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Malakim Desert Mechanics

Discussion in 'Civ4 - Fall from Heaven' started by ophite, Oct 18, 2007.

  1. fuzzy_bunnies

    fuzzy_bunnies Prince

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    Well, the random killing units isn't while you're walking, it would be if you begin the turn with a unit standing on desert that's not next to water. Even this you can counter simply by bringing an adept with you and changing the terrain to plains wherever you stop.

    The plus side is that it would also make the heat resist promotions from mutation more valuable too since it could make the unit immune to desert effects.

    The main idea is to make desert travel dangerous for non Malakim units while still allowing for mechanics to get around it. I dunno about you, but a 10% damage per turn is nothing I'm particularly afraid of because of all the healing promotions you mentioned.

    Thematically the insta-death also makes sense. If you say each turn is a month (it could be as long as a year) and you've got a guy wearing heavy metal armor stomping around the desert, there's no way they would survive without a LOT of supplies and/or help. I guess if the damage were higher, it would work in much the same way as insta-death

    Using Kael's triple-f:

    Function: Is it balanced? It gives civs that are supposed to live in the desert an actual reason to stay in the desert and a serious edge in their homeland. This helps to balance out innate negatives from living in these adverse terrains.

    Flavor: Is this intuitive? Certain terrains simply are more dangerous than other terrains. There are many stories of armies pursuing their retreating enemies into hostile terrain only to have to retreat themselves or of armies venturing into hostile territory where their lack of familiarity leads to defeat. (See Napoleon's Retreat ).

    Thematically, healing in the game is healing from wounds. In general you assume that your units are fully supplied, probably by foraging. In the desert, your units may not necessarily be wounded but will find it extremely hard to survive by "living off the land". There's not much healing can do for that and any damage mechanic would be countered by bringing a priest or two with you.

    Fun: It allows for another layer of strategy/risk and strategy/risk = fun, right? Just as you would twink twice about assaulting a treant fortified on an ancient forest hill, you should prepare your units before assaulting an enemy in their hostile homeland. It also makes heat resistant units or units mutated with heat resist more valuable. You're in the middle of the desert and your adept gets assassinated? Gotta try and decide if you want to risk pressing on and taking shelter in a newly conquered city or retreat for reinforcements.

    I guess if insta-death is absolutely vetoed, something like a "heatstroke" promotion that does 30% damage per turn up to 90% would be close enough but also allow you to retreat safely if you're not being actively attacked (or allow a heat resistant hero to defend a stack of hurt units). In this case, the winterborn promotion would also be a penalty in the desert since 20% extra heat damage would equal 110% max damage in the desert AKA death from heatstroke.

    Woo... this ended up being more wordy than I thought ;)
     
  2. Jules.lt

    Jules.lt Prince

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    What about simply having the Malakim make the most of good desert stuff?
    If you give them an innate +2F to flood plains and oases, the Malakim player will be happy to be around desert, since that allows for plenty of specialists and villagers working non-food desert hills. And he won't be working the basic desert tiles, since that doesn't make sense.

    The damage to non-Malakim units wandering around in deserts should be good enough to persuade you not to terraform, if dangerous enough.
    You don't want the desert to spread automatically, though. That's what the sun mana in their palace is here for :p
     
  3. deadliver

    deadliver Loud Mouth Amateur

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    I think the idea of lethal desert terrain blows. The reason the deserts are dangerous is because there should be Malakim running around with their +20% str bonus and double move.
     
  4. fuzzy_bunnies

    fuzzy_bunnies Prince

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    Yes, except they're starving and there's no incentive not to change everything to plains :p
     
  5. deadliver

    deadliver Loud Mouth Amateur

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    Okay so they would keep the lethal deserts instead of non lethal ones? Doubtful unless someone figures out how to make that desert more productive and by then the Malakim would be on an even playing field, even enough they would no longer need some magical mystical death field permeating their land and no one else's territory anymore than they need magical water supplies.

    NOW....having an improvement that turns the tile into a damaging one could be fun (and give your lazy workers something to do), representing setting up roaming tribes of xenophobic nomads, bandits and other desert scum...but even that pales in importance compared to finding ways to make the desert tiles useful for something.
     
  6. fuzzy_bunnies

    fuzzy_bunnies Prince

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    Yea, that's true... the original idea was that they wouldn't necessarily have an incentive to keep deserts so much as they would end up with desert cities simply because other civs can't build anything there. For example, if there's an important resource out in the middle of a desert... the Malakim can go in there, build a city and claim the resource then later spring the bfc tiles and build a deep well to irrigate. Meanwhile, the other nearby civ needs to research KotE then slowly spring his way into the desert to clear a path for the settler.

    The Malakim can also risk extending themselves with far flung cities to claim resources because they're protected from many casual raiders.
     
  7. deadliver

    deadliver Loud Mouth Amateur

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    Well deserts already suck so bad already its not like they are attractive for civs to settle in. After all this fact is what started this thread in the first place. I tried out a scrub and desert mix in my cities terrain sprinkled with some oasis improvements, worked out beautiful...now if only I could mod this properly I would be in heaven. Think I will take a look at Vehem's jungle spawning feature but I wouldn't even know wher eto begin looking.


    came up with the idea while using the crystallized mana mod and fighting off hordes of barbarian summons in the desert.
     
