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K-Mod: Far Beyond the Sword

Discussion in 'Civ 4 - K-Mod: Far Beyond the Sword' started by karadoc, Jan 8, 2011.

  1. Leoreth

    Leoreth Prince of Blood Moderator

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    I've recently played another game of K-Mod and noticed some suboptimal AI behavior.

    The situation was as follows: I (Portugal) was at war with the Ottomans at my northern border. The core of my empire to the south had a number of coastal cities, and since my last K-Mod game was already a while ago I foolishly left them mostly undefended. That got me into some trouble when the Zulus (situated on another continent, so I equally foolishly ignored them diplomatically) decided to backstab me and and suddenly had a fleet of Galleons at my borders. So far, so awesome.

    I had nothing but one happiness defender in those threatened cities and really wasn't able to organize much relief besides whipping one additional unit each. Still, Shaka decided to do the following:

    1. Start an amphibious attack with all non-siege units on one of my cities (the least defended one, at least).
    2. After that has failed (I had technological superiority), he disembarked a stack of siege units next to the city.

    I suppose the second is because game rules prevent siege units from amphibious attacks, so it's understandable at least. Still, the decision to immediately start an amphibious attack doesn't seem very smart to me considering the chances to take the city that way were rather low. Landing the units first and attacking the next turn seems like the much better move for several reasons:
    - no amphibious penalty
    - the AI can make use of its siege weapons instead of wasting them
    - I have nearly no means to reinforce during the extra turn they're giving up
    - even if I manage to better defend my cities, I'm in no position to get rid of the stack, so it can potentially pillage my roads/block access for further reinforcements or threaten other cities

    Maybe it's worth a look adjusting the AI weights for outright amphibious attacks? I think it should really only risk them when no siege units are in the fleet or there are decent chances of actually taking the city that way.
     
  2. anarchywrksbest

    anarchywrksbest Deity

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    Hey karadoc - we've been playing Civ4 again for the first time in a while, and the first thing we did was download K-Mod as it makes the experience so much better. Just letting you know, that for a large number of people this is Civ4! Thanks!
     
  3. The_Reckoning

    The_Reckoning Prince

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    Awesome to see this mod still going. Playing some Civ4 today.
     
  4. Danwood

    Danwood Warlord

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    I'm up for multiplayer matches (not necessarly competitive, but more rpg-open ended). Yes, after 10 years nearly, i can't stop playing this game.
     
  5. DarkLunaPhantom

    DarkLunaPhantom Prince Supporter

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    Cities placed by creative leaders during advanced start start with 10 culture, but if they have 1 population they are autorazed on capture even though they have 10+ culture. Cities aren't supposed to be autorazed if they have 10+ culture or 2+ population, am I right?
     
  6. Windsor

    Windsor Flawless

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    There's no rule for culture, only population. If the population never have been 2 or more then the city gets autorazed regardless of culture.

    This is true for base BTS and kmod.
     
  7. Armor (Veteran)

    Armor (Veteran) Warlord

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    I'm fairly new to multiplayer and recently started my first PBEM game, but none of the other players I recruited were really familiar with K-Mod. So it ended up being a more traditional game; plain BTS with 8 players and no AI on the same landmass, with no tech trading or vassals.

    Once that game gets farther along, I was thinking of recruiting players specifically interested in a K-Mod Pitboss game (which I would host) using my preferred (more role-playing/builder) settings. If this sounds like something you'd be interested in, just let me know. If anyone else wants to join as well, feel free to PM me as well. If enough people are interested right now, I'll start a separate discussion thread and start setting up this game sooner than I originally planned :D

    For game settings, I was thinking of something like:
    • Number of players - 8 (4 human and 4 AI), could possibly adjust based on level of interest
    • Map Size - Standard (assuming 8 players/AI)
    • Map Type - Fractal (love the variety/unpredictability)
    • Speed - Normal
    • Sea Level - Medium
    • Era - Ancient
    • Worldwrap - Cylindrical
    • Resources - Standard
    • Difficulty - Prince (open to adjusting depending on human skill levels)
    • Barbs - Raging
    • Leaders/Civ - Random for everyone (among normal restricted leaders)

    Along with the following options enabled:
    • No Technology Brokering (don't want AI trade partners or colonies giving away my techs)
    • No Random Events

    I'd leave all victory conditions on except for Time, but would prefer human players that generally don't go for domination or conquest as their first choice. There would be no strict enforcement of this, as game circumstances (such as a runaway civ) might dictate going down a pure a military path. But in general I'd be looking for players who "war to build" rather than those who "build to war". I have been known to engage in limited warfare to gain territory or slow a rival, though all else being equal I'd rather build up my own civ or target an AI first.

