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Nation specific Unique Units and Unique Buildings

Discussion in 'Civ4Col - We The People' started by raystuttgart, Mar 18, 2020.

?

Should WTP have nation specific UUs and UBs?

  1. No, it will become too complicated. Nation specific Bonusses are enough.

    23.1%
  2. Yes, it will offer more diverse playstyles and capturing some of these would be fun.

    76.9%
  1. raystuttgart

    raystuttgart Civ4Col Modder

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    In Civ4 BTS all Nations have UUs and UBs.
    Thus the technical possibilities in DLL and XML also exist in Civ4Col since it inerited them from Civ4 BTS.

    Still this concept however was never really applied to Civ4Col. :think:
    (It is basically only used for giving Nations different Missionaries and Priests that have the same balancing though.)

    We once discussed it in RaR but somehow never realized it ...
    (Mainly due to lack of ideas and time.)

    Why was it not realized then:
    • We need to have good ideas for that, that match historical facts.
    • We need to balance it well, because otherwise gameplay will suffer.
    • It will be effort to create good graphics. (XML setup is relatively easy though.)
    General Pros:
    • Nations would feel a little bit more unique.
    • It could enhance gameplay to capture enemy Cities with such nation specific Buildings
    • It could enhance gameplay to capture such nation specific Units of enemies
    ----

    However, we should not overexagerate with it either.

    Thus I suggest to have for each Colonial Nation:
    • 1 nation specific Unique Unit for a Ship (Combat Ship or Transport Ship) or a Land Transport Unit (e.g. Wagon Trains)
    • 1 nation specific for Unique Unit for an Expert (Militarty Profession or Worker Profession)
    • 1 nation specific Unique Building
    Small Remark:
    We could also do this by e.g. transforming some Ships we have to become only Nation Specific.
    (e.g. Caravela Redonda)

    ----

    By the way:
    We are really talking about the 8 Colonial Nations only.
    (We should not be trying to do this for Natives.)

    We should also try to match the UUs and UBs to the focus and Nation specific bonusses the Colonial Nations already have in WTP.

    ----

    Step 1: Clarification if we want to have it at all. (See poll)
    Step 2: Collecting good ideas and creating a gameplay concept (balancing).
    Step 3: Creating or collecting graphics
    Step 4: Implementation (configuration in XML)

    I am looking forward to feedback and suggestions. :)

    ----

    First Draft of concept for Unique Expert Units: see here.
    First Draft of concept for Unique Ships / Transport: see here.
    First Draft of concept for Unique Buildings: in work: see here.
     
    Last edited: Mar 20, 2020
  2. devolution

    devolution Prince

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    The BTS mod Realism Invictus has a slightly different concept that I think is better. Instead of having unique units they have "distinctive units" shared by several civs. We already have this concept in WTP (catholic vs. protestant preachers) and it would alleviate us from introducing a new unit per civ. For example: England and France may share the same distinctive unit, while England and Denmark share the their special building.

    Other interesting variants found in various BTS mods: If a city is conquered, the conqueror can build/equip the unique unit\building of the former owner.

    Note that Rise of Mankind A New Dawn has no unique units at all, instead they have a large variety of units that every civ can potentially build\equip.
     
  3. raystuttgart

    raystuttgart Civ4Col Modder

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    That is already configurable in XML. :thumbsup:
    We could simply give the same unit / building to more than 1 Nation.
    There is no DLL change needed at all.

    Possible as well. :dunno:
    If there is a good concept for this, I have no problem with that. :thumbsup:

    With the Buildings it would be cool - I really like it :) - but only in that specific conquered city. :thumbsup:
    (Otherwise the "UB concept" is pretty worthless because in the end you could basically build everything everywhere.)

    Since Experts however are not "built", the concept of "building Units" can not be applied for them in WTP anyways.
    (I also would not like it. It could also cause massive issues with "LbD", "Immigration", "School System", ...)

    Edit:
    As pointed out correctly it would work for Ships and Wagon Trains (Units that are built) though as well.
    (For those Units I would also like to be able to build them in the specific conqured cities.)
     
