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Priorities for next version

Discussion in 'Civ4 - Revolution Modpack' started by jdog5000, Jun 12, 2007.

  1. jdog5000

    jdog5000 Revolutionary

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    Here are the facets I plan to focus on for the next version, as always your thoughts and ideas are definitely welcome:

    1. Rebels get first move: After revolting armies spawn, they get to move before you do. This feature can also be disabled.

    1b. Option to cause rebels to always spawn outside of cities and have to fight for control.

    2. Add ability to bribe cities at any time to lower revolution index, delay potential revolts. Make cost increase so only wealthy civs can really pay for long term stability.

    3. Improve Rev Watch by adding ability to go straight to a particular city. Perhaps switch to screen from popup.

    4. Add revolution state indicators to city screen.
     
  2. Fosse

    Fosse Prince

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    I think that 1 and 1b together are a nice combination. In cases where city defense is too small to ward off the rebellion the player will at least watch the outcome happen. It will feel more correct than the current way, though the outcome will often be similar. Very nice. The current cheese tactic of leaving large city raiding stacks next to your cities -- where they do not take damage in a revolt -- to simply take back the city if it revolts should be taken care of neatly by this. Those units will do more good defending the city if the barbs spawn outside of it and move first.

    The ability to bribe cities will be interesting. I'm curious to see if it will give the humans an "unfair" advantage, as we can budget for such things that the AI might not be able to, making our empires more stable generally. Of course, the human/AI index modifiers can always correct for such things, but it'll be interesting anyway.

    And the UI changes and additions sound great.

    One thing I'd like to see considered: Recognition of rebels. Is there a way to work things so that a civ born in a revolution against a parent civ is considered "unofficial" by all civs that have met that civ, and there would be a diplomatic option to "recognize" that civ? You would be unable to sign an Open Borders agreement with a civ you don't recognize, so there is some incentive in most civics.
    A rebel civ wants to be recognized by everyone, so they'll come asking for your support and recognition. Granting it would be a diplomatic minus with the motherland, and a HUGE plus for the new civ. Other civs would like you more or less depending on if your choice is similar to theirs, and they might even come to you and request that you recognize a rebel they like, or denounce an illegal revolution. These diplomacy modifiers should be fairly large at first, but then decay rather rapidly (and maybe vanish altogether except for a +/- 1 with the mother civ and rebel civ in question).

    It gives a way for diplomatic blocs to form and change due to in-game situations beyond religion, and makes for an interesting choice when a rebel breaks off of a rival because you might be compelled to make a choice of who to support even if you don't commit military to one side.
     
  3. Aeven

    Aeven EU Citizen

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    I think that when a leadership switch occurs, the "Declared war on us!" negative factor should be gone, or at least lowered.
     
  4. Dom Pedro II

    Dom Pedro II Modder For Life

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    While I think a leader switch should change the civ's relationship towards other civs, I'm not sure about just a base reduction in the war negative factor... I mean, if the revolution occurs because war weariness rages out of control in that civ, that's one thing. But if, for example, unhappiness from becoming a vassal forces a leader change, it might mean they're even angrier about the war dec and hope the new leader will declare independence and vindicate them by winning a renewed war against their oppressors.
     
  5. jdog5000

    jdog5000 Revolutionary

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    Another player's attitude towards you is sort of a hybrid of the people's attitude and the leader's attitude ... the people haven't changed, and if they bore the brunt of the fighting then they may be in no mind to forgive. I hadn't thought of changing these types of attitude effects. Others will change, at least in magnitude, as different leaders have different civics preferences and strengths for common religion, etc.

    The diplomatic effects of a change in leadership could certainly be more pronounced, I'll look into that.
     
  6. AljayBoy

    AljayBoy Warlord

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    I realise that this is a Warlords 'bug' but it's far more apparent in your fantastic Revolution Mod, due to the increased amount of small civs liable to appear at any time due to revolutions etc.

