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My Resource and Commodity Manifesto

Discussion in 'Civ - Ideas & Suggestions' started by Aussie_Lurker, Apr 24, 2004.

  1. Aussie_Lurker

    Aussie_Lurker Deity

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    1) First up, though the introduction of Resources to Civ3 was an excellent step forward, the appearance/disappearance rate issue was MUCH too random!

    2) Any resource (luxury, bonus and Strategic) should, theoretically, have the chance to pop up anywhere on the map-with some exceptions (for instance, you couldn't find cows in the oceans for instance).

    3) In reality, the chance a resource has of 'appearing' should be based on both its relative scarcity and the prevailing terrain. For instance, iron has a greater appearance chance than oil, which has a greater appearance chance than uranium. This base chance of 'appearance' is influenced-up or down-by whether it is in appropriate or inappropriate terrain. Appropriate terrain would add about +10-+20% to the Appearance chance, wheras inappropriate terrain might take off the same amount. eg. Uranium might have a base appearance chance of 10%, but in jungles, this chance might increase to 30%, wheras it might be 0% in the sea/ocean.

    4) The chance of a resource appearing can also be increased through the 'terraforming' action of 'Prospecting'. Each turn, you can select 'prospecting' sites within your territory (or the territory of an ally or RoP nation). For every 10% the Public Works budget that you assign to prospecting increases the 'appearance chance' of ALL resources, within a given radius of your prospecting site, to increase by (x%)-up to a maximum value for each resource type.

    5) It should, theoretically be possible to find a resource even if you don't have the tech to use it. Basically for every era you are in, prior to the one where the resource is first used, you lose 25% to the chance of finding that resource. For instance, finding uranium in the middle ages would incur a -50% chance to its appearance chance (and -75% in the ancient age). Having the tech, however, would give you a +5-+10% chance to find the resource

    6) The size of a resource find should be related to its appearance chance-for instance, if the resource only has a 15% chance of appearing then, even if you do find it, it will rarely ever be above a size 2 resource (out of a max. size of 10). A resource with a 75% chance of appearence, however, will usually be between size 7-8, and never less than size 3!

    7) A tech that requires a resource you possess will gain a research bonus based on the total amount (i.e. size sum) of that resource you possess. For instance, trying to get iron working would be much easier if you happen to have iron in your possession-the more you have, the easier it will be to get the tech!

    8) Certain improvements and Techs should be able to mulitply the size of a given resource-even above the normal maximum size of 10 (but perhaps no greater than 20). eg. Having a stable improvement-which would require you to have horses within your city radius-would have a multiplying effect on the size of ALL horse resources within your civ.

    9) The value of a resource, in internal and external trade, would be based on 'Relative Scarcity', "Resource Size', and 'Number of that resource known to exist' For instance, 3 known sources of uranium, in the world, would make uranium much cheaper, in trade terms, than if there was only 1 known source. Of course, this value would also be affected by 'relative Purchase Power' of each civ, the distance between the trading civs capitals, how popular the trading civ is with the buyer AND how useful that resource will be to the buying civ.

    10) ALL resources, should be bannable. This turns them into Contraband which, with the right 'infrastructure', you can trade to other nations (even if you have no trade pacts with them) at a price many times higher than if it were legal! It will reduce your international reputation, however. It also increases the influence of the Criminal element within your civ (and the civs you trade to!)

    11) The chance of a resource disappearing will depend on the following factors: Relative Scarcity,Size of that particular resource, the number of sources of that resource that you possess, the # of cities in your empire (the more cities, the greater the chance of disappearance), the total 'amount' you are currently trading to other civs (# of resource trades*size of each resource trade), the # of units you have which depend on that resource-on a regular basis (eg. oil for mechanized units), the # of improvements which specifically rely on that resource!

    12) For a luxury resource, the size of a particular source increases the number of people that the source can make happy. Of course you don't HAVE to take full advantage of this potential-a choice which can extend the life of that resource.

