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Movement limits in early eras

Discussion in 'Rise of Mankind: A New Dawn' started by 45°38'N-13°47'E, May 11, 2017.

  1. 45°38'N-13°47'E

    45°38'N-13°47'E Chieftain

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    Just wonder...
    It's a new option I plan to include soon. The code is mostly done and working, although I'm still checking details.
    The formula goes like this: there's a base radius (for the moment it's set to 3, you can set it via xml). It's scaled for mapsize (+1 for mapsize, so it's +0 for Duel, +1 for Tiny, +2 for Small, +3 for Normal and so on). On a Normal map the starting radius is 6. Then it's scaled for Era, 6 is in Ancient Era on a Normal map. The radius is centered on the closest city of your civilization. Your units cannot move outside of this radius. But I still have some doubts on how to scale the radius for era; scaling should be done for Ancient, Classical and Medieval. When Renaissance begins, you should be able to roam freely. Additionally, you can freely roam inside other civs territory if you have Open Borders and you can always follow paths/roads even if the plots are outside your radius.
    Some techs might increase the radius. Cartography and Colonialism have been proposed, but especially the latter one comes very late. Colonialism is halfway through Renaissance when you're supposed to roam freely already. I could make it so that Cartography doubles the radius and Colonialism removes it completely. Also you could remove the radius completely when reaching industrial instead of renaissance.
    So on a Normal map you would start with radius 6 on Ancient; for later Eras I'm experimenting with +3*Era radius, so it would be 6 on Ancient, 9 on Classical, 12 on Medieval. It could then become 24 when hitting Cartography and no movement limits when reaching Colonialism OR Industrial Era.
    What do you think? Other suggestions?
     
  2. Pepo

    Pepo Chieftain

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    Will all units be affected by this change? I think that it could be interesting but I think scouts should probably be excempt from it
     
  3. 45°38'N-13°47'E

    45°38'N-13°47'E Chieftain

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    Just wonder...
    Currently all units are affected in my test code. I might give some additional range to scouts/explorers, but I don't want them to roam freely.
     
  4. Fozman

    Fozman Chieftain

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    This is an option that would probably stay off in my games, but your logic appears sound. There could be some unforeseen problems with things like trade, barbarians, and large unclaimed spaces, but at least it would reduce the risk of the AI annoyingly plopping a city behind a player's outer line of cities.
     
  5. rtt4a

    rtt4a Chieftain

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    sounds good, its an option so go for it:goodjob: recon units maybe some extra but like you said not roaming freely..
     
  6. aggri1

    aggri1 Chieftain

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    I think I like the idea, but I have some concern about how it might be implemented. If there is a reasonable interface, that is, it's immediately clear what's going on, I think range limits would be interesting. If there's just some unexplained 'wall' which my unit can't move into without explanation, it might quickly become really annoying.

    I would envisage a visible line on the map, something like a culture border or whatever, to clearly indicate where the range limit currently is.

    I'd make the further suggestion that the range limit not be a very strict, hard limit, but instead e.g. if you do go past the range limit you start to accumulate unit damage. It could be linear, exponential with number of turns, whatever, just something to reflect the fact that your unit is operating far from home and is without support. That way you can explore beyond 'the border' but it might become costly. Using unit damage could also allow strategies like units which heal faster and have terrain bonuses and so forth (opportunity for new promotions here; "distance-damage-reduction promotion for recon' units"), but since such units are likely to be limited in availability in the early game, it becomes another strategic choice to make. And since unit damage already exists, I'd expect that this wouldn't be too hard to code, either. Perhaps then even just a log message explaining the reason for damage would suffice rather than another line drawn on the map.

    And I personally prefer mechanisms with some element of realism than arbitrary limits and scale factors purely for "gameplay's" sake (perhaps why I'm not impressed with Civ6). I always was bothered that in Civ one could easily know the whole of the land-accessible world very early on.

    Definitely an interesting idea. Seem to recall that something along these lines (e.g. logistical support for armies) has been discussed since time immemorial (or at least the CivII era). :)
     
  7. Fozman

    Fozman Chieftain

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    There is a similar mechanic in Stardock's Galactic Civ series. This range limit is modified by the ship's life support module and is displayed on the map as a line which is offset from your civ's borders.

