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Malakim Desert Mechanics

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

  1. [to_xp]Gekko

    [to_xp]Gekko QCT junkie

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    d'oh, you're right about the desert only resource not keeping them from terraforming later. well maybe a python check could be added that the resource is destroyed if spring is cast in a nearby tile to prevent that.
     
  2. deadliver

    deadliver Loud Mouth Amateur

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    right fuzzybunny, there should be a reason NOT to get rid of deserts. How about if the Malakim were to gain a trait related to desert tiles? If anything (assuming the trait was cool enough) that would encourage more desert tiles being within workable range.

    What would the trait be?
     
  3. fuzzy_bunnies

    fuzzy_bunnies Prince

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    Well, as I think about it, any trait or modification of the nomad trait (thats unique to them, right?) would have to go hand in hand with the removal or limitation of Spring. This way the Malakim can still flourish on regular terrain but they can also settle in deserts more successfully than anyone else.

    IF deserts couldn't be removed, would making them base 0/1/1 and allowing them to be fully worked be worthwhile? IE towns, farms and mines. The food yield is a bit lower but you'd have a lot more flexibility by being able to town or mine everything plus you have those lush floodplain cities for your big pop cities. Running agricultural would boost your deserts to plains to allow for deep desert cities to survive.

    Again, the key here would be that deserts can't be removed... this gives a major disincentive for a nonmalakim to settle in a desert. With this method, deserts are slightly less productive than regular tiles (in some ways, food is lower but shields and trade is higher) but no one else can use deserts effectively but them.

    I mean, is spring really necessary? Its kinda neat, but you can replace it with a spell that just puts out fires. (and maybe does something else water related ... break charm? Splash of cold water kinda thing?)
     
  4. Ahriman

    Ahriman Tyrant

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    I'd like to see, among other things, a 50% defense bonus in deserts (ie so its 25% after the 25% penalty). Its hard to attack desert nomad/raiders when they can just disappear into the dunes at will.
    Or, alternatively, a 20% offensive and defensive withdrawal chance when attacking from/defending in desert.
     
  5. Nor'easter

    Nor'easter Emperor

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    I don't think getting rid of Spring is the way to go, since that would be removing a spell that's useful for all civs solely to benefit one civ. The solution should be to make deserts sufficiently attractive for the Malakim that they'll be less likely to use Spring, because they'll lose some benefit.

    People have talked about a desert-based resource that would be available only to the Malakim with perhaps a Malakim-only tech. Wouldn't camels be an obvious resource? (I think it was Magister who suggested this in a post many months ago.) In addition to some bonus (food, hammers, commerce), you could also have camels allow the Malakim to build some UUs like camel riders or camel archers, with some starting bonus. In Age of Empires II, for example, Camel units had a bonus against cavalry. And maybe having camels would allow some Malakim UB that would boost trade (and maybe food?).

    To prevent the Malakim from terraforming desert, you could make it so that the camels would disappear (or change into something else) if the desert tile were transformed into plains, the way resources on regular terrain change if the terrain becomes hell terrain.
     
  6. Trieste

    Trieste Warlord

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    What if the desert tiles inside Malakim borders had a chance to pop a unit like the adventurer that could upgrade to mounted units or give a bonus to your cities? It seems fitting for even the city-living malakim to have contact with other desert nomads, and it would be a good way to convince people to keep the desert tiles.

    Nomad: 0/0
    Move 3
    can upgrade to any mounted unit you can build at no cost
    can build Bazaar (+1 trade route)

    The spawn rate should definitely be less than the fol forest->ancient forest rate which is 1 in 20, but the rate that iron or gems or whatever pops without earth mana seems like way to infrequent for this, and I really have no other references. Maybe a building could increase the odds of them spawning.

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Qanat
     
  7. Skitters

    Skitters Prince

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    taking a different tack - could having desert tiles in cultural territory go towards generating Great Prophets?
     
