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New Resource: Hardwood

Discussion in '[MAC+WIN] Civ4 - History Rewritten' started by tchristensen, Dec 6, 2011.

  1. tchristensen

    tchristensen Chieftain

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    I have created a nice new resource in my mod called Hardwood. It represents aged and old timber that was crucial to the development and fabrication of large buildings and ships.

    There are a number of nice tree graphics that can be used. Base Hardwood Forests are +1 hammers, +1 hammer with lumbermills. +1 gold with roads. +1 gold and +1 hammer with railroads.

    Just an idea to add later in the game.
     
  2. Simon_Jester

    Simon_Jester Chieftain

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    That's nice, but why isn't this in the Maps and Terrain thread?
     
  3. davidtylr

    davidtylr Chieftain

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    Sounds like a good idea. We do need a timber related resource.
     
  4. Simon_Jester

    Simon_Jester Chieftain

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    Do we?

    High-quality timber was never really that rare, except in parts of the world that were poorly forested so that any good solid forest would provide 'legendary' wood like the cedars of Lebanon.

    Much of the Earth was so heavily forested in 4000 BC that it would be hard to pick out the 'best' forests and woods. It wasn't until much later that people in large areas managed to do enough deforestation that decent-quality wood from the remaining old-growth forests were something special.

    So why arbitrarily single out some forests as producing better wood than others?
     
  5. davidtylr

    davidtylr Chieftain

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    Well nether is stone but it's still in the game. But anyway we could go on forever splitting hairs with this. In the long run we could do a lot of fun stuff with hardwood like use it to speed up production or requirements with some buildings and units.
     
  6. Xyth

    Xyth History Rewritten

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    That's certainly a possibility. For a while I was considering adding Bitumen as new resource (it was essential for waterproofing most wooden ships) but making early ships require a resource is problematic: if you get stuck on a landmass without the required resource you remain stuck on said landmass. A resource like Hardwood could possibly be added if done carefully, I'd also want to make mapscript adjustments to ensure no-one got penalized.

    Yeah I don't mind new threads on new topics but a topic like this is better in one of the designated feedback threads. Makes it much easier for me to find again later.
     
  7. Xyth

    Xyth History Rewritten

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    I can see merit in both points of view here, I'll need to think about it. I probably won't be adding any new resources in 0.9.6 though.
     
  8. Keinpferd

    Keinpferd Chieftain

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    Hardwood may be not so much harder than ordinary wood, but it has obviously been very meaningful to the ancient peoples. As far as I'm concerned, a "wood" resource should be in without a doubt.

    Xyth, I understand, you don't want resources become inflationary and causing limitless :) in our cities, but if an increased number of resource types are at the same time reduced in their occurence (and made really rare, like just two or three of them), the sum of :) faces will remain the same.

    In custom scenarios scarce resources can be distributed in a way, that allows certain Civs to monoplize on them, thus creating diplomatic tensions…
     
  9. Xyth

    Xyth History Rewritten

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    If I added a wood resource it would be a strategic resource and wouldn't give happiness or health. It could probably also give +5% production with a building like Peat, Copper, Iron, Horses and Elephants now do.
     
  10. tchristensen

    tchristensen Chieftain

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    Why do you need any kind of resource then, right? Why Sugar? Why Rubber? I guess, why even copper?

    Hardwood was critical for the development of every major culture in the world, and when it was consumed civilizations such as those on Easter Island and in Mesoamerica tumbled. Hardwood is essential for forts, ships, buildings, and the large scale development of engineering projects.
     
  11. Simon_Jester

    Simon_Jester Chieftain

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    Yes, but it was also widely available to almost every society that needed it. Every forest tile at game start represents an area 100-200 miles wide which is covered in old-growth forest- decent building timber shouldn't be that hard to come by.

    If we make wood a key resource in the early game (the way oil is in the late game) it will cripple civilizations that aren't so lucky as to have it.

    Now, the obvious model here is Stone or Marble- which are useful for building some wonders, and which boost production so any reasonable person would want to tap them when they're available, but which you can play the game without. Marble and Stone deposits don't just represent "there is some building stone here," but "this is some of the best building stone on the entire continent, in plentiful amounts."

    Hardwood tiles would have to represent the same. On that basis, I'd be open to having it as a minor 'novelty resource' which provides production bonuses but nothing more ambitious, as long as you don't need to have a Hardwood tile on your island in order to build ships at all.
     
  12. tchristensen

    tchristensen Chieftain

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    Obviously, you do not know the difference between soft wood or sapling forests and those of hard wood ancient growth that spurred growth, and to some extent hindered it as well. Ancient forests were both a bane to early agricultural development but also a boon to lumber barons that used it for great wealth and production.

    One could argue with any of the extended resources if it deserves attention in the game. It truly comes down to the vision of the designer, because anything in the game can be explained by hypothetical discussions of use or insignificance. I made the post to offer an idea, not to demand adding it -- to spur discussion not derision.