  8. [to_xp]Gekko

    [to_xp]Gekko QCT junkie

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    I had an idea that sounds really nice and excuse me if somebody else had already posted this before :D

    give the malakim a building available at "trade" tech that gives them a bonus to commerce depending on how many desert tiles are in the BFC. something similar to the way a port works, boosting trade route yield and adding an additional trade route for, say, every 2 tiles of desert you have. that way they can still choose wether they want to go the "normal" route and change deserts to better terrain, OR boost their economy a lot by keeping deserts around, or even both things at the same time with city specialization. this would also go very well with Vehem's idea of a malakim-only "spice" resource that only appears in deserts, giving some special bonuses and making the malakim want to settle there, and other civs willing to trade to them. it fits them flavourlike too. whatcha think about this?

    edit @fuzzy: I don't think the desert damage idea makes sense from a 'logical' perspective since logistics ( sustaining troops by getting them food etc.) is already part of civ with the manteinance costs. that's why it costs more to support them when they are in enemy territory ;)
     
  9. deadliver

    deadliver Loud Mouth Amateur

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    Sounds like a decent idea which could encourage malakim players to retain or even expand their desert. What would be even better would be combining that with a spell to create an Oasis (broken record time baby) and then the desert dwelling civ might actually expand into the rest of the desert nearby instead of running straight to the grassland. I like Vehem's idea of a civ-only resource, and this idea would allow people to specialize their cities a little more which sounds cool to me.
     
  10. [to_xp]Gekko

    [to_xp]Gekko QCT junkie

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    yep, oasis spawning would be fun too. of course with a limit to the number of those you can spawn, otherwise it would kinda take away the whole point in deserts I guess. but the concept is really cool and shouldn't be hard to code in for a good modder... luckily plenty of good modders hang around in here :D
     
  11. deadliver

    deadliver Loud Mouth Amateur

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    Wonder if it would be hard to limit oasis spawning by the amount of water mana you control?
     
  12. Ekolite

    Ekolite The Mighty Jungle

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    It should be possible to make it a passive effect of water mana. Like how earth mana reveals more mining resources.
     
  13. deadliver

    deadliver Loud Mouth Amateur

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    Thats a good idea too and the chance for oasis spawn would be easy enough to fix as well (if I am remembering my posts correctly).
     
  14. [to_xp]Gekko

    [to_xp]Gekko QCT junkie

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    I like the idea of spawning them yourself really. that way you can handpick the best spots for optimal use instead of getting screwed by randomness - boy, I DO hate randomness, maybe I should just play chess :lol: anyway, a limit of one oasis for each water mana resource sounds good.
     
  15. fuzzy_bunnies

    fuzzy_bunnies Prince

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    OK OK I surrender ;)
     
  16. [to_xp]Gekko

    [to_xp]Gekko QCT junkie

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    don't get your hopes down man. who knows, Kael might love the idea of deserts damaging units and put it in 0.34 :lol:

    on a side note, whatcha think about the building giving bonuses depending of number of deserts blablabla I posted above? sounds cool to ya?
     
  17. deadliver

    deadliver Loud Mouth Amateur

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    I second this motion AND nominate this poster for sainthood, the presidential candidacy of all major parties, and membership in the local AAA organization.
     
  18. [to_xp]Gekko

    [to_xp]Gekko QCT junkie

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    wow, what did I do to get all this love? lemme guess, you happen to be one of those randomness haters too, do you? :lol:

    umh, if there was sarcasm in that post please tell me. I'm not a dumb guy usually, but these days my mind is going nuts due to having to read way too much BORING stuff for an upcoming exam, duh. :lol:
     
  19. deadliver

    deadliver Loud Mouth Amateur

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    LOL

    Naw I am just happy someone else sees something my way. This is a start.


    I think there are already a few races optimized for terrain in the game, why not add more?

    You got the Infernals who are happy just about anywhere they have workable terrain, the Lanun with their coasts and other water squares, and the elves, so why not have a civ that can take advantage of a terrain and allow them to specialize in using it.
    Enjoy that AAA membership
     
  20. fuzzy_bunnies

    fuzzy_bunnies Prince

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    Ha ha, naa... if he was interested, he probably would have said something by now. He reads everything.

    The building with the bonuses is interesting though, the only problem I'd see is that the bonuses would have to be huge to offset the benefit of simply converting it into a plains and building a town on it... most players are going to min/max it and build plains anyway if its not. (The side benefit of the building method, though, is that at least its unpillagable.)

    Basically, if any bonuses you give them are going to be related to desert, they have to be significant enough to overcome just converting it all to plains. Since the terrain output is so different, just trying to compensate trade/food/shields is going to be difficult to balance to not be ridiculous (why would a pile of sand be as productive as green fields?)

    This holds true for unique resources too. The pearls work for Lanun because you can't terraform the ocean. If you give the Malakim some sweet unique resource, that's going to do nothing to keep them from springing every tile.

    Hence the idea of making the desert do something unique/entirely different. Something that can't be replaced by a better producing tile.

    You know, there's also the alternate argument that I don't think anyone has brought up yet... what about getting rid of Spring? This makes all the other non-irradiated-deserts-of-death ideas viable.
     

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