    Fair idea. Possibly an away supply penalty instead of OR in addition to this damage to represent the logistics issues. If you've got cash to burn, you can fund a voyage for exploration.
     
  8. Vokarya

    Vokarya Chieftain

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    Here's my thoughts.

    I'm in favor of the hard limit on movement. Part of the point of this component is to stop the map from being explored too early. I think any kind of soft limit makes it too easy. I also don't think any unit should be exempt, except very possibly Great Spies and/or Great Merchants. I think +range would be an appropriate promotion for Recon units and Spies. I don't know if the "following roads" is meaningful if you can't get a Worker out to build a road in the first place, unless you're moving through an area where cities have been razed.

    Would it be possible to key the exploration radius to owned tiles instead of cities? I think that would be better. But I would reduce the radius to 1 + map size if we can do that.

    I think it would be better to key increases in exploration range to techs rather than eras; it makes it clearer to the player on the tech splash screen when an increase is achieved. I wouldn't want any improvements early on (like Hunting or The Wheel), as I think a bonus that you can't help but have isn't much of a bonus and should be rolled into the starting level.
     
  9. Combat Wombat

    Combat Wombat Chieftain

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    I think a hard limit is a bad idea. Make it a rapidly increasing maintenance cost. Hard walls are unnatural and unfun.
     
  10. 45°38'N-13°47'E

    45°38'N-13°47'E Chieftain

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    Just wonder...
    The hard limit is ready, coding something different is much harder and the main problem is teaching AI to understand it properly. I like the idea of units taking damage but I'm not sure it's easy to implement this feature although we currently have Terrain Damage.
    Linking radius to owned tiles is difficult to code, it might cause troubles because borders are changing for different reasons and it's much more demanding because calcs would be performed on many more plots.
    I don't like very much the idea of promotions extending the radius, while I agree scouts and maybe spies and traders might travel a bit beyond the radius.
    Finally, which techs should we pick? If the mechanic is not tied to eras, I think we need more than just cartography and colonialism.
     
  11. Zeta Nexus

    Zeta Nexus Chieftain

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    Couldn't we have a new XML tag for it, please? Like iMovementLimit, that can be either positive or negative. So modmods like mine would also benefit. I'd also love to have the same tag for Promotions and Civics if possible. My "Exploration (Stance)" civic could really use such a help. Also, if you don't want promotions modifying the ML in AND it would be still possible for modmods.

    Here are my picks for techs that I think would be appropriate for ML bonus:

    Ancient Era:
    Hunting (has enough content but is a logical choice)
    Storytelling (could use an extra trick)
    Stargazing (could use an extra trick)

    +1 for each tech. On a Normal map you would quickly reach the range 9, that neither too much nor too little.

    Classical Era:
    Horse Breeding
    Stirrup
    Ancient Medicine

    (all 3 could use an extra trick, imo)

    +1 for each tech. That's 12 on a Normal map.

    Medieval Era:
    Alchemy (needs an extra trick)
    Optics
    Cartography
    Mountaineering
    (really needs an extra trick)
    Compass

    +2 for each tech. That's 22 on a Normal map. I think it's okay if you can map out the majority of the world by the and of the Medieval Era. And remember: Just because you can go that far, you still need some time to really go that far.

    Renaissance Era:
    Astronomy could give a +10, that's 32 on a Normal map, probably enough to reach the majority of the world.
    Navigation would completely remove the limit and gives a free to roam.
     
  12. Zeta Nexus

    Zeta Nexus Chieftain

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    While I basically agree with this, 45 has well explained why a soft limit is not possible/good idea. So let's start with the hard wall and see how it works and we can come back complaining after some experience :lol:

    However I can imagine how frustrating it can be if you cannot reach that Goody Hut "just 1 tile away :cry:"
    So maybe the wall could be softened a bit this way: You can go above the limit but by the start of the next turn your unit is pushed back to the right side of the wall... maybe with a random 10-50% damage to make it less exploitable... and than the AI should be taught not to cross the border (or make it immune to this damage).

    Some "teleportation" mechanics will have to be implied anyway for trouble shooting. Think of this situation:

    Let's say actual limit is 8. You have 2 cities (A and B) and an army :ninja:

    A _ _ _ _ B _ _ _ _ :ninja:

    The distance from city A to the army is 9 but as long as city B exists, it's okay.