    The same as Copper? Iron? Yes, early cutltures that do not have the hardwood resource would be at a disadvantage, but that is the strategy of the game, right? If you do not have horses, then you don't get cavalry. If you don't have copper, you lose out in axemen? Hardwood would simply offer another possibility for a civilization to utilize a resource for growth -- perhaps even conquest.
     
  13. Xyth

    Xyth History Rewritten

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    The key difference is if a player doesn't have Copper or Horses or such they can build ships and try to settle, conquer, or trade with somewhere that does. If they don't have the wood resource (and it is needed to build most ships) then they're stuck where they are pretty much permanently.

    It's not an insurmountable problem though. We can be selective about which ships might require the resource, and we can make adjustments to resource placement in map generation to ensure it's very unlikely to happen. Another solution might be to not have ships require the resource at all, but instead have a new building that does and which gives a production bonus for naval units. Shipyard perhaps, an earlier version of the Drydock.

    I think perhaps 'Prime Timber' (like in Colonization) would be a better name for such a resource than hardwood. It's actually softwoods like pine that are most useful for large scale construction - length and straightness being the more important traits. Hardwoods aren't always 'harder' than softwood anyway, for example, balsa is actually a hardwood by definition and some 'softwoods' are remarkable sturdy. It's just a naming convention; softwoods are from conifer trees, hardwoods are from broadleaf trees.

    If we were to add such a resource, then we would have to consider it the same way as Stone and Wheat are - these aren't the only locations that these resources are found, but they are the idea locations with the best topography and conditions for large-scale procurement.
     
  14. tchristensen

    tchristensen Chieftain

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    Very easy to work around that. There are XML controls that give the possession of a certain resource a bonus to producing a specified unit. So for example, If I control Hard Wood I gain a 50% production. Then, simply increase the production cost of ships (or whatever unit you deem needs Hardwood) by 100%. Thus, if you have it you will be producing the unit at base cost, but if you are lacking Hardwood you pay a premium.

    I found the <BonusProductionModifiers> very interesting once you learn how to use it. It opens up whole new strategies in the game. I can post an example of this, but I am at work so do not have access to my XML from my mods.

    Name it how you see fit. As always, just looking to help.
     
  15. Xyth

    Xyth History Rewritten

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    Ah yes, I forgot that tag was available for units as well as buildings. So there's another possibility.
     
  16. Simon_Jester

    Simon_Jester Chieftain

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    My main point boils down to the balance issue, and to the "you can't build ships without this" idea, which strikes me as a serious problem for the game at large.

    Again, I wish to underline that every tile on the map is tens of thousands of square miles of land. If we look at what realistic terrain is like without human involvement, then except for the flattest prairies, tundras, and actual deserts, there are trees everywhere. Even places like the African savanna have trees, just not very many of them.

    Large, tall trees suitable for construction are harder to come by- but not that hard, as demonstrated by the fact that except for civilizations that evolved in deserts and river valleys, nearly everyone managed to make things out of wood whenever they chose.

    Remember that forested tiles represent much larger forests, ones that are hundreds of miles across, and since they're there from game start they are going to be old growth forest. It's not unreasonable to assume that decent building timber can be found in any forest tile on the map- maybe not the best timber, but still useful timber. They do "hinder growth," particularly agricultural growth, though adding Camps to the game changes that balance in History Rewritten. And they're everywhere- any civilization on a normal map can be assumed to contain forest tiles. Getting rid of that more or less requires that the civilization deliberately chop down its forests for the hammers... which is quite logical, and which plenty of cultures did in real life.

    But, to underline the point, forests, including old-growth forests of the sort that produce plenty of hundred-foot trees, are ubiquitous in a game set up on the scale of Civilization IV. That's why I don't think that you should need any special resource to build ordinary thing in ancient times- because wood was never that hard to come by for the ancients, except for a few very specific places like ancient Egypt and Mesopotamia.

    Now, making Prime Timber (a la Colonization; I have fond memories of the original Colonization) give a bonus to ship construction works- I wish I'd thought of it, or that you'd suggested it earlier. That would work all right, because it doesn't unduly penalize players without the resource, or create an ahistorical situation where my Greeks can't build triremes out of the trees growing on their own hillsides, as the historical Greeks could even though Greece isn't famous for its forests.
     
  17. Caesar Augustus

    Caesar Augustus Chieftain

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    My personal concern about any sort of "wood" resource would be the ability to chop the forest but keep the resource. Ending up with a grassland that contains strategically considerable reserves of lumber would be somewhat silly, no?
     
  18. Xyth

    Xyth History Rewritten

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    That would indeed be silly. I can code it so that the resource vanishes when its forest/jungle is chopped though. Good point to bring up, I've made a note of it.
     
  19. Caesar Augustus

    Caesar Augustus Chieftain

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    Will the AI know not to chop it, in that case?
     
  20. Xyth

    Xyth History Rewritten

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    Not directly, though the increased yield of the tile and having it tie into the Lumbermill should theoretically be enough to dissuade it, or at least to chop it last. I'll have to do some testing.
     

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