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Is there a mod that fixes the food turning into people problem?

Discussion in 'Civ4 - General Discussions' started by TruePurple, Jan 8, 2019.

  1. Windsor

    Windsor Flawless

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    I don't agree. "Spamming" to me means something you do mindlessly. Civ4 certainly does not encourage that. What it does is encourage you to eXpand and it's a key skill in the game to do so. There's really no artificial limit. If the land is decent, a city will always be profitable.

    And I 100% believe that claiming more land should be encouraged.
     
  2. TruePurple

    TruePurple Civ wanna B

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    Fine, it's not spam. But it rushing to produce cities. Do you agree that its better to fill the area with cities up to the inefficient general break point rather than wait and decide? If you like that way of playing, fine. But possibly another way be even more fun.

    Right now there is no decision as to whether to expand if your city count is below a certain amount. You just do ASAP deciding the best spot available to you at the moment. Diversity of options and making difficult decisions makes a game more fun for me. If your population grows organically, the decision to expand won't always be so clear cut. Like you could expand and claim that iron tile. But your techs growing slowly, making that library will be difficult as it is, if you split off part of your city, production will be even slower and then you'll have a new library to make too. Since with organic growth, you won't have that speedy population recovery. So you'll have two cities both working at half speed and not able to share the structures of a single town. That's diversity of options and difficult choices for more fun.

    Yes, you're right, my idea changes a base mechanic of the game which may have far reaching game play effects that interact with systems meant for a food=people system. I would hope Civ7 or Civ8 would simply just use such an idea, would be based in such mechanics. But that's counting on way too many unknowns. Again I would point out a mod making population grow organically (and many other things) is already under development for Civ6. And Civ6 is just as based on food into people as Civ4 from what I've heard.

    But maybe if we just tweak and think simply, it wouldn't be so hard to implement as you might think. Whether it could be made to work after such tweaking, how it would play with the base game being so different, the only way to know is to try it out and see. Let's start with the most basic of components of this, the rest can be worked out from the base.

    Is it possible to make city population count grow as a percentage and you to get a population head (which would work normally for working tiles or becoming specialists and for consuming food) for each set number of people in that city? And disabling growth by food build up? How difficult would that be to mod for Civ4?
     
  3. elmurcis

    elmurcis Chieftain

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    Not sure if thats it but I could see approach where food is just to provide growth but not like "growth by itself". Like "if we have enough food, enough *clean* water and housing, we grow by 2% (example) each year. Any boosting factor increase (resources, infrastructure, technologies etc.), any negative factor decreases (diseases, overpopulation (if not enough "housing") bad infrastructure (like city with no roads isn't able to support it so easily etc) .. also soldiers are real people from society - mostly men - so if army (that consists of actual people from cities) lose many people in battle - that also can be like limiting growth factor etc.) If by some reason cuts food supply (some agriculture disaster year) - people die and (if possible) goes away to other nations (migration because of local issues).
    One funny thing that comes in mind with this way of things - today most educated people with best medicine and best life quality have lowest natural growth % (many countries even negative if don't take migration and migration related birth).
     
  4. Windsor

    Windsor Flawless

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    I agree that there is a rush to produce cities, but I don't think there's an "inefficient general break point". And I do believe there are many interesting decisions whether to expand or improve (like settler vs library or settler vs worker). The calculations also changes based on the quality of the land. Claiming plains and jungle is less attractive and you might choose to let the AI settle it. So there's really never a question if a new city would be a good thing or not, but there is a question if a new city is the best move. I don't want it like Civ5 where you frequently simply don't want more cities.

    I think Civ4 nails early expansion pretty well. My main gripe is that the AI should be more willing to attack if you leave cities undefended. Currently you really only balance expansion with economy. Military should be a larger part of the equation.
     
