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Pandorus

Discussion in 'CivBE - Mod Development' started by Barathor, May 27, 2015.

  1. Barathor

    Barathor Chieftain

    Joined:
    May 7, 2011
    Messages:
    1,202

    "A planet script optimized to support better gameplay and enhanced with much greater customizability."


    With the exciting announcement of the new expansion, Rising Tide, I feel it's time to announce my own little project to anybody who may be interested. It's called Pandorus and it's a new all-in-one map script I've been working on and testing to further enhance the game.

    This actually started as a script for Civ 5, which also lead me to create the More Luxuries mod while I optimized resource distributions; and the Gibraltar, Reef, and Krakatoa mods while I optimized natural wonders in the sea.

    Pandorus is still under development and I hope to release it some time this summer. In the mean time, any feedback or ideas are greatly appreciated. I'll create a list of features below that I'll continue to update over time. Some of them will have links to pages within this thread where I'll discuss the feature in greater detail and provide example images and diagrams.


    • A greatly expanded Advanced Setup menu. DETAILS

      Spoiler :
      This project is meant to be an all-in-one map script. There are a ton of options to generate a random map just the way one wants it, since we all have different preferences. Also, nearly all options can be randomized as well, if you don't want to know what type of planet you're about to land on.

      Also, every single option has a helpful tooltip to explain what it does -- no more guessing. For example, even today, not everybody knows what some of the settings really affect: "The Wet setting under Rainfall decreases deserts, of course!" (wrong.) And players still get confused over the notorious World Age setting, haha. Also, there were other things that may not have been as intuitive to some, such as the Random option under Resources; Strategic Balance and Legendary Start are not included within that random selection.

      Some additional options include a new Habitability setting, some new Island settings, and new settings similar to the old resource ones which control the amount of resource pods and expedition sites placed on the map. Other options have been seen before in some of the official map scripts, such as a Landmass Type option. Also, other settings have been split apart and made into their own. Now you can have abundant bonus resources, but sparse strategic resources. But, with those sparse strategic resources, you can also separately change their quantities per tile to abundant!

      Like strategic balance? You can now apply that too without losing the option to do so if you choose another resource setting. You're only interested in having titanium at all starts? You can do that too instead. You prefer things random? You can “unlock” start areas to receive natural random placements of strategics, like in Civ 5 (the standard game restricts random strategic placements in starting areas for Beyond Earth).

      On top of all that, you can also apply a Legendary Start option as well since that’s now a separate setting too. Legendary too much for you? Well, there are lesser options: Great and Epic! (Though, Legendary is much more legendary in this script, since the existing one was pretty paltry and the standard starts were so desolate.)

      There are plenty of ways to get the map that YOU like to play on!

      Spoiler :

      Pandorus: The Advanced Setup menu so far.

      Unmodded game: Wow, what a fantastic start! Good thing we get to work a 3rd ring of tiles in Civ5/BE. Also, remember, strategic resources are normally restricted from start areas, so none of those will pop up in that workable area either (if you settled in place).


    • Improved continent generation.

      Spoiler :
      In the standard game, Protean (Pangaea) and Terran (Continents) maps can sometimes generate something that’s probably less desired -- especially Terran.

      Protean maps require an area of no less than 84% of total land for its biggest landmass. This type of area requirement works well with a fractal grain (density) of 1. But, there’s also a 43% chance that the fractal grain is a 2, which can be a bit of a problem. A higher grain spreads the land out more instead of concentrating it. Since these spread out landmasses still need to meet the area requirement, you get snaky continents that are all connected to each other with lots of inland seas. When combined with the ridgebuilder method, which I believe is too strong of a blend, the result probably isn’t what you were initially looking for when you chose this map option. Still, it isn’t too bad.

      Terran is a bit worse. If you chose this option, you’re probably looking for a decent pair of continents to make up most of the map. The problem here doesn’t have to do with the grain. Terran works best with a grain of 2, with a 43% chance for a grain of 1, which just makes chunkier landmasses and isn’t an issue; a grain of 3 would be more problematic. The issue here is with its area requirement. Terran requires an area of no more than 58% of total land for its biggest landmass on the map, to prevent any Protean-like maps. But, there’s no floor value! If that biggest landmass happens to be only 35% (a more Atlantean-like map), it still passes. This doesn’t happen as often with a fractal grain of 2 or less, but it’s still too frequent. Also, there isn't any check for the second biggest landmass.

      In Pandorus, Protean always uses a fractal grain of 1, Terran is always a 2, and Atlantean is always a 3. Floor and ceiling values for required areas are applied to both Terran (50 - 60%) and Atlantean (30 - 40%). Terran will contain an extra check for the second biggest landmass to ensure that it's of an adequate size (40 - 50%). Also, no artificial rifts are ever created between landmasses, they remain as they were generated. Also, the ridgebuilder has less effect on the main fractal and blends with a ratio of 1:3 instead of 1:2.

      If you like that little bit of extra randomness, without extremes, fret not; I’ve added a new landmass option called Pandorean which is basically Terran but with a slightly widened area range for more randomness (40 - 70%) and it doesn't check the area of the second biggest landmass. Lastly, Promethean is added which is basically Random and uses a random grain from 1 to 3 and has no floor or ceiling value for its biggest landmass area. I chose to call it Promethean because it goes against the set rules (the other map type settings with their restrictions) and creates a totally random landmasses as its gift to the player -- plus, it sounds a lot cooler, haha.

      Spoiler :


      Unmodded Game: Protean map which generated at a higher grain. The ridgebuilder really distorted them too and you can easily see the Voronoi ridgelines and where the random nodes are located.


      Unmodded Game: Terran map which may have generated with a slightly lower biggest landmass area. Even if it didn't, there's no secondary check for the other landmass anyway.


    • Improved mountain generation.

      Spoiler :
      Mountains primarily have a simple role: to block movement (and vision) of nearly all troops. They can make a large, open landmass much more interesting and "seem" bigger as your units need to take more turns to get around them to get anywhere. Since these games have gone to hexes instead of squares, mountains have greatly improved in performing their role.

      However, currently, they have a bad tendency to clump-up. I believe that just wastes terrain, and sometimes it even traps terrain, along with its resources. They also can create many "small" choke points. Normally, those chokes would be an interesting feature in a strategic game, but in a game with only one unit allowed on a tile, those small choke points are just no good and too easy to defend -- the scale is off.

      I've created a brand new method to generate random mountain ranges intelligently on the map with a width of one hex -- all that's needed to block movement. Also, additional mountains are sprinkled close to the range to "blend" it into the terrain and make it look more natural. Though, this is still all controlled and prevents any type of excessive clumping. Also, hills will help blend the mountains in as well as they transition to flat land.

      Spoiler :


      Unmodded Game: A big clumpy mess of mountains and canyons! You can also spot a river error in there.



      Unmodded Game: More clumps of mountains and canyons, along with horrible starting areas.


