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[MOD] Privateers, Pirates, and Buccaneers

Discussion in 'Civ4Col - Mods and Files' started by Kailric, Feb 28, 2009.

  1. Adam Smith

    Adam Smith Chieftain

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    After a few games, I've come to utterly love this mod, and would love to see it expanded!

    That being said, there are some things I wanted to note.

    First, I want to emphasize the need to create additional nations in the game. I played a game using the Huge Western Hemisphere map, using 2 random leaders from each nation. The game, which ended up having the 3 privateer leaders and 5 regular leaders, was an EXTREMELY intense battle, where I was fighting at least one ship each turn, even when I only kept ships within my own territory (around Brazil). Pirate vs. pirate wars are constant, as we fight to control the seas against one another. Long story short, the game is intense, and amazing! It's 1533 on a marathon time scale, and I'm still fighting to control just my small corner of the ocean due to the huge traffic in the region. For this reason, I would love to see this mod integrated with a mod that added one or more non-pirate nations into the game.

    In contrast, I tried playing a 4-nation game, and it just became cumbersome. My 4-nation game (also in a huge Western Hemisphere map) had the bad luck of placing England and France in southern Brazil, just south of my Northern Brazil headquarters. One privateer was set on sentry just outside their colonies, giving me a secure watch over trade there (I later put a second privateer on, just for safe keeping). Spain colonized in Venezuela, so I sent a second privateer outside their gate, setting up a colony near Spain so my privateer could unload its cargo and return to patrol in one turn. Two privateers, and trade to Europe has been stopped dead. Then the game got boring, and I quit. It's hard playing a pirate-focused game when there's no ships to raid anymore.

    Here, I want to note one other oddity: Harder difficulty games may actually be easier to play. Opponents set on harder difficulty ratings will produce more resources, allowing increased naval traffic throughout the game. That means more innocent targets to pillage. :)

    Second, the Dutch privateer is super-overpowered. In total, he gets +1 movement, +10% strength, and +100% experience for the privateers. In my games, I've been able to easily create massively experienced Dutch pirate fleets, even on harder experience levels. One or more of these bonuses need to be removed (You could probably give the Dutch only +100% experience and they would be completely playable, or get rid of the experience bonus altogether).

    Third, the anti-pirate check needs to be expanded. In my 8-player Dutch game, I work to trigger the pirate hunters coming to take my fleet down. Why? Because pirate hunters have got nothing on me! A single 10 attack, +100% against pirates ship vs a 10 attack, +85% attack pirate fleet (fully upgraded with Veteran), and a 75% chance of withdrawal. My strategy involves sending two fleets against the pirate hunter. The first will knock down the ship's strength. More than likely, the result will be a slightly damaged pirate hunter (around 1-3 attack gone) and my ship withdrawing. Then my second fleet moves in (with a buccaneer), and I'm allowed to capture the pirate hunter. I'll have managed to trade a buccaneer for a ship which will be able to shut down privateer raids by itself, rarely ever even being threatened by the computer.

    I suggest a few possible modifications to the pirate hunters. First, it might be advisable to give players a non-pirate alternative to fighting pirate fleets, which can hit 18 power relatively easily. My thought was a 5 power, +300% vs. Pirates ship. Second, the national response to pirates is completely underwhelming when my pirates have pretty much ended legitimate trade. Is it possible to make the number of pirate hunters sent out dependent on the number of privateers and fleets around? Third, would it be possible for pirate hunters to similarly create large scale fleets, or be able to upgrade their leadership capabilities just like pirates?

    In addition, if you put the privateer system into perspective, it shows that privateers have a MASSIVE advantage over non-privateers. First, let's get one thing straight: Unlike normal military systems, privateers have a permanent return on investment, so they don't operate under the normal system where large standing armies drain an economy. That being said, upgrades to privateers are economic boosts, increasing the rate of economic return by increasing the probability of successful raids). The privateer economy can only be currently countered through military force.

