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Malakim Desert Mechanics

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

  1. deadliver

    deadliver Loud Mouth Amateur

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    good point MC about the whole mystical angle of the desert. How about having the desert spawn a lightbringer once in a while? I liked the idea of those war camps (yes, again with the war camps!) in Warlords and I could see myself parking a few of those out in the desert and waiting for units to pop.

    Other than lightbringers I think it would be cool to have some defensive style units like desert bandits or something, units that are free but do not operate too well on tiles other than desert, that would represent hordes of dudes jumping out of the sand and ambushing the invaders.

    I think changes to the Malakim need to optimize their nomad trait first and then focus on UBs (though the idea of +xp for disciple units does sound cool).
     
  2. Blackmantle

    Blackmantle King

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    @ fuzzy_bunnies:
    Firstly what you say rather holds true / might be accurate for the situation now.
    What has been back then in the ancient times might be different and what is in erebus might differ a bit again. (the trade routes whould in a way represent the wealth of the city created by trade in question. Which whould lead to more nomads beeing able to roam the countryside around that cities. If im not mistaken even the nomads in old times used some form of settlement as a base (for a short period of time each year) to restock and trade and socialize.
    Now that doesn't mean that the city-dwellers and the nomads are the same / the poeple in the cities favored nomadic livestyle. But both have been part of the culture. And each whould have been weaker without the other. (not soo much true anymore i belive for the city dwellers in todays world. But i reckon cultural heritage still matters to some people there.)
    With the huge sucess of cities/city lifestyle all over the world now (most of earth inahbitants are belived! to be city-dwellers / outnumbering countryäfolk since a few years now) the nomadic cultures in that countries (and elsewere) are in decline. So recent times might not be the best measure. All said above is rather vague secondhand knowledge though.
    Hope no one is offended should what i say be way off the mark. ;) And i whould very much appreciate if someone could offer some first-hand insight for sure. Especially if that firsthand knowledge is from someone of that community ^^)

    (The bigger cities allready profit more than smaller ones from trade routes anyways because of drastically higher yields.
    Ever checked the pure trade output (thanks to buildings improving trade route yield among other things) of a Pop 30/40 city which should be possible in floodplain-heavy terrain for such a civ (and is independant from happy / unhappy people really. So no reason not to outgrow your happycap in such a city.)? Its borderline riddiculous. 4 or so commerce for each trade routes might be the norm for a foreign city. Overseas might be as much as 6-8.
    Thats base commerce.
    Add to that the passive bonus for cities with lots of deserts (which is the real bonus for the floodplain-hubs since they get huge yields thanks to size) around and its enough with a flat 1/1/1
    Problem is: the bigger a city gets the bigger the trade-route-yields get. 5% for each pop from a certain size upwards. 5 or 10 pop is the point were trade routes improve i belive. With the other cities size determining the base-yield? So tieing that bonus to the size of the city might lead to some sort of spiral effect.)

    The balancing part is because it has allready been tested (in final frontier) and 2/2/2 flat has fastly been found to be riddiculous (strongest civ in that official mod even after the change to 1/1/1 which did make it more balanced and not a universal in all circumstances. And in Final frontier way less trade routes are available in cap. Now in that Mod the other civs are not as strong as most FFH2 civs. So not much danger to unbalance something with a 1/1/1 yield for each route imo.)
    If we find a modmoder thats not hard to test really.
    Food-Bonus is more or less a must though since that one of the most likely things to be imported along with making the bonus really interesting and favoring lots of rather small cities all over the place.

    Its not a big deal in FFH to reach about 5-7 trade-routes in Midgame.