    • Improved canyon generation.

      Spoiler :
      Canyons are the same as mountains above, though more units are eventually able to traverse over them and they don't hinder vision. So, they're not as solid of a blockade. Also, they can give off yields, so they probably shouldn't clump up too much either. Clumped canyons look especially bad, compared to mountains.

      I'm creating a method similar to the mountain generator which will create flowing ranges of canyons intelligently. They'll be smaller than the mountain ranges and, right now, I don't believe I'll be giving them a sprinkle of additional ones. They won't clump with mountains excessively, since they are placed according to the ripple values emitted from the placement impact of all mountains. They'll either be at a random distance range from the mountains (never too close) or sometimes they'll be adjacent to the mountain (since I like the look of the parallel canyon and mountains next to each other -- like Method C and D create in the code).

    • Improved river generation.

      Spoiler :
      For now, these methods are left to the default code. The only difference is that I place no canyons until all river generation is complete. In the standard game, canyon method D places canyons during plot generation and it messes up rivers as you can see in the images below. In Pandorus, rivers will be generated before canyons and flow freely without that extra hindrance.
      Spoiler :




      Unmodded Game: A bunch of river errors where a canyon disrupted their paths.


    • Improved island generation.

      Spoiler :
      Like mountain and canyons, I’ve created an entirely new island generator. This method doesn’t rely on fractals and very accurately produces islands to the desired amount you wish. Also, you can control the sizes of them too.

      Personally, I dislike tiny islands, especially single-tile ones. They’re just not that great in a game with one unit per tile. Well, if you feel the same way, you don’t have to deal with them any longer! With the proper setting, all single-tile islands will be removed. Don’t like “small” islands either that consist of only two to four tiles? You can use a setting which deletes all tiny and small islands. There’s even a setting where the map will only generate “large” islands if you wish for a mini Terra-like experience to explore the seas and colonize them first.

    • Improved coast generation.

      Spoiler :
      (Note: this may change once I get to look inside BE: Rising Tide and play it.)

      Coasts now only generate a maximum of two tiles from land instead of three and have a 33% chance of occurring each time instead of 25%. I believe it not only looks a little better (less branchy and such), but most importantly, it limits sea resources from being too far out at sea. This makes them a little easier to discover from land and makes settling near them a bit more flexible. Plus, coasts are no longer that important for early naval exploration since all units can now traverse ocean too.

      Also, the game's border expansion has a lot of difficulty obtaining sea resources that are three tiles from a city -- you either have to wait forever or purchase them. (I have a fix for this, which works best alongside a few DLL modifications too.) Third ring resources on land aren't too difficult to obtain since they don't have the extra water determent. Plus, you can always settle another city nearby to help pick them up as well. When you're on the coast and opposite of you is just open ocean, you don't have that support (until the expansion). In Civ 4 this was never an issue since your border pop would obtain all workable tiles at once, but the way the new system works, by evaluating tiles and obtaining one at a time, I feel sea resources should be a little closer to land.

    • Improved ice generation.

      Spoiler :
      Ice will form a little tighter to the poles and will be more solid. Land will never form in the ice region (I hate when there's land right next to the black edges of the map). Also, resources will never form in the ice region to prevent any wasted placements that are trapped inside it.

      An older version I created used to prevent land from touching the ice as well, but I decided to keep things natural and less predictable instead. Though, I still may create a method which checks for ice-trapped seas and opens one side up.

    • Improved resource generation.

      Spoiler :
      Just some tweaks here and there to distribute things a little better and get them where they’re needed, especially for strategic resources. Also, default strategic quantities (per tile) may be tweaked. Right now, I believe they’re a little bit too high. Lastly, total resource placements on the map will be a little less random than they currently are and the representation of each resource on the map will be more consistently proportioned with my new placement method. For example, in the standard game, on one map there could be a total of 62 Geothermal and on the next one generated there’s 99; on a map there could be 105 Petroleum and another there’s 150.

    • Improved affinity resource distribution.

      Spoiler :
      The distribution of affinity resources could be much better. They tend to clump far too often and aren’t dispersed throughout the map enough. Also, they focus too much on certain terrain/feature types. Xenomass tends to spawn in forests frequently, floatstone in deserts, and firaxite in the tundra zones. So, in the standard game, if you start a new game with the desire to go Purity, but you’re placed in the tundra, you either have to reroll the map or you’re probably going to need to go Supremacy. But that’s not the worst part of it. The worst part is that it’s predictable and you know you’ll have a strong Supremacy game when you see that you've landed in tundra.

      With affinity resources distributed throughout the planet randomly and a bit more evenly, you’ll need to do a good bit of exploring before you can determine your best affinity choice. Or, maybe your best bet will be a hybrid approach if you have a good mix but no dominant resource (which would be viable in the expansion).

      Also, affinity resources won’t clump up the way they do now, so you can't just get lucky with a single settlement and grab a ridiculous amount of them. And because of that, you also won’t get desolate areas with no affinity resources either. It won’t all be absolutely perfect and evenly placed (that would be boring and predictable), but it’ll be less volatile than it currently is. I have methods which will place them fairly evenly but also make them look random.
      Spoiler :


      Unmodded Game: Elodie, got any Firaxite?


    • Improved start location and wild area placement.

      Spoiler :
      In the standard game, start locations are pretty bad. You get placed in the most infertile areas at times and/or are closely surrounded by wild areas and aliens. Also, factions are sometimes right on top of each other.

      I suspect that a big reason for this is because start locations have to work with whatever is leftover from wild areas. I suppose this helps reinforce the idea that the factions made planetfall on an existing planet.

      In Pandorus, each faction will be at an adequate distance from each other. The minimum distance is also slightly larger since there's plenty of room on the map.

      Also, it may initially sound artificial, but start areas where you’ll make planetfall are determined first and then wild areas are generated off of them instead -- I've ripped out the old methods and replaced them with brand new ones in different locations of the script. So, all factions will be in fertile areas at a random, adequate distance from each other, and all will have a fair amount of space around them (roughly the width to fit one expansion city) before hitting any type of potentially heavy wild areas. This will also affect sea alien placement and you won’t have krakens and gangs of sea dragons on your doorstep.

      I believe the improved playability of the game and the strategic fairness to each faction will trump any initial illusion of random planetfall that usually goes unnoticed. Plus, the standard game already performs a few unique things to prep start areas as it is; this just takes it a little further.
      Spoiler :



      Unmodded game: Some fantastic start areas. (Good thing we'll be able to settle in the ocean in Rising Tide, because the land sucks.)


    • Improved resource pod generation.

      Spoiler :
      Just a slightly better distribution which is fairer to all factions. Previously, these could cluster up very much and give a random faction a lot of bonuses. Now, along with the better distribution throughout the map, each start area will receive a controlled amount -- the rest you’ll need to get out into the map, explore, and find them. So, no starting areas will receive too few or too many at the very beginning.