    Now, let's compare that to a conventional economic model. If I plan on trading with Europe, it is essential that I first secure trade routes. That means as a prerequisite to setting up that trade route, I have two choices: overcoming or avoiding the pirates. Negotiating doesn't work because privateers can raid anyone, regardless of national affiliation.

    I can avoid pirates fairly easily with good nation-building strategies. My current trade system involves fast galleons hopping from one city to the next, not spending a moment in the ocean. Although this works for me, the AI isn't programmed to do that, and random maps won't always allow me to do this.

    That leaves the normal option, overcoming pirates. The pirate nations already have an advantage in this, both by having that first privateer from day 1, and by having leader upgrades to the privateers. Add to that the fact that privateers are extremely cheap (the first purchased privateer costing 1500, the second costing 2550). The game really doesn't have a non-pirate ship that can answer the privateer. That means the norm in naval warfare will be privateer vs. privateer wars, in which the pirate leaders will excel.

    The only alternatives to European trade which don't involve naval trade are trade with Natives or other colonies. That's fine, but limited. Plus, in the long term (when taxes are +50%), even the European trade network is limited for non-pirates (pirates will be smuggling resources to Europe, whereas legitimate nations can't dodge the taxes unless they got into the pirate game).

    Fourth, the mod seems to be missing one key feature of piracy. In a previous game which I threw out for being too easy, I established a strong internal economic cycle. One colony was producing the rum necessary to fund my privateers, plus producing more than enough to export. Three colonies were producing about +40 food per turn, and the last was a 3-colonist buccaneer-heavy colony which I would ship food to, producing new buccaneers. There was just one slight problem.

    I had all these extra buccaneers, which I was putting on my pirate fleets to hijack enemy ships. Everything was going fine, until I stopped for a moment to ask myself why I was doing this stuff. Buccaneers can only steal pirate hunters or transport ships. Since all my privateers can transport goods, I don't need too many galleons to transport people. These ships can all be converted to privateers for the purpose of creating flotillas, but that's a limited use. Long story short, I would love to be able to sell ships back to Europe.

    Long story short, I'm having a blast with this mod. Normally with Colonization, my sole goal is economic growth. With this mod, I find myself completely neglecting my economy for the sake of grabbing more pirates for my expanding economy. Where I usually create multiple cities with well-established trade routes, I'm now instead simply using my colonies to create more buccaneers to take control of the seas. I relish in knowing that I've been able to leave my opponents in a perpetual recession, with my largest adversary being a Spain colony with about 5 population total in both their cities.

    However, I wonder whether I got this victory cheaply. Being able to blitz my opponents from day 1, there is always something running in the back of my mind, asking me if I fought for this, or if the game is inherently built with a pro-pirate advantage to such a degree that it's almost impossible for the AI to overcome.


    Side questions: Does privateer combat increase your military points? If you modded the point system so that privateers/flotillas/buccaneers would help only your Captain score instead of the military score, it would create two different score trees: the pirate-only score, and the non-pirate combat score to create a distinction between privateer training and legitimate military warfare, and to prevent privateers from conquering two great person groups.

    Also, there were two other oddities I noticed in one game. I played a tiny "play now" map. After exploring the entire map, I found that there were no other European colonies in the game. I didn't see any ships of any sort (not even other privateers, which would explain the lack of other nations).

    Second, I stopped declaring war on other nations because the land combat got one-sided. For some reason, it seems like the AI doesn't stock sufficient weapons anymore. It could just be that my privateers have caused their economies to stagnate, allowing my armies to easily take them down. However, I've had entire wars where I took control of 100% of enemy colonies without having to fire a bullet (all colonies simply have 0 weapons). It seems problematic that a nation under external duress from privateers would sell all its weapons to natives, rather than stockpiling at least the basics.****Correction: I ran a game, allowing a couple nations to develop without raiding their coasts. The AI will still build up weapons stockpiles. So there's no problem, and the explanation was simply that I monopolized European trade.







    Update: On Governor difficulty, reached the point of no contestable fleets just now: 3 pirate hunters and 1 fully upgraded flotilla (just lost my second flotilla fleet to a pirate hunter that caught me off guard...) :(

    Still seems easy... I haven't even really been managing the economy aspect of the game. I'll try upping the difficulty.
     
