Nuclear Power Plants

Discussion in 'Civ4 - General Discussions' started by Xellos-_^, Apr 16, 2009.

  1. ParadigmShifter

    ParadigmShifter Random Nonsense Generator

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    I built 1 nuke plant in a modern conquest gauntlet on Moonsinger's advice. It melted down several turns later. I've never built one since.
     
  2. J-man

    J-man Deity

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    I have only ever build ONE nuke plant (in an OCC) and it melted down. I will never build them again.
     
  3. PieceOfMind

    PieceOfMind Drill IV Defender Retired Moderator

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    Just clarifying, the message about the earth crust is specific to the Next War mod, or perhaps any mods based on it. Basically it was put in the mod to deter nuclear war. If too many nukes are launched, "the Earth's crust collapses like an eggshell" or some stupid thing like that.
    Thank god it's not in the normal game.

    By the way, I think the probability of a plant melting down is 1/100 each turn, but I don't know where to check it. And that is 1/100 for each plant. I hope it scales with gamespeed but knowing how things usually go with scaling, it probably screws over the slower gamespeeds by being more likely in the late game.
     
  4. Xellos-_^

    Xellos-_^ Prince

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    i play marathon on a huge map and can someone show how to edit that "earthcrust collaspe like a eggshell out of the Next War mod or at not have it applied to nuclear meltdown".

    it would be the stupid thing if you ban Nuclear weapon but the games ends because too many Nuclear Plants had a meltdown.
     
  5. TheMeInTeam

    TheMeInTeam Top Logic

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    It would be easier to just mod the meltdowns out of the game. More realistic/useful, too.
     
  6. PieceOfMind

    PieceOfMind Drill IV Defender Retired Moderator

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    I think the "smal chance of meltdown" should become "very small chance of meltdown" and reduce the probability of meltdown by about 5 times over whatever it is at the moment. If people normally see one meltdown per game now, then with the change they'll see one meltdown per 5 games. :) Of course, they'll go and build more nuclear plants making meltdowns more likely again.
     
  7. TheMeInTeam

    TheMeInTeam Top Logic

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    They're a flawed premise to begin with. Why are they even in the game? You can't compare Chernobyl to even the (now relatively weak) bombs dropped on Japan in WW II! Certainly not to an ICBM........!

    Possibly the chance could be dictated somewhat by civic choice, but the the actual result of the meltdown as it stand is COMPLETELY ridiculous and does not resemble anything we see in reality. So then, the only POSSIBLE argument for its presence in civ is game balance. But, Nuke plants are more expensive than coal plants and come later, and only offer a marginal health benefit if built after the fact. In other words, they would frequently not be built EVEN IF THERE WERE ZERO MELTDOWNS.

    I can't think of any well-designed reasons for meltdowns in this game outside ignorance of how they function in the world today. I know there's a ridiculous level of societal fear surrounding them (especially in the US), but that doesn't justify pretend effects in a game that nerf an already somewhat situational choice.

    While we're at it, might as well drop explorer strength and drop ironclads to having a chance at only 1 tile moved with 11 str that turn. Makes equal game-balance sense.
     
  8. PieceOfMind

    PieceOfMind Drill IV Defender Retired Moderator

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    Yeah the meltdown is a bit over the top. I think I said earlier in the thread the meltdown should just be the fallout - not the destruction of several of the city's buildings. Modern nuclear plants are of course very safe and even if they were to somehow meltdown their designs would ensure very little radioactive matter would escape.

    But seeing as Civ is meant to include a bit of the "what if?" factor, and that we are building them before even 1900AD in many cases, could meltdowns be a bit more catastrophic than we are used to? If we wanted to be realistic we probably shouldn't even put power plants in cities.

    On that note, perhaps the meltdown probability should decrease over time from the discovering of Fission (either for the player or for the first player who researched Fission). Nuclear plants have gotten safer over time to the point where a catastrophe of any sort is almost impossible now. The biggest worry now is that people with bad intentions could steal some nuclear waste and create a dirty bomb - not a nuclear weapon but a conventional bomb that just contains some radioactive stuff. So maybe the chance should go down from 1/100 to 1/1000 by 20 each turn for 50 turns. ie. 1/100, 1/120, 1/140... But doing something like that might be a bit tricky for a mod and who'd bother if there are easier ways to fix the whole meltdown mess, like just removing the meltdown event altogether.
     