  5. rah

    rah Warlord Supporter

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    K-mod resolves that issue :lol: But the changes causes other balance issues.
    But again it comes down to, do you want it organic. My thoughts would be, fine the way it is. ;)
     
  6. Bibor

    Bibor Doomsday Machine

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    @TruePurple Everything you say and suggest has indeed in some shape or form crossed my mind a decade ago, not because I was being a smartass or angry at Civ 4 developers, but because my mind was racing about on how I could improve on this awesome game. When discussing a game mechanic like this, bear three things in mind:
    1) Civ evolved to food and slavery to what it is in Civ 4. Apparently this was lost on Creators of Civ 5 and 6.
    2) Food distribution and overall impact of it vary greatly between world sizes.
    3) It's pretty clear devs had several ideas how to do this, and agreed on what it is in Civ 4 is the best.

    The evoultion of food, slavery and pop migration in Civ games
    Civ already had some variations on theme on how food (re)distribution worked. Many concepts were pioneered in SMAC.
    For example, in one civ (I think it was civ 1 or 2) a settler costed 2 food per turn to maintain while active and could've been "merged" into a city for pop growth.
    In SMAC, you could terraform the land so well you could have a perfect food city, you could build crawlers that could ship energy, minerals and nutrients (food equivalent in SMAC) to other cities.

    If we look closely at how slavery works in real life, it's pretty much like this: you capture a settlement, kill all the fighters, enslave the rest. Depending on how well you can do this, a portion of the population is now portable, perishable goods that can fetch a price and work to death someplace else. In civ terms, you'd sack a city and bring back settlers or workers to "merge" with your other cities "to work the fields". I think you can already imagine how this would feed even more into a snowball in Civ4 mechanics. Civ:Col fine tuned this because you got "intendured servants" (Basically white slaves) and "native converts" (native slaves) that have different yields from "specialist citizens" like master carpenters. This is a fine idea, but it would be too complex for a game with such large maps as civ4, especially for multiplayer. Simply too much micro, even for a civ game.

    So what Soren did instead was to keep the same mechanic of "true slavery" that I described before, but restricted it to player's own cities, as well as contain it within the city (no pop migration). Might not be as realistic (you're doing to yourself what you'd be in reality doing to others), but the mechanics are the same. It balances out well the snowball effect that slavery had IRL with the game mechanics of a game that's supposed to be fun and played in multiplayer.

    Food
    If you play on extra large maps (especially on lower difficulties), you'll notice how food can play a very important role in various city sizes across your empire. Some cities will truly be very small cities on the borders of your empire, maybe pop 1 or 2, perhaps only connecting a fur, for example.
    The reason why you see so much food around is two-fold, first, smaller maps have resources condensed more, second, players tend to regenerate maps for starts they can be bothered to play. If you start with a plains hill sheep bordering the tundra, you won't be doing all those "double wet corn whips" we are so fond of. You probably won't be doing any whipping and your cities will barely grow.
    The truth of the matter is, we don't feel it now in 2019, but food yield of the land does matter. If not for Egyptian wheat, there would be no Rome. Perhaps population wasn't as high 2000 years ago, but the differences in population per square mile were just as drastic, if not more.
    This is represented in-game with wet corn (the highest yield food apart from fish, which has its own restrictions), which has a yield of 6. But Biology (or floodplains) puts every farm at a yield of 4. If you don't start on a continent with pigs and corn, but rather with wheat, sheep and rice, the differences between a farmed rice and a farmed floodplain are almost negligible.
    What I'm trying to say is, in Civ4 there will always be areas of the map that will be richer in food and poorer in food. It took us (players) time to realize we can't just dotmap cities into a perfect grid, we needed to actively seek out food sources if we wanted our cities to be effective.

    Would randomizing food distribution fix the issue of whipping and city growth?
    In one word, no. For the same reason you wouldn't want to have traffic signs that change every hour. If you want to have a complex system that works, on its lowest level you need to have consistent pathways to consistent results. Tile yields are the lowest level language the whole game is built upon. By the same logic you apply, why every tank costs 180 hammers? Wouldn't it be more realistic to have it cost between 150 and 220 hammers? Would it be better if if would cost 5% less with barracks, 10% more with camo paint, 30% less in a city with steelworks, extra 50 hammers if overengineering it like Germans? You'd say "wow, wouldn't it just be easier to have it dependably cost 180 hammers?" They tried it with SMAC unit workshop - didn't work really well.
    Civ6 kinda does this with districts (removes the lowest level language and replaces it with pink elephants), but it works only because the map is actually really small. If civ4 is a city simulator, Civ6 is a neighborhood simulator.
     