    Last edited: Mar 18, 2020
  4. devolution

    devolution Prince

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    You would be limited to the cities where the culture of the previous owner still exceeds a threshold ( "to represent their way of doing things")

    We could certainly allow unique/distinctive ships/wagons and these would be built.
     
  5. raystuttgart

    raystuttgart Civ4Col Modder

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    Sounds cool. :thumbsup:
     
  6. Swarbs

    Swarbs Emperor

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    I think this is a great idea! Although:

    Not 100% sure I agree with this, as that would only serve to exaggerate the benefits of the nations, rather than make them more nuanced and unique. Also matching to bonuses runs the risk of just duplicating existing units. The obvious option for England, for example, would be to replace Firebrand Preacher with a Puritan Theologian, with a bonus to crosses. But that would just duplicate the current Bishop unit, and not make a noticeable difference as England already has the cross bonus. So I'd suggest more along the lines of the following:

    England
    France
    • UU - Engage - Replaces indentured servant, +2 food from land (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/New_France#Settlers_and_their_families There was a high demand for children, for they contributed to the prosperity of the farm from an early age, and there was plenty of food for them. Women bore about 30% more children than comparable women who remained in France)
    Not sure on others, but the idea is to offer different strategies - England can carry out better production with their free colonist without needing to educate them, France can use indentured servants for farming rather than just dumping them straight in a native village etc. Give more options to succeed, rather than just boosting existing bonuses
     
  7. raystuttgart

    raystuttgart Civ4Col Modder

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    Great. :)

    I especially also like the idea of @devolution. :thumbsup:
    (Capturing enemy Cities not only just capturing the existing Unique Buildings but also allowing to build their Unique Buildings in these Cities.)

    The nation specific Unique Units can already be captured anyways. :)
    (But @devolution is right, the concept of "building nation specific Ships or Transport Units in captured Cities" can be applied as well.
    Simply not for Experts that are not built.)

    Ok, I am generally convinced. :thumbsup:
    We do not need to enhance the existing focus but just diffentiate the Nations and make them more unique and having more options.
     
    Last edited: Mar 18, 2020
  8. raystuttgart

    raystuttgart Civ4Col Modder

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    Something like this we should definitely avoid. :c5unhappy:

    The colonist is the base Unit for the complete gameplay - thus the change would have way too much impact.
    If we would change rare special event Units (like e.g. Native Mercenaries) we would have the contrary which is way too little impact.

    -----

    Thus for "Human" Units, let us please only change Expert Units (for specific Military or Civil Professions).
    Anything else will completely mess up balance or not really matter anyways.

    For Ships and Land Transports we are basically pretty much unrestricted, which specific Ship we change.
    It will be just one out of many Ship or Land Transport types.

    For Buildings we need to consider carefully again to have a good balancing.
    (e.g. "Townhall" / "Storage House" / "Carpenter Shop" are much more important than a "Tobacco House" / "Fur Traders House".)

    -----

    Generally however the sum of these 3 will make a good balancing.
    All Nations should be balanced and have comparable advantages (and maybe even disadvantages).
     
    Last edited: Mar 18, 2020
  9. raystuttgart

    raystuttgart Civ4Col Modder

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    That is correct. :thumbsup:

    It will also work for Ships / Wagon Trains and other Units that can be built.
    (There I also see no problem and like it as well.)

    Sorry, I was focussed on the Experts (for Professions) which are not built.
    (There it will probalby not work and I think I would also not like it.)
     
  10. Swarbs

    Swarbs Emperor

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    That does create a restriction - if England and France (for example) replace the same unique building with their building, what happens when they capture another colony? If they both have advanced education buildings, then whose gets built in a captured colony?

    In general, given that buildings upgrade, it would have to be the whole chain that upgraded, or at least upgraded from a certain point (England's college bonus I suggested should stay to the university level for example). So that may limit the choices if unique buildings can be built by an occupying power, particularly if you want to focus on just the core buildings.