  9. Xellos-_^

    Xellos-_^ Prince

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    to be realistic we wouldn't need a power plant per city. I don't know the exact ratio but i doubt we need that many in real life.
     
  10. TheMeInTeam

    TheMeInTeam Top Logic

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    I don't think there is enough matter used during a reaction to have a chance...how much power do these cities need?!

    We could have coal plants burn so much coal that the city gets covered in a cloud of soot that gives -8 health and undoes nearby improvements too, and that would be just as realistic.

    Or maybe the hydro dams should burst and kill 2-5 pop and destroy a couple buildings.

    Do you see where I'm getting with this? If we want to use "what ifs", there's no reason to place bias against nuke plants, especially if they start off less likely to be used.

    This game places too much bias against nuclear items in general...but especially against power.
     
  11. PieceOfMind

    PieceOfMind Drill IV Defender Retired Moderator

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    Of course. It depends how big the cities are and the capacity of the plants. But I think it's fair to put that under the "abstraction" rug that you put many civ things under. Power plants are important to have within a reasonable distance of cities, so it's probably realistic to require a plant in each city. You can't have all your power plants on one side of the continent.
     
  12. TheMeInTeam

    TheMeInTeam Top Logic

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    You can, but it would be severely inefficient.

    Typical placement of nuke plants away from pop centers means even a relatively bad meltdown would not do any measurable damage, especially not across the time frame of a typical civ turn.
     
  13. Xellos-_^

    Xellos-_^ Prince

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    oh absolutely, let the AI research their own mahanttan project.
     
  14. Antilogic

    Antilogic --

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    Or we can just add the discovery of the Ecology technology or some other modern tech negates the chance of a meltdown. Thus, you have a small window of melt-downage that you can shrink with a particular tech path.
     
  15. Notadolfhitler

    Notadolfhitler Chieftain

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    the ONE time i built a nuclear plant it exploded
     
  16. TheMeInTeam

    TheMeInTeam Top Logic

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    I like this idea, especially when combined with reducing the impact of meltdowns.

    However, it's pretty arbitrary to include this for just nuke plants, the meltdown should be a random event (which I'd then disable instantly along with all others ;)) alongside other power plant failures. That way we could stop the irrational nuclear bias, add some random-ness for people who enjoy it (which I can't understand but they exist and fireaxis will do good to cater to them) and allow those who dislike events in general to cut it.
     
  17. Glassfan

    Glassfan Mostly harmless

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    So if you build coal plants instead, doesn't that accelerate global warming? It seems dams are the best choice. Though strangely enough, enviromentalists are against them too -- habitat destruction.
     
  18. Snofru1

    Snofru1 Emperor

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    I liked the value of nuclear plants in Civ3 - IIRC they gave a +100% production boost compared to +50% of other plants so you got something in return for the meltdown risk...
     
  19. Lord N.

    Lord N. Chieftain

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    In my first Civ4 game, the first nuclear plant I built melted down, destroying the production capability of my military city. And it was during of the war, when I needed it the most. Since that I built only a few, but fortunately never had a problem.

    IIRC, in Civ 1 the nuclear plant could meltdown only when the city was in civil unrest, and the risk was completely eliminated once you researched Fusion.
     
  20. Dom Pedro II

    Dom Pedro II Modder For Life

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    The chance of a nuclear meltdown is 1 in 2,000. It surprises me that a lot of people would be seeing it after only their first time building one.

    I'd say increase this number to 1 in 10,000. Also create a separate function for meltdowns so they're not doing the same level of damage as nuclear explosions. Then maybe add the additional feature of a tech that obsoletes meltdowns. Of course, this still doesn't make Nuke Plants worth building, so you'll have to also add some additional incentives...

    Some incentive ideas:
    - Production Bonus
    - Nuke unit production modifier
    - Nuclear Plants as prerequisite for technologies or space ship parts
     

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