    It's when the player (civ A) is winning war against another civ (civ B), which could be rebels or another civ entirely, then suddenly you are at war with another civ (civ C) due to civ B becoming civ C's vassal. As I said, due to the nature of the Mod, there can be many smaller nations in any one game, giving rise to the amount of conquest wars and subsequent vassalised nations, which significantly increases these occurences.

    What I'd like to see implemented, if possible, is (a pop-up perhaps?) the option to cease or continue military action when a civ you are at war with becomes another civs vassal.

    Twice in my last game I ended up at war with other civs who had no reason (well, one of them was Shaka . . . ) to declare war on me, other than the fact they had vassalised my enemy. The final straw was the second time when my neighbour, who had shared my religion from the beginning, and who I'd never been at war with, resulting in "Pleased" relations most of the game: declaring war on me after taking on another of my almost defeated enemys!

    Very frustrating I'm sure you'll all understand.
     
  7. jdog5000

    jdog5000 Revolutionary

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    AljayBoy -

    Too true, that is annoying. It's too close to BTS to be worth tracking down now, however. It isn't always really a bug, as the vassalizing AI (supposedly) knows what it's getting into and decides it is willing to declare war on you to take on the vassal, but in circumstances like you describe it sure feels like one. Maybe Firaxis has already addressed it since the AI is supposed to be improved.

    You might bring it up over in the BetterAI forum too, which seems to be kind of back to life.
     
  8. Sa~Craig

    Sa~Craig King

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    I thought that automatically meant you were at peace with the now vassal civ, due them taking the foreign policy of the master not the other way round
     
  9. Dom Pedro II

    Dom Pedro II Modder For Life

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    Yes, that's what it is now... when Warlords first came out, however, that was not the case.

    I know for a fact that what you said is the case now because I was at war with one civ, one city away from ridding the planet of him, and my war ally settled for his complete capitulation and I was denied my victory because I was now automatically at peace with him... if I had chosen to resume the war, I'd have had to do it against both of them, and that just had no appeal to me.

    Yes, I mean, there's a lot of examples in history of a revolution in one country bringing a complete 180 degree turn in relations with another. Iran is a classic example. Iran very quickly went from being one of America's greatest allies in the Middle East to one of its greatest enemies. Similarly, the French Revolution brought the full wrath of a monarchist Europe down on the heads of the French from countries that they might otherwise have been aligned with if they had a king.

    So in short, I'm just not really sure how much the people really are involved in that "hybrid' interpretation of the attitudes. I mean, in a democracy, then yes, they're influence is felt more because they will elect leaders that have a shared opinion (or the leader will change his opinion to better suit his constituents), but in a dictatorship, and especially one with hereditary rule, this is not really so. Long story short, I think a revolution should have the potential to cause a dramatic shift in opinion in foreign countries.

    However, often its not so much the who as it is the what. I mean, if the Shah of Iran was overthrown by a military commander who then just made himself Shah, things would've gotten a little tense as Americans were unsure of what change this would bring, but things would've settled. If the French had simply forced Louis to adopt reforms but kept him on the throne as was originally the plan, or if one of his nobles had overthrown him and maintained the monarchy, most of Europe would not have felt the need to intervene. So civics is important, or rather the change of civics... So I think there should definitely be a negative civics factor when a player has a civic that another civ doesn't.

    Since a revolution will probably bring a change of civics, this will automatically change the attitude of a civilization. I wouldn't say that you should get +1 for every civic you have in common and -1 for every civic you don't since I think this would get too cumbersome, but perhaps you could get negatives from civics that cause anger in other people's countries who don't have it. So if somebody switches to Free Labor, and it causes anger in someone else's country, there should be a negative attitude from the one affected by the anger to the one causing the anger.
     
  10. jdog5000

    jdog5000 Revolutionary

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    I believe things are different if the small civ capitulates to someone it's at war with (works as you describe) vs if it simply asks a larger, friendly civ to take it as a Vassal (works as described above).
     
