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Late start scenario development thread

Discussion in 'Rhye's and Fall: Europe' started by merijn_v1, Aug 17, 2015.

  1. merijn_v1

    merijn_v1 Black Belt

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    As you probably noticed, a late start scenario is in development. This thread is to talk about the development of that scenario.

    Currently, the scenario isn't online. When RFCE 1.3 is released, I will upload the test version to the SVN.

    My thoughts on the progress so far/ decisions I made. Feel free to comment.

    Map
    Basic map
    The basic map is ofcourse unchanged. Resources that would spawn before 1200 AD (like 1000 AD rice near Alexandria and Valancia). The cities are connected with roads.

    Most resources in the vicinity of the city are improved, but not connected by road. Many cities have 1-2 preplaced farms in the vicinity. Remote resources are generally untouched.
    My intentions is that some terrain development is done, but the player still has something todo for their workers. I think that the current situation does that pretty good.

    City placement
    I tried to put the most important cities on the map. Many of these cities are the cities normally spawning on the original map, as these are generally the most important cities. Therefore, there isn't a huge difference in general city placement between both scenarios.

    Personally, I'm really pleased with the current setup. I think only some minor changes have to be made. I've been playing with the idea of removing some cities and replace them with an additional settler for that civ. This to create a little more diversity between different games.

    City balance
    This is a hard one and will require a lot of testing to balance them out. A few important aspects.

    City size
    Most cities are sized 5-6. Some cities are bigger and only a few have 10+. I don't know much about the historical sizes of cities compared to others. I only know some obvious ones, like Alexandria being a large city in its time.

    Preplaced buildings
    All cities have some preplaced buildings. Granaries, barracks and similar basic buildings are very common. Basic religious buildings (temple/ monastery) are also quite common. Bigger cities have some additional buildings.

    As most cities already existed for some time, it is quite obvious many cities were already quite developed in 1200AD. However, I don't want to preplace to many buildings because that means you can't build any yourself anymore, which isn't fun. But no buildings would imply that these cities didn't develop over time. We should try to find a nice balance in that.

    Culture
    Most cities have the first cultural expansion. This is to represent a small amount of cultural development and it connects the cultural borders of the cities. Some cities have a bigger amount of culture.

    This is something that needs to be balanced. I think it's not really a bad thing that most cities only have 20 culture (the first cultural expansion). The more developed cities need to have their culture level adjusted.


    In general, cities are less developed as they would have been when you loaded a 500 AD start. I don't think that is an issue though, because I think this gives a more balanced start of the scenario.

    Religions
    Most of the cities have historical religion(s) present. Many cities have temples/monasteries. A few important cities have a cathedral as well.

    Judaism is spread similar as it would in the 500 AD scenario. Judaism is spread to a random city in a certain area. (This to create a little diversity in the games)

    I'm pleased with the current setup. Although I'm not sure if the amount of religious buildings is balanced.

    Wonders
    Wonders that were historically build before 1200 are preplaced in historically accurate cities. (Or the city that is closest to, like Florence is to Pisa for the Leaning Tower.)

    I added some new code settles a random GP in Florence, so the Leaning Tower's effect isn't wasted.


    Units
    Currently, I only placed a single unit in all cities to defend it. My idea is that all cities have some garrison. (1-2 units. Maybe 3 for bigger cities) The capital has a small stack of units.

    All civs start with some workers. I'm undecided about the distribution yet. I think I will go for that the capital will receive a few (about 3) and some other cities receive 1. (The amount of additional cities which have an extra worker depends on the empire size)

    Civs
    All civs spawning prior to 1200 AD are present, except Cordoba and Burgundy. I tried to make there empires historical accurate. I used this and this map as primary maps to base the scenario on.
    There is one big thing that isn't historically accurate. Germany doesn't control Italy. I'm aware that the HRE did historically control Italy, but for balance reasons I decided that the cities in Italy are independent.

    All civs have do start with a certain amount of gold, faith points and stability. The exact numbers need to be balanced ofcourse.

    Some info about civs:
    - Start with LH which is most accurate for 1200 AD.
    - Historical state religion
    - Preset civics (I'm not sure if all are historically accurate)
    - Preknown explored area. Usually (slightly) bigger than the one they have when they spawn in the 500 AD scenario.
    - Contact with nearby civs.
    - Some civs have a relation boost with another civs, while others have the opposite.
    - Some civs have a chance to start at war with another civs, similar to war on spawn.

    UHV
    Most UHV which have an end date in the past are set as accomplished. As it can still be a challenge to get the other UHV. To help, some have a small boost. (Scotland starts with some Attitude points toward France for example)
    I didn't make the scenario so every UHV is still possible. Some are too close to the start of the scenario. The player needs to start with almost all conditions of the UHV met to have a chance. That would ruin the balance and historicity of the map. It would also go against the idea of UHV, as you don't have to do anything but you get anything you need at the start.
    However, some UHV do get a nice twist when they are played from a different start.

    Techs
    Currently, all civs start with the same techs. (The ones that Aragon has on spawn) This needs to be balanced ofcourse.

