Will I get a new toy to play with? :mischief:
     
  11. ConjurerDragon

    ConjurerDragon Prince Supporter

    Joined:
    Dec 13, 2012
    Messages:
    550
    Gender:
    Male
    Location:
    Rhineland-Palatinate
    Why does the unit has to have the cargo space itself?
    Or in other words - how the hell would a Miner carry say 300 units of Iron Ore on his back to the next town. In a bag of holding?

    The normal way is to use units within a city on city squares - if one wants to use bonus resources outside cities one can build another city that has that bonus resource in range (usually works with the 2plot-cityrange).

    "Free Mining" outside cities is far more advantageous than it should be - a miner in a city does eat food.
    A miner sitting on an iron ore bonus resource would not?
    A miner in a city has all the facilities available that someone would need - doctors for health, infrastructure (e.g. a MINE built on top of a bonus resource), wells, prost ähm prospectors etc.
    A miner sitting on a gold resource is all alone.Should then pioneers be allowed to build terrain improvements outside citysquares so that he could get a mine?

    IMO a miner should not be able to carry anything but his mining equipment - if the general concensus would be that it makes sense that he mines a bonus resource outside a city, then have him pile the ore on a heap and wait for a dedicated transport to carry it to the cities. Or require a transport to be parked on top of the mine so that he actually starts digging (similarily as a Jesuit needs a mission under him or a fort needs a unit in it to do anything).
     
  12. Nightinggale

    Nightinggale Deity

    Joined:
    Feb 2, 2009
    Messages:
    4,908
    I'm not sure I ever specified such details as professions.

    Doing what? Improvements should unlock gathering resources? I suppose that's doable, either as a bool or an InfoArray of what it can gather. One issue though: that won't work on peaks and honestly a hard/impossible to reach gold bonus is likely the main goal of this feature.

    Good point. This gives me another idea. Medieval Conquest has the ability to set the home city of a unit. We can do the same and add the rule that if it has a home city, it can't move more than X plots away from it. Units then eat at the home city.

    Range for this could be set in CivEffects. The default in the default (hence xml value, which can be changed) and anything providing CivEffects can increase the range.
     
  13. raystuttgart

    raystuttgart Civ4Col Modder

    Joined:
    Jan 24, 2011
    Messages:
    7,227
    Gender:
    Male
    Location:
    Stuttgart, Germany
    Just considering gameplay - not technically. :)
    (I think in "game concepts" and feature dependencies when I discuss such stuff.)

    It is simple actually:
    1. Building Forts and Missions --> Creates Culture and owned Territory (potentially outside of City Radius)
    2. Culture and Territory (outside of City Radius) --> may have Bonus Ressources (out of reach of normal Professions)
    3. Bonus Ressources + owned Territory (outside of City Radius)--> allows "Expeditions" to gather Ressources

    ---> BINGO !
    ---> Feature chain from "Forts and Missions" to "Expeditions" closed !
    ---> AI concept follows the same chain and simply uses XML rules with "InfoArrays" in ProfessionInfos.xml !
    ---> Performance concept already there, because using XML rules with "InfoArrays" in ProfessionInfos.xml !
    ---> Complete gameplay concept and complete technical concept done !
    ---> Mission successful ! :high5:

    ----

    Let us please simplfiy this at least a bit - the concept above is already effort enough !

    For simplifcation:
    • The "Expeditions" will also require Food to be equipped (appart from other Yields like e.g. Tools and Lumber.)
    • And again, they will be allowed to build themselves the appropriate Improvement - basically like a "Camp" (so immersion is not that bad.)
    • Currently a Pioneer also does not need any constant Food supply from the City either ...
    ----

    I swear, if we make the concept any more complicated as already outlined, I will scream, run away and let somebody else implement all the gameplay and AI ... :aargh:

    Constant food supply from the City is really not needed for now.
    That is basically a completely different feature in itself you want to pack on top of this already really difficult feature for gameplay and AI.
     
    Last edited: Jun 2, 2021
  14. ConjurerDragon

    ConjurerDragon Prince Supporter

    Joined:
    Dec 13, 2012
    Messages:
    550
    Gender:
    Male
    Location:
    Rhineland-Palatinate
    I only now noticed that the threads title is "land gatherbots" - I read the whole time "land gatherboats" and had to think of
    the ugly boats drawn over land from this movie... :rolleyes:
     
    nci likes this.
  15. raystuttgart

    raystuttgart Civ4Col Modder

    Joined:
    Jan 24, 2011
    Messages:
    7,227
    Gender:
    Male
    Location:
    Stuttgart, Germany
    Conceptually it is simply a Profession that will get equipped (by a Colonist) similar to a Pioneer ...
    Thus basically a Human Unit that will get a Cargo Slots.
    (And it will be allowed to build an Improvement according to its specialization and to gather some Yields.)

    It will definitely not be some ugly unimmersively (mechanical) Unit built by a Carpenter...
    I will not create such sh*** poor features - rather I create no feature at all.
     
  16. Vaulter

    Vaulter Chieftain

    Joined:
    Jan 14, 2020
    Messages:
    13
    Gender:
    Male
    I was going to bring this up as well.. When my expansion is lagging behind, I sometimes have a large number of idle colonists just standing outside of my colonies, not eating. I understand that expeditions could create an imbalance of free resources without the food upkeep, but I also know you guys eventually want to implement an upkeep system to prevent snowballing and such. I feel like that could balance it out, as I feel scouts/pioneers/etc should cost upkeep to some degree as well. Sorry, from what I've read you don't like hijacking threads with other ideas, I just thought it might be a nice counter-balance in the future if that does end up being implemented.
     
  17. nci

    nci Chieftain

    Joined:
    Apr 7, 2016
    Messages:
    92
    (offtopic) Thank you very much for reminding me of this movie!
     
  18. CurtnoAnna

    CurtnoAnna Chieftain

    Joined:
    Jan 18, 2013
    Messages:
    56
    Gender:
    Male
    Location:
    Winnipeg
    There was a mod for Civilization 5 or 6 that had this idea. You could mine minerals outside your area of control. It wasn't a bad idea. In WTP I end up building another settlement just to get silver and I guess that is realistic and would have been done back then.
     
    ConjurerDragon likes this.
  19. Nightinggale

    Nightinggale Deity

    Joined:
    Feb 2, 2009
    Messages:
    4,908
    That should always be the better option. This is mainly for reaching bonuses you can't reach otherwise, like natives in the way, colonies built with "unreachable" plots between them, gold/silver on peaks surrounded by peaks or similar. Having a colony mine will make sure there is a constant production (no breaks from moving back to a colony), but also the colony can provide production modifiers.
     
  20. Tugboatspotter

    Tugboatspotter Warlord

    Joined:
    Dec 19, 2019
    Messages:
    278
    In my opinion this is not a good idea, and would just be more feature creep.

    There is no problem that needs solving - we can already send a settler and a miner.
     
    Mr. ZorG likes this.

Share This Page