  11. Dom Pedro II

    Dom Pedro II Modder For Life

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    That could be... I've never had a civilization I was at war with become a voluntary vassal of another to see. Personally, I think the system is fine the way it is as long as the master civ realizes that by taking on the other as a vassal it assumes their wars. The AI should just generally be leery of taking on any vassal that is at war with a civilization that either A) is on good terms with them or B) is very large.

    Basically, it should run through the procedures it does when determining who, if anybody, to attack since that's essentially what it's doing. I haven't examined the AI code too closely, so I don't know how to do that exactly, but it seems to me that it shouldn't be too hard to have the AI run through the vassal's relationships determine the power of their enemies and their relationship towards them and then make a decision on whether to accept the weaker civ's proposal.
     
  12. jdog5000

    jdog5000 Revolutionary

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    I'd also like for the Diplomacy screen to show what the foreign policy effects of agreeing to Vassal relations will mean. Right now, if someone asks you to take them on as a Vassal, unless you just checked the Foreign Relations Screen you don't know what will happen.
     
  13. Dom Pedro II

    Dom Pedro II Modder For Life

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    Well, at the moment I think it just adds an automatic -1 to all other players... but yes, there are actually a lot of things that would be nice if you could bring up more information before making a decision.

    For instance, I'd love it if when you get a prompt about what to build in a city, there were an option after "Examine city..." that would allow you to bring up the Domestic Advisor screen so you can see where that city is doing well and where its doing poorly in relation to your other cities.
     
  14. jdog5000

    jdog5000 Revolutionary

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    While working on the rebels get first move logic today (which is starting to work ... right now, one rebel unit attacks you and the rest don't) I came up with another idea:

    Delayed revolts -
    When the normal revolt popup shows up and threatens you with war, and you decline their overtures, instead of launching the revolution immediately it would happen after your turn. You'd maybe get a popup declaring that war was imminent, and the cities involved would go into disorder. You'd then have your turn as normal, and could move units around and prepare somewhat.

    After your turn, when the rebels turn comes up then they would spawn and attack! There are definitely potential issues or exploits that would be possible if you knew the war is coming, but so far I haven't though of any that are deal breakers.

    What are your thoughts on this concept?
     
  15. Dom Pedro II

    Dom Pedro II Modder For Life

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    It seems to me, that under the current situation, you get the warning, units appear, and you have a turn to shift your army to respond. Now, there are certain benefits to the existing system. I essentially have the same amount of time to respond; however, when I can move after the rebel units spawn, I know exactly what I'm facing. If I have an army sufficient to repulse the enemy, I know exactly the number of units I need and in what composition, and I can also hit them first too...

    But with what you propose, I would only know that war was at hand and I would have no idea the exact nature of the enemy forces. Exploitable? I think it's even less exploitable than the current system. I think the system you propose is a good one.
     
  16. jdog5000

    jdog5000 Revolutionary

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    The new delayed revolts logic is working great, I think it really makes the mod better. It's a much cleaner solution than attempting to insert a special bonus turn for rebel units into the middle of the motherlands turn. In addition, it also addresses the issue that's been brought up since day one ... 'where did those rebels come from?' Now, you have a little bit of notice before they attack.

    The city bribing logic is also up and working. After some tuning to make sure the costs make sense for a wide range of scenarios, the next version will be ready to go. That next version will probably be the last before BTS (only ~30 days to go).
     
  17. Dom Pedro II

    Dom Pedro II Modder For Life

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    Glad to see you've got this working! I want to see how it turns out... there's a part of me that's apprehensive about the possibility of the rebels getting the first strike after spawning... I mean, there'll be that warning... then silence... :scared: then all hell breaks loose!! :trouble:
     
  18. Fosse

    Fosse Prince

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    I'm not sure which thread constitutes "general discussion," but this seems like a good place for now.