    • Improved expedition site generation.

      Spoiler :
      In the standard game, expedition sites are randomly placed. In Pandorus, the placements will be much more controlled and intelligent. Those valuable Progenitor Ruins will only be found deep within the wild areas of the map away from starting areas, in the snowy uninhabited edges of the map, or in remote islands one has to brave the dangerous seas to find. Alien skeletons will be next and can be found a little closer to civilization than the Progenitor Ruins as well as within the wild areas. Derelict Settlements are the next closest sites to civilized areas and represent the failed cities which stepped a little too far outside and into the wild and weren’t prepared. Crashed Satellites will be more random, but will still be a little more focused around civilized areas and their starts than the wild areas.
      Spoiler :


      Unmodded game: These lucky factions received some powerful expedition sites right on their doorstep.


    • Improve aesthetics of polar regions.

      Spoiler :
      Along with the improved ice generation and terrain blending methods, I'm also going to have forests diminish as they near closer to the poles where snow and ice are present.

      I want the coldest tundra closest to the poles to really look like a desolate tundra neighboring the ice, and as you get further from it the tundra tiles look more like a taiga. For further clarification, I’m not increasing forest growth in these “taiga” areas, it’ll be as it is now and up to the fractal generator. Just anything that get’s created past a certain latitude will gradually diminish until it gets to the latitude where all forests are removed.

      I was really disappointed that Firaxis never felt they needed to create a coniferous, cold-weather forests for their maps in Civ 5, even when I created the graphics for it. I just think it looks really bad when you have lush forests right next to snow and/or ice at the edges of the map -- especially a big clump of forests.

      Also, snow will form a bit nicer and will be less patchy. I'll explain more about that below.
      Spoiler :


      Unmodded game: This image shows the forests right next to snow, seas trapped in ice, awkward land right next to the map border, and ugly river conversions.

      Unmodded game: A lush forest right next to some polar snow.


    • Improved terrain bands.

      Spoiler :
      With ice diminished a bit, there’s more room for the terrain bands. That extra room gets placed between the tundra zone and the zone where desert has a chance to generate. This gives a little more separation between the two and helps to avoid the awkward setups where desert is or nearly is touching tundra. Not only does it look a little bad, but it’s rough to play on with all that infertile terrain clumped together.

      Plus, more subtle tweaks.
      Spoiler :


      Unmodded Game: Tundra adjacent to desert.


    • Improved latitude determination.

      Spoiler :
      All maps have an even height value. So, there is no middle row, just a middle border between two halves. Yet, the standard game treats the equator as a single row at a latitude of zero and works it’s way up and down to the polar edges. If you look at the maps, there’s always an extra row of ice on the southern pole compared to the northern one.

      My latitudinal calculations use a double row equator, both equal to zero, which make a nicely mirrored top half and lower half of latitudinal values. Okay, big deal, right? Well, it’s not huge, but what this does is it removes a row of useless, extra ice from the map and replaces it with an extra fertile, green equatorial row. Would you rather have the extra row of ice or another row within the equator filled with workable terrain, features, AND resources?

    • Improved blending between terrain bands.

      Spoiler :
      In the standard game, during terrain generation the game uses a blend fractal which helps to randomize what the generator thinks the latitude is on a plot. This is how the terrain bands created have nicely blended borders between each other. Without it, you’d have a straight, horizontal stripe of snow, then tundra, etc. The blend basically alters the latitude by -0.1 to +0.1.

      In Pandorus, I’ve made the blending much more sophisticated so that the terrain comes out nicer. Some terrains utilize a blend which focuses inward and less outward toward the poles, some focus more outward instead of inward.

      This is especially evident with the snow terrain. In the standard game, it can look patchy and too broken up since the blend goes both ways. It’s too thin of a band. What I do is my blend for snow prevents any outward blending (as in, tundra blending into the snow towards the poles) and only performs inward blending so that the snow only bleeds into tundra. The blend is also slightly stronger but it is restricted as well so that it doesn’t penetrate too far into tundra.

      Tundra is similar and uses more of an inward blend into the grass/plains region and less of an outward. Desert utilizes an inward for its edge closer to the equator and an outward for its other edge closer to the poles to prevent too much loss of its tiles to the abundant grass/plains.

    • Improved map shifting to best center landmass formations on the map.

      Spoiler :
      To avoid any confusion, this doesn't move individual landmass formations to the very center of the map. That would be undesirable.

      This simply shifts the entire map, as it is, to make the mini map more appealing to look at by preventing large areas of land from running through the wrapping edges of the map on the left and right. Also, this makes it less awkward when making selections or viewing selections on the minimap.

      The default method has difficulties calculating certain landmass formations and won’t choose the very best edge. My new method applies more weight to the middle columns/rows and decreases as it gets further out within each group. Also, my groups utilize a double column/row to represent the middle (with the intended map edge between them) instead of just a single one.

      (Special thanks goes to whoward69 for the weight method he showed to me a while back while I was making this for Civ 5.)

    • Subtle tweaks to the planet depending on the biome that’s selected.

      Spoiler :
      This certainly isn’t final yet and I still need to think about it -- it's just an idea. Plus, I want to see what the expansion offers first before I design anything around this. The way the expansion makes each biome unique may make this idea unnecessary.

      Anyway, what I was thinking was making additional little tweaks to the map depending on the biome that’s selected -- nothing drastic. So, Arid would have slightly more desert than usual and slightly less tundra. Frigid would be the opposite. Lush would contain more forests. Primordial may have slightly less mountains, canyons, and hills due to being a young planet with less tectonic shifting which rips apart and pushes piles of land together. Fungal may contain more swamps than usual.

      These modifications would be in addition to all the other settings and their modifiers. So, for example, if you were playing within an Arid biome and choose a Cold temperature setting, they would cancel each other out as if you were playing on a Lush map with the Temperate setting (with regards to those settings only). If you choose a Hot temperature in the Arid biome, you’ll get a lot of desert and very little tundra.

    • The entire script is reworked from the ground up.

      Spoiler :
      I'm combing through every single function involved in map generation and making sure everything is tight. Pandorus contains a single, massive data table to hold all methods, tables, and variables that I'm neatly organizing so that it's simple to view and analyze. I'm also cutting out all the unneeded fat that I'm not using and that the standard game isn't using (such as things like jungle, oasis, atoll generation; Y-wrap; city-state and natural wonder methods; etc.). Since I'm a little crazy, I'm even going as far as renaming things, like: AttemptToPlaceStoneAtGrassPlot becomes AttemptToPlaceFiberAtGrassPlot, fish becomes algae, etc.

    • I'll be creating addon mods which utilize this script.

      Spoiler :
      After Pandorus is released, I'll be creating additional, optional content for users that are interested. One adds a new affinity resource for Purity: Adamantite. Floatstone becomes Etherium and is assigned to other uses.