    The human players in the game would be trusted to adhere to a gentlemen's agreement regarding certain game mechanics (that are often turned off in MP but add flavor to the game):
    • Passive espionage only. Can use EP to gain visibility into demographics, research, and cities. Spies can be used to scout. But no tech stealing, revolt-inducing, civics-changing, improvement-destroying, water-poisoning, etc. Of course the AI will not follow this rule, so if you are a victim and can conclusively identify the rogue state behind it, you are allowed to retaliate in whatever manner you see fit, including all the things I listed above.
    • Apostolic Palace will be left in the game for GP and bonus hammers, but whoever controls it shall never propose resolutions, with the exception of stopping wars vs themselves.
    • Every player would be expected to play only for themselves in regards to tech trading. No teaming up and explicitly coordinating research with another human to plan tech trades in advance. Finding out via passive espionage and planning your own research accordingly is fine. Trades should be equitable, though gifting to a backward civ, war bribes, and peace treaty extortion would be OK as well.
    • Exception to above: If a human player becomes a vassal to another, the master can direct the research just he/she could with an AI. However, they would only do so when it would directly benefit them. e.g., they are planning to trade for it, or they are about to start a war and want their vassal to research a key military tech. No forcing them down useless paths or repeatedly switching.

    Speaking of vassals, players will be trusted not to abuse the vassal mechanics and adhere to the several additional guidelines/rules:
    • Players should only capitulate if they genuinely tried and failed to defend themselves (vs another human), and don't see any other way of surviving. After which point, they must vote for their master in the U.N. Diplomatic Victory vote (unless by some miracle they manage to build it themselves), but are otherwise free to play on as a minor power.
    • Peacevassaling would only be allowed when a player is in a war they are certain to lose (to either another human or an AI), and want to throw their lot in with a 3rd (human) civ willing to join the war and defend them (for a steep price). A human player could want to peacevassal due to their opponent not allowing them to capitulate, or just not wanting their aggressor to gain the spoils of war. Peacevassals established in this manner would never be allowed to break away without mutual agreement by both master and vassal, excepting of course if the master is completely eliminated. AI peacevassals would not be bound by this restriction of course, so accepting them would generally be as inadvisable as it normally is.
    • Ideally, the master would gift their vassals surplus resources and older techs to keep them from falling too far behind, and in turn vassals would agree to all *equitable* tech and resource trades proposed by the master.
    • Vassals would make an honest effort in wars they are brought into, even if they have a hidden agenda of trying to gain territory. Masters in turn would actively defend their vassal from attacks unless they were busy fending off attacks in their own homeland.

    The idea behind these would be to give masters reasons to accept vassals, and vassals having some ability to play kingmaker (particularly the peacevassals). It could have the side effect of discouraging offensive wars in general vs the human players. i.e., opportunistically invading a weaker neighbor may result in his forming a de facto alliance with another player, particularly if the aggressor refuses to allow capitulation.

    I went into way more detail than planned on the vassals, though it's probably a good litmus test for whether you'd enjoy this particular game. While K-Mod has improved the AI to make it play a bit more like a human, I'm also interested in mixing in some humans that will agree to play like AIs in some aspects. If you're winning, would you enjoy letting your opponents live on as satellite states? And if you're losing, would you enjoy staying on as a humbled power just to watch the world unfold, and try and find creative ways to influence it?

    Apologies for the long post. As I said earlier, if interested PM me, and I'll start up a separate thread if there's enough interest :)
     
  8. DarkLunaPhantom

    DarkLunaPhantom Prince Supporter

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    There is a situation in simultaneous turns multiplayer games where a player is unable to unpause the game. It happens when a player enters a paused game and faces a trade proposal dialog from another player (maybe only when that another player is also human). The player is then unable to unpause the game for unknown reason and he cannot do anything else because the game is paused. It can only be resolved by having another player unpause it.
     
  9. Elkad

    Elkad Emperor

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    Plako (active here and at RB) has figured out a pause fix.

    Trade screens are suppressed until the game is unpaused. It's been rolled into a couple mods at RB, not sure where the base code is.
     
  10. karadoc

    karadoc AI programmer

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    Do you mean that trade screens should be suppressed until the game is unpaused, to avoid the bug? Or that the bug is caused by it being suspended?

    If someone could find the code for the fix, that would be useful. I'd be happy to incorporate a fix for this in K-Mod, but I don't really have stacks of time to spend on it. So it would be good to have hints on where to look for the problem, or code for the fix before I start looking into it.