    I've made the switch away from the "small revolutions" feature and found that it restored a lot of fun for me. Having my cities occasionally shut down for a turn (or, in the latest version, two) is decidedly not fun. The number of times this happens when a city is improving was still too much for my taste, and the whole thing seemed really out of kilter when my "Warning (Improving)" capital would have a small revolt when I only had three cities in the Ancient age.

    So I turned it off and am still having a great time, but it got me thinking a lot about the feature since I tend to like playing "standard" versions of things, at least for testing and providing feedback.

    The small revolts were put in place as a way to provide feedback to the player that a city is in danger and things are getting serious, and also serve the effect of simulating a breakdown in power during the lead up to a rebellion, which can potentially cause a bad situation to spiral out of control by cutting off access to resources.

    But it isn't fun because, among other things, there's nothing you can do to correct for the situation that you wouldn't already be doing anyway, any workers building improvements in your cultural area that is "lost" during the revolt are both annoying to deal with and a bit wasteful (having to reassign a half dozen workers to a handful of projects repeatedly is very annoying), and when half of your empire "disappears" at a moment it seems a little gamey.

    Additionally, the Revolution watch pop-up and the Ctrl-Shift-W window both already provide the function of letting the player know when things are dicey, albeit less dramatically.

    So..... I wanted to suggest an alternative system that would create the sort of feedback loop that small revolts might cause -- which seem in-line with the game -- without what I deem to be the unfun system. One such thing is the "Rebellious Spirit" tag that some cities get when things have been bad for a while, but that only works over longer periods of time. It occurred to me that if the Revolution index occasionally added an unhappy face to the city in question it might accomplish that. In any city that is running at 1-1 happy to unhappy an "Index Frowny Face" would possibly start the spiral. The unhappy faces (We Want Change!) would provide direct feedback to the player and -- this is the big difference to me from the revolts -- the player can address them directly. Raising the luxury rate, securing new resources, building temples... anything we do to fight unhappy faces... can be put to use against the symptom of a rebellious situation. It lets things get worse and gives us a "quick fix" option to try to stabilize them while we pursue longer term fixes of civic switches, garrison buildups, religious spread, etc.

    So, I propose that in place of or in addition to the current Small Revolt feature:

    1 - Any city whose situation is not "Safe" or "Improving" for X number of turns gets an additional "We Want a Change!" sad face.
    2 - Any city that is "Worsening" for a smaller than X number of turns gets an additional "We Want a Change!" sad face.
    3 - Any city that is "Improving" stands a chance of losing a previously gained "We Want Change" sad face.
    4 - The appearance and disappearance of these unhappy faces are marked in the event log with "Dissidents in CITY are expressing their discontent" or "Improving conditions in CITY are assuring the citizens." A small flag can appear on those cities when the announcement occurs.
     
  19. jdog5000

    jdog5000 Revolutionary

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    @ Fosse:

    I agree with you about the small revolts being rather annoying, so they will be off in the next version (to be posted tomorrow, FYI) while I work on a better system or model. Happiness is definitely one way to go, and would be fairly effective and the points you raise of it having many possible ways to remedy or partially address the situation are definitely good. My only concern is that it might cause runaway situations that are difficult to repair, as happiness is a very significant Rev index factor. If a city being unhappy generates more unhappiness, well I think you know where that's going =(
     
  20. Fosse

    Fosse Prince

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    Definitely. If the index were to feedback into the happiness then I would think it should do so at cautious rates, like 1 unhappy face per X number of turns in a very bad condition, with X being 10 or so. And perhaps this isn't cautious enough -- I certainly don't know how to test it and see how it feels.

    And the "loss" of those unhappy faces when conditions improve should happen rather quickly, I think. Maybe a 15% chance of disappearing when "improving" conditions are met for any given turn. Those would go away very quickly when things get better, which would also help you spring back more quickly.

    I will keep thinking about other ways to replace the "bad situation is getting worse" function that small revolts had (very glad to see them go, but I liked the experiment :) ) and unhappy faces could have.
     

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