    Not necessarily - changing the free colonist is powerful at first, but the changes won't carry through to the trained unit, so they disappear over time.

    So England at first can produce 4 coats per turn with free colonists, other nations only three. But once England trains its colonists to be master fur traders, they only produce six. So it's a powerful bonus at first, but fades over time as in the late game colonists are pretty much educated as soon as they immigrate / are born.

    Also, +1 to production is a small bonus, so not OP, whilst expert units could get huge bonuses. Dutch expert hunters could get +4 furs and +2 food for example, to reflect how important fur was to the New Netherlands. That doesn't have as much impact as +1 to free colonist, but it will last the whole game.

    I think its good to have varied unique units. Some will be more widespread, so the bonuses can be less powerful, but balanced against more specialised units with powerful bonuses.
     
  11. raystuttgart

    raystuttgart Civ4Col Modder

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    That is true, but it simply needs to be considered in the concept. :thumbsup:

    UBs should really be different Special Buildings for every Civ.
    (So 2 Civs should not use the same SpecialBuildingType.)

    That we figured out as well in the old RaR concept. :thumbsup:
    In the old concept we thus decided to have the Unique Building only for the last Upgrade Level.

    We could also do it for the complete chain, so the bonus would be carried on.
    Generally though it is mainly a matter of effort we would be willing to invest into graphics.
     
    Last edited: Mar 19, 2020
  12. raystuttgart

    raystuttgart Civ4Col Modder

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    So ok, I thought a bit and have come up with a first partial / draft concept.
    I first tried to figure out the UUs for Human Experts.

    I tried to have those generally balanced but unique, giving alternative gameplay options (instead of just focussing current bonusses) and still match history and normal strategy for the Nations.
    Spoiler :

    UUs for Human Experts:
    (Those would nation specifically replace the existing Experts.)

    England:
    • Redcoats (stronger Line Infantery)
    France:
    • Acier Bâtards (Pioneers that build Improvements faster)
    Netherlands:
    • Timmermans (Carpenters that produce more Hammers)
    Spain:
    • Exploradores (Scouts that give more gold from Goody Huts)
    Portugal:
    (gets 2 because each one alone is too weak compared to the other Nations)
    • Tamed Slaves (African Slaves that will not run away)
    • Escavadores (Prospectors that produce more Gold/Silver/Gems)
    Russia:
    • Alaskan Hunters (Hunters that produce more Fur/Food)
    Danish:
    • Dansk Fisker (Fishermen that produce more Food)
    Swedish:
    • Järn Smed (Toolsmith that produce more Tools and Blades)


    By the way:
    We do not necessarily need to create completely new graphics.
    The graphics could be just slightly different (e.g. in colouring).
     
    Last edited: Mar 18, 2020
  13. raystuttgart

    raystuttgart Civ4Col Modder

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    So ok, I thought a bit and have come upt with the second part of the the draft concept.
    I now tried to figure out the UUs for Buildable Units.

    I have tried again to generally balance and still match historical aspects.
    However I have not tried to introduce many more UnitTpyes - instead I have mostly tried to transform some less used UnitTypes - basically for Ships - into unique ones.

    In fact, many players complain about there being too many Ships that play almost the same.
    And to a huge extent I can really confirm that.

    Thus we will hardly need any new graphics. :)
    And players should complain less about too many useless Ships.

    Spoiler :

    UUs for Human Experts:
    (Those would nation specifically replace the existing Experts.)