      Another prevents the terrain conversion of rivers near snow and tundra (which also looks ugly) and instead makes tundra more fertile in the same way desert is -- with the flood plains feature (which is fortunately much more visually discreet in Beyond Earth) (flood plains may get renamed too).
      Spoiler :


      Unmodded Game: That's so ugly.


      Another mod homogenizes the yields of terrains/features even further than Civ 5 intelligently did when it was released, for a more consistent and natural system overall (the role this plays with the script is that these new yields will be taken into consideration instead during normalization methods and such.)


    • And more!
     
  2. Barathor

    Barathor Chieftain

    Joined:
    May 7, 2011
    Messages:
    1,202
    (Reserved)
     
  3. Lord Tirian

    Lord Tirian Erratic Poster

    Joined:
    Nov 30, 2007
    Messages:
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    Location:
    Liverpool, UK
    Interesting, I've been looking for better Civ:BE map scripts and was quite interested in bobert13's planet simulator, but sadly, that kind of fizzled out.

    Looking forward to trying it out! :)
     
  4. Barathor

    Barathor Chieftain

    Joined:
    May 7, 2011
    Messages:
    1,202
    ADVANCED SETUP




    LANDMASS TYPE
    Protean / Terran / Centauran / Atlantean / Pandoran / Promethean

    Spoiler :
    Protean: One massive landmass; the largest one will take up at least 90% of the planet's land.

    Terran: Two large landmasses; the first one will take up 50 - 60% of the planet's land and the second will take up 40 - 50%.

    Centauran: Several medium landmasses; the largest one will take up 30 - 40% of the planet's land.

    Atlantean: Many small landmasses; the largest one will take up no more than 20% of the planet's land.

    Pandoran: Two or more large/medium landmasses; the largest one will take up 40 - 70% of the planet's land. Also, this setting doesn't check the area of the second biggest landmass, like Terran does.

    Promethean: Random.

    Any landmasses created after fractal creation which meet the requirements of the different island sizes defined are not used when calculating areas. Instead, those islands are either deleted if the Island Sizes setting calls for it, or they’re added to the island total for the Islands setting to utilize later. This is also how the Terran setting is able to meet its area requirements without any extra “wiggle room” to compensate for smaller landmasses created in the fractal.

    Pandoran is meant to be somewhat like a Terran map, but with an extended range for more randomness. Still, it avoids any extremes that are possible in a totally random range, like Promethean. It's also a tribute to this map script!

    Promethean doesn’t randomly choose between the other four settings like the random option does in other settings. This is its own process and randomly selects a fractal grain (density) from 1 to 4 and then there is no area requirements to meet; the first fractal generated is used.

    Also, as I noted earlier, I chose to call the Random setting Promethean instead because, like the titan, it goes against the rules of the other settings and presents a map without restrictions to the player.

    I changed the Small Continents type of map to Centauran since it's part Continents and part Archipelago and the word represents a binary relationship. Plus, it's a tribute to Alpha Centauri. The Atlantean title is now assigned to the Archipelago map type since it's much more fitting.


    SEA LEVEL
    Low / Medium / High / Random

    Spoiler :
    Sea levels are further reduced in Pandorus. Though, there’s still plenty of water for Rising Tide. Land has many more obstructions and requires more room to play on. Plus, there’s no longer any need to roughly match Earth settings.

    For example, in the standard game, a medium Sea Level for Terran is roughly 67% water. In Pandorus, it’s roughly 60%.


    ISLANDS
    Less / Regular / More / Random / None

    Spoiler :
    Currently, Random doesn’t include the None setting. I’m still deciding whether or not it should be.

    If a user selects Random, do you think they would like having a chance for no islands appearing at all?


    ISLAND SIZES
    All Sizes / No Small / Only Large

    Spoiler :
    All Sizes: All island sizes are eligible and none will be deleted from the original fractal unless they’re small islands in the middle of nowhere. The island generator will then continue to produce more islands until it meets the target total.

    No Small: All small islands will be deleted from the original fractal and the island generator will only create medium and large islands to meet the target total.

    Only Large: All small and medium islands will be deleted from the original fractal and the island generator will only create large islands to meet the target total.

    I’m still working on these values, they’re not final. Also, I’ll need to figure out the proper scales for the other pesky map sizes smaller than Standard (I wish there was an easy way to remove them without affecting other maps… all I’d need is Small, Standard, Large).

    Tiny = 1 tile

    Small = 2 - 4 tiles

    Medium = 5 - 8 tiles

    Large = 9 - 12 tiles

    Tiny is actually lumped in with Small, and is only named differently for the code. 1-tile islands receive extra special treatment compared to what the islands under 5 tiles receive.

    Also, I may expand Medium and Large a bit more for more variation -- definitely Large so that its size is much larger when compared with Medium. Maybe Large’s max will be increased to 16 instead.

    Also, tiny “dot” islands will never be a dot in a huge sea, they always require a nearby larger landmass or island to form “drips” off it. Right now, the same goes for small islands, though with slightly less proximity required.

    Right now, I don’t believe I’m going to create an “Only Small” setting or an “Only Medium”, but we’ll see.

    I’m also thinking of adding a Huge size for islands; not sure yet.

    A weight system is used when randomly choosing an eligible size category to place. So, even when All Sizes is selected, you don’t randomly get all small islands or all large ones. The weights are tiny = 1, small = 2, medium = 4, large = 2.


    SURFACE
    Smooth / Moderate / Rough / Random

    Spoiler :
    Smooth: Less hills, mountains, and canyons.

    Rough: More hills, mountains, and canyons.

    I renamed World Age to Surface instead. World Age wasn’t as intuitive when trying to figure out what it does, and even if you knew, you would sometimes mix up the differences between 3 Billion Years and 5 Billion Years. Plus, it was too “Civvy” -- why does this planet we’re settling on have to be between 3 and 5 billion years old?

    Surface as an attribute sounds so much more planetary and fitting for Beyond Earth. Plus, the option names themselves are very intuitive as well; it’ll be hard to mix up Smooth and Rough.

    In the standard game, these options had little effect on canyon generation, compared to mountains and hills. It was perhaps never fully implemented. In Pandorus, canyons will be very affected by your preference, alongside mountains and hills.


    HABITABILITY
    Poor / Fair / Good / Random

    Spoiler :
    Poor: Less grasslands and plains; more tundra and deserts.

    Good: More grasslands and plains; less tundra and deserts.

    This a brand new option and controls terrain types like the Temperature setting, though in a different manner and manipulates the balance between fertile and infertile terrain types. I thought it sounded very planetary like the Surface setting and was very fitting for Beyond Earth. Also, with Habitability and Temperature both set to Random, you’ll have a much greater range of randomness than you would with just Temperature alone.