    ---

    In other news, I'm thinking of making the following balance changes. Let me know what you think:
    • Lower spy stumble chance during peace-time when not performing missions.
    • Scientific method: +1 science for all specialists; slightly more expensive to research.
    • Lumbermills with Guilds, but +1 commerce only. +1 production with replaceable parts. No bonus from river-side.
    • Higher rate of inflation, based on techs researched world-wide. (As discussed in an earlier post.)
    • Watermills: +1 commerce from start; 1 less from electricity.
    • +1 carry capacity for galley, galleon, transport, and unique sea units which carry military units.
    • Cultural revolts: 3 revolts to flip (instead of 2); length of revolt changed to 1 turn + 1 for each previous revolt; higher base chance of revolt. (Same overall expected number of turns to flip a city; but reduced randomness by making it a bit more predictable when cities will revolt.)

    --

    Also, regarding inflation, currently most of the costs displayed in the game are pre-inflation costs; meaning that the actual gold spent is higher than the numbers being displayed on the screen. Most notably this includes the civic upkeep costs in the civics screen, and the city upkeep costs in the city screen. I'm thinking of changing the display of this information such that all costs include inflation whenever they are displayed - and inflation itself is simply not mentioned anywhere. I think this change would make it easier to understand how much things actually cost, and remove unnecessary complexity and confusion. (Apparently the AI is confused by this as well. I've discovered a few parts of the AI where it bases its decisions on the un-inflated costs rather than the actual costs...)
     
  11. Zholef

    Zholef Warlord

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    Not sure what you want to accomplish with the change to spies. If you want to buff espionage for the player, I'd rather see you lower spy upkeep costs. Another change I'd really love would be for spies never to get caught on hostile tiles that are occupied by friendly units.

    Plus one specialist beaker with SM is a drastic change even for my taste. :eek: It would speed-up the late game as well as make Representation a lot more powerful. Giving +10% research in all cities would have a similar, yet less game changing effect I think.

    As for the change to inflation, I have no idea how that will play out, but I'd advise against moving it completely under the hood. At least an indicator should be left, showing how much of the costs are because of inflation.

    Regarding the other changes, I suppose I've said enough already in this and the K-Mod-Z thread. Anyway, looking forward to the next release!
     
  12. DarkLunaPhantom

    DarkLunaPhantom Prince Supporter

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    Are these balance changes expected to be backwards compatible with savegames from the current version?
     
  13. Strategist83

    Strategist83 King

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    Re-downloading to update to latest version, pleased to learn this is still being worked on. :)

    I noticed a few things in the changelogs that don't sit well with me - for instance, giving Hippodromes back two Artist slots is a huge mistake as the building is already far better than the non-unique version (allowing the Byzantines to basically ignore war weariness, great for IMP/Theocracy/Horse focus Justinian). Not further commenting until I have actually played it, though.
     
  14. TheOnlyDJCat

    TheOnlyDJCat Warlord

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    I'm playing GEM with the 48 civ patch of KMOD the last 6 months [immortal]. In almost all of my ~15 games I'm invaded by fleets with at least 15 galleons. Those attacks are usually incredibly hard to deflect and I'm in doubt, that +1 carry capacity would help there ;)
    I think, the ship AI of K-Mod is good enough to allow the AIs to build dangerous fleets especially with boni from immortal and being Shaka... Humans should be able to slave the missing transport ships fast enough.
     
  15. Leoreth

    Leoreth Prince of Blood Moderator

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    Spies: what exactly would "not performing missions" entail? Isn't an idle spy automatically performing the "accumulate mission cost reduction from waiting" mission? Conversely, isn't everything else a one turn mission that already has its own detection chance? In any case, parking spies in enemy cities to drive down costs should carry some risk, and in my opinion the current risk is appropriate.

    SM: I agree that it's really powerful. Here are some common alternate solutions that could buff it (and I agree it requires a buff):
    - move Observatories from Astronomy to Scientific Method. Astronomy is powerful enough with Galleons and Ocean trade. Astronomy is also close to Education (depending on your strategy of course), so this spreads out research buildings more. From a historical perspective, it makes more sense to represent enlightenment astronomy with its institutionalized observatories than the royal Brahe and Kepler observatories the Astronomy tech seems to allude to.
    - move Free Religion from Liberalism to Scientific Method. Again, from a historical perspective it makes more sense to associate this with an enlightenment tech and the spread of scientific thought made ideas like deism and atheism more popular.

    Lumbermill: I would suggest no inherent commerce, but extra commerce from rivers.