    ------
    Spain and Portugal:
    • Caravela Redonda will be transformed into a Unique Unit that replaces Caravel for these Nations
    Comments:
    • Caravela Redonda I hardly ever buy/use, because it has only 3 Cargo Slots. (1 more than Caravels)
    • This transformation to a Unique Unit needs to be considered in balancing of course.
    • This transofrmation to a Unique Unit also needs to be checked considering Founding Fathers.
    ------
    Netherlands and Denmark:
    • Fluyt will be transformed into a Unique Unit that replaces Caravel for these Nations.
    Comments:
    • Fluyt I hardly ever buy/use, because it has only 3 Cargo Slots. (1 more than Caravels)
    • This transformation to a Unique Unit needs to be considered in balancing of course.
    • This transofrmation to a Unique Unit also needs to be checked considering Founding Fathers.
    ------
    England:
    • (Wagon) Trek will be transformed into a Unique Unit that replaces Wagon Train for this Nation. (1 more cargo slot but otherwise same values.)
    Comments:
    • I feel that currently hardly anybody ever builds/uses (Wagon) Treks, because in the old balancing they were simply not worth it (because too slow)
    • This transformation to a Unique Unit needs to be considered in balancing of course.
    • This transofrmation to a Unique Unit also needs to be checked considering Founding Fathers.
    ------
    France:

    • Brigantine will be transformed into a Unique Unit that replaces Merchantman for this Nation.
    Comments:
    • The difference is really tiny, Brigantines are mainly a bit stronger than Merchantmen (and can fight Pirates a bit better)
    • This transformation to a Unique Unit needs to be considered in balancing of course.
    • This transofrmation to a Unique Unit also needs to be checked considering Founding Fathers.
    ------
    Russia and Sweden:
    • Large Whaling Ship (new) which will replace normal Whaling Ship (stronger and has 2 Cargo Slots instead of 1)
     
    Last edited: Mar 19, 2020
  14. Atlas627

    Atlas627 Deity

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    I've always found Unique Units and Unique Buildings to be rather disappointing in the Civ series. They are basically Civilization-wide Unique Abilities but with prettier graphics. I would think that a UU or UB would only have impact if sometimes you couldn't use the Unique one and had to use the Standard one, or chose to use the Standard one for some reason. For example, if all English Line Infantry are replaced with Redcoats and have X ability, that is really the same thing as having a Unique Ability that gives English Line Infantry X ability. But if only some English Line Infantry are replaced with Redcoats, then that makes the Redcoat graphics actually useful in differentiating between the Line Infantry that got affected and the ones that didn't.

    So I would suggest all Unique Units and Unique Buildings be separate, not replacements, as that is an easy way to make the player have to choose when to create the Unique Unit/Building and when not to. Maybe give some Unique Units and some Unique Buildings?

    Some ideas:

    English
    Sea Dog - Merchant ship that can attack even when not at war. Has slots for cargo (say 2), loots cargo from the ships it sinks, and must be built in the colonies. (Might be able to grab graphics from Sid Meier's Pirates or something)

    French
    Coureur des Bois/Voyageur - Land cargo unit that only has room for 1 good but all terrain costs reduced to 1, and tiles adjacent to Rivers reduced to 1/2. Good for trading with the natives! (Might be able to grab the model from AoE 3?)

    Portugal
    Bandeirante - Land exploration unit that can be built in the colonies, requiring Blades. Starts with Exploration 1. Weak combat but can attack (say like 4). Small chance to create a Native Slave when defeating a Native unit (say 10%). Can "Claim Land" which expends the unit to claim its and surrounding tiles (add 1 Portuguese culture to all surrounding tiles, which overrides Native culture, I think).
     
  15. raystuttgart

    raystuttgart Civ4Col Modder

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    More or less true, but there is one major differenct in our concept:

    You can acquire these "Civ specific abilities" from your enemies by capturing their Units and Cities.
    It will thus not be as disappointing as you know it from Civ4 BTS. :thumbsup:

    Generally:

    A) Let us please not create more Units for everybody.
    We already have a real huge amount of Units that confuses many players.

    B) Let us please not introduce any "Human Units" that can be built.
    We are currently trying / discussing to get rid of them.

    C) We can not create more Buildings that do not replace existing once.
    There is simply no more space left in the City Screen.

    D) Technically each Civ can have only 1 UnitType per UnitClassType.
    (In the new concept that would be determined by the captured City for Units you can build. - But still there will be only 1 UnitType per UnitClassType to build per City.)

    E) Technically also each Civ can have only 1 BuildingType per BuildingClassType.
    (In the new concept that would be determined by the captured City for Buildings you build. - But still there will be only 1 BuildingType per BuildingClassType to build per City.)