    13) For bonus resources, its size increases the food and shield value of the resource-again, you can choose not to take full advantage of these bonuses to extend its useful life!

    14) Commodities and Commodity Trading: This should probably be abstract-with the total amount of 'bonus' shields and food a city can recieve, from internal trade, being about +10% of the total 'Surplus' food and shields that exist within your internal trade network-if that city is connected to the trade network by a road-+20% if its connected by rail. This applies ONLY to cities on the same continent. A city on another continent can still recieve the benefits of these cities, but only if its connected up, somehow, by a harbour/commercial port. The city recieves +5% of the surplus if the connection is a harbour, and +10% if its connected by a commercial port.

    15) As mentioned in other threads, a city gains income based on the number of 'surplus' shields and food it possesses.

    15a) If you didn't want to implement commodities trading in an 'abstract' fashion, then an alternative method would be to have a simple 'vectoring' system. In this system, you enter your city screen and click on the number of surplus shields/food that you wish to put in your trade 'pool'. This trade pool could then be accessed, via the trade screen-where you click on a city and then indicate the number of shields/food you want the city to have from the pool. The number of shields/food you could assign to your trade pool (and the number you could assign to a city) would be tech level dependant, and the nature of your trade infrastructure-for instance, you can assign more if you are connected via rail than road-and more via road than by harbour. Under this system, a city would only gain income for the surplus food/shields it has allocated to the trade pool-NOT the total amount of surplus it possesses!

    16) Under the non-abstract system, your 'commodity' pool would appear in your trade/diplomacy screen-you could offer a certain number of this pool as part of a trade deal with another civ. Again, the maximum you can tade is both tech and trade-network dependant! Shields/food traded to another civ become unavailable to you, and instead ends up in the other civs 'Trade Pool'-which it can allocate accordingly. The base value of such trades will depend on the 'purchase power' of the seller-with the cost to the seller being dependant on the tarrif rate imposed by the buyer.

    16a) Under the abstract system, external commodity trades would occur automatically, whenever you trade a resource with that civ. The maximum amount of a commodity that you trade to them (and vice versa) would be equal to x% of your total surplus-though you could go into the trade screen and reduce this amount. The values and costs of such trades, however, would still be based on the same factors as descibed in (16).
    For more info on tarrifs and commodity trading, see http://forums.civfanatics.com/showthread.php?s=&threadid=85846

    Anyway, sorry for the length of the post but, as always, any thoughts and constructive criticisms would be appreciated :)!

    Yours,
    Aussie_Lurker.
     
  2. Aussie_Lurker

    Aussie_Lurker Deity

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    To follow on from my above discussions regarding Resources, I’d like to Add the following points:

    1) With ALL resources sometimes, beyond a certain point, more should NOT always mean better. As the old saying goes, you CAN have too much of a good thing ;)!

    2) With that in mind, luxuries should come with some negative effects if you rely on them TOO much. Although there should not be any real limit to how many people luxuries can make happy. Overutilizing these resources, though, SHOULD carry some penalty. Some penalties could include increased crime and corruption; reduced food and shield production and even reductions in growth rates.

    2a) These negative effects would be even WORSE if the luxury were one which your civ had banned (though the happiness effects could be greater too!)

    3) The exact negative effects of overuse of luxuries should very much depend on the TYPE of luxury you’re depending on. Tobacco, for instance, might reduce growth rates-wheras poppies would increase crime and corruption.

    4) I think this would be more historically realistic than the current system. After all, the Roman Empire had a VERY luxurious lifestyle-and look what it did to THEM!

    5) By the same token, overreliance on certain Strategic resources should come at a penalty of increased pollution!

    6) As I mentioned in my previous post, though, each resource should come with its own slider bar (from 0-100%) which indicates the amount of reliance on that resource.

    I think that this addition, without adding much more complexity or micromanagement to the game, could add much greater depth to the role of resources within a society. The good AND the bad.