    Last edited: Jan 10, 2019 at 3:41 PM
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  7. TruePurple

    TruePurple Civ wanna B

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    If I argued both sides of this, that would be a waste of time and energy. I'm not sure if any of the "it's more realistic as it is" persons are also arguing "its best fun mechanic wise the way it is." But even if not, I won't discuss both sides like that. I will admit the most important part of the game is fun. So let's focus on the game play. And Bibor, you really take beating that strawman to the next level when you talk about various costs of units with camo paint and stuff. FYI SMAC custom unit building was real fun, and no it wasn't nearly that granular as you make it out to be. With "Would randomizing food distribution fix the issue of whipping and city growth?" you completely go off on a tangent. Why are you discussing such irrelevant to the topic stuff here?

    Is it possible to make city population count grow as a percentage and you to get a population head (which would work normally for working tiles or becoming specialists and for consuming food) for each set number of people in that city? And disabling growth by food build up? How difficult would that be to mod for Civ4?

    Let's focus on making the mod first, or if its reasonably possible to do, then the whole "will it be fun or not" will show itself if and when the mod is made and refined enough.
     
    Last edited: Jan 10, 2019 at 9:55 PM
  8. Bibor

    Bibor Doomsday Machine

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    I'm sorry if I'm discussing your original post in this thread :)
     
  9. TruePurple

    TruePurple Civ wanna B

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    No, please do discuss the OP and my related replies, that is all I ask.
     
    Last edited: Jan 11, 2019 at 12:46 PM
  10. Fippy

    Fippy Micro Junkie Queen

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    You are way too aggressive with which kind of reply you want,
    considering you posted this in the wrong forum part ;)
     
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  11. TruePurple

    TruePurple Civ wanna B

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    Fippy, I am not sure it is asking too much for people to not be wildly off topic. Maybe you can tell me how'd you feel if you made a topic and others started talking about their own thing like that was the topic instead. I wouldn't mind so much if people also talked about the issue.
     
  12. lymond

    lymond Rise Up! (Phoenix Style!) Hall of Fame Staff

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    @TruePurple In the spirit of congeniality, this is a casual and friendly forum, not a classroom or business meeting. Most folks take this game seriously, and what I mean by that is we love to talk about the game, and really enjoy when new interesting topics are brought up like the one you mention. However, like others here, I was immediately turned-off by your attitude towards others and lost interest in the thread. There is no excuse for your aggressive nature toward others that are trying to have a friendly discourse with you. Furthermore, I don't find the things that other folks here were discussing were completely off topic, since the mechanics of growth and population are so much tied to other things like slavery and your initial OP did not offer any solutions (not a complaint just an observation). So I take it as folks responding to - as someone who has frequented these forums and played the game regularly for well over 10 year - what I consider a rather unique idea. Haven't really seen anyone question the mechanic of population growth and food like before. So, folks I think are trying to come to terms intellectually/mentally based on what they have been used to so many years - in other words basically working it out on their own as they absorb this new idea.

    So I recommend more patience, and certainly a nicer approach toward the other members here trying to entertain your knew idea. A nice comment to request staying on topic might be warranted sometimes, but usually best to just ignore things you don't want to hear and let the discussion evolve organically by further elaborating on your ideas. Folks will come around.

    Otherwise, you really are not going to get very far here if looking for collaboration if you continue with the attitude you have at present. It just does not work.
     
  13. TruePurple

    TruePurple Civ wanna B

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    I did offer a solution, though there are many approaches so I left it relatively open ended. Besides I need to know what options are possible in the first place, a inquiry still left unanswered.