    To make an example about numbers for a costal city you possibly get:
    +1 from trade, +1 from currency, +1 from lighthouse, + 2 from greath lighthouse, +1 from foreign trade, +1 from foreign trade costal, +1 from inn, +1 from tavern, +1 from overcouncil (/undercouncil smugglers ports) resolution from what i can remember.
    Makes for 10 base routes from those (and some nice yield bona from various buildings. And lots of those beeing foreign trade from overcouncil resolution single currency?).
    Don't know for sure if one / more route base is gained without any tech just with connecting a few cities / time or if someone else opens a route with you...
    Non-costal ones offer signicicantly less routes and less route yield (50% yield less and 4 routes less from lack of harbor, lighthouse, greath lighthouse and foreign trade costal special alone. Hence me saying they whould have some albeit small incentive to settle by the cost.)

    Now while +5-10 (base) food / production / commerce might sound somewhat reasonable, + 10-20 (base) food / production / commerce might not so much... Even in FFH 2 context.

    And im sure i have forgotten a thing or two regarding trade-routes. (some of them might require some special buildings / special locations but even without those 5 is doable without all to much hassle and things you don't want to do anyways.)



    @ MagisterCultuum: On the other hand i can't really find something contradictory.
    And nomad / desert civilizations did (at least on our own planet) focus on trade as a form of income by default (since in desert climates it has been the most reasonable thing for them to generate an economy to sustain stable settlements / cities. Since they have been at crossroads rather often as well as having a few highly sought-after resources like incense which could only be turned into something truly beneficial if traded as well as used themselves. Now given both of those point need not be true for Malakim on Erebus. But those and others might.)
    Also desert life itself gives a good base for mutually beneficial trade (in scarce conditions you are likely to have in 'abundance' at least some things your neighbors might need and vice versa.
    Not so much true to such a big degree in lusher climates where interaction with other tribes / civs might not yield something of positive interest by default.) which leads to higher inclination of establishment of trade networks and trade-related professions in consequence.

    So i for one find the nomad-promotion and the pedia depicting them as a nomadic people as indication enough to assume them beeing traders.
    Linking trade to that lifestyle just as i do freely roaming the desert / other hostile landscapes, scarce livelyhood and some sort of religious inclination. (mere man seems rather meek compared to the environement and impressive or 'supernatural' events are very tangiable there.
    Moreso since in Erebus gods are real and those events might very well be really supernatural. Further augumenting such an inclination. Possibly leading to such a devition. Add Varn to the picture and its not so hard to imagine why they devoutly revere Lugus.)
    Keal/Team might put that assumption right if he feels i got it wrong in some serious way.


    That said focus on the divine path might be another good road (no pun intended ;)) to follow. Its also 2 ways not mutually exclusive in the way of how it improve them. One can very well mix i reckon.

    Even though i belive that title might be shared with the Elhoim and maybe even the clan under Jonas. And those might argue not all so politely or smile and think differently in quiet.

    (Unless i misunderstood the last part and it means they should get the strongest boost! from what is already implemented in that area if anything is boosted at all and not that they are the most devout civ.
    A view i whould not utterly share since they allready get some huge incentives there allready.
    Like their Worldspell. Which i find one of the strongest religiously related mechanics in the game by sheer power. No problem to kill one or more civs with those hordes of early free and experienced priests possible via that route. Especially if those priests are FoL, OO or Veil. Also they have the decent option of lightbringers upgarding to other divines.
    Add the XP bonus from Deis-Dei + synergy with empyrean and they are allready rather religiously-oriented / slightly arcane-oriented. And they miss Assasins (unless if im not mistaken CoE is run and you fire the fervor during that time :evil:. Happy backstabbing. :backstab:). So their recon-line is a rather weak one. Which usually is a good path for many other civs. So they allready have plenty of incentives going down that route anyways.)
     
  3. fuzzy_bunnies

    fuzzy_bunnies Prince

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    @MC @Dealiver @Blackmantle

    I think the whole "trade" angle comes from the fact that Varn Gosam's initial adaptive trait is "financial" and primary trait is "creative"... both of those scream trade nexus to me since major trade hubs are/were financial and creative hubs. If he were spiritual/philosphical instead, I'd be more willing to buy the theme as suggested in the lore.