  8. Jules.lt

    Jules.lt Prince

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    What about this:

    A civ-specific Great prophet spell. "Found desert retreat".
    - Can only be cast in a desert tile, with the 8 surrounding tiles being deserts (desert+something is all right, like oasis or flood plain) and all normal city creating restrictions.
    - This consumes the great person and creates a city which appears with the "desert retreat" wonder: +1 Great Prophet GPP per desert tile in the whole empire, +100% GPP in the city, allows one priest (building the GPP national wonder in there would be quite a feat, so it's all right if that's overpowered). [edit: +50% GPP should be enough, but you get the idea]
    - The city can build but cannot grow, in keeping with the "retreat" spirit. Only the initial citizen will exist. If you want to build stuff it had better be cheap, or have slaves/soldiers of Kilmorph/great engineers to do it. You probably want the citizen to be a specialist anyway.
    - Of course, the spell cannot be cast if you already have a retreat, but you might want to make it repeatable if the city gets destroyed (as will happen whenever it is conquered, at size 1).

    This could get quite powerful, especially if you pick philosophical as your adaptated trait and desertify your empire. Adjust as you will.

    And for other general Malakim ideas:
    - A cheap building that gives commerce per workable desert tile in the city, which make it very worthwhile to make outposts close to the desert. That could be +1/+2 commerce, straight gold, or why not +1 trade route per one or two workable desert tile?
    - Maybe have Malakim merchant specialists give +1f, to represent the trading for food?
    - I insist: +2 food on oasis and flood plain tiles. This makes you NOT need to work desert tiles, so you don't end up with a senseless desert covered in improvements.
    - Maybe another bonus/workable desert tile city improvement and/or another bonus/desert tile in empire wonder to make sure the player knows where his interest is. Is a side-effect, this makes Malakim cities undesirable for conquest by other civs without terraforming, which is quite neat and coherent. I think terraforming spells should take several turns to cast, btw.

    With those, I don't think we need to make the desert damage units in a complicated way: the danger is that there are malakims around.
    This should be enough incentive for Malakims to actively desertify their empire :)
     
  9. fuzzy_bunnies

    fuzzy_bunnies Prince

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    That'd be a really good start! The current "Well, they still have an overall penalty in the desert, just less of a penalty than anyone else" is a downer.

    Because you have to look at it as someone who's going to min/max the game. If you have one bonus resource, then you'll see every tile except the one desert tile converted to plains. Spring really isn't a critical balancing spell like sanctify, for example, because uncontrolled hell expansion can kill your economy. If deserts expanded over time, I could see a reason to include spring to keep the sands back... but right now its just a way to get rid of an inconvenient terrain which just happens to be the theme/favored terrain of a whole civ.

    Lets look at it a different way. If elves couldn't build improvements in forest squares, would any elven civs have forests at all? No, because everyone would stripmine the land to get a resource edge. With elves though, it makes sense to allow improvements + forests to exist because forests are bountiful to begin with. Deserts, however, are barren wastelands.

    Neat idea, but I think Kael already mentioned in the Doviello thread that he's not a big fan of uncontrolled random unit spawns. Whats already in the game (ie Sheaim gates) is probably the limit and any additions would take away from their uniqueness.

    Goes back to the original point, non GP strats or non GP cities will be converted to plains, and/or the GP city will be oddly surrounded by a big fat cross of desert.

    The retreat is neat... and definitely would work well if you couldn't cast spring. Otherwise you're just going to get a 9x9 square of desert with a retreat on it surrounded by plains... like some kinda nomad disneyland ;)

    As for the bonus ideas, all good UNLESS players can cast spring... I bet most people won't trade 1 or 2 gold per desert for a 0/0/0 tile when they can just convert it and build a town. Malakim specialists that give bonus food may be overpowering and would not be a disincentive to convert everything.
     