    Undecided feature
    There an idea I've been playing with in my thoughts, but I don't know if it will work out. That depends how much the inertia rule is affecting the situation. It comes down to this:
    Some civs did own certain areas in 1200 AD, but they lost it soon afterwards. (Almohads in southern Spain for example) It is historic to let them start with those areas controlled. However, due to the inertia rule, they will usually keep them, which is historically inaccurate.
    I would love it if they could start with those areas, but I'm afraid that the development of the game will become unhistorical because of the inertia rule.

    My idea is the following. The civs do start with the areas they are supposed to lose in the next few years. The civs that are supposed to conquer those areas receive additional unit to conquer those areas. However, I don't know how the AI will handle this. I hope they will use these units to conquer those areas. But I don't want them to use those units for something else. (The extra units could make them OP if they are used for something else) The stacks should be big enough that they have a good chance to conquer the cities, but not much more. And I don't want a 100% success rate. I would like it if there is a small chance that the civ which is supposed to lose the area can keep it for some alt-historical scenarios.

    What I will do is implanting this anyway (for now) and run a few tests to see what will come out.

    The "supposed to be conquered" areas are:
    - English presence in France
    - Moroccan presence in southern Iberia

    Similarly, I want to give Venice an additional stack, so they have a shot at conquering Constantinople.
     
  2. Swarbs

    Swarbs Chieftain

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    Decent bit of info here:

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_..._Roman_Empire_to_Modern_Age_0_-_1800.C2.A0A.D.

    Looks like Constantinople should be huge, Palermo, Paris, Seville and Thessaloniki very large, then Kiev, Granada, Milan, Venice, Florence, Koln, Ypres, Cordoba, and Barcelona pretty large and others around 5-6.

    Also there's a mod for Medieval II Total War called the Stainless Steel Historical Improvement Project which has created a very accurate representation of Europe in 1132AD.

    It's obviously a bit before the time you're looking at, but has lots of info on the biggest cities of the time, including those above but also Cairo, Marrakesh and Fes (all approx 150,000), Damascus and Alexandria (approx 50,000), Antioch (approx 40,000); Jerusalem (approx 35,000) and others in the Levant and Africa.

    I've attached one of the map definition files which includes the populations they've used, hope it helps!
     

    Attached Files:

  3. PinkPallin

    PinkPallin Chieftain Supporter

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    Actually is not that much inaccurate.
    Cities in Northern Italy fought against the HRE for several decades, coming to the decisive battle of Legnano in 1177. In 1183 the Peace of Constance stated that Italian municipalities were only formally, not substantially, under the HRE control.
    Frederick II tried unsuccessfully to re-gain control on the region, but his death in 1250 put a final end to the HRE attempts.
    As the Lombard League was an alliance, not a political unity, independent cities are the best choice.

    By he way, it would be nice changing the music for Zena and Venesia: a tarantella for them is like the English anthem for the Scots....
     
  4. gilgames

    gilgames Priest-King

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    i suggest to svn your 1200ad test file, it really need a lot of test. also make sure that manor houses and courthouses gives a proper amount of stability if they are preset. and yes a few civs uhv needs to be adjusted/changed for sure. like kiev, venice ect. also spain will be booring with only portugal to kill.
    otherwise sounds interesting :D
     
  5. merijn_v1

    merijn_v1 Black Belt

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    As said, I will upload it right after the release of version 1.3. (Which is much closer, since a major CTD has been fixed) I want the release to be stable and balanced. This scenario obviously isn't for now.

    I don't think you get my point on UHV. I certainly will NOT change the UHV so they fit the new scenario. While we designed the UHV, we had a specific idea in mind. Changing the UHV so they fit this scenario will go completely against that idea we have in mind.
     
  6. Vectors

    Vectors Chieftain

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    You could always start a branch with SVN
     
  7. merijn_v1

    merijn_v1 Black Belt

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    If I knew how to... :blush:
     
  8. AbsintheRed

    AbsintheRed Chieftain

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    Don't worry, it's not necessary to make a new branch
    I want to release 1.3 in 1-2 weeks, even if we don't find further improvements for the CTDs issues in that time
    Then you can upload the 1200AD scenario right away to the SVN, it can be easily tested and improved separately while 1.4 is under development.
    The main goal is to make it fully enjoyable for that version
     
  9. merijn_v1

    merijn_v1 Black Belt

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    That is what I wanted to do in the first place. So let's do that. ;)
     
  10. Shadow Warlord

    Shadow Warlord Chieftain

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    I have vacation set up for next week. Would love to get a few rounds in if 1.3 gets released in time :)
     
  11. Tigranes

    Tigranes Armenian

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    RFCE++ has pretty decent late scenario. Can it be adopted for vanila RFCE?
     
  12. merijn_v1

    merijn_v1 Black Belt

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    Not really. Because of the differences between RFCE and RFCE++, adjusting the scenario for RFCE will take a lot of time. It's much easier to start from scratch. But we do take inspiration from that scenario, ofcourse.
     
  13. gilgames

    gilgames Priest-King

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    i suggest to ask people to present some game from 1200 and compare them to each other. this will give you an average pic what is done and what not. city places: prefer human placed cities! ...from those saves!
     