  2. Alexbond45

    Alexbond45 Chieftain

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    Another thing:
    The Dutch Pirate Leader has no Eyes, and the Spanish could use one.

    EDIT:
    Declaring Independence isnt a nice option for the Privateers, perhaps adding a Pirate Victory?

    Suggested Renames for Ranks
    If your like me, and prefer to put the difficulty level before your name here are my Examples
    Ensign (Pilgrim)
    Lt.
    Lt. Commander
    Captain
    Commodore
    Rear Admiral
    Admiral
     
  3. Kailric

    Kailric Jack of All Trades

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    Heya guys, thanks for the Awesome feedback. Its been a while sense I updated this mod but after reading all your suggestions it makes me want to work on it some more. I been working on a couple of other Mods atm (Middle Ages and WestwardHo). After I get some work done on those I'll get back to this one and make a more indepth reply to the suggestions above.

    Glad you guys enjoy the mod so far. It does need some improvement and the info you gave will help in doing that. So, please keep the feedback and suggetions coming.
     
  4. Adam Smith

    Adam Smith Chieftain

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    Oh, one other note, after playing a game further through:

    A natural pirate hunter from each nation's king has 20 attack total against a pirate. A fully upgraded flotilla has 20.5 attack (slightly higher, but enough to make the win chance 60%), plus a huge withdrawal chance. To be able to take down pirate hunters, you just need to hide under a rock whenever the hunter starts patrolling, at least initially. In my games, I've only had to hide during the first round of patrols. By the 3rd or 4th King patrol as the Netherlands leader (this being a fairly liberal estimate... usually it's the 2nd patrol), I've been able to get my first privateer fully upgraded for a killing shot against the patrols. The result, as I've already stated, is that a single pirate flotilla and a modest supply of buccaneers can hijack a solid fleet of pirate hunters. From there, a convoy of one pirate hunter and one privateer can be devastating, as the privateers are usually only vulnerable to fellow privateers, which the pirate hunter can shut down.
     
  5. Michelon

    Michelon Chieftain

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    In the french version, no words appear in the "captains" advantages... only comas. I saw a picture of the english version and everything looks perfect. Is it a question of traduction or fonts ? Very enjoying mod !!! Bravo !
     
  6. Kailric

    Kailric Jack of All Trades

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    This is an easy fix. Just open up the CIV4GameText_TKText_Privateer.xml and or the other two Text files in this mod in any text editor, then see the example below.


    In the example below you can see where the English line is and see the English words "from Slavery". Simply Copy the whole line "[COLOR_PLAYER_RED]-%d1 from Slavery[COLOR_REVERT]" and then paste it in between the <French> tags.


    Code:
    <TEXT>
        <Tag>TXT_KEY_SLAVE_PENALTY</Tag>
        <English>[COLOR_PLAYER_RED]-%d1 from Slavery[COLOR_REVERT]</English>
        <French>.</French>
        <German>.</German>
        <Italian>.</Italian>
        <Spanish>.</Spanish>
     </TEXT>
    In the below example the French text will now appear in the game. It wouldn't be in French however as I don't know the French translation for "from Slavery".

    Code:
    <TEXT>
        <Tag>TXT_KEY_SLAVE_PENALTY</Tag>
        <English>[COLOR_PLAYER_RED]-%d1 from Slavery[COLOR_REVERT]</English>
        <French>[COLOR_PLAYER_RED]-%d1 from Slavery[COLOR_REVERT]</French>
        <German>.</German>
        <Italian>.</Italian>
        <Spanish>.</Spanish>
     </TEXT>

    If you was to translate all the English text into French in the xml files like above I'll add them to this Mod in the next update. If I remember I'll at least make it so that the English tags will be in the game for all languages.
     
  7. Michelon

    Michelon Chieftain

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    I've started the job editing with Notes, so I save the beginning in .txt file . What is the best and most useful editor for .xml files ?
     
