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Natural Wonders brainstorming

Discussion in 'Rhye's and Fall - Dawn of Civilization' started by Steb, Aug 2, 2019.

  1. merijn_v1

    merijn_v1 Black Belt

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    A while ago there was a discussion about including Natural Wonders to the new map. I have been thinking about them for a little. Here are my thoughts about them.

    Exploring Natural Wonders
    In other mods that have NW present, just revealing the tile on which the NW is, is enough to discover it. I don't think that works very well in DoC, because this will cause the same civ to discover a certain NW in almost all games. It has been suggested that discovering a NW should be an unit action. This will make exploring the world more involved. I don't think that every unit should be able do the exploration action, only Explorers should be able to. I think this is thematically fitting and makes those units more usefull. It will also decrease the advantage of being close to a NW. Even if you are really close, for example Japan to Mt. Fuji, you still need to put effort into building an Explorer (which has very limited further use) in order to explore the NW. Maybe knowing a certain tech should also be an additional requirement.

    Discovering NW can be done by placing your Explorer on the tile of the NW and do the "Explore NW" action. I think that an additional requirement "not moved this turn" would also be appropriate here. I'm not certain if exploring a NW should be 1 turn or maybe a couple of turns (and maybe also scaled with gamespeed). I think that famous mountains should be impassable. Instead of placing your Explorer on the tile itself, placing it on an adjacent tile allows you to do the "Explore NW" action.

    There are also some water based NW. I think that all the ones in the list below should be passable, so discovering them can be done by placing a naval unit on the tile itself. I think that the exploring ability should apply to ocean faring ships, to prevent them from being explorered too early with galleys. Also here requiring a certain tech (Exploration) could be a possibility.

    I do have my concerns about the AI. Without the competition of the AI, the NW are just additional human bonus. You only have to put some effort into unlocking them. Limiting the exploring action to Explorers only make the AI almost never explore NW, as the AI does not build explorers. Even if the AI builds them more, I think it does not know how to use them properly.

    Benefits
    I think that NW should have an immediate bonus for the first one to discover it. A big culture/gold/science boost are the (generic) bonus I could come up with, but I think there are other more interesting options as well. A possibility could be that every civ that discovers the NW after the first civ also gets a small bonus. This encourages exploring the world for NW even after other civs already explored the NW.

    I think that NW should also have a small bonus if they are in the BFC of your city. Some additional culture/happiness/trade route would be nice IMO. Maybe this bonus should only apply if you have the Hotel building in the city.

    Passibility/improvability/settlability
    The list of NW contains some famous mountains. I think it is best to treat them as regular peaks. So they should be impassable and you are not allowed to build improvements on them. The other land based NW should be passable. Unlike other mods, I do think that you should be able to build improvements or settle on them. I think it is too limiting if you cannot use a tile because there is a NW on them. Take the Devil's Table for example. Europe is already really crowded. Removing the ability to use a tile because there is a NW on it is not good for gameplay IMO. And I think it also doesn't make sense for something as small as the Devil's Table to completely make an single tile unimprovable.

    I think that all water based NW should be passable.

    List of Natural Wonders

    A list of all Natural Wonders I found in either History Rewritten or Platyping's Natural Wonder modcomp. I think there are more

    Mountains:
    - Auyántepui
    - Kilemanjaro
    - Klyuchevskaya Sopka
    - Mount Everest
    - Fuji
    - Mount Sinai
    - Sugarloaf Mountain
    - Uluru
    - Eisreisenwelt (Not a mountain itself, but can be placed on a peak tile)

    Water based:
    - Great Barrier reef (In HR this one spans multiple tiles. I think this should also apply to DoC as well)
    - Krakatoa
    - Shark bay
    - Nukuoro (This is an atol tile in DoC. I don't think this one should be included)

    Land based:
    - Yellowstone
    - Barringer Crater
    - Eye of the Sahara
    - Ngorongoro crater (This one would be on the tile next to the Kilemanjaro, which is IMO too close. I think this one should be left out.)
    - Salar de Uyuni
    - Dead sea
    - Pamukkale
    - Basalt Organ
    - Devil's Table
    - Pravcicka Brana
    - Victoria Falls
    - Baikal lake (this lake is represented by multiple water tiles on the map already)

    - Aurora Australis
    - Aurora Borealis
    I'm not sure about the Aurorae. There are not limited to a single location.