    .. and yea, you're right, according to the lore they are sort of portrayed as desert religious ascetics that live in small enclaves... to be honest, I find that theme pretty uninspiring. The whole concept of civilization + Hermits don't really go together since they're mutually exclusive... plus the religous angle isn't really matched up with their generally melee UU's.

    So what should they be? Religious or trade?

    PS... to keep with the theme, allowing the lightbringer to also randomly spawn a lightbringer when he pops a goody hut (in addition to the standard goody hut reward maybe) could be an interesting addition based on the original story of Varn Gosam.
     
  4. avalonnn

    avalonnn Prince

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    How easy is it to remove just one spell from the game? Does it lurk in a data file or is it elsewhere too?
     
  5. MagisterCultuum

    MagisterCultuum Great Sage

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    It pretty much just requires deleting that one spell's entry in CIV4SpellInfos.xml. In many cases, you might want to delete the python portions of a spell from CvSpellINterface.py too, but that isn't really necessary. There are a couple of spells that are triggered in python (like the Sucellus event triggering Heal), so removing them would cause bugs.
     
  6. Nor'easter

    Nor'easter Emperor

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    I think the trade angle also comes from the fact that since desert inhabitants have to trade for much of their food and other supplies, they would get really good at it (become better traders), so their trade routes would yield more. At least, that's the theory, I think.
     
  7. deadliver

    deadliver Loud Mouth Amateur

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    how about if nomad units got stealth in desert tiles?
     
  8. Blackmantle

    Blackmantle King

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    terrain stealth has been axed due to design / performance reasons (forest stealth has been a promotion / implemented at the end of light phase /vanilla FFH 2 development 0.1.6x i belive).
    Don't know for sure if those reasons are still roadblocks, or if a workaround has been found recently (i remotely remember somewhat related has been resolved. Could be way off though.).
    It should be codable not to hard and if doable might be another very nice idea even if it whould not very much improve their flavor to change their behavior to terraform / settle (if imo quite overpowered . Hide Spell on Tier 1 Arcane KotE/Scorch sounds a bit early and for whole stacks and even in enemy terrain in my book.
    Especially if done without an additional promotion.
    As a prerequisite for such a promotion it sounds more balanced and might be a real option. Provided additional improvement in the military branch in deserts is needed for them. Since it is allready significant imo.)
    So how that works out should be not all so hard to test for someone with some XML skill (i belive it whould just need XML. Could be way off the mark again though...).
    Still the performance problems loom above that option.
     
  9. fuzzy_bunnies

    fuzzy_bunnies Prince

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    I always kinda pictured discussion of desert +combat bonuses related to nomads bursting out of the sand to ambush enemies ;)
     
  10. MagisterCultuum

    MagisterCultuum Great Sage

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    Forest Stealth was removed (or rather not implemented when Kael & Co. began the BtS version from scratch) because of performance issues, but more efficient ways it handle it have been found. I think I prefer the Dom Pedro II Conquerors Delight method (which allows promotions to grant specific invisibility types and the ability to see specific invisibility types, and allows certain types of invisibility to only work on certain terrains/features/hills), but it is already quite possible with xienwolf's modcomp/Fall Further (which allows promotions to have terrains/features as prereqs, an lets promotions be automatically be given when the prereqs are all met, and removed when no longer met).


    I also recommended letting nomads purchase a Desert Stealth promotion giving invisibility in deserts quite a while back. This and the free disciple xp from Desert Shrines based on the amount of Desert nearby would be very nice improvements.
     
  11. deadliver

    deadliver Loud Mouth Amateur

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    :woohoo: yay I got one! Now how bout them warcamps...:bowdown:

    @Fuzzy or the nomad bonus could be easier to code to represent an enemy having a tough time in the hostile terrain maybe they be :scared:
     
  12. fuzzy_bunnies

    fuzzy_bunnies Prince

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    Well, or it could be a combination... nomad activated ability that lets them camouflage themselves when not moving? Sort of the hiding idea... granted this would really only be useful for PVP since I doubt the AI would ever use it properly to leave ambush units around.