    Yours,
    Aussie_Lurker.
     
  3. NobleLeader

    NobleLeader Chieftain

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    I think to implement a "more-real" economics the game has to have limited resources. An infinite source of materials can't be valued.

    Also, resources have to be storeable (?), so a civ can trade their stored resources. Those stored resources will have their price increased if sources become unavailable, and decreased if new sources become available.

    Military forces would be used to take or steal resources from another civs.
     
  4. dh_epic

    dh_epic Cold War Veteran

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    NobleLeader and Aussie_Lurker, good ideas in all.

    The economics in Civ are way to idealistic, way too "pro-democracy", and way too "pro-technology" (not that these are bad things to be, just unrealistic when it's almost as if nature favors these two unconditionally).

    The value coming from scarcity is key, and thus having a supply between small and abundant is a WHOLE WORLD of difference.

    And the aspects of research, chance of discovery, and dependency, they're all important.

    While we're talking about strategic resources, we ought to talk about luxuries.


    - People demand luxuries
    - High quality luxuries become world famous (e.g.: italian wine, indian silk)
    - By transitive property, people demand the highest quality luxuries
    - Exporting luxuries would increase the culture value of your civ
    - Importing luxuries would increase the culture value of THEIR civ
    - In a democratic nation, people are more likely to demand foreign goods
    - An unsatisfied demand leads to increased unrest and corruption
    - In an autocratic nation, you can curb said demands
    - Trading is, generally, mutually beneficial. Isolationism is NOT profitable.

    - If your nation has an unfavorable view of another nation, the value of their goods is diminished ... (e.g.: freedom fries) ... unfavorable depends on the nature of your relationship with them, if it is positive or negative, fair or unfair (trading your uranium for their peanuts or having sanctions against you = bad, a great alliance or lots of fair trade = good)


    To me, games are all about choices. If you force someone into something, it's not very interesting. Hence,

    HERE'S THE TRADEOFF:

    - If your nation is enjoying another nation's goods, the amount your civ likes them increases, increasing the chances of war weariness should you battle them, and increasing the chances they will defect should they be your neighbour...

    - On the other hand, if you ban said goods (no italian wines! we'll make our own wine, and it will be SUPERIOR!) you run the risk of unrest within your borders, and the international community sees you as a bully, and might start pulling out of trade agreements ... and isolationism is not very profitable


    I think Civ 4 should reflect these basic consumer attitudes, and economic benefits and political drawbacks.
     
  5. Brutha2

    Brutha2 Chieftain

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    Have you thought about having tradeable resources where you can set it to remove part of its production in it's city or all of it if there is no city and send it to a city that needs some more food or shields, perhaps if you needed to speed up a wonder? It would probably cost you something, a penalty off the resource or even 1 gold a turn as long as the trade is still being carried out.
     
  6. Che Guava

    Che Guava The Juicy Revolutionary

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    Alright, I'm a little behind thi times, but I had some thoughts about luxuries:

    (1) I think there should be a difference between raw goods and finished products, kind of like what was going on in Colonization. For example, you can get mine gems and dump them on the market at thier raw (low) value, or build a city improvement that converts these gems to jewelery, which are much more valuable and sought after than gems.

    (2)If you do improve these products, I beleive they should be specific to your empire. E.g. raw materials should be treated as all the same (as in CivIII) but the value of finished products will depend on the culture/popularity of the civ that creates them. This way, you can buy chiq french textiles for a high price (and high response from your citizens) or buy cheap aztec cotton, and try to make your own, textiles that might not be as well received if your culture is not as strong.

    (3) You should be able to trade as much of whatever resource you want! Just because I have one source of gems doesn't mean I don't want another from the english to sell to thier arch nemesis, the chinese!

    ok, that's all I got
     
  7. dexters

    dexters Gods & Emperors Supporter

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    First of all, great post. I'm not sure how I missed it until I was searching page 2 for posts I've missed due to the spamming incident by a certain poster who started no less than 7 threads bumping everyone else's post down.