    I was inspired to create this cool option when I first saw the Tropical setting under Temperature in the standard game. It was inactive and never implemented in the code and I wondered what it could do differently from Hot or Cold. My guess was that it was supposed to decrease BOTH tundra and desert.


    TEMPERATURE
    Cold / Temperate / Hot / Random

    Spoiler :
    Cold: More tundra; less desert.

    Hot: Less tundra; more desert.

    Nothing much has changed here, except that I removed the inactive Tropical setting.

    RAINFALL
    Dry / Mild / Wet / Random

    Spoiler :
    Dry: Less forests and marsh.

    Wet: More forests and marsh.

    BONUS PLOTS
    Sparse / Standard / Abundant / Random

    Spoiler :
    Adjusts the number of plots on the map which will contain bonus resources.

    The standard game’s old Resource setting is now split up and much more efficient. For example, some players may not want to ruin the value of strategic resources and wish to keep those as they are, but they want more bonuses placed on the map because they’re fun to hunt for and improve.


    STRATEGIC PLOTS
    Sparse / Standard / Abundant / Random

    Spoiler :
    Adjusts the number of plots on the map which will contain strategic and affinity resources.

    STRATEGIC SIZES
    Sparse / Standard / Abundant / Random

    Spoiler :
    Adjusts the quantity range on each plot which contain strategic and affinity resources.

    Compared to the standard game, I may reduce all of these overall since I believe they’re too high.

    I may also remove the randomness of the quantities, since right now you can have major floatstone nodes of 6 and elsewhere 10. That’s a big difference, especially with lots of 10’s grouped up. Right now, the placement methods don’t account for the quantity placed and create larger ripples from the impact site (wouldn’t be hard to implement, though).

    I’m thinking of using a simple, standard quantities. Minors will all equal 2 and Majors will be like a double plot equal to 4. For those that think that’s too low, then you can just use the Abundant setting to bump Minors up to 3 and Majors 6.

    The abundant setting in the standard game was not only undesirable because it lumped many of these settings together, but because it created a ridiculous amount of strategic resources on the map with huge quantities AND more placements.


    STARTING AREAS
    Standard / Great / Epic / Legendary

    Spoiler :
    Standard: Start areas don’t receive any “extra” bonuses on top of the normal ones.

    Great: Start areas receive an extra bonus resource.

    Epic: Start areas receive two extra bonus resources.

    Legendary: Start areas receive two extra bonus resources and an extra minor affinity resource in its outer ring.

    Also, by default, all starts receive an extra bonus resource than they would normally get in the standard game. The reason for this is to make start areas more attractive. In Civ 5, you would most times receive two copies of your regional luxury and a third random luxury on top of the bonus resources and any random strategic resources. Those three luxuries enhanced the yields of the terrain, among other things, and also simply made the area look fertile and attractive for a capital. With luxuries gone, start areas looked pretty sad in the standard game.

    Also, I’m not certain of this yet, but I was thinking for the affinity resources placed within the third ring of start areas (and the extra one with the new Legendary start enabled), I’m going to select them more intelligently instead of randomly. So, before placement, the area around the start area will be scanned for affinity resources. The most dominant one will be chosen as the first. If a second one is to be placed, it’ll choose the next dominant type (there will never be two of the same type).

    The only downside to this that I can think of is that it may give away your most useful affinity choice too soon before exploring and having to figure it out. I don’t like that, which is why I’m not certain for this method yet. Though, seeing that type doesn’t guarantee it’s very dominant in your area; it could be just that the chosen type had one more than the next dominant. And when you receive two copies instead with the Legendary start option, you won’t know which one is the dominant one anyway.


    STRATEGIC BALANCE
    Limited / Enabled / Extended / Standard / Random

    Spoiler :
    Limited: All starts receive a minor Titanium.

    Enabled: All starts receive a minor Titanium and Petroleum.

    Extended: All starts receive a minor Titanium, Petroleum, and Geothermal.

    Standard: All start areas are restricted from receiving random strategic placements. (Like the standard game.)

    Random: All start areas are open to receive random strategic placements. (Like Civ 5.)

    I’m still considering other option names here. The current ones may be a little confusing.

    I originally had the “Civ 5” unrestricted style as Standard and called the Random setting Restricted, but I decided to keep the default setting the same as the standard game. With the Random setting, it’s the responsibility of the player whether or not they wish to abuse it and use the Tectonic Scanner with multiple map reloading. For those that stick to what they first roll (which will be much easier to do in this script) then it isn’t much of an issue.

    Also, I may create a little mod down the road which simply delays the strategic resource reveals of the Tectonic Scanner by a turn or more.


    RESOURCE PODS
    Sparse / Standard / Abundant / Random

    Spoiler :
    Adjusts the number of plots on the map which will contain resource pods.

    EXPEDITION SITES
    Sparse / Standard / Abundant / Random

    Spoiler :
    Adjusts the number of plots on the map which will contain expedition sites.


    - - - - - - - -


    Ideas Not Currently Used:

    LANDMASS DENSITY
    Thin / Average / Thick / Random

    I had this option early on, but it didn’t work as well and wasn’t worthwhile. The landmass types really work best with a single, fitting density set. Plus, there are plenty of other things which diversify the landmasses generated.

    WILD AREAS

    MIASMA
    Sparse / Standard / Abundant / Random

    (I may actually implement this one, since some players hate this stuff and would welcome less.)
     
  5. Lord Tirian

    Lord Tirian Erratic Poster

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    Still like what I'm reading. Some thoughts on it, though:

    Naming (1): Too many landmass types start with "P-" and end with "-ean", Protean, Promethean and Pandorean. That's a bit... confusing.

    You said in the first post that you like the sound of Promethean and Protean is from Civ:BE's nomenclature itself, they these will probably stay. Are you open to change "Pandorean", though? At the very least, it could be "Pandoran" (I think that's the more "correct" form), but can I suggest "Centaurean" or "Chironian" (homage to SMAC)?

    Naming (2): Using surface instead of age is a good idea, but I think using something along the lines of "plate tectonics" or "geological activity" would sound more "planetary". Loses a bit of intuitiveness, though. :sad:

    Strategic Balance: What I'd really like to see is kind of a "balanced" setting where starting areas receive a minor titanium/petroleum/geothermal tile, type chosen at random, a bit less predictable than getting titanium every time.

    Tidal Lock: I'd love to see a option to have a tidally locked planet, so the map makes one hemisphere a lot hotter and the other a lot colder with a thin temperate band in between.
     
  6. Barathor

    Barathor Chieftain

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    Wow, it's funny that you should mention this! I was thinking the same exact thing and was planning on changing it to Pandoran. I think I initially didn't want it to sound like Pandaren. But, while typing up the information above, spellcheck didn't like Pandorean, which raised another flag to me. After a little Googling, I found that Pandoran is more commonly used. And you're right about there being too much "-ean". Pandoran it is. Centaurian sounds pretty cool as well. I'll think about it, especially if I add another type in.