    Also, a passive ability for the Malakim to see all hidden/invisible units in desert might be good too... the idea being that they've been living in the desert for so long that they notice when things are out of place like mysterious footprints in the sand etc.
     
  13. avalonnn

    avalonnn Prince

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    How does ice terrain damage units in the Age of Ice scenario? You could make desert damage living (and undead?) units (but not demons or angels) each turn the way that the ice terrain damages units in AoI, and give the Malakim immunity to that. Then they would want some desert sitting around to harm enemy invaders. or make only malakim desert (and Illian ice) damage invaders.
     
  14. fuzzy_bunnies

    fuzzy_bunnies Prince

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    No no no, I proposed that like 3 pages ago and was soundly vetoed, lets let this idea go back into hiding ;)
     
  15. [to_xp]Gekko

    [to_xp]Gekko QCT junkie

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    fuzzy please don't hate me, but I've thought about this a bit more ( and played a bit of Age of Ice too :D ) and I'm no lunger shunning the idea of deserts and ice causing damage AoI-style. I'm not 100% on this, but I admit it could work ;) besides, as you said, it would make the fire/cold resistance promotions invaluable under particular circumstances ( as it should be ) :)

    malakim should still get a bonus from deserts imho ( traderoutes related goldbonuses for example ) to incourage them in building there, but I do agree that making their favourite terrain more harmful to intruders than it is beneficial to them would work. as long as it's more beneficial for them to build cities in the desert than anywhere else, I'll be happy :p
     
  16. Blackmantle

    Blackmantle King

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    In light-phase FFH2 effects of entropy mana and the hells grains, various forms disease / weakness and poison all acted just like that.
    Real ongoing-damage features (instead of just ones preventing healing) have been axed (to just reducing the heal rate, harshly nerfing all abovementioned features) for various reasons (Most importantly many bug-reports by new players and AI not being able to handle / resting their units to heal resulting in suicide.).
    So don't expect them to be reimplemented since they whould really add not such a huge deal to gameplay / fun and the issues have not been diminished a bit.

    And lengthy arguing with Keal/Team about design matters / guidlines / decisions based on important reasons doesn't sound like the best use of ones time. ;)
    Consider that about the strongest no-argument possible possible here.
    (Kael might restate that here but you can take my word for it that this won't be implemented beyond perhaps some special units like frostlings and the likes.)
    If you want that rather modmod it (which should not be all that hard to do). But expect it to at least gimp the AI without some major overhaul possibly creating other problems.

    Blizards are a different in that they are at least somewhat limited.


    Another example of axing a feature for such profound design-reasons was castles acting as cities + channels / hooking up resources (and that imo was a far more interesting mechanic and has just been axed because of boats-on land disorienting newcommers leading to many bug reports mainly + some fairly minor AI issues if i remember correctly.)
    Now those whould be sweet to be reimplemented but i don't expect it and modmods of that will surely be made available (since there the newcommer argument hardly matters...)

    So both of these features (which had their time to test their mettle already) sound like excellent modmod-material if anything (since honestly they are very decent flavorwise. If one can fix the coding side / AI-side / other possible issues well some people might highly appreciate for sure).
     
  17. [to_xp]Gekko

    [to_xp]Gekko QCT junkie

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    oh, I see. well that definitely takes that option out. if the bads overwhelm the good it's best to stick with something simpler. thanks for pointing that out Blackmantle :) besides, the AI is already bad enough on its own as anyone will tell you, no need for stuff that it can't understand. it's sad but AI is by far the hardest thing to program, and in fact you'll notice that it hasn't improved much compared to 10-yrs-old games, unlike fancy, but largely useless imho, graphics. no one has ever found the magical formula to make a bunch of "if...then" statements smart yet :D
     
  18. fuzzy_bunnies

    fuzzy_bunnies Prince

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    Speaking of this, it would be kinda nice to get some feedback from someone on the team to know if we're totally barking up the wrong tree here. I mean, I'm all for mental masturbation like anyone else but if there's no chance on anything being implemented then whats the point of hashing out details?
     