    In anycase, this disappearance issue has been partially resolved in Civ3 and its expansions and patches with the reduction of how often the resources disappear.

    Also, some resources never disappear.

    Gold in the desert? Wines in the jungle? I'm not sure where you're going with this but I thought the current model where a particular type of resources/luxuries/tile bonuses can only appear on certain types of terrain is pretty well implemented.

    I think the randomness of resources appearing and disappearing should be done away with altogether. I'm ready to live with a Civ4 where resources don't ever disappear. Since the alternative, being a quantity system, isn't really that good either with its added complexities and accounting/RTS style micro-management issues with the resource qauntities.


    This would tend to benefit the humans more. Playing blind seems to be a reasonable way even out the natural human advantages in reading the map over the mechanical AI. If resources can now be discovered before you can use them, players may spend excessive amounts of time looking for them.

    To go back to the point of randomness, it been said by many players before, but many of the random elements of Civ3 can be done away with since they are often too powerful and game breaking. I'm all in favour of removing random resource appearance/disappearace.

    This is an interesting idea. Since it looks like the Civ4 tech tree is radically revised, I think a more interesting idea would be to have resources tied to technologies. However these technologies would be pre-requisite technologies.

    Before iron working for example, might be a technology called mining, which allows you to see iron deposits as well as gold bonus resources and the ability to mine your terrain. If you have iron in your empire, the research cost goes down, slightly, I'd say 5%. It's a nice bonus, but not really game breaking.

    I'm not keen on making having it being game breaking or even moderately powerful.

    This is a good valuation model. The current Civ3 AI valuation model disregards relatively scarcity and simply values a resource based on their need. And that valuation model is still broken in that you could still peddle satlpeter to an advanced AI for a 15-20 gpt even if they have absolutely no use for it. As far as the AI is concerend, they need it to build cavalry, so they'll still pay for it.

    This really doesn't make sense to me. So I will ban iron. For what advantage? Here's a balance question. Why would Firaxis even want to waste time programming the AI to understand this concept.

    I'm sorry if I sound harsh there, but an interesting outgrowth from your bannable resource idea would be to make this fun and give players and AI choices. so far, all resources are true 'goods'. They have no trade off. By we could introduce a class of resources that are 'middle of the road' resources.

    Things like opium, tabacco (yes, lets put them to use), mcdonalds (just kidding) would be luxuries that give happy faces but have some negative effects with some worse than others. As a matter of policy you could choose not to import them or refuse to have them disseminated in your empire if you have a local resource. You can still probably put a road through it, to connect it and perhaps trade it away, but it just won't travel around your empire.
     
  8. Aussie_Lurker

    Aussie_Lurker Deity

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    OK, Dexters. I should point out that I wrote this original post over 6-8 months ago (at least). Since then, I have revised my model to make it a bit more 'user friendly'-and to remove some of the Human Player advantage you mentioned.
    Basically, resources would still have a size rating, and the size rating would determine the base chance of the resource appearing AND disappearing. I have come back to the idea of totally linking specific resources to specific terrains, which I am sure you will be glad to hear ;)! Whether a resource appears or not will depend on several things:

    1) Does the resource lie within a city radius, within your national borders, in 'neutral' territory, in an 'ally's' territory, or in an 'enemy's' territory? Obviously, the first is better than the next, which is better than the next etc etc.

    2) Do you have a resource improvement on the square in question, and what kind?

    3) Do you have the appropriate tech for that resource yet?

    4) How much of your budget have you invested into resource exploration?

    5) How 'scarce' is this type of resource?

    6) How large is the specific resource deposit.