  14. merijn_v1

    merijn_v1 Black Belt

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    I disagree. Human placed cities are often stronger indeed. But it's a bad thing if we arrange the cities so they are in the strongest setup. It's better if we have historical cities, even if that means they aren't the strongest city possible.

    It's like rearranging all resources, so they all move into the BFC of existing cities. That's just bad game design.
     
  15. DC123456789

    DC123456789 Chieftain

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    Wouldn't it be better to rearrange resources so that historical cities are preferred, or at least strongly viable?
     
  16. merijn_v1

    merijn_v1 Black Belt

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    That is, more or less, the current situation. The resource distribution around those cities isn't optiomal, but it isn't bad either.

    Do note I'm talking about preplaced cities. I do think they don't need to have an optimal resource arrangement. The cities I placed are often not the best, but still not bad.
    For human settling, I don't mind if people choose optimal city placement over historically important cities.
     
  17. AbsintheRed

    AbsintheRed Chieftain

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    Perhaps it's better if we have this conversation here:
     
  18. merijn_v1

    merijn_v1 Black Belt

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    I considered that as well.

    The most important reason why I chose 1200 AD is the amount of civs spawning after the start. In a 1200 AD scenario, 7 civs start after the start, compared to 4 civs for a 1260 AD scenario. If you spawn after the start of the scenario, you have full control of your initial city placement. Spawning earlier means your "doomed" with the pre-placed cities.

    For a 1260 AD scenario, that would mean you are either doomed with pre-placed cities, or you have to start a 500 AD scenario if you want full control of your initial city placement as Sweden, Prussia or Lithuania. I do consider the reduced waiting time for later civs a very important function of the late start scenario. A 1260 AD scenario would go against that for those 3 civs.

    It would be much easier if the Mongol campaigns are already over. But a 1200 scenario wouldn't be much different from what we are used to in the 500 AD scenario. The Mongols come, the kill Kiev, harass some others and will stop appearing eventually.

    Some other major events that need to be considered:
    - Spanish reconquista. In 1200 AD, the Islamic presence on the Iberian peninsula is still quite big. However in 1260 AD it's almost negligible. To be historical, these cities should be conquered in the first few turns. I do consider these options:
    1. The Islamic cities start under Moroccan control. The Spanish start with an army which is supposed to conquer those cities.
    2. Those cities start as independents.
    3. Those cities start under Spanish control already. (Inertia rule)
    The first option is ofcourse more favorable, but some test games need to be done to see if the AI is able to conquer those cities.

    - English presence in France. Similar to the Spanish situation.

    - 4th Crusade. Options:
    1. Completely ignore it.
    2. Give Venice an army so it has a 50% (?) chance to capture Constantinople.


    1260 would be easier, because some major events are passed. But I think 1200 would fulfill the role as reduced-waiting-time-scenario better.
     
  19. DC123456789

    DC123456789 Chieftain

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    Maybe push it ahead one turn and have it directly after the Fourth Crusade?
     
  20. merijn_v1

    merijn_v1 Black Belt

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    A test version of the 1200 AD scenario is in the SVN. Do note that a lot of things still need to be done and the balance is way off. But I think giving you access to the current version will speed up the development.

    Some things that need some work. (List far from complete)
    Map changes
    I'm quite happy about the city placement and improvement/road distribution. Some things that I think need to be balanced:
    - City sizes
    - Initial buildings. Done. (Maybe some minor adjustments)
    - Initial culture (Most cities have just enough culture for the first expansion, which is fine. Maybe some special cities should get a buff, like Paris/Constantinople)
    - Religion spread (only some minor adjustments required probably, if all)
    - Starting units. All cities have at least 1-2 defenders. Each civs starts with some workers in their capital, depending on their current size. (Some have additional workers in other cities as well, like Arabia in Cairo and England in Dublin) Each civs also has a small stack of units in their capital. Especially the initial stack (how many units/ which units) requires some balancing. The workers/defenders is more or less done.
    - Maybe some cities should start with a settled GP. (Only Florence has a random settled GP from the Leaning Tower)
    - Starting visible area. Done. (maybe some minor adjustments)
    - Starting companies. Can't be done yet.

    Civs
    - Initial civics are more or less done.
    - Techs. Currently, all civs have the techs which Aragon recieves at start, so they have at least something. This still requires a lot of work.
    - Faith Points. I gave each civ a small amount. The the amounts should be balanced yet.
    - Starting gold. Same as FP. They have something, but it needs to be balanced.
    - Starting stability. Not done yet.
    - War on start. Done
    - Diplo bonus/malus. Not done yet.
    - UHV progress. The new setting can provide a different challenge for some civs. Some UHV can be playable and challenging if they recieve a small headstart to compensate for the lost turns. (Think of the Scottish relation UHV) The progress level some some UHV need to be balanced. Do note that not all UHV are supposed to be playable in the new scenario. (Kiev)
    - Dawn of Man texts. The code is done. The texts themselves aren't.

    General
    - Update the civ selection screen (new loading times etc.)
    - Balancing, balancing, balancing
    - Many other things that will be encountered during the development.
     

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