    Some of my own ideas:
    - Niagara Falls
    - Great Blue hole
    - Giants Causeay
     
    Last edited: Mar 3, 2020
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  2. Swarbs

    Swarbs Emperor

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    I'd say the method of discovery should maybe vary with the wonder, and the rewards could scale with the tech.

    Everest, for example:
    Discovered with Explorers, gives +1:)
    Surveyed with Measurement, requires control of a tile bordering the site, gives 100:science: (one-off)
    Climbed with Electricity, requires control of a tile bordering the site, gives 5:commerce: (nearest city)
    That way the wonder has a benefit from discovery, and then additional benefits from taking actions to research techs. The science and commerce bonuses can also apply to any civ with a nearby border, as both Nepal and China make money of people climbing the mountain.

    Other wonders can have different requirements - Great Barrier Reef should be discoverable by any unit and has bonus :food:, then bonus :culture: with Navigation, but :food: switches to :commerce: with Globalism as tourism becomes a bigger focus than fishing. That way each wonder gives its own bonuses, and these expand as the controlling civ researches specific techs and exploits it (or damages it in the case of the GBR).

    It doesn't make sense, to my mind, to have to use an explorer to find some wonders - the GBR and Mt Fuji for example were known by early tribes for centuries so why should you need a specific unit just to find them? Maybe Fuji could require an Explorer to survey it, and that gives a science or culture bonus? That offers a bit more variety in choices and outcomes that simply being first to rush an Explorer to each wonder site.
     
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  3. Leoreth

    Leoreth 心の怪盗団 Moderator

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    I moved those two recent messages into this thread to keep all the discussion together.
     
  4. Ani Taneen

    Ani Taneen Warlord

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    I want to address the workability of the tiles.
    I think that it makes sense to say “you can’t settle here, but a worker can do the following”
    1. Build pilgrimage site (provides culture)
    2. Build research station (provides science)
    3. Build resort (provides gold and culture)
     
  5. Publicola

    Publicola Prince

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    I think you can probably lump 'pilgrimage' and 'tourism' into the same category (with 'tourist resort' locked behind late-game techs), while only a few natural wonders would really deserve or require a research station. One possibility would be to use the 'forest reserve' improvement (or something similar), so that placing one on a natural wonder gives improved yields (just like placing a mine on a basic hill gives nothing, but placing a mine on an iron gives extra production).

    You're right that natural wonders would be a good way to turn marginal tiles into something slightly more desirable, though they shouldn't do much for food or hammers.
     
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  6. merijn_v1

    merijn_v1 Black Belt

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    I agree it does make sense. But I want to prevent tiles like the one in the screenshot from becoming unusable except for building special improvements. Europe is already very crowded, even on the new map. (ignore for now that there are also pigs on that tile)

    Spoiler :
     

    Attached Files:

  7. Krieger-FS

    Krieger-FS Chieftain

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    Another issue to think about is that some of the natural wonders proposed (and Sugarloaf Mountain is the first one from merijn list that comes to my attention) are located in the same tittle of canonical/important cities (Rio de Janeiro). In this particular case, perhaps the Sugarloaf Mountain could be a coastal (water based) wonder, but there may be other similar cases to think about.
     
  8. Leoreth

    Leoreth 心の怪盗団 Moderator

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    All of this just points to Natural Wonders being resources as the best implementation. They can coexist with cities and features, and a lot of what has been initially discussed about them becoming revealed and enabled by technologies also resembles how resources work.
     
  9. DarkLunaPhantom

    DarkLunaPhantom Prince Supporter

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    There is something very specific regarding resources which need a tech to be revealed in CvPlayerAI::AI_bestTech function.