    Hmm, I'll consider "Tectonics" instead of "Surface". Although, the option names would probably need to be changed then too. I'll most likely stick with Surface.

    I haven't thought of doing that yet with the Strategic Balance option -- interesting! I like it. Though, I'm not sure I would call it "Balanced" since it's random and the strategic resources themselves aren't balanced -- titanium would probably be the clear winner.

    I think the titanium is the biggest incentive of using the standard game's strategic balance and the petroleum is just something extra that tags along.

    Tidal Lock sounds like a cool idea as well, though perhaps it would be best as it's own unique script.
     
  7. HandyVac

    HandyVac Gentleman

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    Nice work so far, looking forward to playing this when it's done.

    Regarding your Surface (or Tectonics) option, it would be nice to be able to control canyons seperately from mountains, since they have such different gameplay effects. A flat map with lots of canyons would be quite different to play on than a mountainous map with no canyons, especially in the late game when hovering units are common.

    Perhaps two dropdown boxes for:
    Surface: rough, rolling, smooth, random (number of hills and mountains)
    Canyons: many, some, none, random (number of canyons)


    If I click "random" in any dropdown list I would expect it to pick randomly from all the options in that list, including "none", anything else would feel counter-intuitive. You could add an extra option for "random (not none)" though, in addition to "random".
     
  8. oakdragon

    oakdragon Stagnating amonst the Siliconians Supporter

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    Wonderful. I love your mods and am really looking forward to this one.

    My one suggestion may be obvious or not, but I'll mention it anyway: I hope the "Standard" options will all be the unmodded ones, so we pick and choose the ones we wish (or at least that you include a range of options that includes the unmodded for each category). While I am all for balanced distributions in a sense, one of the great things to me about Civ games to me is that sometimes you do get a crappy start, or things do not start out as you wish. To me that makes the game much more challenging and interesting, having to make do with what you've got and devise a strategy to succeed with it. I wouldn't want things to be spread out too evenly.
     
  9. Makenshi

    Makenshi Ahoy, ye salty dogs!

    Joined:
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    Brasil
    Why hasn't Firaxis hired you yet?

    Seriously, while I love Civ for what it is, I believe they could do much better, considering you alone can do so much.

    I said the same about a modder named Dracomies in a topic about Fallout New Vegas; he alone made the game look 100x better than Bethesda. 100? Scratch that, his New Vegas Redesigned looks 10.000x better, and everything he did came with an explained reason.

    Just like you mod, Barathor. Everything you list is so well explained, and has a reason to be corrected. Awesome job man, keep it up! I will not touch CivBE again until this mod is out - unless you give up the project, God forbid!

    And if you ever come to Brazil for whatever reason, the beer is on me. :beer:
     
  10. Barathor

    Barathor Chieftain

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    First, sorry for the late responses!

    For now, I'm going to continue to keep canyons lumped in with mountains and hills, at slightly varied quantities relative to each other. I'll think about it again down the road.

    Yeah, I've decided to include None within the Random setting for Islands. The reason for this is that the percentages are actually so small for each setting that None actually scales well with the others. If None was drastically different from all three settings, even the Sparse one, then I definitely wouldn't have included it.

    I agree. I'm trying to keep things as close to the existing Standard settings as I can, unless I feel they're not optimal at all. I try not to change every little thing "just because" and have to have a good reason for doing so.

    Once I release the script, I'll work on extra boolean "checkbox" settings that can be found at the bottom of the list within Advanced Settings. These will disable some of my more controversial changes that everybody may not like. For example, one boolean setting would disable my idea to keep (non-Rising Tide) sea resources no further than 2 tiles from land instead of 3. (That whole idea may likely be removed anyway once I get more information about Rising Tide, haha.) Another could restore expedition sites to totally random placement again instead of placements depending on their type.

    Regarding distributions, I can assure you that they won't be totally even and fair -- that would be boring. I have my own methods which can distribute things randomly, but avoids the really bad (or really good!) extremes. Perhaps I'll create a diagram to show how it works when I get a chance. Also, I haven't used this method in More Luxuries; it's brand new and I'm excited to take it further.

    Wow, thanks! :D I think that was the best comment I've ever received; I appreciate your support!

    I'd also like to add: It's much, much easier to critique and modify than it is to create in the first place. Overall, Sirian and Firaxis created some amazing map scripts and tools. Not only that, but things are explained so well within it that it's possible for someone like me to be able to follow it, learn the language, and modify things. Some of the things I've displayed above and wrote about may be a little harsh, but I'm only nitpicking at particular things to hopefully make maps even greater than they currently are. I'm sure someone can do the same to me later on and jump up onto my own shoulders, haha. Also, I have the convenience of focusing things on my one script, instead of coding to have things apply to every kind of map script created.

    - - - - - - - - - -

    A few updates:

    1) As I mentioned above, None will be included within the Random setting of Islands.



    2) I really liked Lord Tirian's idea of a random, single placement of a strategic resource for all players. This way, you know everybody is getting one, you just don't know which one it is and which tech to exploit it.

    So far, the settings will be:

    Standard / Unrestricted / Limited / Enabled / Extended / Random

    Standard: Like the existing, unmodded game -- "Restricted". No strategic resources are placed in starting areas.

    Unrestricted: Starting areas are opened-up and unrestricted. Random strategic resources have a chance of being placed in starting areas (Like Civ 5).

    Limited: All starts receive a minor Titanium.

    Enabled: All starts receive a minor Titanium and Petroleum.

    Extended: All starts receive a minor Titanium, Petroleum, and Geothermal.

    Random: All starts randomly receive either a minor Titanium, Petroleum, or Geothermal.



    3) I think I'm going to add an Archipelago option to Landmass Type, since water won't be so bad in Rising Tide and it'll round out the script options and make everybody happy.

    I really liked Lord Tirian's tribute to Alpha Centauri with the Centaurian name.

    I'm going to shift the map type names a little.

    Protean and Terran will remain the same. Atlantean becomes Centaurian, both as a tribute and because this "small continents" type of map is part continents and part archipelago, much like a centaur is half man, half horse. :D Atlantean will represent the Archipelago maps since it's water flavor is more fitting to this script and its broken landmasses surrounded by it. Pandoran will continue to be a Terran type with an extended range for slightly more variation and Promethean will continue to be the totally random script.
     
  11. Barathor

    Barathor Chieftain

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    After watching the Rising Tide video, I'm thinking I may add two additional settings to Sea Level: Very Low and Very High. Heck, maybe I'll add "Very" settings to each of the planet attribute options. (For Islands, None would take the place of the lesser "Very", while Much More will be added alongside More.)

    Random would be very interesting! :D
     
  12. Lord Tirian

    Lord Tirian Erratic Poster

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    Yay! With RT coming out, I'm really looking forward to play with random sea level and just roll with the punches, that's going to be fun! :D
     
  13. Barathor

    Barathor Chieftain

    Joined:
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    Beyond Earth has been on my mind a lot lately and I've had another little breakthrough, haha.