    Carry capacity: why do you think it's needed? The really tedious part of naval invasions is ship speed, imo (I tend to play on large maps). Increasing the speed of all (or all pre-oil) ships by one would help ferry times and make the naval part of the game more dynamic in general.
     
  16. karadoc

    karadoc AI programmer

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    Not completely. The savegames will certainly load and be playable - but there might be some kinks. For example, the inflation cost will be wrong for 1 turn (only for one turn). The yield of plots with altered improvements might be wrong until something changes on the plot (eg, building a new road or discovering a new tech). But most importantly, if discovering Scientific Method gives +1 :science: to specialists, then anyone who has already discovered it before the new version will most likely miss out on that bonus - which would be totally unfair in a game where only some players had discovered Scientific Method.

    All of those compatibility problems are fixable - but it would take a bit of extra work, and I'm not really sure it's worth the time it would take to fix and test them given that it's just a one-time event.

    --

    About spies, I think the easiest way to explain the change I'm talking about is to copy-paste what I put in the change-log:
    Essentially this means that if you're using spies just for visibility in foreign land, they will be caught less often; but if you're using them to actually carry out missions (such as stealing gold or sabotaging buildings), they'll be just as likely to be caught as before.

    The purpose of this change is to be less punishing of "casual espionage". From my point of view, espionage is plenty powerful enough if you focus on it; but if you don't focus on it, then using spies is just a frustrating waste of resources. I sometimes play Civ4 with inexperienced and non-serious players; and I find that those players tend to just ignore espionage completely because whenever they try to use a spy it just gets caught without doing anything. The most 'natural' way to use a spy is to wander around looking at what's happening in foreign land... but without this change, that's pretty much the worst way to use a spy. As I said, I just want the game to be a bit less punishing for that kind of play style, so that players can actually get a chance to consider doing a mission. In terms of winning-and-losing balance, it will have almost no impact; but I think it will make the game marginally more fun.
     
    Orion Pax likes this.
  17. Leoreth

    Leoreth Prince of Blood Moderator

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    That explains a lot, and shows that I don't really understand how the espionage mechanics work (I play without espionage more often than not). Your changes a very reasonable in this context.
     
  18. Mr.M

    Mr.M Chieftain

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    May I suggest adding a wake-at-50%-discount mechanic for spies? Casual players can forget their attacking spies in cities (I know I can) .

    For example, Fuyu created the following code for such a thing at CvUnit::doTurn():

    Spoiler :
    Code:
                    if (isHurt())
    		{
    			doHeal();
    		}
    
    		if (!isCargo())
    		{
    			//Fuyu: Sleep for Espionage - Start
    			bool bAwaken = false;
    			if (isSpy() && (getFortifyTurns() + 1) == GC.getDefineINT("MAX_FORTIFY_TURNS") && canEspionage(plot(), true))
    			{
    				bAwaken = true;
    			}
    			//Sleep for Espionage - End
    
    			changeFortifyTurns(1);
    
    			//Fuyu: Sleep for Espionage - Start
    			if (bAwaken && getGroup()->getActivityType() == ACTIVITY_SLEEP)
    			{
    				getGroup()->setActivityType(ACTIVITY_AWAKE);
    			}
    			//Sleep for Espionage - End
    		}


    Btw, why not consider using <iBuyUnitCostFactor>? I mean, it's there. It's BTS. Just because Firaxis didn't finish it or use it, doesn't mean it's wrong to use it.:)
     
  19. karadoc

    karadoc AI programmer

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    Mr.M. I might add that. You're right that it's easy to forget about fortified spies, and the code you've suggested would help. The main downside to doing that is that it could be mildly annoying for people who are just trying to fortify their spies - but it wouldn't be very frequent anyway.

    Ideally there would be an option to turn it on and off, but adding options like that is actually quite a lot of work. So I'd either implement it just as you've suggested, or not at all.

    --

    Now; as for balance changes and so on; rather than just speculate about what's good and what's not, I'd like some people to try this: http://www.atomicgamer.com/files/109568/k-mod-v1-45-pre-release.

    The new version isn't finalised yet, and I haven't written a proper changelog - but I've attached the git log notes so that you can look through changes if you're interested. (There may be a couple of things that aren't mentioned in the log, because there are things I was testing without adding to git. eg. I think machine-guns have +10% vs mounted in this version.)
     

    Attached Files:

  20. Mr.M

    Mr.M Chieftain

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    Instead of an option on or off, you could make it a simple mission. If hit sleep, then sleep, if mission button, wake at maximum discount.

    Anyway, with the above code the unit only wakes once and if you ignore the 50% discount first call it continues to sleep.
     

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