    Such resources are considered to be "strategic" in some calculations inside that function so that for each such resource missing (i.e. the AI has the revealing tech, but doesn't have access to the resource) every potential tech which reveals any resources becomes more and more valuable to the AI. Thus adding a bunch of such resources could completely break AI research priorities by potentially making it focus exclusively on techs which reveal Natural Wonders (and other resources).

    See code around the comment block
    Spoiler :
    Code:
                                           //iMultiplier is basically a desperation value
                                           //it gets larger as the AI runs out of options
                                           //Copper after failing to get horses is +66%
                                           //Iron after failing to get horse or copper is +200%
                                           //but with either copper or horse, Iron is only +25%
    
    in CvPlayerAI.cpp.
     
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  10. Leoreth

    Leoreth 心の怪盗団 Moderator

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    Can be easily circumvented, but good thing to keep in mind.
     
  11. merijn_v1

    merijn_v1 Black Belt

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    Implement NW as resources does have some issues with the art. Animated models, like the waterfalls, do not have working animations, as they lack a .kfm file. They do not require one when they are implemented as features. (I just tested this)

    Another issue is that the Great Barrier Reef art is modelled as forests are, allowing it to span multiple tiles with nice connected art. Although this can likely be mimicked.

    A thing to note is that the mountain NW art requires flatlands and cannot be placed on hills or peaks. This has to be accounted for when the NW are not visible yet.

    Features can coexist with cities BTW. Flood plains do already.
     
    Last edited: Mar 3, 2020
  12. Leoreth

    Leoreth 心の怪盗団 Moderator

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    Can you clarify this? "animated models do not have working animations" do you mean the model files themselves are lacking kfm files? How are they animated models then?

    That's a good point though.

    Not visible yet due to lack of tech, or whatever else criteria limits visibility? I wonder if that even makes sense for peak type NWs. It's not as if the mountain itself is hidden from you, things like this probably makes more sense for waterfalls or caves etc. that really did have to be discovered. As with resources, there can be a gradual access of being revealed, being accessible and being usable. Some NWs can be revealed without any additional conditions.

    Yeah, true. But that already is a special case.
     
  13. merijn_v1

    merijn_v1 Black Belt

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    I don't know exactly how the animations work. The NW do indeed lack a kfm file. But I see that the nif file have certain properties which I assume do control the animation.

    FeatureArtInfos has a <bAnimated> tag, which BonusArtInfos does not have. I think this tag allows the model to be controlled by properties in the nif file itself and bonusses require a kfm file to control the animation. (Probably because resources have multiple animations whereas features only have 1 at most.)

    Yeah, I meant by tech. I didn't know if you wanted all NW requiring certain techs. I already assumed that mountains wouln't be the case. But I thought I would mention it anyway.

    But it is good to keep in mind that those need to be placed on flatlands and some addtional work needs to be done to let the behave as peaks. (Or just some elements of peaks)
     
  14. Leoreth

    Leoreth 心の怪盗団 Moderator

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    So that's how it works, thanks. That's a good argument for features then.

    Right. Looks like we definitely need a list of NWs and how they would work first before we can actually decide on how to implement them.

    Wouldn't bImpassable be enough?
     
  15. merijn_v1

    merijn_v1 Black Belt

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    I must be honest, I'm not 100% sure it works like that. But it seems most logical to me it works is that (or at least a very similar) way.

    Post #61 has a good base to start with. All of them do have art available.

    Probably. Maybe something to control the tile yield too. For features (that already have this XML tag) it is enough.
     
  16. Leoreth

    Leoreth 心の怪盗団 Moderator

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    Yeah, the "how they would work" part is probably the harder part here :)

    That's a good point, we haven't talked about the tile yield. People have mentioned that the NW should provide some benefit to the city close to it but that can be anything, but that's not the same than the literal yield on the tile. I guess that could be influenced by the NW as well?
     
  17. need my speed

    need my speed Rex Omnium Imperarium

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    This may be a silly interjection, but, aren't resources animated? You see pigs walking and all, not?
     