    Is it possible to make city population count grow as a percentage and you to get a population head (which would work normally for working tiles or becoming specialists and for consuming food) for each set number of people in that city? And disabling growth by food build up? How difficult would that be to mod for Civ4?
     
  14. Xyth

    Xyth History Rewritten

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    It's probably possible but it would be very difficult and time consuming. It's not enough to just rewrite the mechanics, you also have to rewrite the AI to understand them effectively.
     
  15. Swordnboard

    Swordnboard Chieftain

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    I don't really play mods that often, so unsure if anything exists that satisfies what you are looking for (the ones others have mentioned are definitely worth a try, though).

    At the same time, I don't think the changes you are suggesting would be too difficult to implement in a vacuum, since growth-by-food is likely just a few functions which are invoked at the end of each turn, and a growth-by-people function could be written and inserted there instead. Cities already encode a number of people (currently tied to the population head number, but could increase organically instead). One concern is that this change would really diminish the value of food and require a lot of work and creativity to rebalance food resources, specialists, happy/health, slavery, etc. and create a fulfilling product. So you are more likely to find a mod that is a complete overhaul of the game with widespread changes rather than one which feels roughly like the base game with a few changes along these lines.

    Finally, some thoughts on the historical realism of food->population, setting aside gameplay for the most part:
    On normal speed/ancient era, a single turn lasts 40 years, which could easily span 1.5-2 generations. To my understanding, it would be commonplace for farming families to have 5 or more children, even considering those who died in infancy or before adulthood. Yet priests, scribes, merchants, etc. (i.e. specialists), or single men occupied with warfare, mining remote areas, etc (i.e. tiles that don't produce food) would contribute significantly less to the birth rate. So the food tiles in civilization might represent not only the food necessary to sustain a larger population, but also the desire for children necessary for growth. As time stretches on towards the modern world and cities grow larger and less agrarian, children can actually become a financial burden so it makes sense that cities could be harder to grow after a point.
    Also, population heads represent a rapidly increasing number of people, and as long as you work additional food tiles it can actually get easier to grow as the city gets larger, there is a little bit of a notion of natural/exponential growth, even though most people don't play this way.

    Not a bulletproof theory by any stretch, but I don't think civ4's handling of population is ridiculous, and the convincing gameplay has kept me hooked for many years so I can't complain too much. Hope you find some mods with new takes on growth!
     
  16. TruePurple

    TruePurple Civ wanna B

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    Of course that would just be the first step, a very important step but not the only one. Scripts of events of crop failure, disease, locusts, and drought etc (some of these vents can be curtailed with the right technology and or structure) that would hit an area and general lesser availability of food combined with much more severe consequences if there isn't enough food for a city. Also food will spoil, especially early on, food will last longer with things like graineries and meat smoking/drying racks. Salting and pickling will help too, but require access to Salt special resource.(great bonus to commerce on salt resource spots as Salt was used as a form of currency sometimes. Maybe most commonly found on desert tiles)

    Xyth makes a good point though, I wonder how hard it would be to make the AI properly use the new system
     
    Last edited: Jan 11, 2019 at 10:04 PM
  17. TruePurple

    TruePurple Civ wanna B

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    Here's some rough ideas, please feel free to contribute more if you got them.

    So when food spoils, it reduces your food supply to a minimal amount depending on the spoilage factor. So for example, if you have spoilage 5 event, if your food supplies are above 5, they are reduced to 5. if already 5 or below, no effect. This would be a reason to make new cities as each city would have its own number. Food just regularly spoils depending on your tech level, ever so many turns. But special events can hurt or help (mostly hurt)

    Add to the animal list, deer, boars, buffalo or wildebeest, Elephant (remove ivory resource) New unit, hunter. Hunters have a 100% bonus against non-human animals and can move 2. Scouts have vision 2 by default but bonus against animals reduced by 50%. When a animal is killed, you get food for a nearby village, including carnivores, like chopping wood for production. Deer are mostly harmless and easy to kill, but move fast. Boars and Elephants will fight back good, but will typically not target players. All three are spawned by jungle but forest doesn't spawn Elephants, only jungle. Elephants give a one time gold reward when killed, for their tusks, AKA ivory. Bufalo/wildebeest spawn on grassland. If these herbivores move onto city tiles, they reduce the amount of food that tile produces. Bears will also reduce food production (omnivores) of a tile they are on and may damage improvement. Bears are much less likely to attack the player but still a chance. Carnivore animals may attack herbivore animals (and may lose)