    I'm changing "Starting Areas" and "Strategic Balance", especially the latter.

    I haven't been too happy with the Strategic Balance option I've created and was hoping I could eventually come up with something better. It was just too awkward and unintuitive; I like my designs to be smooth and simple. My problem was that I was sticking too much to how the unmodded game approached it with its single Strategic Balance option. Lord Tirian's simple idea of a randomly chosen strategic type to place really inspired me to remove the blinders and stop staring at the base game so I can rethink things.

    I think players will like these new versions I have below much more and these two options may see a lot more use.

    (The titles aren't the best and I wish there was more room for longer ones with the Advanced Setup menu, the dropdown boxes are ridiculously oversized and need to be reduced in width.)

    - - - - - - - - - -

    Start Bonuses:

    (Note: the first "extra" bonus is placed like the regular ones and starts checking the first ring and works its way outwards. The second or third "extra" bonuses, if enabled, start by checking the third outer ring and work their way inward. This is because the third ring doesn’t receive any bonus placements a majority of the time, unless they can't be placed on the first or second ring. This helps to prevent excessive clumping and makes a city have to work a little harder to grab those extra outer ring resources.)

    Standard: Start areas don’t receive any “extra” bonuses on top of the regular ones.

    Great: Start areas receive an extra bonus resource on top of the regular ones.

    Epic: Start areas receive two extra bonus resources on top of the regular ones.

    Legendary: Start areas receive three extra bonus resources on top of the regular ones.

    Random: Start areas receive no planned placements and are unlocked for random placements like the rest of the map.

    This one is mostly the same, except it doesn't affect affinity resource placement anymore. The big change here is the Random setting to unluck the starting area for random bonus placements and disabling normalization methods (I'll see how that is, if they're still very much needed I'll enable special normalization methods with very minimal impact so things are "mostly" random.)

    - - - - - - - - - -

    Start Strategics:

    (Note: all strategics placed are minor versions. Affinity placements are on the third ring. Strategic placements are placed on any ring.)

    Standard: Start areas receive a random affinity resource (and nothing else; just like the existing game).

    Great: Start areas receive a random affinity resource and a random strategic resource.

    Epic: Start areas receive a random affinity resource and two random strategic resources.

    Legendary: Start areas receive two affinity resources and two random strategic resources.

    Random: Start areas receive no planned placements and are unlocked for random placements like the rest of the map.

    This one was overhauled. I really didn't like the options previously, there were just too many of them and they all didn't mesh well with one another.

    Some examples of initial confusion with the old option list, haha: "Wait, there's an Enabled in the list, so does that mean Standard is Disabled? Or is it Restricted since there's an Unrestricted option? What's the difference between Enabled and Unrestricted? If Unrestricted receives random placements, how is it different from random? Also, I want only Petroleum and Geothermal, why isn't that also an option?!"

    Also, I really liked the random type idea and didn't want to create even more options utilizing this method within the already long list of confusing options.

    Limited, Enabled, Extended were too controlled and rigid, and didn't quite feel right. Plus, it would be rather boring. I think random placements are more fun and can still serve to strategically balance things a bit, especially after the three strategic resources themselves are tweaked and better balanced with each other (coming soon).

    - - - - - - - - - -

    I think the two new Random settings will really spice things up for those that like things random and want to not know what they're about to land on so they can adapt to what's given to them. I think Beyond Earth also encourages this more than past Civ games since you can freely shift your planetfall a tile instead of wasting a valuable turn to move your settler. This will force you to pause and observe the terrain much more before landing. This also makes the Retrograde Thrusters option a much more valuable one.

    - - - - - - - - - -

    Now… the question is: Should I just combine these into one setting? Is there really a need to separate them by resource type? There are good reasons to do so for the whole map, but when focusing on starting areas, perhaps it's better to just combine them. Please share any of your thoughts.

    It would look something like this:

    Starting Areas:

    Standard: Start areas don’t receive any “extra” bonuses on top of the regular ones. A random affinity resource is placed and no other strategic resources.

    Great: Start areas receive an extra bonus resource on top of the regular ones, a random affinity resource, and a random strategic resource.

    Epic: Start areas receive two extra bonus resources on top of the regular ones, a random affinity resource, and two random strategic resources.

    Legendary: Start areas receive three extra bonus resources on top of the regular ones, two random affinity resources, and two random strategic resources.

    Random: Start areas receive no planned placements and are unlocked for random placements like the rest of the map.

    Again, with the Random setting here, I'm not sure yet, but I "may" implement very minimal normalization methods for truly bad start areas (though, those should be reduced anyway with this script). These special methods would happen "after" all random placements, so they can be better measured, instead of before them like they normally do (since starting areas normally restrict random bonuses from being placed in them and are very controlled).

    - - - - - - - - - -

    EDIT: Another idea popped into my head. I remember seeing these while skimming through the code:

    Code:
    		<Row Name="PLANETFALL_DEFAULT_SIGHT_RANGE">
    			<Value>3</Value>
    		</Row>
    		<Row Name="PLANETFALL_DEFAULT_FOUND_RANGE">
    			<Value>1</Value>
    		</Row>
    
    Perhaps I could create a separate little mod which increases these default values by +1, for anybody interested. This would help to better support unlocked starting areas with all random placements, and would also help you feel like you're more in control of where you're about to steer your spacecraft when landing on the alien planet. Retrograde Thrusters can be increased by 1 as well.

    Just a thought and something I need to consider further.
     
  14. gunnergoz

    gunnergoz Cat Herder

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    Nice work Barathor: I'm looking forward to playing this map script as soon as you release it. (hint, hint) :goodjob:
     
  15. Barathor

    Barathor Chieftain

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    Pandorus is progressing nicely. During development, I&#8217;ve also planned out a separate mod which will bring the basic strategic resources closer to being balanced with each other. I&#8217;m also planning on combining the start area settings into one and simply labeling it &#8220;Starting Areas&#8221;.

    Also, there will be two versions of this setting. The default one will be based around the existing game&#8217;s unmodified strategic resources. With the lightweight, supplementary mod, the basic strategic resources will be modified and a GlobalDefine boolean will activate the alternate Lua code within the script, along with updating tooltip text within the advanced setup screen. Though, this mod will also function as a standalone for players that don&#8217;t use Pandorus.

    All are random and of minor quantities.

    &#8220;Starting Areas&#8221; Without Mod:

    Standard: ---
    Great: +2 bonuses (basically, the unmodded Legendary)
    Epic: +2 bonuses and +1 titanium
    Legendary: +3 bonuses, +1 titanium, and +1 affinity
    Natural: areas are unlocked and random with very minimal normalization.