    The size of a resource deposit basically also determines the # of cities+'resource requiring' units you can build BEFORE you have any chance of the resource disappearing. Beyond that, the population and number of your cities, and the number of your 'resource requiring' units and improvements you have.
    As for banning a resource. You would mostly do it with luxuries, especially ones to which your people have become 'addicted' (in a manner of speaking), or to deny another nation a market via your private sector. By the same token, your private sector might control a deposit of uranium, which they are trading to a nation on the verge of acquiring nuclear technology-you want to stop them trading this commodity, but not stop your private sector (or you, for that matter) trading to that nation all together, so you choose to ban it (this is especially effective tool if you have no uranium of your own, or choose not to use it!) It could also be a third party thing, where you don't want a nation to recieve a certain resource from any other parties, so you put pressure on those nations to ban the resource to deny them a market and hurt their economy-especially if that nation has a monopoly. You could 'ban' a resource as a precursor to trading the material as contraband to another nation (if said nation has banned the resource himself). This way, you can strike back economically at a nation which has tried to deny you an income, by sending contrand into his nation-spreading crime and corruption through his cities, whilst you rake in the cash. Lastly, certain factions within your society may, for their own reasons, tell you they want a resource banned, either because of the nation which controls the major source of it, or because it threatens a similar resource within your own borders, or because the resource is effecting the 'morality' of your people, or causing too much pollution.
    You see, though, that there are PLENTY of good reasons why banned goods and contraband could-and should, IMHO-be in the game!

    Yours,
    Aussie_Lurker.
     
  9. CurtSibling

    CurtSibling ENEMY ACE™ SLeague Staff Supporter

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    Aussie, have you tried sending any of this data to Firaxis?

    They might use it. Although I would copyright it, so you can charge them.

    .......
     
  10. dh_epic

    dh_epic Cold War Veteran

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    Not only would it be impossible to authorize a copyright for an idea for somebody else's game...

    Game companies would be foolish to take unsolicited ideas. They would also be foolish to sign anything before they heard an idea. This is because of this simple simple scam:

    "I have an idea, but you have to sign that you promise to compensate me if you use it. It's brilliant and can save your company."

    "Okay, fine, what is it?"

    "You should make a sequal to Civilization 3 and call it Civilization 4. It should have Religion and Civics in it."

    "We were already doing that."

    "Liar, you just stole my idea. I'm gonna sue your ass, because you promised not to steal my idea."

    The whole idea that a game company would want to pay someone to sit around and just think of ideas is pure fantasy. I think most people on these forums are realistic enough to lmpw that they're not going to get paid, and they'd be lucky to get an idea in the game. These are just fans who happen to like Civilization and want to talk about its future direction, even if it's a different direction from what Firaxis will do.
     
  11. CurtSibling

    CurtSibling ENEMY ACE™ SLeague Staff Supporter

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    A bit serious, aren't we? ;)
    The charging bit was a joke, I know my copyright law.

    Good to see you sweat it and type a paragraph in reaction, though!

    But seriously, do you lot think the Firaxis will pop by and take notice of your
    ideas? Is anyone emailing all the useful stuff along to them as suggestions?

    Or is this forum one massive ego massage?

    .
     
  12. dh_epic

    dh_epic Cold War Veteran

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    Depends on if why you like talking about Civ. A lot of people are here just for fanship and enjoyment, combined with a touch of speculation. General excitement over the game. At least that's why I'm here.

    Firaxians do pop by on the board. What they do here is uncertain. Worst case scenario they're coming here to give the impression they care. Slightly better is that they're coming here for approval, to evaluate if they're on the right path.

    But I think it's unrealistic to think that they could be persuaded to do something they weren't already doing at this point. For example, with resources. If they decided that was something they weren't going to improve, they probably won't take any suggestions. MAYBE a minor tweak to resources that doesn't add to the complexity of the game.
     
  13. Aussie_Lurker

    Aussie_Lurker Deity

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    Seriously guys, if they saw these ideas here-and implemented them in some way in the game-then I would consider that reward enough.
    Trust me, as someone who knows BUBCASS about computer programming, its not like I could ever apply any of these ideas in any game of my own. So I say 'steal away' ;)!

    Yours,
    Aussie_Lurker.
     

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