  19. [to_xp]Gekko

    [to_xp]Gekko QCT junkie

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    nah, I actually think that Kael & Team are reading and enjoying this. pretty sure they would have dropped in to say "malakim are good as it is" a long time ago if that wasn't the case. it's very nice to see a devteam that listens to the fan's ideas, and ultimately this leads to the most enjoyable games available, period. I am kinda expecting the malakim to be one of the civs to get some new stuff in 0.34 or later versions, along with the kuriotates and ( hopefully :D ) the doviello ;) it was balseraphs, elohim and lanun that got quite an overhaul in 0.33, so I guess 3 is the magic number here :lol:
     
  20. Blackmantle

    Blackmantle King

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    True that. :D
    But at worst it might still make a decent modmod. (and there is a nomadic-civ modmod allready beeing developed in the scenarioes and mods )

    So its rather sure to be not utterly in vain if the ideas are going down well with some modder around here (heck, not even the ongoing damage discussion here might have been completely moot if someone feels himselfs prone to getting it done. Well.)

    Main Point is FFH 2 is 'nearly' completed in regards to its features (completition of Shadow phase marks the end of huge new feature-implementation according to the team) so modmoding will soon steeply rise and good ideas assembled now will likely find their way into some form of modification rather likely.

    @ [to_xp]Gekko: Consider the doviello firmly on the teams agenda allready since it has allready been explicitly stated that they are indeed in need of an overhaul some time ago (and also because they are one of the main actors in at least one of the scenarioes storylines along with the illians.).
    I considered the assimilation-mechanics (tolerant) whould go to them in some way and they whould get their overhaul with 0.33. but i was taken by surprise (and positively so ;)) by the change to the elhoim and perhaps we have to wait for 0.35 / 0.36 for them to get that overhaul. Im certain they will eventually.

    The malakim could surely also use something new and flashy but the civ is much more fleshed out already in comparison (doesn't mean they couldn't use something roughly in the dimension of what i depicted in my suggestion here.).


    Don't expect all such a huge (non-grapics) overhaul of the kuoritates though. They are allready nicely distinct and imo don't lack all that hugely anymore (thanks to enclaves) in comparison beyond scaling (mapsize / costal issues imo.) Could be off on those 2 (and i whould be far from unhappy if they whould get flashy new things...)

    What you have to keep in mind with the Kurios is that they can get ancient forest-enclaves with lots of micromanagement (which is really only feasible for them on an empire scale since they do really have just a few supercities to care for and enclaves in forests really do rock) via fire mana and creative use of Workers in flames + water mana to firefight when finished.
    It sounds a bit geeky and late (Elementalism, a fire-mana, plenty of Adepts, quite some time to set the forest ablaze and lots of worker-turns executed fastly (in a turn or 2 at max.) needed, after that still many turns to grow those cottages to enclaves and those new forests to ancient ones which should go faster than cottages ---> enclaves. After all this it dosn't sound all that hot anymore than when first heard and seen. Does it? Slave trade definately helps to speed it up significantly. Especially if you can get your hands on quite some orcish slaves. Treasure them. Should still be very tough to accomplish still pre turn 200 normal speed at higher difficulties if not impossible.) but possible it is (and those tiles are really scary yieldwise afterwards, rest assured. 4/1/6or7or8? sounds akin to pirate ports anyone... :mischief:? + health and fol happiness from GoN on top.).
    Oh and you will go really :gripe: if someone dares raze those hard-hetched forest-improvements down to the ground. Back to Step 1...

    If that 'glitch' is not fixed (which is not direly needed imo some things are fine and its not all that vital for the AI to be forced to have it grasp that one.) / still usable and they do get their substitute for the slums in some way as well as a more sensible way to cross water, better scaling to settings and a sensible way to get wonders with building-prerequisites one can rate them a rock-solid civ in my book. Nothing of those seems like a major overhaul.
     

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