  8. Kailric

    Kailric Jack of All Trades

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    There are a few free ones on the web. I use Visiual Web Developer 2008 Express. The 2010 version may be available for free now as well. Some people use Notepad++. Just search for them and get what you like :)

    They need to be saved in xml format. If you open in Notes just click "save" instead of "save as".
     
  9. Michelon

    Michelon Chieftain

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    One or a lot questions more ...
    Sorry I want to do my best...
    I will use Notepad++ (Thank you for the advice)
    I understand what to do with the "CIV4GameText_TKText_Privateer.xml" but what I have to do if I want to translate in french Galleon Privateer in the "PrivateerMod_CIV4UnitClassInfos.xml" ? Is it the same way <french>.....(/<french).... ?

    - What about the resources Crab, corn and fish ? Are they effective actually ?
    - What is the real job of a Crewman Cooper ? (Not easy to translate like that)
    - Is a rival a competitor ?

    Thank you
     
  10. Kailric

    Kailric Jack of All Trades

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    You can just translate "Galleon Privateer" to French and save it or you can create a Text Name Key for it. You create a Text Name Key like the examples above.

    Add the below text to CIV4GameText_TKText_Privateer.

    Code:
    <TEXT>
        <Tag>TXT_KEY_GALLEON_PRIVATEER</Tag>
        <English>Galleon Privateer</English>
        <French>Galleon Privateer</French>
        <German>Galleon Privateer</German>
        <Italian>Galleon Privateer</Italian>
        <Spanish>Galleon Privateer</Spanish>
     </TEXT>
    Now add the below code to the PrivateerMod_CIV4UnitClassInfos. If you do it like this the text will change depending on what language you have selected.

    Code:
    <UnitClassInfo>
          <Type>UNITCLASS_GALLEON_PRIVATEER</Type>
          <Description>TXT_KEY_GALLEON_PRIVATEER</Description>
          <DefaultUnit>UNIT_GALLEON_PRIVATEER_BUILT</DefaultUnit>
    </UnitClassInfo>
    But you will also need to change the Descriptions in the PrivateerMod_CIV4UnitInfos.xml as well as below.

    Code:
    <UnitInfo>
          <Type>UNIT_PRIVATEER_GALLEON</Type>
          <Class>UNITCLASS_PRIVATEER</Class>
          <UniqueNames/>
          <Special>NONE</Special>
          <Capture>NONE</Capture>
          <Combat>UNITCOMBAT_PRIVATEER</Combat>
          <Domain>DOMAIN_SEA</Domain>
          <DefaultUnitAI>UNITAI_PIRATE_SEA</DefaultUnitAI>
          <DefaultProfession>PROFESSION_PIRATE_SHIP</DefaultProfession>
          <Invisible>NONE</Invisible>
          <SeeInvisible>NONE</SeeInvisible>
          [COLOR="DarkRed"]<Description>Galleon</Description>[/COLOR]
         <Civilopedia>TXT_KEY_NEEDS_DESCRIPTION</Civilopedia>
    I believe the the mod automaticly adds the title "Privateer" to ships they you turn into Privateers.

    Crab, corn and such should already be translated.

    A Crewman Cooper is a Barrel Maker. He makes and repairs the Barrels that stores the wine, rum, and food that Ship's need in order to make long journeys. If a ship has a good Barrel Maker food and drink last longer.

    A rival is sometimes your most hated competitor or a competitor that gives you the most competition :)
     
  11. Michelon

    Michelon Chieftain

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    A great thank for that...
    What is the difference betwween GALLEON_PRIVATEER and PRIVATEER_GALLEON. Both are in the UnitInfo.xml ?
     
  12. Kailric

    Kailric Jack of All Trades

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    The UNITCLASS_GALLEON_PRIVATEER are the Unique Privateer ships that the Pirate Civs can build, like the Sea Dog and Huguenot. The PRIVATEER_GALLEON is when you convert a Galleon into a Privateer or Pirate ship.
     
  13. Michelon

    Michelon Chieftain

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    Fine.
    I had a new Text_Privateer, Text_Pedia and Text_Diplo .xml
    Where do you want me to post them ?
    The first one is complete. The 2 and 3 are waiting for some informations.
     