    Events that can happen can include, herds. Suddenly a lot of one animal have appeared, and they are on the move.(more likely to happen with herbivores but can happen with carnivores too, except bears, maybe with bears alot appear but spread out) Chance of these events depends on how much of the tile type that spawns them are nearby the spot where the event occurs.

    New unit, Gatherers. Workers that can be sent out to gather food from a tile outside the city. Gathers still need to eat, are still part of the population. But if you are lucky a gatherer may get a bit more food than is necessary to feed themselves and no production or commerce. So rather a last resort. But special events can make them more useful. Like a forest could have a surge of berries or fruit to pick, if not within your fat X city area, a gatherer could go and get alot of food from such events (spaces get harvested and go away) Herbivores can gather the resource too, (and nearby ones will be attracted to the space) so make sure to beat them to it and/or hunt them.

    Both hunters/animal kills and gatherers have a certain range of effectiveness from any nearby city. The farther away they are from the range, the more food is wasted/lost. Tile improvements like hunting lodges can aid in reducing wasted food.
     
    Last edited: Jan 12, 2019 at 10:44 AM
  18. Bibor

    Bibor Doomsday Machine

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    So I thought about this natural growth thing. I'm still not sure it would add anything to gameplay, but here goes. All suggestions work with mechanics already in the game and can work together or individually.

    Option #1: Events. This game is not really big on randomness. Most of it can be turned off. There are already events in the game that deal with population growth & slavery. If you want randomness, you could just increase the MTTH (Mean Time to Happen; I think it's called "weight" in Civ 4 script) for these, and modify their text, or simply add new ones with desired effect and MTTH. I'm pretty sure this is so easy to implement almost anyone could do it with little coding knowledge.

    Option #2: Modify terrain bonuses and penalties. These are already a thing in the game, so again, this would require close to no coding and would add static caps on how fast you can grow. You'd basically lower the base health for each difficulty level by 2-4 (or even more) for new cities, but terrain types like hills or coasts could add base health. Or for example building a city on a hill would provide +2 health, so along with being on a river, it would negate the new penalty, but would make your city placement even harder.

    Option #3: Lower base health, but make health buildings add more health. For example aqueduct could provide a base of +4 health, instead of +2, so you'd be incentivized to build it.

    Option #4: Raise the whipping cap. Basically increases the required pop for whipping. Say you need to be pop 10 to whip 2 pop off, that means you can sack 20% of your population instead of like 50%. It would make slavery more similar to draft.

    Option #5: Even out food all food bonus terrain to yield to provide +1:food: base, +2:food: when improved.
     
  19. TruePurple

    TruePurple Civ wanna B

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    Bibor, what does any of this has to do with organic growth? (AKA not food into people but percentage growth) If you aren't sure they will add to gameplay, and they have nothing to do with the topic, why are you listing these "option"s? I'm not saying your suggestions are good or bad just asking why you're making them if you yourself don't believe in them and they got nothing to do with the topic.

    One more suggestion, to my ideas as no one else has added anything yet (please do) Is that irrigation prevents low end drought events from reducing your food rather than raise the food amount from that land. That one I'm really not sure on, would probably need some testing. But excess food should't be too much of an issue with the spoilage effect as long as it isn't too easy to get consistent food early on where food becomes partially irrelevant since it isn't turning into people, a good concern made by Swordnboard.
     
    Last edited: Jan 13, 2019 at 5:33 PM
  20. Bibor

    Bibor Doomsday Machine

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    No such thing as "organic growth": it's either fully random or it isn't. If there are modifiers, this game is known for its transparency on how mechanics work, so I'm offering solutions in line with that.
     

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