    F) We already have a real mess considering Land Cargo Units. (Oxcart, Wagon Train, Stage Coach, Trek, Conestoga, Carriage)
    Many of them were never used by players. Most players just used Wagon Trains and Carriage and maybe Oxcarts.
    Thus we should definitely not introduce more.

    I just fixed and improved the balancing for them today so the existing others (except Wagon Trains and Carriage and maybe Oxcarts) also make at least a little bit of sense for gameplay.

    Summary:
    We will replace normal Units / normal Buildings by unique Units / unique Buildings Civ specifically.
    But you can still acquire these Civ specific Units / Buildings from your enemies. That will add a new game component.
    Another part of this concept is to give some low value Units (mainly hardly ever used Ships) a purpose by transofming them into Civ specific Units.
    Thus cleaning up a little bit.
     
    Last edited: Mar 19, 2020
  16. Schmiddie

    Schmiddie Emperor

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    I generally like the idea, BUT before we talk about special units for each nation I would definitely prefer to revise the military (including ships) unit system considering era-specific units (i.e. early, middle and late units).
     
  17. Atlas627

    Atlas627 Deity

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    Yes, but then I am not interested in the Civ bonus from the civ I picked, I'm interested in the Civ bonuses of the civs I meet. Not as disappointing, I agree, but still.

    These are supposed to be unique, right? Or do you mean you don't want to increase the total number of units available to any one player?

    I'm not sure why not, but I suppose you could instead make Unique Professions. Is that possible?

    Then I would suggest not bothering with Unique Buildings. Does the Civ4 engine support Unique Improvements?

    But they can have 0, right? So you can make each UU its own UnitClassType? Maybe I misunderstood. I only have experience with Civ6 modding.

    Then remove/convert those unused ones into other things? Also making them cost different things or have wildly different abilities should help, no?
    Converting low value units is a good idea, but overall I don't see it being worthwhile to implement Uniques in this way.

    Edit: And now I can't change my vote, because I don't agree with either option in the poll :p
     
  18. raystuttgart

    raystuttgart Civ4Col Modder

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    Ok, but you still voted with "No"? :confused:

    Do you not like the current concept?
    Because that of course needs to be improved.

    You are pretty much right with some aspects here. :thumbsup:

    Introducing Techs Iif we ever do it) would change a lot for the Ships and Land Cargo Transports.
    (For the Profession Experts it should pretty much change nothing though.)

    However a concept "Eras with Diffferent Units" currently does not really exist. :dunno:
    Maybe you can start a post and explain your ideas. :thumbsup:
     
  19. raystuttgart

    raystuttgart Civ4Col Modder

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    Yes, but if we give each Civ additional Unique Units instead of replace their normal Unit,
    we will have these Units duplicated for the specific Civs just with small differences.
    Does not make much sense for Gameplay of these Civs, since their Unique Unit will always be better than their normal one.

    The Units I am talking about are not (only) "Military" like you might know from Civ6.
    Most of them are used for Economy (Workers and Ships) mainly and all Civs need to have them in general - but some Civs might have better ones.

    "Human Units" in Colonization, are born / do immigrate or are hired.
    (And by features like Education System, LbD, Living with Natives, ... they transform to new "Human Units.)
    They are not built.

    Why? We can simply give the Civs Unique Buildings that are better and replace the normal ones.
    There will be no extra space needed in CityScreen, since the "SpecialBuilding" slot will be the same.

    We probalby misundersand each other. :)
     
    Last edited: Mar 19, 2020
  20. Nightinggale

    Nightinggale Deity

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    Are you talking about unlocking new units or just changing graphics. Unlocking units during the game is half supported already (well 2.8 branch) and I made a modcomp for BTS for the latter where you can define graphics for each unit on a per era basis. There is no technical reason why it wouldn't work in WTP too.

    In other words whatever your idea is, odds are that we might need to update the dll to support it, but it's a realistic update. It would however be nice to know in more details what you are thinking of because it could affect planning.
     
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