  10. Jules.lt

    Jules.lt Prince

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    I feel that terraforming spells are all right *if* they're really time-consuming.
    4-10 turns on normal speed feels about right for me, with scorch taking 4 and spring taking 10.
    The fire-extinguishing would still be an instant effect.
    That should give your adepts something to do instead of sitting around in your city waiting to be mages.

    Then you just need to multiply the bonus per desert tile things to make Malakims actually like desert. In my mind, the bonuses are meant to make spring less desirable, so they should be thought about with spring existing in the game.

    The +2F per flood plains and oasis is a prerequisite, to me. But nobody seems to reply to that.
     
  11. [to_xp]Gekko

    [to_xp]Gekko QCT junkie

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    what about a malakim-only-desert only improvement? not sure about the bonuses it should give, just brainstorming here.
     
  12. fuzzy_bunnies

    fuzzy_bunnies Prince

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    Thought of this last night, sort of a different discussion though. Again, this is based on the idea of Spring NOT converting deserts ;)

    Rename the current Spring spell to Douse, puts out fires and maybe breaks charm.

    Switch the Life mana from the Malakim palace to Water mana. Thematically, in the desert water=life so the concept still holds. Change the Malakim adept to a new UU, Nomad Mystic, give him the Create Spring spell.

    When the Create Spring spell is cast, if its in Malakim territory and if its not within 3 squares of another Spring, cause a Spring improvement to appear in the tile. The Spring functions like a lower output oasis (+3/+0/+0 +10% unit healing) then after 10 turns becomes a Watering Hole (+4/+1/+1 +20% unit healing), then another 10 turns a Lush Oasis (+5/+1/+2 +30% unit healing) then finally after another 10 turns becomes a Verdant Oasis (+6/+2/+3 +40% healing).

    This can be combo'd with the idea of making Malakim deserts 0/1/1 to start then allowing them to be worked with the Oasis acting as a water source. This would allow 1/1/1 irrigated tiles or 2/0/1 agri tiles. Most likely though, each city will have 2 verdant oasis and a bunch of mines or towns but it gives the option of irrigation if you want more pop.

    What do you all think of that? Are 2x 6/3/4 tiles per desert city enough for the city to thrive? Is it overpowered if the city also has floodplains?
     
  13. [to_xp]Gekko

    [to_xp]Gekko QCT junkie

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    I really like the mechanic of civs' cultural borders changing the surrounding terrain to a unique version if it's their favourite terrain, like ancient forests and FF's deep jungles. and I think that the flavourmod should be added to the main FFH2 mod and be part of it... btw it's a custom option so people that don't like it can just turn it off. this mechanic would work well for malakims imho, for example slowly turning the deserts into malakim's cultural borders into a better version like "deserts with trails" or something like that that gives bonus commerce. I don't really care about the exact bonus that it would give, but I find the mechanic really nice and flavourful.
     
  14. fuzzy_bunnies

    fuzzy_bunnies Prince

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    Because this doesn't really do anything to prevent players from changing every OTHER tile into plains. Or hell, changing the oasis tile into a plain too (which works quite well I might add!)
     
  15. Nor'easter

    Nor'easter Emperor

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    @Fuzzybunnies:

    You can also upgrade desert tiles with Vitalize or Genesis, so if you want to get rid of the Spring spell, what would you propose doing with the others? Just not have them affect desert? (They already don't affect hell terrain, so it's certainly easy to code.)
     
  16. Ahriman

    Ahriman Tyrant

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    I like the idea of giving Malakim cities a passive bonus from having desert tiles in their fat cross, whether worked or not.

    How about +0.25 commerce per desert tile (don't want to catapult the early game too high), with another +0.25 commerce per tile with Trade or Currency, and maybe another +0.25 late game with Mercantilism or something (which is a weak tech as it stands).

    Alternatively make it a health or food or happy bonus.
     
  17. fuzzy_bunnies

    fuzzy_bunnies Prince

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    Hrm tough call. Genesis I don't necessarily mind since its a big spell and comes so late that really, your economy should be well established by then. If you don't like it, you don't have to cast it. Plus it would destroy all your Verdant Oases too...