  18. Leoreth

    Leoreth 心の怪盗団 Moderator

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    Yes, that's what confused me too. If I've understood correctly, it's just about how the animations are provided to the game (inside the main graphical model or as part of an additional animation file).
     
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  19. Enyavar

    Enyavar Prince

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    I know I already commented on this affair, but I have no idea whatever I said on this topic half a year ago.

    Spoiler So, here's my first daydream after reading Merjin's post at the top of this page :
    Explorers should get Special Action: Exploration. That action would require "not moved" explorers either on land or in a transport ship, and allow them to harvest science beakers from all eight neighboring tiles, and the double amount of the tile that they occupy.

    Each tile has a finite amount of beakers available per player. Let's say 50 beakers for normal tiles, and 500 beakers for Natural Wonders. The first explorer that explores a tile may gather the full amount; the next six players to explore the tile only get a reduced amount of 20% that much; and all the remaining latecomers only may harvest 10% of the full amount.

    Limits: Each tile can only be explored once per player; a player is only allowed to make as many "exploration" actions per turn as they own universities.

    Obviously, the idea behind this is to allow European players a scientific advantage without their arbitrary science bonus. Regrettably, I have no idea how the AI players can be forced to make use of such an exploration feature, but maybe European colonial players could get a bonus explorer for at least their first university, or maybe each university.
    By the way, Explorers should always be able to intrude into foreign territory even without Open Boundaries. Like caravels can.

    Spoiler A very different and much simpler idea would involve the following: :
    Explorer Units that are moved onto or adjacent to a Natural Wonder get a "discovery" option. Doing that action grants their player a Free Specialist for 100 (?) turns, in the most nearby city that has either a bank, a university or some other expensive building. Explorer Units of the second player to discover the same wonder, are also awarded such a Free Specialist, but only for 50 turns. The third only gets 30 turns, the fourth and fifth get 20 turns, and all latecomers only get 10 turns of such a Free Specialist.

    The type of a player's "discovery specialist" is fixed. It may change with their current era, tech level, civics, religion or even be hard-coded to each civilization. Early Colonialist Civs like Spain or Portugal would get a Scientist early on, but in later times that would change into Merchants, mainly. Late Colonialists like Netherlands or England go the other way around. And "native" civs like Tibetans, Inkas or Indonesians would get Priests or Statesmen.

    Another restriction: Colonial European Explorers get the "Discovery" option together with the Cartography or Exploration tech; while other groups of civilizations only get that option an age later in the tech tree. Probably with Scientific Method, or Geology. Again, this is to simulate the European headstart so that the arbitrary science modifier can be reduces or removed. The player should be notified with a "Quest" to get an explorer towards a unveiled natural wonder tile; and the AI should similarly given a task/quest to prioritize rushing an explorer to the natural wonder tiles they discovered.


    Ownership of any Natural wonder is something else. It gives some small and appropriate tile bonus (depending on techs like Tourism, Pneumatics). I guess that some Natural Wonders may even become 'obsolete' - for example, "Holy Land" could be a Natural Wonder giving their (christian, judaic or muslim) owner a +5 currency bonus in the era between "Ethics" and "Scientific Method" - before and afterwards, it's a Natural Wonder without any ownership bonus.


    on the topic of graphical representation: I don't think most natural wonders would need a model, much less an animated one.
     
    Last edited: Mar 8, 2020
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  20. merijn_v1

    merijn_v1 Black Belt

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    I STRONGLY disagree with this. The unique models are important to make NW something special instead of being just a regular mountain or whatever they are. A Mount Everest with regular peak art just doesn't feel like it is a NW, but just a regular peak. For me it's like saying that World Wonders don't need unique art and Notre Dame could use the same models as regular Cathedrals.

    Another important function of the models is for the human player to see them. If all NW mountains looked like regular peaks for example you wouldn't even see them.

    So I think that unique models have important functionality. The added flavour is a welcome bonus.

    As for animated models, I think that is irrelevant. We just use the models that are available. Some just happen to already have animations.
     

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