    ...but than comes the evil barbarians and capture/destroy city B.

    A _ _ _ _ ... _ _ _ _ :ninja:

    Now your army is stuck out of range while the barbarians march towards city A without any chance of reinforcement for the city defenders.




    And an other question: Should Forts also extend the movement limit?
    I think it rather should. I know "fort spamming" would be an exploitation that allows the exploration of the whole world but that would require a lot of investment. These are the Cons.
    Now the Pros: it's logical and realistic of course. Also it would allow to reach that Goody Hut "just 1 tile away :cry:"or to reach that enemy city causing you so much trouble.
     
  13. Arakhor

    Arakhor Dremora Courtier Moderator

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    I like your ideas, Zeta. :)
     
  14. Zeta Nexus

    Zeta Nexus Chieftain

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    One more thing:
    As long as exploration is mainly done by scouts and spies, for me it doesn't make much sense to give them a radius bonus. I mean: We want to limit exploration but giving a bonus to those units that are just responsible to do so...
    That's why I prefer a Promotion bonus that is only available for reckons and spies: when they are experienced they can go further but not by default.
    Note: If the promotions is only available for reckons and spies it will prevent the stupid AI (excuse me) to break up its armies and send the some units over the line, just to be easily eliminated.
     
  15. 45°38'N-13°47'E

    45°38'N-13°47'E Chieftain

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    Just wonder...
    Pushing back units might cause all sort of problems, definitely too hard. I like the idea of forts but the code might be too heavy because currently I'm only looping through cities, looping through all tiles to look for forts would slow down the turns. I can see if I can find a workaround.
    Nice point about barbarians or other civs razing cities, that's something that needs a solution.
    @Arakhor, I didn't know you became a moderator, congrats!
     
  16. Zeta Nexus

    Zeta Nexus Chieftain

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    There is something similar, isn't it? When you have open borders with someone and declare war on him, your units are pushed to the nearest eligible tile. Doesn't that work in a similar way?
    In that case it may mean dozens of tiles teleported, here it would mean only a few.
     
  17. Arakhor

    Arakhor Dremora Courtier Moderator

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    Thank you, 45. It's in the Colosseum, but I do still find time to hang out in the Civ 4 region. :)
     
  18. Vokarya

    Vokarya Chieftain

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    Here's the two things I would stay away from:
    • No bonuses from early Ancient Era techs. If the bonus comes that early, it may as well just be part of the base. A bonus you can't NOT have isn't really a bonus is a design principle I've been trying to hold to. I also think the Ancient Era needs to be tight on the exploration.
    • No more than one boost per column. I do not want multiple tiny scattered bonuses. That looks horrible and cluttered.
    So that would suggest about three bonuses, scattered around the tech tree, +3 radius for the first two and lifting the requirement for the third.
    • First bonus comes in the very late Ancient or early Classical Eras. I think Alphabet makes the best compromise. Alphabet is already healthy at 4 tricks, but it's placed the best. The other choices I could see are Pottery (somewhat early at Ancient-3) and Ancient Medicine (late at Classical-3).
    • Second bonus comes in the late Classical or early Medieval Eras. Charters or Heraldry might be the closest fits. Both are Medieval-2 and have only 3 tricks each.
    • The last tech would remove all the limits and be early Renaissance. I'm leaning towards Navigation here. Navigation has 4 tricks, which is more than Colonialism's 3, but Navigation is earlier on the tree. Cartography is the second best, not due to lack of tricks but due to placement in the late Medieval, with Mountaineering close behind -- BUT keying ANYTHING to Mountaineering is a bit of a problem because it turns off if Usable Mountains is off.
    Is this a good fit?
     
  19. Arakhor

    Arakhor Dremora Courtier Moderator

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    I don't see how Heraldry would let you explore further, so of the two you listed, Charters makes more sense to me.
     
  20. 45°38'N-13°47'E

    45°38'N-13°47'E Chieftain

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    I think I can go with Alphabet, Charters and Navigation. I would prefer Cartography but that's probably a bit too early. About +3 radius, is that on a Standard map? Of course radius is being scaled by mapsize.
     

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