    Vitalize I dunno about. Suggestions? I'd be tempted to say no and to keep deserts as deserts. Just like mountains can't be changed.
     
  18. hbar

    hbar Constant

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    How about a Unique building that grants a promotion to newly built units that depends on the number of desert (not oasis or floodplains) tiles in the BFC?

    UB - Trials of Lugus (replaces pagan temple)
    +10% :culture:, +1 priest slot
    Grants following promotions to Disciple and Melee units built here:
    1-3 desert tiles - Dunewalker I: +10%:strength: +1 first strike chance in desert
    4-8 desert tiles - Dunewalker II: +20%:strength:, +1 first strike in desert
    9-12 desert tiles - Dunewalker III: +30%:strength: +2 first strike in desert
    13-16 desert tiles - Dunewalker IV: +40%:strength: +20% healing in desert
    17-20 desert tiles - Dunewalker V: +50%:strength: +1:move: and invisible in desert

    I don't know if the "only in desert" mechanics are possible, code-wise, but this would encourage at least some cities to keep desert around for the more powerful units. IMO, the Malakim should be no better or worse on plains/grassland, but desert cities should produce hardened warriors.
     
  19. MikeJep

    MikeJep Chieftain

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    Complaints:cry:
    In every game i play with Malakim they get stuck in the worst possible waste hole of a dessert. I generaly now go into worldbuilder and "fix" their terrain a bit. This makes them no longer a dessert people any more however:(


    My thoughts:blush:
    don't be to harsh i can't really find any lore for these guys on the form. So I may be going completely against lore however i do know they are supposed to be nomads and live in the dessert. What if Malakim only have their capital city, but could build (or spawn from deserts) nomadic tribes. These nomads (complete with a :strength: would move around until they found a resource tile (oasis included) And settled for a while. Their settlement would just be an improvement over the tile. After so many turns or maybe randomly they could spawn a new nomadic tribe or a warrior unit. More importantly these settlements could spawn a caravan based on the tile's resource.

    These caravans could travel back to the capital and could be settled for yields :food: :hammers: :commerce: for so many turns plus the cities use of that resource (copper/iron/wheat w/e) plus a one time injection of a commerce :science: :gold: :culture:. In addition maybe it would be possible to combine different ones to create units.

    Also there could be a event/quest system were a tribe requests you to bring a caravan of different resource to there camp and you could be rewarded a unit(or other things). This way Malakim could still build armies with just one city. Technology could increase the rate of caravan spawn or increase the benifits of getting them back to their capital.

    The main problem i can see is first what will stop encroaching civs w/ there fancy cultural boarders coming in and buildings cities right next to the nomadic tribes settlements. We could give a cultural boarder to these settlements i suppose. But i also like the idea of adding expanding desserts to regions of malakim control. Also adding a chance for non-malakim units to get lost in the dessert would be kind of cool.

    Now for the part that may really go against lore...
    VaranGosam could start out as an additional hero for the malakim. Mr. Gosam could become empowered by building malakim specific wonders to Lugus. This could soak up some :hammers: from the massive captial city.

    I guess i am just sick of malakim starting out at such a disadvantage and being force to change there desserts to non-desserts.
     
  20. scaramouche

    scaramouche Chieftain

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    Maybe this is a stupid suggestion but couldn't we have the Malakim spread 'Living Desert' or something in their cultural radius the way that the Mazatl in Vehem's 'Fall Further' modmod do with Deep Jungle (and the way forests become Ancient Forests for FoL)? And then let workers sacrifice themselves to make 'Nomad Camp' or something similar to Lanun pirate coves - must be spaced 3 apart, all that sort of goodness, and grow over time. And make the Nomad promotion give more bonuses in Living Desert. This seems reasonably straightforward, and would create incentive to keep deserts around (and, in fact, to make more deserts potentially).
     

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