    &#8220;Starting Areas&#8221; With Mod:

    Standard: ---
    Great: +1 bonus and +1 strategic
    Epic: +2 bonuses and +2 strategics
    Legendary +3 bonuses, +2 strategics, and +1 affinity
    Natural: areas are unlocked and random with very minimal normalization.

    So, this is what I&#8217;m planning to do with the three basic strategic resources to help support the new option of receiving random ones at the start, instead of predetermined ones, and also to make the early titanium bonus less absurd. I went through many different iterations and am finally satisfied enough with this one. I feel it brings these resources much closer to being balanced and has minimal impact on the existing game.

    Spoiler :






    They&#8217;re all going back to the standard bonus amount that &#8220;most&#8221; resources follow: +1 yield for existing on the tile, and +1 yield when improved -- though, as strategics (that also have to be revealed), they get +2 yields when improved instead. I also decided to go with +2 when improved because I didn&#8217;t want to put too much weight on the building/tech bonuses, which are harder to balance with each other, and wanted to keep them at just an extra +1 bonus from other sources.

    Affinity strategic resources follow this as well in the unmodded game, and gain +3 yields when they&#8217;re improved later on, while granting no bonus to the terrain unimproved since they&#8217;re revealed from the start. (In another mod, I may remove the 2 energy maintenance from firaxite mines and xenomass wells and change the floatstone quarry bonus to +6 energy instead of +3&#8230; plus some other things.)

    Titanium is still the big production strategic, Geothermal is the big energy one, and now Petroleum is the hybrid between the two.

    Energy is of lesser value, especially compared to production, so it grants +2 for every 1 yield. The existing game does this in many places too, one example being generators granting +2 energy from the start instead of +1 of a yield like farms.

    Also, in another mod, I&#8217;m reverting mines back to +1 and hills back to 2 production, since I never liked the way they changed it. Plus, mines granting +2 makes mined resources; like gold, copper, and silica; found on 2-yield flat land too strong.

    Even though I&#8217;m going to modify mine yields in another mod, I&#8217;m still going to have titanium improved by it&#8217;s own improvement -- titanium mines. This will help to better control things. Firaxite uses firaxite mines, floatstone uses floatstone quarries instead of regular quarries, and even the other strategics use their own unique wells instead of a common well improvement to apply to them all. So, I think titanium justifiably deserves its own unique mine improvement.

    Also, the health penalty from petroleum wells is being removed since I feel it&#8217;s unnecessary. We&#8217;re on an alien planet filled with toxins and substances we haven&#8217;t adapted to or ever have been exposed to and petroleum is the only thing which reduces our health? Even an improved tile with miasma may damage units on it, but it doesn&#8217;t affect our health.

    Power Systems remains mostly the same, except that it grants +2E to geothermal wells instead of only +1E.

    The alloy foundry now grants +3P instead of +2P, and grants only +1P to each titanium tile instead of +2P. The quest only grants +1P to the building itself instead of +2P to each titanium tile. This also balances it out a little better with the other quest option to receive 4 extra copies of titanium. These changes help tame the potential power of alloy foundries and brings it more in line with its close cousin, the biofactory, which is at a similar tier and has similar costs and yield amounts.

    The petrochemical plant has also been rebalanced while comparing it to other existing buildings within its tier. It follows a somewhat standard model of: +2 yield, -0.5 yield maintenance, +1 yield to a resource, and +1 yield quest options. It&#8217;s also more dedicated to being an energy building (it has a trader slot after all), much like the alloy foundry is a production building.

    I feel each of these extra boosts to each strategic resource are fairly balanced. Since geothermal doesn&#8217;t grant a bonus building and since energy is slightly less favored, its boost is immediate once you grab the early tech and doesn&#8217;t require a building constructed in each city that works it. With production being a little more valuable, titanium&#8217;s unique building comes a little later, but is a powerful additional building to have once you&#8217;re able to construct them. Petroleum&#8217;s petrochemical plant is middle of the road and is an early enough bonus building to construct and reap the benefits of.
     
  16. MasterEcabob

    MasterEcabob Chieftain

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    That sounds interesting, but is there any chance you could pick a start with a random strategic resource with the standard bonuses? I love my +2 culture on petroleum.
     
  17. Barathor

    Barathor Chieftain

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    That wouldn't be any trouble at all. I'll create an alternate mod which just enables the random strategic selection for starting areas. I probably won't put it up on my Workshop, but I'll put it in the Downloads section here.
     
  18. Barathor

    Barathor Chieftain

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    Update: I uploaded that Strategic Resource Mod that I mentioned above to the Workshop if anybody wants to check it out and give it a test drive.

    Though, until Firaxis fixes things, titanium still uses the regular mines in this version because my unique titanium mine improvement was causing that annoying bug which doesn't display the unit action panel properly. I'm not going to force users to perform the workaround of returning to the main menu and relaunching a modded game.
     
  19. MasterEcabob

    MasterEcabob Chieftain

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    Awesome! I look forward to your progress on this mod.
     
  20. Barathor

    Barathor Chieftain

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    1,202
    Update: Things have been moving along nicely with Pandorus, but I've decided to release a new map script called Pandorus Lite first. I'm nearly finished with it, I'm just deciding how I want to implement a few things.

    Pandorus Lite will be most of the default code untouched and will only be modified in areas so that it can utilize the new options I've created. This will also help to give me some good feedback on things while I'm developing the main Pandorus mod with my own generation methods.

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    Another update: I'm going to add a new option to the lists of Temperature, Rainfall, and Surface called "Biome Dependant", "Biome Specific", or "By Biome"... not sure what to call it yet.

    But these options will generate things within a specific range depending on the final biome selected (I renamed "Map Terrain" within the Advanced Setup menu to simply "Biome"). So, for example, an Arid biome (I renamed "Desert" to "Arid" too, haha) will utilize more of a Hot temperature setting and will have more deserts and less tundra. Another example is that a Lush biome will utilize more of a Wet rainfall setting and will have slightly decreased amounts of both tundra and desert.

    These values will all have a small range for a bit of randomness too, so they're not always similar. So, sometimes an Arid biome with a Biome Dependant Temperature setting may have more Desert than another game played under the same setting.

    With this option, the terrain and features will be a little more appropriate for the biome selected, especially when one wishes for a random biome to be selected.

    I'm doing this because as I was messing around with values for the Temperature and Habitability setting, it was bothering me a little how I could create a very cold planet with more tundra, snow, and ice but wind up on an Arid biome setting, for example.

    I also want to implement this since the biomes are now rounded out well with the new Frigid biome and Primordial.

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    Another route to take with this is to not have a "Biome Dependant" option under each of those settings and just have it built in by default. As in, the base values for amounts of deserts, tundra, forests, hills, etc. are adjusted according to the biome selected (without a random range). THEN, the other settings like Temperature, Rainfall, and Surface adjust those base values for further tweaking. So, a Hot Arid biome will have even more desert than usual, for example.
     

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