  14. Kailric

    Kailric Jack of All Trades

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    Do you know how to "zip" them with a program like WinRar and then "attach" them to a post?
     
  15. Michelon

    Michelon Chieftain

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    Hope it works !!!
     

    Attached Files:

  16. Kailric

    Kailric Jack of All Trades

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    Thanks a lot Michelon. I added the new XMLs to the first post for others to download as well.

    To answer your questions:

    - If you don't play Michel de Grammont or the new ones, it is not easy too understand what to do with the olders because the conditions of victory are the genuine conditions.

    Not sure exactly what you are saying here? The only difference really in playing the older Leaders is the Traits they have and they don't start with a Privateer. The game should play the same.

    When you explain that Smugglers needs Rum. Do you want to say : Rum or Mugs ? -use Rum as it cost Rum each turn for your smugglers to work

    - In the CIV4GameText_TKText_Privateer.xml, a description is written twice (1514 & 1522) and the end of the line 1691 seems "bizarre" (.ff). What is the meaning of : A Captain is consumed (Line 1683)

    The description written twice is an error, should only be written once. The "ff" should not be there. "A captain is consumed" means the Captain is destroyed when you use the command.

    I saw that the % of the lifesaver is (+1240112%). The same with the Storm chaser (+1239984%). Is Ironman involved with that?

    Not sure what you are asking? Where did you see the %? And what is "Ironman" you talk about.

    -I don't know where I can find the abilities of the new heroes and Fathers. So I didn't translate this.

    They are found in the CIV4GameText_TKText_Privateer.. example: TXT_KEY_TRAIT_INTOXICATE_CHANGE
     
  17. Michelon

    Michelon Chieftain

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    I sent you a first approch, so please: don't put it like that to the others players because I am sure there are some mistakes. I will finish the work by playing with it so please wait a while.
    Thank you
     
  18. Kailric

    Kailric Jack of All Trades

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    Ok, just let me know when you are "finished". For some reason the files didn't get posted on the first page anyway.
     
  19. Michelon

    Michelon Chieftain

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    Impossible to find where I saw (Lifesaver= Defends +1240112%) and (Storm Chaser=Defends + 1239984%) ... but I saw it !... and Ironman was (a bad) joke about the movie Heroe and his strenght.
    When I write 10[ICON_GOLD], I do have a fine gold icon after 10. What I have to do to have a fine mug icon (cos i wrote [ICON_MUGS], [ICON_YIELD_MUG] and a lot of things like that but it doesn't work and I have Text instead of an icon)?
    When I was speaking about crab or other new foods, I wanted to know what is their utility. I saw some colony with crabs combined with fishes, but noone to fetch them...
    I am still working on the traduction (I must play sometimes to improve the translation...) so I will send you the final work soon because I have found some mistakes still.
    Thank you
     
  20. Kailric

    Kailric Jack of All Trades

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    Yields like Rum or Mugs do not have a code like ICON_GOLD. In order to display their icon you have to have it setup in C++ code to do so. In the example below we use %F to display the Rum icon in the game. C++ will translate %F into the Rum Icon. Also, You have to put a number out next to %F depending on its order in the translated text. In the example %F1_yield is the first variable in the line so we put a 1 next to the %F. The "_yield" is not even necessary to be there. Its just there to remind you what the %F1 represents. You can write it as %F1_rum and it will still work.

    The next variable is %d, which represents a number. In this case the number of Rum needed. We put a 2 next to the %d because it is the second variable in the line.

    Hope this helps.

    Code:
     <TEXT>
        <Tag>TXT_KEY_NO_ACTION_NEED_RUM</Tag>
        <English>[COLOR_WARNING_TEXT]Crew wont sail without %F1_yield(%d2)[COLOR_REVERT]</English>
        <French>.</French>
        <German>.</German>
        <Italian>.</Italian>
        <Spanish>.</Spanish>
      </TEXT>
    Crabs, Fish, and Corn are bonus resources that are in the normal game. They simple add extra food to the plot.
     

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